WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars landed missions

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budney, C. J.; Miller, S. L.; Cutts, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Stratigraphy Mission lands a rover on the surface of Mars which descends down a cliff in Valles Marineris to study the stratigraphy. The rover carries a unique complement of instruments to analyze and age-date materials encountered during descent past 2 km of strata. The science objective for the Mars Stratigraphy Mission is to identify the geologic history of the layered deposits in the Valles Marineris region of Mars. This includes constraining the time interval for formation of these deposits by measuring the ages of various layers and determining the origin of the deposits (volcanic or sedimentary) by measuring their composition and imaging their morphology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  14. Red Dragon drill missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Mechanical design of the Mars Pathfinder mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

    A Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the recent Decadal Survey of Planetary Science. However, an affordable program to carry this out has not been defined. This paper describes a study that examined use of emerging commercial capabilities to land the sample return elements, with the goal of reducing mission cost. A team at NASA Ames examined the feasibility of the following scenario for MSR: A Falcon Heavy launcher injects a SpaceX Dragon crew capsule and trunk onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule is modified to carry all the hardware needed to return samples collected on Mars including a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) and Sample Collection and Storage hardware. The Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using SuperSonic Retro Propulsion (SSRP) as described by Braun and Manning [IEEEAC paper 0076, 2005]. Samples are acquired and deliverd to the MAV by a prelanded asset, possibly the proposed 2020 rover. After samples are obtained and stored in the ERV, the MAV launches the sample-containing ERV from the surface of Mars. We examined cases where the ERV is delivered to either low Mars orbit (LMO), C3 = 0 (Mars escape), or an intermediate energy state. The ERV then provides the rest of the energy (delta V) required to perform trans-Earth injection (TEI), cruise, and insertion into a Moon-trailing Earth Orbit (MTEO). A later mission, possibly a crewed Dragon launched by a Falcon Heavy (not part of the current study) retrieves the sample container, packages the sample, and performs a controlled Earth re-entry to prevent Mars materials from accidentally contaminating Earth. The key analysis methods used in the study employed a set of parametric mass estimating relationships (MERs) and standard aerospace analysis software codes modified for the MAV class of launch vehicle to determine the range of performance parameters that produced converged

  20. Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Advancing Lidar Sensors Technologies for Next Generation Landing Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amzajerdian, Farzin; Hines, Glenn D.; Roback, Vincent E.; Petway, Larry B.; Barnes, Bruce W.; Brewster, Paul F.; Pierrottet, Diego F.; Bulyshev, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Missions to solar systems bodies must meet increasingly ambitious objectives requiring highly reliable "precision landing", and "hazard avoidance" capabilities. Robotic missions to the Moon and Mars demand landing at pre-designated sites of high scientific value near hazardous terrain features, such as escarpments, craters, slopes, and rocks. Missions aimed at paving the path for colonization of the Moon and human landing on Mars need to execute onboard hazard detection and precision maneuvering to ensure safe landing near previously deployed assets. Asteroid missions require precision rendezvous, identification of the landing or sampling site location, and navigation to the highly dynamic object that may be tumbling at a fast rate. To meet these needs, NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has developed a set of advanced lidar sensors under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) project. These lidar sensors can provide precision measurement of vehicle relative proximity, velocity, and orientation, and high resolution elevation maps of the surface during the descent to the targeted body. Recent flights onboard Morpheus free-flyer vehicle have demonstrated the viability of ALHAT lidar sensors for future landing missions to solar system bodies.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, Akos

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Mechanically-Deployed Hypersonic Decelerator and Conformal Ablator Technologies for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Wercinski, Paul F.; Beck, Robin A. S.; Hamm, Kenneth R.; Yount, Bryan C.; Makino, A.; Smith, B.; Gage, P.; Prabhu, D.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of a mechanically deployable hypersonic decelerator, developed initially for high mass (40 MT) human Mars missions, is currently funded by OCT for technology maturation. The ADEPT (Adaptive, Deployable Entry and Placement Technology) project has broad, game-changing applicability to in situ science missions to Venus, Mars, and the Outer Planets. Combined with maturation of conformal ablator technology (another current OCT investment), the two technologies provide unique low mass mission enabling capabilities otherwise not achievable by current rigid aeroshell or by inflatables. If this abstract is accepted, we will present results that illustrate the mission enabling capabilities of the mechanically deployable architecture for: (1) robotic Mars (Discovery or New Frontiers class) in the near term; (2) alternate approaches to landing MSL-class payloads, without the need for supersonic parachute or lifting entry, in the mid-term; and (3) Heavy mass and human missions to Mars in the long term.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Polsgrove, Tara T.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Early Results from Gale Crater Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. ExoMars entry, descent and landing science

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Clarke, Jonathan; Direito, Susana O. L.; Blake, David; Martin, Kevin R.; Zavaleta, Jhony; Foing, Bernard

    2011-07-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to terrains on Mars. Soils were analysed for mineralogy by a Terra X-ray diffractometer (XRD), a field version of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission (2012 landing). Soluble ion chemistry, total organic content and identity and distribution of microbial populations were also determined. The Terra data reveal that Mancos and Morrison soils are rich in phyllosilicates similar to those observed on Mars from orbital measurements (montmorillonite, nontronite and illite). Evaporite minerals observed include gypsum, thenardite, polyhalite and calcite. Soil chemical analysis shows sulfate the dominant anion in all soils and SO4>>CO3, as on Mars. The cation pattern Na>Ca>Mg is seen in all soils except for the Summerville where Ca>Na. In all soils, SO4 correlates with Na, suggesting sodium sulfates are the dominant phase. Oxidizable organics are low in all soils and range from a high of 0.7% in the Mancos samples to undetectable at a detection limit of 0.1% in the Morrison soils. Minerals rich in chromium and vanadium were identified in Morrison soils that result from diagenetic replacement of organic compounds. Depositional environment, geologic history and mineralogy all affect the ability to preserve and detect organic compounds. Subsurface biosphere populations were revealed to contain organisms from all three domains (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya) with cell density between 3.0×106 and 1.8×107 cells ml-1 at the deepest depth. These measurements are analogous to data that could be obtained on future robotic or human Mars missions and results are relevant to the MSL mission that will investigate phyllosilicates on Mars.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Alan C.

    1986-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  12. Selection of the Mars Science Laboratory landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M.; Grant, J.; Kipp, D.; Vasavada, A.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Fergason, Robin L.; Bellutta, P.; Calef, F.; Larsen, K.; Katayama, Y.; Huertas, A.; Beyer, R.; Chen, A.; Parker, T.; Pollard, B.; Lee, S.; Hoover, R.; Sladek, H.; Grotzinger, J.; Welch, R.; Dobrea, E. Noe; Michalski, J.; Watkins, M.

    2012-01-01

    The selection of Gale crater as the Mars Science Laboratory landing site took over five years, involved broad participation of the science community via five open workshops, and narrowed an initial >50 sites (25 by 20 km) to four finalists (Eberswalde, Gale, Holden and Mawrth) based on science and safety. Engineering constraints important to the selection included: (1) latitude (±30°) for thermal management of the rover and instruments, (2) elevation (surface that is safe for landing and roving and not dominated by fine-grained dust. Science criteria important for the selection include the ability to assess past habitable environments, which include diversity, context, and biosignature (including organics) preservation. Sites were evaluated in detail using targeted data from instruments on all active orbiters, and especially Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. All of the final four sites have layered sedimentary rocks with spectral evidence for phyllosilicates that clearly address the science objectives of the mission. Sophisticated entry, descent and landing simulations that include detailed information on all of the engineering constraints indicate all of the final four sites are safe for landing. Evaluation of the traversabilty of the landing sites and target “go to” areas outside of the ellipse using slope and material properties information indicates that all are trafficable and “go to” sites can be accessed within the lifetime of the mission. In the final selection, Gale crater was favored over Eberswalde based on its greater diversity and potential habitability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

    years after the landings on Mars, the rovers are still going strong, and CIP continues to provide data access to mission personnel.

  16. 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.

  17. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Cryogenic propulsion for lunar and Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redd, Larry

    1988-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

    Project Minerva is a low-cost manned Mars mission designed to deliver a crew of four to the Martian surface, using only two sets of two launches. Key concepts which make this mission realizable are the use of near-term technologies and in-situ propellant production, following the senario originally proposed by R. Zubrin of Martin Marietta. The first set of launches delivers two unmanned payloads into low earth orbit (LEO): one consists of an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV), a propellant production plant, and a set of robotic vehicles, and the second consists of the upper stage/trans-Mars injection (TMI) booster. In LEO, the two payloads are joined and inserted into a Mars transfer orbit. The landing on Mars is performed with the aid of multiple aerobraking maneuvers. On the Martian surface, the propellant production plant uses a Sabatier/electrolysis-type process to combine six tons of hydrogen brought from earth with carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere to produce 100 tons of liquid oxygen and methane, which are later used as the propellants for the rover expeditions and the manned return journey of the ERV. Once the in-situ propellant production is completed, approximately two years after the first set of launches, the manned portion of the mission leaves earth. This set of two launches is similar to that of the unmanned vehicles; the two payloads are the Manned Transfer Vehicle (MTV) and the upper stage/TMI booster. The MTV contains the manned rover and the habitat which houses the astronauts enroute to Mars and on the Martian surface. During the 180-day trip to Mars, artificial gravity is created by tethering the MTV to the TMI booster and inducing rotation. Upon arrival the MTV performs aerobraking maneuvers to land near the fully-fueled ERV, which will be used by the crew a year and a half later to return to earth. The mission entails moderate travel times with relatively low-energy conjunction-class trajectories and allows ample time for scientific

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  8. The Icebreaker Mission to Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

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

  11. Preliminary results of the search for possible Martian landing sites to be considered for future European exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, P.

    2007-08-01

    The recently adopted European Space Policy aims at expanding and coordinating the role and activities of Europe's space actors with the purpose of increasing both scientific knowledge in selected space domains and the European presence in the Solar System, as well as optimising the relevant societal benefits. With our Moon and in particular Mars as primary targets of exploration goals for the Solar System, and following a number of very successful orbital missions performing detailed remote sensing and mapping of these planetary bodies, probe landings on the surface of the Moon and Mars represent the next stepping stone of the exploration of our close planetary environment. Along with developing the hardware capabilities required for Europe to reach such ambitious goals, it therefore becomes increasingly important to pinpoint with precision a number of landing sites well suited for the safety and scientific success of future robotic missions. Focusing on Mars, and although a number of candidate landing sites and associated catalogs with available scientific justification already exist, the results being obtained by orbiters such as Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are fundamentally transforming our knowledge of the planet's surface, which in turns highlights the need to review, update and revise the candidate sites for future landing missions on Mars. Detailed investigations of possible future Martian landing sites for European missions are ongoing, based on the wealth of scientific data and high-resolution mapping products available. In order to support the identification of suitable sites, various mapping products (geological, hyperspectral and compositional) can be consolidated, and various areas of Mars identified in the recent scientific literature as primary targets for landing can be taken into account for further, refined assessment of their suitability for landing. Seasonal and climatic effects potentially influencing landing shall also be

  12. 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.

  13. Mars: Periglacial Morphology and Implications for Future Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Schurmeier, Lauren; McKay, Christopher; Davila, Alfonso; Stoker, Carol; Marinova, Margarita; Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    At the Mars Phoenix landing site and in much of the Martian northern plains, there is ice-cemented ground beneath a layer of dry permafrost. Unlike most permafrost on Earth, though, this ice is not liquid at any time of year. However, in past epochs at higher obliquity the surface conditions during summer may have resulted in warmer conditions and possible melting. This situation indicates that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be a candidate for the most recently habitable place on Mars as near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity approximately 5 Myr ago. The high elevation Dry Valleys of Antarctica provide the best analog on Earth of Martian ground ice. These locations are the only places on Earth where ice-cemented ground is found beneath dry permafrost. The Dry Valleys are a hyper-arid polar desert environment and in locations above 1500 m elevation, such as University Valley, air temperatures do not exceed 0 C. Thus, similarly to Mars, liquid water is largely absent here and instead the hydrologic cycle is dominated by frozen ice and vapor phase processes such as sublimation. These conditions make the high elevation Dry Valleys a key Mars analog location where periglacial processes and geomorphic features can be studied in situ. This talk will focus on studies of University Valley as a Mars analog for periglacial morphology and ice stability. We will review a landing site selection study encompassing this information gleaned from the Antarctic terrestrial analog studies plus Mars spacecraft data analysis to identify candidate landing sites for a future mission to search for life on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Terrain Safety Assessment in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipp, Devin

    2012-01-01

    In August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will pioneer the next generation of robotic Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems by delivering the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. The process to select the MSL landing site took over five years and began with over 50 initial candidate sites from which four finalist sites were chosen. The four finalist sites were examined in detail to assess overall science merit, EDL safety, and rover traversability on the surface. Ultimately, the engineering assessments demonstrated a high level of safety and robustness at all four finalist sites and differences in the assessment across those sites were small enough that neither EDL safety nor rover traversability considerations could significantly discriminate among the final four sites. Thus the MSL landing site at Gale Crater was selected from among the four finalists primarily on the basis of science considerations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  17. Numerical investigation of the effect of the configuration of ExoMars landing platform propulsion system on the interaction of supersonic jets with the surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagenov, Anuar; Glazunov, Anatoliy; Kostyushin, Kirill; Eremin, Ivan; Shuvarikov, Vladimir

    2017-10-01

    This paper presents the results of numerical investigations of the interaction with the Mars surface of four supersonic jets of ExoMars landing platform propulsion system. The cases of impingement of supersonic jets on a curved surface are considered depending on the values of propulsion system thrust. According to the results of numerical studies are obtained the values of normal stresses on the surface of Mars at altitudes of 1.0, 0.5 and 0.3 meter to the surface of the landing. To define the occurring shear stresses Mohr-Coulomb theory was used. The maximum values of shear stresses were defined for the following types of soil of Mars: drift material, crusty to cloddy material, blocky material, sand and Mojave Mars simulant. The conducted evaluations showed, regardless of the propulsion system configuration, that when the final stage of the controlled landing of the ExoMars landing platform, the erosion of the Mars regolith would be insignificant. The estimates are consistent with the available data from previous Mars missions.

  18. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Artificial Intelligence Support for Landing Site Selection on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rongier, G.; Pankratius, V.

    2017-12-01

    Mars is a key target for planetary exploration; a better understanding of its evolution and habitability requires roving in situ. Landing site selection is becoming more challenging for scientists as new instruments generate higher data volumes. The involved engineering and scientific constraints make site selection and the anticipation of possible onsite actions into a complex optimization problem: there may be multiple acceptable solutions depending on various goals and assumptions. Solutions must also account for missing data, errors, and potential biases. To address these problems, we propose an AI-informed decision support system that allows scientists, mission designers, engineers, and committees to explore alternative site selection choices based on data. In particular, we demonstrate first results of an exploratory case study using fuzzy logic and a simulation of a rover's mobility map based on the fast marching algorithm. Our system computes favorability maps of the entire planet to facilitate landing site selection and allows a definition of different configurations for rovers, science target priorities, landing ellipses, and other constraints. For a rover similar to NASA's Mars 2020 rover, we present results in form of a site favorability map as well as four derived exploration scenarios that depend on different prioritized scientific targets, all visualizing inherent tradeoffs. Our method uses the NASA PDS Geosciences Node and the NASA/ICA Integrated Database of Planetary Features. Under common assumptions, the data products reveal Eastern Margaritifer Terra and Meridiani Planum to be the most favorable sites due to a high concentration of scientific targets and a flat, easily navigable surface. Our method also allows mission designers to investigate which constraints have the highest impact on the mission exploration potential and to change parameter ranges. Increasing the elevation limit for landing, for example, provides access to many additional

  3. 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.

  4. Korean Mars Mission Design Using KSLV-III

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Shidner, Jeremy D.

    2012-01-01

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

  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. A computational intelligence approach to the Mars Precision Landing problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birge, Brian Kent, III

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

  12. Optimization of vehicle weight for Mars excursion missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferebee, Melvin J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

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

  13. The Human Mars Mission: Transportation assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kos, Larry

    1998-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Calculation of Operations Efficiency Factors for Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubach, Sharon

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Manned Mars mission communication and data management systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Ronald E.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Toups, Larry

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    First of NASA's Discovery missions. Launched in December 1996 and arrived at Mars on 4 July 1997. Mainly intended as a technology demonstration mission. Used airbags to cushion the landing on Mars. The Carl Sagan Memorial station returned images of an ancient flood plain in Ares Vallis. The 10 kg Sojourner rover used an x-ray spectrometer to study the composition of rocks and travelled about 100 ...

  11. 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

  12. Nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application to Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Solar-Electrochemical Power System for a Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withrow, Colleen A.; Morales, Nelson

    1994-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    CERN Document Server

    von Ehrenfried, Manfred “Dutch”

    2017-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  3. Life support approaches for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Justin R.; Hastrup, Rolf C.

    1989-06-01

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

  6. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-03-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. SEP Mission Design Space for Mars Orbiters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Nicholas, Austin K.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Power system technologies for the manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  15. Sedimentary geomorphology of the Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, James W., Jr.; Parker, Timothy Jay

    1997-01-01

    The first landing on Mars in over 20 years will take place July 4, 1997, near te mouth of the Ares Vallis outflow channel located in southeastern Chryse Planitia. Mars Pathfinder, unlike Viking 1, is expected to land on a surface that has a distinct and unambiguous fluvial signature.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marčeta D.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. A Risk-Constrained Multi-Stage Decision Making Approach to the Architectural Analysis of Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwata, Yoshiaki; Pavone, Marco; Balaram, J. (Bob)

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a novel risk-constrained multi-stage decision making approach to the architectural analysis of planetary rover missions. In particular, focusing on a 2018 Mars rover concept, which was considered as part of a potential Mars Sample Return campaign, we model the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase and the rover traverse phase as four sequential decision-making stages. The problem is to find a sequence of divert and driving maneuvers so that the rover drive is minimized and the probability of a mission failure (e.g., due to a failed landing) is below a user specified bound. By solving this problem for several different values of the model parameters (e.g., divert authority), this approach enables rigorous, accurate and systematic trade-offs for the EDL system vs. the mobility system, and, more in general, cross-domain trade-offs for the different phases of a space mission. The overall optimization problem can be seen as a chance-constrained dynamic programming problem, with the additional complexity that 1) in some stages the disturbances do not have any probabilistic characterization, and 2) the state space is extremely large (i.e, hundreds of millions of states for trade-offs with high-resolution Martian maps). To this purpose, we solve the problem by performing an unconventional combination of average and minimax cost analysis and by leveraging high efficient computation tools from the image processing community. Preliminary trade-off results are presented.

