WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars pathfinder lander

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Sedimentary geomorphology of the Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Mechanical design of the Mars Pathfinder mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Observations at the Mars Pathfinder site: Do they provide "unequivocal" evidence of catastrophic flooding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, M.G.; Kargel, J.S.

    1999-01-01

    After Mars Pathfinder landed at the mouth of Ares Vallis, a large channel that drains into the Chryse Planitia basin, the mission reports unanimously supported the interpretation that the lander site is the locus of catastrophic flooding by noting that all aspects of the scene are consistent with this interpretation. However, alternatives cannot be ruled out by any site observations, as all aspects of the scene are equally consistent with other interpretations of origin, namely, ice and mass-flow processes subsequently modified by wind erosion. The authors discuss alternative explanations for the geologic history of the channel based on a regional view of the circum-Chryse channels from Viking images (our best broad-scale information to date) and the local view from the recent Pathfinder landing site. Mega-indicators of channel origin, the regional geomorphology, geology, and planetary climatic conditions, taken together suggest some combination of flood, mass flow, glacial, and eolian processes. The macro-indicators of channel origin (sedimentologic) are also not indicative of one process of emplacement, either as single criteria or taken cumulatively. Finally, the micro-indicators of channel origin (geochemical and mineralogic composition) do not provide very tight constraints on the deposits' possible origins other than that water was in some way involved.

  4. 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.)

  5. Lithium-Thionyl Chloride Batteries for the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deligiannis, F.; Frank, H.; Staniewicz, R.J.; Willson, J. [SAFT America, Inc., Cockeysville, MD (United States)

    1996-02-01

    A discussion of the power requirements for the Mars Pathfinder Mission is given. Topics include: battery requirements; cell design; battery design; test descriptions and results. A summary of the results is also included.

  6. Lithium-Thionyl Chloride Batteries for the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deligiannis, Frank; Frank, Harvey; Staniewicz, R. J.; Willson, John

    1996-01-01

    A discussion of the power requirements for the Mars Pathfinder Mission is given. Topics include: battery requirements; cell design; battery design; test descriptions and results. A summary of the results is also included.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Elspeth M.

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Classification and Distribution of Mars Pathfinder Rocks Using Quantitative Morphologic Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R. A.; Biederman, K. L.; Monhead, A. M.; Haldemann, A. F. C.; Kowalczyk, M. R.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) landing site was predicted to contain a broad sampling of rock types varying in mineralogical, physical, mechanical and geochemical characteristics. Although rocks have been divided into several spectral categories based on Imager for Mars Pathfinder visible/near-infrared spectra, it has not been fully determined which of these stem from intrinsic mineralogical differences between rocks or rock surfaces, and which result from factors such as physical or chemical weathering. This has made isolation of unique mineralogy's difficult. Efforts in isolating and classifying spectral units among MPF rocks and soils have met with varying degrees of success, and the current understanding is such that many factors influencing spectral signatures cannot be quantified to a sufficient level so they may be removed. The result is that fundamental questions regarding information needed to reveal the present and past interactions between the rocks and rock surfaces and the Martian environment remain unanswered. But it is possible to approach the issue of identifying distinct rock and rock surface types from a different angle.

  1. 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".

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Mueller, Robert; Muscatello, Anthony

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Modeling to Mars: a NASA Model Based Systems Engineering Pathfinder Effort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phojanamongkolkij, Nipa; Lee, Kristopher A.; Miller, Scott T.; Vorndran, Kenneth A.; Vaden, Karl R.; Ross, Eric P.; Powell, Bobby C.; Moses, Robert W.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC) Systems Engineering (SE) Technical Discipline Team (TDT) initiated the Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Pathfinder effort in FY16. The goals and objectives of the MBSE Pathfinder include developing and advancing MBSE capability across NASA, applying MBSE to real NASA issues, and capturing issues and opportunities surrounding MBSE. The Pathfinder effort consisted of four teams, with each team addressing a particular focus area. This paper focuses on Pathfinder team 1 with the focus area of architectures and mission campaigns. These efforts covered the timeframe of February 2016 through September 2016. The team was comprised of eight team members from seven NASA Centers (Glenn Research Center, Langley Research Center, Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center IV&V Facility, Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Stennis Space Center). Collectively, the team had varying levels of knowledge, skills and expertise in systems engineering and MBSE. The team applied their existing and newly acquired system modeling knowledge and expertise to develop modeling products for a campaign (Program) of crew and cargo missions (Projects) to establish a human presence on Mars utilizing In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Pathfinder team 1 developed a subset of modeling products that are required for a Program System Requirement Review (SRR)/System Design Review (SDR) and Project Mission Concept Review (MCR)/SRR as defined in NASA Procedural Requirements. Additionally, Team 1 was able to perform and demonstrate some trades and constraint analyses. At the end of these efforts, over twenty lessons learned and recommended next steps have been identified.

  6. 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).

  7. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  8. 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.

  9. Relating MBSE to Spacecraft Development: A NASA Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othon, Bill

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) has sponsored a Pathfinder Study to investigate how Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and Model Based Engineering (MBE) techniques can be applied by NASA spacecraft development projects. The objectives of this Pathfinder Study included analyzing both the products of the modeling activity, as well as the process and tool chain through which the spacecraft design activities are executed. Several aspects of MBSE methodology and process were explored. Adoption and consistent use of the MBSE methodology within an existing development environment can be difficult. The Pathfinder Team evaluated the possibility that an "MBSE Template" could be developed as both a teaching tool as well as a baseline from which future NASA projects could leverage. Elements of this template include spacecraft system component libraries, data dictionaries and ontology specifications, as well as software services that do work on the models themselves. The Pathfinder Study also evaluated the tool chain aspects of development. Two chains were considered: 1. The Development tool chain, through which SysML model development was performed and controlled, and 2. The Analysis tool chain, through which both static and dynamic system analysis is performed. Of particular interest was the ability to exchange data between SysML and other engineering tools such as CAD and Dynamic Simulation tools. For this study, the team selected a Mars Lander vehicle as the element to be designed. The paper will discuss what system models were developed, how data was captured and exchanged, and what analyses were conducted.

  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. 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. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. An Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer for Mars-96 and Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Wanke, H.; Economou, T.

    1996-09-01

    Mars Pathfinder and the Russian Mars-96 will carry an Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for the determination of the chemical composition of Martian rocks and soil. The instrument will measure the concentration of all major and many minor elements, including C,N and O, at levels above typically 1%. The method employed consist of bombarding a sample of 50 mm diameter with alpha particles from a radioactive source (50 mCi of Cm-244) and measuring: (i) backscattered alpha particles (alpha mode) (ii) protons from (a,p) reactions with some light elements (proton mode) (iii) characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample (X-ray mode). The APXS has a long standing space heritage, going back to Surveyor V,VI and VII (1967/68) and the Soviet Phobos (1988) missions. The present design is the result of an endeavour to reduce mass and power consumption to 600g/ 300mW. It consist of a sensor head containing the alpha sources, a telescope of a silicon detectors for the detection of the alpha particles and protons and a separate X-ray detector with its preamplifier, and an electronics box (80x70x60 mm) containing a microcontroller based multichannel spectrometer. The paper will describe the APXS flight hardware and present results obtained with the flight instrument that will show the instrument capabili- ties and the expected results to be obtained during surface operations on Mars.

  17. Experimental and numerical study of the mars pathfinder vehicle; Etude experimentale et numerique sur le mars pathfinder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bur, R.; Benay, R.; Chanetz, B.; Galli, A.; Pot, T. [Office National d' Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales (ONERA), Dept. Fundamental and Experimental Aerodynamics, 92 - Chatillon (France); Hollis, B.; Moss, J. [Aerothermodynamics Branch, NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia (United States)

    2002-07-01

    An experimental and numerical study on the Mars Pathfinder aero-shell vehicle has been carried out in the framework of an agreement between ONERA and NASA. The experimental work was performed in the ONERA R5Ch hypersonic wind tunnel. Flow-field visualizations and heat-flux measurements along the model have been obtained. Numerical simulations have been performed at ONERA with the RANS solver NASCA and at NASA with a DSMC code. The flow-field structure is correctly reproduced by both computations. The location of the bow shock is well predicted, as well as the expansion waves emanating from the end of the fore-body cone. Both computations also predict the same extension of the separation bubble in the base flow region of the model. Measured and calculated heat-flux distributions along the model have been compared. Both computations give similar results, excepted on the prediction of the heat-flux level on the after-body cone. But computations over-predict the measured heat-flux values on the fore-body and the sting of the model: the value of the stagnation point is overestimated of 28% and the averaged sting level of 35%. (authors)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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....

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-08-01

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

  13. High spectral resolution image of Barnacle Bill

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The rover Sojourner's first target for measurement by the Alpha-Proton-Xray Spectrometer (APXS) was the rock named Barnacle Bill, located close to the ramp down which the rover made its egress from the lander. The full spectral capability of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), consisting of 13 wavelength filters, was used to characterize the rock's surface. The measured area is relatively dark, and is shown in blue. Nearby on the rock surface, soil material is trapped in pits (shown in red).Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramoll, Kurt

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Radio Telescopes to Keep Sharp Eye on Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Pebbles, Cobbles, and Sockets

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This Rover image of 'Shark' (upper left center), 'Half Dome' (upper right), and a small rock (right foreground) reveal textures and structures not visible in lander camera images. These rocks are interpreted as conglomerates because their surfaces have rounded protrusions up to several centimeters in size. It is suggested that the protrusions are pebbles and granules.Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. School libraries Pathfinders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shideh Taleban

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available School library represents one of the important locations suited for offering reference services. The skill set necessary in order to use information resources, is called information literacy. When discussing information literacy and means of enhancing it, the first thing that comes to mind is the classroom for it is in schools that the foundation for learning skills is laid. Pathfinders have been used by libraries and librarians for guiding patrons to the required sources and answering their research questions since 1970’s. It is far different from a bibliography in as much as it does not necessarily include a complete list of available resources on a given topic. Nevertheless it provides sufficient basic resources for research for the patrons. Nowadays pathfinders are prepared by teacher-librarian or with the help of teachers at school so as to assist students in searching their prescribed assignments. The present paper offers definition of pathfinder, creation of pathfinders in schools, type of pathfinders, pathfinders characteristics, pathfinder elements as well as how to design pathfinders for children and teenagers.

