WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars lander performed

  1. 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...

  2. Mars Solar Balloon Lander, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Solar Balloon Lander (MSBL) is a novel concept which utilizes the capability of solar-heated hot air balloons to perform soft landings of scientific...

  3. The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert; Shiraishi, Lori; Robinson, Matthew; Carsten, Joseph; Volpe, Richard; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Chu, P. C.; Wilson, J. J.; Davis, K. R.

    2009-01-01

    The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm (RA) has operated for over 150 sols since the Lander touched down on the north polar region of Mars on May 25, 2008. During its mission it has dug numerous trenches in the Martian regolith, acquired samples of Martian dry and icy soil, and delivered them to the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) and the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The RA inserted the Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) into the Martian regolith and positioned it at various heights above the surface for relative humidity measurements. The RA was used to point the Robotic Arm Camera to take images of the surface, trenches, samples within the scoop, and other objects of scientific interest within its workspace. Data from the RA sensors during trenching, scraping, and trench cave-in experiments have been used to infer mechanical properties of the Martian soil. This paper describes the design and operations of the RA as a critical component of the Phoenix Mars Lander necessary to achieve the scientific goals of the mission.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. One Mars year: viking lander imaging observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, K L; Arvidson, R E; Guinness, E A; Bragg, S L; Wall, S D; Carlston, C E; Pidek, D G

    1979-05-25

    Throughout the complete Mars year during which they have been on the planet, the imaging systems aboard the two Viking landers have documented a variety of surface changes. Surface condensates, consisting of both solid H(2)O and CO(2), formed at the Viking 2 lander site during the winter. Additional observations suggest that surface erosion rates due to dust redistribution may be substantially less than those predicted on the basis of pre-Viking observations. The Viking 1 lander will continue to acquire and transmit a predetermined sequence of imaging and meteorology data as long as it is operative.

  10. 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.

  11. Viking lander tracking contributions to Mars mapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael, W.H. Jr.

    1979-01-01

    The major recent advances in planetary mapping have been accomplished through use of photography from orbiting satellites, as is the case for Mars with Mariner and Viking photographs. The requirement for greater precision demands that inputs to the photogrammatic process be more precisely defined. This paper describes how analyses of Doppler and ranging data from the Viking landers are contributing to more precise mapping of Mars in several specific areas. (Auth.)

  12. 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).

  13. A Wind Tunnel Study on the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) Lander Descent Pressure Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, J. Francisco; Coquilla, Rachael V.; Wilson, Gregory R.; Seiff, Alvin; Rivell, Tomas

    2001-01-01

    The primary focus of this study was to determine the accuracy of the Mars Pathfinder lander local pressure readings in accordance with the actual ambient atmospheric pressures of Mars during parachute descent. In order to obtain good measurements, the plane of the lander pressure sensor opening should ideally be situated so that it is parallel to the freestream. However, due to two unfavorable conditions, the sensor was positioned in locations where correction factors are required. One of these disadvantages is due to the fact that the parachute attachment point rotated the lander's center of gravity forcing the location of the pressure sensor opening to be off tangent to the freestream. The second and most troublesome factor was that the lander descends with slight oscillations that could vary the amplitude of the sensor readings. In order to accurately map the correction factors required at each sensor position, an experiment simulating the lander descent was conducted in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. Using a 115 scale model at Earth ambient pressures, the test settings provided the necessary Reynolds number conditions in which the actual lander was possibly subjected to during the descent. In the analysis and results of this experiment, the readings from the lander sensor were converted to the form of pressure coefficients. With a contour map of pressure coefficients at each lander oscillatory position, this report will provide a guideline to determine the correction factors required for the Mars Pathfinder lander descent pressure sensor readings.

  14. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The robotic arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander slid a rock out of the way during the mission's 117th Martian day (Sept. 22, 2008) to gain access to soil that had been underneath the rock.The lander's Surface Stereo Imager took the two images for this stereo view later the same day, showing the rock, called 'Headless,' after the arm pushed it about 40 centimeters (16 inches) from its previous location. 'The rock ended up exactly where we intended it to,' said Matt Robinson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, robotic arm flight software lead for the Phoenix team. The arm had enlarged the trench near Headless two days earlier in preparation for sliding the rock into the trench. The trench was dug to about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) deep. The ground surface between the rock's prior position and the lip of the trench had a slope of about 3 degrees downward toward the trench. Headless is about the size and shape of a VHS videotape. The Phoenix science team sought to move the rock in order to study the soil and the depth to subsurface ice underneath where the rock had been. This image was taken at about 12:30 p.m., local solar time on Mars. The view is to the north northeast of the lander. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. The surface of Mars: the view from the viking 2 lander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutch, T A; Grenander, S U; Jones, K L; Patterson, W; Arvidson, R E; Guinness, E A; Avrin, P; Carlston, C E; Binder, A B; Sagan, C; Dunham, E W; Fox, P L; Pieri, D C; Huck, F O; Rowland, C W; Taylor, G R; Wall, S D; Kahn, R; Levinthal, E C; Liebes, S; Tucker, R B; Morris, E C; Pollack, J B; Saunders, R S; Wolf, M R

    1976-12-11

    Viking 2 lander began imaging the surface of Mars at Utopia Planitia on 3 September 1976. The surface is a boulder-strewn reddish desert cut by troughs that probably form a polygonal network. A plateau can be seen to the east of the spacecraft, which for the most probable lander location is approximately the direction of a tongue of ejecta from the crater Mie. Boulders at the lander 2 site are generally more vesicular than those near lander i. Fines at both lander sites appear to be very fine-grained and to be bound in a duricrust. The pinkish color of the sky, similar to that observed at the lander I site, indicates suspension of surface material. However, the atmospheric optical depth is less than that at the lander I site. After dissipation of a cloud of dust stirred during landing, no changes other than those stemming from sampling activities have been detected in the landscape. No signs of large organisms are apparent at either landing site.

  18. The surface of Mars - The view from the Viking 2 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutch, T. A.; Grenander, S. U.; Jones, K. L.; Patterson, W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Guinness, E. A.; Avrin, P.; Carlston, C. E.; Binder, A. B.; Sagan, C.

    1976-01-01

    Viking 2 lander began imaging the surface of Mars at Utopia Planitia on September 3, 1976. The surface is a boulder-strewn reddish desert cut by troughs that probably form a polygonal network. A plateau can be seen to the east of the spacecraft, which for the most probable lander location is approximately the dirction of a tongue of ejecta from the crater Mie. Boulders at the lander 2 site are generally more vesicular than those near lander 1. Fines at both lander sites appear to be very fine-grained and to be bound in a duricrust. The pinkish color of the sky, similar to that observed at the lander 1 site, indicates suspension of surface material. However, the atmospheric optical depth is less than that at the lander 1 site. After dissipation of a cloud of dust stirred during landing, no changes other than those stemming from sampling activities have been detected in the landscape. No signs of large organisms are apparent at either landing site.

  19. Brake Failure from Residual Magnetism in the Mars Exploration Rover Lander Petal Actuator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft arrived at Mars. Each safely delivered an identical rover to the Martian surface in a tetrahedral lander encased in airbags. Upon landing, the airbags deflated and three Lander Petal Actuators opened the three deployable Lander side petals enabling the rover to exit the Lander. Approximately nine weeks prior to the scheduled launch of the first spacecraft, one of these mission-critical Lander Petal Actuators exhibited a brake stuck-open failure during its final flight stow at Kennedy Space Center. Residual magnetism was the definitive conclusion from the failure investigation. Although residual magnetism was recognized as an issue in the design, the lack of an appropriately specified lower bound on brake drop-out voltage inhibited the discovery of this problem earlier in the program. In addition, the brakes had more unit-to-unit variation in drop-out voltage than expected, likely due to a larger than expected variation in the magnetic properties of the 15-5 PH stainless steel brake plates. Failure analysis and subsequent rework of two other Lander Petal Actuators with marginal brakes was completed in three weeks, causing no impact to the launch date.

  20. Relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander: from Areocentric Coordinate Time to Barycentric Coordinate Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-Zheng; Xu, De-Wang; Yu, Qing-Shan; Liu, Jie; Xie, Yi

    2017-08-01

    As the second step of relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander, we investigate the transformation between Areocentric Coordinate Time (TCA) and Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB) in the framework of IAU Resolutions. TCA is a local time scale for Mars, which is analogous to the Geocentric Coordinate Time (TCG) for Earth. This transformation has two parts: contributions associated with gravitational bodies and those depending on the position of the lander. After setting the instability of an onboard clock to 10-13 and considering that the uncertainty in time is about 3.2 microseconds after one Earth year, we find that the contributions of the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the leading term associated with these bodies can reach a level exceeding the threshold and must be taken into account. Other terms can be safely ignored in this transformation for a Mars lander.

  1. Mars' rotational state and tidal deformations from radio interferometry of a network of landers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iess, L.; Giuliani, S.; Dehant, V.

    2012-04-01

    The precise determination of the rotational state of solar system bodies is one of the main tools to investigate their interior structure. Unfortunately the accuracies required for geophysical interpretations are very stringent, and generally unattainable from orbit using optical or radar tracking of surface landmarks. Radio tracking of a lander from ground or from a spacecraft orbiting the planet offers substantial improvements, especially if the lander lifetime is adequately long. The optimal configuration is however attained when two or more landers can be simultaneously tracked from a ground antenna in an interferometric mode. ESA has been considering a network of landers on Mars since many years, and recently this concept has been revived by the study of the Mars Network Science Mission (MNSM). The scientific rationale of MNSM is the investigation of the Mars' interior and atmosphere by means of a network of two or three landers, making it especially suitable for interferometric observations. In order to synthesize an interferometer, the MNSN landers must be tracked simultaneously from a single ground antenna in a coherent two-way mode. The uplink radio signal (at X- or Ka-band) is received by the landers' transponders and retransmitted to ground in the same frequency band. The signals received at ground station are then recorded (typically at few tens of kHz) and beaten against each other to form the output of the interferometer, a complex phasor. The differential phase retain information on Mars' rotational parameters and tidal deformations. A crucial aspect of the interferometric configuration is the rejection of common noise and error sources. Errors in the station location, Earth orientation parameters and ephemerides, path delays due to the Earth troposphere and ionosphere, and, to a good extent, interplanetary plasma are cancelled out. The main residual errors are due to differential path delays from Mars' atmosphere and differential drifts of the

  2. 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.

  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. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm, Stereo View

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The robotic arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander slid a rock out of the way during the mission's 117th Martian day (Sept. 22, 2008) to gain access to soil that had been underneath the rock.The lander's Surface Stereo Imager took the two images for this stereo view later the same day, showing the rock, called 'Headless,' after the arm pushed it about 40 centimeters (16 inches) from its previous location. 'The rock ended up exactly where we intended it to,' said Matt Robinson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, robotic arm flight software lead for the Phoenix team. The arm had enlarged the trench near Headless two days earlier in preparation for sliding the rock into the trench. The trench was dug to about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) deep. The ground surface between the rock's prior position and the lip of the trench had a slope of about 3 degrees downward toward the trench. Headless is about the size and shape of a VHS videotape. The Phoenix science team sought to move the rock in order to study the soil and the depth to subsurface ice underneath where the rock had been. This left-eye and right-eye images for this stereo view were taken at about 12:30 p.m., local solar time on Mars. The scene appears three-dimensional when seen through blue-red glasses.The view is to the north northeast of the lander. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. MetHumi - Humidity Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  9. The InSight Mars Lander and Its Effect on the Subsurface Thermal Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegler, Matthew A.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.; Grott, Matthias; Piqueux, Sylvain; Mueller, Nils; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Spohn, Tilman

    2017-10-01

    The 2018 InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Mission has the mission goal of providing insitu data for the first measurement of the geothermal heat flow of Mars. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) will take thermal conductivity and thermal gradient measurements to approximately 5 m depth. By necessity, this measurement will be made within a few meters of the lander. This means that thermal perturbations from the lander will modify local surface and subsurface temperature measurements. For HP3's sensitive thermal gradient measurements, this spacecraft influence will be important to model and parameterize. Here we present a basic 3D model of thermal effects of the lander on its surroundings. Though lander perturbations significantly alter subsurface temperatures, a successful thermal gradient measurement will be possible in all thermal conditions by proper (>3 m depth) placement of the heat flow probe.

  10. Sustaining Human Presence on Mars Using ISRU and a Reusable Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Dale C.; Jones, Christopher A.; Klovstad, Jordan J.; Komar, D.R.; Earle, Kevin; Moses, Robert; Shyface, Hilary R.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the impact of ISRU (In-Site Resource Utilization), reusability, and automation on sustaining a human presence on Mars, requiring a transition from Earth dependence to Earth independence. The study analyzes the surface and transportation architectures and compared campaigns that revealed the importance of ISRU and reusability. A reusable Mars lander, Hercules, eliminates the need to deliver a new descent and ascent stage with each cargo and crew delivery to Mars, reducing the mass delivered from Earth. As part of an evolvable transportation architecture, this investment is key to enabling continuous human presence on Mars. The extensive use of ISRU reduces the logistics supply chain from Earth in order to support population growth at Mars. Reliable and autonomous systems, in conjunction with robotics, are required to enable ISRU architectures as systems must operate and maintain themselves while the crew is not present. A comparison of Mars campaigns is presented to show the impact of adding these investments and their ability to contribute to sustaining a human presence on Mars.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. Ionizing radiation test results for an automotive microcontroller on board the Schiaparelli Mars lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapani Nikkanen, Timo; Hieta, Maria; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Haukka, Harri; Harri, Ari-Matti

    2016-04-01

    The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has delivered a pressure and a humidity instrument for the ESA ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli lander mission. Schiaparelli is scheduled to launch towards Mars with the Trace Gas Orbiter on 14th of March 2016. The DREAMS-P (pressure) and DREAMS-H (Humidity) instruments are operated utilizing a novel FMI instrument controller design based on a commercial automotive microcontroller (MCU). A custom qualification program was implemented to qualify the MCU for the relevant launch, cruise and surface operations environment of a Mars lander. Resilience to ionizing radiation is one of the most critical requirements for a digital component operated in space or at planetary bodies. Thus, the expected Total Ionizing Dose accumulated by the MCU was determined and a sample of these components was exposed to a Co-60 gamma radiation source. Part of the samples was powered during the radiation exposure to include the effect of electrical biasing. All of the samples were verified to withstand the expected total ionizing dose with margin. The irradiated test samples were then radiated until failure to determine their ultimate TID.

  15. Viking Lander Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Viking Project found a place in history when it became the first mission to land a spacecraft successfully on the surface of another planet and return both imaging and non-imaging data over an extended time period. Two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter, were built. Each orbiter-lander pair flew together and entered Mars orbit; the landers then separated and descended to the planet's surface. The Viking 1 Lander touched down on the western slope of Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) on July 20, 1976, while the Viking 2 lander settled down at Utopia Planitia on September 3, 1976. Besides taking photographs and collecting other science data on the Martian surface, the two landers conducted three biology experiments designed to look for possible signs of life. These experiments discovered unexpected and enigmatic chemical activity in the Martian soil, but provided no clear evidence for the presence of living microorganisms in soil near the landing sites. According to scientists, Mars is self-sterilizing. They believe the combination of solar ultraviolet radiation that saturates the surface, the extreme dryness of the soil and the oxidizing nature of the soil chemistry prevent the formation of living organisms in the Martian soil. The Viking mission was planned to continue for 90 days after landing. Each orbiter and lander operated far beyond its design lifetime. Viking Orbiter 1 functioned until July 25, 1978, while Viking Orbiter 2 continued for four years and 1,489 orbits of Mars, concluding its mission August 7, 1980. Because of the variations in available sunlight, both landers were powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators -- devices that create electricity from heat given off by the natural decay of plutonium. That power source allowed long-term science investigations that otherwise would not have been possible. The last data from Viking Lander 2 arrived at Earth on April 11, 1980. Viking Lander 1 made its final

  16. Planetary Seismology : Lander- and Wind-Induced Seismic Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Ralph

    2016-10-01

    Seismic measurements are of interest for future geophysical exploration of ocean worlds such as Europa or Titan, as well as Venus, Mars and the Moon. Even when a seismometer is deployed away from a lander (as in the case of Apollo) lander-generated disturbances are apparent. Such signatures may be usefully diagnostic of lander operations (at least for outreach), and may serve as seismic excitation for near-field propagation studies. The introduction of these 'spurious' events may also influence the performance of event detection and data compression algorithms.Examples of signatures in the Viking 2 seismometer record of lander mechanism operations are presented. The coherence of Viking seismometer noise levels and wind forcing is well-established : some detailed examples are examined. Wind noise is likely to be significant on future Mars missions such as InSight, as well as on Titan and Venus.

  17. Combined Instrumentation Package COMARS+ for the ExoMars Schiaparelli Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gülhan, Ali; Thiele, Thomas; Siebe, Frank; Kronen, Rolf

    2018-02-01

    In order to measure aerothermal parameters on the back cover of the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander the instrumentation package COMARS+ was developed by DLR. Consisting of three combined aerothermal sensors, one broadband radiometer sensor and an electronic box the payload provides important data for future missions. The aerothermal sensors called COMARS combine four discrete sensors measuring static pressure, total heat flux, temperature and radiative heat flux at two specific spectral bands. The infrared radiation in a broadband spectral range is measured by the separate broadband radiometer sensor. The electronic box of the payload is used for amplification, conditioning and multiplexing of the sensor signals. The design of the payload was mainly carried out using numerical tools including structural analyses, to simulate the main mechanical loads which occur during launch and stage separation, and thermal analyses to simulate the temperature environment during cruise phase and Mars entry. To validate the design an extensive qualification test campaign was conducted on a set of qualification models. The tests included vibration and shock tests to simulate launch loads and stage separation shocks. Thermal tests under vacuum condition were performed to simulate the thermal environment of the capsule during the different flight phases. Furthermore electromagnetic compatibility tests were conducted to check that the payload is compatible with the electromagnetic environment of the capsule and does not emit electromagnetic energy that could cause electromagnetic interference in other devices. For the sensor heads located on the ExoMars back cover radiation tests were carried out to verify their radiation hardness. Finally the bioburden reduction process was demonstrated on the qualification hardware to show the compliance with the planetary protection requirements. To test the actual heat flux, pressure and infrared radiation measurement under representative conditions

  18. Space qualification of an automotive microcontroller for the DREAMS-P/H pressure and humidity instrument on board the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikkanen, T.; Schmidt, W.; Harri, A.-M.; Genzer, M.; Hieta, M.; Haukka, H.; Kemppinen, O.

    2015-10-01

    Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has developed a novel kind of pressure and humidity instrument for the Schiaparelli Mars lander, which is a part of the ExoMars 2016 mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) [1]. The DREAMS-P pressure instrument and DREAMS-H humidity instrument are part of the DREAMS science package on board the lander. DREAMS-P (seen in Fig. 1 and DREAMS-H were evolved from earlier planetary pressure and humidity instrument designs by FMI with a completely redesigned control and data unit. Instead of using the conventional approach of utilizing a space grade processor component, a commercial off the shelf microcontroller was selected for handling the pressure and humidity measurements. The new controller is based on the Freescale MC9S12XEP100 16-bit automotive microcontroller. Coordinated by FMI, a batch of these microcontroller units (MCUs) went through a custom qualification process in order to accept the component for spaceflight on board a Mars lander.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  20. Surface of Mars: the view from the Viking 1 lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mutch, T.A.; Binder, A.B.; Huck, F.O.; Levinthal, E.C.; Liebes, S. Jr.; Morris, E.C.; Patterson, W.R.; Pollack, J.B.; Sagan, C.; Taylor, G.R.

    1976-01-01

    The first photographs ever returned from the surface of Mars were obtained by two facsimile cameras aboard the Viking 1 lander, including black-and-white and color, 0.12 0 and 0.04 0 resolution, and monoscopic and stereoscopic images. The surface, on the western slopes of Chryse Planitia, is a boulder-strewn deeply reddish desert, with distant eminences--some of which may be the rims of impact craters--surmounted by a pink sky. Both impact and aeolian processes are evident. After dissipation of a small dust cloud stirred by the landing maneuvers, no subsequent signs of movement were detected on the landscape, and nothing has been observed that is indicative of macroscopic biology at this time and place

  1. Planning and Implementation of Pressure and Humidity Measurements on ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikkanen, T.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Komu, M.; Kemppinen, O.; Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.

    2014-04-01

    The ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli lander offers a platform for meteorological and electric field observations ranging from timescales of seconds to Martian days, or sols. In the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), this opportunity has been used to develop a new type of instrument controller unit for the already flight-proven FMI pressure and humidity instruments. The new controller allows for more flexible and autonomous data acquisition processes and planning than the previous FMI designs.

  2. On the control of magnetic perturbing field onboard landers: the Magnetometer Protection program for the ESA ExoMars/Humboldt MSMO magnetometer experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Menvielle, M.; Primdahl, Fritz; Brauer, Peter

    to planetary research. The major difficulty in implementing a magnetometer experiment onboard a lander is to achieve at acceptable costs a good Magnetometer Protection, namely to control the perturbing magnetic field generated by the lander during operations at the planetary surfa ce, so as to achieve...... scientific payload in the frame of the ESA ExoMars mission. Experience from previous missions constitutes the background for the MSMO Magnetometer Protection strategy. DC and AC lander generated magnetic perturbations are discussed, with particular attention to those related to solar generators. Emphasis...... and very resource consuming....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levri, Julie A.; Perchonok, Michele H.

    2004-01-01

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

  4. The development of sine vibration test requirements for Viking lander capsule components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, S.

    1974-01-01

    In connection with the Viking project for exploring the planet Mars, two identical spacecraft, each consisting of an orbiter and a lander, will be launched in the third quarter of 1975. Upon arrival at the planet, the Viking lander will separate from the Viking orbiter and descend to a soft landing at a selected site on the Mars surface. It was decided to perform a sine vibration test on the Viking spacecraft, in its launch configuration, to qualify it for the booster-induced transient-dynamic environment. It is shown that component-level testing is a cost- and schedule-effective prerequisite to the system-level, sine-vibration test sequences.

  5. Viking Lander 2 Anniversary

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] This portion of a daytime IR image covers the Viking 2 landing site (shown with the X). The second landing on Mars took place September 3, 1976 in Utopia Planitia. The exact location of Lander 2 is not as well established as Lander 1 because there were no clearly identifiable features in the lander images as there were for the site of Lander 1. The Utopia landing site region contains pedestal craters, shallow swales and gentle ridges. The crater Goldstone was named in honor of the Tracking Station in the desert of California. The two Viking Landers operated for over 6 years (nearly four martian years) after landing. This one band IR (band 9 at 12.6 microns) image shows bright and dark textures, which are primarily due to differences in the abundance of rocks on the surface. The relatively cool (dark) regions during the day are rocky or indurated materials, fine sand and dust are warmer (bright). Many of the temperature variations are due to slope effects, with sun-facing slopes warmer than shaded slopes. The dark rings around several of the craters are due to the presence of rocky (cool) material ejected from the crater. These rocks are well below the resolution of any existing Mars camera, but THEMIS can detect the temperature variations they produce. Daytime temperature variations are produced by a combination of topographic (solar heating) and thermophysical (thermal inertia and albedo) effects. Due to topographic heating the surface morphologies seen in THEMIS daytime IR images are similar to those seen in previous imagery and MOLA topography.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be

  6. X-ray proportional counter for the Viking Lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glesius, F.L.; Kroon, J.C.; Castro, A.J.; Clark, B.C.

    1978-01-01

    A set of four sealed proportional counters with optimized energy response is employed in the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer units aboard the two Viking Landers. The instruments have provided quantitative elemental analyses of soil samples taken from the Martian surface. This paper discusses the design and development of these miniature proportional counters, and describes their performance on Mars

  7. Reconciling the Differences between the Measurements of CO2 Isotopes by the Phoenix and MSL Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niles, P. B.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Atreya, S.; Pavlov, A. A.; Trainer, M.; Webster, C. R.; Wong, M.

    2014-01-01

    Precise stable isotope measurements of the CO2 in the martian atmosphere have the potential to provide important constraints for our understanding of the history of volatiles, the carbon cycle, current atmospheric processes, and the degree of water/rock interaction on Mars. There have been several different measurements by landers and Earth based systems performed in recent years that have not been in agreement. In particular, measurements of the isotopic composition of martian atmospheric CO2 by the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) instrument on the Mars Phoenix Lander and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) are in stark disagreement. This work attempts to use measurements of mass 45 and mass 46 of martian atmospheric CO2 by the SAM and TEGA instruments to search for agreement as a first step towards reaching a consensus measurement that might be supported by data from both instruments.

  8. 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.

  9. Photogrammetry of the Viking-Lander imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.S.C.; Schafer, F.J.

    1982-01-01

    We have solved the problem of photogrammetric mapping from the Viking Lander photography in two ways: 1) by converting the azimuth and elevation scanning imagery to the equivalent of a frame picture by means of computerized rectification; and 2) by interfacing a high-speed, general-purpose computer to the AS-11A analytical plotter so that all computations of corrections can be performed in real time during the process of model orientation and map compilation. Examples are presented of photographs and maps of Earth and Mars. -from Authors

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Radio Telescopes to Keep Sharp Eye on Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

    As NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander descends through the Red Planet's atmosphere toward its landing on May 25, its progress will be scrutinized by radio telescopes from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). At NRAO control rooms in Green Bank, West Virginia, and Socorro, New Mexico, scientists, engineers and technicians will be tracking the faint signal from the lander, 171 million miles from Earth. The GBT Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF To make a safe landing, Phoenix must make a risky descent, slowing down from nearly 13,000 mph at the top of the Martian atmosphere to only 5 mph in the final seconds before touchdown. NASA officials point out that fewer than half of all Mars landing missions have been successful, but the scientific rewards of success are worth the risk. Major events in the spacecraft's atmospheric entry, descent and landing will be marked by changes in the Doppler Shift in the frequency of the vehicle's radio signal. Doppler Shift is the change in frequency caused by relative motion between the transmitter and receiver. At Green Bank, NRAO and NASA personnel will use the giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to follow the Doppler changes and verify that the descent is going as planned. The radio signal from Phoenix is designed to be received by other spacecraft in Mars orbit, then relayed to Earth. However, the GBT, a dish antenna with more than two acres of collecting surface and highly-sensitive receivers, can directly receive the transmissions from Phoenix. "We'll see the frequency change as Phoenix slows down in the Martian atmosphere, then there will be a big change when the parachute deploys," said NRAO astronomer Frank Ghigo. When the spacecraft's rocket thrusters slow it down for its final, gentle touchdown, its radio frequency will stabilize, Ghigo said. "We'll have confirmation of these major events through our direct reception several seconds earlier than the controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion

  13. NASA Propulsion Sub-System Concept Studies and Risk Reduction Activities for Resource Prospector Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Huu P.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's exploration roadmap is focused on developing technologies and performing precursor missions to advance the state of the art for eventual human missions to Mars. One of the key components of this roadmap is various robotic missions to Near-Earth Objects, the Moon, and Mars to fill in some of the strategic knowledge gaps. The Resource Prospector (RP) project is one of these robotic precursor activities in the roadmap. RP is a multi-center and multi-institution project to investigate the polar regions of the Moon in search of volatiles. The mission is rated Class D and is approximately 10 days, assuming a five day direct Earth to Moon transfer. Because of the mission cost constraint, a trade study of the propulsion concepts was conducted with a focus on available low-cost hardware for reducing cost in development, while technical risk, system mass, and technology advancement requirements were also taken into consideration. The propulsion system for the lander is composed of a braking stage providing a high thrust to match the lander's velocity with the lunar surface and a lander stage performing the final lunar descent. For the braking stage, liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid methane (LCH4) propulsion systems, derived from the Morpheus experimental lander, and storable bi-propellant systems, including the 4th stage Peacekeeper (PK) propulsion components and Space Shuttle orbital maneuvering engine (OME), and a solid motor were considered for the study. For the lander stage, the trade study included miniaturized Divert Attitude Control System (DACS) thrusters (Missile Defense Agency (MDA) heritage), their enhanced thruster versions, ISE-100 and ISE-5, and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. The lowest cost configuration of using the solid motor and the PK components while meeting the requirements was selected. The reference concept of the lander is shown in Figure 1. In the current reference configuration, the solid stage is the primary provider of delta

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Feasibility of retrieving dust properties and total column water vapor from solar spectra measured using a lander camera on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manago, Naohiro; Noguchi, Katsuyuki; Hashimoto, George L.; Senshu, Hiroki; Otobe, Naohito; Suzuki, Makoto; Kuze, Hiroaki

    2017-12-01

    Dust and water vapor are important constituents in the Martian atmosphere, exerting significant influence on the heat balance of the atmosphere and surface. We have developed a method to retrieve optical and physical properties of Martian dust from spectral intensities of direct and scattered solar radiation to be measured using a multi-wavelength environmental camera onboard a Mars lander. Martian dust is assumed to be composed of silicate-like substrate and hematite-like inclusion, having spheroidal shape with a monomodal gamma size distribution. Error analysis based on simulated data reveals that appropriate combinations of three bands centered at 450, 550, and 675 nm wavelengths and 4 scattering angles of 3°, 10°, 50°, and 120° lead to good retrieval of four dust parameters, namely, aerosol optical depth, effective radius and variance of size distribution, and volume mixing ratio of hematite. Retrieval error increases when some of the observational parameters such as color ratio or aureole are omitted from the retrieval. Also, the capability of retrieving total column water vapor is examined through observations of direct and scattered solar radiation intensities at 925, 935, and 972 nm. The simulation and error analysis presented here will be useful for designing an environmental camera that can elucidate the dust and water vapor properties in a future Mars lander mission.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Moon-Mars simulation campaign in volcanic Eifel: Remote science support and sample analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offringa, Marloes; Foing, Bernard H.; Kamps, Oscar

    2016-07-01

    Moon-Mars analogue missions using a mock-up lander that is part of the ESA/ILEWG ExoGeoLab project were conducted during Eifel field campaigns in 2009, 2015 and 2016 (Foing et al., 2010). In the last EuroMoonMars2016 campaign the lander was used to conduct reconnaissance experiments and in situ geological scientific analysis of samples, with a payload that mainly consisted of a telescope and a UV-VIS reflectance spectrometer. The aim of the campaign was to exhibit possibilities for the ExoGeoLab lander to perform remotely controlled experiments and test its applicability in the field by simulating the interaction with astronauts. The Eifel region in Germany where the experiments with the ExoGeoLab lander were conducted is a Moon-Mars analogue due to its geological setting and volcanic rock composition. The research conducted by analysis equipment on the lander could function in support of Moon-Mars sample return missions, by providing preliminary insight into characteristics of the analyzed samples. The set-up of the prototype lander was that of a telescope with camera and solar power equipment deployed on the top, the UV-VIS reflectance spectrometer together with computers and a sample webcam were situated in the middle compartment and to the side a sample analysis test bench was attached, attainable by astronauts from outside the lander. An alternative light source that illuminated the samples in case of insufficient daylight was placed on top of the lander and functioned on solar power. The telescope, teleoperated from a nearby stationed pressurized transport vehicle that functioned as a base control center, attained an overview of the sampling area and assisted the astronauts in their initial scouting pursuits. Locations of suitable sampling sites based on these obtained images were communicated to the astronauts, before being acquired during a simulated EVA. Sampled rocks and soils were remotely analyzed by the base control center, while the astronauts

  20. 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.

  1. Telltale wind indicator for the Mars Phoenix lander

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Honstein-Rathlou, C.; Merrison, J.P.

    2008-01-01

    The Telltale wind indicator is a mechanical anemometer designed to operate on the Martian surface as part of the meteorological package on the NASA Phoenix lander. It consists of a lightweight cylinder suspended by Kevlar fibers and is deflected under the action of wind. Imaging of the Telltale...

  2. Frost at the Viking Lander 2 Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

    Photo from Viking Lander 2 shows late-winter frost on the ground on Mars around the lander. The view is southeast over the top of Lander 2, and shows patches of frost around dark rocks. The surface is reddish-brown; the dark rocks vary in size from 10 centimeters (four inches) to 76 centimeters (30 inches) in diameter. This picture was obtained Sept. 25, 1977. The frost deposits were detected for the first time 12 Martian days (sols) earlier in a black-and-white image. Color differences between the white frost and the reddish soil confirm that we are observing frost. The Lander Imaging Team is trying to determine if frost deposits routinely form due to cold night temperatures, then disappear during the warmer daytime. Preliminary analysis, however, indicates the frost was on the ground for some time and is disappearing over many days. That suggests to scientists that the frost is not frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) but is more likely a carbon dioxide clathrate (six parts water to one part carbon dioxide). Detailed studies of the frost formation and disappearance, in conjunction with temperature measurements from the lander's meteorology experiment, should be able to confirm or deny that hypothesis, scientists say.

  3. Are the Viking Lander sites representative of the surface of Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.; Christensen, P. R.

    1986-01-01

    Global remote sensing data of the Martian surface, collected by earth- and satellite-based instruments, are compared with data from the two Viking Landers to determine if the Lander data are representative of the Martian surface. The landing sites are boulder-strewn and feature abundant fine material and evidence of strong eolian forces. One site (VL-1) is in a plains-covered basin which is associated with volcanic activity; the VL-2 site is in the northern plains. Thermal IR, broadband albedo, color imaging and radar remote sensing has been carried out of the global Martian surface. The VL-1 data do not fit a general correlation observed between increases in 70-cm radar cross-sections and thermal inertia. A better fit is found with 12.5-cm cross sections, implying the presence of a thinner or discontinuous duricrust at the VL-1 site, compared to other higher-inertia regions. A thin dust layer is also present at the VL-2 site, based on the Lander reflectance data. The Lander sites are concluded to be among the three observed regions of anomalous reflectivity, which can be expected in low regions selected for the landings. Recommendations are furnished for landing sites of future surface probes in order to choose sites more typical of the global Martian surface.