  5. 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.

  6. Wind-Driven Erosion and Exposure Potential at Mars 2020 Rover Candidate-Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Banks, Maria; Urso, Anna

    2018-02-01

    Aeolian processes have likely been the predominant geomorphic agent for most of Mars' history and have the potential to produce relatively young exposure ages for geologic units. Thus, identifying local evidence for aeolian erosion is highly relevant to the selection of landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars 2020 Rover mission that aims to explore astrobiologically relevant ancient environments. Here we investigate wind-driven activity at eight Mars 2020 candidate-landing sites to constrain erosion potential at these locations. To demonstrate our methods, we found that contemporary dune-derived abrasion rates were in agreement with rover-derived exhumation rates at Gale crater and could be employed elsewhere. The Holden crater candidate site was interpreted to have low contemporary erosion rates, based on the presence of a thick sand coverage of static ripples. Active ripples at the Eberswalde and southwest Melas sites may account for local erosion and the dearth of small craters. Moderate-flux regional dunes near Mawrth Vallis were deemed unrepresentative of the candidate site, which is interpreted to currently be experiencing low levels of erosion. The Nili Fossae site displayed the most unambiguous evidence for local sand transport and erosion, likely yielding relatively young exposure ages. The downselected Jezero crater and northeast Syrtis sites had high-flux neighboring dunes and exhibited substantial evidence for sediment pathways across their ellipses. Both sites had relatively high estimated abrasion rates, which would yield young exposure ages. The downselected Columbia Hills site lacked evidence for sand movement, and contemporary local erosion rates are estimated to be relatively low.

  7. The DREAMS experiment flown on the ExoMars 2016 mission for the study of Martian environment during the dust storm season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, R.; Debei, S.; Molfese, C.; Colombatti, G.; Aboudan, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Cortecchia, F.; Di Achille, G.; Guizzo, G. P.; Friso, E.; Ferri, F.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Molinaro, R.; Schipani, P.; Silvestro, S.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.; Marchetti, E.; Harri, A.-M.; Montmessin, F.; Wilson, C.; Arruego Rodriguez, I.; Abbaki, S.; Apestigue, V.; Bellucci, G.; Berthelier, J. J.; Calcutt, S. B.; Forget, F.; Genzer, M.; Gilbert, P.; Haukka, H.; Jimenez, J. J.; Jimenez, S.; Josset, J. L.; Karatekin, O.; Landis, G.; Lorenz, R.; Martinez, J.; Möhlmann, D.; Moirin, D.; Palomba, E.; Pateli, M.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Popa, C. I.; Rafkin, S.; Rannou, P.; Renno, N. O.; Schmidt, W.; Simoes, F.; Spiga, A.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Vivat, F.; Witasse, O.

    2017-08-01

    The DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) experiment on Schiaparelli lander of ExoMars 2016 mission was an autonomous meteorological station designed to completely characterize the Martian atmosphere on surface, acquiring data not only on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, but also on solar irradiance, dust opacity and atmospheric electrification, to measure for the first time key parameters linked to hazard conditions for future manned explorations. Although with very limited mass and energy resources, DREAMS would be able to operate autonomously for at least two Martian days (sols) after landing in a very harsh environment as it was supposed to land on Mars during the dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum) relying on its own power supply. ExoMars mission was successfully launched on 14th March 2016 and Schiaparelli entered the Mars atmosphere on October 20th beginning its 'six minutes of terror' journey to the surface. Unfortunately, some unexpected behavior during the parachuted descent caused an unrecoverable critical condition in navigation system of the lander driving to a destructive crash on the surface. The adverse sequence of events at 4 km altitude triggered the transition of the lander in surface operative mode, commanding switch on the DREAMS instrument, which was therefore able to correctly power on and send back housekeeping data. This proved the nominal performance of all DREAMS hardware before touchdown demonstrating the highest TRL of the unit for future missions. This paper describes this experiment in terms of scientific goals, design, performances, testing and operational capabilities with an overview of in flight performances and available mission data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Biological life-support systems for Mars mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitelson, J I

    1992-01-01

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

  10. METEO-P/H: Measuring ambient pressure and relative humidity on the ExoMars 2020 landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikkanen, T. T.; Genzer, M.; Hieta, M.; Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Polkko, J.; Kynkäänniemi, T.

    2017-09-01

    Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has designed and is in the process of building and testing a pressure and humidity measurement device for the ExoMars 2020 lander. The ExoMars 2020 mission consists of the Russian Roscosmos Surface Platform (SP) and the European Space Agency (ESA) Rover. The Surface Platform will perform the Entry, Descent and Landing for the lander combo and start stationary science operations after landing, while the Rover will drive off the SP to explore the landing site surroundings and soil. The FMI measurement device is installed on the Surface Platform to give continuous measurements from a stationary location. The METEO-P pressure device and METEO-H humidity device are part of the METEO meteorological science package, which also includes a thermometer and an anemometer from IKI, Russia, as well as the RDM Radiation and dust sensors, and the AMR magnetic field sensors from INTA, Spain.

  11. Nuclear propulsion tradeoffs for manned Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  12. The PH-D proposal - A manned mission to PHOBOS and Deimos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, S. F.

    The rationale for a manned mission to the satellites of Mars is discussed. The view has been expressed that NASA must define a major program to follow the Shuttle and to utilize it. However, such a program could not be initiated and proceed without public support, and to obtain this support, public interest would have to be excited. It is shown that, of a number of possible targets for manned exploration in the solar system, Mars appears to be the only possible candidate. Attention is given to a comparison of three Mars missions, a Mars 1984 mission, a manned landing on Mars surface, a manned landing on Phobos and Deimos (Ph-D project), putting men in Mars orbit, the capabilities of the Ph-D mission, a description of the spacecraft, a Ph-D project operations plan, and aspects of timing, technology, and costs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  14. Calculation of Operations Efficiency Factors for Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layback, Sharon L.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Genta, Giancarlo

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Size-Frequency Distributions of Rocks on Mars and Earth Analog Sites: Implications for Future Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombeck, M.; Rapp, D.

    1996-01-01

    The size-frequency distribution of rocks and the Vicking landing sites and a variety of rocky locations on the Earth that formed from a number of geologic processes all have the general shape of simple exponential curves, which have been combined with remote sensing data and models on rock abundance to predict the frequency of boulders potentially hazardous to future Mars landers and rovers.

  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. Manned Mars flyby mission and configuration concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Archie; Meredith, Ollie; Brothers, Bobby

    1986-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The DREAMS experiment flown on the ExoMars 2016 mission for the study of Martian environment during the dust storm season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, F.; Debei, S.; Molfese, C.; Colombatti, G.; Aboudan, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Cortecchia, F.; di Achille, G.; Guizzo, G. P.; Friso, E.; Ferri, F.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Molinaro, R.; Schipani, P.; Silvestro, S.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.; Marchetti, E.; International Dreams Team

    2018-07-01

    The DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) instrument on Schiaparelli lander of ExoMars 2016 mission was an autonomous meteorological station designed to completely characterize the Martian atmosphere on surface, acquiring data not only on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and its direction, but also on solar irradiance, dust opacity and atmospheric electrification; this comprehensive set of parameters would assist the quantification of risks and hazards for future manned exploration missions mainly related to the presence of airborne dust. Schiaparelli landing on Mars was in fact scheduled during the foreseen dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum) allowing DREAMS to directly measure the characteristics of such extremely harsh environment. DREAMS instrument’s architecture was based on a modular design developing custom boards for analog and digital channel conditioning, power distribution, on board data handling and communication with the lander. The boards, connected through a common backbone, were hosted in a central electronic unit assembly and connected to the external sensors with dedicated harness. Designed with very limited mass and an optimized energy consumption, DREAMS was successfully tested to operate autonomously, relying on its own power supply, for at least two Martian days (sols) after landing on the planet. A total of three flight models were fully qualified before launch through an extensive test campaign comprising electrical and functional testing, EMC verification and mechanical and thermal vacuum cycling; furthermore following the requirements for planetary protection, contamination control activities and assay sampling were conducted before model delivery for final integration on spacecraft. During the six months cruise to Mars following the successful launch of ExoMars on 14th March 2016, periodic check outs were conducted to verify instrument health check and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratacci, Olivier

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

  12. 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.

  13. Advanced Solar-propelled Cargo Spacecraft for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matijevic, J.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Mars ISRU for Production of Mission Critical Consumables - Options, Recent Studies, and Current State of the Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, G. B.; Paz, A.; Oryshchyn, L.; Araghi, K.; Muscatello, A.; Linne, D.; Kleinhenz, J.; Peters, T.

    2015-01-01

    In 1978, a ground breaking paper titled, "Feasibility of Rocket Propellant Production on Mars" by Ash, Dowler, and Varsi discussed how ascent propellants could be manufactured on the Mars surface from carbon dioxide collected from the atmosphere to reduce launch mass. Since then, the concept of making mission critical consumables such as propellants, fuel cell reactants, and life support consumables from local resources, commonly known as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), for robotic and human missions to Mars has been studied many times. In the late 1990's, NASA initiated a series of Mars Human Design Reference Missions (DRMs), the first of which was released in 1997. These studies primarily focused on evaluating the impact of making propellants on Mars for crew ascent to Mars orbit, but creating large caches of life support consumables (water & oxygen) as a backup for regenerative life support systems for long-duration surface stays (>500 days) was also considered in Mars DRM 3.0. Until science data from the Mars Odyssey orbiter and subsequent robotic missions revealed that water may be widely accessable across the surface of Mars, prior Mars ISRU studies were limited to processing Mars atmospheric resources (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, oxygen, and water vapor). In December 2007, NASA completed the Mars Human Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study which considered water on Mars as a potential resource for the first time in a human mission architecture. While knowledge of both water resources on Mars and the hardware required to excavate and extract the water were very preliminary, the study concluded that a significant reduction in mass and significant enhancements to the mission architecture were possible if Mars water resources were utilized. Two subsequent Mars ISRU studies aimed at reexamining ISRU technologies, processing options, and advancements in the state-of-the-art since 2007 and to better understand the volume and packaging associated

  18. 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.

  19. Practical methods for near-term piloted Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert M.; Weaver, David B.

    1993-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. 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)).

  3. 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.

  4. Mars mission performance enhancement with hybrid nuclear propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  5. Physiological Health Challenges for Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norsk, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Plume Mitigation for Mars Terminal Landing: Soil Stabilization Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has led the efforts for lunar and Martian landing site preparation, including excavation, soil stabilization, and plume damage prediction. There has been much discussion of sintering but until our team recently demonstrated it for the lunar case there was little understanding of the serious challenges. Simplistic sintering creates a crumbly, brittle, weak surface unsuitable for a rocket exhaust plume. The goal of this project is to solve those problems and make it possible to land a human class lander on Mars, making terminal landing of humans on Mars possible for the first time.

  7. Key technologies for expeditions to Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, J. R., Jr.

    A round-trip manned Mars landing mission, while difficult, is within the realm of today's technology. However, better understood and more practical advanced technologies offer promising improvements in mass performance, and some also enhance certain aspects of self-reliance for manned missions.

  8. Mars Science Laboratory Heatshield Flight Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahzari, Milad; White, Todd

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  11. Human missions to Mars: issues and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, M.; Kminek, G.

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

  12. Low Cost Mars Sample Return Utilizing Dragon Lander Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2014-01-01

    We studied a Mars sample return (MSR) mission that lands a SpaceX Dragon Capsule on Mars carrying sample collection hardware (an arm, drill, or small rover) and a spacecraft stack consisting of a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) and Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) that collectively carry the sample container from Mars back to Earth orbit.

  13. Physical Properties of the MER and Beagle II Landing Sites on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.; Pelkey, S. M.; Mellon, M. T.; Putzig, N.; Martinez-Alonso, S.; Murphy, N.; Hynek, B.

    2003-12-01

    The ESA Beagle II and the NASA Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft are scheduled to land on the martian surface in December 2003 and January 2004, respectively. Mission operations and success depends on the physical properties of the surfaces on which they land. Surface structural characteristics such as the abundances of loose, unconsolidated fine material, of fine material that has been cemented into a duricrust, and of rocks affect the ability to safely land and to successfully sample and traverse the surface. Also, physical properties affect surface and atmospheric temperatures, which affect lander and rover functionality. We are in the process of analyzing surface temperature information for these sites, derived from MGS TES and Odyssey THEMIS daytime and nighttime measurements. Our approach is to: (i) remap thermal inertia using TES data at ~3-km resolution, to obtain the most complete coverage possible; (ii) interpret physical properties from TES coverage in conjunction with other remote-sensing data sets; (iii) map infrared brightness using daytime and nighttime THEMIS data at 100-m resolution, and do qualitative analysis of physical properties and processes; and (iv) derive thermal inertia from THEMIS nighttime data in conjunction with daytime albedo measurements derived from TES, THEMIS, and MOC observations. In addition, we will use measured temperatures and derived thermal inertia to predict surface temperatures for the periods of the missions.

  14. Wind-Driven Erosion and Exposure Potential at Mars 2020 Rover Candidate-Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Banks, Maria; Urso, Anna

    2018-01-01

    Aeolian processes have likely been the predominant geomorphic agent for most of Mars’ history and have the potential to produce relatively young exposure ages for geologic units. Thus, identifying local evidence for aeolian erosion is highly relevant to the selection of landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars 2020 Rover mission that aims to explore astrobiologically relevant ancient environments. Here we investigate wind-driven activity at eight Mars 2020 candidate-landing sites to constrain erosion potential at these locations. To demonstrate our methods, we found that contemporary dune-derived abrasion rates were in agreement with rover-derived exhumation rates at Gale crater and could be employed elsewhere. The Holden crater candidate site was interpreted to have low contemporary erosion rates, based on the presence of a thick sand coverage of static ripples. Active ripples at the Eberswalde and southwest Melas sites may account for local erosion and the dearth of small craters. Moderate-flux regional dunes near Mawrth Vallis were deemed unrepresentative of the candidate site, which is interpreted to currently be experiencing low levels of erosion. The Nili Fossae site displayed the most unambiguous evidence for local sand transport and erosion, likely yielding relatively young exposure ages. The downselected Jezero crater and northeast Syrtis sites had high-flux neighboring dunes and exhibited substantial evidence for sediment pathways across their ellipses. Both sites had relatively high estimated abrasion rates, which would yield young exposure ages. The downselected Columbia Hills site lacked evidence for sand movement, and contemporary local erosion rates are estimated to be relatively low. PMID:29568719

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Joshua E.; Liu, Yuanming; Bhandari, Pradeep; Dudik, Brenda A.

    2012-01-01

    On November 26, 2011, NASA launched a large (900 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars on August 5, 2012. Prior to launch, the Rover was successfully operated in simulated mission extreme environments during a 16-day long Rover System Thermal Test (STT). This paper describes the MSL Rover STT, test planning, test execution, test results, thermal model correlation and flight predictions. The rover was tested in the JPL 25-Foot Diameter Space Simulator Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Rover operated in simulated Cruise (vacuum) and Mars Surface environments (8 Torr nitrogen gas) with mission extreme hot and cold boundary conditions. A Xenon lamp solar simulator was used to impose simulated solar loads on the rover during a bounding hot case and during a simulated Mars diurnal test case. All thermal hardware was exercised and performed nominally. The Rover Heat Rejection System, a liquid-phase fluid loop used to transport heat in and out of the electronics boxes inside the rover chassis, performed better than predicted. Steady state and transient data were collected to allow correlation of analytical thermal models. These thermal models were subsequently used to predict rover thermal performance for the MSL Gale Crater landing site. Models predict that critical hardware temperatures will be maintained within allowable flight limits over the entire 669 Sol surface mission.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  5. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information. Key Words: Biosignatures—ExoMars—Landing sites—Mars rover—Search for life. Astrobiology 17, 471–510.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  9. Polygon on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows a small-scale polygonal pattern in the ground near NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. This pattern is similar in appearance to polygonal structures in icy ground in the arctic regions of Earth. Phoenix touched down on the Red Planet at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53 p.m. Eastern Time), May 25, 2008, in an arctic region called Vastitas Borealis, at 68 degrees north latitude, 234 degrees east longitude. This image was acquired by the Surface Stereo Imager shortly after landing. On the Phoenix mission calendar, landing day is known as Sol 0, the first Martian day of the mission. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, C.; Buxner, S. R.

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Meenu; Kumar, Pawan; Vandana, Vandana

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Characterizing of a Mid-Latitude Ice-Rich Landing Site on Mars to Enable in Situ Habitability Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, J.; Schurmeier, L. R.; Wilhelm, M.; Stoker, C.; McKay, C.; Davila, A.; Marinova, M.; Karcz, J.; Smith, H.

    2012-01-01

    We suggest an ice-rich landing site at 188.5E 46.16N within Amazonis Planitia as a candidate location to support a Mars lander mission equipped to study past habitability and regions capable of preserving the physical and chemical signs of life and organic matter. Studies of the ice-rich subsurface on Mars are critical for several reasons. The subsurface environment provides protection from radiation to shield organic and biologic compounds from destruction. The ice-rich substrate is also ideal for preserving organic and biologic molecules and provides a source of H2O for biologic activity. Examination of martian ground ice can test several hypotheses such as: 1) whether ground ice supports habitable conditions, 2) that ground ice can preserve and accumulate organic compounds, and 3) that ice contains biomolecules evident of past or present biological activity on Mars. This Amazonis site, located near the successful Viking Lander 2, shows indirect evidence of subsurface ice (ubiquitous defined polygonal ground, gamma ray spectrometer hydrogen signature, and numerical modeling of ice stability) and direct evidence of exposed subsurface ice. This site also provides surface conditions favorable to a safe landing including no boulders, low rock density, minimal rough topography, and few craters.

  19. Reduced Gravity Landing Research Vehicle Design

    OpenAIRE

    Isert, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    Human and robotic missions beyond low earth orbit (LEO) are key components of NASA's currently emerging strategy for space exploration. These missions will inevitably include humancrewed lunar and planetary surface landings. Trips to near-earth asteroids are also in the incipient planning stages. A permanent presence on the surface of an extra terrestrial body like Mars or the Moon will require many landings by both human-crewed and robotic spacecraft. Planetary and lunar surface landings ...