  16. 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

  17. A Study of Soil and Duricrust Models for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2001-03-01

    Analysis of soil and duricrust formation mechanisms on Mars. Soil analog mixtures have been prepared, characterized and tested through wet/dry cycling experiments; results are compared with Mars Pathfinder soil data (spectral, chemical and magnetic).

  18. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Spectral heterogeneity on Phobos and Deimos: HiRISE observations and comparisons to Mars Pathfinder results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, N.; Stelter, R.; Ivanov, A.; Bridges, N.T.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; McEwen, A.S.

    2011-01-01

    The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been used to observe Phobos and Deimos at spatial scales of around 6 and 20 m/px, respectively. HiRISE (McEwen et al.; JGR, 112, CiteID E05S02, DOI: 10.1029/2005JE002605, 2007) has provided, for the first time, high-resolution colour images of the surfaces of the Martian moons. When processed, by the production of colour ratio images for example, the data show considerable small-scale heterogeneity, which might be attributable to fresh impacts exposing different materials otherwise largely hidden by a homogenous regolith. The bluer material that is draped over the south-eastern rim of the largest crater on Phobos, Stickney, has been perforated by an impact to reveal redder material and must therefore be relatively thin. A fresh impact with dark crater rays has been identified. Previously identified mass-wasting features in Stickney and Limtoc craters stand out strongly in colour. The interior deposits in Stickney appear more inhomogeneous than previously suspected. Several other local colour variations are also evident. Deimos is more uniform in colour but does show some small-scale inhomogeneity. The bright streamers (Thomas et al.; Icarus, 123, 536556,1996) are relatively blue. One crater to the south-west of Voltaire and its surroundings appear quite strongly reddened with respect to the rest of the surface. The reddening of the surroundings may be the result of ejecta from this impact. The spectral gradients at optical wavelengths observed for both Phobos and Deimos are quantitatively in good agreement with those found by unresolved photometric observations made by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP; Thomas et al.; JGR, 104, 90559068, 1999). The spectral gradients of the blue and red units on Phobos bracket the results from IMP. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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

  12. Pathfinder-Plus on flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaii in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days

  13. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days above 50

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in 1998 over Hawaiian waters. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least

  19. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4

  20. Chemical, multispectral, and textural constraints on the composition and origin of rocks at the Mars Pathfinder landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSween, H.Y.; Murchie, S.L.; Crisp, J.A.; Bridges, N.T.; Anderson, R.C.; Bell, J.F.; Britt, D.T.; Brückner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Economou, T.; Ghosh, A.; Golombek, M.P.; Greenwood, J.P.; Johnson, J. R.; Moore, H.J.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rieder, R.; Singer, R.; Wänke, H.

    1999-01-01

    Rocks at the Mars Pathfinder site are probably locally derived. Textures on rock surfaces may indicate volcanic, sedimentary, or impact-generated rocks, but aeolian abration and dust coatings prevent unambiguous interpretation. Multispectral imaging has resolved four spectral classes of rocks: gray and red, which occur on different surfaces of the same rocks; pink, which is probably soil crusts; and maroon, which occurs as large boulders, mostly in the far field. Rocks are assigned to two spectral trends based on the position of peak reflectance: the primary spectral trend contains gray, red, and pink rocks; maroon rocks constitute the secondary spectral trend. The spatial pattern of spectral variations observed is oriented along the prevailing wind direction. The primary spectral trend arises from thin ferric coatings of aeolian dust on darker rocks. The secondary spectral trend is apparently due to coating by a different mineral, probably maghemite or ferrihydrite. A chronology based on rock spectra suggests that rounded maroon boulders constitute the oldest petrologic unit (a flood deposit), succeeded by smaller cobbles possibly deposited by impact, and followed by aeolian erosion and deposition. Nearly linear chemical trends in alpha proton X-ray spectrometer rock compositions are interpreted as mixing lines between rock and adhering dust, a conclusion supported by a correlation between sulfur abundance and red/blue spectral ratio. Extrapolations of regression lines to zero sulfur give the composition of a presumed igneous rock. The chemistry and normative mineralogy of the sulfur-free rock resemble common terrestrial volcanic rocks, and its classification corresponds to andesite. Igneous rocks of this composition may occur with clastic sedimentary rocks or impact melts and breccias. However, the spectral mottling expected on conglomerates or breccias is not observed in any APXS-analyzed rocks. Interpretation of the rocks as andesites is complicated by absence

  1. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Simulation and Spacecraft Design: Engineering Mars Landings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Erik M

    2015-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. The LISA Pathfinder Mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Baird, J; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Fitzsimons, E; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    LISA Pathfinder (LPF), the second of the European Space Agency's Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART), is a dedicated technology validation mission for future spaceborne gravitational wave detectors, such as the proposed eLISA mission. LISA Pathfinder, and its scientific payload - the LISA Technology Package - will test, in flight, the critical technologies required for low frequency gravitational wave detection: it will put two test masses in a near-perfect gravitational free-fall and control and measure their motion with unprecedented accuracy. This is achieved through technology comprising inertial sensors, high precision laser metrology, drag-free control and an ultra-precise micro-Newton propulsion system. LISA Pathfinder is due to be launched in mid-2015, with first results on the performance of the system being available 6 months thereafter.The paper introduces the LISA Pathfinder mission, followed by an explanation of the physical principles of measurement concept and associated hardware. We then provide a detailed discussion of the LISA Technology Package, including both the inertial sensor and interferometric readout. As we approach the launch of the LISA Pathfinder, the focus of the development is shifting towards the science operations and data analysis - this is described in the final section of the paper (paper)

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Pathfinder-Plus takes off on flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaii in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days

  8. Martian Cratering 7: The Role of Impact Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, William K.; Anguita, Jorge; de la Casa, Miguel A.; Berman, Daniel C.; Ryan, Eileen V.

    2001-01-01

    Viking-era researchers concluded that impact craters of diameter Dduricrust at Viking and Pathfinder sites demonstrates the cementing process. These results affect lander/rover searches for intact ancient deposits. The upper tens of meters of exposed Noachian units cannot survive today in a pristine state. Intact Noachian deposits might best be found in cliffside strata, or in recently exhumed regions. The hematite-rich areas found in Terra Meridiani by the Mars Global Surveyor are probably examples of the latter.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Strategic Team AI Path Plans: Probabilistic Pathfinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tng C. H. John

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a novel method to generate strategic team AI pathfinding plans for computer games and simulations using probabilistic pathfinding. This method is inspired by genetic algorithms (Russell and Norvig, 2002, in that, a fitness function is used to test the quality of the path plans. The method generates high-quality path plans by eliminating the low-quality ones. The path plans are generated by probabilistic pathfinding, and the elimination is done by a fitness test of the path plans. This path plan generation method has the ability to generate variation or different high-quality paths, which is desired for games to increase replay values. This work is an extension of our earlier work on team AI: probabilistic pathfinding (John et al., 2006. We explore ways to combine probabilistic pathfinding and genetic algorithm to create a new method to generate strategic team AI pathfinding plans.

  19. 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

  20. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian island N'ihau

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non

  1. Pathfinder-Plus on flight near Hawaiian island N'ihau

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight with the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and

  2. 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).

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaiian island N'ihau

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Weathering of rock 'Ginger'

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    One of the more unusual rocks at the site is Ginger, located southeast of the lander. Parts of it have the reddest color of any material in view, whereas its rounded lobes are gray and relatively unweathered. These color differences are brought out in the inset, enhanced at the upper right. In the false color image at the lower right, the shape of the visible-wavelength spectrum (related to the abundance of weathered ferric iron minerals) is indicated by the hue of the rocks. Blue indicates relatively unweathered rocks. Typical soils and drift, which are heavily weathered, are shown in green and flesh tones. The very red color in the creases in the rock surface correspond to a crust of ferric minerals. The origin of the rock is uncertain; the ferric crust may have grown underneath the rock, or it may cement pebbles together into a conglomerate. Ginger will be a target of future super-resolution studies to better constrain its origin.Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  17. 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

  18. Long Memory of Pathfinding Aesthetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Coleman

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates a new dynamic (i.e., space-time model to measure aesthetic values in pathfinding for videogames. The results we report are important firstly because the artificial intelligence literature has given relatively little attention to aesthetic considerations in pathfinding. Secondly, those investigators who have studied aesthetics in pathfinding have relied largely on anecdotal arguments rather than metrics. Finally, in those cases where metrics have been used in the past, they show only that aesthetic paths are different. They provide no quantitative means to classify aesthetic outcomes. The model we develop here overcomes these deficiencies using rescaled range (R/S analysis to estimate the Hurst exponent, . It measures long-range dependence (i.e., long memory in stochastic processes and provides a novel well-defined mathematical classification for pathfinding. Indeed, the data indicates that aesthetic and control paths have statistically significantly distinct signatures. Aesthetic paths furthermore have more long memory than controls with an effect size that is large, more than three times that of an alternative approach. These conclusions will be of interest to researchers investigating games as well as other forms of entertainment, simulation, and in general nonshortest path motion planning.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Integrating Subject Pathfinders into Online Catalogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, William E.

    1985-01-01

    Discusses the integration of subject pathfinders into online public access catalogs (OPAC) through following features: within the OPAC, offline user guide manuals, remotely printed upon user request, or online as saved searches displayed in help screen format. Excerpts of a pathfinder display for biotechnology are presented. Four sources are…

  3. 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.

  4. Electrodynamic Dust Shield for Solar Panels on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Mantovani, J. G.; Clements S.; Chen, A.; Mazumder, M. K.; Biris, A. S.; Nowicki, A. W.