  4. VL1 Digs A Deep Hole On Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

    VIKING LANDER DIGS A DEEP HOLE ON MARS -- This six-inch-deep, 12- inch-wide, 29-inch-long hole was dug Feb. 12 and 14 by Viking Lander 1 as the first sequence in an attempt to reach a foot beneath the surface of the red planet. The activity is in the same area where Lander 1 acquired its first soil samples last July. The trench was dug by repeatedly backhoeing in a left-right-center pattern. The backhoe teeth produced the small parallel ridges at the far end of the trench (upper left). The larger ridges running the length of the trench are material left behind during the backhoe operation. What appears to be small rocks along the ridges and in the soil at the near end of the trench are really small dirt clods. The clods and the steepness of the trench walls indicate the material is cohesive and behaves something like ordinary flour. After a later sequence, to be performed March 1 and 2, a soil sample will be taken from the bottom of the trench for inorganic soil analysis and later for biology analysis. Information about the soil taken from the bottom of the trench may help explain the weathering process on Mars and may help resolve the dilemma created by Viking findings that first suggest but then cast doubt on the possibility of life in the Martian soil. The trench shown here is a result of one of the most complex command sequences yet performed by the lander. Viking l has been operating at Chryse Planitia on Mars since it landed July 20, 1976.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaita, Cesare

    2017-08-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Physical properties of the martian surface from the Viking 1 lander: preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shorthill, R.W.; Hutton, R.E.; Moore, H.J. II; Scott, R.E.; Spitzer, C.R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of the physical properties experiment is to determine the characteristics of the martian ''soil'' based on the use of the Viking lander imaging system, the surface sampler, and engineering sensors. Viking 1 lander made physical contact with the surface of Mars at 11:53:07.1 hours on 20 July 1976 G.M.T. Twenty-five seconds later a high-resolution image sequence of the area around a footpad was started which contained the first information about surface conditions on Mars. The next image is a survey of the martian landscape in front of the lander, including a view of the top support of two of the landing legs. Each leg has a stroke gauge which extends from the top of the leg support an amount equal to the crushing experienced by the shock absorbers during touchdown. Subsequent images provided views of all three stroke gauges which, together with the knowledge of the impact velocity, allow determination of ''soil'' properties. In the images there is evidence of surface erosion from the engines. Several laboratory tests were carried out prior to the mission with a descent engine to determine what surface alterations might occur during a Mars landing. On sol 2 the shroud, which protected the surface sampler collector head from biological contamination, was ejected onto the surface. Later a cylindrical pin which dropped from the boom housing of the surface sampler during the modified unlatching sequence produced a crater (the second Mars penetrometer experiment). These two experiments provided further insight into the physical properties of the martian surface

  14. Structural design of liquid oxygen/liquid methane robotic lander JANUS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaidez, Mariana

    As the attempt to send humans to Mars has gained momentum in the last decade, the need to find alternative propellants that are safer, less toxic, and yields a better performance has become apparent [1]. Liquid methane and oxygen have emerged as a suitable alternative. In addition, the incorporation of liquid methane/liquid oxygen into the propulsion system has demonstrated an increase in engine performance, as well as a reduction in the volume, size and complexity of the propulsion system. In an attempt to further understand the technologies that are possible to develop using liquid oxygen (LO 2) and liquid methane (LCH4), a preliminary design of a robotic lander JANUS is being completed by the Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSTER). The structural design of the vehicle is important because it acts as the skeleton of the vehicle and dictates the maneuverability of the robotic lander. To develop the structure of the robotic lander, six different design vehicle concepts with varying tank configurations were considered. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was completed on each model to optimize each vehicle. Trade studies were completed to choose the best design for JANUS. Upon completion of the trade studies the design for the first prototype of JANUS was initiated in which the tank and thrust modules were designed. This thesis will describe the design process for the structural design of the JANUS.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Development of Prototype Micro-Lidar using Narrow Linewidth Semiconductor Lasers for Mars Boundary Layer Wind and Dust Opacity Profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzies, Robert T.; Cardell, Greg; Chiao, Meng; Esproles, Carlos; Forouhar, Siamak; Hemmati, Hamid; Tratt, David

    1999-01-01

    We have developed a compact Doppler lidar concept which utilizes recent developments in semiconductor diode laser technology in order to be considered suitable for wind and dust opacity profiling in the Mars lower atmosphere from a surface location. The current understanding of the Mars global climate and meteorology is very limited, with only sparse, near-surface data available from the Viking and Mars Pathfinder landers, supplemented by long-range remote sensing of the Martian atmosphere. The in situ measurements from a lander-based Doppler lidar would provide a unique dataset particularly for the boundary layer. The coupling of the radiative properties of the lower atmosphere with the dynamics involves the radiative absorption and scattering effects of the wind-driven dust. Variability in solar irradiance, on diurnal and seasonal time scales, drives vertical mixing and PBL (planetary boundary layer) thickness. The lidar data will also contribute to an understanding of the impact of wind-driven dust on lander and rover operations and lifetime through an improvement in our understanding of Mars climatology. In this paper we discuss the Mars lidar concept, and the development of a laboratory prototype for performance studies, using, local boundary layer and topographic target measurements.

  19. 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.

  20. Hydrogeology of Basins on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, Raymond E.

    2001-01-01

    This document summarizes the work accomplished under NASA Grant NAG5-3870. Emphasis was put on the development of the FIDO rover, a prototype for the twin-Mers which will be operating on the surface of Mars in 2004, specifically the primary work was the analysis of FIDO field trials. The grantees also analyzed VIKING Lander 1 XRFS and Pathfinder APXS data. Results show that the Viking site chemistry is consistent with an andesite, and the Pathfinder site is consistent with a basaltic andesite. The grantees also worked to demonstrate the capability to simulate annealing methods to apply to the inversion of remote sensing data. They performed an initial analyses of Sojourner engineering telemetry and imaging data. They performed initial analyses of Viking Lander Stereo Images, and of Hematite deposits in Terra Meridiani. They also acquired and analyzed the New Goldstone radar data.

  1. 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

  2. Lander Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavers, Greg

    2015-01-01

    Since 2006 NASA has been formulating robotic missions to the lunar surface through programs and projects like the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program, Lunar Precursor Robotic Program, and International Lunar Network. All of these were led by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Due to funding shortfalls, the lunar missions associated with these efforts, the designs, were not completed. From 2010 to 2013, the Robotic Lunar Lander Development Activity was funded by the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) to develop technologies that would enable and enhance robotic lunar surface missions at lower costs. In 2013, a requirements-driven, low-cost robotic lunar lander concept was developed for the Resource Prospector Mission. Beginning in 2014, The Advanced Exploration Systems funded the lander team and established the MSFC, Johnson Space Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team with MSFC leading the project. The lander concept to place a 300-kg rover on the lunar surface has been described in the New Technology Report Case Number MFS-33238-1. A low-cost lander concept for placing a robotic payload on the lunar surface is shown in figures 1 and 2. The NASA lander team has developed several lander concepts using common hardware and software to allow the lander to be configured for a specific mission need. In addition, the team began to transition lander expertise to United States (U.S.) industry to encourage the commercialization of space, specifically the lunar surface. The Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative was started and the NASA lander team listed above is partnering with three competitively selected U.S. companies (Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems, and Moon Express) to develop, test, and operate their lunar landers.

  3. Operations and Autonomy of the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishkin, A. H.; Morrison, J. C.; Nguyen, T. T.; Stone, H. W.; Cooper, B. K.

    1998-01-01

    The Microrover Flight Experiment (MFEX) is a NSAS OACT (Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology) flight experiment which, integrated with the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) lander and spacecraft system, landed on Mars on July 4, 1997.

  4. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. InSight: Single Station Broadband Seismology for Probing Mars' Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Banerdt, W. Bruce; Beucler, Eric; Boschi, Lapo; Johnson, Catherine; Lognonne, Philippe; Mocquet, Antoine; Weber, Renee C.

    2012-01-01

    InSight is a proposed Discovery mission which will deliver a lander containing geophysical instrumentation, including a heat flow probe and a seismometer package, to Mars. The aim of this mission is to perform, for the first time, an in-situ investigation of the interior of a truly Earth- like planet other than our own, with the goal of understanding the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets through investigation of the interior structure and processes of Mars.

  6. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

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

  7. Mercury Lander Mission Concept Study Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eng, D. A.

    2018-05-01

    Provides a summary of the Mercury Lander Mission Concept Study performed as part of the last Planetary Decadal Survey. The presentation will focus on engineering trades and the challenges of developing a Mercury lander mission.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Multijunction Solar Cell Technology for Mars Surface Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Errors in Viking Lander Atmospheric Profiles Discovered Using MOLA Topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withers, Paul; Lorenz, R. D.; Neumann, G. A.

    2002-01-01

    Each Viking lander measured a topographic profile during entry. Comparing to MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter), we find a vertical error of 1-2 km in the Viking trajectory. This introduces a systematic error of 10-20% in the Viking densities and pressures at a given altitude. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. What would we miss if we characterized the Moon and Mars with just planetary meteorites, remote mapping, and robotic landers?. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    Exploration of the Moon and planets began with telescopic studies of their surfaces, continued with orbiting spacecraft and robotic landers, and will culminate with manned exploration and sample return. For the Moon and Mars we also have accidental samples provided by impacts on their surfaces, the lunar and martian meteorites. How much would we know about the lunar surface if we only had lunar meteorites, orbital spacecraft, and robotic exploration, and not the Apollo and Luna returned samples? What does this imply for Mars? With martian meteorites and data from Mariner, Viking, and the future Pathfinder missions, how much could we learn about Mars? The basis of most of our detailed knowledge about the Moon is the Apollo samples. They provide ground truth for the remote mapping, timescales for lunar processes, and samples from the lunar interior. The Moon is the foundation of planetary science and the basis for our interpretation of the other planets. Mars is similar to the Moon in that impact and volcanism are the dominant processes, but Mars' surface has also been affected by wind and water, and hence has much more complex surface geology. Future geochemical or mineralogical mapping of Mars' surface should be able to tell us whether the dominant rock types of the ancient southern highlands are basaltic, anorthositic, granitic, or something else, but will not be able to tell us the detailed mineralogy, geochemistry, or age. Without many more martian meteorites or returned samples we will not know the diversity of martian rocks, and therefore will be limited in our ability to model martian geological evolution.

  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. 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.

  14. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, Veronique; Banerdt, Bruce; Lognonné, Philippe; Grott, Matthias; Asmar, Sami; Biele, Jens; Breuer, Doris; Forget, François; Jaumann, Ralf; Johnson, Catherine; Knapmeyer, Martin; Langlais, Benoit; Le Feuvre, Mathieu; Mimoun, David; Mocquet, Antoine; Read, Peter; Rivoldini, Attilio; Romberg, Oliver; Schubert, Gerald; Smrekar, Sue; Spohn, Tilman; Tortora, Paolo; Ulamec, Stephan; Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2012-08-01

    Our fundamental understanding of the interior of the Earth comes from seismology, geodesy, geochemistry, geomagnetism, geothermal studies, and petrology. For the Earth, measurements in those disciplines of geophysics have revealed the basic internal layering of the Earth, its dynamical regime, its thermal structure, its gross compositional stratification, as well as significant lateral variations in these quantities. Planetary interiors not only record evidence of conditions of planetary accretion and differentiation, they exert significant control on surface environments. We present recent advances in possible in-situ investigations of the interior of Mars, experiments and strategies that can provide unique and critical information about the fundamental processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution. Such investigations applied on Mars have been ranked as a high priority in virtually every set of European, US and international high-level planetary science recommendations for the past 30 years. New seismological methods and approaches based on the cross-correlation of seismic noise by two seismic stations/landers on the surface of Mars and on joint seismic/orbiter detection of meteorite impacts, as well as the improvement of the performance of Very Broad-Band (VBB) seismometers have made it possible to secure a rich scientific return with only two simultaneously recording stations. In parallel, use of interferometric methods based on two Earth-Mars radio links simultaneously from landers tracked from Earth has increased the precision of radio science experiments by one order of magnitude. Magnetometer and heat flow measurements will complement seismic and geodetic data in order to obtain the best information on the interior of Mars. In addition to studying the present structure and dynamics of Mars, these measurements will provide important constraints for the astrobiology of Mars by helping to understand why Mars failed to sustain a magnetic field, by

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. ROSETTA lander Philae: Touch-down reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roll, Reinhard; Witte, Lars

    2016-06-01

    The landing of the ROSETTA-mission lander Philae on November 12th 2014 on Comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was planned as a descent with passive landing and anchoring by harpoons at touch-down. Actually the lander was not fixed at touch-down to the ground due to failing harpoons. The lander internal damper was actuated at touch-down for 42.6 mm with a speed of 0.08 m/s while the lander touch-down speed was 1 m/s. The kinetic energy before touch-down was 50 J, 45 J were dissipated by the lander internal damper and by ground penetration at touch-down, and 5 J kinetic energy are left after touch-down (0.325 m/s speed). Most kinetic energy was dissipated by ground penetration (41 J) while only 4 J are dissipated by the lander internal damper. Based on these data, a value for a constant compressive soil-strength of between 1.55 kPa and 1.8 kPa is calculated. This paper focuses on the reconstruction of the touch-down at Agilkia over a period of around 20 s from first ground contact to lift-off again. After rebound Philae left a strange pattern on ground documented by the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). The analysis shows, that the touch-down was not just a simple damped reflection on the surface. Instead the lander had repeated contacts with the surface over a period of about 20 s±10 s. This paper discusses scenarios for the reconstruction of the landing sequence based on the data available and on computer simulations. Simulations are performed with a dedicated mechanical multi-body model of the lander, which was validated previously in numerous ground tests. The SIMPACK simulation software was used, including the option to set forces at the feet to the ground. The outgoing velocity vector is mostly influenced by the timing of the ground contact of the different feet. It turns out that ground friction during damping has strong impact on the lander outgoing velocity, on its rotation, and on its nutation. After the end of damping, the attitude of the lander can be

  19. PHOENIX MARS MECA NON-IMAGING EDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of four instrument components plus command...

  20. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. PHOENIX MARS MECA OPTICAL MICROSCOPE 2 EDR VERSION 1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of four instrument components plus command...

  7. Solar radiation for Mars power systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Preliminary meteorological results on Mars from the Viking 1 lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hess, S.L.; Henry, R.M.; Leovy, C.B.

    1976-01-01

    The results from the meteorology instruments on the Viking 1 lander are presented for the first 4 sols of operation. The instruments are working satisfactorily. Temperatures fluctuated from a low of 188 0 K to an estimated maximum of 244 0 K. The mean pressure is 7.65 millibars with a diurnal variation of amplitude 0.1 millibar. Wind speeds averaged over several minutes have ranged from essentially calm to 9 meters per second. Wind directions have exhibited a remarkable regularity which may be associated with nocturnal downslope winds and gravitational oscillations, or to tidal effects of the diurnal pressure wave, or to both

  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. 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).

  12. PHOENIX MARS MECA OPTICAL MICROSCOPE 3 RADIOMETRIC SCI V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of four instrument components plus command...

  13. Secular Climate Change on Mars: An Update Using One Mars Year of MSL Pressure Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; de la Torre Juarez, M.; Harri, A-M.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahanpaa, H.; Kahre, M. A.; Lemmon, M.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mischna, M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars is an icy reservoir of CO2. If all the CO2 trapped in the SPRC were released to the atmosphere the mean annual global surface pressure would rise by approximately 20 Pa. Repeated MOC and HiRISE imaging of scarp retreat within the SPRC led to suggestions that the SPRC is losing mass. Estimates for the loss rate vary between 0. 5 Pa per Mars Decade to 13 Pa per Mars Decade. Assuming 80% of this loss goes directly into the atmosphere, an estimate based on some modeling (Haberle and Kahre, 2010), and that the loss is monotonic, the global annual mean surface pressure should have increased between approximately 1-20 Pa since the Viking mission (approximately 20 Mars years ago). Surface pressure measurements by the Phoenix Lander only 2.5 Mars years ago were found to be consistent with these loss rates. Last year at this meeting we compared surface pressure data from the MSL mission through sol 360 with that from Viking Lander 2 (VL-2) for the same period to determine if the trend continues. The results were ambiguous. This year we have a full Mars year of MSL data to work with. Using the Ames GCM to compensate for dynamics and environmental differences, our analysis suggests that the mean annual pressure has decreased by approximately 8 Pa since Viking. This result implies that the SPRC has gained (not lost) mass since Viking. However, the estimated uncertainties in our analysis are easily at the 10 Pa level and possibly higher. Chief among these are the hydrostatic adjustment of surface pressure from grid point elevations to actual elevations and the simulated regional environmental conditions at the lander sites. For these reasons, the most reasonable conclusion is that there is no significant difference in the size of the atmosphere between now and Viking. This implies, but does not demand, that the mass of the SPRC has not changed since Viking. Of course, year-to-year variations are possible as implied by the Phoenix data

  14. Photogrammetric portrayal of Mars topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.S.C.

    1979-01-01

    Special photogrammetric techniques have been developed to portray Mars topography, using Mariner and Viking imaging and nonimaging topographic information and earth-based radar data. Topography is represented by the compilation of maps at three scales: global, intermediate, and very large scale. The global map is a synthesis of topographic information obtained from Mariner 9 and earth-based radar, compiled at a scale of 1:25,000,000 with a contour interval of 1 km; it gives a broad quantitative view of the planet. At intermediate scales, Viking Orbiter photographs of various resolutions are used to compile detailed contour maps of a broad spectrum of prominent geologic features; a contour interval as small as 20 m has been obtained from very high resolution orbital photography. Imagery from the Viking lander facsimile cameras permits construction of detailed, very large scale (1:10) topographic maps of the terrain surrounding the two landers; these maps have a contour interval of 1 cm. This paper presents several new detailed topographic maps of Mars.-Author

  15. Photogrammetry of the Viking Lander imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S. S. C.; Schafer, F. J.

    1982-01-01

    The problem of photogrammetric mapping which uses Viking Lander photography as its basis is solved in two ways: (1) by converting the azimuth and elevation scanning imagery to the equivalent of a frame picture, using computerized rectification; and (2) by interfacing a high-speed, general-purpose computer to the analytical plotter employed, so that all correction computations can be performed in real time during the model-orientation and map-compilation process. Both the efficiency of the Viking Lander cameras and the validity of the rectification method have been established by a series of pre-mission tests which compared the accuracy of terrestrial maps compiled by this method with maps made from aerial photographs. In addition, 1:10-scale topographic maps of Viking Lander sites 1 and 2 having a contour interval of 1.0 cm have been made to test the rectification method.

  16. 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.

  17. ExoGeoLab Pilot Project for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    We have developed a pilot facility with a Robotic Test Bench (ExoGeoLab) and a Mobile Lab Habitat (ExoHab). They can be used to validate concepts and external instruments from partner institutes. The ExoGeoLab research incubator project, has started in the frame of a collaboration between ILEWG (International Lunar Exploration working Group http://sci.esa.int/ilewg), ESTEC, NASA and academic partners, supported by a design and control desk in the European Space Incubator (ESI), as well as infrastructure. ExoGeoLab includes a sequence of technology and research pilot project activities: - Data analysis and interpretation of remote sensing and in-situ data, and merging of multi-scale data sets - Procurement and integration of geophysical, geo-chemical and astrobiological breadboard instruments on a surface station and rovers - Integration of cameras, environment and solar sensors, Visible and near IR spectrometer, Raman spectrometer, sample handling, cooperative rovers - Delivery of a generic small planetary lander demonstrator (ExoGeoLab lander, Sept 2009) as a platform for multi-instruments tests - Research operations and exploitation of ExoGeoLab test bench for various conceptual configurations, and support for definition and design of science surface packages (Moon, Mars, NEOs, outer moons) - Field tests of lander, rovers and instruments in analogue sites (Utah MDRS 2009 & 2010, Eifel volcanic park in Sept 2009, and future campaigns). Co-authors, ILEWG ExoGeoLab & ExoHab Team: B.H. Foing(1,11)*#, C. Stoker(2,11)*, P. Ehrenfreund(10,11), L. Boche-Sauvan(1,11)*, L. Wendt(8)*, C. Gross(8, 11)*, C. Thiel(9)*, S. Peters(1,6)*, A. Borst(1,6)*, J. Zavaleta(2)*, P. Sarrazin(2)*, D. Blake(2), J. Page(1,4,11), V. Pletser(5,11)*, E. Monaghan(1)*, P. Mahapatra(1)#, A. Noroozi(3), P. Giannopoulos(1,11) , A. Calzada(1,6,11), R. Walker(7), T. Zegers(1, 15) #, G. Groemer(12)# , W. Stumptner(12)#, B. Foing(2,5), J. K. Blom(3)#, A. Perrin(14)#, M. Mikolajczak(14)#, S. Chevrier(14

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  1. Solar radiation on Mars: Update 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Landing on small bodies: From the Rosetta Lander to MASCOT and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulamec, Stephan; Biele, Jens; Bousquet, Pierre-W.; Gaudon, Philippe; Geurts, Koen; Ho, Tra-Mi; Krause, Christian; Lange, Caroline; Willnecker, Rainer; Witte, Lars; The Philae; Mascot Teams

    2014-01-01

    Recent planning for science and exploration missions has emphasized the high interest in the close investigation of small bodies in the Solar System. In particular in-situ observations of asteroids and comets play an important role in this field and will contribute substantially to our understanding of the formation and history of the Solar System. The first dedicated comet Lander is Philae, an element of ESA's Rosetta mission to comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta was launched in 2004. After more than 7 years of cruise (including three Earth and one Mars swing-by as well as two asteroid flybys) the spacecraft has gone into a deep space hibernation in June 2011. When approaching the target comet in early 2014, Rosetta will be re-activated. The cometary nucleus will be characterized remotely to prepare for Lander delivery, currently foreseen for November 2014. The Rosetta Lander was developed and manufactured, similar to a scientific instrument, by a consortium consisting of international partners. Project management is located at DLR in Cologne/Germany, with co-project managers at CNES (France) and ASI (Italy). The scientific lead is at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Science (Lindau, Germany) and the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (Paris). Mainly scientific institutes provided the subsystems, instruments and the complete, qualified lander system. Operations are performed in two dedicated centers, the Lander Control Center (LCC) at DLR-MUSC and the Science Operations and Navigation Center (SONC) at CNES. This concept was adopted to reduce overall cost of the project and is foreseen also to be applied for development and operations of future small bodies landers. A mission profiting from experience gained during Philae development and operations is MASCOT, a surface package for the Japanese Hayabusa 2 mission. MASCOT is a small (˜10 kg) mobile device, delivered to the surface of asteroid 1999JU3. There it will operate for about 16 h. During this

  5. Energy storage considerations for a robotic Mars surface sampler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    are extra gears to make sure that the lander stays securely attached to the spacecraft during the launch, but once in space they are not needed any more. A pyrotechnic device will be activated to release them. This will be a key step, necessary so that Beagle 2 can be ejected when the spacecraft arrives at Mars. Every effort has been made to ensure that things go smoothly. Schmidt says: “We have tested all aspects of the mission well enough to be confident that there will be no errors or trivial mistakes. Mars Express has been developed in record time, but there have been no compromises on testing, including the ground segment." Orbiting and landing on Mars Six days before arrival at Mars, the lander will be released. This operation is regarded as one of the most complex of the Mars Express mission. Beagle 2, which weighs only 65 kilograms, is too light to carry a steering mechanism and is not designed to receive commands during cruise and landing. So Beagle 2 can only reach its planned landing site by relying on the orbiter to put it into the correct trajectory and drop it at a very precise point in space and at a specified speed. The ground control team at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, will guide this manoeuvre. To be ready for the approach to Mars and the ejection operations, engineers have been training for months with simulators that resemble sophisticated computer games. Tests will continue after Mars Express’s launch. Approaching Mars, the orbiter will eject the lander and then be left on a collision course with the planet. In another key manoeuvre, ground controllers will have to adjust its trajectory, reducing its speed to 1.8 kilometres per second. At that speed, the planet’s gravity will be able to ‘capture’ the Mars Express orbiter and put it into Mars orbit. Ground controllers will still have to perform several manoeuvres to get the spacecraft into its final operational state - a highly elliptical polar orbit

  7. 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.

  8. Special section introduction on MicroMars to MegaMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Dundas, Colin M.; Edgar, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    The study of Earth's surface and atmosphere evolved from local investigations to the incorporation of remote sensing on a global scale. The study of Mars has followed the opposite progression, beginning with telescopic observations, followed by flyby and orbital missions, landers, and finally rover missions in the last ∼20 years. This varied fleet of spacecraft (seven of which are currently operating as of this writing) provides a rich variety of datasets at spatial scales ranging from microscopic images to synoptic orbital remote sensing.

  9. 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...

  10. Prototype Lithium-Ion Battery Developed for Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo, Michelle A.

    2000-01-01

    In fiscal year 1997, NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the U.S. Air Force established a joint program to competitively develop high-power, rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology for aerospace applications. The goal was to address Department of Defense and NASA requirements not met by commercial battery developments. Under this program, contracts have been awarded to Yardney Technical Products, Eagle- Picher Technologies, LLC, BlueStar Advanced Technology Corporation, and SAFT America, Inc., to develop cylindrical and prismatic cell and battery systems for a variety of NASA and U.S. Air Force applications. The battery systems being developed range from low-capacity (7 to 20 A-hr) and low-voltage (14 to 28 V) systems for planetary landers and rovers to systems for aircraft that require up to 270 V and for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that require capacities up to 200 A-hr. Low-Earth-orbit and geosynchronousorbit spacecraft pose additional challenges to system operation with long cycle life (>30,000 cycles) and long calendar life (>10 years), respectively.

  11. Low Energy Electrons in the Mars Plasma Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Richard

    2001-01-01

    The ionosphere of Mars is rather poorly understood. The only direct measurements were performed by the Viking 1 and 2 landers in 1976, both of which carried a Retarding Potential Analyzer. The RPA was designed to measure ion properties during the descent, although electron fluxes were estimated from changes in the ion currents. Using these derived low-energy electron fluxes, Mantas and Hanson studied the photoelectron and the solar wind electron interactions with the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. Unanswered questions remain regarding the origin of the low-energy electron fluxes in the vicinity of the Mars plasma boundary. Crider, in an analysis of Mars Global Surveyor Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer measurements, has attributed the formation of the magnetic pile-up boundary to electron impact ionization of exospheric neutral species by solar wind electrons. However, the role of photoelectrons escaping from the lower ionosphere was not determined. In the proposed work, we will examine the role of solar wind and ionospheric photoelectrons in producing ionization in the upper ionosphere of Mars. Low-energy (internal (photoelectron) sources of ionization, and accounts for Auger electron production. The code will be used to analyze Mars Global Surveyor measurements of solar wind and photoelectrons down to altitudes below 200 km in the Mars ionosphere, in order to determine the relative roles of solar wind and escaping photoelectrons in maintaining plasma densities in the region of the Mars plasma boundary.

  12. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  13. Mars MetNet Mission Pressure and Humidity Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  14. Performance of the Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Rover Heat Rejection System Used for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Bame, David; Mastropietro, A. J.; Miller, Jennifer; Karlmann, Paul; Liu, Yuanming; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, required a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to +50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer and supply it to the rover. This design is the first instance of use of a RHRS for thermal control of a rover or lander on the surface of a planet. After an extremely successful landing on Mars (August 5), the rover and the RHRS have performed flawlessly for close to an earth year (half the nominal mission life). This paper will share the performance of the RHRS on the Martian surface as well as compare it to its predictions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Mars orbiter redirected in bid to find Beagle

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

    "Mission controllers in Darmstadt, Germany, have successfully redirected Europe's Mars Express orbiter into a polar orbit, putting it on course for a last-ditch attempt to contact Beagle 2, the lander that has been missing since Christmas day when it should have touched down on the red planet" (1/2 page).

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Mars ionopause during solar minimum: A lesson from Venus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahajan, K.K.; Mayr, H.G.

    1990-01-01

    The ion densities measured by the Viking landers (Hanson et al., 1977) do not show an abrupt falloff with height, giving the false impression that Mars has no ionopause. On the basis of knowledge gained from the solar wind interaction at Venus during solar minimum, they demonstrate that the observed O 2 + profile above about 160 km on Mars is a distributed photodynamical ionosphere and can produce an ionopause at around 325 km, similar to that observed on Venus during solar minimum. They conclude that the solar wind interacts directly with the Mars ionosphere, suggesting that the planet does not have an intrinsic magnetic field of any consequence

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. Experimental test of the variability of G using Viking lander ranging data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hellings, R.W.; Adams, P.J.; Anderson, J.D.; Keesey, M.S.; Lau, E.L.; Standish, E.M.; Canuto, V.M.; Goldman, I.

    1983-01-01

    Results are presented from the analysis of solar system astrometric data, notably the range data to the Viking landers on Mars. A least-squares fit of the parameters of the solar system model to these data limits a simple time variation in the effective Newtonian gravitational constant to (0.2 +- 0.4) x 10 -11 yr -1 and a rate of drift of atomic clocks relative to the implicit clock of relativistic dynamics to (0.1 +- 0.8) x 10 -11 yr -1 . The error limits quoted are the result of uncertainties in the masses of the asteroids

  5. Archiving InSight Lander Science Data Using PDS4 Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, T.; Guinness, E. A.; Slavney, S.

    2017-12-01

    The InSight Mars Lander is scheduled for launch in 2018, and science data from the mission will be archived in the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) using the new PDS4 standards. InSight is a geophysical lander with a science payload that includes a seismometer, a probe to measure subsurface temperatures and heat flow, a suite of meteorology instruments, a magnetometer, an experiment using radio tracking, and a robotic arm that will provide soil physical property information based on interactions with the surface. InSight is not the first science mission to archive its data using PDS4. However, PDS4 archives do not currently contain examples of the kinds of data that several of the InSight instruments will produce. Whereas the existing common PDS4 standards were sufficient for most of archiving requirements of InSight, the data generated by a few instruments required development of several extensions to the PDS4 information model. For example, the seismometer will deliver a version of its data in SEED format, which is standard for the terrestrial seismology community. This format required the design of a new product type in the PDS4 information model. A local data dictionary has also been developed for InSight that contains attributes that are not part of the common PDS4 dictionary. The local dictionary provides metadata relevant to all InSight data sets, and attributes specific to several of the instruments. Additional classes and attributes were designed for the existing PDS4 geometry dictionary that will capture metadata for the lander position and orientation, along with camera models for stereo image processing. Much of the InSight archive planning and design work has been done by a Data Archiving Working Group (DAWG), which has members from the InSight project and the PDS. The group coordinates archive design, schedules and peer review of the archive documentation and test products. The InSight DAWG archiving effort for PDS is being led by the PDS Geosciences

  6. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, W.; von Richter, A.; Bertrand, R.

    2003-04-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) are currently considered as a key technology for Mars exploration. initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. Kayser-Threde led the study AROMA (Automation &Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals was to define new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. We present a summary of the A&R study in respect to a particular system: The Autonomous Research Island (ARI). In the Mars exploration scenario initially a robotic outpost system lands at pre-selected sites in order to search for life forms and water and to analyze the surface, geology and atmosphere. A&R systems, i.e. rovers and autonomous instrument packages, perform a number of missions with scientific and technology development objectives on the surface of Mars as part of preparations for a human exploration mission. In the Robotic Outpost Phase ARI is conceived as an automated lander which can perform in-situ analysis. It consists of a service module and a micro-rover system for local investigations. Such a system is already under investigation and development in other TRP activities. The micro-rover system provides local mobility for in-situ scientific investigations at a given landing or deployment site. In the long run ARI supports also human Mars missions. An astronaut crew would travel larger distances in a pressurized rover on Mars. Whenever interesting features on the surface are identified, the crew would interrupt the travel and perform local investigations. In order to save crew time ARI could be deployed by the astronauts to perform time-consuming investigations as for example in-situ geochemistry analysis of rocks/soil. Later, the crew could recover the research island for refurbishment and deployment at another

  7. Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Anemometers for Mars. [Viking '75 wind measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, R. M.; Greene, G. C.

    1974-01-01

    An investigation is conducted concerning the problems involved in the conduction of wind measurements on the planet Mars, taking into account the currently known characteristics of the Martian atmosphere. Problems introduced by the presence of the lander are examined. The suitability of several different types of anemometers for making the measurements is discussed, giving attention to rotating anemometers, sonic anemometers, ion tracers, drag force anemometers, pitot tubes, and thermal anemometers.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Investigation of microbial diversity in a desert Mars-like environment: Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Direito, Maria Susana; Staats, Martijn; Foing, Bernard H.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Roling, Wilfred

    The Utah Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) harbours geo-morphology and geo-processes analogues to the planet Mars. Soil samples were collected during the EuroGeoMars campaign (from 24 January to 1 March 2009) from different locations and depths [1]. Samples were distributed among scientific collaborator institutes for analysis of microbial diversity, amino acid content and degradation, content of PAH or larger organic molecules, and respective soil properties. Our sample analysis had the objective of characterizing the microbial communities in this Mars analogue: DNA isolation, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) using primers for DNA amplification of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments, DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and clone library construction with the final aim of sequencing. Results indicate that life is present in all the three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya), while the most diversity was found in the domain Bacteria. Microorgan-isms are heterogeneously present and their identities are currently investigated. The obtained information will be later related to the other scientific analysis in order to obtain a better understanding of this Mars analogue site, which in turn will provide important information for the search for life on Mars. [1] Foing, B.H. et al . (2009). Exogeolab lander/rover instruments and EuroGeoMars MDRS campaign. LPI, 40, 2567.

  14. Digibaro pressure instrument onboard the Phoenix Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Kahanpää, H. H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M. M.; Haukka, H.; Savijarv1, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2009-04-01

    The Phoenix Lander landed successfully on the Martian northern polar region. The mission is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Scout program. Pressure observations onboard the Phoenix lander were performed by an FMI (Finnish Meteorological Institute) instrument, based on a silicon diaphragm sensor head manufactured by Vaisala Inc., combined with MDA data processing electronics. The pressure instrument performed successfully throughout the Phoenix mission. The pressure instrument had 3 pressure sensor heads. One of these was the primary sensor head and the other two were used for monitoring the condition of the primary sensor head during the mission. During the mission the primary sensor was read with a sampling interval of 2 s and the other two were read less frequently as a check of instrument health. The pressure sensor system had a real-time data-processing and calibration algorithm that allowed the removal of temperature dependent calibration effects. In the same manner as the temperature sensor, a total of 256 data records (8.53 min) were buffered and they could either be stored at full resolution, or processed to provide mean, standard deviation, maximum and minimum values for storage on the Phoenix Lander's Meteorological (MET) unit.The time constant was approximately 3s due to locational constraints and dust filtering requirements. Using algorithms compensating for the time constant effect the temporal resolution was good enough to detect pressure drops associated with the passage of nearby dust devils.