  20. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwynne, Owen

    1989-01-01

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

  4. Remote Sensing Mars Landing Sites: An Out-of-School Time Planetary Science Education Activity for Middle School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. B.; Gaither, T. A.; Edgar, L. A.; Milazzo, M. P.; Vaughan, R. G.; Rubino-Hare, L.; Clark, J.; Ryan, S.

    2017-12-01

    As part of the Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science (PLANETS) project, we have developed an out-of-school time unit for middle school students focused on planetary remote sensing. The activity is divided into two exercises, with the goal of choosing a scientifically interesting and safe landing site for a future Mars mission. Students are introduced to NASA data from several actual and proposed landing sites and must use what they learn about remote sensing to choose a site that satisfies scientific and engineering criteria. The activity also includes background information for educators, including a summary of how landing on Mars helps answer major scientific questions, brief overviews of the data sets that the students will use, summaries of the site geology, and a list of relevant vocabulary. The first exercise introduces students to the concept of reflectance spectroscopy and how it can be used to identify the "fingerprints" of different minerals on the surface of Mars. Students are provided with simplified maps of mineral spectra at the four sites, based on Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) observations, as well as a reference sheet with the spectra of common minerals on Mars. They can use this information to determine which sites have hydrated minerals, mafic minerals, or both. The second exercise adds data from the Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter (MOLA), and high resolution visible data from the Context Camera (CTX) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Students learn about laser altimetry and how to interpret topographic contours to assess whether a landing site is too rough. The CTX data allow students to study the sites at higher resolution, with annotations that indicate key landforms of interest. These data, along with the spectroscopy data, allow students to rank the sites based on science and engineering criteria. This activity was developed as a collaboration between subject matter experts at

  5. 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...

  6. Challenges of pin-point landing for planetary landing: the LION absolute vision-based navigation approach and experimental results

    OpenAIRE

    Voirin, Thomas; Delaune, Jeff; Le Besnerais, Guy; Farges, Jean Loup; Bourdarias, Clément; Krüger, Hans

    2013-01-01

    After ExoMars in 2016 and 2018, future ESA missions to Mars, the Moon, or asteroids will require safe and pinpoint precision landing capabilities, with for example a specified accuracy of typically 100 m at touchdown for a Moon landing. The safe landing requirement can be met thanks to state-of-the-art Terrain-Relative Navigation (TRN) sensors such as Wide-Field-of-View vision-based navigation cameras (VBNC), with appropriate hazard detection and avoidance algorithms. To reach the pinpoint pr...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Viking mission search for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. The Emirates Mars Mission Science Data Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craft, J.; Al Hammadi, O.; DeWolfe, A. W.; Staley, B.; Schafer, C.; Pankratz, C. K.

    2017-12-01

    The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), led by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is expected to arrive at Mars in January 2021. The EMM Science Data Center (SDC) is to be developed as a joint effort between MBRSC and the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). The EMM SDC is responsible for the production, management, distribution, and archiving of science data collected from the three instruments on board the Hope spacecraft.With the respective SDC teams on opposite sides of the world evolutionary techniques and cloud-based technologies are being utilized in the development of the EMM SDC. This presentation will provide a top down view of the EMM SDC, summarizing the cloud-based technologies being implemented in the design, as well as the tools, best practices, and lessons learned for software development and management in a geographically distributed team.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justh, H. L.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  18. MOC's Highest Resolution View of Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] (A) Mars Pathfinder site, left: April 1998; right: January 2000. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] (B) top: April 1998; bottom: January 2000.Can Mars Global Surveyor's 1.5 meter (5 ft) per pixel camera be used to find any evidence as to the fate of the Mars Polar Lander that was lost on December 3, 1999? One way to find out is to look for one of the other Mars landers and determine what, if anything, can be seen. There have been three successful Mars lander missions: Viking 1 (July 1976), Viking 2 (September 1976), and Mars Pathfinder (July 1997). Of these, the location of Mars Pathfinder is known the best because there are several distinct landmarks visible in the lander's images that help in locating the spacecraft. The MGS MOC Operations Team at Malin Space Science Systems has been tasked since mid-December 1999 with looking for the lost Polar Lander. Part of this effort has been to test the capabilities of MOC by taking a picture of the landing site of Mars Pathfinder.An attempt to photograph the Pathfinder site was made once before, in April 1998, by turning the entire MGS spacecraft so that the camera could point at the known location of the Mars Pathfinder lander. Turning the MGS spacecraft like this is not a normal operation--it takes considerable planning, and disrupts the on-going, normal acquisition of science data. It took 3 attempts to succeed, but on April 22, 1998, MOC acquired the picture seen on the left side of Figure A, above. The three near-by major landmarks that were visible to the Pathfinder's cameras are labeled here (North Peak, Big Crater, Twin Peaks). It was known at the time that this image was not adequate to see the Pathfinder lander because the camera was not in focus and had a resolution of only 3.3 meters (11 ft) per pixel. In this and all other images shown here, north is up. All views of the 1998 MOC image are illuminated from the lower right, all views of the 2000 MOC

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Mars Conjunction Crewed Missions With a Reusable Hybrid Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Small Habitat Commonality Reduces Cost for Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Mars Express — how to be fastest to the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    Mars Express is the first example of ESA’s new style of developing scientific missions: faster, smarter and more cost-effective, but without compromising reliability and quality - there have been no cuts in tests or pre-launch preparations. Mars Express will face demanding technical challenges during its trip to the Red Planet and ESA engineers have worked hard to make sure it meets them. "With Mars Express, Europe is building its own expertise in many fields. This ranges from the development of science experiments and new technologies - new for European industry - to the control of a mission that includes landing on another planet. We have never done this before,” says Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express Project Manager. Quicker, smarter…safe! Mars Express’s design and development phase has taken about four years, compared with about six years for previous similar missions. And its cost, 300 million euros, is much less than other comparable planetary missions. The ‘magic’ lies in the new managerial approach being used. This new approach includes the reuse of existing hardware and instruments. Also, the mission was developed by a smaller ESA team, who gave more responsibility to industry. Mars Express has been built by a consortium of 24 companies from ESA’s 15 Member States and the United States, led by Astrium as prime contractor. However, mission safety was never compromised. “Although we were under heavy pressure towards the end of the project, we did not drop any of the planned tests to save time. I call this a fast design phase, followed by thorough testing activity,” says Schmidt. This new streamlined development method will continue with Venus Express and probably other future missions. Launch Mars Express will be launched on 2 June on board a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission consists of an orbiter and a lander, called Beagle 2. In its launch configuration, Mars Express is a honeycombed aluminium box that

  5. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

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

  6. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Discovery prepares to land after successful mission STS-95

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Orbiter Discovery prepares to land on runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Discovery returns to Earth with its crew of seven after successfully completing mission STS-95, lasting nearly nine days and 3.6 million miles. The crew members are Mission Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr., Pilot Steven W. Lindsey, Mission Specialist Scott E. Parazynski, Mission Specialist Stephen K. Robinson, Payload Specialist John H. Glenn Jr., senator from Ohio, Mission Specialist Pedro Duque, with the European Space Agency (ESA), and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, with the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). The mission included research payloads such as the Spartan solar- observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Julielynn Y; Pfahnl, Andreas C

    2016-09-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuster, Jack

    1989-01-01

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

  13. Mars Rover Sample Return aerocapture configuration design and packaging constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper discusses the aerodynamics requirements, volume and mass constraints that lead to a biconic aeroshell vehicle design that protects the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission elements from launch to Mars landing. The aerodynamic requirements for Mars aerocapture and entry and packaging constraints for the MRSR elements result in a symmetric biconic aeroshell that develops a L/D of 1.0 at 27.0 deg angle of attack. A significant problem in the study is obtaining a cg that provides adequate aerodynamic stability and performance within the mission imposed constraints. Packaging methods that relieve the cg problems include forward placement of aeroshell propellant tanks and incorporating aeroshell structure as lander structure. The MRSR missions developed during the pre-phase A study are discussed with dimensional and mass data included. Further study is needed for some missions to minimize MRSR element volume so that launch mass constraints can be met.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Opportunities and Strategies for Testing and Infusion of ISRU in the Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James; Sanders, Gerald B.; Jones, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    resource cycle closure and reduce mass requirements from Earth. This analysis has yielded engineering constraints, based on ISRU, that impact the evaluation of landing sites for missions to the surface of Mars. The terrain of a particular site must be sufficiently flat to permit ISRU systems, as well as ancillary systems such as power and propellant storage tanks, to be landed, moved into position, set up, and operated. Water must be accessible in a form that can be acquired via ISRU, in quantities that align with demands. The chosen method of acquiring and processing water should align with the available resources at a particular site, and that site must have sufficient quantities to meet the requirements (based on crew consumables and propellant demands). Lower altitude landing sites are preferred, as the increase in density can facilitate carbon dioxide acquisition from the atmosphere. Another preference is for sites with a greater ability to move regolith for civil engineering purposes; for example, this would be conducive to both bulk regolith uses (such as the manufacture of berms), and processed regolith uses (such as microwave sintering).

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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

    existence for over two years and has been used by teachers and students from across the US. The Mars Exploration Student Data Team Program was created and prototyped during the Mars Exploration Rover mission this past January through April. Over 500 students from 25 schools from across the US participated in real-time data analysis using the Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor infrared instruments -Thermal Emission Spectrometer - TES and THEMIS to monitor the rover landing sites. This program utilized a virtual team format and allowed high school students to collaborate with other teams that were, at times, thousands of miles away to implement real-time observations. This program will be carried forward to several of the upcoming missions. Finally, the Athena Student Intern Program is the higher end of involvement for students and teachers. These students and teachers were competitively selected to spend a week during the mission operations of the rovers at JPL. All of these programs have a common thread..ownership of the experience. By empowering the next generation of learners with the knowledge that they can be part of their future through such immersive experiences before they reach college, they will be ready to take on harder challenges that will reach higher towards new frontiers

  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. Mars Science Laboratory Launch-Arrival Space Study: A Pork Chop Plot Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia Dwyer; Powell, Richard; Lockwood, Mary Kae

    2006-01-01

    Launch-Arrival, or "pork chop", plot analysis can provide mission designers with valuable information and insight into a specific launch and arrival space selected for a mission. The study begins with the array of entry states for each pair of selected Earth launch and Mars arrival dates, and nominal entry, descent and landing trajectories are simulated for each pair. Parameters of interest, such as maximum heat rate, are plotted in launch-arrival space. The plots help to quickly identify launch and arrival regions that are not feasible under current constraints or technology and also provide information as to what technologies may need to be developed to reach a desired region. This paper provides a discussion of the development, application, and results of a pork chop plot analysis to the Mars Science Laboratory mission. This technique is easily applicable to other missions at Mars and other destinations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Sulfates on Mars: A systematic Raman spectroscopic study of hydration states of magnesium sulfates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A.; Freeman, J.J.; Jolliff, B.L.; Chou, I.-Ming

    2006-01-01

    The martian orbital and landed surface missions, OMEGA on Mar Express and the two Mars Explorations Rovers, respectively, have yielded evidence pointing to the presence of magnesium sulfates on the martian surface. In situ identification of the hydration states of magnesium sulfates, as well as the hydration states of other Ca- and Fe- sulfates, will be crucial in future landed missions on Mars in order to advance our knowledge of the hydrologic history of Mars as well as the potential for hosting life on Mars. Raman spectroscopy is a technique well-suited for landed missions on the martian surface. In this paper, we report a systematic study of the Raman spectra of the hydrates of magnesium sulfate. Characteristic and distinct Raman spectral patterns were observed for each of the 11 distinct hydrates of magnesium sulfates, crystalline and non-crystalline. The unique Raman spectral features along with the general tendency of the shift of the position of the sulfate ??1 band towards higher wavenumbers with a decrease in the degree of hydration allow in situ identification of these hydrated magnesium sulfates from the raw Raman spectra of mixtures. Using these Raman spectral features, we have started the study of the stability field of hydrated magnesium sulfates and the pathways of their transformations at various temperature and relative humidity conditions. In particular we report on the Raman spectrum of an amorphous hydrate of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4??2H2O) that may have specific relevance for the martian surface. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret; Farmer, Jack

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

  12. 78 FR 55762 - National Environmental Policy Act; Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

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

  13. Stardust Entry: Landing and Population Hazards in Mission Planning and Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, P.; Wawrzyniak, G.

    2006-01-01

    The 385 kg Stardust mission was launched on Feb 7, 1999 on a mission to collect samples from the tail of comet Wild 2 and from interplanetary space. Stardust returned to Earth in the early morning of January 15, 2006. The sample return capsule landed in the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) southwest of Salt Lake City. Because Stardust was landing on Earth, hazard analysis was required by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, UTTR, and the Stardust Project to ensure the safe return of the landing capsule along with the safety of people, ground assets, and aircraft. This paper focuses on the requirements affecting safe return of the capsule and safety of people on the ground by investigating parameters such as probability of impacting on UTTR, casualty expectation, and probability of casualty. This paper introduces the methods for the calculation of these requirements and shows how they affected mission planning, site selection, and mission operations. By analyzing these requirements before and during entry it allowed for the selection of a robust landing point that met all of the requirements during the actual landing event.

  14. Phobos Environment Model and Regolith Simulant for MMX Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, H.; Niihara, T.; Wada, K.; Ogawa, K.; Baresi, N.; Abell, Paul A.; Asphaug, E.; Britt, D.; Dodbiba, G.; Fujita, T.; hide

    2018-01-01

    Phobos and Deimos, the two moons of Mars, are considered to be scientifically important and potential human mission's target. Martian Moons eXplorer (MMX) is the JAXA's mission to explore Phobos (and/or Deimos), which is scheduled to be launched in 2024. The main spacecraft of MMX will perform in-situ observations of both Phobos and Deimos, land on one of them (most likely, Phobos), and bring samples back to Earth. Small landing modules may be included in the mission as for the Hayabusa-2 mission. The designs of both the landing and sampling devices depend largely on the surface conditions of the target body and on how this surface reacts to an external action in the low gravity conditions of the target. Thus, the Landing Operation Working Team (LOWT) of MMX, which is composed of both scientists and engineers, is studying Phobos' surface based on previous observations and theoretical/experimental considerations. Though engineering motivation initiated this activity, the results will be extremely useful for scientific purposes.

  15. Mass Spectrometry on Future Mars Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    Mass spectrometry investigations on the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the 2018 ExoMars missions will address core science objectives related to the potential habitability of their landing site environments and more generally the near-surface organic inventory of Mars. The analysis of complex solid samples by mass spectrometry is a well-known approach that can provide a broad and sensitive survey of organic and inorganic compounds as well as supportive data for mineralogical analysis. The science value of such compositional information is maximized when one appreciates the particular opportunities and limitations of in situ analysis with resource-constrained instrumentation in the context of a complete science payload and applied to materials found in a particular environment. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on MSL and the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) investigation on ExoMars will thus benefit from and inform broad-based analog field site work linked to the Mars environments where such analysis will occur.

  16. Statistics provide guidance for indigenous organic carbon detection on Mars missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sephton, Mark A; Carter, Jonathan N

    2014-08-01

    Data from the Viking and Mars Science Laboratory missions indicate the presence of organic compounds that are not definitively martian in origin. Both contamination and confounding mineralogies have been suggested as alternatives to indigenous organic carbon. Intuitive thought suggests that we are repeatedly obtaining data that confirms the same level of uncertainty. Bayesian statistics may suggest otherwise. If an organic detection method has a true positive to false positive ratio greater than one, then repeated organic matter detection progressively increases the probability of indigeneity. Bayesian statistics also reveal that methods with higher ratios of true positives to false positives give higher overall probabilities and that detection of organic matter in a sample with a higher prior probability of indigenous organic carbon produces greater confidence. Bayesian statistics, therefore, provide guidance for the planning and operation of organic carbon detection activities on Mars. Suggestions for future organic carbon detection missions and instruments are as follows: (i) On Earth, instruments should be tested with analog samples of known organic content to determine their true positive to false positive ratios. (ii) On the mission, for an instrument with a true positive to false positive ratio above one, it should be recognized that each positive detection of organic carbon will result in a progressive increase in the probability of indigenous organic carbon being present; repeated measurements, therefore, can overcome some of the deficiencies of a less-than-definitive test. (iii) For a fixed number of analyses, the highest true positive to false positive ratio method or instrument will provide the greatest probability that indigenous organic carbon is present. (iv) On Mars, analyses should concentrate on samples with highest prior probability of indigenous organic carbon; intuitive desires to contrast samples of high prior probability and low prior

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  18. Rationale for a Mars Pathfinder mission to Chryse Planitia and the Viking 1 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1994-01-01

    Presently the landing site for Mars Pathfinder will be constrained to latitudes between 0 deg and 30 deg N to facilitate communication with earth and to allow the lander and rover solar arrays to generate the maximum possible power. The reference elevation of the site must also be below 0 km so that the descent parachute, a Viking derivative, has sufficient time to open and slow the lander to the correct terminal velocity. Although Mars has as much land surface area as the continental crust of the earth, such engineering constraints immediately limit the number of possible landing sites to only three broad areas: Amazonis, Chryse, and Isidis Planitia. Of these, both Chryse and Isidis Planitia stand out as the sites offering the most information to address several broad scientific topics.

  19. Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis: Exploration Class Simulation Overview and Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    DwyerCianciolo, Alicia M.; Davis, Jody L.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Powell, Richard W.

    2010-01-01

    NASA senior management commissioned the Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDL-SA) Study in 2008 to identify and roadmap the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) technology investments that the agency needed to make in order to successfully land large payloads at Mars for both robotic and exploration or human-scale missions. The year one exploration class mission activity considered technologies capable of delivering a 40-mt payload. This paper provides an overview of the exploration class mission study, including technologies considered, models developed and initial simulation results from the EDL-SA year one effort.