    2004-01-01

    The Materials Adherence Experiment on the Mars Pathfinder mission measured an obscuration of the solar arrays due to dust deposition at a rate of about 0.2 8% per day. It was estimated that settling dust may cause degradation in performance of a solar panel of between 22% and 89% over the course of two years [1, 2]. These results were obtained without the presence of a global dust storm. Several types of adherence forces keep dust particles attached to surfaces. The most widely discussed adherence force is the electrostatic force. Laboratory experiments [3] as well as indirect evidence from the Wheel Abrasion Experiment on Pathfinder [4] indicate that it is very likely that the particles suspended in the Martian atmosphere are electrostatically charged.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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).

  10. Fractal Analysis of Stealthy Pathfinding Aesthetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Coleman

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper uses a fractal model to analyze aesthetic values of a new class of obstacle-prone or “stealthy” pathfinding which seeks to avoid detection, exposure, openness, and so forth in videogames. This study is important since in general the artificial intelligence literature has given relatively little attention to aesthetic outcomes in pathfinding. The data we report, according to the fractal model, suggests that stealthy paths are statistically significantly unique in relative aesthetic value when compared to control paths. We show furthermore that paths generated with different stealth regimes are also statistically significantly unique. These conclusions are supported by statistical analysis of model results on experimental trials involving pathfinding in randomly generated, multiroom virtual worlds.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Pathfinder Climate Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder climate data CD-ROM contains seven data sets: Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)Land and Ocean, TIROS Operational Vertical...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. A Study of Soil and Duricrust Models for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Janice L.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This project includes analysis of the Mars Pathfinder soil data (spectral, chemical and magnetic) together with analog materials and the products of laboratory alteration experiments in order to describe possible mechanisms for the formation of soil, duricrust and rock coatings on Mars. Soil analog mixtures have been prepared, characterized and tested through wet/dry cycling experiments for changes in binding and spectroscopic properties that are related to what could be expected for duricrusts on Mars. The smectite-based mixture exhibited significantly greater changes (1) in its binding properties throughout the wet/dry cycling experiments than did the palagonite-based mixture, and (2) in its spectral properties following grinding and resieving of the hardened material than did the palagonite-based mixture.

  17. Pathfinder Innovation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Pathfinder program supports high-risk, high-reward research ideas with funding and staff time. The goal is to feed a culture of innovation in the Agency and integrate innovative ideas in EPA research programs.

  18. Free-flight experiments in LISA Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Baird, J; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Cutler, C; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    The LISA Pathfinder mission will demonstrate the technology of drag-free test masses for use as inertial references in future space-based gravitational wave detectors. To accomplish this, the Pathfinder spacecraft will perform drag-free flight about a test mass while measuring the acceleration of this primary test mass relative to a second reference test mass. Because the reference test mass is contained within the same spacecraft, it is necessary to apply forces on it to maintain its position and attitude relative to the spacecraft. These forces are a potential source of acceleration noise in the LISA Pathfinder system that are not present in the full LISA configuration. While LISA Pathfinder has been designed to meet it's primary mission requirements in the presence of this noise, recent estimates suggest that the on-orbit performance may be limited by this ‘suspension noise’. The drift-mode or free-flight experiments provide an opportunity to mitigate this noise source and further characterize the underlying disturbances that are of interest to the designers of LISA-like instruments. This article provides a high-level overview of these experiments and the methods under development to analyze the resulting data. (paper)

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

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

  1. Multiagent path-finding in strategic games

    OpenAIRE

    Mihevc, Simon

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis I worked on creating, comparing and improving algorithms for multi-agent path planning on a domain typical for real-time strategy games. I implemented and compared Multiagent pathfinding using clearance and Multiagent pathfinding using independence detection and operator decomposition. I discovered that they had problems maintaining group compactness and took too long to calculate the path. I considerably improved the efficiency of both algorithms.

  2. 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.

  3. Symbolic PathFinder v7

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luckow, Kasper Søe; Păsăreanu, Corina

    2014-01-01

    We describe Symbolic PathFinder v7 in terms of its updated design addressing the changes of Java PathFinder v7 and of its new optimization when computing path conditions. Furthermore, we describe the Symbolic Execution Tree Extension; a newly added feature that allows for outputting the symbolic...... execution tree that characterizes the execution paths covered during symbolic execution. The new extension can be tailored to the needs of subsequent analyses/processing facilities, and we demonstrate this by presenting SPF-Visualizer, which is a tool for customizable visualization of the symbolic execution...

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.)

  6. The Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matijevic, J. R.; Bickler, D. B.; Braun, D. F.; Eisen, H. J.; Matthies, L. H.; Mishkin, A. H.; Stone, H. W.; van Nieuwstadt, L. M.; Wen, L. C.; Wilcox, B. H.; hide

    1996-01-01

    An exciting scientific component of the Pathfinder mission is the rover, which will act as a mini-field geologist by providing us with access to samples for chemical analyses and close-up images of the Martian surface, performing active experiments to modify the surface and study the results, and exploring the landing site area.

  7. 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

  8. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands, with N'ihau and Lehua in the background

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands, with N'ihau and Lehua in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet

  9. 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.

  10. Radio Wave Propagation Handbook for Communication on and Around Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Christian; Golshan, Nasser; Kliore, Arvydas

    2002-01-01

    This handbook examines the effects of the Martian environment on radio wave propagation on Mars and in the space near the planet. The environmental effects include these from the Martian atmosphere, ionosphere, global dust storms, aerosols, clouds, and geomorphologic features. Relevant Martian environmental parameters were extracted from the measurements of Mars missions during the past 30 years, especially from Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. The results derived from measurements and analyses have been reviewed through an extensive literature search. The updated parameters have been theoretically analyzed to study their effects on radio propagation. This handbook also provides basic information about the entire telecommunications environment on and around Mars for propagation researchers, system engineers, and link analysts. Based on these original analyses, some important recommendations have been made, including the use of the Martian ionosphere as a reflector for Mars global or trans-horizon communication between future Martian colonies, reducing dust storm scattering effects, etc. These results have extended our wave propagation knowledge to a planet other than Earth; and the tables, models, and graphics included in this handbook will benefit telecommunication system engineers and scientific researchers.

  11. 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.

  12. LISA Pathfinder: A Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitson, Martin; LISA Pathfinder Team Team

    2016-03-01

    On December 3rd at 04:04 UTC, The European Space Agency launched the LISA Pathfinder satellite on board a VEGA rocket from Kourou in French Guiana. After a series of orbit raising manoeuvres and a 2 month long transfer orbit, LISA Pathfinder arrived at L1. Following a period of commissioning, the science operations commenced at the start of March, beginning the demonstration of technologies and methodologies which pave the way for a future large-scale gravitational wave observatory in space. This talk will present the scientific goals of the mission, discuss the technologies being tested, elucidate the link to a future space-based observatory, such as LISA, and present preliminary results from the in-orbit operations and experiments.

  13. 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

  14. A review of parameters and heuristics for guiding metabolic pathfinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sarah M; Peña, Matthew I; Moll, Mark; Bennett, George N; Kavraki, Lydia E

    2017-09-15

    Recent developments in metabolic engineering have led to the successful biosynthesis of valuable products, such as the precursor of the antimalarial compound, artemisinin, and opioid precursor, thebaine. Synthesizing these traditionally plant-derived compounds in genetically modified yeast cells introduces the possibility of significantly reducing the total time and resources required for their production, and in turn, allows these valuable compounds to become cheaper and more readily available. Most biosynthesis pathways used in metabolic engineering applications have been discovered manually, requiring a tedious search of existing literature and metabolic databases. However, the recent rapid development of available metabolic information has enabled the development of automated approaches for identifying novel pathways. Computer-assisted pathfinding has the potential to save biochemists time in the initial discovery steps of metabolic engineering. In this paper, we review the parameters and heuristics used to guide the search in recent pathfinding algorithms. These parameters and heuristics capture information on the metabolic network structure, compound structures, reaction features, and organism-specificity of pathways. No one metabolic pathfinding algorithm or search parameter stands out as the best to use broadly for solving the pathfinding problem, as each method and parameter has its own strengths and shortcomings. As assisted pathfinding approaches continue to become more sophisticated, the development of better methods for visualizing pathway results and integrating these results into existing metabolic engineering practices is also important for encouraging wider use of these pathfinding methods.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Pathfinder Innovation Projects: Awardees 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Pathfinder program supports high-risk, high-reward research ideas with funding and staff time. The goal is to feed a culture of innovation in the Agency and integrate innovative ideas in EPA research programs.

  1. Pathfinder Innovation Projects: Awardees 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Pathfinder program supports high-risk, high-reward research ideas with funding and staff time. The goal is to feed a culture of innovation in the Agency and integrate innovative ideas in EPA research programs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

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

  3. 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].

  4. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. Electroactive Polymers as Artificial Muscles: Capabilities, Potentials and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph

    2000-01-01

    The low density and the relative ease of shaping made polymers highly attractive materials and they are increasingly being chosen for aerospace applications. Polymer matrix composite materials significantly impacted the construction of high performance aircraft components and structures. In recent years, the resilience characteristics of polymers made them attractive to the emerging field of inflatable structures. Balloons were used to cushion the deployment of the Mars Pathfinder lander on July 4, 1997, paving the way for the recent large number of related initiatives. Inflatable structures are now being used to construct a rover, aerial vehicles, telescopes, radar antennas, and others. Some of these applications have reached space flight experiments, whereas others are now at advanced stages of development.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, 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.

  11. 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.

  12. SST, Pathfinder Ver 5.0, Night, 4.4 km, Global, Science Quality

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — AVHRR Pathfinder Oceans Project seeks to create a long-term, continuous sea surface temperature data series for use in climate research. The Pathfinder SST data...

  13. SST, Pathfinder Ver 5.0, Day, 4.4 km, Global, Science Quality

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — AVHRR Pathfinder Oceans Project seeks to create a long-term, continuous sea surface temperature data series for use in climate research. The Pathfinder SST data...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Status of the Ultra Fast Flash Observatory – Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, J.W.; Ahmad, S.; Ahn, K.B.; Barrillon, P.; Brandt, S.; Budtz-Jrgensen, C.; Castro-Tirado, A.J.; Chang, C.-H.; Chang, C.-Y.; Chang, Y.Y.; Chen, C.R.; Chen, P.; Cho, M.; Choi, H.S.; Choi, Y.J.; Connel, P.; Dagoret-Campagne, S.; Eyles, C.; Grossan, B.; Huang, J.J.