  15. The environs of viking 2 lander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shorthill, R W; Moore, H J; Hutton, R E; Scott, R F; Spitzer, C R

    1976-12-11

    Forty-six days after Viking 1 landed, Viking 2 landed in Utopia Planitia, about 6500 kilometers away from the landing site of Viking 1. Images show that in the immediate vicinity of the Viking 2 landing site the surface is covered with rocks, some of which are partially buried, and fine-grained materials. The surface sampler, the lander cameras, engineering sensors, and some data from the other lander experiments were used to investigate the properties of the surface. Lander 2 has a more homogeneous surface, more coarse-grained material, an extensive crust, small rocks or clods which seem to be difficult to collect, and more extensive erosion by the retro-engine exhaust gases than lander 1. A report on the physical properties of the martian surface based on data obtained through sol 58 on Viking 2 and a brief description of activities on Viking 1 after sol 36 are given.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  17. A technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter in SAEF-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter which is scheduled to launch on Dec. 10, 1998, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface.

  18. Life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-10-01

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

  19. Life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venkatavaradan, V.S.

    1976-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Rosetta comet-chaser takes a close look at planet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    Its final destination is comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it will reach only in 2014, after travelling some 6000 million kilometres in 10 years (its epic voyage began on 2 March 2004 with a launch by an Ariane 5 rocket). Rosetta will next be heading for the Sun, and its journey will require two more swing-bys around the Earth, in November this year and November 2009. Once at its destination, Rosetta will first deposit, from a height of about one kilometre, a small but very complex lander on the comet’s nucleus. This lander, a sort of miniature chemical laboratory packed with sophisticated instruments, will analyse the surface and provide information on the nucleus. The Rosetta probe will then chase the comet for one year and observe its nucleus as it continues on its trip towards the inner solar system at a speed of 135,000 km per hour. There is still a long way to go, but so far everything seems to be going exactly according to plan. ESA's Director of Science, David Southwood, witnessing the Mars swing-by at ESOC with scientists involved in the mission and the operations teams, said: "Interplanetary expeditions rely on very complex communication links. ESA’s mission operations centre here in Darmstadt is doing a great job. I and all the scientists involved in the mission are grateful to the experts who are taking such good care of 'our baby'. And this is only the beginning. The true excitement of targeting and releasing the lander on the comet’s nucleus is yet to come. Today we have reached another milestone on the way to finding an answer to questions such as whether life on Earth began with the help of comets." “The successful Mars swingby of the ESA Rosetta spacecraft has been the most critical event in the mission since launch. Now we are heading back to Earth in order to gain, in November this year, further momentum for the subsequent visits of the asteroids and the comet. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this achievement

  2. Robotic Lunar Lander Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Benjamin; Cohen, Barbara A.; McGee, Timothy; Reed, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have developed several mission concepts to place scientific and exploration payloads ranging from 10 kg to more than 200 kg on the surface of the moon. The mission concepts all use a small versatile lander that is capable of precision landing. The results to date of the lunar lander development risk reduction activities including high pressure propulsion system testing, structure and mechanism development and testing, and long cycle time battery testing will be addressed. The most visible elements of the risk reduction program are two fully autonomous lander flight test vehicles. The first utilized a high pressure cold gas system (Cold Gas Test Article) with limited flight durations while the subsequent test vehicle, known as the Warm Gas Test Article, utilizes hydrogen peroxide propellant resulting in significantly longer flight times and the ability to more fully exercise flight sensors and algorithms. The development of the Warm Gas Test Article is a system demonstration and was designed with similarity to an actual lunar lander including energy absorbing landing legs, pulsing thrusters, and flight-like software implementation. A set of outdoor flight tests to demonstrate the initial objectives of the WGTA program was completed in Nov. 2011, and will be discussed.

  3. Europe is going to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

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

  4. Seismic exploration for water on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, T.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Low Cost Precision Lander for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, J. N.; Gardner, T. G.; Hoppa, G. V.; Seybold, K. G.

    2004-12-01

    For 60 years the US Defense Department has invested heavily in producing small, low mass, precision guided vehicles. The technologies matured under these programs include terrain-aided navigation, closed loop terminal guidance algorithms, robust autopilots, high thrust-to-weight propulsion, autonomous mission management software, sensors, and data fusion. These technologies will aid NASA in addressing New Millennium Science and Technology goals as well as the requirements flowing from the Vision articulated in January 2004. Establishing and resupplying a long term lunar presence will require automated landing precision not yet demonstrated. Precision landing will increase safety and assure mission success. In the DOD world, such technologies are used routinely and reliably. Hence, it is timely to generate a point design for a precise planetary lander useful for lunar exploration. In this design science instruments amount to 10 kg, 16% of the lander vehicle mass. This compares favorably with 7% for Mars Pathfinder and less than 15% for Surveyor. The mission design flies the lander in an inert configuration to the moon, relying on a cruise stage for navigation and TCMs. The lander activates about a minute before impact. A solid booster reduces the vehicle speed to 300-450 m/s. The lander is now about 2 minutes from touchdown and has 600 to 700 m/s delta-v capability, allowing for about 10 km of vehicle divert during terminal descent. This concept of operations is chosen because it closely mimics missile operational timelines used for decades: the vehicle remains inert in a challenging environment, then must execute its mission flawlessly on a moment's notice. The vehicle design consists of a re-plumbed propulsion system, using propellant tanks and thrusters from exoatmospheric programs. A redesigned truss provides hard points for landing gear, electronics, power supply, and science instruments. A radar altimeter and a Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC

  6. Mars geodesy, rotation and gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenblatt, Pascal; Dehant, Veronique

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Sedimentological Investigations of the Martian Surface using the Mars 2001 Robotic Arm Camera and MECA Optical Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.; Smith, P. H.; Marshall, J. R.

    1999-01-01

    The first microscopic sedimentological studies of the Martian surface will commence with the landing of the Mars Polar Lander (MPL) December 3, 1999. The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) has a resolution of 25 um/p which will permit detailed micromorphological analysis of surface and subsurface materials. The Robotic Ann will be able to dig up to 50 cm below the surface. The walls of the trench will also be inspected by RAC to look for evidence of stratigraphic and / or sedimentological relationships. The 2001 Mars Lander will build upon and expand the sedimentological research begun by the RAC on MPL. This will be accomplished by: (1) Macroscopic (dm to cm): Descent Imager, Pancam, RAC; (2) Microscopic (mm to um RAC, MECA Optical Microscope (Figure 2), AFM This paper will focus on investigations that can be conducted by the RAC and MECA Optical Microscope.

  8. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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].

  11. Orbiting Depot and Reusable Lander for Lunar Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    A document describes a conceptual transportation system that would support exploratory visits by humans to locations dispersed across the surface of the Moon and provide transport of humans and cargo to sustain one or more permanent Lunar outpost. The system architecture reflects requirements to (1) minimize the amount of vehicle hardware that must be expended while maintaining high performance margins and (2) take advantage of emerging capabilities to produce propellants on the Moon while also enabling efficient operation using propellants transported from Earth. The system would include reusable single- stage lander spacecraft and a depot in a low orbit around the Moon. Each lander would have descent, landing, and ascent capabilities. A crew-taxi version of the lander would carry a pressurized crew module; a cargo version could carry a variety of cargo containers. The depot would serve as a facility for storage and for refueling with propellants delivered from Earth or propellants produced on the Moon. The depot could receive propellants and cargo sent from Earth on a variety of spacecraft. The depot could provide power and orbit maintenance for crew vehicles from Earth and could serve as a safe haven for lunar crews pending transport back to Earth.

  12. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  13. Network of Nano-Landers for In-Situ Characterization of Asteroid Impact Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Kalita, Himangshu; Asphaug, Erik; Schwartz, Stephen; Thangavelautham, Jekanthan

    2017-01-01

    Exploration of asteroids and comets can give insight into the origins of the solar system and can be instrumental in planetary defence and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Asteroids, due to their low gravity are a challenging target for surface exploration. Current missions envision performing touch-and-go operations over an asteroid surface. In this work, we analyse the feasibility of sending scores of nano-landers, each 1 kg in mass and volume of 1U, or 1000 cm3. These landers would hop...

  14. SIIOS in Alaska - Testing an `In-Vault' Option for a Europa Lander Seismometer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, V. J.; Weber, R. C.; DellaGiustina, D. N.; Bailey, H.; Schmerr, N. C.; Pettit, E. C.; Dahl, P.; Albert, D.; Avenson, B.; Byrne, S.; Siegler, M.; Bland, M. T.; Patterson, G. W.; Selznick, S.

    2017-12-01

    The surface environment of Europa within the radiation-heavy jovian system, poses extreme technical challenges for potential landed missions. The need for radiation shielding and protection from the cold requires instruments to be housed within a thermally insulated and radiation protected `vault'. Unfortunately, this is non-ideal for seismometers as instrument-to-surface coupling is an important factor in the quality of returned data. Delivering a seismic package to an icy world would therefore benefit from the development of a cold-tolerant, radiation-hardened sensor that can survive outside of a protective vault. If such an instrument package were not technologically mature enough, or if lander safety considerations prevent deployment on lander legs, an in-vault location is still a viable option. For such a case, a better understanding of the transmission of seismic signals received through the lander legs is necessary for interpretation of the received signals. The performance, mass, and volume of the `Seismometer to investigate ice and ocean structure' (SIIOS) already meet or exceed flight requirements identified in lander studies for the icy moon Europa. We are testing this flight-candidate in several configurations around and within a lander mock-up, assuming a 1x1 meter vault with extended legs. We compare the received signals from a SIIOS device on the ice with those received by an identical sensor directly above it in the `vault'. We also compare the data from these single-point receivers to that received by two short base-line arrays - A 4-point "in-vault" array and another 4-point array arranged at the ice surface at the base of the lander legs. Our field-testing is performed at Gulkana Glacier, Alaska. The summer melt season provides kilometer-scale regions of coexisting ice, water, and silicate material, thereby providing seismic contrasts analogous to the ice-water layers and possible sub-surface lakes expected at Europa. We demonstrate the

  15. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

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

  16. Observations of Martian surface winds at the Viking Lander 1 site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, J.R.; Leovy, C.B.; Tillman, J.E.

    1990-01-01

    Partial failure of the wind instrumentation on the Viking Lander 1 (VL1) in the Martian subtropics (22.5 degree N) has limited previous analyses of meteorological data for this site. The authors describe a method for reconstructing surface winds using data from the partially failed sensor and present and analyze a time series of wind, pressure, and temperature at the site covering 350 Mars days (sols). At the beginning of the mission during early summer, winds were controlled by regional topography, but they soon underwent a transition to a regime controlled by the Hadley circulation. Diurnal and semidiurnal wind oscillations and synoptic variations have been analyzed and compared with the corresponding variations at the Viking Lander 2 middle latitude site (48 degree N). Diurnal wind oscillations were controlled primarily by regional topography and boundary layer forcing, although a global mode may have been influencing them during two brief episodes. Semidiurnal wind oscillations were controlled by the westward propagating semidiurnal tide from sol 210 onward. Comparison of the synoptic variations at the two sites suggests that the same eastward propagating wave trains were present at both sites, at least following the first 1977 great dust storm, but discordant inferred zonal wave numbers and phase speeds at the two sites cast doubt on the zonal wave numbers deduced from analyses of combined wind and pressure data, particularly at the VL1 site where the signal to noise ratio of the dominant synoptic waves is relatively small

  17. Novel Architecture for a Long-Life, Lightweight Venus Lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bugby, D.; Seghi, S.; Kroliczek, E.; Pauken, M.

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a novel concept for an extended lifetime, lightweight Venus lander. Historically, to operate in the 480 deg. C, 90 atm, corrosive, mostly CO 2 Venus surface environment, previous landers have relied on thick Ti spherical outer shells and thick layers of internal insulation. But even the most resilient of these landers operated for only about 2 hours before succumbing to the environment. The goal on this project is to develop an architecture that extends lander lifetime to 20-25 hours and also reduces mass compared to the Pioneer Venus mission architecture. The idea for reducing mass is to: (a) contain the science instruments within a spherical high strength lightweight polymer matrix composite (PMC) tank; (b) surround the PMC tank with an annular shell of high performance insulation pre-pressurized to a level that (after landing) will exceed the external Venus surface pressure; and (c) surround the insulation with a thin Ti outer shell that contains only a net internal pressure, eliminating buckling overdesign mass. The combination of the PMC inner tank and thin Ti outer shell is lighter than a single thick Ti outer shell. The idea for extending lifetime is to add the following three features: (i) an expendable water supply that is placed within the insulation or is contained in an additional vessel within the PMC tank; (ii) a thin spherical evaporator shell placed within the insulation a short radial distance from the outer shell; and (iii) a thin heat-intercepting liquid cooled shield placed inboard of the evaporator shell. These features lower the temperature of the insulation below what it would have been with the insulation alone, reducing the internal heat leak and lengthening lifetime. The use of phase change materials (PCMs) inside the PMC tank is also analyzed as a lifetime-extending design option. The paper describes: (1) analytical modeling to demonstrate reduced mass and extended life; (2) thermal conductivity testing of high

  18. An Application of the "Virtual Spacecraft" Concept in Evaluation of the Mars Pathfinder Lander Low Gain Antenna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogorzelski, R. J.; Beckon, R. J.

    1997-01-01

    The virtual spacecraft concept is embodied in a set of subsystems, either in the form of hardware or computational models, which together represent all, or a portion of, a spacecraft. For example, the telecommunications transponder may be a hardware prototype while the propulsion system may exist only as a simulation. As the various subsystems are realized in hardware, the spacecraft becomes progressively less virtual. This concept is enabled by JPL's Mission System Testbed which is a set of networked workstations running a message passing operating system called "TRAMEL" which stands for Task Remote Asynchronous Message Exchange Layer. Each simulation on the workstations, which may in fact be hardware controlled by the workstation, "publishes" its operating parameters on TRAMEL and other simulations requiring those parameters as input may "subscribe" to them. In this manner, the whole simulation operates as a single virtual system. This paper describes a simulation designed to evaluate a communications link between the earth and the Mars Pathfinder Lander module as it descends under a parachute through the Martian atmosphere toward the planet's surface. This link includes a transmitter and a low gain antenna on the spacecraft and a receiving antenna and receiver on the earth as well as a simulation of the dynamics of the spacecraft. The transmitter, the ground station antenna, the receiver and the dynamics are all simulated computationally while the spacecraft antenna is implemented in hardware on a very simple spacecraft mockup. The dynamics simulation is a record of one output of the ensemble of outputs of a Monte Carlo simulation of the descent. Additionally, the antenna/spacecraft mock-up system was simulated using APATCH, a shooting and bouncing ray code developed by Demaco, Inc. The antenna simulation, the antenna hardware, and the link simulation are all physically located in different facilities at JPL separated by several hundred meters and are linked via

  19. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

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

  20. Sulfate minerals: a problem for the detection of organic compounds on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, James M T; Watson, Jonathan S; Najorka, Jens; Luong, Duy; Sephton, Mark A

    2015-03-01

    The search for in situ organic matter on Mars involves encounters with minerals and requires an understanding of their influence on lander and rover experiments. Inorganic host materials can be helpful by aiding the preservation of organic compounds or unhelpful by causing the destruction of organic matter during thermal extraction steps. Perchlorates are recognized as confounding minerals for thermal degradation studies. On heating, perchlorates can decompose to produce oxygen, which then oxidizes organic matter. Other common minerals on Mars, such as sulfates, may also produce oxygen upon thermal decay, presenting an additional complication. Different sulfate species decompose within a large range of temperatures. We performed a series of experiments on a sample containing the ferric sulfate jarosite. The sulfate ions within jarosite break down from 500 °C. Carbon dioxide detected during heating of the sample was attributed to oxidation of organic matter. A laboratory standard of ferric sulfate hydrate released sulfur dioxide from 550 °C, and an oxygen peak was detected in the products. Calcium sulfate did not decompose below 1000 °C. Oxygen released from sulfate minerals may have already affected organic compound detection during in situ thermal experiments on Mars missions. A combination of preliminary mineralogical analyses and suitably selected pyrolysis temperatures may increase future success in the search for past or present life on Mars.

  1. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Affordable, Lightweight, Compactly Stowable, High Strength / Stiffness Lander Solar Array, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS) has developed a next-generation high performance solar array system specifically for NASA's future Lander and sample return...

  3. Affordable, Lightweight, Compactly Stowable, High Strength / Stiffness Lander Solar Array, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS) has developed a next-generation high performance solar array system specifically for NASA's future Lander and sample return...

  4. Lunar lander stage requirements based on the Civil Needs Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulqueen, John A.

    1992-01-01

    This paper examines the lunar lander stages that will be necessary for the future exploration and development of the Moon. Lunar lander stage sizing is discussed based on the projected lunar payloads listed in the Civil Needs Data Base. Factors that will influence the lander stage design are identified and discussed. Some of these factors are (1) lunar orbiting and lunar surface lander bases; (2) implications of direct landing trajectories and landing from a parking orbit; (3) implications of landing site and parking orbit; (4) implications of landing site and parking orbit selection; (5) the use of expendable and reusable lander stages; and (6) the descent/ascent trajectories. Data relating the lunar lander stage design requirements to each of the above factors and others are presented in parametric form. These data will provide useful design data that will be applicable to future mission model modifications and design studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Lunar lander and return propulsion system trade study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlbert, Eric A.; Moreland, Robert; Sanders, Gerald B.; Robertson, Edward A.; Amidei, David; Mulholland, John

    1993-01-01

    This trade study was initiated at NASA/JSC in May 1992 to develop and evaluate main propulsion system alternatives to the reference First Lunar Outpost (FLO) lander and return-stage transportation system concept. Thirteen alternative configurations were developed to explore the impacts of various combinations of return stage propellants, using either pressure or pump-fed propulsion systems and various staging options. Besides two-stage vehicle concepts, the merits of single-stage and stage-and-a-half options were also assessed in combination with high-performance liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants. Configurations using an integrated modular cryogenic engine were developed to assess potential improvements in packaging efficiency, mass performance, and system reliability compared to non-modular cryogenic designs. The selection process to evaluate the various designs was the analytic hierarchy process. The trade study showed that a pressure-fed MMH/N2O4 return stage and RL10-based lander stage is the best option for a 1999 launch. While results of this study are tailored to FLO needs, the design date, criteria, and selection methodology are applicable to the design of other crewed lunar landing and return vehicles.

  7. Vibration and Acoustic Testing for Mars Micromission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Dennis L.; Scharton, Terry D.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Accuracy Analysis of Lunar Lander Terminal Guidance Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. K. Li

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This article studies a proposed analytical algorithm of the terminal guidance for the lunar lander. The analytical solution, which forms the basis of the algorithm, was obtained for a constant acceleration trajectory and thrust vector orientation programs that are essentially linear with time. The main feature of the proposed algorithm is a completely analytical solution to provide the lander terminal guidance to the desired spot in 3D space when landing on the atmosphereless body with no numerical procedures. To reach 6 terminal conditions (components of position and velocity vectors at the final time are used 6 guidance law parameters, namely time-to-go, desired value of braking deceleration, initial values of pitch and yaw angles and rates of their change. In accordance with the principle of flexible trajectories, this algorithm assumes the implementation of a regularly updated control program that ensures reaching terminal conditions from the current state that corresponds to the control program update time. The guidance law parameters, which ensure that terminal conditions are reached, are generated as a function of the current phase coordinates of a lander. The article examines an accuracy and reliability of the proposed analytical algorithm that provides the terminal guidance of the lander in 3D space through mathematical modeling of the lander guidance from the circumlunar pre-landing orbit to the desired spot near the lunar surface. A desired terminal position of the lunar lander is specified by the selenographic latitude, longitude and altitude above the lunar surface. The impact of variations in orbital parameters on the terminal guidance accuracy has been studied. By varying the five initial orbit parameters (obliquity, ascending node longitude, argument of periapsis, periapsis height, apoapsis height when the terminal spot is fixed the statistic characteristics of the terminal guidance algorithm error according to the terminal

  10. 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.

  11. The atmosphere and climate of Mars

    CERN Document Server

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Detection of Northern Hemisphere transient eddies at Gale Crater Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Juárez, Manuel de la Torre; Kahre, Melinda A.; Kass, David M.; Barnes, Jeffrey R.; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik

    2018-06-01

    The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Curiosity Rover is operating in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars and is detecting synoptic period oscillations in the pressure data that we attribute to Northern Hemisphere transient eddies. We base this interpretation on the similarity in the periods of the eddies and their seasonal variations with those observed in northern midlatitudes by Viking Lander 2 (VL-2) 18 Mars years earlier. Further support for this interpretation comes from global circulation modeling which shows similar behavior in the transient eddies at the grid points closest to Curiosity and VL-2. These observations provide the first in situ evidence that the frontal systems often associated with "Flushing Dust Storms" do cross the equator and extend into the Southern Hemisphere.

  15. 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

  16. The Martian surface as imaged, sampled, and analyzed by the Viking landers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Gooding, J.L.; Moore, H.J.

    1989-01-01

    Data collected by two Viking landers are analyzed. Attention is given to the characteristics of the surface inferred from Lander imaging and meteorology data, physical and magnetic properties experiments, and both inorganic and organic analyses of Martian samples. Viking Lander 1 touched down on Chryse Planitia on July 20, 1976 and continued to operate for 2252 sols, until November 20, 1982. Lander 2 touched down about 6500 km away from Lander 1, on Utopia Planitia on September 3, 1976. The chemical compositions of sediments at the two landing sites are similar, suggesting an aeolian origin. The compositions suggest an iron-rich rock an are matched by various clays and salts. 89 refs

  17. 'Mister Badger' Pushing Mars Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    Viking's soil sampler collector arm successfully pushed a rock on the surface of Mars during the afternoon of Friday, October 8. The irregular-shaped rock was pushed several inches by the Lander's collector arm, which displaced the rock to the left of its original position, leaving it cocked slightly upward. Photographs and other information verified the successful rock push. Photo at left shows the soil sampler's collector head pushing against the rock, named 'Mister Badger' by flight controllers. Photo at right shows the displaced rock and the depression whence it came. Part of the soil displacement was caused by the collector s backhoe. A soil sample will be taken from the site Monday night, October 11. It will then be delivered to Viking s organic chemistry instrument for a series of analyses during the next few weeks. The sample is being sought from beneath a rock because scientists believe that, if there are life forms on Mars, they may seek rocks as shelter from the Sun s intense ultraviolet radiation.

  18. Small Aerostationary Telecommunications Orbiter Concept for Mars in the 2020s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lock, Robert E.; Edwards, Charles D., Jr.; Nicholas, Austin; Woolley, Ryan; Bell, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Current Mars science orbiters carry UHF proximity payloads to provide limited access and data services to landers and rovers on Mars surface. In the era of human spaceflight to Mars, very high rate and reliable relay services will be needed to serve a large number of supporting vehicles, habitats, and orbiters, as well as astronaut EVAs. These will likely be provided by a robust network of orbiting assets in very high orbits, such as areostationary orbits. In the decade leading to that era, telecommunications orbits can be operated at areostationary orbit that can support a significant population of robotic precursor missions and build the network capabilities needed for the human spaceflight era. Telecommunications orbiters of modest size and cost, delivered by Solar Electric Propulsion to areostationary orbit, can provide continuous access at very high data rates to users on the surface and in Mars orbit.In the era of human spaceflight to Mars very high rate andreliable relay services will be needed to serve a largenumber of supporting vehicles, habitats, and orbiters, aswell as astronaut EVAs. These could be provided by arobust network of orbiting assets in very high orbits. In thedecade leading to that era, telecommunications orbiterscould be operated at areostationary orbit that could support asignificant population of robotic precursor missions andbuild the network capabilities needed for the humanspaceflight era. These orbiters could demonstrate thecapabilities and services needed for the future but withoutthe high bandwidth and high reliability requirements neededfor human spaceflight.Telecommunications orbiters of modest size and cost,delivered by Solar Electric Propulsion to areostationaryorbit, could provide continuous access at very high datarates to users on the surface and in Mars orbit. Twoexamples highlighting the wide variety of orbiter deliveryand configuration options were shown that could providehigh-performance service to users.

  19. 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.

  20. Linear Covariance Analysis for a Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Jiann-Woei; Bhatt, Sagar; Fritz, Matthew; Woffinden, David; May, Darryl; Braden, Ellen; Hannan, Michael

    2017-01-01

    A next-generation lunar lander Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) system, which includes a state-of-the-art optical sensor suite, is proposed in a concept design cycle. The design goal is to allow the lander to softly land within the prescribed landing precision. The achievement of this precision landing requirement depends on proper selection of the sensor suite. In this paper, a robust sensor selection procedure is demonstrated using a Linear Covariance (LinCov) analysis tool developed by Draper.

  1. 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

    update mission timelines for operation. Elaboration of housekeeping data showed that the behaviour of the whole instrument was nominal during the whole cruise. Unfortunately DREAMS was not able to operate on the surface of Mars, due to the known guidance anomaly during the descent that caused Schiaparelli to crash at landing. The adverse sequence of events at 4 km altitude anyway 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. The spare models of DREAMS are currently in use at university premises for the development of autonomous units to be used in cubesat mission and in probes for stratospheric balloons launches in collaboration with Italian Space Agency.

  2. Europe goes to Mars - preparations are well under way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    Under the umbrella of the European Space Agency, at least 25 companies from 15 European countries are building hardware or software for the spacecraft, or otherwise contributing their expertise; and more than 200 scientists from research institutes in all ESA member states and beyond are contributing towards the scientific payload. "The Mars Express project is providing about 1000 jobs throughout Europe," estimates Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express Project Manager at ESTEC, the European Space Agency's technical centre in the Netherlands. Preparations are well under way and on schedule for a May/June 2003 launch sending the spacecraft on its six-month voyage. The structure is taking shape under the guidance of the prime contractor Astrium, Toulouse (France), and the scientific teams are on target with scientific instrument development. Water and life ESA's Mars Express mission consists of an orbiter, carrying seven scientific experiments, and a lander, Beagle 2. The two vehicles will play key roles in an international Mars exploration programme spanning the next two decades. The instruments on board the orbiter will provide remote sensing of the atmosphere, the surface and up to 5km below the surface, to a degree of accuracy never before achieved. The information gleaned will help answer many questions outstanding about Mars. One concerns the fate of water that once flowed freely on the planet’s surface; another is whether life ever evolved on Mars. Beagle-2 will be the first lander since NASA’s two Viking probes in the 1970s to look specifically for evidence of past or present life on Mars. No other Mars probe planned so far is making exobiology so central to its mission. When the spacecraft arrives at the Red Planet around Christmas 2003, the Mars Express orbiter will jettison Beagle 2 and then move into a near-polar orbit from which it will observe the whole planet over the next Martian year (equivalent to two Earth years). The lander will make its own way to a

  3. 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

  4. Thermal and microstructural properties of fine-grained material at the Viking Lander 1 site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paton, M. D.; Harri, A.-M.; Savijärvi, H.; Mäkinen, T.; Hagermann, A.; Kemppinen, O.; Johnston, A.

    2016-06-01

    As Viking Lander 1 touched down on Mars one of its footpads fully penetrated a patch of loose fine-grained drift material. The surrounding landing site, as observed by VL-1, was found to exhibit a complex terrain consisting of a crusted surface with an assortment of rocks, large dune-like drifts and smaller patches of drift material. We use a temperature sensor attached to the buried footpad and covered in fine-grained material to determine the thermal properties of drift material at the VL-1 site. The thermal properties are used to investigate the microstructure of the drift material and understand its relevance to surface-atmosphere interactions. We obtained a thermal inertia value of 103 ± 22 tiu. This value is in the upper range of previous thermal inertia estimates of martian dust as measured from orbit and is significantly lower than the regional thermal inertia of the VL-1 site, of around 283 tiu, obtained from orbit. We estimate a thermal inertia of around 263 ± 29 tiu for the duricrust at the VL-1 site. It was noted the patch of fine-grained regolith around the footpad was about 20-30 K warmer compared to similar material beyond the thermal influence of the lander. An effective diameter of 8 ± 5 μm was calculated for the particles in the drift material. This is larger than atmospheric dust and large compared to previous estimates of the drift material particle diameter. We interpret our results as the presence of a range of particle sizes, <8 μm, in the drift material with the thermal properties being controlled by a small amount of large particles (∼8 μm) and its cohesion being controlled by a large amount of smaller particles. The bulk of the particles in the drift material are therefore likely comparable in size to that of atmospheric dust. The possibility of larger particles being locked into a fine-grained material has implications for understanding the mobilisation of wind blown materials on Mars.

  5. 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.

  6. The Mars Climate Database (MCD version 5.3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millour, Ehouarn; Forget, Francois; Spiga, Aymeric; Vals, Margaux; Zakharov, Vladimir; Navarro, Thomas; Montabone, Luca; Lefevre, Franck; Montmessin, Franck; Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel; Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Lewis, Stephen; Read, Peter; Desjean, Marie-Christine; MCD/GCM Development Team

    2017-04-01

    Our Global Circulation Model (GCM) simulates the atmospheric environment of Mars. It is developped at LMD (Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique, Paris, France) in close collaboration with several teams in Europe (LATMOS, France, University of Oxford, The Open University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia), and with the support of ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (French Space Agency). GCM outputs are compiled to build a Mars Climate Database, a freely available tool useful for the scientific and engineering communities. The Mars Climate Database (MCD) has over the years been distributed to more than 300 teams around the world. The latest series of reference simulations have been compiled in a new version (v5.3) of the MCD, released in the first half of 2017. To summarize, MCD v5.3 provides: - Climatologies over a series of synthetic dust scenarios: standard (climatology) year, cold (ie: low dust), warm (ie: dusty atmosphere) and dust storm, all topped by various cases of Extreme UV solar inputs (low, mean or maximum). These scenarios have been derived from home-made, instrument-derived (TES, THEMIS, MCS, MERs), dust climatology of the last 8 Martian years. The MCD also provides simulation outputs (MY24-31) representative of these actual years. - Mean values and statistics of main meteorological variables (atmospheric temperature, density, pressure and winds), as well as surface pressure and temperature, CO2 ice cover, thermal and solar radiative fluxes, dust column opacity and mixing ratio, [H20] vapor and ice columns, concentrations of many species: [CO], [O2], [O], [N2], [H2], [O3], ... - A high resolution mode which combines high resolution (32 pixel/degree) MOLA topography records and Viking Lander 1 pressure records with raw lower resolution GCM results to yield, within the restriction of the procedure, high resolution values of atmospheric variables. - The possibility to reconstruct realistic conditions by combining the provided climatology with

  7. An Undergraduate Endeavor: Assembling a Live Planetarium Show About Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Allison M.

    2016-10-01

    Viewing the mysterious red planet Mars goes back thousands of years with just the human eye but in more recent years the growth of telescopes, satellites and lander missions unveil unrivaled detail of the Martian surface that tells a story worth listening to. This planetarium show will go through the observations starting with the ancients to current understandings of the Martian surface, atmosphere and inner-workings through past and current Mars missions. Visual animations of its planetary motions, display of high resolution images from the Hi-RISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and CTX (Context Camera) data imagery aboard the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) as well as other datasets will be used to display the terrain detail and imagery of the planet Mars with a digital projection system. Local planetary scientists and Mars specialists from the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) will be interviewed and used in the show to highlight current technology and understandings of the red planet. This is an undergraduate project that is looking for collaborations and insight in order gain structure in script writing that will teach about this planetary body to all ages in the format of a live planetarium show.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

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

  10. The Investigation of Perchlorate/Iron Phase Mixtures as A Possible Source of Oxygen Detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Heil, E.; Morris, R. V.; Archer, P. D.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H.; Freissinet C.; Glavin, D. P.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover detected O2 and HCl gas releases from the Rocknest (RN) eolian bedform and the John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) drill hole materials in Gale Crater. Chlorinated hydrocarbons have also been detected by the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GCMS). These detections along with the detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander's Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) suggesting perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 and chlorine species. Laboratory thermal analysis of individual per-chlorates has yet to provide an unequivocal temperature match to the SAM O2 and HCl release data. These detections along with the detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander's Wet Chemistry Laboratory suggested perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 and chlorine species. Laboratory thermal analysis of pure perchlorates has yet to provide an unequivocal temperature match to the SAM O2 and HCl release data. Analog laboratory analysis of iron mineralogy detected in Gale materials that was physically mixed with Ca- and Mg-perchlorate has been shown to catalyze lower O2 release temperatures and approach some SAM O2 release data. Instead of physical mixtures used in previous work, the work presented here utilized perchlorate solutions added to Fe phases. This technique allowed for perchlorate to come in closer contact with the Fe-phase and may more closely mimic Mars conditions where humidity can increase enough to cause deliquescence of the highly hygroscopic perchlorate phases. The objective of this work is to: 1) Utilize a laboratory SAM analog instrument to evaluate the O2 release temperatures from Mg- and Ca-perchlorates solutions applied to Fephases detetected in Gale Crate; and 2) Determine if perchlorate solutions can provide improved matches with the SAM O2 temperature release profiles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  13. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Water Uptake By Mars Salt Analogs: An Investigation Of Stable Aqueous Solutions On Mars Using Raman Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuding, D.; Gough, R. V.; Jorgensen, S. K.; Tolbert, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    To understand the formation of briny aqueous solutions on Mars, a salt analog was developed to closely match the individual cation and anion concentrations as reported by the Wet Chemistry Laboratory aboard the Phoenix Lander. ';Instant Mars' is a salt analog developed to fully encompass the correct concentrations of magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, perchlorate, chloride, and sulfate ions. Using environmental Raman microscopy, we have studied the water uptake by the Instant Mars analog as a function of temperature and relative humidity. Water uptake was monitored using Raman spectroscopy in combination with optical microscopy. A MicroJet droplet generator was used to generate 30 μm diameter particles that were deposited onto a quartz disc. The particles undergo visual transformations as the relative humidity (RH) is increased and the presence of water uptake is confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. At -30° C, water uptake begins at ~ 35% RH as humidity is increased. The water uptake is marked by the growth of a sulfate peak at 990 cm-1, an indicator that sulfate has undergone a phase transition into an aqueous state. As the RH continues to increase, the peak in the O-H region (~3500 cm-1) broadens as more liquid water accumulates in the particles. The Instant Mars particles achieve complete deliquescence at 68% RH, indicated both visually and with Raman spectroscopy. The gradual water uptake observed suggests that deliquescence of the Instant Mars particles is not an immediate process, but that it occurs in steps marked by the deliquescence of the individual salts. Perhaps of even more significance is the tendency for the Instant Mars particles to remain aqueous at low humidity as RH is decreased. Raman spectra indicate that liquid water is present as low as 2% RH at -30° C. Ongoing work will examine the phase of Instant Mars particles under simulated Martian surface and subsurface conditions to gain insight into the possibility for aqueous solutions on Mars

  15. 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.