  20. Characterizing Martian Soils: Correlating Orbital Observations with Chemistry and Mineralogy from Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Great advances have been achieved recently in our understanding of the surface of Mars at global scales from orbital missions and at local scales from landed missions. This presentation seeks to provide links between the chemistry and mineralogy observed by landed missions with remote detections of minerals from orbit. Spectral data from CRISM, OMEGA and TES characterize a mostly basaltic planet with some outcrops of hematite, clays, sulfates and carbonates at the surface. Recent alteration of these rocks to form soils has likely been dominated by physical processes; however, martian soils probably also contain relicts of early alteration involving aqueous processes. Clays, hydroxides, sulfates, carbonates and perchlorates are examples of surface components that may have formed early in the planet’s history in the presence of liquid water. Some of these minerals have not been detected in the soil, but all have likely contributed to the current soil composition. The grain size, shape, chemistry, mineralogy, and magnetic properties of Martian soils are similar to altered volcanic ash found at many analog sites on Earth. Reflectance and emission spectra of some of these analog soils are consistent with the basic soil spectral properties observed from orbit. The cemented soil units observed by rovers may have formed through interaction of the soil grains with salts, clays, and hydroxides. Lab experiments have shown that cementing of analog grains darkens the VN reflectance, which could explain the low reflectance of Martian soils compared to analog sites. Reflectance spectra of an analog soil mixture containing altered ash and sulfate are shown in Figure 1. A pellet was made by adding water and allowing the sample to dry in air. Finally, the pellet was crushed and ground again to properties might be.

  1. Russian contribution to the ExoMars project

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  2. 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".

  3. Chemical and Biological Substances Decontamination Study for Mars Missions and Terrestrial Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Thomas; Walker, James; Bennett, Allan; Vrublevskis, John; Hovland, Scott

    This study, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and undertaken by the Health Protec-tion Agency, UK supported by Systems Engineering and Assessment Ltd., was devised to select suitable current decontamination technologies for development for future manned missions to the Moon and Mars. There is a requirement to decontaminate the habitat module due to the concerns about astronaut ill health, microbial deterioration of materials and potential forward contamination in the case of Mars. In the case of the MIR space station, biodeterioration of components and materials occurred, and dangerous levels of airborne microorganisms were detected during air sampling procedures which lead to the introduction of microbial exposure limits (as MORD SSP 50260) to ensure the health of the crew. COSPAR planetary protection guidelines highlight the need to reduce any potential forward or backwards contamination issues that may occur through the use of Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) suits whilst on Mars. Decontamination of the suit exterior must be completed before any EVA activity on Mars, whilst a further decontamination cycle must be completed after entry to the airlock following EVA. Technologies and techniques have also been investigated for the microbial reduction of the interior surfaces of the EVA suit to stop biodeterioration of the materials and protect the user from pathogenic microbe accumulation. The first work package reviewed the systems description and requirements as detailed in the statement of work. The requirements were broken down into 12 further requirement sections, where they were updated and expanded, resulted in Technical Note (TN) 1 which was then used as the base document for WP2 and WP3. WP2 investigated the current technologies available for the decontamination of the habitat module interior on missions of up to 6 months and missions that have durations of greater than 6 months. A comprehensive review was carried out for the different methods that

  4. SNAP 19 Viking RTG mission performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brittain, W.M.

    1976-01-01

    The Viking-75 mission utilized the August/September 1975 opportunity to launch two spacecrafts to Mars for arrival in 1976 after about a one-year transit period. On arrival, each spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter and lander, will be placed in Mars orbit, with each lander subsequently descending from orbit to a soft-landing on the Martian surface. Two SNAP 19 RTG's (radioisotope thermoelectric generators) provide the primary source of electrical power and means of thermal control for each Viking lander. The RTG's will be switched on-load just prior to separation of the lander from the orbiter for checkout of the lander, and will remain on-load during entry and the remainder of the 90-day minimum surface mission

  5. Doppler Lidar Sensor for Precision Landing on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amzajerdian, Farzin; Petway, Larry; Hines, Glenn; Barnes, Bruce; Pierrottet, Diego; Lockhard, George

    2012-01-01

    Landing mission concepts that are being developed for exploration of planetary bodies are increasingly ambitious in their implementations and objectives. Most of these missions require accurate position and velocity data during their descent phase in order to ensure safe soft landing at the pre-designated sites. To address this need, a Doppler lidar is being developed by NASA under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance (ALHAT) project. This lidar sensor is a versatile instrument capable of providing precision velocity vectors, vehicle ground relative altitude, and attitude. The capabilities of this advanced technology have been demonstrated through two helicopter flight test campaigns conducted over a vegetation-free terrain in 2008 and 2010. Presently, a prototype version of this sensor is being assembled for integration into a rocket-powered terrestrial free-flyer vehicle. Operating in a closed loop with vehicle's guidance and navigation system, the viability of this advanced sensor for future landing missions will be demonstrated through a series of flight tests in 2012.

  6. A Tale of 2 Missions (And Hopefully 2 Different Landings)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiens, Roger C.

    2012-01-01

    This talk, to be given at the LANL IGPP Annual Review dinner in Santa Fe, NM on July 17, 2012, highlights two important NASA missions LANL played a key role in: The Genesis mission was the first to return to Earth from beyond the Moon, bearing solar particles to help understand the composition of the Sun; and Curiosity, a 1-ton Mars rover launched to the red planet in 2011 with a suite of instruments from LANL called ChemCam.

  7. Thermophysical Properties of the Phoenix Mars Landing Site Study Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, N. E.; Mellon, M. T.; Golombek, M. P.; Arvidson, R. E.

    2006-03-01

    Analysis of Phoenix Mars study regions places 4 of 5 in a previously-identified duricrust-dominated thermophysical unit which also contains the Viking and Spirit landing sites. Extrapolation of lander-observed properties to the study regions may be complicated by surface heterogeneity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. An Efficient Approach for Mars Sample Return Using Emerging Commercial Capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Andrew A; Stoker, Carol R

    2016-06-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science [1]. This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as "Red Dragon", onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the Earth Return

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch

    2003-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Performance, Calibration and Stability of the Mars InSight Mission Pressure Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfield, Don; Banerdt, Bruce; Hurst, Ken; Grinblat, Jonny; murray, alex; Carpenter, Scott

    2017-10-01

    The NASA Mars InSight Discovery Mission is primarily aimed at understanding the seismic environment at Mars and in turn the interior structure of the planet. To this end, it carries a set of very sensitive seismometers to characterize fine ground movements from quakes, impacts and tides. However, to remove atmospheric perturbations that would otherwise corrupt the seismic signals, InSight also carries a pressure sensor of unprecedented sensitivity and frequency response for a Mars mission.The instrument is based on a commercial spacecraft pressure sensor built by the Tavis Corporation. Tavis heritage transducers have provided pressure measurements on several interplanetary missions, starting with a similar application on the Viking Landers. The sensor developed for the Insight mission is their most sensitive device. That same sensitivity was the root of the challenges faced in the design and development for Insight. It uses inductive sensing of a deformable membrane, and includes an internal temperature sensor to compensate for temperature effects in its overall response.The technical requirement on the pressure sensor performance is 0.01(f/0.1)^(-2/3) Pa/sqrt(Hz) between 0.01 and 0.1 Hz, and 0.01 Pa/sqrt(Hz) between 0.1 and 1 Hz. The actual noise spectrum is about 0.01(f/0.3)^(-2/3) Pa/sqrt(Hz) between 0.01 and 1 Hz, and its frequency response (including inlet plumbing) has good response up to about 10 Hz Nyquist (it will be sampled at 20 Hz).Achieving the required sensitivity proved to be a difficult engineering challenge, which necessitated extensive experimentation and prototyping of the electronics design. In addition, a late discovery of the introduction of noise by the signal processing chain into the measurement stream forced a last-minute change in the instrument’s firmware.The flight unit has been calibrated twice, separated by a time span of about 2 years due to the delay in launching the InSight mission. This has the benefit of allowing a direct

  14. Autonomous Operation of Mars Meteorological Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, W.; Harri, A.-M.; Vázquez, L.; Linkin, V.; Alexashkin, S.

    2012-09-01

    In the next years a series of small landing vehicles concentrating on Martian meteorology should be deployed to the surface of Mars. As commanding from Earth will not be possible most of the time, the station software has to be capable of adapting to any foreseeable conditions and optimize the science return as much as feasible. In this paper we outline the constraints and strategies implemented into the control system of the MetNet Landers. For details to the mission and its instruments see the mission home page [1].

  15. 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.

  16. Large Mass, Entry, Descent and Landing Sensitivity Results for Environmental, Performance, and Design Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shidner, Jeremy D.; Davis, Jody L.; Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Samareh, Jamshid A.; Powell, RIchard W.

    2010-01-01

    Landing on Mars has been a challenging task. Past NASA missions have shown resilience to increases in spacecraft mass by scaling back requirements such as landing site altitude, landing site location and arrival time. Knowledge of the partials relating requirements to mass is critical for mission designers to understand so that the project can retain margin throughout the process. Looking forward to new missions that will land 1.5 metric tons or greater, the current level of technology is insufficient, and new technologies will need to be developed. Understanding the sensitivity of these new technologies to requirements is the purpose of this paper.

  17. Water on Mars: Evidence from MER Mission Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

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

  18. How safe is safe enough? Radiation risk for a human mission to Mars.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis A Cucinotta

    Full Text Available Astronauts on a mission to Mars would be exposed for up to 3 years to galactic cosmic rays (GCR--made up of high-energy protons and high charge (Z and energy (E (HZE nuclei. GCR exposure rate increases about three times as spacecraft venture out of Earth orbit into deep space where protection of the Earth's magnetosphere and solid body are lost. NASA's radiation standard limits astronaut exposures to a 3% risk of exposure induced death (REID at the upper 95% confidence interval (CI of the risk estimate. Fatal cancer risk has been considered the dominant risk for GCR, however recent epidemiological analysis of radiation risks for circulatory diseases allow for predictions of REID for circulatory diseases to be included with cancer risk predictions for space missions. Using NASA's models of risks and uncertainties, we predicted that central estimates for radiation induced mortality and morbidity could exceed 5% and 10% with upper 95% CI near 10% and 20%, respectively for a Mars mission. Additional risks to the central nervous system (CNS and qualitative differences in the biological effects of GCR compared to terrestrial radiation may significantly increase these estimates, and will require new knowledge to evaluate.

  19. Red Dragon: Low-cost Access to the Surface of Mars using Commercial Capabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karcz, John; Davis, S. M.; Aftosmis, M. J.; Allen, G. A.; Bakhtian, N. M.; Dyakonov, A. A.; Edquist, K. T.; Glass, B. J.; Gonzales, A. A.; Heldmann, J. L.; hide

    2012-01-01

    We will discuss the feasibility of using a minimally-modified variant of a SpaceX Dragon capsule as a low-cost, large-capacity, near-term, Mars lander for scientific and human-precursor missions. We have been evaluating such a Red Dragon platform as an option for a Discovery Program mission concept. A Red Dragon lander has the potential to be low cost primarily because it would be derived from a routinely-flying spacecraft. Dragon is being developed to ferry cargo and crew to and from the International Space Station (ISS). The cargo variant is currently undergoing test flights, which will be followed by standard ISS cargo missions and, eventually, crewed flights. The human variant, unlike other Earth-return vehicles, appears to also have most of the capabilities necessary to land on Mars. In particular, it has a set of high-thrust, throttleable, storable bi-propellant Super- Draco engines integrated directly into the capsule which are intended for launch abort and powered landings on Earth. These thrusters suggest the possibility of a parachute-free, fully-propulsive deceleration at Mars from supersonic speeds to the surface. Concepts for large, human-relevant landers (see, e.g., [1]) also often employ supersonic retro-propulsion; Red Dragon's entry, descent, and landing approach would scale to those landers. Further, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, currently under development and expected to have its first flight in 2013, will be capable of sending Dragon on a trajectory to Mars. We will discuss our motivation for exploring a Red Dragon lander, the primary technical questions which determine its feasibility, and the current results of our analysis. In particular, we will examine entry, descent, and landing (EDL) in detail. We will describe the modifications to Dragon necessary for interplanetary cruise, EDL, and operations on the Martian surface.

  20. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

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

  1. Seasonal and interannual variability of solar radiation at Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity landing sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Lemmon, M.T.; Martinez, G.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Martin, M.L.

    2016-01-01

    In this article we characterize the radiative environment at the landing sites of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) missions. We use opacity values obtained at the surface from direct imaging of the Sun and our radiative transfer model COMIMART to analyze the seasonal and interannual variability of the daily irradiation at the MER and MSL landing sites. In addition, we analyze the behavior of the direct and diffuse components of the solar radiation at these landing sites. (Author)

  2. McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica - A Mars Phoenix Mission Analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Anderson, R. M.; Archer, D.; Douglas, S.; Kounaves, S. P.; McKay, C. P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Moore, Q.; Quinn, J. E.; Smith, P. H.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The Phoenix mission (PHX; May 25 - Nov. 2, 2008) studied the north polar region of Mars (68deg N) to understand the history of water and potential for habitability. Phoenix carried with it a wet chemistry lab (WCL) capable of determining the basic solution chemistry of the soil and the pH value, a thermal and evolved-gas analyzer capable of determining the mineralogy of the soil and detecting ice, microscopes capable of seeing soil particle shapes, sizes and colors at very high resolution, and a soil probe (TECP) capable of detecting unfrozen water in the soil. PHX coincided with an international effort to study the Earth s polar regions named the International Polar Year (IPY; 2007-2008). The best known Earth analog to the Martian high-northern plains, where Phoenix landed, are the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica (Fig. 1). Thus, the IPY afforded a unique opportunity to study the MDV with the same foci - history of water and habitability - as PHX. In austral summer 2007, our team took engineering models of WCL and TECP into the MDV and performed analgous measurements. We also collected sterile samples and analyzed them in our home laboratories using state-of-the-art tools. While PHX was not designed to perform biologic analyses, we were able to do so with the MDV analog samples collected.

  3. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

    2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen......2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. Academic Training: Surviving in space: the challenges of a manned mission to Mars

    CERN Multimedia

    Françoise Benz

    2005-01-01

    2005-2006 ACADEMIC TRAINING PROGRAMME LECTURE SERIES 26, 27, 28 October from 11:00 to 12:00 - Main Auditorium, bldg. 500 Surviving in space: the challenges of a manned mission to Mars by L. S. Pinsky / Univ. Houston, USA Program : Lecture I: Understanding the Space Radiation Environment Lecture II: Dosimetry and the Effects of the Exposure of Human Tissue to Heavily Ionizing Radiation Lecture III: Modelling the Interaction of the Space Radiation in Spacecraft & Humans, and Assessing the Risks on a Mission to Mars... ENSEIGNEMENT ACADEMIQUE ACADEMIC TRAINING Françoise Benz 73127 academic.training@cern.ch If you wish to participate in one of the following courses, please tell to your supervisor and apply electronically from the course description pages that can be found on the Web at: http://www.cern.ch/Training/ or fill in an 'application for training' form available from your Departmental Secretariat or from your DTO (Departmental Training Officer). Applications will be accepted in the order ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Advanced Nuclear Power Concepts for Human Exploration Missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robert L. Cataldo; Lee S. Mason

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Review on abort trajectory for manned lunar landing mission

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Abort trajectory is a passage that ensures the astronauts to return safely to the earth when an emergency occurs. Firstly,the essential elements of mission abort are analyzed entirely based on summarizing the existing studies. Then,abort trajectory requirement and rational selection for different flight phases of typical manned lunar mission are discussed specifically. Considering a trade-off between the two primary constrains of an abort,the return time of flight and energy requirement,a general optimizing method for mission abort is proposed. Finally,some suggestions are given for China’s future manned lunar landing mission.

  9. Seasonal and interannual variability of solar radiation at Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity landing sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Lemmon, M.T.; Martinez, G.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Martin, M.L.

    2016-07-01

    In this article we characterize the radiative environment at the landing sites of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) missions. We use opacity values obtained at the surface from direct imaging of the Sun and our radiative transfer model COMIMART to analyze the seasonal and interannual variability of the daily irradiation at the MER and MSL landing sites. In addition, we analyze the behavior of the direct and diffuse components of the solar radiation at these landing sites. (Author)

  10. In Situ Techniques for Life Detection on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-02-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Habitability constraints/objectives for a Mars manned mission: internal architecture considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winisdoerffer, F; Soulez-Larivière, C

    1992-01-01

    It is generally accepted that high quality internal environment shall strongly support crew's adaptation and acceptance to situation of long isolation and confinement. Thus, this paper is an attempt to determine to which extent the resulting stress corresponding to the anticipated duration of a trip to Mars (1 and a half years to 2 and a half years) could be decreased when internal architecture of the spacecraft is properly designed. It is assumed that artificial gravity shall be available on board the Mars spacecraft. This will of course have a strong impact on internal architecture as far as a 1-g oriented design will become mandatory, at least in certain inhabited parts of the spacecraft. The review of usual Habitability functions is performed according to the peculiarities of such an extremely long mission. A particular attention is paid to communications issues and the need for privacy. The second step of the paper addresses internal architecture issues through zoning analyses. Common, Service and Personal zones need to be adapted to the constraints associated with the extremely long duration of the mission. Furthermore, due to the nature of the mission itself (relative autonomy, communication problems, monotony) and the type of selected crew (personalities, group structure) the implementation of a "fourth zone", so-called "recreational" zone, seems to be needed. This zoning analysis is then translated into some internal architecture proposals, which are discussed and illustrated. This paper is concluded by a reflection on habitability and recommendations on volumetric requirements. Some ideas to validate proposed habitability items through simulation are also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Predictive Modeling for NASA Entry, Descent and Landing Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Modeling and Simulation (MS) is an enabling capability for complex NASA entry missions such as MSL and Orion. MS is used in every mission phase to define mission concepts, select appropriate architectures, design EDL systems, quantify margin and risk, ensure correct system operation, and analyze data returned from the entry. In an environment where it is impossible to fully test EDL concepts on the ground prior to use, accurate MS capability is required to extrapolate ground test results to expected flight performance.

  17. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Astrobiological Field Campaign to a Volcanosedimentary Mars Analogue Methane Producing Subsurface Protected Ecosystem: Imuruk Lake (Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gómez

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Viking missions reported adverse conditions for life in Mars surface. High hydrogen signal obtained by Mars orbiters has increased the interest in subsurface prospection as putative protected Mars environment with life potential. Permafrost has attracted considerable interest from an astrobiological point of view due to the recently reported results from the Mars exploration rovers. Considerable studies have been developed on extreme ecosystems and permafrost in particular, to evaluate the possibility of life on Mars and to test specific automated life detection instruments for space missions. The biodiversity of permafrost located on the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve has been studied as an example of subsurface protected niche of astrobiological interest. Different conventional (enrichment and isolation and molecular ecology techniques (cloning, fluorescence “in situ” probe hybridization, FISH have been used for isolation and bacterial identification.