    2014-01-01

    The Ultra Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a project to study early optical emissions from Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). The primary scientific goal of UFFO is to see if GRBs can be calibrated with their rising times, so that they could be used as new standard candles. In order to minimize delay in optical follow-up measurements, which is now about 100 sec after trigger from the Swift experiment, we rotate a mirror to redirect light path so that optical measurement can be performed within a second after the trigger. We have developed a pathfinder mission, UFFO-pathfinder to launch on board the Lomonosov satellite in 2012. In this talk, I will present scientific motivations and descriptions of the design and development of UFFO-pathfinder

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Mars atmospheric water vapor abundance: 1996-1997

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. LISA Pathfinder: An important first step towards a space-based gravitational wave observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, James

    2017-08-01

    ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission was launched on Dec 3rd, 2015 and completed earlier this Summer. During this relatively short mission, Pathfinder at its two science payloads, Europe's LISA Technology Package and NASA's Disturbance Reduction System, demonstrated several techniques and technologies that enable development of a future space-based gravitational wave observatory. Most notably, Pathfinder demonstrated that the technique of drag-free flight could be utilized to place a test mass in near-perfect free-fall, with residual accelerations at the femto-g level in the milliHertz band. Additionally, technologies such as precision bonded optical structures for metrology, micropropulsion systems, and non-contact charge control, were successfully tested, retiring risk for LISA. In this talk, I will present an overview of Pathfinder's results to date and some perspective on how this success will be leveraged into realizing LISA.

  10. '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.

  11. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Detection of Micrometeoroids with LISA Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, Ira; Littenberg, Tyson; Janchez, Diego; Baker, John; The LISA Pathfinder Team Team

    2017-01-01

    The LISA Pathfinder mission (LPF), a joint ESA/NASA technology demonstration mission currently operating at the Sun-Earth L1 point, contains the most precise accelerometry system ever flown. Analysis suggests that LPF should have sufficient sensitivity to detect impacts of small micrometeoroids and dust through their transfer of momentum to the spacecraft. Moreover, LPF's ability to fully resolve both the linear and angular momentum transfer in three dimensions allows a magnitude, direction, and location to be estimated for each impact. We present preliminary results from a systematic search of the LISA Pathfinder data for such impacts and discuss the prospects for using these and future results to inform models of the formation and evolution of dust populations in the inner solar system. These models have wide applicability to both pure and applied space science, ranging from the physics of planet formation and dynamics of minor Solar System bodies to estimates of the micrometeorite hazard for future spacecraft. 2017 NASA Science Innovation Fund.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. SST, Pathfinder Ver 5.0, Day and Night, 4.4 km, Global, Science Quality

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — AVHRR Pathfinder Oceans Project seeks to create a long-term, continuous sea surface temperature data series for use in climate research. The Pathfinder SST data...

  1. 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.

  2. Pathfinders on Black Dance in America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Loriene, Ed.

    This is a compilation of 18 pathfinders (i.e., a bibliographic instruction aid) on black dance in America, prepared by graduate students in the "Information Resources in the Humanities" and the "Information Resources in the Social Sciences" classes in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of…

  3. 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

  4. Pathfinder-Plus aircraft in flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    The Pathfinder-Plus solar-powered aircraft is shown taking off from a runway, then flying at low altitude over the ocean. The vehicle, which looks like a flying ruler, operates at low airspeed. Among the missions proposed for a solar-powered aircraft are communications relay, atmospheric studies, pipeline monitoring and gas leak detection, environmental monitoring using thermal and radar images, and disaster relief and monitoring.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Laser modulator for LISA pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voland, C.; Lund, G.; Coppoolse, W.; Crosby, P.; Stadler, M.; Kudielka, K.; Özkan, C.

    2017-11-01

    LISA Pathfinder is an ESA experiment to demonstrate the key technologies needed for the LISA mission to detect gravitational waves in space. The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft represents one arm of the LISA interferometer, containing an optical metrology system and two proof masses as inertial references for the drag-free control system. The LISA Pathfinder payload consists of two drag-free floating test masses located in the inertial sensors with their control electronics and an optical metrology subsystem. The optical metrology subsystem monitors the movement of both test masses relative to each other and to the spacecraft with very high sensitivity and resolution. This is achieved with a heterodyne Mach- Zehnder interferometer. This interferometer requires as input two coherent laser beams with a heterodyne frequency difference of a few kHz. To generate the two laser beams with a heterodyne frequency difference a Nd:YAG laser is used together with the Laser Modulator. The Nd:YAG laser generates a single coherent laser signal at a wavelength of 1064nm which is fibre coupled to the Laser Modulator. The Laser Modulator then generates the two optical beams with the required heterodyne frequency offset. In addition, the Laser Modulator is required to perform laser amplitude stabilization and optical path difference control for the two optical signals. The Laser Modulator consists of an optical unit - the LMU - and RF synthesiser, power amplification and control electronics. These electronics are all housed in the Laser Modulator Electronics (LME). The LMU has four primary functions: • Splitting of the input laser beam into two paths for later superposition in the interferometer. • Applying different frequency shifts to each of the beams. • Providing amplitude modulation control to each of the beams. • Providing active control of the optical path length difference between the two optical paths. The present paper describes the design and performance of the LMU

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  12. Description of the University of Auckland Global Mars Mesoscale Meteorological Model (GM4)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wing, D. R.; Austin, G. L.

    2005-08-01

    The University of Auckland Global Mars Mesoscale Meteorological Model (GM4) is a numerical weather prediction model of the Martian atmosphere that has been developed through the conversion of the Penn State University / National Center for Atmospheric Research fifth generation mesoscale model (MM5). The global aspect of this model is self consistent, overlapping, and forms a continuous domain around the entire planet, removing the need to provide boundary conditions other than at initialisation, yielding independence from the constraint of a Mars general circulation model. The brief overview of the model will be given, outlining the key physical processes and setup of the model. Comparison between data collected from Mars Pathfinder during its 1997 mission and simulated conditions using GM4 have been performed. Diurnal temperature variation as predicted by the model shows very good correspondence with the surface truth data, to within 5 K for the majority of the diurnal cycle. Mars Viking Data is also compared with the model, with good agreement. As a further means of validation for the model, various seasonal comparisons of surface and vertical atmospheric structure are conducted with the European Space Agency AOPP/LMD Mars Climate Database. Selected simulations over regions of interest will also be presented.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The Engineering of LISA Pathfinder – the quietest Laboratory ever flown in Space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trenkel, Christian; Wealthy, Dave; Dunbar, Neil; Warren, Carl; Schleicher, Alexander; Ziegler, Tobias; Brandt, Nico; Gerndt, Rüdiger

    2017-01-01

    We review the engineering approach adopted to ensure the required gravitational, magnetic, thermal and residual acceleration stability on-board LISA Pathfinder, and present the in-flight results that have been achieved. Arguably, this stability makes LISA Pathfinder the quietest laboratory ever flown in space. The implications for LISA are also discussed. (paper)

  17. Gambling on the Protestants: the Pathfinder Fund and birth control in Peru, 1958-1965.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, L Necochea

    2014-01-01

    Among the agencies involved in population control activities in the mid-twentieth century, none scored as many early victories in Latin America as did the Pathfinder Fund, founded by Procter & Gamble scion Clarence Gamble. This article analyzes a style in the delivery of family planning assistance in the developing world through the work of the Pathfinder Fund in Peru, the organization's hub in South America, and shows how Pathfinder personnel collaborated with local Protestant institutions. Its Protestant allies helped Pathfinder set up and manage rapid interventions such as the production of pamphlets, the smuggling of contraceptives, and the enrollment of physicians as advocates of the use of intrauterine devices. Although these rapid interventions helped quickly disseminate information and certain technologies among a fortunate few, they also weakened legitimate state agencies, neglected the monitoring of the safety of the drugs supplied, and alienated allies with their high-handed boldness.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  5. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Phase 2 pilot study of Pathfinders: a psychosocial intervention for cancer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abernethy, Amy P; Herndon, James E; Coan, April; Staley, Tina; Wheeler, Jane L; Rowe, Krista; Smith, Sophia K; Shaw, H; Lyerly, H Kim

    2010-07-01

    Pathfinders is a multi-faceted psychosocial care program for cancer patients; it was developed in community oncology and adapted to the academic oncology setting. This prospective, single-arm, phase 2 pilot study examined the acceptability and feasibility of Pathfinders for women with metastatic breast cancer. Over 3 months, participants completed patient-reported surveys including the Patient Care Monitor (PCM, review of systems), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Breast Cancer (FACT-B), Self Efficacy, and a single-item survey asking patients whether the program was helpful to them. A technology-based data collection system was used to capture electronic patient-reported outcomes at point of care, report symptoms in real time to clinicians, and collect warehouse data to provide a detailed longitudinal picture of the patient experience when receiving Pathfinders. Participants (n = 50) were: mean age 51 (SD 11); 76% white, 20% black; 74% married; 50% college degree. Forty-two (n = 42) patients completed baseline and 3-month assessments. Statistically significant improvements (all P < 0.05) occurred in PCM subscales for Distress (mean [SE] = -3.42 [1.21]), Despair (-4.53 [1.56]), and Quality of Life (2.88 [0.97]), and the FACT-B Emotional Wellbeing subscale (2.07 [0.46]). Of the 29 participants asked if Pathfinders was helpful, 27 (93%) responded positively and two did not respond. Other instruments measuring symptoms, quality of life, and self-efficacy showed improvement. In a phase 2 pilot study, Pathfinders was helpful to patients and is feasible in an academic medical center. Follow-up data collected at the 3-month assessment suggest that the program impacts various psychological outcomes, notably distress and despair.

  7. 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.)