  16. Nuclear rockets: High-performance propulsion for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, C.W.

    1994-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-29

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

  18. The Viking Orbiter and its Mariner inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, A. E.; Norris, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    The orbiter system of the Viking spacecraft performs the functions of transporting the lander into orbit around Mars, surveying the proposed landing sites, relaying lander data to earth, and conducting independent scientific observations of Mars. The orbiter system is a semiautomatic, solar-powered, triaxially stabilized platform capable of making trajectory corrections and communicating with earth on S-band. Its instruments for visual imaging, detecting water vapor, and thermal mapping are mounted on a separate two-degree-of-freedom scan platform. Radio science is conducted at three frequencies, using the main S-band system, a separate X-band derived from the S-band, and the UHF one-way link with the lander.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. MOURA magnetometer for Mars MetNet Precursor Mission. Its potential for an in situ magnetic environment and surface characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz Michelena, M.; Sanz, R.; Fernandez, A.B.; Manuel, V. de; Cerdan, M.F.; Apestigue, V.; Arruego, I.; Azcue, J.; Dominguez, J.A.; Gonzalez, M.; Guerrero, H.; Sabau, M.; Kilian, R.; Baeza, O.; Ros, F.; Vazquez, M.; Tordesillas, J.M.; Covisa, P.; Aguado, J.

    2016-07-01

    MOURA magnetometer and gradiometer is part of the scientific instrumentation for Mars MetNet Precursor mission. This work describes the objective of the investigation, summarizes the work done in the design and development of the sensor as well as its calibration, and shows the demonstration campaigns to show the potential of such instrument for planetary landers and rovers. (Author)

  2. 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

  3. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

    The current-generation RTGs (both GPHS and MOD) are designed for operation in a vacuum environment. The multifoil thermal insulation used in those RTGs only functions well in a good vacuum. Current RTGs are designed to operate with an inert cover gas before launch, and to be vented to space vacuum after launch. Both RTGs are sealed with a large number of metallic C-rings. Those seals are adequate for retaining the inert-gas overpressure during short-term launch operations, but would not be adequate to prevent intrusion of the Martian atmospheric gases during long-term operations there. Therefore, for the Mars Rover application, those RTGs just be modified to prevent the buildup of significant pressures of Mars atmosphere or of helium (from alpha decay of the fuel). In addition, a Mars Rover RTG needs to withstand a long-term dynamic environment that is much more severe than that seen by an RTG on an orbiting spacecraft or on a stationary planetary lander. This paper describes a typical Rover mission, its requirements, the environment it imposes on the RTG, and a design approach for making the RTG operable in such an environment. Specific RTG designs for various thermoelectric element alternatives are presented.; Reference CID #9268 and CID #9276.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-04-01

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

  5. Capability and Technology Performance Goals for the Next Step in Affordable Human Exploration of Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Sanders, Gerald B.; Taminger, Karen M.

    2015-01-01

    The capability for living off the land, commonly called in-situ resource utilization, is finally gaining traction in space exploration architectures. Production of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere is called an enabling technology for human return from Mars, and a flight demonstration to be flown on the Mars 2020 robotic lander is in development. However, many of the individual components still require technical improvements, and system-level trades will be required to identify the best combination of technology options. Based largely on work performed for two recent roadmap activities, this paper defines the capability and technology requirements that will need to be achieved before this game-changing capability can reach its full potential.

  6. A Novel, Low-Cost Conformable Lander

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The primary focus of this activity will be to outline a preliminary mechanical design for this conforming lander. Salient issues to be worked include (1) determining...

  7. 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).

  8. Methane Seepage on Mars: Where to Look and Why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2017-12-01

    Methane on Mars is a topic of special interest because of its potential association with microbial life. The variable detections of methane by the Curiosity rover, orbiters, and terrestrial telescopes, coupled with methane's short lifetime in the martian atmosphere, may imply an active gas source in the planet's subsurface, with migration and surface emission processes similar to those known on Earth as "gas seepage." Here, we review the variety of subsurface processes that could result in methane seepage on Mars. Such methane could originate from abiotic chemical reactions, thermogenic alteration of abiotic or biotic organic matter, and ancient or extant microbial metabolism. These processes can occur over a wide range of temperatures, in both sedimentary and igneous rocks, and together they enhance the possibility that significant amounts of methane could have formed on early Mars. Methane seepage to the surface would occur preferentially along faults and fractures, through focused macro-seeps and/or diffuse microseepage exhalations. Our work highlights the types of features on Mars that could be associated with methane release, including mud-volcano-like mounds in Acidalia or Utopia; proposed ancient springs in Gusev Crater, Arabia Terra, and Valles Marineris; and rims of large impact craters. These could have been locations of past macro-seeps and may still emit methane today. Microseepage could occur through faults along the dichotomy or fractures such as those at Nili Fossae, Cerberus Fossae, the Argyre impact, and those produced in serpentinized rocks. Martian microseepage would be extremely difficult to detect remotely yet could constitute a significant gas source. We emphasize that the most definitive detection of methane seepage from different release candidates would be best provided by measurements performed in the ground or at the ground-atmosphere interface by landers or rovers and that the technology for such detection is currently available. Key

  9. 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.)

  10. Effects of Perchlorate on Organic Molecules under Simulated Mars Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Kounaves, S. P.

    2014-12-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) was discovered in the northern polar region of Mars by the Mars Phoenix Lander in 2008 and has also been recently detected by the Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater [1,2]. Perchlorate has also been shown to be formed under current Mars conditions via the oxidation of mineral chlorides, further supporting the theory that perchlorate is present globally on Mars [3]. The discovery of perchlorate on Mars has raised important questions about the effects of perchlorate on the survival and detection of organic molecules. Although it has been shown that pyrolysis in the presence of perchlorate results in the alteration or destruction of organic molecules [4], few studies have been conducted on the potential effects of perchlorate on organic molecules under martian surface conditions. Although perchlorate is typically inert under Mars-typical temperatures [5], perchlorate does absorb high energy UV radiation, and has been shown to decompose to form reactive oxychlorine species such as chlorite (ClO2-) when exposed to martian conditions including UV or ionizing radiation [6,7]. Here we investigate the effects of perchlorate on the organic molecules tryptophan, benzoic acid and mellitic acid in order to determine how perchlorate may alter these compounds under Mars conditions. Experiments are performed in a Mars Simulation Chamber (MSC) capable of reproducing the temperature, pressure, atmospheric composition and UV flux found on Mars. Soil simulants are prepared consisting of SiO2 and each organic, as well as varying concentrations of perchlorate salts, and exposed in the MSC. Subsequent to exposure in the MSC samples are leached and the leachate analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS to determine the degree of degradation of the original organic and the identity of any potential decomposition products formed by oxidation or chlorination. References: [1] Kounaves et al., J. Geophys. Res. Planets, Vol. 115, p. E00E10, 2010 [2] Glavin et al., J. Geophys. Res. Planets, Vol

  11. DREAMS-SIS: The Solar Irradiance Sensor on-board the ExoMars 2016 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruego, I.; Apéstigue, V.; Jiménez-Martín, J.; Martínez-Oter, J.; Álvarez-Ríos, F. J.; González-Guerrero, M.; Rivas, J.; Azcue, J.; Martín, I.; Toledo, D.; Gómez, L.; Jiménez-Michavila, M.; Yela, M.

    2017-07-01

    The Solar Irradiance Sensor (SIS) was part of the DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment, and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface) payload package on board the ExoMars 2016 Entry and Descent Module (EDM), "Schiaparelli". DREAMS was a meteorological station aimed at the measurement of several atmospheric parameters, as well as the presence of electric fields, during the surface operations of EDM. DREAMS-SIS is a highly miniaturized lightweight sensor designed for small meteorological stations, capable of estimating the aerosol optical depth (AOD) several times per sol, as well as performing a direct measurement of the global (direct plus scattered) irradiance on the Martian surface in the spectral range between 200 and 1100 nm. AOD is estimated from the irradiance measurements at two different spectral bands - Ultraviolet (UV) and near infrared (NIR) - which also enables color index (CI) analysis for the detection of clouds. Despite the failure in the landing of Schiaparelli, DREAMS-SIS is a valuable precursor for new developments being carried-on at present. The concept and design of DREAMS-SIS are here presented and its operating principles, supported by preliminary results from a short validation test, are described. Lessons learnt and future work towards a new generation of Sun irradiance sensors is also outlined.

  12. Non-Cooled Power System for Venus Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Denise; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    The Planetary Science Decadal Survey of 2013-2022 stated that the exploration of Venus is of significant interest. Studying the seismic activity of the planet is of particular importance because the findings can be compared to the seismic activity of Earth. Further, the geological and atmospheric properties of Venus will shed light into the past and future of Earth. This paper presents a radioisotope power system (RPS) design for a small low-power Venus lander. The feasibility of the new power system is then compared to that of primary batteries. A requirement for the power source system is to avoid moving parts in order to not interfere with the primary objective of the mission - to collect data about the seismic activity of Venus using a seismometer. The target mission duration of the lander is 117 days, a significant leap from Venera 13, the longest-lived lander on the surface of Venus, which survived for 2 hours. One major assumption for this mission design is that the power source system will not provide cooling to the other components of the lander. This assumption is based on high-temperature electronics technology that will enable the electronics and components of the lander to operate at Venus surface temperature. For the proposed RPS, a customized General Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (GPHSRTG) is designed and analyzed. The GPHS-RTG is chosen primarily because it has no moving parts and it is capable of operating for long duration missions on the order of years. This power system is modeled as a spherical structure for a fundamental thermal analysis. The total mass and electrical output of the system are calculated to be 24 kilograms and 26 Watts, respectively. An alternative design for a battery-based power system uses Sodium Sulfur batteries. To deliver a similar electrical output for 117 days, the battery mass is calculated to be 234 kilograms. Reducing mission duration or power required will reduce the required battery mass

  13. On the Thermal Protection Systems of Landers for Venus Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekonomov, A. P.; Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2018-01-01

    The landers of the Soviet Venera series—from Venera-9 to Venera-14—designed at the Lavochkin Association are a man-made monument to spectacular achievements of Soviet space research. For more than 40 years, they have remained the uneclipsed Soviet results in space studies of the Solar System. Within the last almost half a century, the experiments carried out by the Venera-9 to Venera-14 probes for studying the surface of the planet have not been repeated by any space agency in the world, mainly due to quite substantial technical problems. Since that time, no Russian missions with landers have been sent to Venus either. On Venus, there is an anoxic carbon dioxide atmosphere, where the pressure is 9.2 MPa and the temperature is 735 K near the surface. A long-lived lander should experience these conditions for an appreciable length of time. What technical solutions could provide a longer operation time for a new probe investigating the surface of Venus, if its thermal scheme is constructed similar to that of the Venera series? Onboard new landers, there should be a sealed module, where the physical conditions required for operating scientific instruments are maintained for a long period. At the same time, new high-temperature electronic equipment that remains functional under the above-mentioned conditions have appeared. In this paper, we consider and discuss different variants of the system for a long-lived sealed lander, in particular, the absorption of the penetrating heat due to water evaporation and the thermal protection construction for the instruments with intermediate characteristics.

  14. Battery and Fuel Cell Development Goals for the Lunar Surface and Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.

    2008-01-01

    NASA is planning a return to the moon and requires advances in energy storage technology for its planned lunar lander and lunar outpost. This presentation describes NASA s overall mission goals and technical goals for batteries and fuel cells to support the mission. Goals are given for secondary batteries for the lander s ascent stage and suits for extravehicular activity on the lunar surface, and for fuel cells for the lander s descent stage and regenerative fuel cells for outpost power. An overall approach to meeting these goals is also presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. The Landers earthquake; preliminary instrumental results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, L.; Mori, J.; Hauksson, E.

    1992-01-01

    Early on the morning of June 28, 1992, millions of people in southern California were awakened by the largest earthquake to occur in the western United States in the past 40 yrs. At 4:58 a.m PDT (local time), faulting associated with the magnitude 7.3 earthquake broke through to earth's surface near the town of Landers, California. the surface rupture then propagated 70km (45 mi) to the north and northwest along a band of faults passing through the middle of the Mojave Desert. Fortunately, the strongest shaking occurred in uninhabited regions of the Mojave Desert. Still one child was killed in Yucca Valley, and about 400 people were injured in the surrounding area. the desert communities of Landers, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree in San Bernardino Country suffered considerable damage to buildings and roads. Damage to water and power lines caused problems in many areas. 

  17. Atlantic Deep-Water Canyons (Benthic Landers) 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Each benthic lander contains a programmable sediment trap which can take 12 monthly samples, plus instruments to record temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen,...

  18. The MECA Payload as a Dust Analysis Laboratory on the MSP 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Anderson, M.; Buehler, M.; Frant, M.; Fuerstenau, S.; Hecht, M.; Keller, U.; Markiewicz, W.; Meloy, T.; Pike, T.

    1999-09-01

    In a companion abstract, the "Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment" (MECA) payload for Mars Surveyor Program 2001 (MSP 2001) is described in terms of its capabilities for addressing exobiology on Mars. Here we describe how the same payload elements perform in terms of gathering data about surface dust on the planet. An understanding of the origin and properties of dust is important to both human exploration and planetary geology. The MECA instrument is specifically designed for soil/dust investigations: it is a multifunctional laboratory equipped to assess particulate properties with wet chemistry, camera imagery, optical microscopy (potentially with LTV fluorescence capability), atomic force microscopy (AFM; potentially with mineral-discrimination capabilities), electrometry, active & passive external materials-test panels, mineral hardness testing, and electrostatic & magnetic materials testing. Additionally, evaluation of soil chemical and physical properties as a function of depth down to about 50 cm will be facilitated by the Lander/MECA robot arm on which the camera (RAC) and electrometer are mounted. Types of data being sought for the dust include: (1) general textural and grain-size characterization of the soil as a whole --for example, is the soil essentially dust with other components or is it a clast-supported material in which dust resides only in the clast interstices, (2) size frequency distribution for dust particles in the range 0.01 to 10.00 microns, (3) particle-shape distribution of the soil components and of the fine dust fraction in particular, (4) soil fabric such as grain clustering into clods, aggregates, and cemented/indurated grain amalgamations, as well as related porosity, cohesiveness, and other mechanical soil properties, (5) cohesive relationship that dust has to certain types of rocks and minerals as a clue to which soil materials may be prime hosts for dust "piggybacking", (6) particle, aggregate, and bulk soil electrostatic

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The Detection of Evolved Oxygen from the Rocknest Eolian Bedform Material by the Sample Analysis at Mars(SAM) instrument at the Mars Curiosity Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Archer, D.; Ming, D.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H.; Glavin, D. P.; McAdam, A.; Mahaffy, P.; Stern, J.; Navarro-Gonzalex, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover detected an O2 gas release from the Rocknest eolain bedform (Fig. 1). The detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander s Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) [1] suggests that perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 release detected by SAM. The perchlorate would also serve as a source of chlorine in the chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GCMS) [2,3]. Chlorates (ClO3-) [4,5] and/or superoxides [6] may also be sources of evolved O2 from the Rocknest materials. The work objectives are to 1) evaluate the O2 release temperatures from Rocknest materials, 2) compare these O2 release temperatures with a series of perchlorates and chlorates, and 3) evaluate superoxide O2- sources and possible perchlorate interactions with other Rocknest phases during QMS analysis.

  2. Analysis of carbon and nitrogen signatures with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; the quest for organics under Mars-like conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dequaire, T.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Beck, P.; Jaber, M.; Cousin, A.; Rapin, W.; Lasne, J.; Gasnault, O.; Maurice, S.; Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Coll, P.

    2017-05-01

    Organic matter has been continuously delivered by meteorites and comets to Mars since its formation, and possibly formed in situ by abiogenic and/or biogenic processes. This organic matter may be preserved from the harsh oxidizing environment of Mars in specific locations. Together with water, organic molecules are necessary to the emergence of life as we know it. Since the first martian landers, scientists have been searching for organics and until today, only one positive detection has been made by a Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover. In this article we investigate a complementary approach to guide the search for organic matter using ChemCam, the first Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument on Mars. This experimental study focuses on the analysis of carbon and nitrogen LIBS signatures in organoclay samples and allows the determination of the critical level (Lc) and limit of detection (LoD) of these elements with LIBS under Mars-like conditions, giving new insights into the search of organic matter on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Sulfate Formation on Mars by Volcanic Aerosols: A New Look

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D. L.

    1996-03-01

    Sulfur was measured at both Viking Lander sites in abundances of 5-9 wt % SO3. Because the sulfur was more concentrated in clumps which disintegrated and the general oxidized nature of the Martian soil, these measurements led to the assumption that a sulfate duricrust existed. Two types of models for sulfate formation have been proposed. One is a formation by upwardly migrating ground water. The other is the formation of sulfates by the precipitation of volcanic aerosols. Most investigators have tended to favor the ground water origin of sulfates on Mars. However, evidence assemble since Viking may point to a volcanic aerosol origin.

  5. Long-Lived Venus Lander Conceptual Design: How To Keep It Cool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyson, Ridger W.; Schmitz, Paul C.; Penswick, L. Barry; Bruder, Geoffrey A.

    2009-01-01

    Surprisingly little is known about Venus, our neighboring sister planet in the solar system, due to the challenges of operating in its extremely hot, corrosive, and dense environment. For example, after over two dozen missions to the planet, the longest-lived lander was the Soviet Venera 13, and it only survived two hours on the surface. Several conceptual Venus mission studies have been formulated in the past two decades proposing lander architectures that potentially extend lander lifetime. Most recently, the Venus Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) was commissioned by NASA to study a Venus Flagship Mission potentially launching in the 2020- 2025 time-frame; the reference lander of this study is designed to survive for only a few hours more than Venera 13 launched back in 1981! Since Cytherean mission planners lack a viable approach to a long-lived surface architecture, specific scientific objectives outlined in the National Science Foundation Decadal Survey and Venus Exploration Advisory Group final report cannot be completed. These include: mapping the mineralogy and composition of the surface on a planetary scale determining the age of various rock samples on Venus, searching for evidence of changes in interior dynamics (seismometry) and its impact on climate and many other key observations that benefit with time scales of at least a full Venus day (Le. daylight/night cycle). This report reviews those studies and recommends a hybrid lander architecture that can survive for at least one Venus day (243 Earth days) by incorporating selective Stirling multi-stage active cooling and hybrid thermoacoustic power.

  6. Post-test analysis for the APR1400 LBLOCA DVI performance test using MARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bae, Kyoo Hwan; Lee, Y. J.; Kim, H. C.; Bae, Y. Y.; Park, J. K.; Lee, W.

    2002-03-01

    Post-test analyses using a multi-dimensional best-estimate analysis code, MARS, are performed for the APR1400 LBLOCA DVI (Direct Vessel Injection) performance tests. This report describes the code evaluation results for the test data of various void height tests and direct bypass tests that have been performed at MIDAS test facility. MIDAS is a scaled test facility of APR1400 with the objective of identifying multi-dimensional thermal-hydraulic phenomena in the downcomer during the reflood conditions of a large break LOCA. A modified linear scale ratio was applied in its construction and test conditions. The major thermal-hydraulic parameters such as ECC bypass fraction, steam condensation fraction, and temperature distributions in downcomer are compared and evaluated. The evaluation results of MARS code for the various test cases show that: (a) MARS code has an advanced modeling capability of well predicting major multi-dimensional thermal-hydraulic phenomena occurring in the downcomer, (b) MARS code under-predicts the steam condensation rates, which in turn causes to over-predict the ECC bypass rates. However, the trend of decrease in steam condensation rate and increase in ECC bypass rate in accordance with the increase in steam flow rate, and the calculation results of the ECC bypass rates under the EM analysis conditions generally agree with the test data

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardini, B.

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

  8. Martian soil stratigraphy and rock coatings observed in color-enhanced Viking Lander images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, E. L., III

    1979-01-01

    Subtle color variations of martian surface materials were enhanced in eight Viking Lander (VL) color images. Well-defined soil units recognized at each site (six at VL-1 and four at VL-2), are identified on the basis of color, texture, morphology, and contact relations. The soil units at the Viking 2 site form a well-defined stratigraphic sequence, whereas the sequence at the Viking 1 site is only partially defined. The same relative soil colors occur at the two sites, suggesting that similar soil units are widespread on Mars. Several types of rock surface materials can be recognized at the two sites; dark, relatively 'blue' rock surfaces are probably minimally weathered igneous rock, whereas bright rock surfaces, with a green/(blue + red) ratio higher than that of any other surface material, are interpreted as a weathering product formed in situ on the rock. These rock surface types are common at both sites. Soil adhering to rocks is common at VL-2, but rare at VL-1. The mechanism that produces the weathering coating on rocks probably operates planet-wide.

  9. The Effects of Perchlorate and its Precursors on Organic Molecules under Simulated Mars Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Beegle, L. W.; Bhartia, R.; Abbey, W. J.

    2016-12-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) was first detected on Mars by the Phoenix Lander in 2008 [1] and has subsequently been detected by Curiosity in Gale Crater [2], in Mars meteorite EETA79001 [3], and has been proposed as a possible explanation for results obtained by Viking [4]. Perchlorate has also been shown to be formed under current Mars conditions via the oxidation of mineral chlorides, further supporting the theory that perchlorate is present globally on Mars [5]. The discovery of perchlorate on Mars has raised important questions about its effects on the survival and detection of organic molecules. Although it has been shown that pyrolysis in the presence of perchlorate results in the alteration or destruction of organic molecules [2, 4], few studies have been conducted on the potential effects of perchlorate and its precursors on organic molecules prior to analysis. Perchlorate is typically inert under Mars temperatures and pressures, but it has been shown to decompose to form reactive oxychlorine species such as chlorite (ClO2-), hypochlorite (ClO-) and chlorine dioxide (ClO2) when exposed to Mars conditions including ionizing radiation [6]. The oxidation of chloride to perchlorate also results in the formation of reactive oxychlorine species such as chlorate (ClO3-) [5]. Here we investigate the effects of perchlorate and its oxychlorine precursors on organic molecules. Experiments are performed in a Mars Simulation Chamber (MSC) capable of reproducing the temperature, pressure, atmospheric composition and UV flux found on Mars. Soil simulants are prepared consisting of Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) [7] and each organic, as well as varying concentrations of perchlorate and/or chloride salts, and exposed in the MSC. Subsequent to exposure in the MSC samples are leached and the leachate analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS to determine the degree of degradation of the original organic and the identity of any potential decomposition products formed by oxidation or chlorination

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Limb clouds and dust on Mars from images obtained by the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Lavega, A.; Chen-Chen, H.; Ordoñez-Etxeberria, I.; Hueso, R.; del Río-Gaztelurrutia, T.; Garro, A.; Cardesín-Moinelo, A.; Titov, D.; Wood, S.

    2018-01-01

    The Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard the Mars Express (MEx) spacecraft is a simple camera aimed to monitor the release of the Beagle-2 lander on Mars Express and later used for public outreach. Here, we employ VMC as a scientific instrument to study and characterize high altitude aerosols events (dust and condensates) observed at the Martian limb. More than 21,000 images taken between 2007 and 2016 have been examined to detect and characterize elevated layers of dust in the limb, dust storms and clouds. We report a total of 18 events for which we give their main properties (areographic location, maximum altitude, limb projected size, Martian solar longitude and local time of occurrence). The top altitudes of these phenomena ranged from 40 to 85 km and their horizontal extent at the limb ranged from 120 to 2000 km. They mostly occurred at Equatorial and Tropical latitudes (between ∼30°N and 30°S) at morning and afternoon local times in the southern fall and northern winter seasons. None of them are related to the orographic clouds that typically form around volcanoes. Three of these events have been studied in detail using simultaneous images taken by the MARCI instrument onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and studying the properties of the atmosphere using the predictions from the Mars Climate Database (MCD) General Circulation Model. This has allowed us to determine the three-dimensional structure and nature of these events, with one of them being a regional dust storm and the two others water ice clouds. Analyses based on MCD and/or MARCI images for the other cases studied indicate that the rest of the events correspond most probably to water ice clouds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Study of Plume Impingement Effects in the Lunar Lander Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marichalar, Jeremiah; Prisbell, A.; Lumpkin, F.; LeBeau, G.

    2010-01-01

    Plume impingement effects from the descent and ascent engine firings of the Lunar Lander were analyzed in support of the Lunar Architecture Team under the Constellation Program. The descent stage analysis was performed to obtain shear and pressure forces on the lunar surface as well as velocity and density profiles in the flow field in an effort to understand lunar soil erosion and ejected soil impact damage which was analyzed as part of a separate study. A CFD/DSMC decoupled methodology was used with the Bird continuum breakdown parameter to distinguish the continuum flow from the rarefied flow. The ascent stage analysis was performed to ascertain the forces and moments acting on the Lunar Lander Ascent Module due to the firing of the main engine on take-off. The Reacting and Multiphase Program (RAMP) method of characteristics (MOC) code was used to model the continuum region of the nozzle plume, and the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) Analysis Code (DAC) was used to model the impingement results in the rarefied region. The ascent module (AM) was analyzed for various pitch and yaw rotations and for various heights in relation to the descent module (DM). For the ascent stage analysis, the plume inflow boundary was located near the nozzle exit plane in a region where the flow number density was large enough to make the DSMC solution computationally expensive. Therefore, a scaling coefficient was used to make the DSMC solution more computationally manageable. An analysis of the effectiveness of this scaling technique was performed by investigating various scaling parameters for a single height and rotation of the AM. Because the inflow boundary was near the nozzle exit plane, another analysis was performed investigating three different inflow contours to determine the effects of the flow expansion around the nozzle lip on the final plume impingement results.

  15. Technology Development and Design of a Hybrid Mars Ascent Vehicle Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karp, Ashley C.; Redmond, Matt; Nakazono, Barry; Vaughan, David; Shotwell, Robert; Story, George; Jackson, Dale; Young, David

    2016-01-01

    Hybrid propulsion has been investigated as an enhancing technology for a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) concept as part of potential Mars Sample Return (MSR) because of its high specific impulse, restartability, and the ability to operate and survive at extremely low temperatures. A new wax-based hybrid fuel formulation has been developed that could withstand the harsh and variable Mars environment protected solely by a minimal layer of passive insulation. This formulation could provide substantial energy savings for a notional lander and is critical for rover mobility. Preliminary thermal cycle testing has determined that the formulation can survive the expected temperature extremes and lifetime thermal testing is currently underway. A complete preliminary design using this new fuel formulation combined with a low temperature oxidizer such as Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen (MON30) is presented. Several key features associated with a complete hybrid MAV concept are investigated to determine their mission suitability (e.g. Thrust Vector Control and restartable ignition options). Potential challenges along a path towards developing such a system are outlined and future work is suggested as a means of technology maturation. The hybrid design presented here was the lowest Gross Lift Off Mass (GLOM) result of a 2015 Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) led MAV concept study.

  16. Global duricrust on Mars - Analysis of remote-sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.; Christensen, P. R.

    1986-01-01

    A study is conducted of the infrared thermal emission, radio thermal emission, and radar reflection data sets with the objective to obtain a simple and self-consistent model for the Mars surface. The results are compared with in situ observations at the Viking Lander sites. Attention is given to thermal inertia values, the abundance of surface rocks, radar/thermal correlations, diurnal temperature deviations, and radio emission data. It is suggested that all of the global remote-sensing data sets considered can be reconciled on the basis of variations in the degree of formation of a case-hardened crust or duricrust. On the other hand, no other model which has been proposed in conjunction with any individual data set can satisfy all of the constraints discussed.

  17. Development of a Relay Performance Web Tool for the Mars Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.; Edwards, Charles D.

    2009-01-01

    Modern Mars surface missions rely upon orbiting spacecraft to relay communications to and from Earth systems. An important component of this multi-mission relay process is the collection of relay performance statistics supporting strategic trend analysis and tactical anomaly identification and tracking.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. The ISHTE [In-Situ Heat Transfer Experiment] lander: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olson, L.O.; Harrison, J.G.

    1986-12-01

    This report describes the design and development of a sea floor lander constructed to support the In-Situ Heat Transfer Experiment (ISHTE). The work entailed fabricating and testing a steel space frame that would support and accurately position delicate instruments which would monitor a heat source driven into the sediments of the deep ocean. This lander is capable of being (1) transported from Seattle to Hawaii and back several times; (2) deployed from a ship at sea; (3) operated on the sea floor to field delicate experimental equipment; and (4) recovered for retrofit to support a one-year experiment on the sea floor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    On July 20, 1969, the first human beings landed on the Moon. On July 20, 1976, the first robotic lander touched down on Mars. This July 20th-- 29 years after Apollo 11 and 22 years since the Viking 1 Mars landing-- we take a look forward toward one possible future exploration site on the red planet.One of the advantages of the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) over its predecessors on the Viking and Mariner spacecraft is resolution. The ability to see-- resolve--fine details on the martian surface is key to planning future landing sites for robotic and, perhaps, human explorers that may one day visit the planet.At present, NASA is studying potential landing sites for the Mars Surveyor landers, rovers, and sample return vehicles that are scheduled to be launched in 2001, 2003, and 2005. Among the types of sites being considered for these early 21st Century landings are those with 'exobiologic potential'--that is, locations on Mars that are in some way related to the past presence of water.For more than a decade, two of the prime candidates suggested by various Mars research scientists are Gusev Crater and Ma'adim Vallis. Located in the martian southern cratered highlands at 14.7o S, 184.5o W, Gusev Crater is a large, ancient, meteor impact basin that--after it formed--was breached by Ma'adim Vallis.Viking Orbiter observations provided some evidence to suggest that a fluid--most likely, water--once flowed through Ma'adim Vallis and into Gusev Crater. Some scientists have suggested that there were many episodes of flow into Gusev Crater (as well as flow out of Gusev through its topographically-lower northwestern rim). Some have also indicated that there were times when Ma'adim Vallis, also, was full of water such that it formed a long, narrow lake.The possibility that water flowed into Gusev Crater and formed a lake has led to the suggestion that the materials seen on the floor of this crater--smooth-surfaced deposits, buried craters, and huge mesas near

  1. Research on Impact Process of Lander Footpad against Simulant Lunar Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Huang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The safe landing of a Moon lander and the performance of the precise instruments it carries may be affected by too heavy impact on touchdown. Accordingly, landing characteristics have become an important research focus. Described in this paper are model tests carried out using simulated lunar soils of different relative densities (called “simulant” lunar soils below, with a scale reduction factor of 1/6 to consider the relative gravities of the Earth and Moon. In the model tests, the lander was simplified as an impact column with a saucer-shaped footpad with various impact landing masses and velocities. Based on the test results, the relationships between the footpad peak feature responses and impact kinetic energy have been analyzed. Numerical simulation analyses were also conducted to simulate the vertical impact process. A 3D dynamic finite element model was built for which the material parameters were obtained from laboratory test data. When compared with the model tests, the numerical model proved able to effectively simulate the dynamic characteristics of the axial forces, accelerations, and penetration depths of the impact column during landing. This numerical model can be further used as required for simulating oblique landing impacts.

  2. Is Mars a habitable environment for extremophilic microorganisms from Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rettberg, Petra; Reitz, Guenther; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Bauermeister, Anja

    In the last decades several sucessful space missions to our neighboring planet Mars have deepened our knowledge about its environmental conditions substantially. Orbiters with intruments for remote sensing and landers with sophisticated intruments for in situ investigations resulted in a better understanding of Mars’ radiation climate, atmospheric composition, geology, and mineralogy. Extensive regions of the surface of Mars are covered with sulfate- and ferric oxide-rich layered deposits. These sediments indicate the possible existence of aqueous, acidic environments on early Mars. Similar environments on Earth harbour a specialised community of microorganisms which are adapted to the local stress factors, e.g. low pH, high concentrations of heavy metal ions, oligotrophic conditions. Acidophilic iron-sulfur bacteria isolated from such habitats on Earth could be considered as model organisms for an important part of a potential extinct Martian ecosystem or an ecosystem which might even exist today in protected subsurface niches. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was chosen as a model organism to study the ability of these bacteria to survive or grow under conditions resembling those on Mars. Stress conditions tested included desiccation, radiation, low temperatures, and high salinity. It was found that resistance to desiccation strongly depends on the mode of drying. Biofilms grown on membrane filters can tolerate longer periods of desiccation than planktonic cells dried without any added protectants, and drying under anaerobic conditions is more favourable to survival than drying in the presence of oxygen. Organic compounds such as trehalose and glycine betaine had a positive influence on survival after drying and freezing. A. ferrooxidans was shown to be sensitive to high salt concentrations, ionizing radiation, and UV radiation. However, the bacteria were able to utilize the iron minerals in Mars regolith mixtures as sole energy source. The survival and growth of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Gilbert V; Straat, Patricia Ann

    2016-10-01

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

  4. Rosetta swing-by at Mars – an analysis of the ROMAP measurements in comparison with results of 3-D multi-ion hybrid simulations and MEX/ASPERA-3 data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Boesswetter

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The Rosetta spacecraft flew by Mars at a distance of 260 km on 25 February 2007 during a gravity assist manoeuvre. During the closest approach (CA the lander magnetometer ROMAP was switched on. The dataset taken during this swingby provides insight into the plasma environment around Mars: in addition to a pronounced bow shock crossing Rosetta recorded the signature of the pile up region of draped magnetic field. Also the Rosetta measurements showed signatures of crustal magnetic field anomalies which can be verified by results of a crustal magnetic field model. In order to understand the measured field morphology, multi-ion hybrid simulations were performed. Some of the input parameters for the simulations were obtained from Mars Express (MEX data which were contemporaneously collected during the Rosetta swingby. These simulations reproduces ROMAP magnetic field measurements and show that the interplanetary magnetic field pointed northward during the encounter. A spectral analysis shows upstream waves ahead of the bow shock and indicates the presence of the magnetic pile-up boundary (MPB. The multi-ion model reproduces the ion fluxes measured by MEX/ASPERA-3 and is in agreement with the measurements to within one order of magnitude.