  19. Assessment of the advantages and feasibility of a nuclear rocket for a manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.

    1986-01-01

    The feasibility of rebuilding and testing a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) for the Mars mission was investigted. Calculations indicate that an NTR would substantially reduce the Earth-orbit assemble mass compared to LOX/LH 2 systems. The mass savings were 36 and 65% for the cases of total aerobraking and of total propulsive braking respectively. Consequently, the cost savings for a single mission of using an NTR, if aerobraking is feasible, are probably insufficient to warrant the NTR development. If multiple missions are planned or if propulsive braking is desired at Mars and/or at Earth, then the savings of about $7 billion will easily pay for the NTR. Estimates of the cost of rebuilding a NTR were based on the previous NERVA program's budget plus additional costs to develop a flight ready engine. The total cost to build the engine would be between $4 to 5 billion. The concept of developing a full-power test stand at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific appears very feasible. The added expense of building facilities on the island should be less than $1.4 billion

  20. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.

    1988-01-01

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

  1. Implementing planetary protection measures on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benardini, James N; La Duc, Myron T; Beaudet, Robert A; Koukol, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), comprising a cruise stage; an aeroshell; an entry, descent, and landing system; and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator-powered Curiosity rover, made history with its unprecedented sky crane landing on Mars on August 6, 2012. The mission's primary science objective has been to explore the area surrounding Gale Crater and assess its habitability for past life. Because microbial contamination could profoundly impact the integrity of the mission and compliance with international treaty was required, planetary protection measures were implemented on MSL hardware to verify that bioburden levels complied with NASA regulations. By applying the proper antimicrobial countermeasures throughout all phases of assembly, the total bacterial endospore burden of MSL at the time of launch was kept to 2.78×10⁵ spores, well within the required specification of less than 5.0×10⁵ spores. The total spore burden of the exposed surfaces of the landed MSL hardware was 5.64×10⁴, well below the allowed limit of 3.0×10⁵ spores. At the time of launch, the MSL spacecraft was burdened with an average of 22 spores/m², which included both planned landed and planned impacted hardware. Here, we report the results of a campaign to implement and verify planetary protection measures on the MSL flight system.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuechen; Li, Haiyang

    2018-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Surface Properties and Characteristics of Mars Landing Sites from Remote Sensing Data and Ground Truth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.; Haldemann, A. F.; Simpson, R. A.; Furgason, R. L.; Putzig, N. E.; Huertas, A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Heet, T.; Bell, J. F.; Mellon, M. T.; McEwen, A. S.

    2008-12-01

    Surface characteristics at the six sites where spacecraft have successfully landed on Mars can be related favorably to their signatures in remotely sensed data from orbit and from the Earth. Comparisons of the rock abundance, types and coverage of soils (and their physical properties), thermal inertia, albedo, and topographic slope all agree with orbital remote sensing estimates and show that the materials at the landing sites can be used as ground truth for the materials that make up most of the equatorial and mid- to moderately high-latitude regions of Mars. The six landing sites sample two of the three dominant global thermal inertia and albedo units that cover ~80% of the surface of Mars. The Viking, Spirit, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix landing sites are representative of the moderate to high thermal inertia and intermediate to high albedo unit that is dominated by crusty, cloddy, blocky or frozen soils (duricrust that may be layered) with various abundances of rocks and bright dust. The Opportunity landing site is representative of the moderate to high thermal inertia and low albedo surface unit that is relatively dust free and composed of dark eolian sand and/or increased abundance of rocks. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques in the equatorial regions agrees with that determined from rock counts at the surface and varies from ~3-20% at the landing sites. The size-frequency distributions of rocks >1.5 m diameter fully resolvable in HiRISE images of the landing sites follow exponential models developed from lander measurements of smaller rocks and are continuous with these rock distributions indicating both are part of the same population. Interpretation of radar data confirms the presence of load bearing, relatively dense surfaces controlled by the soil type at the landing sites, regional rock populations from diffuse scattering similar to those observed directly at the sites, and root-mean-squared slopes that compare favorably

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The effect of long-term confinement and the efficacy of exercise countermeasures on muscle strength during a simulated mission to Mars: data from the Mars500 study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffney, Christopher J; Fomina, Elena; Babich, Dennis; Kitov, Vladimir; Uskov, Konstantin; Green, David A

    2017-11-13

    Isolation and long duration spaceflight are associated with musculoskeletal deconditioning. Mars500 was a unique, high-fidelity analogue of the psychological challenges of a 520-day manned mission to Mars. We aimed to explore the effect of musculoskeletal deconditioning on three outcome measures: (1) if lower limb muscle strength was reduced during the 520-day isolation; (2) if type I or II muscle fibres were differentially affected; and (3) whether any 70-day exercise interventions prevented any isolation-induced loss of strength. Six healthy male subjects (mean ± SEM) (34 ± 3 years; 1.76 ± 0.02 metres; 83.7 ± 4.8 kg) provided written, informed consent to participate. The subjects' maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) was assessed isometrically in the calf (predominantly type I fibres), and maximal voluntary isokinetic force (MVIF) was assessed in the quadriceps/hamstrings (predominantly type II fibres) at 0.2 and 0.4 ms -1 using the Multifunctional Dynamometer for Space (MDS) at 35-day intervals throughout Mars500. Exercise interventions were completed 3-7 days/week throughout the 520-day isolation in a counterbalanced design excluding 142-177 days (rest period) and 251-284 days (simulated Mars landing). Exercise interventions included motorized treadmill running, non-motorized treadmill running, cycle ergometry, elastomer-based resistance exercise, whole-body vibration (WBV), and resistance exercise using MDS. Calf MVC did not reduce across the 520-day isolation and MDS increased strength by 18% compared to before that of 70-day exercise intervention. In contrast, there was a significant bilateral loss of MVIF across the 520 days at both 0.2 ms -1 (R 2  = 0.53; P = 0.001) and 0.4 ms -1 (0.4 ms -1 ; R 2  = 0.42; P = 0.007). WBV (+ 3.7 and 8.8%) and MDS (+ 4.9 and 5.2%) afforded the best protection against isolation-induced loss of MVIF, although MDS was the only intervention to prevent bilateral loss of calf MVC and leg MVIF at 0

  11. Construction of Power Receiving Rectenna Using Mars- In-Situ Materials; A Low Energy Materials Processing Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreri, Peter A.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    It is highly desirable to have a non-nuclear power rich option for the human exploration of Mars. Utilizing a Solar Electric Propulsion, SEP, / Power Beaming architecture for a non-nuclear power option for a human Mars base potentially avoids the weather and dust sensitivities of the surface photovoltaic option. Further from Mars areosynchronous orbit near year round power can be provided. Mission analysis, however, concludes that ultra high (245 GHz) frequencies or laser transmission technologies are required for Mars landed mass competitiveness with the surface photovoltaic option if the receiving rectifying antenna "rectenna" is transported from Earth. It is suggested in this paper that producing rectenna in situ on Mars surface might make a more conventional 5.8 GHz system competitive with surface PV. The premium of a competitive, robust, continuous base power might make the development of a 10 plus MWe class SEP for human Mars mission a more attractive non-nuclear option.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

    The design of a Mars Mission Vehicle that would have to be launched by two very heavy lift launch vehicles is described along with plans for a mission to Mars. The vehicle has three nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application (NERVA) boosters with a fourth in the center that acts as a dual mode system. The fourth generates electrical power while in route, but it also helps lift the vehicle out of earth orbit. A Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a Mars transfer vehicle stage, and a Mars Excursion Vehicle (MEV) are located on the front end of this vehicle. Other aspects of this research including aerobraking, heat shielding, nuclear thermal rocket engines, a mars mission summary, closed Brayton cycle with and without regeneration, liquid hydrogen propellant storage, etc. are addressed

  14. Mission to Mars by catalyzed nuclear reactions of the commercialized cold fusion power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Tae Ho

    2016-01-01

    The chemical compound source is deficient to reach to the power as much as the journey to Mars, unless the massive equipment is installed like the nuclear fusion reactor. However, there is very significant limitations of making up the facility due to the propellant power. Therefore, the light and cheap energy source, Low energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), powered rocket has been proposed. In this paper, the power conditions by LENRs are analyzed. After the successful Apollo mission to Moon of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the U.S. government, the civilian companies have proposed for the manned mission to Mars for the commercial journey purposes. The nuclear power has been a critical issue for the energy source in the travel, especially, by the LENR of LENUCO, Champaign, USA. As the velocity of the rocket increases, the mass flow rate decreases. It could be imaginable to take the reasonable velocity of spacecraft. The energy of the travel system is and will be created for the better one in economical and safe method. There is the imagination of boarding pass for spacecraft ticket shows the selected companies of cold fusion products. In order to solve the limitations of the conventional power sources like the chemical and solar energies, it is reasonable to design LENR concept. Since the economical and safe spacecraft is very important in the long journey on and beyond the Mars orbit, a new energy source, LENR, should be studied much more

  15. Mission to Mars by catalyzed nuclear reactions of the commercialized cold fusion power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woo, Tae Ho [Yonsei University, Wonju (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-05-15

    The chemical compound source is deficient to reach to the power as much as the journey to Mars, unless the massive equipment is installed like the nuclear fusion reactor. However, there is very significant limitations of making up the facility due to the propellant power. Therefore, the light and cheap energy source, Low energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), powered rocket has been proposed. In this paper, the power conditions by LENRs are analyzed. After the successful Apollo mission to Moon of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the U.S. government, the civilian companies have proposed for the manned mission to Mars for the commercial journey purposes. The nuclear power has been a critical issue for the energy source in the travel, especially, by the LENR of LENUCO, Champaign, USA. As the velocity of the rocket increases, the mass flow rate decreases. It could be imaginable to take the reasonable velocity of spacecraft. The energy of the travel system is and will be created for the better one in economical and safe method. There is the imagination of boarding pass for spacecraft ticket shows the selected companies of cold fusion products. In order to solve the limitations of the conventional power sources like the chemical and solar energies, it is reasonable to design LENR concept. Since the economical and safe spacecraft is very important in the long journey on and beyond the Mars orbit, a new energy source, LENR, should be studied much more.

  16. The UV Sensor Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Correction and Generation of UV Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente-Retortillo, Á.; Martinez, G.; Renno, N. O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2017-12-01

    The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station UV sensor (UVS) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory mission has completed more than 1750 sols of measurements, providing an unprecedented coverage ranging from diurnal to interannual times scales [1,2]. The UVS is comprised of six photodiodes to measure the UV flux in the ranges 200-380, 320-380, 280-320, 200-280, 230-290 and 300-350 nm [3]. UV fluxes in units of W/m2 can be found in the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS). However, dust deposition on the UVS and a non-physical discontinuity in the calibration functions when the solar zenith angle is above 30º cause errors in these fluxes that increase with time. We have developed a technique to correct UV fluxes from the effects of dust degradation and inconsistencies in the angular response of the UVS. The photodiode output currents (available in the PDS as lower-level TELRDR products), ancillary data records (available in the PDS as ADR products) and dust opacity values derived from Mastcam observations are used for performing the corrections. The corrections have been applied to the UVA band (320-380 nm) for the first 1000 sols of the mission, providing excellent results [4]. We plan to correct the UV fluxes on each of the six UVS bands and to make these results available in the PDS. Data products generated by this study will allow comparisons of the UV radiation environment at Gale crater with that at the locations of the future missions ExoMars 2020 and Mars 2020, as well as the assessment of the potential survivability of biological contaminants brought to Mars from Earth. References: [1] Smith, M. D., et al. (2016), Aerosol optical depth as observed by the Mars Science Laboratory REMS UV photodiodes, Icarus, 280, 234-248. [2] Vicente-Retortillo, Á., et al. (2017), Determination of dust aerosol particle size at Gale Crater using REMS UVS and Mastcam measurements, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 3502-3508. [3] Gómez-Elvira, J., et al. (2012), REMS: The environmental sensor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Charles D.; vanPelt, Michel O.

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Protection of surface assets on Mars from wind blown jettisoned spacecraft components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paton, Mark

    2017-07-01

    Jettisoned Entry, Descent and Landing System (EDLS) hardware from landing spacecraft have been observed by orbiting spacecraft, strewn over the Martian surface. Future Mars missions that land spacecraft close to prelanded assets will have to use a landing architecture that somehow minimises the possibility of impacts from these jettisoned EDLS components. Computer modelling is used here to investigate the influence of wind speed and direction on the distribution of EDLS components on the surface. Typical wind speeds encountered in the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) were found to be of sufficient strength to blow items having a low ballistic coefficient, i.e. Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIADs) or parachutes, onto prelanded assets even when the lander itself touches down several kilometres away. Employing meteorological measurements and careful characterisation of the Martian PBL, e.g. appropriate wind speed probability density functions, may then benefit future spacecraft landings, increase safety and possibly help reduce the delta v budget for Mars landers that rely on aerodynamic decelerators.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-07-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Combustion Joining of Regolith Tiles for In-Situ Fabrication of Launch/Landing Pads on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Robert E.; Shafirovich, Evgeny; Mantovani, James G.

    2017-01-01

    To mitigate dust problems during launch/landing operations in lunar and Mars missions, it is desired to build solid pads on the surface. Recently, strong tiles have been fabricated from lunar regolith simulants using high-temperature sintering. The present work investigates combustion joining of these tiles through the use of exothermic intermetallic reactions. Specifically, nickel/aluminum (1:1 mole ratio) mixture was placed in a gap between the tiles sintered from JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant. Upon ignition by a laser, a self-sustained propagation of the combustion front over the mixture occurred. Joining was improved with increasing the tile thickness from 6.3 mm to 12.7 mm. The temperatures sufficient for melting the glass phase of JSC-1A were recorded for 12.7-mm tiles, which explains the observed better joining.

  3. Design, qualification and operation of nuclear rockets for safe Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Madsen, W.W.; Olson, T.S.; Redd, L.R.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion modules planned for use on crew missions to Mars improve mission reliability and overall safety of the mission. This, as well as all other systems, are greatly enhanced if the system specifications take into account safety from design initiation, and operational considerations are well thought through and applied. For instance, the use of multiple engines in the propulsion module can lead to very high system safety and reliability. Operational safety enhancements may include: the use of multiple perigee burns, thus allowing time to ensure that all systems are functioning properly prior to departure from Earth orbit; the ability to perform all other parts of the mission in a degraded mode with little or no degradation of the mission; and the safe disposal of the nuclear propulsion module in a heliocentric orbit out of the ecliptic plane. The standards used to qualify nuclear rockets are one of the main cost drivers of the program. Concepts and systems that minimize cost and risk will rely on use of the element and component levels to demonstrate technology readiness and validation. Subsystem or systems testing then is only needed for verification of performance. Also, these will be the safest concepts because they will be more thoroughly understood and the safety margins will be well established and confirmed by tests

  4. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

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

  5. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Dean L.; Lysek, Mark J.; Morookian, John Michael [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2014-01-29

    The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed successfully on Mars on August 5, 2012, eight months after launch. The chosen landing site of Gale Crater, located at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, has provided a much more benign environment than was originally planned for during the critical design and integration phases of the MSL Project when all possible landing sites were still being considered. The expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at the Gale Crater landing site during Curiosity's primary mission (1 Martian year or 687 Earth days) are from −90°C to 0°C. However, enclosed within Curiosity's thermal control fluid loops the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is maintained at approximately +20°C. The CheMin instrument uses X-ray diffraction spectroscopy to make precise measurements of mineral constituents of Mars rocks and soil. The instrument incorporated the commercially available Ricor K508 Stirling cycle cryocooler to cool the CCD detector. After several months of brushing itself off, stretching and testing out its subsystems, Curiosity began the exploration of the Mars surface in October 2012. The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) received its first soil sample from Curiosity on October 24, and successfully analyzed its first soil sample. After a brief review of the rigorous Ricor K508 cooler qualification tests and life tests based on the original MSL environmental requirements this paper presents final pre-launch instrument integration and testing results, and details the operational data of the CheMin cryocooler, providing a snapshot of the resulting CheMin instrument analytical data.

  6. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Dean L.; Lysek, Mark J.; Morookian, John Michael

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed successfully on Mars on August 5, 2012, eight months after launch. The chosen landing site of Gale Crater, located at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, has provided a much more benign environment than was originally planned for during the critical design and integration phases of the MSL Project when all possible landing sites were still being considered. The expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at the Gale Crater landing site during Curiosity's primary mission (1 Martian year or 687 Earth days) are from −90°C to 0°C. However, enclosed within Curiosity's thermal control fluid loops the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is maintained at approximately +20°C. The CheMin instrument uses X-ray diffraction spectroscopy to make precise measurements of mineral constituents of Mars rocks and soil. The instrument incorporated the commercially available Ricor K508 Stirling cycle cryocooler to cool the CCD detector. After several months of brushing itself off, stretching and testing out its subsystems, Curiosity began the exploration of the Mars surface in October 2012. The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) received its first soil sample from Curiosity on October 24, and successfully analyzed its first soil sample. After a brief review of the rigorous Ricor K508 cooler qualification tests and life tests based on the original MSL environmental requirements this paper presents final pre-launch instrument integration and testing results, and details the operational data of the CheMin cryocooler, providing a snapshot of the resulting CheMin instrument analytical data

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  12. Mirror fusion propulsion system - A performance comparison with alternate propulsion systems for the manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deveny, M.; Carpenter, S.; O'connell, T.; Schulze, N.

    1993-06-01

    The performance characteristics of several propulsion technologies applied to piloted Mars missions are compared. The characteristics that are compared are Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO), mission flexibility, and flight times. The propulsion systems being compared are both demonstrated and envisioned: Chemical (or Cryogenic), Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) solid core, NTR gas core, Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and a mirror fusion space propulsion system. The proposed magnetic mirror fusion reactor, known as the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS), is described. The description is an overview of a design study that was conducted to convert a mirror reactor experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) into a viable space propulsion system. Design principles geared towards minimizing mass and maximizing power available for thrust are identified and applied to the LLNL reactor design, resulting in the MFPS. The MFPS' design evolution, reactor and fuel choices, and system configuration are described. Results of the performance comparison shows that the MFPS minimizes flight time to 60 to 90 days for flights to Mars while allowing continuous return-home capability while at Mars. Total MFPS IMLEO including propellant and payloads is kept to about 1,000 metric tons. 50 refs

  13. Mars Solar Balloon Landed Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  14. NASA's Human Mission to a Near-Earth Asteroid: Landing on a Moving Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.; Lincoln, William P.; Weisbin, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a Bayesian approach for comparing the productivity and cost-risk tradeoffs of sending versus not sending one or more robotic surveyor missions prior to a human mission to land on an asteroid. The expected value of sample information based on productivity combined with parametric variations in the prior probability an asteroid might be found suitable for landing were used to assess the optimal number of spacecraft and asteroids to survey. The analysis supports the value of surveyor missions to asteroids and indicates one launch with two spacecraft going simultaneously to two independent asteroids appears optimal.