  8. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T.; Perera, Surangi N.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  9. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T. [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Perera, Surangi N. [Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States); Svoboda, Kurt R., E-mail: svobodak@uwm.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States)

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-25

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

  11. On the warm nearshore bias in Pathfinder monthly SST products over Eastern Boundary upwelling systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dufois, F

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Using in situ sea surface temperature (SST) data and MODIS/TERRA SST, the monthly AVHRR Pathfinder (version 5.0 and 5.2) SST product was evaluated within the four main Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems. A warm bias in the monthly Pathfinder data...

  12. The health policy pathfinder: an innovative strategy to explore interest group politics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nannini, Angela

    2009-10-01

    Moving a specific nursing health policy agenda forward depends on skill in building coalitions with other interest or stakeholder groups, including consumers. Often, nursing students study health policy in a discipline-specific environment without experiential opportunities to argue their views with other stakeholders in policy arenas. The health policy pathfinder, an innovative learning strategy for understanding interest group politics, will assist nursing students in meeting the following objectives: 1) analyze and articulate diverse policy arguments from various stakeholder groups; 2) identify opportunities for collaborations between stakeholder groups; 3) identify the influence of interest groups on the policy making process; and 4) critically evaluate evidence from a variety of sources ranging from peer-reviewed publications to grey literature to Internet blogs. This article describes the health policy pathfinder, including design, execution, and evaluation steps, and provides a brief excerpt from a student pathfinder. Copyright 2009, SLACK Incorporated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Reaching for the red planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L

    1996-05-01

    The distant shores of Mars were reached by numerous U.S. and Russian spacecraft throughout the 1960s to mid 1970s. Nearly 20 years have passed since those successful missions which orbited and landed on the Martian surface. Two Soviet probes headed for the planet in July, 1988, but later failed. In August 1993, the U.S. Mars Observer suddenly went silent just three days before it was to enter orbit around the planet and was never heard from again. In late 1996, there will be renewed activity on the launch pads with three probes departing for the red planet: 1) The U.S. Mars Global Surveyor will be launched in November on a Delta II rocket and will orbit the planet for global mapping purposes; 2) Russia's Mars '96 mission, scheduled to fly in November on a Proton launcher, consists of an orbiter, two small stations which will land on the Martian surface, and two penetrators that will plow into the terrain; and finally, 3) a U.S. Discovery-class spacecraft, the Mars Pathfinder, has a December launch date atop a Delta II booster. The mission features a lander and a microrover that will travel short distances over Martian territory. These missions usher in a new phase of Mars exploration, setting the stage for an unprecedented volley of spacecraft that will orbit around, land on, drive across, and perhaps fly at low altitudes over the planet.

  15. Optimal path-finding through mental exploration based on neural energy field gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yihong; Wang, Rubin; Zhu, Yating

    2017-02-01

    Rodent animal can accomplish self-locating and path-finding task by forming a cognitive map in the hippocampus representing the environment. In the classical model of the cognitive map, the system (artificial animal) needs large amounts of physical exploration to study spatial environment to solve path-finding problems, which costs too much time and energy. Although Hopfield's mental exploration model makes up for the deficiency mentioned above, the path is still not efficient enough. Moreover, his model mainly focused on the artificial neural network, and clear physiological meanings has not been addressed. In this work, based on the concept of mental exploration, neural energy coding theory has been applied to the novel calculation model to solve the path-finding problem. Energy field is constructed on the basis of the firing power of place cell clusters, and the energy field gradient can be used in mental exploration to solve path-finding problems. The study shows that the new mental exploration model can efficiently find the optimal path, and present the learning process with biophysical meaning as well. We also analyzed the parameters of the model which affect the path efficiency. This new idea verifies the importance of place cell and synapse in spatial memory and proves that energy coding is effective to study cognitive activities. This may provide the theoretical basis for the neural dynamics mechanism of spatial memory.

  16. Uncoupling nicotine mediated motoneuron axonal pathfinding errors and muscle degeneration in zebrafish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welsh, Lillian; Tanguay, Robert L.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2009-01-01

    Zebrafish embryos offer a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanisms by which nicotine exposure impacts early vertebrate development. Embryos exposed to nicotine become functionally paralyzed by 42 hpf suggesting that the neuromuscular system is compromised in exposed embryos. We previously demonstrated that secondary spinal motoneurons in nicotine-exposed embryos were delayed in development and that their axons made pathfinding errors (Svoboda, K.R., Vijayaraghaven, S., Tanguay, R.L., 2002. Nicotinic receptors mediate changes in spinal motoneuron development and axonal pathfinding in embryonic zebrafish exposed to nicotine. J. Neurosci. 22, 10731-10741). In that study, we did not consider the potential role that altered skeletal muscle development caused by nicotine exposure could play in contributing to the errors in spinal motoneuron axon pathfinding. In this study, we show that an alteration in skeletal muscle development occurs in tandem with alterations in spinal motoneuron development upon exposure to nicotine. The alteration in the muscle involves the binding of nicotine to the muscle-specific AChRs. The nicotine-induced alteration in muscle development does not occur in the zebrafish mutant (sofa potato, [sop]), which lacks muscle-specific AChRs. Even though muscle development is unaffected by nicotine exposure in sop mutants, motoneuron axonal pathfinding errors still occur in these mutants, indicating a direct effect of nicotine exposure on nervous system development.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. 

  1. 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,...

  2. A Pathfinder for Animal Research and Animal Rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David C.

    1992-01-01

    This pathfinder was originally prepared for "Biomedical Research and Animal Rights," a session sponsored by the Veterinary Medical Libraries and Research Libraries Sections of the Medical Library Association. Current resources are described, from bibliographies to electronic bulletin boards, which relate to the issue of laboratory animal…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

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

  14. 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. 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.

  16. LISA Pathfinder: OPD loop characterisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Born, Michael; LPF Collaboration

    2017-05-01

    The optical metrology system (OMS) of the LISA Pathfinder mission is measuring the distance between two free-floating test masses with unprecedented precision. One of the four OMS heterodyne interferometers reads out the phase difference between the reference and the measurement laser beam. This phase from the reference interferometer is common to all other longitudinal interferometer read outs and therefore subtracted. In addition, the phase is fed back via the digital optical pathlength difference (OPD) control loop to keep it close to zero. Here, we analyse the loop parameters and compare them to on-ground measurement results.

  17. 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.

  18. CRED REA Algal Assessment, Pathfinder Bank 2003 (NODC Accession 0010352)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Random collections of algae were made at 2 sites at Pathfinder Bank in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in August and September, 2003 from the NOAA...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-07-01

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

  20. 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

  1. The readout system and the trigger algorithm implementation for the UFFO Pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Na, G.W.; Ahmad, S.; Barrillon, P.

    2012-01-01

    ) Pathfinder, to take the sub-minute data for the early photons from GRB. The UFFO Pathfinder has a coded-mask X-ray camera to search the GRB location by the UBAT trigger algorithm. To determine the direction of GRB as soon as possible it requires the fast processing. We have ultimately implemented all...... have been measured within a minute after the gamma ray signal. This lack of sub-minute data limits the study for the characteristics of the UV-optical light curve of the short-hard type GRB and the fast-rising GRB. Therefore, we have developed the telescope named the Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO...

  2. 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.

  3. Euso-Balloon: A pathfinder mission for the JEM-EUSO experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Osteria, Giuseppe, E-mail: osteria@na.infn.it [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare Sezione di Napoli, Naples (Italy); Scotti, Valentina [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare Sezione di Napoli, Naples (Italy); Università di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Fisica, Naples (Italy)

    2013-12-21

    EUSO-Balloon is a pathfinder mission for JEM-EUSO, the near-UV telescope proposed to be installed on board the ISS in 2017. The main objective of this pathfinder mission is to perform a full scale end-to-end test of all the key technologies and instrumentation of JEM-EUSO detectors and to prove the entire detection chain. EUSO-Balloon will measure the atmospheric and terrestrial UV background components, in different observational modes, fundamental for the development of the simulations. Through a series of flights performed by the French Space Agency CNES, EUSO-Balloon also has the potential to detect Extensive Air Showers (EAS) from above. EUSO-Balloon will be mounted in an unpressurized gondola of a stratospheric balloon. We will describe the instrument and the electronic system which performs instrument control and data management in such a critical environment.

  4. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP) Cryosphere

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) contains the AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP) product. APP is a fundamental CDR comprised of calibrated and navigated AVHRR channel...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. CRED REA Algal Assessments at Pathfinder Reef, Marianas Archipelago in 2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As part of Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA), Twelve quadrats were sampled along 2 consecutively-placed, 25m transect lines, conducted at 2 sites at Pathfinder Reef...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Periodontal status among adolescents in Georgia. A pathfinder study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liran Levin

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The aim of the present pathfinder study was to screen and map the periodontal status of Georgian population in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization for population based surveys. Methods. During 2012, a pathfinder study was conducted to collect this data. For the periodontal portion of the study, 15-year-old school children were examined in the capital city of Tbilisi as well as in two other large cities and 4 smaller villages. All participants were examined by a trained dental team in a classroom using a dental mirror and a periodontal probe. Periodontal examination included plaque scores, calculus scores, probing depth measurements and bleeding on probing. These measurements were recorded for the Ramfjord index teeth. Results. A total of 397 15-year-old participants were examined in this pathfinder study. There were 240 females (60.45% and 157 males (39.55%. Of the total participants 196 (49.37% were urban adolescents while 201 (50.63% were from rural communities. Mean probing depth was 3.34 ± 0.57 mm with a range of 1 to 10 mm; a relatively high proportion (34.26% of these subjects presented with at least one site with pockets of 5 mm or deeper. Males presented with greater plaque, calculus and probing depths than females. When urban and rural populations were compared, urban participants presented with more plaque, probing depths and bleeding on probing. Greater pocket depths were found to be related to the presence of plaque calculus and bleeding on probing. Conclusions. Overall, rather high incidences of periodontal pockets ≥ 5 mm were detected in this population. This data should serve to prepare further more detailed epidemiological studies that will serve to plan and implement prevent and treat strategies for periodontal diseases in Georgia and also help make manpower decisions.