  5. A simulation of the Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter tracking mode for the Chang'E-5 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fei; Ye, Mao; Yan, Jianguo; Hao, Weifeng; Barriot, Jean-Pierre

    2016-06-01

    The Chang'E-5 mission is the third phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program and will collect and return lunar samples. After sampling, the Orbiter and the ascent vehicle will rendezvous and dock, and both spacecraft will require high precision orbit navigation. In this paper, we present a novel tracking mode-Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter tracking that possibly can be employed during the Chang'E-5 mission. The mathematical formulas for the Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter tracking mode are given and implemented in our newly-designed lunar spacecraft orbit determination and gravity field recovery software, the LUnar Gravity REcovery and Analysis Software/System (LUGREAS). The simulated observables permit analysis of the potential contribution Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter tracking could make to precision orbit determination for the Orbiter. Our results show that the Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter Range Rate has better geometric constraint on the orbit, and is more sensitive than the traditional two-way range rate that only tracks data between the Earth station and lunar Orbiter. After combining the Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter Range Rate data with the traditional two-way range rate data and considering the Lander position error and lunar gravity field error, the accuracy of precision orbit determination for the Orbiter in the simulation was improved significantly, with the biggest improvement being one order of magnitude, and the Lander position could be constrained to sub-meter level. This new tracking mode could provide a reference for the Chang'E-5 mission and have enormous potential for the positioning of future lunar farside Lander due to its relay characteristic.

  6. Oxidation and cyclization of organics in Mars-like soils during evolved gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Iñiguez, Enrique; de La Rosa, Jose; McKay, Chris

    Thermal volatilization (TV) of soils has been used as the method of choice in space because of its simplicity and reproducibility. TV was first used by the Viking Landers, which failed to detect organics at ppb levels and subsequently by the Phoenix Lander that did not find organics but instead detected the release of carbon dioxide from 400 to 680° C which was attributed to magnesium or iron carbonate, adsorbed carbon dioxide, or organics present in the soil. Future missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory from NASA and ExoMars from ESA will also use this method to release soil organics to the analytical instruments. The presence of inorganic salts or minerals can strongly modify the release of soil organics leading to their degradation and/or oxidation resulting in loss of sensitivity by several orders of magnitude. The purpose of this work is to study the matrix effects of some minerals and Martian soil analogues in the analysis of organics by TV. Samples were analyzed by TV-MS and/or TV-GC-MS in neutral (He) and reducing (H2 ) atmospheres following the methods reported by Navarro-González eta al., 2006, 2009 and Iñiguez et al., 2009. Our results show that oxidation of organic matter is n promoted by several soil minerals (iron oxides) and inorganic salts (perchlorates, persulphates, sulfates, nitrates) in a neutral atmosphere; however, in a reducing atmosphere the oxidation of organics by the mineral matrix is reduced. Furthermore it was found that the stable organics that were thermally evolved were aromatic in nature (benzene and methyl benzene). Therefore, depending on the mineral matrix there is completion between formation of aromatic compounds versus oxidation. Iñiguez, E., Navarro-González, R., de la Rosa, J., Ureña-Núnez, F., Coll, P., Raulin, F., and McKay, C.P.: 2009, On the oxidation ability of the NASA Mars-1 soil simulant during the thermal volatilization step. Implications for the search of organics on Mars. Geophys Res Lett 36, L21205

  7. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-08-01

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

  9. The MARS for squat, countermovement, and standing long jump performance analyses: are measures reproducible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébert-Losier, Kim; Beaven, C Martyn

    2014-07-01

    Jump tests are often used to assess the effect of interventions because their outcomes are reported valid indicators of functional performance. In this study, we examined the reproducibility of performance parameters from 3 common jump tests obtained using the commercially available Kistler Measurement, Analysis and Reporting Software (MARS). On 2 separate days, 32 men performed 3 squat jumps (SJs), 3 countermovement jumps (CMJs), and 3 standing long jumps (LJs) on a Kistler force-plate. On both days, the performance measures from the best jump of each series were extracted using the MARS. Changes in the mean scores, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), and coefficients of variations (CVs) were computed to quantify the between-day reproducibility of each parameter. Moreover, the reproducibility quantifiers specific to the 3 separate jumps were compared using nonparametric tests. Overall, an acceptable between-day reproducibility (mean ± SD, ICC, and CV) of SJ (0.88 ± 0.06 and 7.1 ± 3.8%), CMJ (0.84 ± 0.17 and 5.9 ± 4.1%), and LJ (0.80 ± 0.13 and 8.1 ± 4.1%) measures was found using the MARS, except for parameters directly relating to the rate of force development (i.e., time to maximal force) and change in momentum during countermovement (i.e., negative force impulse) where reproducibility was lower. A greater proportion of the performance measures from the standing LJs had low ICCs and/or high CVs values most likely owing to the complex nature of the LJ test. Practitioners and researchers can use most of the jump test parameters from the MARS with confidence to quantify changes in the functional ability of individuals over time, except for those relating to the rate of force development or change in momentum during countermovement phases of jumps.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. New analysis software for Viking Lander meteorological data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Kemppinen

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available We have developed a set of tools that enable us to process Viking Lander meteorological data beyond what has been previously publicly available. Besides providing data for new periods of time, the existing data periods have been augmented by enhancing the data resolution significantly. This was accomplished by first transferring the original Prime computer version of the data analysis software to a standard Linux platform, and then by modifying the software to be able to process the data despite irregularities in the original raw data and reverse engineering various parameter files. In addition to this, the processing pipeline has been streamlined, making processing the data faster and easier. As a case example of new data, freshly processed Viking Lander 1 and 2 temperature records are described and briefly analyzed in ways that have not been previously possible due to the lack of data.

  13. Farewell to the Earth and the Moon -ESA's Mars Express successfully tests its instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

    The routine check-outs of Mars Express's instruments and of the Beagle-2 lander, performed during the last weeks, have been very successful. "As in all space missions little problems have arisen, but they have been carefully evaluated and solved. Mars Express continues on its way to Mars performing beautifully", comments Chicarro. The views of the Earth/Moon system were taken on 3 July 2003 by Mars Express's High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), when the spacecraft was 8 million kilometres from Earth. The image taken shows true colours; the Pacific Ocean appears in blue, and the clouds near the Equator and in mid to northern latitudes in white to light grey. The image was processed by the Instrument Team at the Institute of Planetary Research of DLR, Berlin (Germany). It was built by combining a super resolution black and white HRSC snap-shot image of the Earth and the Moon with colour information obtained by the blue, green, and red sensors of the instrument. “The pictures and the information provided by the data prove the camera is working very well. They provide a good indication of what to expect once the spacecraft is in its orbit around Mars, at altitudes of only 250-300 kilometres: very high resolution images with brilliant true colour and in 3D,” says the Principal Investigator of the HRSC, Gerhard Neukum, of the Freie Universität of Berlin (Germany). This camera will be able to distinguish details of up to 2 metres on the Martian surface. Another striking demonstration of Mars Express's instruments high performance are the data taken by the OMEGA spectrometer. Once at Mars, this instrument will provide the best map of the molecular and mineralogical composition of the whole planet, with 5% of the planetary surface in high resolution. Minerals and other compounds such as water will be charted as never before. As the Red Planet is still too far away, the OMEGA team devised an ingenious test for their instrument: to detect the Earth’s surface

  14. Modeling and experimental validation of sawing based lander anchoring and sampling methods for asteroid exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Dong, Chengcheng; Zhang, Hui; Li, Song; Song, Aiguo

    2018-05-01

    This paper presents a novel lander anchoring system based on sawing method for asteroid exploration. The system is composed of three robotic arms, three cutting discs, and a control system. The discs mounted at the end of the arms are able to penetrate into the rock surface of asteroids. After the discs cut into the rock surface, the self-locking function of the arms provides forces to fix the lander on the surface. Modeling, trajectory planning, simulations, mechanism design, and prototype fabrication of the anchoring system are discussed, respectively. The performances of the system are tested on different kinds of rocks, at different sawing angles, locations, and speeds. Results show that the system can cut 15 mm deep into granite rock in 180 s at sawing angle of 60°, with the average power of 58.41 W, and the "weight on bit" (WOB) of 8.637 N. The 7.8 kg anchoring system is capable of providing omni-directional anchoring forces, at least 225 N normal and 157 N tangent to the surface of the rock. The system has the advantages of low-weight, low energy consumption and balance forces, high anchoring efficiency and reliability, and could enable the lander to move and sample or assist astronauts and robots in walking and sampling on asteroids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G.

    2018-05-01

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

  17. Triggered seismicity and deformation between the Landers, California, and Little Skull Mountain, Nevada, earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Paul; Gomberg, Joan

    1994-01-01

    This article presents evidence for the channeling of strain energy released by the Ms = 7.4 Landers, California, earthquake within the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ). We document an increase in seismicity levels during the 22-hr period starting with the Landers earthquake and culminating 22 hr later with the Ms = 5.4 Little Skull Mountain (LSM), Nevada, earthquake. We evaluate the completeness of regional seismicity catalogs during this period and find that the continuity of post-Landers strain release within the ECSZ is even more pronounced than is evident from the catalog data. We hypothesize that regional-scale connectivity of faults within the ECSZ and LSM region is a critical ingredient in the unprecedented scale and distribution of remotely triggered earthquakes and geodetically manifest strain changes that followed the Landers earthquake. The viability of static strain changes as triggering agents is tested using numerical models. Modeling results illustrate that regional-scale fault connectivity can increase the static strain changes by approximately an order of magnitude at distances of at least 280 km, the distance between the Landers and LSM epicenters. This is possible for models that include both a network of connected faults that slip “sympathetically” and realistic levels of tectonic prestrain. Alternatively, if dynamic strains are a more significant triggering agent than static strains, ECSZ structure may still be important in determining the distribution of triggered seismic and aseismic deformation.

  18. Best Practices for In-Situ Sediment-Water Incubations with Benthic Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tengberg, Anders; Kononets, Mikhail; Hall, Per; Nilsson, Madeleine; Ekeroth, Nils

    2017-04-01

    Biological, chemical, physical and geological processes that take place at the seafloor are crucial in influencing and regulating many aquatic environments. One method to estimate exchange rates, fluxes, between the sediment and the overlying water is in-situ sediment-water incubations using autonomous chamber landers. As for all field sampling and measurements best practices methods are needed to obtain high quality data. With experiences form many years usage of the Gothenburg autonomous bottom lander systems this presentation will describe some of the experimental work that has been done with focus on quality control and data evaluation methods.

  19. 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.

  20. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  1. First-order optical analysis of a quasi-microscope for planetary landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huck, F. O.; Sinclair, A. R.; Burcher, E. E.

    1973-01-01

    A first-order geometrical optics analysis of a facsimile camera augmented with an auxiliary lens as magnifier is presented. This concept, called quasi-microscope, bridges the gap between surface resolutions of the order of 1 to 10 mm which can be obtained directly with planetary lander cameras and resolutions of the order of 0.2 to 10 microns which can be obtained only with relatively complex microscopes. A facsimile camera was considered in the analysis; however, the analytical results can also be applied to television and film cameras. It was found that quasi-microscope resolutions in the range from 10 to 100 microns are obtainable with current state-of-the-art lander facsimile cameras. For the Viking lander camera having an angular resolution of 0.04 deg, which was considered as a specific example, the best achievable resolution would be about 20 microns. The preferred approach to increase the resolution of the quasi-microscope would be, if possible, through an increase in angular resolution of the camera. A twofold to threefold improvement in resolution could also be achieved with a special camera focus position, but this approach tends to require larger and heavier auxiliary optics.

  2. 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

  3. Computations of Viking Lander Capsule Hypersonic Aerodynamics with Comparisons to Ground and Flight Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edquist, Karl T.

    2006-01-01

    Comparisons are made between the LAURA Navier-Stokes code and Viking Lander Capsule hypersonic aerodynamics data from ground and flight measurements. Wind tunnel data are available for a 3.48 percent scale model at Mach 6 and a 2.75 percent scale model at Mach 10.35, both under perfect gas air conditions. Viking Lander 1 aerodynamics flight data also exist from on-board instrumentation for velocities between 2900 and 4400 m/sec (Mach 14 to 23.3). LAURA flowfield solutions are obtained for the geometry as tested or flown, including sting effects at tunnel conditions and finite-rate chemistry effects in flight. Using the flight vehicle center-of-gravity location (trim angle approx. equals -11.1 deg), the computed trim angle at tunnel conditions is within 0.31 degrees of the angle derived from Mach 6 data and 0.13 degrees from the Mach 10.35 trim angle. LAURA Mach 6 trim lift and drag force coefficients are within 2 percent of measured data, and computed trim lift-to-drag ratio is within 4 percent of the data. Computed trim lift and drag force coefficients at Mach 10.35 are within 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, of wind tunnel data. Computed trim lift-to-drag ratio is within 2 percent of the Mach 10.35 data. Using the nominal density profile and center-of-gravity location, LAURA trim angle at flight conditions is within 0.5 degrees of the total angle measured from on-board instrumentation. LAURA trim lift and drag force coefficients at flight conditions are within 7 and 5 percent, respectively, of the flight data. Computed trim lift-to-drag ratio is within 4 percent of the data. Computed aerodynamics sensitivities to center-of-gravity location, atmospheric density, and grid refinement are generally small. The results will enable a better estimate of aerodynamics uncertainties for future Mars entry vehicles where non-zero angle-of-attack is required.

  4. 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

  5. The Camera of the MASCOT Asteroid Lander on Board Hayabusa 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaumann, R.; Schmitz, N.; Koncz, A.; Michaelis, H.; Schroeder, S. E.; Mottola, S.; Trauthan, F.; Hoffmann, H.; Roatsch, T.; Jobs, D.; Kachlicki, J.; Pforte, B.; Terzer, R.; Tschentscher, M.; Weisse, S.; Mueller, U.; Perez-Prieto, L.; Broll, B.; Kruselburger, A.; Ho, T.-M.; Biele, J.; Ulamec, S.; Krause, C.; Grott, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Watanabe, S.; Sugita, S.; Okada, T.; Yoshikawa, M.; Yabuta, H.

    2017-07-01

    The MASCOT Camera (MasCam) is part of the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander's science payload. MASCOT has been launched to asteroid (162173) Ryugu onboard JAXA's Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample return mission on Dec 3rd, 2014. It is scheduled to arrive at Ryugu in 2018, and return samples to Earth by 2020. MasCam was designed and built by DLR's Institute of Planetary Research, together with Airbus-DS Germany. The scientific goals of the MasCam investigation are to provide ground truth for the orbiter's remote sensing observations, provide context for measurements by the other lander instruments (radiometer, spectrometer and magnetometer), the orbiter sampling experiment, and characterize the geological context, compositional variations and physical properties of the surface (e.g. rock and regolith particle size distributions). During daytime, clear filter images will be acquired. During night, illumination of the dark surface is performed by an LED array, equipped with 4×36 monochromatic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) working in four spectral bands. Color imaging will allow the identification of spectrally distinct surface units. Continued imaging during the surface mission phase and the acquisition of image series at different sun angles over the course of an asteroid day will contribute to the physical characterization of the surface and also allow the investigation of time-dependent processes and to determine the photometric properties of the regolith. The MasCam observations, combined with the MASCOT hyperspectral microscope (MMEGA) and radiometer (MARA) thermal observations, will cover a wide range of observational scales and serve as a strong tie point between Hayabusa 2's remote-sensing scales (103-10^{-3} m) and sample scales (10^{-3}-10^{-6} m). The descent sequence and the close-up images will reveal the surface features over a broad range of scales, allowing an assessment of the surface's diversity and close the gap between the orbital observations

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Phoenix Robotic Arm's Workspace After 90 Sols

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    During the first 90 Martian days, or sols, after its May 25, 2008, landing on an arctic plain of Mars, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander dug several trenches in the workspace reachable with the lander's robotic arm. The lander's Surface Stereo Imager camera recorded this view of the workspace on Sol 90, early afternoon local Mars time (overnight Aug. 25 to Aug. 26, 2008). The shadow of the the camera itself, atop its mast, is just left of the center of the image and roughly a third of a meter (one foot) wide. The workspace is on the north side of the lander. The trench just to the right of center is called 'Neverland.' 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.

  9. Unveiling the Mysteries of Mars with a Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (MVP-SEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunson, J.; Gaskin, J. A.; Doloboff, I. J.; Jerman, G.

    2017-01-01

    Development of a miniaturized scanning electron microscope that will utilize the martian atmosphere to dissipate charge during analysis continues. This instrument is expected to be used on a future rover or lander to answer fundamental Mars science questions. To identify the most important questions, a survey was taken at the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). From the gathered information initial topics were identified for a SEM on the martian surface. These priorities are identified and discussed below. Additionally, a concept of operations is provided with the goal of maximizing the science obtained with the minimum amount of communication with the instrument.

  10. Radiation Testing at Sandia National Laboratories: Sandia – JPL Collaboration for Europa Lander

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattar, Khalid Mikhiel [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Ion Beam Lab.; Olszewska-Wasiolek, Maryla Aleksandra [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Gamma Irradiation Facility

    2017-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is assisting Jet Propulsion Laboratory in undertaking feasibility studies and performance assessments for the Planetary Protection aspect of the Europa Lander mission. The specific areas of interest for this project are described by task number. This white paper presents the evaluation results for Task 2, Radiation Testing, which was stated as follows: Survey SNL facilities and capabilities for simulating the Europan radiation environment and assess suitability for: A. Testing batteries, electronics, and other component and subsystems B. Exposing biological organisms to assess their survivability metrics. The radiation environment the Europa Lander will encounter on route and in orbit upon arrival at its destination consists primarily of charged particles, energetic protons and electrons with the energies up to 1 GeV. The charged particle environments can be simulated using the accelerators at the Ion Beam Laboratory. The Gamma Irradiation Facility and its annex, the Low Dose Rate Irradiation Facility, offer irradiations using Co-60 gamma sources (1.17 and 1.33 MeV), as well as Cs-137 gamma (0.661 MeV) AmBe neutron (0-10 MeV) sources.

  11. Prediction of Heat Transfer Performance on Horizontal U-Shaped Heat Exchanger in Passive Safety System Using MARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeon, Seong-Su; Hong, Soon-Joon [FNC Tech, Yongin (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Hyoung-Kyu; Park, Goon-Cherl [Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    The design and the safety analysis of the passive safety systems are performed mainly using the best-estimate thermal-hydraulic analysis codes such as RELAP5 and MARS. This study developed the heat transfer model package for the horizontal U-shaped HX submerged in a pool by improving the horizontal in-tube condensation model and developing the outside-tube natural convective nucleate boiling model. This paper presents the HX model package and the validation results against the passive safety system-related experimental data of PASCAL and ATLAS-PAFS. This study developed the heat transfer model package of the horizontal U-shaped HX submerged in a pool in order to obtain a reliable prediction of the HX heat removal performance of the passive safety system, especially PAFS, using MARS. From the validation results, the proposed model package provided the improved prediction of HX performance (condensation, natural convective nucleate boiling, and heat removal rate of the HX) compared to the default model in MARS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  13. The influence of thermal inertia on Mars' seasonal pressure variation and the effect of the weather component

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. E.; Paige, D. A.

    Using a Leighton-Murray type diurnal and seasonal Mars thermal model, we found that it is possible to reproduce the seasonal variation in daily-averaged pressures (approximately 680-890 Pa) measured by Viking Lander 1 (VL1), during years without global dust storms, with a standard deviation of less than 5 Pa. In this simple model, surface CO2, frost condensation, and sublimation rates at each latitude are determined by the net effects of radiation, latent heat, and heat conduction in subsurface soil layers. An inherent assumption of our model is that the seasonal pressure variation is due entirely to the exchange of mass between the atmosphere and polar caps. However, the results of recent Mars GCM modeling have made it clear that there is a significant dynamical contribution to the seasonal pressure variation. This 'weather' component is primarily due to large-scale changes in atmospheric circulation, and its magnitude depends somewhat on the dust content of the atmosphere. The overall form of the theoretical weather component at the location of VL1, as calculated by the AMES GCM, remains the same over the typical range of Mars dust opacities.

  14. The Beagle 2 Effect - public response to the UK Mars lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillinger, J. M.; Pillinger, C. T.

    As a prerequisite for understanding science, the target audience must first be aware of an issue and then continue to maintain interest. We discuss the impact of the Beagle 2 mission to Mars on raising awareness amongst the general public as the first step to increasing understanding of the scientific and technological challenges and solutions such a mission addresses. The massive amount of public interest created is now being ttributed to the so-called "Beagle 2 Effect". We consider the reasons why the public, particularly, but not exclusively, in the UK took Beagle 2 to heart. Initially our strategy, as part of the PR plan for Beagle 2, was to collate media coverage for various stages and discrete campaigns in particular to use press cuttings to determine the level of recognition of Beagle 2 as a brand. At the start of the project this information was to support sponsorship bids, latterly the intrinsic value of media, and hence public, awareness was recognised by the major partners in the project. Much of the subsequent public awareness resulted from the comprehensive coverage in all branches of the media. A second opportunity to evaluate the response to the mission was presented to us as it became increasingly clear that Beagle 2 was able to engage an audience much wider than that typically interested in space, or science in general. We highlighted how far mention of Beagle 2 has spread. Additionally numerous unsolicited letters have been received from the public and these have been collated to indicate the factors which appear to have contributed to the widespread interest in Beagle 2. It is not clear whether the "Beagle 2 Effect" can, or will, be transferred to subsequent space missions.

  15. The Philae lander mission and science overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehnhardt, Hermann; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Apathy, Istvan; Auster, Hans Ulrich; Ercoli Finzi, Amalia; Goesmann, Fred; Klingelhöfer, Göstar; Knapmeyer, Martin; Kofman, Wlodek; Krüger, Harald; Mottola, Stefano; Schmidt, Walter; Seidensticker, Klaus; Spohn, Tilman; Wright, Ian

    2017-07-13

    The Philae lander accomplished the first soft landing and the first scientific experiments of a human-made spacecraft on the surface of a comet. Planned, expected and unexpected activities and events happened during the descent, the touch-downs, the hopping across and the stay and operations on the surface. The key results were obtained during 12-14 November 2014, at 3 AU from the Sun, during the 63 h long period of the descent and of the first science sequence on the surface. Thereafter, Philae went into hibernation, waking up again in late April 2015 with subsequent communication periods with Earth (via the orbiter), too short to enable new scientific activities. The science return of the mission comes from eight of the 10 instruments on-board and focuses on morphological, thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of the surface as well as on the surface composition. It allows a first characterization of the local environment of the touch-down and landing sites. Unique conclusions on the organics in the cometary material, the nucleus interior, the comet formation and evolution became available through measurements of the Philae lander in the context of the Rosetta mission.This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  16. Rock Abrasion and Ventifact Formation on Mars from Field Analog, Theoretical, and Experimental Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N. T.; Laity, J. E.

    2001-01-01

    Rocks observed by the Viking Landers and Pathfinder Lander/Sojourner rover exhibit a suite of perplexing rock textures. Among these are pits, spongy textures, penetrative flutes, lineaments, crusts, and knobs Fluvial, impact, chemical alteration, and aeolian mechanisms have been proposed for many of these. In an effort to better understand the origin and characteristics of Martian rock textures, abraded rocks in the Mojave Desert and other regions have been studied. We find that most Martian rock textures, as opposed to just a few, bear close resemblance to terrestrial aeolian textures and can most easily be explained by wind, not other, processes. Flutes, grooves, and some pits on Mars are consistent with abrasion by saltating particles, as described previously. However, many other rock textures probably also have an aeolian origin. Sills at the base of rocks that generally lie at high elevations, such as Half Dome, are consistent with such features on Earth that are related to moats or soil ramps that shield the basal part of the rock from erosion. Crusts consisting of fluted fabrics, such as those on Stimpy and Chimp, are similar to fluted crusts on Earth that spall off over time. Knobby and lineated rocks are similar to terrestrial examples of heterogeneous rocks that differentially erode. The location of specific rock textures on Mars also gives insight into their origin. Many of the most diagnostic ventifacts found at the Pathfinder site are located on rocks that lie near the crests or the upper slopes of ridges. On Earth, the most active ventifact formation occurs on sloped or elevated topography, where windflow is accelerated and particle kinetic energy and flux are increased. Integrated 0 together, these observations point to significant aeolian 0 modification of rocks on Mars and cast doubt on whether many primary textures resulting from other processes are preserved. Experimental simulations of abrasion in the presence of abundant sand indicate that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Ice on Mars Utopia Planitia Again

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

    This high-resolution color photo of the surface of Mars was taken by Viking Lander 2 at its Utopia Planitia landing site on May 18, 1979, and relayed to Earth by Orbiter 1 on June 7. It shows a thin coating of water ice on the rocks and soil. The time the frost appeared corresponds almost exactly with the buildup of frost one Martian year (23 Earth months) ago. Then it remained on the surface for about 100 days. Scientists believe dust particles in the atmosphere pick up bits of solid water. That combination is not heavy enough to settle to the ground. But carbon dioxide, which makes up 95 percent of the Martian atmosphere, freezes and adheres to the particles and they become heavy enough to sink. Warmed by the Sun, the surface evaporates the carbon dioxide and returns it to the atmosphere, leaving behind the water and dust. The ice seen in this picture, like that which formed one Martian year ago, is extremely thin, perhaps no more than one-thousandth of an inch thick.

  19. 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.

  20. Sensor systems for the Altair Lunar Lander:

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mariella, R

    2009-12-22

    The Altair Lunar Lander will enable astronauts to learn to live and work on the moon for extended periods of time, providing the experience needed to expand human exploration farther into the solar system. My overriding recommendation: Use independent and complementary [sometimes referred to as 'orthogonal'] techniques to disambiguate confounding/interfering signals. E.g.: a mass spectrometer ['MS'], which currently serves as a Majority Constituent Analyzer ['MCA'] can be very valuable in detecting the presence of a gaseous specie, so long as it falls on a mass-to-charge ratio ['m/z'] that is not already occupied by a majority constituent of cabin air. Consider the toxic gas, CO. Both N{sub 2} and CO have parent peaks of m/z = 28, and CO{sub 2} has a fragment peak at m/z = 28 [and at 16 and 12], so the N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} m/z=28 signals could mask low, but potentially-dangerous levels of CO. However there are numerous surface-sensitive CO detectors, as well as tunable-diode-laser-based CO sensors that could provide independent monitoring of CO. Also, by appending a gas chromatograph ['GC'] as the front-end sample processer, prior to the inlet of the MS, one can rely upon the GC to separate CO from N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}, providing the crew with another CO monitor. If the Altair Lunar Lander is able to include a Raman-based MCA for N{sub 2}, O{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O, and CO{sub 2}, then each type of MCA would have cross-references, providing more confidence in the ongoing performance of each technique, and decreasing the risk that one instrument might fail to perform properly, without being noticed. See, also Dr. Pete Snyder's work, which states 'An orthogonal technologies sensor system appears to be attractive for a high confidence detection of presence and temporal characterization of bioaerosols.' Another recommendation: Use data fusion for event detection to decrease uncertainty: tie together the

  1. Performance of MarSite Multi parameter Borehole Instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guralp, Cansun; Tunc, Suleyman; Ozel, Oguz; Meral Ozel, Nurcan; Necmioglu, Ocal

    2017-04-01

    In this paper we present two year results obtained from the integrated multiparameter borehole system at Marsite. The very broad band (VBB) system have been operating since installation in November 2014; one year in a water filled borehole and one year in a dry Borehole. from January 2016. The real time data has been available to the community. The two Borehole environments are compared showing the superior performance of dry borehole environ- ment compared to water filled for a very broad band (VBB) seismometer. The practical considerations applied in both borehole installations are compared and the best borehole practical installation techniques are presented and discussed. The data is also compared with a surface 120 second broad band sensor and the seismic arrays with in MarSite region. The very long term performance, (one year data in a dry hole) of the VBB Borehole seismometer and the Dilatometer will be presented The high frequency performance of the VBB seismometer which extends to 150 Hz and the dilatometer are compared characterizing the results from the dilatometer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  3. EquiMar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnstone, C. M.; McCombes, T.; Bahaj, A. S.

    2011-01-01

    the performance evaluation of such systems in order to address this deficiency. This paper reports the development of a set of ‘Best Practices’ within the ECFPVII EquiMar project to be adopted for the performance quantification of wave and tidal energy converters as they evolve from an engineering concept......At the present time there are no approved standards or recognised best practices being implemented for the performance appraisal and benchmarking of wave and tidal energy converters. As such, this develops considerable misunderstanding between device developers, testing centres, investors....../ financiers etc when attempting to quantify the performance of a device since it makes it very difficult to reference and benchmark the performance of a marine energy converter. The EC Framework Programme VII EquiMar project has set out to develop a suite of Best Practices to be adopted when undertaking...

  4. An ordinary camera in an extraordinary location: Outreach with the Mars Webcam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormston, T.; Denis, M.; Scuka, D.; Griebel, H.

    2011-09-01

    The European Space Agency's Mars Express mission was launched in 2003 and was Europe's first mission to Mars. On-board was a small camera designed to provide ‘visual telemetry’ of the separation of the Beagle-2 lander. After achieving its goal it was shut down while the primary science mission of Mars Express got underway. In 2007 this camera was reactivated by the flight control team of Mars Express for the purpose of providing public education and outreach—turning it into the ‘Mars Webcam’.The camera is a small, 640×480 pixel colour CMOS camera with a wide-angle 30°×40° field of view. This makes it very similar in almost every way to the average home PC webcam. The major difference is that this webcam is not in an average location but is instead in orbit around Mars. On a strict basis of non-interference with the primary science activities, the camera is turned on to provide unique wide-angle views of the planet below.A highly automated process ensures that the observations are scheduled on the spacecraft and then uploaded to the internet as rapidly as possible. There is no intermediate stage, so that visitors to the Mars Webcam blog serve as ‘citizen scientists’. Full raw datasets and processing instructions are provided along with a mechanism to allow visitors to comment on the blog. Members of the public are encouraged to use this in either a personal or an educational context and work with the images. We then take their excellent work and showcase it back on the blog. We even apply techniques developed by them to improve the data and webcam experience for others.The accessibility and simplicity of the images also makes the data ideal for educational use, especially as educational projects can then be showcased on the site as inspiration for others. The oft-neglected target audience of space enthusiasts is also important as this allows them to participate as part of an interplanetary instrument team.This paper will cover the history of the

  5. M.I.N.G., Mars Investment for a New Generation: Robotic construction of a permanently manned Mars base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, Jeff; Beeman, Randy; Brown, Susan; Calhoun, John; Hill, John; Howorth, Lark; Mcfaden, Clay; Nguyen, Paul; Reid, Philip; Rexrode, Stuart

    1989-01-01

    A basic procedure for robotically constructing a manned Mars base is outlined. The research procedure was divided into three areas: environment, robotics, and habitat. The base as designed will consist of these components: two power plants, communication facilities, a habitat complex, and a hangar, a garage, recreation and manufacturing facilities. The power plants will be self-contained nuclear fission reactors placed approx. 1 km from the base for safety considerations. The base communication system will use a combination of orbiting satellites and surface relay stations. This system is necessary for robotic contact with Phobos and any future communication requirements. The habitat complex will consist of six self-contained modules: core, biosphere, science, living quarters, galley/storage, and a sick bay which will be brought from Phobos. The complex will be set into an excavated hole and covered with approximately 0.5 m of sandbags to provide radiation protection for the astronauts. The recreation, hangar, garage, and manufacturing facilities will each be transformed from the four one-way landers. The complete complex will be built by autonomous, artificially intelligent robots. Robots incorporated into the design are as follows: Large Modular Construction Robots with detachable arms capable of large scale construction activities; Small Maneuverable Robotic Servicers capable of performing delicate tasks normally requiring a suited astronaut; and a trailer vehicle with modular type attachments to complete specific tasks; and finally, Mobile Autonomous Rechargeable Transporters capable of transferring air and water from the manufacturing facility to the habitat complex.

  6. M.I.N.G., Mars Investment for a New Generation: Robotic construction of a permanently manned Mars base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, Jeff; Beeman, Randy; Brown, Susan; Calhoun, John; Hill, John; Howorth, Lark; McFaden, Clay; Nguyen, Paul; Reid, Philip; Rexrode, Stuart

    1989-05-01

    A basic procedure for robotically constructing a manned Mars base is outlined. The research procedure was divided into three areas: environment, robotics, and habitat. The base as designed will consist of these components: two power plants, communication facilities, a habitat complex, and a hanger, a garage, recreation and manufacturing facilities. The power plants will be self-contained nuclear fission reactors placed approx. 1 km from the base for safety considerations. The base communication system will use a combination of orbiting satellites and surface relay stations. This system is necessary for robotic contact with Phobos and any future communication requirements. The habitat complex will consist of six self-contained modules: core, biosphere, science, living quarters, galley/storage, and a sick bay which will be brought from Phobos. The complex will be set into an excavated hole and covered with approximately 0.5 m of sandbags to provide radiation protection for the astronauts. The recreation, hangar, garage, and manufacturing facilities will each be transformed from the four one-way landers. The complete complex will be built by autonomous, artificially intelligent robots. Robots incorporated into the design are as follows: Large Modular Construction Robots with detachable arms capable of large scale construction activities; Small Maneuverable Robotic Servicers capable of performing delicate tasks normally requiring a suited astronaut; and a trailer vehicle with modular type attachments to complete specific tasks; and finally, Mobile Autonomous Rechargeable Transporters capable of transferring air and water from the manufacturing facility to the habitat complex.