  15. The CheMin XRD on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity: Construction, Operation, and Quantitative Mineralogical Results from the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Nov. 26, 2011 and landed in Gale crater, Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. MSL's mission is to identify and characterize ancient "habitable" environments on Mars. MSL's precision landing system placed the Curiosity rover within 2 km of the center of its 20 X 6 km landing ellipse, next to Gale's central mound, a 5,000 meter high pile of laminated sediment which may contain 1 billion years of Mars history. Curiosity carries with it a full suite of analytical instruments, including the CheMin X-ray diffractometer, the first XRD flown in space. CheMin is essentially a transmission X-ray pinhole camera. A fine-focus Co source and collimator transmits a 50µm beam through a powdered sample held between X-ray transparent plastic windows. The sample holder is shaken by a piezoelectric actuator such that the powder flows like a liquid, each grain passing in random orientation through the beam over time. Forward-diffracted and fluoresced X-ray photons from the sample are detected by an X-ray sensitive Charge Coupled Device (CCD) operated in single photon counting mode. When operated in this way, both the x,y position and the energy of each photon are detected. The resulting energy-selected Co Kalpha Debye-Scherrer pattern is used to determine the identities and amounts of minerals present via Rietveld refinement, and a histogram of all X-ray events constitutes an X-ray fluorescence analysis of the sample.The key role that definitive mineralogy plays in understanding the Martian surface is a consequence of the fact that minerals are thermodynamic phases, having known and specific ranges of temperature, pressure and composition within which they are stable. More than simple compositional analysis, definitive mineralogical analysis can provide information about pressure/temperature conditions of formation, past climate, water activity and the like. Definitive mineralogical analyses are necessary to establish

  16. Acid Sulfate Alteration on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2016-01-01

    A variety of mineralogical and geochemical indicators for aqueous alteration on Mars have been identified by a combination of surface and orbital robotic missions, telescopic observations, characterization of Martian meteorites, and laboratory and terrestrial analog studies. Acid sulfate alteration has been identified at all three landing sites visited by NASA rover missions (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity). Spirit landed in Gusev crater in 2004 and discovered Fe-sulfates and materials that have been extensively leached by acid sulfate solutions. Opportunity landing on the plains of Meridiani Planum also in 2004 where the rover encountered large abundances of jarosite and hematite in sedimentary rocks. Curiosity landed in Gale crater in 2012 and has characterized fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine sediments. Jarosite and hematite were discovered in some of the lacustrine sediments. The high elemental abundance of sulfur in surface materials is obvious evidence that sulfate has played a major role in aqueous processes at all landing sites on Mars. The sulfate-rich outcrop at Meridiani Planum has an SO3 content of up to 25 wt.%. The interiors of rocks and outcrops on the Columbia Hills within Gusev crater have up to 8 wt.% SO3. Soils at both sites generally have between 5 to 14 wt.% SO3, and several soils in Gusev crater contain around 30 wt.% SO3. After normalization of major element compositions to a SO3-free basis, the bulk compositions of these materials are basaltic, with a few exceptions in Gusev crater and in lacustrine mudstones in Gale crater. These observations suggest that materials encountered by the rovers were derived from basaltic precursors by acid sulfate alteration under nearly isochemical conditions (i.e., minimal leaching). There are several cases, however, where acid sulfate alteration minerals (jarosite and hematite) formed in open hydrologic systems, e.g., in Gale crater lacustrine mudstones. Several hypotheses have been suggested for the

  17. Powered Flight Design and Reconstructed Performance Summary for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sell, Steven; Chen, Allen; Davis, Jody; San Martin, Miguel; Serricchio, Frederick; Singh, Gurkirpal

    2013-01-01

    The Powered Flight segment of Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) system extends from backshell separation through landing. This segment is responsible for removing the final 0.1% of the kinetic energy dissipated during EDL and culminating with the successful touchdown of the rover on the surface of Mars. Many challenges exist in the Powered Flight segment: extraction of Powered Descent Vehicle from the backshell, performing a 300m divert maneuver to avoid the backshell and parachute, slowing the descent from 85 m/s to 0.75 m/s and successfully lowering the rover on a 7.5m bridle beneath the rocket-powered Descent Stage and gently placing it on the surface using the Sky Crane Maneuver. Finally, the nearly-spent Descent Stage must execute a Flyaway maneuver to ensure surface impact a safe distance from the Rover. This paper provides an overview of the powered flight design, key features, and event timeline. It also summarizes Curiosity's as flown performance on the night of August 5th as reconstructed by the flight team.

  18. The Nature, Origin, and Importance of Carbonate-Bearing Samples at the Final Three Candidate Mars 2020 Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horgan, B.; Anderson, R. B.; Ruff, S. W.

    2018-04-01

    All three candidate Mars 2020 landing sites contain similar regional olivine/carbonate units, and a carbonate unit of possible lacustrine origin is also present at Jezero. Carbonates are critical for Mars Sample Return as records of climate and biosignatures.

  19. MetBaro - Pressure Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  20. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  1. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Planetary entry, descent, and landing technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  4. Microbial biodiversity assessment of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskinen, Kaisa; Rettberg, Petra; Pukall, Rüdiger; Auerbach, Anna; Wink, Lisa; Barczyk, Simon; Perras, Alexandra; Mahnert, Alexander; Margheritis, Diana; Kminek, Gerhard; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2017-10-25

    The ExoMars 2016 mission, consisting of the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander, was launched on March 14 2016 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and reached its destination in October 2016. The Schiaparelli lander was subject to strict requirements for microbial cleanliness according to the obligatory planetary protection policy. To reach the required cleanliness, the ExoMars 2016 flight hardware was assembled in a newly built, biocontrolled cleanroom complex at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. In this study, we performed microbiological surveys of the cleanroom facilities and the spacecraft hardware before and during the assembly, integration and testing (AIT) activities. Besides the European Space Agency (ESA) standard bioburden assay, that served as a proxy for the microbiological contamination in general, we performed various alternative cultivation assays and utilised molecular techniques, including quantitative PCR and next generation sequencing, to assess the absolute and relative abundance and broadest diversity of microorganisms and their signatures in the cleanroom and on the spacecraft hardware. Our results show that the bioburden, detected microbial contamination and microbial diversity decreased continuously after the cleanroom was decontaminated with more effective cleaning agents and during the ongoing AIT. The studied cleanrooms and change room were occupied by very distinct microbial communities: Overall, the change room harboured a higher number and diversity of microorganisms, including Propionibacterium, which was found to be significantly increased in the change room. In particular, the so called alternative cultivation assays proved important in detecting a broader cultivable diversity than covered by the standard bioburden assay and thus completed the picture on the cleanroom microbiota. During the whole project, the bioburden stayed at acceptable level and did not raise any concern for the ExoMars 2016 mission. The cleanroom complex at

  5. 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

  6. ChemCam passive reflectance spectroscopy of surface materials at the Curiosity landing site, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Bell, J. F.; Bender, S.; Blaney, D.; Cloutis, E.; DeFlores, L.; Ehlmann, B.; Gasnault, O.; Gondet, B.; Kinch, K.; Lemmon, M.; Le Mouélic, S.; Maurice, S.; Rice, M.; Wiens, R. C.

    2015-03-01

    The spectrometers on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) ChemCam instrument were used in passive mode to record visible/near-infrared (400-840 nm) radiance from the martian surface. Using the onboard ChemCam calibration targets' housing as a reflectance standard, we developed methods to collect, calibrate, and reduce radiance observations to relative reflectance. Such measurements accurately reproduce the known reflectance spectra of other calibration targets on the rover, and represent the highest spatial resolution (0.65 mrad) and spectral sampling (rocks and soils match those from orbital observations and multispectral data from the MSL Mastcam camera. Preliminary analyses of the band depths, spectral slopes, and reflectance ratios of the more than 2000 spectra taken during the first year of MSL operations demonstrate at least six spectral classes of materials distinguished by variations in ferrous and ferric components. Initial comparisons of ChemCam spectra to laboratory spectra of minerals and Mars analog materials demonstrate similarities with palagonitic soils and indications of orthopyroxene in some dark rocks. Magnesium-rich "raised ridges" tend to exhibit distinct near-infrared slopes. The ferric absorption downturn typically found for martian materials at rocks and drill tailings, consistent with their more ferrous nature. Calcium-sulfate veins exhibit the highest relative reflectances observed, but are still relatively red owing to the effects of residual dust. Such dust is overall less prominent on rocks sampled within the "blast zone" immediately surrounding the landing site. These samples were likely affected by the landing thrusters, which partially removed the ubiquitous dust coatings. Increased dust coatings on the calibration targets during the first year of the mission were documented by the ChemCam passive measurements as well. Ongoing efforts to model and correct for this dust component should improve calibration of the relative reflectance

  7. 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.

  8. Implementation of a Relay Coordination System for the Mars Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    Mars network relay operations involve the coordination of lander and orbiter teams through long-term and short-term planning, tactical changes and post-pass analysis. Much of this coordination is managed through email traffic and point-to-point file data exchanges. It is often difficult to construct a complete and accurate picture of the relay situation at any given moment, as there is no centralized store of correlated relay data. The Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS) is being implemented to address the problem of relay coordination for current and next-generation relay missions. The service is provided for the purpose of coordinating communications sessions between landed spacecraft assets and orbiting spacecraft assets at Mars. The service centralizes a set of functions previously distributed across multiple spacecraft operations teams, and as such greatly improves visibility into the end-to-end strategic coordination process. Most of the process revolves around the scheduling of communications sessions between the spacecraft during periods of time when a landed asset on Mars is geometrically visible by an orbiting spacecraft. These "relay" sessions are used to transfer data both to and from the landed asset via the orbiting asset on behalf of Earth-based spacecraft operators. This paper will discuss the relay coordination problem space, overview the architecture and design selected to meet system requirements, and describe the first phase of system implementation

  9. 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.

  10. Mars Exploration Rover Terminal Descent Mission Modeling and Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Queen, Eric M.

    2004-01-01

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

  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. Sample Return in Preparation for Human Mission on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, P.

    2018-04-01

    Returned samples of martian regolith will help the science community make an informed decision in choosing the final human landing site and develop a better human mission plan to meet science criteria and IRSU and civil engineering criteria.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

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

  16. Reaching High Altitudes on Mars with an Inflatable Hypersonic Drag Balloon (Ballute)

    CERN Document Server

    Griebel, Hannes

    2010-01-01

    The concept of probing the atmosphere of planet Mars by means of a hypersonic drag balloon, a device known as a “ballute”, is a novel approach to planetary science. In this concept, the probe deploys an inflatable drag body out in space and may then enter the atmosphere either once or several times until it slowly descends towards the ground, taking continuous atmospheric and other readings across a large altitude and ground range. Hannes Griebel discusses the theory behind such a mission along with experience gained during its practical implementation, such as mission design, manufacturing, packing and deployment techniques as well as ground and flight tests. The author also studies other ballute applications, specifically emergency low Earth orbit recovery and delivering payloads to high altitude landing sites on Mars.

  17. Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis: Exploration Feed Forward Internal Peer Review Slide Package

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia M. (Editor)

    2011-01-01

    NASA senior management commissioned the Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDL-SA) Study in 2008 to identify and roadmap the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) technology investments that the agency needed to successfully land large payloads at Mars for both robotic and human-scale missions. Year 1 of the study focused on technologies required for Exploration-class missions to land payloads of 10 to 50 mt. Inflatable decelerators, rigid aeroshell and supersonic retro-propulsion emerged as the top candidate technologies. In Year 2 of the study, low TRL technologies identified in Year 1, inflatables aeroshells and supersonic retropropulsion, were combined to create a demonstration precursor robotic mission. This part of the EDL-SA Year 2 effort, called Exploration Feed Forward (EFF), took much of the systems analysis simulation and component model development from Year 1 to the next level of detail.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Post-aerocapture orbit selection and maintenance for the Aerofast mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontani, Mauro; Teofilatto, Paolo

    2012-10-01

    Aerofast is the abbreviation of “aerocapture for future space transportation” and represents a project aimed at developing aerocapture techniques with regard to an interplanetary mission to Mars, in the context of the 7th Framework Program, with the financial support of the European Union. This paper describes the fundamental characteristics of the operational orbit after aerocapture for the mission of interest, as well as the related maintenance strategy. The final orbit selection depends on the desired lighting conditions, maximum revisit time of specific target regions, and feasibility of the orbit maintenance strategy. A sunsynchronous, frozen, repeating-ground-track orbit is chosen. First, the period of repetition is such that adjacent ascending node crossings (over the Mars surface) have a separation compatible with the swath of the optical payload. Secondly, the sunsynchronism condition ensures that a given latitude is periodically visited at the same local time, which condition is essential for comparing images of the same region at different epochs. Lastly, the fulfillment of the frozen condition guarantees improved orbit stability with respect to perturbations due to the zonal harmonics of Mars gravitational field. These three fundamental features of the operational orbit lead to determining its mean orbital elements. The evaluation of short and long period effects (e.g., those due to the sectorial harmonics of the gravitational field or to the aerodynamic drag) requires the determination of the osculating orbital elements at an initial reference time. This research describes a simple and accurate approach that leads to numerically determining these initial values, without employing complicated analytical developments. Numerical simulations demonstrate the long-period stability of the orbit when a significant number of harmonics of the gravitational field are taken into account. However, aerodynamic drag produces a relatively slow orbital decay at the

  3. Impact of rocket propulsion technology on the radiation risk in missions to Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durante, M. [GSI Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung, Biophysics Department, Darmstadt (Germany); Technical University of Darmstadt, Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Darmstadt (Germany); Bruno, C. [Dipartimento di Meccanica e Aeronautica, Universita -La Sapienza-, Roma (Italy)

    2010-10-15

    Exposure to cosmic radiation is today acknowledged as a major obstacle to human missions to Mars. In fact, in addition to the poor knowledge on the late effects of heavy ions in the cosmic rays, simple countermeasures are apparently not available. Shielding is indeed very problematic in space, because of mass problems and the high-energy of the cosmic rays, and radio-protective drugs or dietary supplements are not effective. However, the simplest countermeasure for reducing radiation risk is to shorten the duration time, particularly the transit time to Mars, where the dose rate is higher than on the planet surface. Here we show that using nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) rockets, the transit time could be substantially reduced to a point where radiation risk could be considered acceptable even with the current uncertainty on late effects. (authors)

  4. 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.

  5. Electrical power systems for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giudici, Robert J.

    1986-01-01

    Electrical power system options for Mars Manned Modules and Mars Surface Bases were evaluated for both near-term and advanced performance potential. The power system options investigated for the Mission Modules include photovoltaics, solar thermal, nuclear reactor, and isotope power systems. Options discussed for Mars Bases include the above options with the addition of a brief discussion of open loop energy conversion of Mars resources, including utilization of wind, subsurface thermal gradients, and super oxides. Electrical power requirements for Mission Modules were estimated for three basic approaches: as a function of crew size; as a function of electric propulsion; and as a function of transmission of power from an orbiter to the surface of Mars via laser or radio frequency. Mars Base power requirements were assumed to be determined by production facilities that make resources available for follow-on missions leading to the establishment of a permanently manned Base. Requirements include the production of buffer gas and propellant production plants.

  6. Logistics Needs for Potential Deep Space Mission Scenarios Post Asteroid Crewed Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Pedro, Jr.

    2015-01-01

    A deep-space mission has been proposed to identify and redirect an asteroid to a distant retrograde orbit around the moon, and explore it by sending a crew using the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft. The Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), which represents the third segment of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), could be performed on EM-3 or EM-4 depending on asteroid return date. Recent NASA studies have raised questions on how we could progress from current Human Space Flight (HSF) efforts to longer term human exploration of Mars. This paper will describe the benefits of execution of the ARM as the initial stepping stone towards Mars exploration, and how the capabilities required to send humans to Mars could be built upon those developed for the asteroid mission. A series of potential interim missions aimed at developing such capabilities will be described, and the feasibility of such mission manifest will be discussed. Options for the asteroid crewed mission will also be addressed, including crew size and mission duration.

  7. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

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

  8. The Threat of Uncertainty: Why Using Traditional Approaches for Evaluating Spacecraft Reliability are Insufficient for Future Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stromgren, Chel; Goodliff, Kandyce; Cirillo, William; Owens, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Through the Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) study, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continues to evaluate potential approaches for sending humans beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). A key aspect of these missions is the strategy that is employed to maintain and repair the spacecraft systems, ensuring that they continue to function and support the crew. Long duration missions beyond LEO present unique and severe maintainability challenges due to a variety of factors, including: limited to no opportunities for resupply, the distance from Earth, mass and volume constraints of spacecraft, high sensitivity of transportation element designs to variation in mass, the lack of abort opportunities to Earth, limited hardware heritage information, and the operation of human-rated systems in a radiation environment with little to no experience. The current approach to maintainability, as implemented on ISS, which includes a large number of spares pre-positioned on ISS, a larger supply sitting on Earth waiting to be flown to ISS, and an on demand delivery of logistics from Earth, is not feasible for future deep space human missions. For missions beyond LEO, significant modifications to the maintainability approach will be required.Through the EMC evaluations, several key findings related to the reliability and safety of the Mars spacecraft have been made. The nature of random and induced failures presents significant issues for deep space missions. Because spare parts cannot be flown as needed for Mars missions, all required spares must be flown with the mission or pre-positioned. These spares must cover all anticipated failure modes and provide a level of overall reliability and safety that is satisfactory for human missions. This will require a large amount of mass and volume be dedicated to storage and transport of spares for the mission. Further, there is, and will continue to be, a significant amount of uncertainty regarding failure rates for spacecraft

  9. Frost on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows bluish-white frost seen on the Martian surface near NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 131st Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008). Frost is expected to continue to appear in images as fall, then winter approach Mars' northern plains. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  10. The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard the European Mars Express mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formisano, V.; Angrilli, F.; Arnold, G.; Atreya, S.; Bianchini, G.; Biondi, D.; Blanco, A.; Blecka, M. I.; Coradini, A.; Colangeli, L.; Ekonomov, A.; Esposito, F.; Fonti, S.; Giuranna, M.; Grassi, D.; Gnedykh, V.; Grigoriev, A.; Hansen, G.; Hirsh, H.; Khatuntsev, I.; Kiselev, A.; Ignatiev, N.; Jurewicz, A.; Lellouch, E.; Lopez Moreno, J.; Marten, A.; Mattana, A.; Maturilli, A.; Mencarelli, E.; Michalska, M.; Moroz, V.; Moshkin, B.; Nespoli, F.; Nikolsky, Y.; Orfei, R.; Orleanski, P.; Orofino, V.; Palomba, E.; Patsaev, D.; Piccioni, G.; Rataj, M.; Rodrigo, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Rossi, M.; Saggin, B.; Titov, D.; Zasova, L.