  18. Periodontal status among adolescents in Georgia. A pathfinder study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Liran; Margvelashvili, Vladimer; Bilder, Leon; Kalandadze, Manana; Tsintsadze, Nino; Machtei, Eli E

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. The aim of the present pathfinder study was to screen and map the periodontal status of Georgian population in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization for population based surveys. Methods. During 2012, a pathfinder study was conducted to collect this data. For the periodontal portion of the study, 15-year-old school children were examined in the capital city of Tbilisi as well as in two other large cities and 4 smaller villages. All participants were examined by a trained dental team in a classroom using a dental mirror and a periodontal probe. Periodontal examination included plaque scores, calculus scores, probing depth measurements and bleeding on probing. These measurements were recorded for the Ramfjord index teeth. Results. A total of 397 15-year-old participants were examined in this pathfinder study. There were 240 females (60.45%) and 157 males (39.55%). Of the total participants 196 (49.37%) were urban adolescents while 201 (50.63%) were from rural communities. Mean probing depth was 3.34 ± 0.57 mm with a range of 1 to 10 mm; a relatively high proportion (34.26%) of these subjects presented with at least one site with pockets of 5 mm or deeper. Males presented with greater plaque, calculus and probing depths than females. When urban and rural populations were compared, urban participants presented with more plaque, probing depths and bleeding on probing. Greater pocket depths were found to be related to the presence of plaque calculus and bleeding on probing. Conclusions. Overall, rather high incidences of periodontal pockets ≥ 5 mm were detected in this population. This data should serve to prepare further more detailed epidemiological studies that will serve to plan and implement prevent and treat strategies for periodontal diseases in Georgia and also help make manpower decisions.

  19. 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.

  20. Disentangling the magnetic force noise contribution in LISA Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Baird, J; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Fitzsimons, E; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    Magnetically-induced forces on the inertial masses on-board LISA Pathfinder are expected to be one of the dominant contributions to the mission noise budget, accounting for up to 40%. The origin of this disturbance is the coupling of the residual magnetization and susceptibility of the test masses with the environmental magnetic field. In order to fully understand this important part of the noise model, a set of coils and magnetometers are integrated as a part of the diagnostics subsystem. During operations a sequence of magnetic excitations will be applied to precisely determine the coupling of the magnetic environment to the test mass displacement using the on-board magnetometers. Since no direct measurement of the magnetic field in the test mass position will be available, an extrapolation of the magnetic measurements to the test mass position will be carried out as a part of the data analysis activities. In this paper we show the first results on the magnetic experiments during an end- to-end LISA Pathfinder simulation, and we describe the methods under development to map the magnetic field on-board. (paper)

  1. 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.

  2. ERASMUS-F: pathfinder for an E-ELT 3D instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelz, Andreas; Roth, Martin M.; Bacon, Roland; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Nicklas, Harald E.; Bryant, Julia J.; Colless, Matthew; Croom, Scott; Ellis, Simon; Fleischmann, Andreas; Gillingham, Peter; Haynes, Roger; Hopkins, Andrew; Kosmalski, Johan; O'Byrne, John W.; Olaya, Jean-Christophe; Rambold, William N.; Robertson, Gordon

    2010-07-01

    ERASMUS-F is a pathfinder study for a possible E-ELT 3D-instrumentation, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The study investigates the feasibility to combine a broadband optical spectrograph with a new generation of multi-object deployable fibre bundles. The baseline approach is to modify the spectrograph of the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), which is a VLT integral-field instrument using slicers, with a fibre-fed input. Taking advantage of recent developments in astrophotonics, it is planed to equip such an instrument with fused fibre bundles (hexabundles) that offer larger filling factors than dense-packed classical fibres. The overall project involves an optical and mechanical design study, the specifications of a software package for 3Dspectrophotometry, based upon the experiences with the P3d Data Reduction Software and an investigation of the science case for such an instrument. As a proof-of-concept, the study also involves a pathfinder instrument for the VLT, called the FIREBALL project.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Reflectance conversion methods for the VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer aboard the Chang'E-3 lunar rover: based on ground validation experiment data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Bin; Liu Jian-Zhong; Zhang Guang-Liang; Zou Yong-Liao; Ling Zong-Cheng; Zhang Jiang; He Zhi-Ping; Yang Ben-Yong

    2013-01-01

    The second phase of the Chang'E Program (also named Chang'E-3) has the goal to land and perform in-situ detection on the lunar surface. A VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer (VNIS) will be carried on the Chang'E-3 lunar rover to detect the distribution of lunar minerals and resources. VNIS is the first mission in history to perform in-situ spectral measurement on the surface of the Moon, the reflectance data of which are fundamental for interpretation of lunar composition, whose quality would greatly affect the accuracy of lunar element and mineral determination. Until now, in-situ detection by imaging spectrometers was only performed by rovers on Mars. We firstly review reflectance conversion methods for rovers on Mars (Viking landers, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration rovers, etc). Secondly, we discuss whether these conversion methods used on Mars can be applied to lunar in-situ detection. We also applied data from a laboratory bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) using simulated lunar soil to test the availability of this method. Finally, we modify reflectance conversion methods used on Mars by considering differences between environments on the Moon and Mars and apply the methods to experimental data obtained from the ground validation of VNIS. These results were obtained by comparing reflectance data from the VNIS measured in the laboratory with those from a standard spectrometer obtained at the same time and under the same observing conditions. The shape and amplitude of the spectrum fits well, and the spectral uncertainty parameters for most samples are within 8%, except for the ilmenite sample which has a low albedo. In conclusion, our reflectance conversion method is suitable for lunar in-situ detection.

  10. Hillary Clinton visits Pathfinder projects in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    In October 1995, US First Lady Hillary Clinton visited a maternity hospital in Salvador, Brazil, in which a family planning (FP)/reproductive health program has been administered by Pathfinder International since 1981 with funding from USAID. During her tour of the facility, Clinton learned about the high degree of unmet need for FP in the region which results from a lack of sufficient resources to meet demand. Clinton, in turn, praised the state of Bahia for its emphasis on FP in low-income areas.

  11. The LISA Pathfinder DMU and Radiation Monitor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canizares, P; Conchillo, A; Gesa, L; Lloro, I; Lobo, A; Mateos, I; Sopuerta, Carlos F [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C5 parell, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Chmeissani, M [Institut de Fisica d' Altes Energies (IFAE), Edifici CN, UAB Campus, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Diaz-Aguilo, M; GarcIa-Berro, E; Gibert, F [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Grimani, C [Universita degli Studi di Urbino, MFI Department, Via Santa Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino, and INFN Florence (Italy); Nofrarias, M [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Callinstrasse 38, D-30167 Hannover (Germany); Ramos-Castro, J [Departament d' Enginyeria Electronica, UPC, Campus Nord, Edifici C4, Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Sanjuan, J [Department of Physics, University of Florida, NPB-22258 PO Box 118 440, Gainesville, FL 32611-8440 (United States); Araujo, H M; Wass, P, E-mail: lobo@ieec.fcr.es [High Energy Physics Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort Road, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom)

    2011-05-07

    The LISA Pathfinder DMU (Data Management Unit) flight model was formally accepted by ESA and ASD on 11 February 2010, after all hardware and software tests had been successfully completed. The diagnostics items are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2010. In this paper, we review the requirements and performance of this instrumentation, specially focusing on the Radiation Monitor and the DMU, as well as the status of their programmed use during mission operations, on which work is ongoing at the time of writing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. GRS vs. OMS Calibration in LISA Pathfinder Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshksar, Neda; Ferraioli, Luigi; Mance, Davor; ten Pierick, Jan; Zweifel, Peter; Giardini, Domenico; ">LISA Pathfinder colaboration, Pathfinder spacecraft the test mass displacement along the main measurement axis is sensed in two different ways: optically and electrostatically. We have monitored the relative calibration between the two measurements during the mission science phase. The trend sensitivity of the relative calibration has been computed for different physical parameters, such as temperature, magnetic field, test mass bias voltage and current.

  14. 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'.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Primary Productivity, SeaWiFS and Pathfinder, 0.1 degrees, Global, EXPERIMENTAL

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Primary Productivity is calculated from SeaWiFS Chl a, Pathfinder SST, and SeaWiFS PAR data. THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCT: intended strictly for scientific...

  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. GRS vs. OMS Calibration in LISA Pathfinder Data Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meshksar, Neda; Ferraioli, Luigi; Mance, Davor; Zweifel, Peter; Giardini, Domenico; Ten Pierick, Jan

    2017-01-01

    On board LISA Pathfinder spacecraft the test mass displacement along the main measurement axis is sensed in two different ways: optically and electrostatically. We have monitored the relative calibration between the two measurements during the mission science phase. The trend sensitivity of the relative calibration has been computed for different physical parameters, such as temperature, magnetic field, test mass bias voltage and current. (paper)

  2. Planetary Data Systems (PDS) Imaging Node Atlas II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanboli, Alice; McAuley, James M.

    2013-01-01

    The Planetary Image Atlas (PIA) is a Rich Internet Application (RIA) that serves planetary imaging data to the science community and the general public. PIA also utilizes the USGS Unified Planetary Coordinate system (UPC) and the on-Mars map server. The Atlas was designed to provide the ability to search and filter through greater than 8 million planetary image files. This software is a three-tier Web application that contains a search engine backend (MySQL, JAVA), Web service interface (SOAP) between server and client, and a GWT Google Maps API client front end. This application allows for the search, retrieval, and download of planetary images and associated meta-data from the following missions: 2001 Mars Odyssey, Cassini, Galileo, LCROSS, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Exploration Rover, Mars Express, Magellan, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MESSENGER, Phoe nix, Viking Lander, Viking Orbiter, and Voyager. The Atlas utilizes the UPC to translate mission-specific coordinate systems into a unified coordinate system, allowing the end user to query across missions of similar targets. If desired, the end user can also use a mission-specific view of the Atlas. The mission-specific views rely on the same code base. This application is a major improvement over the initial version of the Planetary Image Atlas. It is a multi-mission search engine. This tool includes both basic and advanced search capabilities, providing a product search tool to interrogate the collection of planetary images. This tool lets the end user query information about each image, and ignores the data that the user has no interest in. Users can reduce the number of images to look at by defining an area of interest with latitude and longitude ranges.