  7. 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

  8. A Subsurface Soil Composition and Physical Properties Experiment to Address Mars Regolith Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L.; Sims, M.; Economou, T.; Stoker, C.; Wright, I.; Tokano, T.

    2004-01-01

    Previous in-situ measurements of soil-like materials on the surface of Mars, in particular during the on-going Mars Exploration Rover missions, have shown complex relationships between composition, exposure to the surface environment, texture, and local rocks. In particular, a diversity in both compositional and physical properties could be established that is interpreted to be diagnostic of the complex geologic history of the martian surface layer. Physical and chemical properties vary laterally and vertically, providing insight into the composition of rocks from which soils derive, and environmental conditions that led to soil formation. They are central to understanding whether habitable environments existed on Mars in the distant past. An instrument the Mole for Soil Compositional Studies and Sampling (MOCSS) - is proposed to allow repeated access to subsurface regolith on Mars to depths of up to 1.5 meters for in-situ measurements of elemental composition and of physical and thermophysical properties, as well as for subsurface sample acquisition. MOCSS is based on the compact PLUTO (PLanetary Underground TOol) Mole system developed for the Beagle 2 lander and incorporates a small X-ray fluorescence spectrometer within the Mole which is a new development. Overall MOCSS mass is approximately 1.4 kilograms. Taken together, the MOCSS science data support to decipher the geologic history at the landing site as compositional and textural stratigraphy if they exist - can be detected at a number of places if the MOCSS were accommodated on a rover such as MSL. Based on uncovered stratigraphy, the regional sequence of depositional and erosional styles can be constrained which has an impact on understanding the ancient history of the Martian near-surface layer, considering estimates of Mars soil production rates of 0.5... 1.0 meters per billion years on the one hand and Mole subsurface access capability of approximately 1.5 meters. An overview of the MOCSS, XRS

  9. Snow precipitation on Mars driven by cloud-induced night-time convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiga, Aymeric; Hinson, David P.; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Navarro, Thomas; Millour, Ehouarn; Forget, François; Montmessin, Franck

    2017-09-01

    Although it contains less water vapour than Earth's atmosphere, the Martian atmosphere hosts clouds. These clouds, composed of water-ice particles, influence the global transport of water vapour and the seasonal variations of ice deposits. However, the influence of water-ice clouds on local weather is unclear: it is thought that Martian clouds are devoid of moist convective motions, and snow precipitation occurs only by the slow sedimentation of individual particles. Here we present numerical simulations of the meteorology in Martian cloudy regions that demonstrate that localized convective snowstorms can occur on Mars. We show that such snowstorms--or ice microbursts--can explain deep night-time mixing layers detected from orbit and precipitation signatures detected below water-ice clouds by the Phoenix lander. In our simulations, convective snowstorms occur only during the Martian night, and result from atmospheric instability due to radiative cooling of water-ice cloud particles. This triggers strong convective plumes within and below clouds, with fast snow precipitation resulting from the vigorous descending currents. Night-time convection in Martian water-ice clouds and the associated snow precipitation lead to transport of water both above and below the mixing layers, and thus would affect Mars' water cycle past and present, especially under the high-obliquity conditions associated with a more intense water cycle.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. Possible Detection of Perchlorates by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument: Comparison with Previous Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Gonzalex, Rafael; Sutter, Brad; Archer, Doug; Ming, Doug; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Franz, Heather; Glavin, Daniel; McAdam, Amy; Stern, Jennifer; McKay, Christopher; hide

    2013-01-01

    The first chemical analysis of soluble salts in the soil was carried out by the Phoenix Lander in the Martian Arctic [1]. Surprisingly, chlorine was present as magnesium or calcium perchlorate at 0.4 to 0.6 percent. Additional support for the identification of perchlorate came from the evolved gas analysis which detected the release of molecular oxygen at 350-550C [1]. When Mars-like soils from the Atacama Desert were spiked with magnesium perchlorate (1 percent) and heated using the Viking GC-MS protocol, nearly all the organics were combusted but a small amount was chlorinated, forming chloromethane and dichloromethane [2]. These chlorohydrocarbons were detected by the Viking GC-MS experiments when the Martian soil was analyzed but they were considered to be terrestrial contaminants [3]. Reinterpretation of the Viking results suggests Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) ran four samples from an aeolian bedform named Rocknest. The samples analyzed were portioned from the fifth scoop at this location. The samples were heated to 835C at 35C/min with a He flow. The SAM QMS detected a major oxygen release (300-500C) [5], coupled with the release of chlorinated hydrocarbons (chloromethane, dichloromethane, trichloromethane, and chloromethylpropene) detected both by SAM QMS and GC-MS derived from known Earth organic contaminants in the instrument [6]. Calcium perchlorate appears to be the best candidate for evolved O2 in the Rocknest samples at this time but other Cl species (e.g., chlorates) are possible and must be evaluated. The potential detection of perchlorates in Rocknest material adds weight to the argument that both Viking Landers measured signatures of perchlorates. Even if the source of the organic carbon detected is still unknown, the chlorine source was likely Martian. Two mechanisms have been hypothesized for the formation of soil perchlorate: (1) Atmospheric oxidation of chlorine; and (2) UV photooxidation of

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Optical analysis of a compound quasi-microscope for planetary landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, S. D.; Burcher, E. E.; Huck, F. O.

    1974-01-01

    A quasi-microscope concept, consisting of facsimile camera augmented with an auxiliary lens as a magnifier, was introduced and analyzed. The performance achievable with this concept was primarily limited by a trade-off between resolution and object field; this approach leads to a limiting resolution of 20 microns when used with the Viking lander camera (which has an angular resolution of 0.04 deg). An optical system is analyzed which includes a field lens between camera and auxiliary lens to overcome this limitation. It is found that this system, referred to as a compound quasi-microscope, can provide improved resolution (to about 2 microns ) and a larger object field. However, this improvement is at the expense of increased complexity, special camera design requirements, and tighter tolerances on the distances between optical components.

  16. Characterizing the Performance of the Wheel Electrostatic Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Michael R.; Mackey, P. J.; Holbert, E.; Calle, C. I.; Clements, J. S.

    2013-01-01

    Insulators need to be discharged after each wheel revolution. Sensor responses repeatable within one standard deviation in the noise of the signal. Insulators may not need to be cleaned after each revolution. Parent Technology- Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment/Electrometer Electrostatic sensors with dissimilar cover insulators Protruding insulators tribocharge against regolith simulant Developed for use on the scoop for the 2001 Mars Odyssey lander Wheel Electrostatic Spectrometer Embedded electrostatic sensors in prototype Martian rover wheel If successful, this technology will enable constant electrostatic testing on Mars Air ionizing fan used to neutralize the surface charge on cover insulators . WES rolled on JSClA lunar simulant Control experiment -Static elimination not conducted between trials -Capacitor discharged after each experiment Charge neutralization experiment -Static elimination conducted between trials -Capacitor discharged after each experiment. Air ionizing fan used on insulators after each wheel revolution Capacitor discharged after each trial Care was taken to roll WES with same speed/pressure Error bars represent one standard deviation in the noise of e ach sensor

  17. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet Orbital Transfer and Lander Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) mining factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. For analyses of round trip OTV flights from Uranus to Miranda or Titania, a 10- Megawatt electric (MWe) OTV power level and a 200 metricton (MT) lander payload were selected based on a relative short OTV trip time and minimization of the number of lander flights. A similar optimum power level is suggested for OTVs flying from low orbit around Neptune to Thalassa or Triton. Several moon base sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Scientific results of the Viking Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flinn, E.A.; Reid, G.C.; Csanady, G.

    1977-01-01

    The Viking space project launched two unmanned spacecraft to Mars in 1975 for scientific exploration with special emphasis on the search for life. Each spacecraft consisted of an orbiter and a lander. The landing sites were finally selected after the spacecraft were in orbit. Thirteen investigations were performed: three mapping experiments from the orbiter, one atmospheric investigation during the lander entry phase, eight experiments on the surface of the planet, and one using the spacecraft radio and radar systems. The experiments on the surface dealt principally with biology, chemistry, geology, and meteorology. Seventy-eight scientists participated in the 13 teams performing these experiments. 53 individual articles make up this book

  1. Simulations of the Viking Gas Exchange Experiment using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs: implications for the surface composition of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, R; Orenberg, J

    1993-10-01

    Simulations of the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEX), one of the Viking Lander Biology Experiments, were run using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs of the Martian soil. These terrestrial analogs were exposed to a nutrient solution of the same composition as that of the Viking Landers under humid (no contact with nutrient) and wet (intimate contact) conditions. The headspace gases in the GEX sample cell were sampled and then analyzed by gas chromatography under both humid and wet conditions. Five gases were monitored: CO2, N2, O2, Ar, and Kr. It was determined that in order to simulate the CO2 gas changes of the Viking GEX experiment, the mixture of soil analog mineral plus nutrient medium must be slightly (pH = 7.4) to moderately basic (pH = 8.7). This conclusion suggests constraints upon the composition of terrestrial analogs to the Mars soil; acidic components may be present, but the overall mixture must be basic in order to simulate the Viking GEX results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Steven J.

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Nanophase Carbonates on Mars: Does Evolved Gas Analysis of Nanophase Carbonates Reveal a Large Organic Carbon Budget in Near-surface Martian Materials?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Sutter, B.; Niles, P. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA), which involves heating a sample and monitoring the gases released, has been performed on Mars by the Viking gas chromatography/mass spectrometry instruments, the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) on the Phoenix lander, and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory. All of these instruments detected CO2 released during sample analysis at abundances of ~0.1 to 5 wt% assuming a carbonate source. The source of the CO2 can be constrained by evaluating the temperature of the gas release, a capability of both the TEGA and SAM instruments. The samples analyzed by SAM show that the majority of the CO2is released below 400 °C, much lower than traditional carbonate decomposition temperatures which can be as low as 400 °C for some siderites, with magnesites and calcites decomposing at even higher temperatures. In addition to mineralogy, decomposition temperature can depend on particle size (among other factors). If carbonates formed on Mars under low temperature and relative humidity conditions, the resulting small particle size (nanophase) carbonates could have low decomposition temperatures. We have found that calcite can be synthesized by exposing CaO to water vapor and CO2 and that the resulting mineral has an EGA peak of ~550 °C for CO2, which is about 200 °C lower than for other calcites. Work is ongoing to produce Fe and Mg-bearing carbonates using the same process. Current results suggest that nanophase calcium carbonates cannot explain the CO2 released from martian samples. If the decomposition temperatures of Mg and Fe-bearing nanophase carbonates are not significantly lower than 400 °C, other candidate sources include oxalates and carboxylated organic molecules. If present, the abundance of organic carbon in these samples could be > 0.1 wt % (1000s of ppm), a signficant departure from the paradigm of the organic-poor Mars based on Viking results.

  4. The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization-gas chromatography-MS and their implications for the Viking results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-González, Rafael; Navarro, Karina F; de la Rosa, José; Iñiguez, Enrique; Molina, Paola; Miranda, Luis D; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P

    2006-10-31

    The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)-gas chromatography (GC)-MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV-GC-MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV-GC-MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10-90 mug of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV-GC-MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO(2)) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50-700 ppm of CO(2) by TV-GC-MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV-GC-MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life.

  5. The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization–gas chromatography–MS and their implications for the Viking results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-González, Rafael; Navarro, Karina F.; de la Rosa, José; Iñiguez, Enrique; Molina, Paola; Miranda, Luis D.; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P.

    2006-01-01

    The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)–gas chromatography (GC)–MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV–GC–MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV–GC–MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10–90 μg of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV–GC–MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO2) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50–700 ppm of CO2 by TV–GC–MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV–GC–MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life. PMID:17060639

  6. Design and Analysis of Morpheus Lander Flight Control System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Jiann-Woei; Yang, Lee; Fritz, Mathew; Nguyen, Louis H.; Johnson, Wyatt R.; Hart, Jeremy J.

    2014-01-01

    The Morpheus Lander is a vertical takeoff and landing test bed vehicle developed to demonstrate the system performance of the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) system capability for the integrated autonomous landing and hazard avoidance system hardware and software. The Morpheus flight control system design must be robust to various mission profiles. This paper presents a design methodology for employing numerical optimization to develop the Morpheus flight control system. The design objectives include attitude tracking accuracy and robust stability with respect to rigid body dynamics and propellant slosh. Under the assumption that the Morpheus time-varying dynamics and control system can be frozen over a short period of time, the flight controllers are designed to stabilize all selected frozen-time control systems in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Both control gains in the inner attitude control loop and guidance gains in the outer position control loop are designed to maximize the vehicle performance while ensuring robustness. The flight control system designs provided herein have been demonstrated to provide stable control systems in both Draper Ares Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) and the NASA/JSC Trick-based Morpheus time domain simulation.

  7. KOREAN LUNAR LANDER – CONCEPT STUDY FOR LANDING-SITE SELECTION FOR LUNAR RESOURCE EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. J. Kim

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available As part of the national space promotion plan and presidential national agendas South Korea’s institutes and agencies under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Future Planning (MSIP are currently developing a lunar mission package expected to reach Moon in 2020. While the officially approved Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO is aimed at demonstrating technologies and monitoring the lunar environment from orbit, a lander – currently in pre-phase A – is being designed to explore the local geology with a particular focus on the detection and characterization of mineral resources. In addition to scientific and potential resource potentials, the selection of the landing-site will be partly constrained by engineering constraints imposed by payload and spacecraft layout. Given today’s accumulated volume and quality of available data returned from the Moon’s surface and from orbital observations, an identification of landing sites of potential interest and assessment of potential hazards can be more readily accomplished by generating synoptic snapshots through data integration. In order to achieve such a view on potential landing sites, higher level processing and derivation of data are required, which integrates their spatial context, with detailed topographic and geologic characterizations. We are currently assessing the possibility of using fuzzy c-means clustering algorithms as a way to perform (semi- automated terrain characterizations of interest. This paper provides information and background on the national lunar lander program, reviews existing approaches – including methods and tools – for landing site analysis and hazard assessment, and discusses concepts to detect and investigate elemental abundances from orbit and the surface. This is achieved by making use of manual, semi-automated as well as fully-automated remote-sensing methods to demonstrate the applicability of

  8. Titan Aerial Daughtercraft (TAD) for Surface Studies from a Lander or Balloon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthies, L.; Tokumaru, P.; Sherrit, S.; Beauchamp, P.

    2014-06-01

    Recent rapid progress on autonomous navigation of micro air vehicles for terrestrial applications opens new possibilities for a small aerial vehicle that could deploy from a Titan lander or balloon to acquire samples for analysis on the mothership.

  9. 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.

  10. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.; Glass, Brian J.; 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

  12. 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.

  13. The Inferred Distribution of Liquid Water in Europa's Ice Shell: Implications for the Europa Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noviello, J. L.; Torrano, Z. A.; Rhoden, A.; Manga, M.

    2017-12-01

    A key objective of the Europa lander mission is to identify liquid water within 30 km of the lander (Europa Lander SDT report, 2017), to provide essential context with which to evaluate samples and enable assessment of Europa's overall habitability. To inform lander mission development, we utilize a model of surface feature formation that invokes liquid water within Europa's ice shell to map out the implied 3D distribution of liquid water and assess the likelihood of a lander to be within 30 km of liquid water given regional variability. Europa's surface displays a variety of microfeatures, also called lenticulae, including pits, domes, spots, and microchaos. A recent model by Manga and Michaut (2017) attributes these features to various stages in the thermal-mechanical evolution of liquid water intrusions (i.e. sills) within the ice shell, from sill emplacement to surface breaching (in the case of microchaos) to freezing of the sill. Pits are of particular interest because they appear only when liquid water is still present. Another key feature of the model is that the size of a microfeature at the surface is controlled by the depth of the sill. Hence, we can apply this model to regions of Europa that contain microfeatures to infer the size, depth, and spatial distribution of liquid water within the ice shell. We are creating a database of microfeatures that includes digitized, collated data from previous mapping efforts along with our own mapping study. We focus on images with 220 m/pixel resolution, which includes the regional mapping data sets. Analysis of a preliminary study area suggests that sills are typically located at depths of 2km or less from the surface. We will present analysis of the full database of microfeatures and the corresponding 3D distribution of sills implied by the model. Our preliminary analysis also shows that pits are clustered in some regions, consistent with previous results, although individual pits are also observed. We apply a

  14. The imaging performance of the SRC on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberst, J.; Schwarz, G.; Behnke, T.; Hoffmann, H.; Matz, K.-D.; Flohrer, J.; Hirsch, H.; Roatsch, T.; Scholten, F.; Hauber, E.; Brinkmann, B.; Jaumann, R.; Williams, D.; Kirk, R.; Duxbury, T.; Leu, C.; Neukum, G.

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Express spacecraft carries the pushbroom scanner high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and its added imaging subsystem super resolution channel (SRC). The SRC is equipped with its own optical system and a 1024??1024 framing sensor. SRC produces snapshots with 2.3 m ground pixel size from the nominal spacecraft pericenter height of 250 km, which are typically embedded in the central part of the large HRSC scenes. The salient features of the SRC are its light-weight optics, a reliable CCD detector, and high-speed read-out electronics. The quality and effective visibility of details in the SRC images unfortunately falls short of what has been expected. In cases where thermal balance cannot be reached, artifacts, such as blurring and "ghost features" are observed in the images. In addition, images show large numbers of blemish pixels and are plagued by electronic noise. As a consequence, we have developed various image improving algorithms, which are discussed in this paper. While results are encouraging, further studies of image restoration by dedicated processing appear worthwhile. The SRC has obtained more than 6940 images at the time of writing (1 September 2007), which often show fascinating details in surface morphology. SRC images are highly useful for a variety of applications in planetary geology, for studies of the Mars atmosphere, and for astrometric observations of the Martian satellites. This paper will give a full account of the design philosophy, technical concept, calibration, operation, integration with HRSC, and performance, as well as science accomplishments of the SRC. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Science Goals, Objectives, and Investigations of the 2016 Europa Lander Science Definition Team Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Kevin P.; Murray, Alison; Garvin, James; and the Europa Lander Science Definition Team, Project Science Team, and Project Engineering Team.

    2017-10-01

    In June of 2016 NASA convened a 21-person team of scientists to establish the science goals, objectives, investigations, measurement requirements, and model payload of a Europa lander mission concept. The NASA HQ Charter goals, in priority order, are as follows:1) Search for evidence of life on Europa, 2) Assess the habitability of Europa via in situ techniques uniquely available to a lander mission, 3) Characterize surface and subsurface properties at the scale of the lander to support future exploration of Europa.Within Goal 1, four Objectives were developed for seeking signs of life. These include the need to: a) detect and characterize any organic indicators of past or present life, b) identify and characterize morphological, textural, and other indicators of life, c) detect and characterize any inorganic indicators of past or present life, and d) determine the provenance of Lander-sampled material. Goal 2 focuses on Europa’s habitability and ensures that even in the absence of the detection of any potential biosignatures, significant ocean world science is still achieved. Goal 3 ensures that the landing site region is quantitatively characterized in the context needed for Goals 1 and 2, and that key measurements about Europa’s ice shell are made to enable future exploration.Critically, scientific success cannot be, and should never be, contingent on finding signs of life - such criteria would be levying requirements on how the universe works. Rather, scientific success is defined here as achieving a suite of measurements such that if convincing signs of life are present on Europa’s surface they could be detected at levels comparable to those found in benchmark environments on Earth, and, further, that even if no potential biosignatures are detected, the science return of the mission will significantly advance our fundamental understanding of Europa’s chemistry, geology, geophysics, and habitability.

  16. SUV Tracks On Mars? The 'Devil' is in the Details

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    rises into the spinning air, giving the appearance of a tornado-like column that moves across the landscape. As the column of air moves, its ability to pick up dust varies--sometimes they hold a lot of dust and are nearly opaque; sometimes you cannot even see them. Dust-devils rarely last long, since their very motion changes the conditions that allowed them to form in the first place.Mars Pathfinder detected the passage of several dust devils during its 83 days of operation on Mars in 1997. Mariner 9 and the Viking landers and orbiters of the 1970s also found evidence that dust devils occur on Mars; indeed, some Viking Orbiter images actually show dust devil clouds. MOC image 26403 is the latest entry in the body of evidence for the work of wind in the modern martian environment. The MOC Science Team is continuing to study these and other streaks caused by wind interacting with the martian surface.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 facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  17. Concurrent Multidisciplinary Preliminary Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) Final Report: Advanced Long-Life Lander Investigating the Venus Environment (ALIVE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.

    2018-01-01

    The COncurrent Multidisciplinary Preliminary Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) Team partnered with the Applied Research Laboratory to perform a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program study to evaluate chemical based power systems for keeping a Venus lander alive (power and cooling) and functional for a period of days. The mission class targeted was either a Discovery ($500M) or New Frontiers ($750M to $780M) class mission.

  18. Rock pushing and sampling under rocks on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H.J.; Liebes, S.; Crouch, D.S.; Clark, L.V.

    1978-01-01

    Viking Lander 2 acquired samples on Mars from beneath two rocks, where living organisms and organic molecules would be protected from ultraviolet radiation. Selection of rocks to be moved was based on scientific and engineering considerations, including rock size, rock shape, burial depth, and location in a sample field. Rock locations and topography were established using the computerized interactive video-stereophotogrammetric system and plotted on vertical profiles and in plan view. Sampler commands were developed and tested on Earth using a full-size lander and surface mock-up. The use of power by the sampler motor correlates with rock movements, which were by plowing, skidding, and rolling. Provenance of the samples was determined by measurements and interpretation of pictures and positions of the sampler arm. Analytical results demonstrate that the samples were, in fact, from beneath the rocks. Results from the Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer of the Molecular Analysis experiment and the Gas Exchange instrument of the Biology experiment indicate that more adsorbed(?) water occurs in samples under rocks than in samples exposed to the sun. This is consistent with terrestrial arid environments, where more moisture occurs in near-surface soil un- der rocks than in surrounding soil because the net heat flow is toward the soil beneath the rock and the rock cap inhibits evaporation. Inorganic analyses show that samples of soil from under the rocks have significantly less iron than soil exposed to the sun. The scientific significance of analyses of samples under the rocks is only partly evaluated, but some facts are clear. Detectable quantities of martian organic molecules were not found in the sample from under a rock by the Molecular Analysis experiment. The Biology experiments did not find definitive evidence for Earth-like living organisms in their sample. Significant amounts of adsorbed water may be present in the martian regolith. The response of the soil

  19. The ROSETTA PHILAE Lander damping mechanism as probe for the Comet soil strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roll, R.

    2015-10-01

    The ROSETTA Lander is equipped with an one axis damping mechanism to dissipate kinetic energy during the touch down. This damping is necessary to avoid damages to the Lander by a hard landing shock and more important to avoid re-bouncing from ground with high velocity. The damping mechanism works best for perpendicular impact, which means the velocity vector is parallel to the damper axis and all three feet touch the ground at the same time. That is usually not the case. Part of the impact energy can be transferred into rotational energy at ground contact if the impact is not perpendicular. This energy will lift up the Lander from the ground if the harpoons and the hold down thruster fail, as happen in mission. The damping mechanism itself is an electrical generator, driven by a spindle inside a telescopic tube. This tube was extended in mission for landing by 200mm. A maximum damping length of 140mm would be usually required to compensate a landing velocity of 1m/s, if the impact happens perpendicular on hard ground. After landing the potentiometer of the telescopic tube reading shows a total damping length of only 42,5mm. The damping mechanism and the overall mechanical behavior of the Lander at touch down are well tested and characterized and transferred to a multi-body computer model. The incoming and outgoing flightpath of PHILAE allow via computer-simulation the reconstruction of the touch down. It turns out, that the outgoing flight direction is dominated by the local ground slope and that the damping length is strongly dependent on the soil strength. Damping of soft comet ground must be included to fit the damping length measured. Scenario variations of the various feet contact with different local surface features (stone or regolith) and of different soil models finally lead to a restricted range for the soil strength at the touch down area.

  20. Sulfates on Mars: TES Observations and Thermal Inertia Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C. D.; Mustard, J. F.

    2001-05-01

    The high resolution thermal emission spectra returned by the TES spectrometer on the MGS spacecraft have allowed the mapping of a variety of minerals and rock types by different sets of researchers. Recently, we have used a linear deconvolution approach to compare sulfate-palagonite soil mixtures created in the laboratory with Martian surface spectra. This approach showed that a number of areas on Mars have spectral properties that match those of sulfate-cemented soils (but neither loose powder mixtures of sulfates and soils nor sand-sized grains of disaggregated crusted soils). These features do not appear to be caused by atmospheric or instrumental effects and are thus believed to be related to surface composition and texture. The distribution and physical state of sulfate are important pieces of information for interpreting surface processes on Mars. A number of different mechanisms could have deposited sulfate in surface layers. Some of these include evaporation of standing bodies of water, aerosol deposition of volcanic gases, hydrothermal alteration from groundwater, and in situ interaction between the atmosphere and soil. The areas on Mars with cemented sulfate signatures are spread across a wide range of elevations and are generally large in spatial scale. Some of the areas are associated with volcanic regions, but many are in dark red plains that have previously been interpreted as duricrust deposits. Our current work compares the distribution of sulfate-cemented soils as mapped by the spectral deconvolution approach with thermal inertia maps produced from both Viking and MGS-TES. Duricrust regions, interpreted from intermediate thermal inertia values, are large regions thought to be sulfate-cemented soils similar to coherent, sulfate-rich materials seen at the Viking lander sites. Our observations of apparent regions of cemented sulfate are also large in spatial extent. This scale information is important for evaluating formation mechanisms for the

  1. Comments about "Earth 3.0"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dator, Jim

    2006-01-01

    Dr. Christopher P. McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames. Chris received his Ph.D. in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center since that time. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama desert to study life in these Mars-like environments. His was a co-I on the Titan Huygen s probe in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission for 2007, and the Mars Science Lander mission for 2009.

  2. Progress Towards the Development of a Long-Lived Venus Lander Duplex System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyson, Rodger, W.; Bruder, Geoffrey A.

    2011-01-01

    NASA has begun the development of a combined Stirling cycle power and cooling system (duplex) to enable the long-lived surface exploration of Venus and other harsh environments in the solar system. The duplex system will operate from the heat provided by decaying radioisotope plutonium-238 or its substitute. Since the surface of Venus has a thick, hot, and corrosive atmosphere, it is a challenging proposition to maintain sensitive lander electronics under survivable conditions. This development effort requires the integration of: a radioisotope or fission heat source; heat pipes; high-temperature, corrosion-resistant material; multistage cooling; a novel free-displacer Stirling convertor for the lander; and a minimal vibration thermoacoustic Stirling convertor for the seismometer. The first year effort includes conceptual system design and control studies, materials development, and prototype hardware testing. A summary of these findings and test results is presented in this report.

  3. Diurnal variations of the Martian surface layer meteorological parameters during the first 45 sols at two Viking Lander sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutton, J.L.; Leovy, C.B.; Tillman, J.E.

    1978-01-01

    Wind speed, ambient and surface temperatures from both Viking Landers have been used to compute bulk Richardson numbers and Monin-Obukhov lengths during the earliest phase of the Mars missions. These parameters are used to estimate drag and heat transfer coefficients, friction velocities and surface heat fluxes at the two sites. The principal uncertainty is in the specification of the roughness length. Maximum heat fluxes occur near local noon at both sites, and are estimated to be in the range 15--20 W m -2 at the Viking 1 site and 10--15 W m -2 at the Viking 2 site. Maximum values of friction velocity occur in late morning at Viking 1 and are estimated to be 0.4--0.6 m s -1 . They occur shortly after drawn at the Viking 2 site where peak values are estimated to be in the range 0.25--0.35 m s -1 . Extension of these calculations to later times during the mission will require allowance for dust opacity effects in the estimation of surface temperature and in the correction of radiation errors of the Viking 2 temperature sensor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Dragonfly: Exploring Titan's Surface with a New Frontiers Relocatable Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Jason W.; Turtle, Elizabeth P.; Trainer, Melissa G.; Lorenz, Ralph

    2017-10-01

    We proposed to the NASA New Frontiers 4 mission call a lander to assess Titan's prebiotic chemistry, evaluate its habitability, and search for biosignatures on its surface. Titan as an Ocean World is ideal for the study of prebiotic chemical processes and the habitability of an extraterrestrial environment due to its abundant complex carbon-rich chemistry and because both liquid water and liquid hydrocarbons can occur on its surface. Transient liquid water surface environments can be created by both impacts and cryovolcanic processes. In both cases, the water could mix with surface organics to form a primordial soup. The mission would sample both organic sediments and water ice to measure surface composition, achieving surface mobility by using rotors to take off, fly, and land at new sites. The Dragonfly rotorcraft lander can thus convey a single capable instrument suite to multiple locations providing the capability to explore diverse locations 10s to 100s of kilometers apart to characterize the habitability of Titan's environment, investigate how far prebiotic chemistry has progressed, and search for chemical signatures indicative of water- and/or hydrocarbon-based life.

  6. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We give an update on the astrobiology results from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme environment of the Utah desert. These are relevant to prepare future lunar landers and polar sample return missions, interpret Moon-Mars data (eg SMART1, LRO, Mars Express, MRO, MER, MSL), study habitability and astrobiology in Moon-Mars environments, or to test human-robotic surface EVA or base operations. In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [0, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from re-mote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geo-chemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Results: Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [0-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. We acknowledge team members and supporting institutes: B.H. Foing (1, 2, 6), C. Stoker (3), P. Ehrenfreund (4, 5), I. Rammos (2), L. Rodrigues (2), A. Svendsen (2), D. Oltheten (2), I. Schlacht (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H

  7. Astrobiology and the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Garvin, James B.; Drake, B. G.; Beaty, David

    2010-01-01

    In March 2007, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) chartered the Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG), co-chaired by J. B. Garvin and J. S. Levine and consisting of about 30 Mars scientists from the U.S. and Europe. HEM-SAG was one of a half dozen teams charted by NASA to consider the human exploration of Mars. Other teams included: Mars Entry, Descent and Landing, Human Health and Performance, Flight and Surface Systems, and Heliospheric/Astrophysics. The results of these Mars teams and the development of an architecture for the human exploration of Mars were summarized in two recent publications: Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 (B. G. Drake, Editor), 100 pages, July 2009 and Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 Addendum (B. G. Drake, Editor), 406 pages, July 2009. This presentation summarizes the HEM-SAG conclusions on astrobiology and the search for life on Mars by humans.

  8. 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.

  9. A HW-SW Co-Designed System for the Lunar Lander Hazard Detection and Avoidance Breadboarding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomo, Pedro; Latorre, Antonio; Valle, Carlos; Gomez de Aguero, Sergio; Hagenfeldt, Miguel; Parreira, Baltazar; Lindoso, Almudena; Portela, Marta; Garcia, Mario; San Millan, Enrique; Zharikov, Yuri; Entrena, Luis

    2014-08-01

    This paper presents the HW-SW co-design approach followed to tackle the design of the Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) system breadboarding for the Lunar Lander ESA mission, undertaken given the fact that novel GNC technologies used to promote autonomous systems demand processing capabilities that current (and forthcoming) space processors are not able to satisfy. The paper shows how the current system design has been performed in a process in which the original HDA functionally validated design has been partitioned between SW (deemed for execution in a microprocessor) and HW algorithms (to be executed in an FPGA), considering the performance requirements and resorting to a deep analysis of the algorithms in view of their adequacy to HW or SW implementation.

  10. Enantioselective Analysis in instruments onboard ROSETTA/PHILAE and ExoMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrik Bredehöft, Jan; Thiemann, Wolfram; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Goesmann, Fred

    It has been suggested a number of times in the past, to look for chirality as a biomarker. So far, for lack of appropriate instrumentation, space missions have never included enantioselective analysis. The distinction between enantiomers is of crucial importance to the question of the origin of the very first (pre)biotic molecules. If molecules detected in situ on another celestial body were found to exhibit a chiral bias, this would mean that at least partial asymmetric synthesis could take place abiotically. If this chiral bias should be found to be near 100For the currently flying ESA mission ROSETTA an enantioselective instrument was built, to try for the first time to detect and separate chiral molecules in situ. This instrument is COSAC, the Cometary Sampling and Acquisition Experiment, an enantioselective GCMS device[1,2], which is included in the lander PHLIAE that will eventually in 2014 land on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. A similar but even more powerful type of enantioselective GC-MS is in preparation for ESA's ExoMars mission. This instrument is part of MOMA, the Mars Organic Molecules Analyser. It has the objective of identifying and quantifying chiral organic molecules in surface and subsurface samples of Mars. Currently ExoMars is scheduled for 2018. The newly developed enantioselective technique utilized by both COSAC and MOMA will be described, including sample acquisition, derivatization, and separation in space-resistant chiral stationary capillary columns with time-of-flight mass spectrometric detection. Results of enantioselective analyses of representative test samples with special emphasis on amino acids[3], the building blocks of protein polymers, will be presented and we will discuss potential results of space missions Rosetta and ExoMars. [1] Thiemann W.H.-P., Meierhenrich U.: ESA Mission ROSETTA Will Probe for Chirality of Cometary Amino Acids. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 31 (2001), 199-210. [2

  11. Extreme Temperature Performance of Automotive-Grade Small Signal Bipolar Junction Transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boomer, Kristen; Damron, Benny; Gray, Josh; Hammoud, Ahmad

    2018-01-01

    Electronics designed for space exploration missions must display efficient and reliable operation under extreme temperature conditions. For example, lunar outposts, Mars rovers and landers, James Webb Space Telescope, Europa orbiter, and deep space probes represent examples of missions where extreme temperatures and thermal cycling are encountered. Switching transistors, small signal as well as power level devices, are widely used in electronic controllers, data instrumentation, and power management and distribution systems. Little is known, however, about their performance in extreme temperature environments beyond their specified operating range; in particular under cryogenic conditions. This report summarizes preliminary results obtained on the evaluation of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) automotive-grade NPN small signal transistors over a wide temperature range and thermal cycling. The investigations were carried out to establish a baseline on functionality of these transistors and to determine suitability for use outside their recommended temperature limits.