    2005-08-01

    The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) for the Mars Express mission is an infrared spectrometer optimised for atmospheric studies. This instrument has a short wave (SW) channel that covers the spectral range from 1700 to 8200.0cm-1 (1.2- 5.5μm) and a long-wave (LW) channel that covers 250- 1700cm-1 (5.5- 45μm). Both channels have a uniform spectral resolution of 1.3cm-1. The instrument field of view FOV is about 1.6∘ (FWHM) for the Short Wavelength channel (SW) and 2.8∘ (FWHM) for the Long Wavelength channel (LW) which corresponds to a spatial resolution of 7 and 12 km when Mars is observed from an height of 250 km. PFS can provide unique data necessary to improve our knowledge not only of the atmosphere properties but also about mineralogical composition of the surface and the surface-atmosphere interaction. The SW channel uses a PbSe detector cooled to 200-220 K while the LW channel is based on a pyroelectric ( LiTaO3) detector working at room temperature. The intensity of the interferogram is measured every 150 nm of physical mirrors displacement, corresponding to 600 nm optical path difference, by using a laser diode monochromatic light interferogram (a sine wave), whose zero crossings control the double pendulum motion. PFS works primarily around the pericentre of the orbit, only occasionally observing Mars from large distances. Each measurements take 4 s, with a repetition time of 8.5 s. By working roughly 0.6 h around pericentre, a total of 330 measurements per orbit will be acquired 270 looking at Mars and 60 for calibrations. PFS is able to take measurements at all local times, facilitating the retrieval of surface temperatures and atmospheric vertical temperature profiles on both the day and the night side.

  11. Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Investigation: Overview of Results from the First 120 Sols on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Archer, P. D.; Atreya, S. K.; Benna, M.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; hide

    2013-01-01

    During the first 120 sols of Curiosity s landed mission on Mars (8/6/2012 to 12/7/2012) SAM sampled the atmosphere 9 times and an eolian bedform named Rocknest 4 times. The atmospheric experiments utilized SAM s quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and tunable laser spectrometer (TLS) while the solid sample experiments also utilized the gas chromatograph (GC). Although a number of core experiments were pre-programmed and stored in EEProm, a high level SAM scripting language enabled the team to optimize experiments based on prior runs.

  12. Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis Study: Phase 2 Report on Exploration Feed-Forward Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer Ciancolo, Alicia M.; Davis, Jody L.; Engelund, Walter C.; Komar, D. R.; Queen, Eric M.; Samareh, Jamshid A.; Way, David W.; Zang, Thomas A.; Murch, Jeff G.; Krizan, Shawn A.; hide

    2011-01-01

    NASA senior management commissioned the Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDL-SA) Study in 2008 to identify and roadmap the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) technology investments that the agency needed to successfully land large payloads at Mars for both robotic and human-scale missions. Year 1 of the study focused on technologies required for Exploration-class missions to land payloads of 10 to 50 t. Inflatable decelerators, rigid aeroshell and supersonic retro-propulsion emerged as the top candidate technologies. In Year 2 of the study, low TRL technologies identified in Year 1, inflatables aeroshells and supersonic retropropulsion, were combined to create a demonstration precursor robotic mission. This part of the EDL-SA Year 2 effort, called Exploration Feed Forward (EFF), took much of the systems analysis simulation and component model development from Year 1 to the next level of detail.

  13. Pre-Mission Communication And Awareness Stratgies For Positive Group Functioning And Development: Analysis Of A Crew At The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) In Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allner, Matthew; Bishop, Sheryl; Gushin, Vadim; McKay, Chris; Rygalov, Vadim; Allner, Matthew

    Introduction: Psychosocial group functioning has become an increased international focus of many space faring nations due to the recent shift in focus of colonizing the Moon and then preparing to travel to Mars and beyond. Purpose: This study investigates the effects of pre-mission communication and awareness strategies for positive group functioning in extreme environments as well as suggestive countermeasures to maintain positive group dynamic development in isolated and confined extreme (ICE) environments. The study is supported by both preand intra-mission management efforts, which included crewmember assessments at various mission phases (pre-, intra-, and end-mission). Methods: A six person heterogeneous American crew conducted a Mars simulation mission at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, USA in 2006 as part of a new NASA training program called Spaceward Bound. Participants were administered assessments of personality, personal and group identity/functioning, subjective stress, coping, and subjective motivation. All participants were also provided information (pre-mission) regarding past research and tendencies of group functioning, stressors, cognitive functioning, and mission mistakes from a mission phase analysis approach, to see if this would be a factor in positive group dynamic development. Results: Data collected and obtained by both assessment and journaling methods were both consistent and indicative of positive personalities desirable of expedition crews. Assessment data further indicated positive group cohesion and group interactions, along with supportive and strong leadership, all which led to positive personal and group experiences for crewmembers. Crewmembers all displayed low levels of competition while still reporting high motivation and satisfaction for the group dynamic development and the mission objectives that were completed. Journals kept by the crew psychologist indicated that crewmembers all felt that the pre-mission

  14. 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.

  15. Using Mars Mission Analogs and Authentic Experiences to Stimulate STEM Learning in K-14 Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, S. L.; Grigsby, B.; Valderrama, P.; Watt, K.

    2005-12-01

    Today, in many of the classrooms across our nation, K-12 educators are finding it more difficult to engage their students in the subjects that will help them to succeed to a more productive way of life - science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Finally, add to this formidable task a diverse set of learners (demographically and skill level) of an average classroom and the constraints of high stakes testing. Quite a challenge, indeed! The Arizona State University (ASU) Mars Education Program, in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Public Engagement Team have created programming, curriculum, and activities that help to bridge the gap between STEM learning and student interest. Starting with the Standards in the STEM areas - the areas which teachers are tasked to teach already, our team has modeled the STEM-based curriculum after the way that NASA's Mars team conducts their work and research. There is much challenge in the statement "Science for All Americans" when it comes to applying it equally to all classrooms across the U.S. To make sure that these curricular materials and hands-on experiences are available to any teacher and student, the ASU Mars Education Program has adopted a "high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech" approach. In other words, materials and programming have to be available and doable with whatever capabilities a classroom might possess. Using this approach, successful examples of Mars-based educational materials include Marsbound and the Mars Student Imaging Project. The Marsbound simulation is based on National Technology Standards and seemingly low tech. However, the simplicity of this simulation is quickly forgotten as it follows the familiar NASA scenario of building a mission to Mars with engineering constraints. Student teams use a set of equipment cards and a playmat (both available at no cost) to build their mission and balance it according to the constraints given. Students soon realize there is a lot of complexity to

  16. The Viking X ray fluorescence experiment - Sampling strategies and laboratory simulations. [Mars soil sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, A. K.; Castro, A. J.; Clark, B. C.; Toulmin, P., III; Rose, H., Jr.; Keil, K.; Gooding, J. L.

    1977-01-01

    Ten samples of Mars regolith material (six on Viking Lander 1 and four on Viking Lander 2) have been delivered to the X ray fluorescence spectrometers as of March 31, 1977. An additional six samples at least are planned for acquisition in the remaining Extended Mission (to January 1979) for each lander. All samples acquired are Martian fines from the near surface (less than 6-cm depth) of the landing sites except the latest on Viking Lander 1, which is fine material from the bottom of a trench dug to a depth of 25 cm. Several attempts on each lander to acquire fresh rock material (in pebble sizes) for analysis have yielded only cemented surface crustal material (duricrust). Laboratory simulation and experimentation are required both for mission planning of sampling and for interpretation of data returned from Mars. This paper is concerned with the rationale for sample site selections, surface sampler operations, and the supportive laboratory studies needed to interpret X ray results from Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Chandrayaan-2: India's First Soft-landing Mission to Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylswamy, Annadurai; Krishnan, A.; Alex, T. K.; Rama Murali, G. K.

    2012-07-01

    . Mission Elements:, On board segment of Chandrayaan-2 mission consists of a lunar Orbiter and a lunar Lander-Rover. The orbiter for Chandrayaan-2 mission is similar to that of Chandrayaan-1 from structural and propulsion aspects. Based on a study of various mission management and trajectory options, such as, separation of the Lander-Rover module in Earth Parking Orbit (EPO) or in lunar transfer trajectory (LTT) or in lunar polar orbit (LPO), the option of separating of this module at LTT, after required midcourse corrections, was selected as this offers an optimum mass and overall mission management advantage. The orbiter propulsion system will be used to transfer Orbiter-Lander-Rover composite from EPO to LTT. On reaching LTT, the Lander-Rover module will be separated from the orbiter module. The Lander-Rover and Orbiter modules are configured with individual propulsion and housekeeping systems. The indigenously developed Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV (Mk-II) will be used for this mission. The most critical aspect of its feasibility was an accurate evaluation of the scope for taking a 3200kg lift off mass into EPO. A Lander-Rover mass of 1270kg (including the propellant for soft landing) will provide sufficient margin for such a lift off within the capability of flight proven GSLV (Mk-II) for the EPO. Mission Scenario: ,GSLV (Mk-II) will launch the Lunar Orbiter coupled to the Lunar Lander-Rover into EPO (170 x 16980 km) following which the Orbiter will boost the orbit from EPO to LTT where the two modules will be separated. Both of them will make their independent journey towards moon and reach lunar polar orbit independently. The orbiter module will be initially placed in a circular polar orbit (200km) and the Lander-Rover module descends towards the lunar surface. After landing, a motorized rover with robotic arm and scientific instruments would be released on to the lunar surface. Although the exact landing location is yet to be finalized, a high

  19. Midlatitude Ice-Rich Ground on Mars: An Important Target for Science and In Situ Resource Utilization on Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Heldmann, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    The region of ROI is characterized by proven presence of near surface ground ice and numerous periglacial features. Midlatitude ground ice on Mars is of significant scientific interest for understanding the history and evolution of ice stability on Mars, the impact that changes in insolation produced by variations in Mars’ orbital parameters has on the regions climate, and could provide human exploration with a reliable and plentiful in situ resource. For both science and exploration, assessing the astrobiological potential of the ice is important in terms of (1) understanding the potential for life on Mars and (2) evaluating the presence of possible biohazards in advance of human exploration. Heldmann et al. (2014) studied locations on Mars in the Amazonis Planitia region where near surface ground ice was exposed by new impact craters (Byrne et al. 2009). The study examined whether sites in this region were suitable for human exploration including reviewing the evidence for midlatitude ground ice, discussing the possible explanations for its occurrence, assessing its potential habitability for modern life, and evaluating the resource potential. They systematically analyzed remote-sensing data sets to identify a viable landing site. Five sites where ground ice was exposed were examined with HiRise imaging and were classified according to (1) presence of polygons as a proxy for subsurface ice, (2) presence and abundance of rough topographic obstacles (e.g., large cracks, cliffs, uneven topography), (3) rock density, (4) presence and abundance of large boulders, and (5) presence of craters. A suitable landing site was found having ground ice at only 0.15m depth, and no landing site hazards within a 25 km landing ellipse. This paper presents results of that study and examines the relevance of this ROI to the workshop goals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E.; Paloma Team

    2003-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Mars 2001 Lander Mission: Measurement Synergy Through Coordinated Operations Planning And Implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Kaplan, D.; Marshall, J.; Mishkin, A.; Saunders, S.; Smith, P.; Squyres, S.

    1999-09-01

    The 2001 Mars Surveyor Program Mission includes an orbiter with a gamma ray spectrometer and a multispectral thermal imager, and a lander with an extensive set of instrumentation, a robotic arm, and the Marie Curie Rover. The Mars 2001 Science Operations Working Group (SOWG) is a subgroup of the Project Science Group that has been formed to provide coordinated planning and implementation of scientific observations, particularly for the landed portion of the mission. The SOWG will be responsible for delivery of a science plan and, during operations, generation and delivery of conflict-free sequences. This group will also develop an archive plan that is compliant with Planetary Data System (PDS) standards, and will oversee generation, validation, and delivery of integrated archives to the PDS. In this report we cover one element of the SOWG planning activities, the development of a plan that maximizes the scientific return from lander-based observations by treating the instrument packages as an integrated payload. Scientific objectives for the lander mission have been defined. They include observations focused on determining the bedrock geology of the site through analyses of rocks and also local materials found in the soils, and the surficial geology of the site, including windblown deposits and the nature and history of formation of indurated sediments such as duricrust. Of particular interest is the identification and quantification of processes related to early warm, wet conditions and the presence of hydrologic or hydrothermal cycles. Determining the nature and origin of duricrust and associated salts is -very important in this regard. Specifically, did these deposits form in the vadose zone as pore water evaporated from soils or did they form by other processes, such as deposition of volcanic aerosols? Basic information needed to address these questions includes the morphology, topography, and geologic context of landforms and materials exposed at the site

  3. Mars 2001 Lander Mission: Measurement Synergy Through Coordinated Operations Planning And Implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Kaplan, D.; Marshall, J.; Mishkin, A.; Saunders, S.; Smith, P.; Squyres, S.

    1999-01-01

    The 2001 Mars Surveyor Program Mission includes an orbiter with a gamma ray spectrometer and a multispectral thermal imager, and a lander with an extensive set of instrumentation, a robotic arm, and the Marie Curie Rover. The Mars 2001 Science Operations Working Group (SOWG) is a subgroup of the Project Science Group that has been formed to provide coordinated planning and implementation of scientific observations, particularly for the landed portion of the mission. The SOWG will be responsible for delivery of a science plan and, during operations, generation and delivery of conflict-free sequences. This group will also develop an archive plan that is compliant with Planetary Data System (PDS) standards, and will oversee generation, validation, and delivery of integrated archives to the PDS. In this report we cover one element of the SOWG planning activities, the development of a plan that maximizes the scientific return from lander-based observations by treating the instrument packages as an integrated payload. Scientific objectives for the lander mission have been defined. They include observations focused on determining the bedrock geology of the site through analyses of rocks and also local materials found in the soils, and the surficial geology of the site, including windblown deposits and the nature and history of formation of indurated sediments such as duricrust. Of particular interest is the identification and quantification of processes related to early warm, wet conditions and the presence of hydrologic or hydrothermal cycles. Determining the nature and origin of duricrust and associated salts is -very important in this regard. Specifically, did these deposits form in the vadose zone as pore water evaporated from soils or did they form by other processes, such as deposition of volcanic aerosols? Basic information needed to address these questions includes the morphology, topography, and geologic context of landforms and materials exposed at the site

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Extension's Online Presence: Are Land-Grant Universities Promoting the Tripartite Mission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Shannon; Hill, Alexandra; Bailey, Nikki; Meyers, Courtney

    2012-01-01

    Land-grant universities were established with a tripartite mission: education, research, and outreach through the Cooperative Extension Service. The purpose of the study reported here was to evaluate the online presence and technological adoptions of Extension on land-grant university, college of agriculture, and state Extension websites. Almost…

  6. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Thermophysical properties of the MER and Beagle II landing site regions on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Hynek, Brian M.; Pelkey, Shannon M.; Mellon, Michael T.; Martínez-Alonso, Sara; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Murphy, Nate; Christensen, Philip R.

    2006-08-01

    We analyzed remote-sensing observations of the Isidis Basin, Gusev Crater, and Meridiani Planum landing sites for Beagle II, MER-A Spirit, and MER-B Opportunity spacecraft, respectively. We emphasized the thermophysical properties using daytime and nighttime radiance measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and thermal inertias derived from nighttime data sets. THEMIS visible images, MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow-angle images, and MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data are incorporated as well. Additionally, the remote-sensing data were compared with ground-truth at the MER sites. The Isidis Basin surface layer has been shaped by aeolian processes and erosion by slope winds coming off of the southern highlands and funneling through notches between massifs. In the Gusev region, surface materials of contrasting thermophysical properties have been interpreted as rocks or bedrock, duricrust, and dust deposits; these are consistent with a complex geological history dominated by volcanic and aeolian processes. At Meridiani Planum the many layers having different thermophysical and erosional properties suggest periodic deposition of differing sedimentological facies possibly related to clast size, grain orientation and packing, or mineralogy.

  10. Characterization of the particle radiation environment at three potential landing sites on Mars using ESA’s MEREM models

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna-Lawlor, S.; Gonçalves, P.; Keating, A.; Morgado, B.; Heynderickx, D.; Nieminen, P.; Santin, G.; Truscott, P.; Lei, F.; Foing, B.; Balaz, J.

    2012-03-01

    The ‘Mars Energetic Radiation Environment Models’ (dMEREM and eMEREM) recently developed for the European Space Agency are herein used to estimate, for the first time, background Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) radiation and flare related solar energetic particle (SEP) events at three candidate martian landing sites under conditions where particle arrival occurred at solar minimum (December, 2006) and solar maximum (April, 2002) during Solar Cycle 23. The three landing sites were selected on the basis that they are characterized by significantly different hydrological conditions and soil compositions. Energetic particle data sets recorded on orbit at Mars at the relevant times were incomplete because of gaps in the measurements due to operational constraints. Thus, in the present study, comprehensive near-Earth particle measurements made aboard the GOES spacecraft were used as proxies to estimate the overall particle doses at each perspective landing site, assuming in each case that the fluxes fell off as 1/r2 (where r is the helio-radial distance) and that good magnetic connectivity always prevailed. The results indicate that the particle radiation environment on Mars can vary according to the epoch concerned and the landing site selected. Particle estimations obtained using MEREM are in reasonable agreement, given the inherent differences between the models, with the related NASA Heavy Ion-Nucleon Transport Code for Space Radiation/HZETRN. Both sets of results indicated that, for short (30 days) stays, the atmosphere of Mars, in the cases of the SEPs studied and the then prevailing background galactic cosmic radiation, provided sufficient shielding at the planetary surface to maintain annual skin and blood forming organ/BFO dose levels below currently accepted ionizing radiation exposure limits. The threat of occurrence of a hard spectrum SEP during Cruise-Phase transfers to/from Mars over 400 days, combined with the associated cumulative effect of prolonged GCR

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, H.; Vago, J. L.