  3. The Role of APEX as a Pathfinder for AtLAST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrowski, Friedrich

    2018-01-01

    Now more than 12 years in operation, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) 12 m submillimeter telescope has significantly contributed to a wide variety of submillimeter astronomy science areas, ranging from the discoveries of new molecules to large and deep imaging of the submillimeter sky. While ALMA operation is in full swing, APEX is strengthening its role not only as pathfinder for studying large source samples and spatial scales to prepare detailed high angular resolution ALMA follow ups, but also as fast response instruments to complement new results from ALMA. Furthermore, APEX ensures southern hemisphere access for submillimeter projects complementing archival Herschel research as well as new SOFIA science. With new broadband and multipixel receivers as well as large cameras for wide-field continuum imaging, APEX will pave the way towards the science envisioned with ATLAST. In this contribution, the current status and ongoing upgrades of APEX will be discussed, with an emphasis on the importance of continuous cutting edge science and state-of-the-art instrumentation that will bridge the gap towards ATLAST.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    Particulate component of the Mars atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds strongly affects the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with τ ≈ 0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data (τ = 0.05-0.2) and measurements from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give the typical “clear” optical depth of τ ≈ 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range showing much more transparent atmosphere, on the other side. Also the relationship between τ9 and the visible optical depth is not well constrained experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of AVHRR Polar Pathfinder Extended (APP-X) Cryosphere

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of the extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) cryosphere contains 19 geophysical variables over the Arctic and Antarctic for the...

  12. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

    spacecraft designs capable of meeting mission requirements. Subsystems modeled in this study included structures, power system, propulsion system, nose fairing, thermal insulation, actuation devices, and GN&C. Best practice application of loads and design margins for all resources were used. Both storable and cryogenic propellant systems were examined. The landed mass and lander capsule size provide boundary conditions for the MAV design and packaging. We estimated the maximum mass the Dragon capsule is capable of landing. This and the volume capability to store the MAV was deduced from publically available data from SpaceX as well as our own engineering and aerodynamic estimates. Minimum gross-liftoff mass (GLOM) for the MAV were obtained for configurations that used pump-fed storable bi-propellant rocket engines for both the MAV and the ERV stage. The GLOM required fits within our internal estimate of the mass that Dragon can land at low elevation/optimal seasons on Mars. Based on the analysis, we show that a single Mars launch sample return mission is feasible using current commercial capabilities to deliver the return spacecraft assets.

  13. Revised electrostatic model of the LISA Pathfinder inertial sensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandt, Nico [Astrium GmbH, 88039 Friedrichshafen (Germany); Fichter, Walter, E-mail: nico.brandt@astrium.eads.ne [iFR, Universitaet Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 7a, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany)

    2009-03-01

    A comprehensive electrostatic finite-element (FE) analysis of the LISA Pathfinder Inertial Sensor (IS) has been carried out at Astrium GmbH. Starting with a detailed geometrical model of the IS housing and test mass (TM) flight units, FE results were derived from multiple analyses runs applying the Maxwell 3D field simulation software. The electrostatic forces and torques on the TM in 6DoF, as well as all non-negligible capacitances between the TM, the 18 electrodes, and the housing, have been extracted for different TM translations and rotations. The results of the FE analyses were expected to confirm the existing IS electrostatic model predictions used for performance analysis, simulations, and on-board algorithms. Major discrepancies were found, however, between the results and the model used so far. In general, FE results give considerably larger capacitance values than the equivalent infinite non-parallel plate estimates. In contrast, the FE derived forces and torques are in general significantly lower compared to the analytic IS electrostatic model predictions. In this paper, these results are discussed in detail and the reasons for the deviations are elaborated. Based on these results, an adapted analytic IS electrostatic model is proposed that reflects the electrostatic forces, torques, and stiffness values in the LISA Pathfinder IS significantly more accurate.

  14. Revised electrostatic model of the LISA Pathfinder inertial sensor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, Nico; Fichter, Walter

    2009-01-01

    A comprehensive electrostatic finite-element (FE) analysis of the LISA Pathfinder Inertial Sensor (IS) has been carried out at Astrium GmbH. Starting with a detailed geometrical model of the IS housing and test mass (TM) flight units, FE results were derived from multiple analyses runs applying the Maxwell 3D field simulation software. The electrostatic forces and torques on the TM in 6DoF, as well as all non-negligible capacitances between the TM, the 18 electrodes, and the housing, have been extracted for different TM translations and rotations. The results of the FE analyses were expected to confirm the existing IS electrostatic model predictions used for performance analysis, simulations, and on-board algorithms. Major discrepancies were found, however, between the results and the model used so far. In general, FE results give considerably larger capacitance values than the equivalent infinite non-parallel plate estimates. In contrast, the FE derived forces and torques are in general significantly lower compared to the analytic IS electrostatic model predictions. In this paper, these results are discussed in detail and the reasons for the deviations are elaborated. Based on these results, an adapted analytic IS electrostatic model is proposed that reflects the electrostatic forces, torques, and stiffness values in the LISA Pathfinder IS significantly more accurate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Symbolic PathFinder: Symbolic Execution of Java Bytecode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasareanu, Corina S.; Rungta, Neha

    2010-01-01

    Symbolic Pathfinder (SPF) combines symbolic execution with model checking and constraint solving for automated test case generation and error detection in Java programs with unspecified inputs. In this tool, programs are executed on symbolic inputs representing multiple concrete inputs. Values of variables are represented as constraints generated from the analysis of Java bytecode. The constraints are solved using off-the shelf solvers to generate test inputs guaranteed to achieve complex coverage criteria. SPF has been used successfully at NASA, in academia, and in industry.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Zeolite Formation and Weathering Processes in Dry Valleys of Antartica: Martian Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, E. K., Jr.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Socki, R. A.

    2004-01-01

    Terrestrial weathering processes in cold-desert climates such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica may provide an excellent analog to chemical weathering and diagenesis of soils on Mars. Detailed studies of soil development and the chemical and mineralogical alterations occurring within soil columns in Wright Valley, Antarctica show incredible complexity in the upper meter of soil. Previous workers noted the ice-free Dry Valleys are the best terrestrial approximations to contemporary Mars. Images returned from the Pathfinder and Spirit landers show similarities to surfaces observed within the Dry Valleys. Similarities to Mars that exist in these valleys are: mean temperatures always below freezing (-20 C), no rainfall, sparse snowfall-rapidly removed by sublimation, desiccating winds, diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (even during daylight hours), low humidity, oxidative environment, relatively high solar radiation and low magnetic fields . The Dry Valley soils contain irregular distributions and low abundances of soil microorganisms that are somewhat unusual on Earth. Physical processes-such as sand abrasion-are dominant mechanisms of rock weathering in Antarctica. However, chemical weathering is also an important process even in such extreme climates. For example, ionic migration occurs even in frozen soils along liquid films on individual soil particles. It has also been shown that water with liquid-like properties is present in soils at temperatures on the order of approx.-80 C and it has been observed that the percentage of oxidized iron increases with increasing soil age and enrichments in oxidized iron occurs toward the surface. The presence of evaporates is evident and appear similar to "evaporite sites" within the Pathfinder and Spirit sites. Evaporites indicate ionic migration and chemical activity even in the permanently frozen zone. The presence of evaporates indicates that chemical weathering of rocks and possibly soils has been active. Authogenic zeolites have

  1. A Web-Portal Based Approach for Knowledge Networks in Support of the Pathfinder Programme

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tolk, Andreas; Turnitsa, Charles D; Oehlund, Gunnar; Sursal, Gokay

    2006-01-01

    Technical activity program MSG-027 "Pathfinder Integration Environment" has the task of bringing the integration knowledge required to build a federation to whatever organization is charged with a federating task...

  2. 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).

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Review of A* (A Star Navigation Mesh Pathfinding as the Alternative of Artificial Intelligent for Ghosts Agent on the Pacman Game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moh. Zikky

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Shortest pathfinding problem has become a populer issue in Game’s Artificial Intelligent (AI. This paper discussed the effective way to optimize the shortest pathfinding problem, namely Navigation Mesh (NavMesh. This method is very interesting because it has a large area of implementation, especially in games world. In this paper, NavMesh was implemented by using A* (A star algorithm and examined in Unity 3D game engine. A* was an effective algorithm in shortest pathfinding problem because its optimization was made with effective tracing using segmentation line. Pac-Man game was chosen as the example of the shortest pathfinding by using NavMesh in Unity 3D. A* algorithm was implemented on the enemies of Pac-Man (three ghosts,  which path was designed by using NavMesh concept. Thus, the movement of ghosts in catching Pac-Man was the result of this review of the effectiveness of this concept. In further research, this method could be implemented on several optimization programmes, such as Geographic Information System (GIS, robotics, and statistics.

  7. Development of Slewing Mirror Telescope Optical System for the UFFO-pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeong, S.; Nam, J.W.; Ahn, K.-B.

    2013-01-01

    The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a 17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Pathfinder: multiresolution region-based searching of pathology images using IRM.

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, J. Z.

    2000-01-01

    The fast growth of digitized pathology slides has created great challenges in research on image database retrieval. The prevalent retrieval technique involves human-supplied text annotations to describe slide contents. These pathology images typically have very high resolution, making it difficult to search based on image content. In this paper, we present Pathfinder, an efficient multiresolution region-based searching system for high-resolution pathology image libraries. The system uses wave...

  12. Slewing Mirror Telescope and the Data-Acquisition System for the UFFO-Pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lim, H.; Ahmad, S.; Barrillon, P.