  12. The ESA Lunar Lander and the search for Lunar Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, A. D.; Barber, S. J.; Pillinger, J. M.; Sheridan, S.; Wright, I. P.; Gibson, E. K.; Merrifield, J. A.; Waltham, N. R.; Waugh, L. J.; Pillinger, C. T.

    2011-10-01

    Following the Apollo era the moon was considered a volatile poor body. Samples collected from the Apollo missions contained only ppm levels of water formed by the interaction of the solar wind with the lunar regolith [1]. However more recent orbiter observations have indicated that water may exist as water ice in cold polar regions buried within craters at concentrations of a few wt. % [2]. Infrared images from M3 on Chandrayaan-1 have been interpreted as showing the presence of hydrated surface minerals with the ongoing hydroxyl/water process feeding cold polar traps. This has been supported by observation of ephemeral features termed "space dew" [3]. Meanwhile laboratory studies indicate that water could be present in appreciable quantities in lunar rocks [4] and could also have a cometary source [5]. The presence of sufficient quantities of volatiles could provide a resource which would simplify logistics for long term lunar missions. The European Space Agency (ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations) have provisionally scheduled a robotic mission to demonstrate key technologies to enable later human exploration. Planned for launch in 2018, the primary aim is for precise automated landing, with hazard avoidance, in zones which are almost constantly illuminated (e.g. at the edge of the Shackleton crater at the lunar south pole). These regions would enable the solar powered Lander to survive for long periods > 6 months, but require accurate navigation to within 200m. Although landing in an illuminated area, these regions are close to permanently shadowed volatile rich regions and the analysis of volatiles is a major science objective of the mission. The straw man payload includes provision for a Lunar Volatile and Resources Analysis Package (LVRAP). The authors have been commissioned by ESA to conduct an evaluation of possible technologies to be included in L-VRAP which can be included within the Lander payload. Scientific aims are to demonstrate the

  13. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Wing-Huen; Yan, Jun; Li, Chun-Lai; Ouyang, Zi-Yuan

    2014-12-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions.

  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. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

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

  17. Laser Mass Spectrometry in Planetary Science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wurz, P.; Whitby, J. A.; Managadze, G. G.

    2009-01-01

    Knowing the chemical, elemental, and isotopic composition of planetary objects allows the study of their origin and evolution within the context of our solar system. Exploration plans in planetary research of several space agencies consider landing spacecraft for future missions. Although there have been successful landers in the past, more landers are foreseen for Mars and its moons, Venus, the jovian moons, and asteroids. Furthermore, a mass spectrometer on a landed spacecraft can assist in the sample selection in a sample-return mission and provide mineralogical context, or identify possible toxic soils on Mars for manned Mars exploration. Given the resources available on landed spacecraft mass spectrometers, as well as any other instrument, have to be highly miniaturised.

  18. Life habitability in the solar system: testing the universality of biology on Europa with microprobes or lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chela-Flores, J.

    2007-05-01

    We discuss whether it is possible to test the universality of biology, a quest that is of paramount relevance for one of its most recent branches, namely astrobiology. We review this topic in terms of the relative roles played on the Earth biota by contingency and evolutionary convergence. We raise the related question of whether the molecular events that were precursors to the origin of life on Earth are bound to occur elsewhere in the solar system, wherever the environmental conditions are similar to the terrestrial ones. The set of hypotheses for addressing the question of the universality of biology can be tested by future experiments that are feasible with current technology. We focus on landing on the Jovian satellite Europa and its broader implications, including selecting a landing site. We also discuss the corresponding miniaturized equipment that is already in existence. The second objective is to discuss in more detail whether sulphur traces on Jupiter's moon Europa could be of biogenic origin, and could be tested with the present level of technology readiness. To achieve reliable biosignatures in the solar system in the foreseeable future, it seems essential to go back to Europa, in addition to continuing the multiple well-funded Mars programmes. Our work highlights the type of biogenic signatures that can be searched, when probing Europa's icy and patchy surface. Definite answers can be retrieved in situ on the icy surface with instrumentation for the corresponding biogeochemistry. The measurements can be performed by, for instance, microprobes, or by landers (of the type of the original JPL studies that sadly have been suspended). Such on-site measurements could make a modest contribution to the overall question of settling one of the most significant problems in astrobiology, namely the origin of the surficial sulphur on Europa. (author)

  19. In Situ Biological Reduction of Martian Sample Collection Devices, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Mars is a planet where life forms or their remnants may be found, all lander or probe missions to Mars must be cleaned and sterilized to the Category IV planetary...

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  3. Performance Assessment of the Wave Dragon Wave Energy Converter Based on the EquiMar Methodology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parmeggiani, Stefano; Chozas, Julia Fernandez; Pecher, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    At the present pre-commercial phase of the wave energy sector, device developers are called to provide reliable estimates on power performance and production at possible deployment locations. The EU EquiMar project has proposed a novel approach, where the performance assessment is based mainly...... on experimental data deriving from sea trials rather than solely on numerical predictions. The study applies this methodology to evaluate the performance of Wave Dragon at two locations in the North Sea, based on the data acquired during the sea trials of a 1:4.5 scale prototype. Indications about power...

  4. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

    rates and geographic variability are matter of controversy. The instrument MEDUSA (Martian Environmental DUst Systematic Analyser) has been designed to measure directly and quantitatively in situ the cumulative dust mass flux and dust deposition rate, the physical and electrification properties, the size distribution of intercepted particles and the water vapour abundance versus time, a goal that has never been reached so far. MEDUSA has been selected by ESA as one of the environmental instruments to be included in the payload Humboldt of ExoMars lander.

  7. A Simple Analytic Model for Estimating Mars Ascent Vehicle Mass and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) is a crucial component in any sample return campaign. In this paper we present a universal model for a two-stage MAV along with the analytic equations and simple parametric relationships necessary to quickly estimate MAV mass and performance. Ascent trajectories can be modeled as two-burn transfers from the surface with appropriate loss estimations for finite burns, steering, and drag. Minimizing lift-off mass is achieved by balancing optimized staging and an optimized path-to-orbit. This model allows designers to quickly find optimized solutions and to see the effects of design choices.

  8. Mineralogy and Astrobiology Detection Using Laser Remote Sensing Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedin, M. Nurul; Bradley, Arthur T.; Sharma, Shiv K.; Misra, Anupam K.; Lucey, Paul G.; Mckay, Chistopher P.; Ismail, Syed; Sandford, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    A multispectral instrument based on Raman, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), and a lidar system provides high-fidelity scientific investigations, scientific input, and science operation constraints in the context of planetary field campaigns with the Jupiter Europa Robotic Lander and Mars Sample Return mission opportunities. This instrument conducts scientific investigations analogous to investigations anticipated for missions to Mars and Jupiter's icy moons. This combined multispectral instrument is capable of performing Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy out to a >100 m target distance from the rover system and provides single-wavelength atmospheric profiling over long ranges (>20 km). In this article, we will reveal integrated remote Raman, LIF, and lidar technologies for use in robotic and lander-based planetary remote sensing applications. Discussions are focused on recently developed Raman, LIF, and lidar systems in addition to emphasizing surface water ice, surface and subsurface minerals, organics, biogenic, biomarker identification, atmospheric aerosols and clouds distributions, i.e., near-field atmospheric thin layers detection for next robotic-lander based instruments to measure all the above-mentioned parameters. OCIS codes: (120.0280) Remote sensing and sensors; (130.0250) Optoelectronics; (280.3640) Lidar; (300.2530) Fluorescence, laser-induced; (300.6450) Spectroscopy, Raman; (300.6365) Spectroscopy, laser induced breakdown

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. The early thermal evolution of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatia, G. K.; Sahijpal, S.

    2016-01-01

    Hf-W isotopic systematics of Martian meteorites have provided evidence for the early accretion and rapid core formation of Mars. We present the results of numerical simulations performed to study the early thermal evolution and planetary scale differentiation of Mars. The simulations are confined to the initial 50 Myr (Ma) of the formation of solar system. The accretion energy produced during the growth of Mars and the decay energy due to the short-lived radio-nuclides 26Al, 60Fe, and the long-lived nuclides, 40K, 235U, 238U, and 232Th are incorporated as the heat sources for the thermal evolution of Mars. During the core-mantle differentiation of Mars, the molten metallic blobs were numerically moved using Stoke's law toward the center with descent velocity that depends on the local acceleration due to gravity. Apart from the accretion and the radioactive heat energies, the gravitational energy produced during the differentiation of Mars and the associated heat transfer is also parametrically incorporated in the present work to make an assessment of its contribution to the early thermal evolution of Mars. We conclude that the accretion energy alone cannot produce widespread melting and differentiation of Mars even with an efficient consumption of the accretion energy. This makes 26Al the prime source for the heating and planetary scale differentiation of Mars. We demonstrate a rapid accretion and core-mantle differentiation of Mars within the initial ~1.5 Myr. This is consistent with the chronological records of Martian meteorites.

  12. Viking orbiter and its Mariner inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Improvements to the design of the Mariner spacecraft resulted in the Viking spacecraft. The Viking spacecraft would consist of two major systems - an orbiter and a lander, while the lander would provide the means for safely delivering the scientific instruments to the surface, house, and provide the necessary power source and communication links for those experiments, the orbiter would transport the lander to Mars, rovide a platform for the Viking imaging system so that proposed landing sites could be surveyed and certified, relay lander science information back to Earth, and conduct scientific observations in its own right.

  13. MetNet - In situ observational Network and Orbital platform to investigate the Martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Leinonen, Jussi; Merikallio, Sini; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni

    2007-09-01

    MetNet Mars Mission is an in situ observational network and orbital platform mission to investigate the Martian environment and it has been proposed to European Space Agency in response to Call for proposals for the first planning cycle of Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 D/SCI/DJS/SV/val/21851. The MetNet Mars Mission is to be implemented in collaboration with ESA, FMI, LA, IKI and the payload providing science teams. The scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy 16 MetNet Landers (MNLs) on the Martian surface by using inflatable descent system structures accompanied by an atmospheric sounder and data relay onboard the MetNet Orbiter (MNO), which is based on ESA Mars Express satellite platform. The MNLs are attached on the three sides of the satellite and most of the MNLs are deployed to Mars separately a few weeks prior to the arrival to Mars. The MetNet Orbiter will perform continuous atmospheric soundings thus complementing the accurate in situ observations at the Martian ground produced by the MetNet observation network, as well as the orbiter will serve as the primary data relay between the MetNet Landers and the Earth. The MNLs are equipped with a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterisation of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatological cycles, as well as interior investigations, require simultaneous in situ meteorological, seismic and magnetic measurements from networks of stations on the Martian surface. MetNet Mars Mission will also provide a crucial support for the safety of large landing missions in general and manned Mars missions in particular. Accurate knowledge of atmospheric conditions and weather data is essential to guarantee safe landings of the forthcoming Mars mission elements.

  14. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. An Orbit Propagation Software for Mars Orbiting Spacecraft

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song

    2004-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. In situ characterization of martian materials and detection of organic compounds with the MOMA investigation onboard the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Grubisic, A.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Li, X.; Kaplan, D.; Pinnick, V. T.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Goesmann, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ground-based observations (e.g., via the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility) and in situ investigations, including flybys (e.g., Mariner Program), orbiters (most recently MAVEN and ExoMars TGO), stationary landers (i.e., Viking, Pathfinder and Phoenix), and mobile rovers (i.e., Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity and Curiosity), have enabled the progressive exploration of the Martian surface. Evidence for liquid water, manifest as hydrated and amorphous materials representative of alteration products of primary minerals/lithologies, and geomorphological features such as recurring slope lineae (RSL), valley networks and open-basin lakes, indicates that Mars may have hosted habitable environments, at least on local scales (temporally and spatially). However, the preservation potential of molecular biosignatures in the upper meter(s) of the surface is limited by destructive cosmic radiation and oxidative chemical reactions. Moreover, the determination of indigenous versus exogenous origins, and biotic versus abiotic formation mechanisms of detected organic material, provide additional challenges for future missions to the red planet. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) onboard the ExoMars rover, set to launch in 2020, provides an unprecedented opportunity to discover unambiguous indicators of life. The MOMA instrument will investigate the compositions of materials collected during multiple vertical surveys, extending as deep as two meters below the surface, via: i) gas chromatography mass spectrometry, a method geared towards the detection of volatile organics and the determination of molecular chirality, mapping to previous in situ Mars investigations; and, ii) laser desorption mass spectrometry, a technique commonly employed in research laboratories to detect larger, more refractory organic materials, but a first for spaceflight applications. Selective ion excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) techniques support the isolation and disambiguation of complex

  19. 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.

  20. Autonomous Aerobraking Development Software: Phase One Performance Analysis at Mars, Venus, and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddock, Robert W.; Bowes, Angela; Powell, Richard W.; Prince, Jill L. H.; Cianciolo, Alicia Dwyer

    2012-01-01

    When entering orbit about a planet or moon with an appreciable atmosphere, instead of using only the propulsion system to insert the spacecraft into its desired orbit, aerodynamic drag can be used after the initial orbit insertion to further decelerate the spacecraft. Several past NASA missions have used this aerobraking technique to reduce the fuel required to deliver a spacecraft into a desired orbit. Aerobraking was first demonstrated at Venus with Magellan in 1993 and then was used to achieve the science orbit of three Mars orbiters: Mars Global Surveyor in 1997, Mars Odyssey in 2001, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2006. Although aerobraking itself reduces the propellant required to reach a final low period orbit, it does so at the expense of additional mission time to accommodate the aerobraking operations phase (typically 3-6 months), a large mission operations staff, and significant Deep Space Network (DSN) coverage. By automating ground based tasks and analyses associated with aerobraking and moving these onboard the spacecraft, a flight project could save millions of dollars in operations staffing and DSN costs (Ref. 1).

  1. 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.

  2. Earthquake cycle modeling of multi-segmented faults: dynamic rupture and ground motion simulation of the 1992 Mw 7.3 Landers earthquake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petukhin, A.; Galvez, P.; Somerville, P.; Ampuero, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    We perform earthquake cycle simulations to study the characteristics of source scaling relations and strong ground motions and in multi-segmented fault ruptures. For earthquake cycle modeling, a quasi-dynamic solver (QDYN, Luo et al, 2016) is used to nucleate events and the fully dynamic solver (SPECFEM3D, Galvez et al., 2014, 2016) is used to simulate earthquake ruptures. The Mw 7.3 Landers earthquake has been chosen as a target earthquake to validate our methodology. The SCEC fault geometry for the three-segmented Landers rupture is included and extended at both ends to a total length of 200 km. We followed the 2-D spatial correlated Dc distributions based on Hillers et. al. (2007) that associates Dc distribution with different degrees of fault maturity. The fault maturity is related to the variability of Dc on a microscopic scale. Large variations of Dc represents immature faults and lower variations of Dc represents mature faults. Moreover we impose a taper (a-b) at the fault edges and limit the fault depth to 15 km. Using these settings, earthquake cycle simulations are performed to nucleate seismic events on different sections of the fault, and dynamic rupture modeling is used to propagate the ruptures. The fault segmentation brings complexity into the rupture process. For instance, the change of strike between fault segments enhances strong variations of stress. In fact, Oglesby and Mai (2012) show the normal stress varies from positive (clamping) to negative (unclamping) between fault segments, which leads to favorable or unfavorable conditions for rupture growth. To replicate these complexities and the effect of fault segmentation in the rupture process, we perform earthquake cycles with dynamic rupture modeling and generate events similar to the Mw 7.3 Landers earthquake. We extract the asperities of these events and analyze the scaling relations between rupture area, average slip and combined area of asperities versus moment magnitude. Finally, the

  3. Mars Sample Return: The Next Step Required to Revolutionize Knowledge of Martian Geological and Climatological History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    The capability of scientific instrumentation flown on planetary orbiters and landers has made great advances since the signature Viking mission of the seventies. At some point, however, the science return from orbital remote sensing, and even in situ measurements, becomes incremental, rather than revolutionary. This is primarily caused by the low spatial resolution of such measurements, even for landed instrumentation, the incomplete mineralogical record derived from such measurements, the inability to do the detailed textural, mineralogical and compositional characterization needed to demonstrate equilibrium or reaction paths, and the lack of chronological characterization. For the foreseeable future, flight instruments will suffer from this limitation. In order to make the next revolutionary breakthrough in understanding the early geological and climatological history of Mars, samples must be available for interrogation using the full panoply of laboratory-housed analytical instrumentation. Laboratory studies of samples allow for determination of parageneses of rocks through microscopic identification of mineral assemblages, evaluation of equilibrium through electron microbeam analyses of mineral compositions and structures, determination of formation temperatures through secondary ion or thermal ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS or TIMS) analyses of stable isotope compositions. Such details are poorly constrained by orbital data (e.g. phyllosilicate formation at Mawrth Vallis), and incompletely described by in situ measurements (e.g. genesis of Burns formation sediments at Meridiani Planum). Laboratory studies can determine formation, metamorphism and/or alteration ages of samples through SIMS or TIMS of radiogenic isotope systems; a capability well-beyond flight instrumentation. Ideally, sample return should be from a location first scouted by landers such that fairly mature hypotheses have been formulated that can be tested. However, samples from clastic

  4. 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.

  5. Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemett, S. J.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Rahman, Z.; Le, L.; Wentworth, S. J.; Gibson, E. K.; McKay, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Detailed microanalysis of the Martian meteorite Nakhla has shown there are morphologically distinct carbonaceous features spatially associated with low-T aqueous alteration phases including salts and id-dingsite. A comprehensive suite of analytical instrumentation including optical microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), two-step laser mass spectrometry (mu-L(sup 2)MS), laser mu-Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) are being used to characterize the carbonaceous matter and host mineralogy. The search for carbonaceous matter on Mars has proved challenging. Viking Landers failed to unambiguously detect simple organics at either of the two landing sites although the Martian surface is estimated to have acquired at least 10(exp15) kg of C as a consequence of meteoritic accretion over the last several Ga. The dearth of organics at the Martian surface has been attributed to various oxidative processes including UV photolysis and peroxide activity. Consequently, investigations of Martian organics need to be focused on the sub-surface regolith where such surface processes are either severely attenuated or absent. Fortuitously since Martian meteorites are derived from buried regolith materials they provide a unique opportunity to study Martian organic geochemistry.

  6. Mars Ascent Vehicle-Propellant Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankanich, John; Rousseau, Jeremy; Williams, Jacob

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ip Wing-Huen; Yan Jun; Li Chun-Lai; Ouyang Zi-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions

  9. 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.

  10. Characterization of Medipix3 with the MARS readout and software

    CERN Document Server

    Ronaldson, J P; van Leeuwen, D; Doesburg, R M N; Ballabriga, R; Butler, A P H; Donaldson, J; Walsh, M; Nik, S J; Clyne, M N

    2011-01-01

    The Medipix3 x-ray imaging detector has been characterized using the MARS camera. This x-ray camera comprises custom built readout electronics and software libraries designed for the Medipix family of detectors. The performance of the Medipix3 and MARS camera system is being studied prior to use in real-world applications such as the recently developed MARS-CT3 spectroscopic micro-CT scanner. We present the results of characterization measurements, describe methods for optimizing performance and give examples of spectroscopic images acquired with Medipix3 and the MARS camera system. A limited number of operating modes of the Medipix3 chip have been characterized and single-pixel mode has been found to give acceptable performance in terms of energy response, image quality and stability over time. Spectroscopic performance is significantly better in charge-summing mode than single-pixel mode however image quality and stability over time are compromised. There are more modes of operation to be tested and further...

  11. Testing relativity with solar system dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellings, R. W.

    1984-01-01

    A major breakthrough is described in the accuracy of Solar System dynamical tests of relativistic gravity. The breakthrough was achieved by factoring in ranging data from Viking Landers 1 and 2 from the surface of Mars. Other key data sources included optical transit circle observations, lunar laser ranging, planetary radar, and spacecraft (Mariner 9 to Mars and Mariner 10 to Mercury). The Solar System model which is used to fit the data and the process by which such fits are performed are explained and results are discussed. The results are fully consistent with the predictions of General Relativity.

  12. 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

  13. Mars Express Lithium Ion Batteries Performance Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dudley G.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Now more than 12 years in orbit, Mars Express battery telemetry during some of the deepest discharge cycles has been analysed with the help of the ESTEC lithium ion cell model. The best-fitting model parameter sets were then used to predict the energy that is expected to be available before the battery voltage drops below the minimum value that can support the power bus. This allows mission planners to determine what future power profiles could be supported without risk of entering safe mode. It also gives some more insights into the ageing properties of these batteries.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    2015-01-01

    ultraviolet radiation [1]. Laboratory simulation experiments using a mock-up of the Phoenix lander have shown that microbes transported to the surface of Mars on a spacecraft come off the spacecraft and mix into the Martian regolith [2]. Additionally, studies simulating Martian dust storms demonstrate that microbes can survive in the Martian wind blown dust and be scattered across the Martian surface away from the spacecraft. Would these microbes that may survive on Mars metabolize and propagate? Growth requires liquid water, a carbon source and an energy source. Survival on Mars also requires protection from ultraviolet radiation. In the cold, dry environment of Mars the probability of microbial metabolism and growth at or just beneath the surface is extremely low. Although the probability is low, Mars may be contaminated with potentially live terrestrial organisms. In light of that statistic we must be extremely diligent and cautious in our search for Martian life. If we are not cautious we may find life on Mars and it may be a contaminant from Earth.

  16. 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...

  17. The ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the sub-polar front and Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone; ECO-MAR project strategy and description of the sampling programme 2007-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priede, Imants G.; Billett, David S. M.; Brierley, Andrew S.; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Inall, Mark; Miller, Peter I.; Cousins, Nicola J.; Shields, Mark A.; Fujii, Toyonobu

    2013-12-01

    The ECOMAR project investigated photosynthetically-supported life on the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between the Azores and Iceland focussing on the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone area in the vicinity of the sub-polar front where the North Atlantic Current crosses the MAR. Repeat visits were made to four stations at 2500 m depth on the flanks of the MAR in the years 2007-2010; a pair of northern stations at 54°N in cold water north of the sub-polar front and southern stations at 49°N in warmer water influenced by eddies from the North Atlantic Current. At each station an instrumented mooring was deployed with current meters and sediment traps (100 and 1000 m above the sea floor) to sample downward flux of particulate matter. The patterns of water flow, fronts, primary production and export flux in the region were studied by a combination of remote sensing and in situ measurements. Sonar, tow nets and profilers sampled pelagic fauna over the MAR. Swath bathymetry surveys across the ridge revealed sediment-covered flat terraces parallel to the axis of the MAR with intervening steep rocky slopes. Otter trawls, megacores, baited traps and a suite of tools carried by the R.O.V. Isis including push cores, grabs and a suction device collected benthic fauna. Video and photo surveys were also conducted using the SHRIMP towed vehicle and the R.O.V. Isis. Additional surveying and sampling by landers and R.O.V. focussed on the summit of a seamount (48°44‧N, 28°10‧W) on the western crest of the MAR between the two southern stations.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Spacecraft Conceptual Design Compared to the Apollo Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, C.; Bowie, J.; Rust, R.; Lenius, J.; Anderson, M.; Connolly, J.

    2011-01-01

    Future human exploration of the Moon will require an optimized spacecraft design with each sub-system achieving the required minimum capability and maintaining high reliability. The objective of this study was to trade capability with reliability and minimize mass for the lunar lander spacecraft. The NASA parametric concept for a 3-person vehicle to the lunar surface with a 30% mass margin totaled was considerably heavier than the Apollo 15 Lunar Module "as flown" mass of 16.4 metric tons. The additional mass was attributed to mission requirements and system design choices that were made to meet the realities of modern spaceflight. The parametric tool used to size the current concept, Envision, accounts for primary and secondary mass requirements. For example, adding an astronaut increases the mass requirements for suits, water, food, oxygen, as well as, the increase in volume. The environmental control sub-systems becomes heavier with the increased requirements and more structure was needed to support the additional mass. There was also an increase in propellant usage. For comparison, an "Apollo-like" vehicle was created by removing these additional requirements. Utilizing the Envision parametric mass calculation tool and a quantitative reliability estimation tool designed by Valador Inc., it was determined that with today?s current technology a Lunar Module (LM) with Apollo capability could be built with less mass and similar reliability. The reliability of this new lander was compared to Apollo Lunar Module utilizing the same methodology, adjusting for mission timeline changes as well as component differences. Interestingly, the parametric concept's overall estimated risk for loss of mission (LOM) and loss of crew (LOC) did not significantly improve when compared to Apollo.

  1. Optimization of a Lunar Pallet Lander Reinforcement Structure Using a Genetic Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Adam O.; Hull, Patrick V.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a design automation process using optimization via a genetic algorithm to design the conceptual structure of a Lunar Pallet Lander. The goal is to determine a design that will have the primary natural frequencies at or above a target value as well as minimize the total mass. Several iterations of the process are presented. First, a concept optimization is performed to determine what class of structure would produce suitable candidate designs. From this a stiffened sheet metal approach was selected leading to optimization of beam placement through generating a two-dimensional mesh and varying the physical location of reinforcing beams. Finally, the design space is reformulated as a binary problem using 1-dimensional beam elements to truncate the design space to allow faster convergence and additional mechanical failure criteria to be included in the optimization responses. Results are presented for each design space configuration. The final flight design was derived from these results.

  2. Model of the fine-grain component of martian soil based on Viking lander data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nussinov, M.D.; Chernyak, Y.B.; Ettinger, J.L.

    1978-01-01

    A model of the fine-grain component of the Martian soil is proposed. The model is based on well-known physical phenomena, and enables an explanation of the evolution of the gases released in the GEX (gas exchange experiments) and GCMS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometer experiments) of the Viking landers. (author)

  3. Radiation chemistry in exploration of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zagorski, Z.P.

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Performance and Feasibility Analysis of a Wind Turbine Power System for Use on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichter, Matthew D.; Viterna, Larry

    1999-01-01

    A wind turbine power system for future missions to the Martian surface was studied for performance and feasibility. A C++ program was developed from existing FORTRAN code to analyze the power capabilities of wind turbines under different environments and design philosophies. Power output, efficiency, torque, thrust, and other performance criteria could be computed given design geometries, atmospheric conditions, and airfoil behavior. After reviewing performance of such a wind turbine, a conceptual system design was modeled to evaluate feasibility. More analysis code was developed to study and optimize the overall structural design. Findings of this preliminary study show that turbine power output on Mars could be as high as several hundred kilowatts. The optimized conceptual design examined here would have a power output of 104 kW, total mass of 1910 kg, and specific power of 54.6 W/kg.

  5. MaROS Strategic Relay Planning and Coordination Interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    The Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS) is designed to provide planning and analysis tools in support of ongoing Mars Network relay operations. Strategic relay planning requires coordination between lander and orbiter mission ground data system (GDS) teams to schedule and execute relay communications passes. MaROS centralizes this process, correlating all data relevant to relay coordination to provide a cohesive picture of the relay state. Service users interact with the system through thin-layer command line and web user interface client applications. Users provide and utilize data such as lander view periods of orbiters, Deep Space Network (DSN) antenna tracks, and reports of relay pass performance. Users upload and download relevant relay data via formally defined and documented file structures including some described in Extensible Markup Language (XML). Clients interface with the system via an http-based Representational State Transfer (ReST) pattern using Javascript Object Notation (JSON) formats. This paper will provide a general overview of the service architecture and detail the software interfaces and considerations for interface design.

  6. 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

  7. Effects of cold-water corals on fish diversity and density (European continental margin: Arctic, NE Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea): Data from three baited lander systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linley, T. D.; Lavaleye, M.; Maiorano, P.; Bergman, M.; Capezzuto, F.; Cousins, N. J.; D'Onghia, G.; Duineveld, G.; Shields, M. A.; Sion, L.; Tursi, A.; Priede, I. G.

    2017-11-01

    Autonomous photographic landers are a low-impact survey method for the assessment of mobile fauna in situations where methods such as trawling are not feasible or ethical. Three institutions collaborated through the CoralFISH project, each using differing lander systems, to assess the effects of cold-water corals on fish diversity and density. The Biogenic Reef Ichthyofauna Lander (BRIL, Oceanlab), Autonomous Lander for Biological Experiments (ALBEX, NIOZ) and the Marine Environment MOnitoring system (MEMO, CoNISMa) were deployed in four CoralFISH European study regions covering the Arctic, NE Atlantic and Mediterranean, namely Northern Norway (275-310 m depth), Belgica Mound Province (686-1025 m depth), the Bay of Biscay (623-936 m depth), and Santa Maria di Leuca (547-670 m depth). A total of 33 deployments were carried out in the different regions. Both the time of first arrival (Tarr) and the maximum observed number of fish (MaxN) were standardised between the different lander systems and compared between coral and reference stations as indicators of local fish density. Fish reached significantly higher MaxN at the coral stations than at the reference stations. Fish were also found to have significantly lower Tarr in the coral areas in data obtained from the BRIL and MEMO landers. All data indicated that fish abundance is higher within the coral areas. Fish species diversity was higher within the coral areas of Atlantic Ocean while in Northern Norway and Santa Maria di Leuca coral areas, diversity was similar at coral and reference stations but a single dominant species (Brosme brosme and Conger conger respectively) showed much higher density within the coral areas. Indicating that, while cold-water coral reefs have a positive effect on fish diversity and/or abundance, this effect varies across Europe's reefs.

  8. Methane on Mars: Thermodynamic Equilibrium and Photochemical Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Hector

    2010-05-01

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

  11. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Deployment of the MARSIS Radar Antennas On-Board Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, Michel; Moorhouse, A.; Smith, A.; McKay, Mike; Fischer, J.; Jayaraman, P.; Mounzer, Z.; Schmidt, R.; Reddy, J.; Ecale, E.; hide

    2006-01-01

    On the first European planetary mission, the deployment of the two 20-meter long MARSIS antennas onboard the ESA Mars Express spacecraft has represented an unprecedented technological challenge, in the middle of a successful science mission. While Mars Express was already performing regular observations at Mars, a complex process has been performed on Earth, involving the ESA Project, coordination between ESA, NASA and ASI, the Mars Science community, the spacecraft manufacturer EADS Astrium and the Mission Control Centre at ESOC. This paper describes the steps that led from an initial nogo in 2004 to deployment one year later, as well as the conditions and difficulties encountered during the actual deployment. It provides insights in the technical and managerial processes that made it a success, and analyses the rationale behind the decisions.

  13. Asymptotic Parachute Performance Sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, David W.; Powell, Richard W.; Chen, Allen; Steltzner, Adam D.

    2006-01-01

    In 2010, the Mars Science Laboratory mission will pioneer the next generation of robotic Entry, Descent, and Landing systems by delivering the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. In addition to landing more mass than any other mission to Mars, Mars Science Laboratory will also provide scientists with unprecedented access to regions of Mars that have been previously unreachable. By providing an Entry, Descent, and Landing system capable of landing at altitudes as high as 2 km above the reference gravitational equipotential surface, or areoid, as defined by the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter program, Mars Science Laboratory will demonstrate sufficient performance to land on 83% of the planet s surface. By contrast, the highest altitude landing to date on Mars has been the Mars Exploration Rover at 1.3 km below the areoid. The coupling of this improved altitude performance with latitude limits as large as 60 degrees off of the equator and a precise delivery to within 10 km of a surface target, will allow the science community to select the Mars Science Laboratory landing site from thousands of scientifically interesting possibilities. In meeting these requirements, Mars Science Laboratory is extending the limits of the Entry, Descent, and Landing technologies qualified by the Mars Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and Mars Exploration Rover missions. Specifically, the drag deceleration provided by a Viking-heritage 16.15 m supersonic Disk-Gap-Band parachute in the thin atmosphere of Mars is insufficient, at the altitudes and ballistic coefficients under consideration by the Mars Science Laboratory project, to maintain necessary altitude performance and timeline margin. This paper defines and discusses the asymptotic parachute performance observed in Monte Carlo simulation and performance analysis and its effect on the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing architecture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. BILLIARDS: Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent

    2015-01-01

    BILLIARDS Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector, and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System Proposed demonstration mission for Billiard-Ball concept Select asteroid pair with natural close approach to minimize cost and complexity Primary Objectives Rendezvous with a small (10m), near Earth (alpha) asteroid Maneuver the alpha asteroid to a collision with a 100m (beta) asteroid Produce a detectable deflection or disruption of the beta asteroid Secondary objectives Contribute knowledge of asteroid composition and characteristics Contribute knowledge of small-body formation Opportunity for international collaboration

  16. The magnetic field of Mars according to data of Mars-3 and Mars-5 space vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolginov, Sh.Sh.; Eroshenko, E.G.; Zhuzgov, L.N.