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Preliminary Geological Map of the Peace Vallis Fan Integrated with In Situ Mosaics From the Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    A geomorphically defined alluvial fan extends from Peace Vallis on the NW wall of Gale Crater, Mars into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landing ellipse. Prior to landing, the MSL team mapped the ellipse and surrounding areas, including the Peace Vallis fan. Map relationships suggest that bedded rocks east of the landing site are likely associated with the fan, which led to the decision to send Curiosity east. Curiosity's mast camera (Mastcam) color images are being used to refine local map relationships. Results from regional mapping and the first 100 sols of the mission demonstrate that the area has a rich geological history. Understanding this history will be critical for assessing ancient habitability and potential organic matter preservation at Gale Crater.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2000-01-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  17. Tafoni - A Llink Between Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacob, R. H.; Iacob, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Remarkable rock erosion structures on the planetary surface, tafoni represent an important instrument for investigating the specific environmental conditions causing such rock formations. From simple cavities to refined honeycomb or other intricate patterns, tafoni are a reflection of the complex interaction between the rock structure and the environmental factors. On the genesis of tafoni, there is no unique breakdown mechanism at work, but a multitude of physical and chemical processes developing over time. However, some of these formation mechanisms are typically predominant. Tafoni can be found on a variety of rock substrates, from sandstone and vesicular lava rocks to granite and basalt, and in a variety of environments, from wet coastal areas to the extreme dry zones of hot deserts, high plateaus or frozen lands of Antarctica. During various NASA missions, tafoni were also identified on rock formations on Mars. Comparative study of the environmental conditions leading to the formation of tafoni on Earth and Mars can help explain past and present surface erosion mechanisms on the Red Planet. The mechanisms responsible for tafoni formation on Earth include wind erosion, exfoliation, frost shattering, and, in the majority of cases, salt weathering. Microclimate variations of temperature, evaporation of salt water, disaggregation of mineral grains, as well as sandblasting, are among most common contributors that initiate the pitting of the rock surface, giving way to further development of tafoni alveoli, cavities and other erosion patterns. Dissolution of calcium carbonates and siliceous cements, or hydration of feldspars, are representative examples of tafoni erosion involving rain water, sea water or air moisture. Live organisms and biochemical processes are significant contributors to the formation and evolution of tafoni, especially in humid or water reach environments. In many instances, tafoni reflect erosion mechanism specific to environmental conditions

  18. Precision Landing and Hazard Avoidance Doman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Edward A.; Carson, John M., III

    2016-01-01

    The Precision Landing and Hazard Avoidance (PL&HA) domain addresses the development, integration, testing, and spaceflight infusion of sensing, processing, and GN&C functions critical to the success and safety of future human and robotic exploration missions. PL&HA sensors also have applications to other mission events, such as rendezvous and docking. Autonomous PL&HA builds upon the core GN&C capabilities developed to enable soft, controlled landings on the Moon, Mars, and other solar system bodies. Through the addition of a Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) function, precision landing within tens of meters of a map-based target is possible. The addition of a 3-D terrain mapping lidar sensor improves the probability of a safe landing via autonomous, real-time Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA). PL&HA significantly improves the probability of mission success and enhances access to sites of scientific interest located in challenging terrain. PL&HA can also utilize external navigation aids, such as navigation satellites and surface beacons. Advanced Lidar Sensors High precision ranging, velocimetry, and 3-D terrain mapping Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) TRN compares onboard reconnaissance data with real-time terrain imaging data to update the S/C position estimate Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) Generates a high-resolution, 3-D terrain map in real-time during the approach trajectory to identify safe landing targets Inertial Navigation During Terminal Descent High precision surface relative sensors enable accurate inertial navigation during terminal descent and a tightly controlled touchdown within meters of the selected safe landing target.

  19. 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?.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Changes in stress hormones and metabolism during a 105-day simulated Mars mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strollo, Felice; Vassilieva, Galina; Ruscica, Massimiliano; Masini, Mariangela; Santucci, Daniela; Borgia, Luisa; Magni, Paolo; Celotti, Fabio; Nikiporuc, Igor

    2014-08-01

    The Mars-105 project was aimed at simulating crew's activities, workload, and communication during a mission to Mars, evaluating the homeostatic adaptations to prolonged confinement and cohabitation. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and insulin, C-peptide, leptin, cortisol, and NGF and BDNF plasma levels were monitored in six healthy nonsmoking male subjects taking part in a 105-d Mars mission simulation. Samples were collected from each subject before (0 wk), during (2.5 wk; 5 wk; 10 wk; 15 wk), and after confinement (+1 wk). Confinement resulted in impaired glucometabolic parameters, since FPG increased during the first 5 wk (baseline: 85.2 ± 10.8 mg · dl⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 98.4 ± 4.7 mg · dl⁻¹; 5 wk: 92.5 ± 6.0 mg · dl⁻¹) and insulin dropped at 2.5 wk (baseline: 14.4 ± 4.8 mU · L⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 7.7 ± 2.1 mU · L⁻¹), subsequently returning to baseline values. HOMA-IR paralleled plasma insulin, dropping to 1.8 ± 0.5 at 2.5 wk (baseline: 3.0 ± 1.2). At all time-points tested, plasma leptin levels were decreased (baseline: 4.4 ± 3.3 ng · dl⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 1.6 ± 1.2 ng · dl⁻¹; 5 wk: 1.3 ± 0.8 ng · dl⁻¹; 10 wk: 1.5 ± 1.1 ng · dl⁻¹; 15 wk:1.7 ± 0.8 ng · dl⁻¹), whereas cortisol levels were increased (baseline: 10.8 ± 4.9 ng · dl⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 16.8 ± 3.5 ng · dl⁻¹; 5 wk: 18.1 ± 7.6 ng · dl⁻¹; 10 wk: 18.1 ± 8.3 ng · dl⁻¹; 15 wk:14.2 ± 4.4 ng · dl⁻¹), resulting in a negative correlation between these hormones. BDNF levels increased only at 5 and 10 wk (baseline: 67.1 ± 36.0 pg · ml⁻¹; 5 wk: 164 ± 54 pg · ml⁻¹; and 10 wk: 110.2 ± 28.9 pg · ml⁻¹). The data obtained with the Mars-105 experiment suggest that environmental stress has a strong impact upon metabolic and stress response, indicating the need for further studies and the implementation of specific countermeasures.

  4. Space radiation protection: Destination Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durante, Marco

    2014-04-01

    National space agencies are planning a human mission to Mars in the XXI century. Space radiation is generally acknowledged as a potential showstopper for this mission for two reasons: a) high uncertainty on the risk of radiation-induced morbidity, and b) lack of simple countermeasures to reduce the exposure. The need for radiation exposure mitigation tools in a mission to Mars is supported by the recent measurements of the radiation field on the Mars Science Laboratory. Shielding is the simplest physical countermeasure, but the current materials provide poor reduction of the dose deposited by high-energy cosmic rays. Accelerator-based tests of new materials can be used to assess additional protection in the spacecraft. Active shielding is very promising, but as yet not applicable in practical cases. Several studies are developing technologies based on superconducting magnetic fields in space. Reducing the transit time to Mars is arguably the best solution but novel nuclear thermal-electric propulsion systems also seem to be far from practical realization. It is likely that the first mission to Mars will employ a combination of these options to reduce radiation exposure. Copyright © 2014 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. An analytical guidance law of planetary landing mission by minimizing the control effort expenditure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Afshari, Hamed Hossein; Novinzadeh, Alireza Basohbat; Roshanian, Jafar

    2009-01-01

    An optimal trajectory design of a module for the planetary landing problem is achieved by minimizing the control effort expenditure. Using the calculus of variations theorem, the control variable is expressed as a function of costate variables, and the problem is converted into a two-point boundary-value problem. To solve this problem, the performance measure is approximated by employing a trigonometric series and subsequently, the optimal control and state trajectories are determined. To validate the accuracy of the proposed solution, a numerical method of the steepest descent is utilized. The main objective of this paper is to present a novel analytic guidance law of the planetary landing mission by optimizing the control effort expenditure. Finally, an example of a lunar landing mission is demonstrated to examine the results of this solution in practical situations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Dust devil track survey at Elysium Planitia, Mars: Implications for the InSight landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Dennis; Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2016-03-01

    The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) robotic lander is scheduled to land in Elysium Planitia on Mars in September 2016. InSight will perform the first comprehensive surface-based geophysical investigation including seismic measurements. Knowledge about encounter rates of dust devils with the InSight lander are important for two main reasons: (1) dust devils will affect the scientific measurements, i.e., wind-induced seismic noise, and (2) the power-supply of the InSight lander and instruments is provided by solar arrays and previous landers and rovers on Mars were affected by a steady decline in electrical power output due to atmospheric dust deposition on the solar panels. Long term science operations were only made possible by dust clearing events of the solar arrays caused by wind gusts and dust devils. In this study we analyzed dust devil tracks (DDTs) at the final InSight landing site region in Elysium Planitia. Formation of DDTs is caused by the removal of a layer of dust by passing dust devils, hence in principle the same process as clearing of dust from solar panels. We mapped the number, size (width and length), and orientation of DDTs in repeat observations using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images covering the exact same surface area acquired within a relatively short time span (solar panel clearing recurrence interval estimate of ∼11 Mars years using the mean annual DDT formation rate, and the mean DDT width and length from all measured DDTs. Due to several uncertainties this solar panel clearing recurrence interval for the InSight landing should be seen as an upper limit estimate.

  9. Modelling of EISS GPR's electrical and magnetic antennas for ExoMars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biancheri-Astier, M.; Ciarletti, V.; Reineix, A.; Corbel, C.; Dolon, F.; Simon, Y.; Caudoux, C.; Lapauw, L.; Berthelier, Jj.; Ney, R.

    2009-04-01

    Despite several past and present missions to Mars, very little information is available on its subsurface. One of the scientific objectives of the European ExoMars mission (ESA) is to characterize the water / geochemical environment as a function of depth and investigate the planet subsurface to better understand the evolution and habitability of the planet. The electromagnetic survey of subsurface will provide a nondestructive way to probe the subsurface and look for potential deep liquid water reservoirs. The LATMOS (ex CETP) is currently developing a ground penetrating radar (GPR) called EISS "Electromagnetic Investigation of the Sub Surface", which is a enhanced version of the TAPIR "Terrestrial and Planetary Imaging Radar", developed in the frame of the Netlander mission cancelled in 2004. The GPR main objective is to perform sounding of the sub-surface down to kilometric depth. EISS is an impulse GPR operating, from the Martian surface, at HF frequencies (~ 2-4MHz) with a wide bandwidth (100kHz-5MHz). EISS can operate in four modes: impedance measurement, mono and bi-static survey, passive mode. The EISS innovative concept is based on the use of the fixed station (Lander) and mobile rover to conduct subsurface surveys of the area visited by the Rover. The work at HF frequencies, EISS uses a half-wave resistively loaded dipole electrical antenna i.e. two monopoles 35 meters long each to transmit (and also receive in mono-static mode) the signal. The resistive profile of the antenna follows a Wu-King profile which is optimized to transmit the pulse without noticeable distortion and avoid ringing. The two monopoles will be deployed in roughly opposite directions on the surface of Mars. The exact value of the direction of deployment for each monopole will be chosen in order to minimize the contact with the Lander structure, avoid obstacles and the solar panels still ensuring a good coverage of the whole area. In bi-static mode, the signal is received with a small

  10. MetBaro - Pressure Instrument for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    As the nation embarks on a new and bold journey to Mars, significant work is being done to determine what that mission and those architectural elements will look like. The Evolvable Mars Campaign, or EMC, is being evaluated as a potential approach to getting humans to Mars. Built on the premise of leveraging current technology investments and maximizing element commonality to reduce cost and development schedule, the EMC transportation architecture is focused on developing the elements required to move crew and equipment to Mars as efficiently and effectively as possible both from a performance and a programmatic standpoint. Over the last 18 months the team has been evaluating potential options for those transportation elements. One of the key aspects of the EMC is leveraging investments being made today in missions like the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) mission using derived versions of the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) propulsion systems and coupling them with other chemical propulsion elements that maximize commonality across the architecture between both transportation and Mars operations elements. This paper outlines the broad trade space being evaluated including the different technologies being assessed for transportation elements and how those elements are assembled into an architecture. Impacts to potential operational scenarios at Mars are also investigated. Trades are being made on the size and power level of the SEP vehicle for delivering cargo as well as the size of the chemical propulsion systems and various mission aspects including Inspace assembly and sequencing. Maximizing payload delivery to Mars with the SEP vehicle will better support the operational scenarios at Mars by enabling the delivery of landers and habitation elements that are appropriately sized for the mission. The purpose of this investigation is not to find the solution but rather a suite of solutions with potential application to the challenge of sending cargo and crew to Mars

  13. 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

  14. Observations of Crew Dynamics during Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation reviews the crew dynamics during two simulations of Mars Missions. Using an analog of a Mars habitat in two locations, Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) which is located on Devon Island at 75 deg North in the Canadian Arctic, and the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) which is located in the south of Utah, the presentation examines the crew dynamics in relation to the leadership style of the commander of the mission. The difference in the interaction of the two crews were shown to be related to the leadership style and the age group in the crew. As much as possible the habitats and environment was to resemble a Mars outpost. The difference between the International Space Station and a Mars missions is reviewed. The leadership styles are reviewed and the contrast between the FMARS and the MDRS leadership styles were related to crew productivity, and the personal interactions between the crew members. It became evident that leadership styles and interpersonal skill had more affect on mission success and crew dynamics than other characteristics.

  15. 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.

  16. Model for Volatile Incorporation into Soils and Dust on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

    Martian soils with high content of compounds of sulfur and chlorine are ubiquitous on Mars, having been found at all five landing sites. Sulfate and chloride salts are implicated by a variety of evidence, but few conclusive specific identifications have been made. Discovery of jarosite and Mg-Ca sulfates in outcrops at Meridiani Planum (MER mission) and regional-scale beds of kieserite and gypsum (Mars Express mission) notwithstanding, the sulfates in soils are uncertain. Chlorides or other Cl-containing minerals have not been uniquely identified directly by any method. Viking and Pathfinder missions found trends in the elemental analytical data consistent with MgSO4, but Viking results are biased by duricrust samples and Pathfinder by soil contamination of rock surfaces. The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) missions have taken extensive data on soils with no confirmation of trends implicating any particular cation. In our model of martian dust and soil, the S and Cl are initially incorporated by condensation or chemisorption on grains directly from gas phase molecules in the atmosphere. It is shown by modeling that the coatings thus formed cannot quantitatively explain the apparent elemental composition of these materials, and therefore involve the migration of ions and formation of microscopic weathering rinds. Original cation inventories of unweathered particles are isochemically conserved. Exposed rock surfaces should also have micro rinds, depending upon the length of time of exposure. Martian soils may therefore have unusual chemical properties when interacting with aqueous layers or infused fluids. Potential ramifications to the quantitative accuracy of x-ray fluorescence and Moessbauer spectroscopy on unprocessed samples are also assessed.

  17. 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.

  18. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  2. (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

  3. 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.

  4. PDS4 vs PDS3 - A Comparison of PDS Data for Two Mars Rovers - Existing Mars Curiosity Mission Mass Spectrometer (SAM) PDS3 Data vs Future ExoMars Rover Mass Spectrometer (MOMA) PDS4 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyness, E.; Franz, H. B.; Prats, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument is a suite of instruments on Mars aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Centered on a mass spectrometer, SAM delivers its data to the PDS Atmosphere's node in PDS3 format. Over five years on Mars the process of operating SAM has evolved and extended significantly from the plan in place at the time the PDS3 delivery specification was written. For instance, SAM commonly receives double or even triple sample aliquots from the rover's drill. SAM also stores samples in spare cups for long periods of time for future analysis. These unanticipated operational changes mean that the PDS data deliveries are absent some valuable metadata without which the data can be confusing. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) instrument is another suite of instruments centered on a mass spectrometer bound for Mars. MOMA is part of the European ExoMars rover mission schedule to arrive on Mars in 2021. While SAM and MOMA differ in some important scientific ways - MOMA uses an linear ion trap compared to the SAM quadropole mass spectrometer and MOMA has a laser desorption experiment that SAM lacks - the data content from the PDS point of view is comparable. Both instruments produce data containing mass spectra acquired from solid samples collected on the surface of Mars. The MOMA PDS delivery will make use of PDS4 improvements to provide a metadata context to the data. The MOMA PDS4 specification makes few assumptions of the operational processes. Instead it provides a means for the MOMA operators to provide the important contextual metadata that was unanticipated during specification development. Further, the software tools being developed for instrument operators will provide a means for the operators to add this crucial metadata at the time it is best know - during operations.

  5. TMBM: Tethered Micro-Balloons on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. Assessing Habitability: Lessons from the Phoenix Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2013-01-01

    various regions visited to date on Mars that involved computing a habitability probability, defined as the product of probabilities for the presence of liquid water (P(sub lw)), energy (P(sub e)), nutrients (P(sub ch)), and a benign environment (P(sub b)). Using this formalism, they argued that the Phoenix site was the most habitable of any site visited to date by landed missions and warranted a follow up mission to search for modern evidence of life. This paper will review that conclusion in view of more recent information from the Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Science Lander missions.

  7. First Sample Delivery to Mars Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Robotic Arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has just delivered the first sample of dug-up soil to the spacecraft's microscope station in this image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager during the mission's Sol 17 (June 12), or 17th Martian day after landing. The scoop is positioned above the box containing key parts of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, instrument suite. It has sprinkled a small amount of soil into a notch in the MECA box where the microscope's sample wheel is exposed. The wheel turns to present sample particles on various substrates to the Optical Microscope for viewing. The scoop is about 8.5 centimeters (3.3 inches) wide. The top of the MECA box is 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) wide. This image has been lightened to make details more visible. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  8. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science