    1975-01-01

    Magnitograms obtained by the space probe ''Mars-5'' on the evening and day sides as well as those from the ''Mars-3'' obtained earlier suggest the following: In the vicinity of Mars there exists a shock front and its disposition is tracked at various angles to the direction to the sun. Magnetometers have registered a region in space where magnetic field features the properties of a magnetosphere field in its topology and action on plasma. The magnetic field in the region of the ''magnitosphere'' does not change its sign when the interplanetary field does shile in adjacent boundary regions the regular part of the field changes its sign when that of the interplanetary field does. The configuration and dimensions of the ''magnitosphere'' depend on thesolar wind intensity. On the day side (''Mars-3'') the magnitospheric field ceases to be registered at an altitude of 2200km, whereas on the night side (''Mars-5'') the regular field is traced up to 7500-9500km from the planet surface. All the above unambiguously suggests that the planet Mars has its own magnetic field. Under the influence of the solar wind the field takes the characteristic form: it is limited on the day side and elongated on the night one. The topology oif force lines is explicable if one assumes that the axis of the Mars magnetic dipole is inclined to the rotation axis at an abgle of 15-20deg. The northern magnetic pole of the dipole is licated in the northern hemisphere, i.e. the Mars fields in their regularity are opposite to the geomagnetic field. The magnetic moment of the Mars dipole is equal to M=2.5x10 22 Gauss.cm 3 . (author)

  17. 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

  18. Performance Evaluation of SMART Passive Safety System for Small Break LOCA Using MARS Code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chun, Ji Han; Lee, Guy Hyung; Bae, Kyoo Hwan; Chung, Young Jong; Kim, Keung Koo

    2013-01-01

    SMART has significantly enhanced safety by reducing its core damage frequency to 1/10 that of a conventional nuclear power plant. KAERI is developing a passive safety injection system to replace the active safety injection pump in SMART. It consists of four trains, each of which includes gravity-driven core makeup tank (CMT) and safety injection tank (SIT). This system is required to meet the passive safety performance requirements, i.e., the capability to maintain a safe shutdown condition for a minimum of 72 hours without an AC power supply or operator action in the case of design basis accidents (DBAs). The CMT isolation valve is opened by the low pressurizer pressure signal, and the SIT isolation valve is opened at 2 MPa. Additionally, two stages of automatic depressurization systems are used for rapid depressurization. Preliminary safety analysis of SMART passive safety system in the event of a small-break loss-of-coolant accident (SBLOCA) was performed using MARS code. In this study, the safety analysis results of a guillotine break of safety injection line which was identified as the limiting SBLOCA in SMART are given. The preliminary safety analysis of a SBLOCA for the SMART passive safety system was performed using the MARS code. The analysis results of the most limiting SI line guillotine break showed that the collapsed liquid level inside the core support barrel was maintained sufficiently high above the top of core throughout the transient. This means that the passive safety injection flow from the CMT and SIT causes no core uncovery during the 72 hours following the break with no AC power supply or operator action, which in turn results in a consistent decrease in the fuel cladding temperature. Therefore, the SMART passive safety system can meet the passive safety performance requirement of maintaining the plant at a safe shutdown condition for a minimum of 72 hours without AC power or operator action for a representing accident of SBLOCA

  19. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

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

  20. 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.

  1. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercrombie, S. P.; Menzies, A.; Goddard, C.

    2017-12-01

    Virtual and augmented reality enable scientists to visualize environments that are very difficult, or even impossible to visit, such as the surface of Mars. A useful immersive visualization begins with a high quality reconstruction of the environment under study. This presentation will discuss a photogrammetry pipeline developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to reconstruct 3D models of the surface of Mars using stereo images sent back to Earth by the Curiosity Mars rover. The resulting models are used to support a virtual reality tool (OnSight) that allows scientists and engineers to visualize the surface of Mars as if they were standing on the red planet. Images of Mars present challenges to existing scene reconstruction solutions. Surface images of Mars are sparse with minimal overlap, and are often taken from extremely different viewpoints. In addition, the specialized cameras used by Mars rovers are significantly different than consumer cameras, and GPS localization data is not available on Mars. This presentation will discuss scene reconstruction with an emphasis on coping with limited input data, and on creating models suitable for rendering in virtual reality at high frame rate.

  2. Suited versus unsuited analog astronaut performance using the Aouda.X space suit simulator: the DELTA experiment of MARS2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soucek, Alexander; Ostkamp, Lutz; Paternesi, Roberta

    2015-04-01

    Space suit simulators are used for extravehicular activities (EVAs) during Mars analog missions. Flight planning and EVA productivity require accurate time estimates of activities to be performed with such simulators, such as experiment execution or traverse walking. We present a benchmarking methodology for the Aouda.X space suit simulator of the Austrian Space Forum. By measuring and comparing the times needed to perform a set of 10 test activities with and without Aouda.X, an average time delay was derived in the form of a multiplicative factor. This statistical value (a second-over-second time ratio) is 1.30 and shows that operations in Aouda.X take on average a third longer than the same operations without the suit. We also show that activities predominantly requiring fine motor skills are associated with larger time delays (between 1.17 and 1.59) than those requiring short-distance locomotion or short-term muscle strain (between 1.10 and 1.16). The results of the DELTA experiment performed during the MARS2013 field mission increase analog mission planning reliability and thus EVA efficiency and productivity when using Aouda.X.

  3. Marshall Application Realignment System (MARS) Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belshe, Andrea; Sutton, Mandy

    2010-01-01

    The Marshall Application Realignment System (MARS) Architecture project was established to meet the certification requirements of the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) V2.0 Federal Enterprise Architecture Certification (FEAC) Institute program and to provide added value to the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Application Portfolio Management process. The MARS Architecture aims to: (1) address the NASA MSFC Chief Information Officer (CIO) strategic initiative to improve Application Portfolio Management (APM) by optimizing investments and improving portfolio performance, and (2) develop a decision-aiding capability by which applications registered within the MSFC application portfolio can be analyzed and considered for retirement or decommission. The MARS Architecture describes a to-be target capability that supports application portfolio analysis against scoring measures (based on value) and overall portfolio performance objectives (based on enterprise needs and policies). This scoring and decision-aiding capability supports the process by which MSFC application investments are realigned or retired from the application portfolio. The MARS Architecture is a multi-phase effort to: (1) conduct strategic architecture planning and knowledge development based on the DoDAF V2.0 six-step methodology, (2) describe one architecture through multiple viewpoints, (3) conduct portfolio analyses based on a defined operational concept, and (4) enable a new capability to support the MSFC enterprise IT management mission, vision, and goals. This report documents Phase 1 (Strategy and Design), which includes discovery, planning, and development of initial architecture viewpoints. Phase 2 will move forward the process of building the architecture, widening the scope to include application realignment (in addition to application retirement), and validating the underlying architecture logic before moving into Phase 3. The MARS Architecture key stakeholders are most

  4. The Regulatory Small RNA MarS Supports Virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappesch, Roberto; Warnke, Philipp; Mikkat, Stefan; Normann, Jana; Wisniewska-Kucper, Aleksandra; Huschka, Franziska; Wittmann, Maja; Khani, Afsaneh; Schwengers, Oliver; Oehmcke-Hecht, Sonja; Hain, Torsten; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Patenge, Nadja

    2017-09-25

    Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play a role in the control of bacterial virulence gene expression. In this study, we investigated an sRNA that was identified in Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus, GAS) but is conserved throughout various streptococci. In a deletion strain, expression of mga, the gene encoding the multiple virulence gene regulator, was reduced. Accordingly, transcript and proteome analyses revealed decreased expression of several Mga-activated genes. Therefore, and because the sRNA was shown to interact with the 5' UTR of the mga transcript in a gel-shift assay, we designated it MarS for m ga-activating regulatory sRNA. Down-regulation of important virulence factors, including the antiphagocytic M-protein, led to increased susceptibility of the deletion strain to phagocytosis and reduced adherence to human keratinocytes. In a mouse infection model, the marS deletion mutant showed reduced dissemination to the liver, kidney, and spleen. Additionally, deletion of marS led to increased tolerance towards oxidative stress. Our in vitro and in vivo results indicate a modulating effect of MarS on virulence gene expression and on the pathogenic potential of GAS.

  5. Benchmarking MARS (accident management software) with the Browns Ferry fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dawson, S.M.; Liu, L.Y.; Raines, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    The MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) is a userfriendly computer software developed to provide management and engineering staff with the most needed insights, during actual or simulated accidents, of the current and future conditions of the plant based on current plant data and its trends. To demonstrate the reliability of the MARS code in simulatng a plant transient, MARS is being benchmarked with the available reactor pressure vessel (RPV) pressure and level data from the Browns Ferry fire. The MRS software uses the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) code as its basis to calculate plant response under accident conditions. MARS uses a limited set of plant data to initialize and track the accidnt progression. To perform this benchmark, a simulated set of plant data was constructed based on actual report data containing the information necessary to initialize MARS and keep track of plant system status throughout the accident progression. The initial Browns Ferry fire data were produced by performing a MAAP run to simulate the accident. The remaining accident simulation used actual plant data

  6. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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. Analysis of a double-pipe heat exchanger performance using heat structure coupling of MARS and CUPID

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amidua, M.; Kim, H.; Cho, H. K.

    2015-01-01

    of CUPID with MARS has made the multi-scale thermal-hydraulic analysis feasible and robust. It was found that the overall two-phase behaviors in the inner tube (Condensation) and in the outer tube (Boiling) in the heat exchanger were well reproduced with the coupled code. Studying of the influence of wall orientation angle and comparison of various parameters between the experimental results and simulation will be performed in the future for a qualitative analysis and verification of the coupled code

  9. Transient stresses al Parkfield, California, produced by the M 7.4 Landers earthquake of June 28, 1992: implications for the time-dependence of fault friction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. B. Fletcher

    1994-06-01

    Full Text Available he M 7.4 Landers earthquake triggered widespread seismicity in the Western U.S. Because the transient dynamic stresses induced at regional distances by the Landers surface waves are much larger than the expected static stresses, the magnitude and the characteristics of the dynamic stresses may bear upon the earthquake triggering mechanism. The Landers earthquake was recorded on the UPSAR array, a group of 14 triaxial accelerometers located within a 1-square-km region 10 km southwest of the town of Parkfield, California, 412 km northwest of the Landers epicenter. We used a standard geodetic inversion procedure to determine the surface strain and stress tensors as functions of time from the observed dynamic displacements. Peak dynamic strains and stresses at the Earth's surface are about 7 microstrain and 0.035 MPa, respectively, and they have a flat amplitude spectrum between 2 s and 15 s period. These stresses agree well with stresses predicted from a simple rule of thumb based upon the ground velocity spectrum observed at a single station. Peak stresses ranged from about 0.035 MPa at the surface to about 0.12 MPa between 2 and 14 km depth, with the sharp increase of stress away from the surface resulting from the rapid increase of rigidity with depth and from the influence of surface wave mode shapes. Comparison of Landers-induced static and dynamic stresses at the hypocenter of the Big Bear aftershock provides a clear example that faults are stronger on time scales of tens of seconds than on time scales of hours or longer.

  10. Evolved Gas Analysis of Mars Analog Samples from the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition: Implications for Analyses by the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, A.; Stern, J. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T.; Steele, A.; Amundsen, H. E. F.

    2012-01-01

    The 2011 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) investigated several geologic settings on Svalbard, using methodologies and techniques being developed or considered for future Mars missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS), which analyze gases created by pyrolysis of samples. During AMASE, a Hiden Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometer (EGA-MS) system represented the EGA-QMS capability of SAM. Another MSL instrument, CheMin, will use x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to perform quantitative mineralogical characterization of samples. Field-portable versions of CheMin were used during AMASE. AMASE 2011 sites spanned a range of environments relevant to understanding martian surface materials, processes and habitability. They included the basaltic Sverrefjell volcano, which hosts carbonate globules, cements and coatings, carbonate and sulfate units at Colletth0gda, Devonian sandstone redbeds in Bockfjorden, altered basaltic lava delta deposits at Mt. Scott Keltie, and altered dolerites and volcanics at Botniahalvoya. Here we focus on SAM-like EGA-MS of a subset of the samples, with mineralogy comparisons to CheMin team results. The results allow insight into sample organic content as well as some constraints on sample mineralogy.

  11. 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

  12. A new MARS and its applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krivosheev, O.E.; Mokhov, N.V.

    1998-01-01

    This paper describes MARS14(98) - the newest version of the MARS Monte Carlo code system for fast simulation of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades in shielding, accelerator and detector components in the energy range from a fraction of an electronvolt up to 30 TeV. The main changes compared to the previous release, MARS 13, concern the hadron production model tuned with evaluated data and the DPMJET-II code, improved photo- and electro- production of hadrons and muons, improved algorithms for the 3-body decays, particle tracking in magnetic fields, synchrotron radiation by electrons and muons, significantly extended histograming capabilities and material description, and improved computational performance. In addition to direct energy deposition calculations, a new set of fluence-to-dose conversion factors for all particles including neutrino are built into the code. The MARS 14(98) system includes links to the MCNP code for neutron transport below 20 MeV, to the ANSYS code for thermal and stress analyses and to the STRUCT code for multi-turn particle tracking in large synchrotrons and collider rings

  13. A new MARS and its applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krivosheev, O.E.; N.V Mokhov, N.V.

    1998-01-01

    This paper describes MARS14(98) - the newest version of the MARS Monte Carlo code system for fast simulation of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades in shielding, accelerator and detector components in the energy range from a fraction of an electronvolt up to 30 TeV. The main changes compared to the previous release, MARS 13, concern the hadron production model tuned with evaluated data and the DPMJET-II code, improved photo- and electro- production of hadrons and muons, improved algorithms for the 3-body decays, particle tracking in magnetic fields, synchrotron radiation by electrons and muons, significantly extended histograming capabilities and material description, and improved computational performance. In addition to direct energy deposition calculations, a new set of fluence-to-dose conversion factors for all particles including neutrino are built into the code. The MARS 14(98) system includes links to the MCNP code for neutron transport below 20 MeV, to the ANSYS code for thermal and stress analyses and to the STRUCT code for multi-turn particle tracking in large synchrotrons and collider rings.

  14. 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.

  15. In-Situ Mosaic Production at JPL/MIPL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deen, Bob

    2012-01-01

    Multimission Image Processing Lab (MIPL) at JPL is responsible for (among other things) the ground-based operational image processing of all the recent in-situ Mars missions: (1) Mars Pathfinder (2) Mars Polar Lander (3) Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) (4) Phoenix (5) Mars Science Lab (MSL) Mosaics are probably the most visible products from MIPL (1) Generated for virtually every rover position at which a panorama is taken (2) Provide better environmental context than single images (3) Valuable to operations and science personnel (4) Arguably the signature products for public engagement

  16. Smectite Formation in Acid Sulfate Environments on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretyazhko, T. S.; Niles, P. B.; Sutter, B.; Clark, J. V.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.

    2017-01-01

    Phyllosilicates of the smectite group detected in Noachian and early Hesperian terrains on Mars were hypothesized to form under aqueous conditions that were globally neutral to alkaline. These pH conditions and the presence of a CO2-rich atmosphere should have been favorable for the formation of large carbonate deposits. However, large-scale carbonate deposits have not been detected on Mars. We hypothesized that smectite deposits are consistent with perhaps widespread acidic aqueous conditions that prevented carbonate precipitation. The objective of our work was to investigate smectite formation under acid sulfate conditions in order to provide insight into the possible geochemical conditions required for smectite formation on Mars. Hydrothermal batch incubation experiments were performed with Mars-analogue, glass-rich, basalt simulant in the presence of sulfuric acid of variable concentration.

  17. Cutting the Cord-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This animation shows the view from the rear hazard avoidance cameras on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit as the rover turns 45 degrees clockwise. This maneuver is the first step in a 3-point turn that will rotate the rover 115 degrees to face west. The rover must make this turn before rolling off the lander because airbags are blocking it from exiting from the front lander petal. Before this crucial turn took place, engineers instructed the rover to cut the final cord linking it to the lander. The turn took around 30 minutes to complete.

  18. Cutting the Cord

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This animation shows the view from the front hazard avoidance cameras on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit as the rover turns 45 degrees clockwise. This maneuver is the first step in a 3-point turn that will rotate the rover 115 degrees to face west. The rover must make this turn before rolling off the lander because airbags are blocking it from exiting off the front lander petal. Before this crucial turn could take place, engineers instructed the rover to cut the final cord linking it to the lander. The turn took around 30 minutes to complete.

  19. 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.

  20. NASA Propulsion Concept Studies and Risk Reduction Activities for Resource Prospector Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Huu P.; Williams, Hunter; Burnside, Chris

    2015-01-01

    The trade study has led to the selection of propulsion concept with the lowest cost and net lowest risk -Government-owned, flight qualified components -Meet mission requirements although the configuration is not optimized. Risk reduction activities have provided an opportunity -Implement design improvements while development with the early-test approach. -Gain knowledge on the operation and identify operation limit -Data to anchor analytical models for future flight designs; The propulsion system cold flow tests series have provided valuable data for future design. -The pressure surge from the system priming and waterhammer within component operation limits. -Enable to optimize the ullage volume to reduce the propellant tank mass; RS-34 hot fire tests have successfully demonstrated of using the engines for the RP mission -No degradation of performance due to extended storage life of the hardware. -Enable to operate the engine for RP flight mission scenarios, outside of the qualification regime. -Provide extended data for the thermal and GNC designs. Significant progress has been made on NASA propulsion concept design and risk reductions for Resource Prospector lander.

  1. Geologic map of the Bateman Spring Quadrangle, Lander County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramelli, Alan R.; Wrucke, Chester T.; House, P. Kyle

    2017-01-01

    This 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Bateman Spring 7.5-minute quadrangle in Lander County, Nevada contains descriptions of 24 geologic units and one cross section. Accompanying text includes full unit descriptions and references. This quadrangle includes lower Paleozoic siliciclastic sedimentary rocks of the Roberts Mountain allochthon, Miocene intrusive dikes, alluvial deposits of the northern Shoshone Range piedmont, and riverine deposits of the Reese and Humboldt rivers.Significant findings include: refined age estimates for the Ordovician-Cambrian Valmy Formation and Devonian Slaven Chert, based on new fossil information; and detailed mapping of late Quaternary fault traces along the Shoshone Range fault system.

  2. Possible Calcite and Magnesium Perchlorate Interaction in the Mars Phoenix Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, K. M.; Sutter, B.; Ming, D. W.; Boynton, W. V.; Quinn, R. C.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Phoenix Lander's TEGA instrument detected a calcium carbonate phase decomposing at high temperatures (approx.700 C) from the Wicked Witch soil sample [1]. TEGA also detected a lower temperature CO2 release between 400 C and 680 C [1]. Possible explanations given for this lower temperature CO2 release include thermal decomposition of Mg or Fe carbonates, a zeolitictype desorption reaction, or combustion of organic compounds in the soil [2]. The detection of 0.6 wt % soluble perchlorate by the Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) on Phoenix [3] has implications for the possibility of organic molecules in the soil. Ming et al. [4] demonstrated that perchlorates could have oxidized organic compounds to CO2 in TEGA, preventing detection of their characteristic mass fragments. Here, we propose that a perchlorate salt and calcium carbonate present in martian soil reacted to produce the 400 C - 680 C TEGA CO2 release. The parent salts of the perchlorate on Mars are unknown, but geochemical models using WCL data support the possible dominance of Mg-perchlorate salts [5]. Mg(ClO4)2 6H2O is the stable phase at ambient martian conditions [6], and breaks down at lower temperatures than carbonates giving off Cl2 and HCl gas [7,8]. Devlin and Herley [7] report two exotherms at 410-478 C and 473-533 C which correspond to the decomposition of Mg(ClO4)2.

  3. Solar Panel Buffeted by Wind at Phoenix Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Winds were strong enough to cause about a half a centimeter (.19 inch) of motion of a solar panel on NASA's Phoenix Mars lander when the lander's Surface Stereo Imager took this picture on Aug. 31, 2008, during the 96th Martian day since landing. The lander's telltale wind gauge has been indicating wind speeds of about 4 meters per second (9 miles per hour) during late mornings at the site. These conditions were anticipated and the wind is not expected to do any harm to the lander. 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.

  4. Using MARS to assist in managing a severe accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raines, J.C.; Hammersley, R.J.; Henry, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    During an accident, information about the current and possible future states of the plant provides guidance for accident managers in evaluating which actions should be taken. However, depending upon the nature of the accident and the stress levels imposed on the plant staff responding to the accident the current and future plant assessments may be very difficult or nearly impossible to perform without supplemental training and/or appropriate tools. The MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) has been developed as a calculational aid to assist the responsible accident management individuals. Specifically MARS provides additional insights on the current and possible future states of the plant during an accident including the influence of operator actions. In addition to serving as a calculational aid, the MARS software can be an effective means for providing supplemental training. The MARS software uses engineering calculations to perform an integral assessment of the plant status including a consistency assessment of the available instrumentation. In addition, it uses the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) to provide near term predictions of the plant response if corrective actions are taken. This paper will discuss the types of information that are beneficial to the accident manager and how MARS addresses each. The MARS calculational functions include: instrumentation, validation and simulation, projected operator response based on the EOPs, as well as estimated timing and magnitude of in-plant and off-site radiation dose releases. Each of these items is influential in the management of a severe accident. (author)

  5. The analysis of water in the Martian regolith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D M; Tice, A R

    1979-12-01

    One of the scientific objectives of the Viking Mission to Mars was to accomplish an analysis of water in the Martian regolith. The analytical scheme originally envisioned was severely compromised in the latter stages of the Lander instrument package design. Nevertheless, a crude soil water analysis was accomplished. Samples from each of the two widely separated sites yielded roughly 1 to 3% water by weight when heated successively to several temperatures up to 500 degrees C. A significant portion of this water was released in the 200 degrees to 350 degrees C interval indicating the presence of mineral hydrates of relatively low thermal stability, a finding in keeping with the low temperatures generally prevailing on Mars. The presence of a duricrust at one of the Lander sites is taken as possible evidence for the presence of hygroscopic minerals on Mars. The demonstrated presence of atmospheric water vapor and thermodynamic calculations lead to the belief that adsorbed water could provide a relatively favorable environment for endolithic organisms on Mars similar to types recently discovered in the dry antarctic deserts.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Project Morpheus: Lean Development of a Terrestrial Flight Testbed for Maturing NASA Lander Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devolites, Jennifer L.; Olansen, Jon B.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Morpheus Project has developed and tested a prototype planetary lander capable of vertical takeoff and landing that is designed to serve as a testbed for advanced spacecraft technologies. The lander vehicle, propelled by a Liquid Oxygen (LOX)/Methane engine and sized to carry a 500kg payload to the lunar surface, provides a platform for bringing technologies from the laboratory into an integrated flight system at relatively low cost. In 2012, Morpheus began integrating the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) sensors and software onto the vehicle in order to demonstrate safe, autonomous landing and hazard avoidance. From the beginning, one of goals for the Morpheus Project was to streamline agency processes and practices. The Morpheus project accepted a challenge to tailor the traditional NASA systems engineering approach in a way that would be appropriate for a lower cost, rapid prototype engineering effort, but retain the essence of the guiding principles. This paper describes the tailored project life cycle and systems engineering approach for the Morpheus project, including the processes, tools, and amount of rigor employed over the project's multiple lifecycles since the project began in fiscal year (FY) 2011.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  12. Development of A Microbalance System For Water and Dust Detection In Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, R.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Colangeli, L.

    The cycle of dust on Mars is a key component of current climate, is relevant in the dynamic and thermodynamic evolution of atmosphere, and is directly involved in the water cloud formation. Furthermore, dust suspended in the atmosphere is a major driver of atmospheric motions at all scales and is suspected of having had great in- fluence on the morphological evolution of the Martian surface. The dust dispersed in the atmosphere thermally influences the behaviour of the lower atmosphere. Most of information on the nature of small particle on Mars is derived from Viking Lander data and Mars Pathfinder observations, even if the Viking orbiter IRTM instrument also was able to provide estimates of particle size distribution of Martian soil. On the other hand water is important as indicator of global climate changes on long time- scale. Seasonal variations in the column abundance are due to the combined effect of exchange of H2O between atmosphere and water reservoirs (e.g. polar caps, re- golith) and atmospheric transport. The Viking orbiters collected accurate information during the period 1976-1979 and much of what we know about water circulation in the Martian atmosphere derives from the observations by the Mars Atmospheric Wa- ter Detection experiments (MAWD). Despite the low absolute water content (0,03%), relative humidity can exceed 100%, leading to the formation of near surface fog and condensation clouds, thanks to low typical Mars temperatures. The typical value of 6.1 mbar (coincident with the triple point in the water phase diagram) of the surficial pressure, makes rather difficult the persistence of liquid water at the surface of Mars. This means that the water is present exclusively in a gaseous and (when the conditions are favourable) solid state. In this context, it is extremely important to study the role of the different contributions to the production of atmospheric water and to the forma- tion of water ice clouds by the three main reservoirs, i

  13. 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

  14. MW-Class Electric Propulsion System Designs for Mars Cargo Transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilland, James H.; LaPointe, Michael R.; Oleson, Steven; Mercer, Carolyn; Pencil, Eric; Maosn, Lee

    2011-01-01

    Multi-kilowatt electric propulsion systems are well developed and have been used on commercial and military satellites in Earth orbit for several years. Ion and Hall thrusters have also propelled robotic spacecraft to encounters with asteroids, the Moon, and minor planetary bodies within the solar system. High power electric propulsion systems are currently being considered to support piloted missions to near earth asteroids, as cargo transport for sustained lunar or Mars exploration, and for very high-power piloted missions to Mars and the outer planets. Using NASA Mars Design Architecture 5.0 as a reference, a preliminary parametric analysis was performed to determine the suitability of a nuclear powered, MW-class electric propulsion system for Mars cargo transport. For this initial analysis, high power 100-kW Hall thrusters and 250-kW VASIMR engines were separately evaluated to determine optimum vehicle architecture and estimated performance. The DRA 5.0 cargo mission closed for both propulsion options, delivering a 100 t payload to Mars orbit and reducing the number of heavy lift launch vehicles from five in the baseline DRA 5.0 architecture to two using electric propulsion. Under an imposed single engine-out mission success criteria, the VASIMR system took longer to reach Mars than did the Hall system, arising from the need to operate the VASIMR thrusters in pairs during the spiral out from low Earth orbit.

  15. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

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

  16. Dust coatings on basaltic rocks and implications for thermal infrared spectroscopy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Christensen, P.R.; Lucey, P.G.

    2002-01-01

    Thin coatings of atmospherically deposited dust can mask the spectral characteristics of underlying surfaces on Mars from the visible to thermal infrared wavelengths, making identification of substrate and coating mineralogy difficult from lander and orbiter spectrometer data. To study the spectral effects of dust coatings, we acquired thermal emission and hemispherical reflectance spectra (5-25 μm; 2000-400 cm-1) of basaltic andesite coated with different thicknesses of air fall-deposited palagonitic soils, fine-grained ceramic clay powders, and terrestrial loess. The results show that thin coatings (10-20 μm) reduce the spectral contrast of the rock substrate substantially, consistent with previous work. This contrast reduction continues linearly with increasing coating thickness until a "saturation thickness" is reached, after which little further change is observed. The saturation thickness of the spectrally flat palagonite coatings is ~100-120 μm, whereas that for coatings with higher spectral contrast is only ~50-75 μm. Spectral differences among coated and uncoated samples correlate with measured coating thicknesses in a quadratic manner, whereas correlations with estimated surface area coverage are better fit by linear functions. Linear mixture modeling of coated samples using the rock substrate and coating materials as end-members is also consistent with their measured coating thicknesses and areal coverage. A comparison of ratios of Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra of dark and bright intracrater and windstreak deposits associated with Radau crater suggests that the dark windstreak material may be coated with as much as 90% areal coverage of palagonitic dust. The data presented here also will help improve interpretations of upcoming mini-TES and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) observations of coated Mars surface materials.

  17. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  18. A Powder Delivery System (PoDS) for Mars in situ Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, C.; Blake, D.; Saha, C.; Sarrazin, P.

    2004-12-01

    Many instruments proposed for in situ Mars science investigations work best with fine-grained samples of rocks or soils. Such instruments include the mineral analyzer CheMin [1] and any instrument that requires samples having high surface areas (e.g., mass spectrometers, organic analyzers, etc). The Powder Delivery System (PoDS) is designed to deliver powders of selected grain sizes from a sample acquisition device such as an arm-deployed robotic driller or corer to an instrument suite located on the body of a rover/lander. PoDS is capable of size-selective sampling of crushed rocks, soil or drill powder for delivery to instruments that require specific grain sizes (e.g. 5-50 mg of less than150 micron powder for CheMin). Sample material is transported as an aerosol of particles and gas by vacuum advection. In the laboratory a venturi pump driven by compressed air provides the impulse. On Mars, the ambient atmosphere is a source of CO2 that can be captured and compressed by adsorption pumping during diurnal temperature cycling [2]. The lower atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars (7 torr) will affect fundamental parameters of gas-particle interaction such as Reynolds, Stocks and Knudsen numbers [3]. However, calculations show that the PoDS will operate under both Martian and terrestrial atmospheric conditions. Cyclone separators with appropriate particle size selection ranges remove particles from the aerosol stream. The vortex flow inside the cyclone causes grains larger than a specific size to be collected, while smaller grains remain entrained in the gas. Cyclones are very efficient inertial and centrifugal particle separators with cut sizes (d50) as low as 4 microns. Depending on the particle size ranges desired, a series of cyclones with descending cut sizes may be used, the simplest case being a single cyclone for particle deposition without mass separation. Transmission / membrane filters of appropriate pore sizes may also be used to collect powder from

  19. Comparison of SPACE to MARS-KS under SUBO experimental conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Min-Gil; Lee, Wonwoong; Lee, Jeong Ik; Bang, Young Seok

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate safety of a Korean Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) MARS-KS code is being used by the Korean regulator. The governing equations of MARS-KS are based on two-phase and two-fluid model. Recently, SPACE (Safety and Performance Analysis CodE for nuclear power plants) was developed by a consortium led by Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (KHNP), which the code is aimed for evaluating the safety of the designed nuclear power plant. The governing equations of SPACE are based on two-phase (liquid and gas phase) three-fluid (continuous liquid, gas and droplet) model. However, MARS-KS and SPACE have different governing equations, as well as model and correlations implemented in two codes. Due to this reason, the authors are studying the difference in the analysis result of SET (Separate Effect Test) of each code.. To compare the SPACE and MARS-KS performances, the authors chose SUBO experiment as the first reference case. Input deck of each code was prepared. The results from the two codes were compared to the experimental data, but due to the lack of information on the uncertainties it is too early to conclude the code performance. However, from the obtained analysis results, some differences between MARS-KS and SPACE are observed. Especially, flow regimes at heated region are considerably different. More detailed analysis of the flow regime and its effect in MARS-KS and SPACE analysis results will be followed in the near future. The heat transfer coefficient and friction factor at the interface and at the wall will be compared with similar method used in this study

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. COBALT: A GN&C Payload for Testing ALHAT Capabilities in Closed-Loop Terrestrial Rocket Flights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, John M., III; Amzajerdian, Farzin; Hines, Glenn D.; O'Neal, Travis V.; Robertson, Edward A.; Seubert, Carl; Trawny, Nikolas

    2016-01-01

    The COBALT (CoOperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technology) payload is being developed within NASA as a risk reduction activity to mature, integrate and test ALHAT (Autonomous precision Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology) systems targeted for infusion into near-term robotic and future human space flight missions. The initial COBALT payload instantiation is integrating the third-generation ALHAT Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL) sensor, for ultra high-precision velocity plus range measurements, with the passive-optical Lander Vision System (LVS) that provides Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) global-position estimates. The COBALT payload will be integrated onboard a rocket-propulsive terrestrial testbed and will provide precise navigation estimates and guidance planning during two flight test campaigns in 2017 (one open-loop and closed- loop). The NDL is targeting performance capabilities desired for future Mars and Moon Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL). The LVS is already baselined for TRN on the Mars 2020 robotic lander mission. The COBALT platform will provide NASA with a new risk-reduction capability to test integrated EDL Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) components in closed-loop flight demonstrations prior to the actual mission EDL.

  3. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) as Critical In Situ Investigation for Targeting Mars Returned Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Goesmann, F.; Goetz, W.; Raulin, F.; SAM Science Team; MOMA Science Team

    2018-04-01

    SAM (Curiosity) and MOMA (ExoMars) Mars instruments, seeking for organics and biosignatures, are essential to establish taphonomic windows of preservation of molecules, in order to target the most interesting samples to return from Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Measurement of fish movements at depths to 6000 m using a deep-ocean lander incorporating a short base-line sonar utilizing miniature code-activated transponder technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagley, P. M.; Bradley, S.; Priede, I. G.; Gray, P.

    1999-12-01

    Most research on animal behaviour in the deep ocean (to depths of 6000 m) is restricted to the capture of dead specimens or viewing activity over small areas of the sea floor by means of cameras or submersibles. This paper describes the use of a miniature acoustic code-activated transponder (CAT) tag and short base-line sonar to track the movements of deep-sea fish in two dimensions over an area 1 km in diameter centred on a lander platform. The CAT tags and sonar are transported to the deep-sea floor by means of a subsea mooring which is ballasted so that it lands and remains on the sea floor for the duration of the tracking experiment (the lander). A description of the CAT, lander and short base-line sonar is given. Results are presented to illustrate the operation of the system.

  7. NOMAD on the ExoMars TGO 2016 mission: MAIT and characterisation testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandaele, Ann C.; Neefs, Eddy; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Rodriguez Gomez, Julio; Drummond, Rachel; Patel, Manish; Thomas, Ian; Gissot, Samuel; Depiesse, Cedric; Ben Moussa, Ali; Giordanengo, Boris; Bellucci, Giancarlo

    NOMAD, the “Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery” spectrometer suite has been selected by ESA and NASA to be part of the payload of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission 2016. This instrument suite will conduct a spectroscopic survey of Mars’ atmosphere in the UV, visible and IR regions covering the 0.2-0.65 and 2.2-4.3 μm spectral ranges. NOMAD’s observation modes include solar occultation, nadir and limb observations. The NOMAD instrument is composed of 3 channels: a solar occultation only channel (SO) operating in the infrared wavelength domain, a second infrared channel capable of observing nadir, solar occultation and limb observations (LNO), and an ultraviolet/visible channel (UVIS) that can work in all observation modes. The spectral resolution of SO and LNO surpasses previous surveys in the infrared by more than one order of magnitude. NOMAD offers an integrated instrument combination of a flight-proven concept (SO is a copy of SOIR on Venus Express), and innovations based on existing and proven instrumentation (LNO is based on SOIR/VEX and UVIS has heritage from the ExoMars lander), that will provide mapping and vertical profile information at high spatio-temporal resolution. The three channels have each their own ILS and optical bench, but share the same single interface to the S/C. The NOMAD flight model is due for delivery to ESA in January 2015. We will present results so far of the manufacturing, assembly and especially testing of the various components. The UV CCDs have been characterised in thermal-vacuum; optical fibres have been studied with UV exposure to look at transmission degradation; the IR AOTFs have been tested for their transfer functions; lifetime and vibration testing has been carried out on the flip mirror mechanism. These are all vital inputs to the scientific results from NOMAD. Acknowledgements - The research program was supported by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and the European Space Agency (ESA PRO