    2013-01-01

    The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) aims to detect the earliest moment of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) which is not well known, resulting into the enhancement of GRB mechanism understanding. The pathfinder mission was proposed to be a scaled-down version of UFFO, and only contains the UFFO Burst A...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. LISA Pathfinder instrument data analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman, Felipe

    LISA Pathfinder (LPF) is an ESA-launched demonstration mission of key technologies required for the joint NASA-ESA gravitational wave observatory in space, LISA. As part of the LPF interferometry investigations, analytic models of noise sources and corresponding noise subtrac-tion techniques have been developed to correct for effects like the coupling of test mass jitter into displacement readout, and fluctuations of the laser frequency or optical pathlength difference. Ground testing of pre-flight hardware of the Optical Metrology Subsystem is currently ongoing at the Albert Einstein Institute Hannover. In collaboration with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the LPF mission data analysis tool LTPDA is being used to analyze the data product of these tests. Furthermore, the noise subtraction techniques and in-flight experiment runs for noise characterization are being defined as part of the mission experiment master plan. We will present the data analysis outcome of pre-flight hardware ground tests and possible noise subtraction strategies for in-flight instrument operations.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. GCR flux 9-day variations with LISA Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grimani, C; Benella, S; Fabi, M; Finetti, N; Telloni, D

    2017-01-01

    Galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) energy spectra in the heliosphere vary on the basis of the level of solar activity, the status of solar polarity and interplanetary transient magnetic structures of solar origin. A high counting rate particle detector (PD) aboard LISA Pathfinder (LPF) allows for the measurement of galactic cosmic-ray and solar energetic particle (SEP) integral fluxes at energies > 70 MeV n −1 up to 6500 counts s −1 . Data are gathered with a sampling time of 15 s. A study of GCR flux depressions associated with the third harmonic of the Sun rotation period (∼ 9 days) is presented here. (paper)

  7. LISA Pathfinder: Optical Metrology System monitoring during operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audley, Heather E.; LISA Pathfinder Collaboration

    2017-05-01

    The LISA Pathfinder (LPF) mission has demonstrated excellent performance. In addition to having surpassed the main mission goals, data has been collected from the various subsystems throughout the duration of the mission. This data is a valuable resource, both for a more complete understanding of the LPF satellite and the differential acceleration measurements, as well as for the design of the future Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission. Initial analysis of the Optical Metrology System (OMS) data was performed as part of daily system monitoring, and more in-depth analyses are ongoing. This contribution presents an overview of these activities along with an introduction to the OMS.

  8. First in...Last Out: History of the U.S. Army Pathfinder (1942-2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-21

    Brittany, it would seize the Port of Brest , and cover the south flank, while the First Army began an attack to the northeast toward Paris .63 87 On the......it will provide insights into Pathfinder doctrine, “tactics, techniques and procedures,” strategy, technology and lessons learned from their origin

  9. Observation of early photons from gamma-ray bursts with the Lomonosov / UFFO-pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeong, S.; Brandt, Søren; Budtz-Jørgensen, Carl

    2014-01-01

    UFFO-pathfinder is a pioneering space mission to observe the early evolution of Gamma-ray Bursts using a fast slewing strategy. It consists of the Slewing Mirror Telescope, for rapid pointing at UV/optical wavelengths and the UFFO Burst Alert and Trigger Telescope. It has a total weight of ~ 20 k...

  10. LISA Pathfinder: hardware tests and their input to the mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audley, Heather

    The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a joint ESA-NASA mission for the first space-borne gravitational wave detector. LISA aims to detect sources in the 0.1mHz to 1Hz range, which include supermassive black holes and galactic binary stars. Core technologies required for the LISA mission, including drag-free test mass control, picometre interferometry and micro-Newton thrusters, cannot be tested on-ground. Therefore, a precursor satellite, LISA Pathfinder, has been developed as a technology demonstration mission. The preparations for the LISA Pathfinder mission have reached an exciting stage. Tests of the engineering model of the optical metrology system have recently been completed at the Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover, and flight model tests are now underway. Significantly, they represent the first complete integration and testing of the space-qualified hardware and are the first tests on system level. The results and test procedures of these campaigns will be utilised directly in the ground-based flight hardware tests, and subsequently within in-flight operations. In addition, they allow valuable testing of the data analysis methods using the MatLab based LTP data analysis toolbox. This contribution presents an overview of the test campaigns calibration, control and perfor-mance results, focusing on the implications for the Experimental Master Plan which provides the basis for the in-flight operations and procedures.

  11. Free-Suspension Residual Flexibility Testing of Space Station Pathfinder: Comparison to Fixed-Base Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinker, Michael L.

    1998-01-01

    Application of the free-suspension residual flexibility modal test method to the International Space Station Pathfinder structure is described. The Pathfinder, a large structure of the general size and weight of Space Station module elements, was also tested in a large fixed-base fixture to simulate Shuttle Orbiter payload constraints. After correlation of the Pathfinder finite element model to residual flexibility test data, the model was coupled to a fixture model, and constrained modes and frequencies were compared to fixed-base test. modes. The residual flexibility model compared very favorably to results of the fixed-base test. This is the first known direct comparison of free-suspension residual flexibility and fixed-base test results for a large structure. The model correlation approach used by the author for residual flexibility data is presented. Frequency response functions (FRF) for the regions of the structure that interface with the environment (a test fixture or another structure) are shown to be the primary tools for model correlation that distinguish or characterize the residual flexibility approach. A number of critical issues related to use of the structure interface FRF for correlating the model are then identified and discussed, including (1) the requirement of prominent stiffness lines, (2) overcoming problems with measurement noise which makes the antiresonances or minima in the functions difficult to identify, and (3) the use of interface stiffness and lumped mass perturbations to bring the analytical responses into agreement with test data. It is shown that good comparison of analytical-to-experimental FRF is the key to obtaining good agreement of the residual flexibility values.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Slewing mirror telescope of the UFFO-pathfinder: first report on performance in space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaikov, G.; Jeong, S.; Agaradahalli, V. G.

    2017-01-01

    of the UFFO-pathfinder payload, which was launched on April 28, 2016, onboard the Lomonosov satellite. For the first time, the slewing mirror system has been proven for the precision tracking of astrophysical objects during space operation. We confirmed that the SMT has 1.4 seconds of response time to the X...

  15. Dynamic temperature fields under Mars landing sites and implications for supporting microbial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Richard; Kral, Tim; Chevrier, Vincent; Pilgrim, Robert; Roe, Larry

    2010-01-01

    While average temperatures on Mars may be too low to support terrestrial life-forms or aqueous liquids, diurnal peak temperatures over most of the planet can be high enough to provide for both, down to a few centimeters beneath the surface for some fraction of the time. A thermal model was applied to the Viking 1, Viking 2, Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity landing sites to demonstrate the dynamic temperature fields under the surface at these well-characterized locations. A benchmark temperature of 253 K was used as a lower limit for possible metabolic activity, which corresponds to the minimum found for specific terrestrial microorganisms. Aqueous solutions of salts known to exist on Mars can provide liquid solutions well below this temperature. Thermal modeling has shown that 253 K is reached beneath the surface at diurnal peak heating for at least some parts of the year at each of these landing sites. Within 40 degrees of the equator, 253 K beneath the surface should occur for at least some fraction of the year; and, within 20 degrees , it will be seen for most of the year. However, any life-form that requires this temperature to thrive must also endure daily excursions to far colder temperatures as well as periods of the year where 253 K is never reached at all.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Is it feasible to pool funds for local children's services in England? Evidence from the national evaluation of children's trust pathfinders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorgelly, Paula; Bachmann, Max; Shreeve, Ann; Reading, Richard; Thorburn, June; Mugford, Miranda; O'Brien, Margaret; Husbands, Chris

    2009-01-01

    To describe how funds were pooled or otherwise jointly managed by National Health Service (NHS) primary care trusts and local authorities in England. To compare expenditure on local children's services by health, education and social services. We conducted a questionnaire survey of all 35 children's trust pathfinders, six months after they were launched, with a follow-up at 2.5 years. We also undertook an in-depth analysis of local authorities and primary care trusts, within eight pathfinder areas and three non-pathfinder areas, whereby we compared expenditure on children's services, interviewed managers and professionals and examined financial documents. Local authorities and NHS trusts coordinated expenditure in various ways, most commonly through informal agreements and aligning budgets but also by formally pooling budgets. The latter were usually for selected services such as child and adolescent mental health services, though four children's trusts pathfinders pooled (or aligned) their budgets for all children's services. Total expenditure per child was greatest for education, lowest for social services and intermediate for health. However, it was difficult to quantify education expenditure on children with health and social care needs, and health care expenditure on children. Sharing money for local children's services requires shared objectives, trust, and legal and accounting expertise. Several different mechanisms are permitted and many are feasible but programme budgeting for children's services could make them more effective.

  19. Charge Management in LISA Pathfinder: The Continuous Discharging Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Becca Elizabeth

    2018-01-01

    Test mass charging is a significant source of excess force and force noise in LISA Pathfinder (LPF). The planned design scheme for mitigation of charge induced force noise in LISA is a continuous discharge by UV light illumination. We report on analysis of a charge management experiment on-board LPF conducted during December 2016. We discuss the measurement of test mass charging noise with and without continuous UV illumination, in addition to the dynamic response in the continuous discharge scheme. Results of the continuous discharge system will be discussed for their application to operating LISA with lower test mass charge.

  20. 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.

  1. The end-to-end testbed of the optical metrology system on-board LISA Pathfinder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steier, F; Cervantes, F Guzman; Marin, A F GarcIa; Heinzel, G; Danzmann, K [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut) and Universitaet Hannover (Germany); Gerardi, D, E-mail: frank.steier@aei.mpg.d [EADS Astrium Satellites GmbH, Friedrichshafen (Germany)

    2009-05-07

    LISA Pathfinder is a technology demonstration mission for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). The main experiment on-board LISA Pathfinder is the so-called LISA Technology Package (LTP) which has the aim to measure the differential acceleration between two free-falling test masses with an accuracy of 3 x 10{sup -14} ms{sup -2} Hz{sup -1/2} between 1 mHz and 30 mHz. This measurement is performed interferometrically by the optical metrology system (OMS) on-board LISA Pathfinder. In this paper, we present the development of an experimental end-to-end testbed of the entire OMS. It includes the interferometer and its sub-units, the interferometer backend which is a phasemeter and the processing of the phasemeter output data. Furthermore, three-axes piezo-actuated mirrors are used instead of the free-falling test masses for the characterization of the dynamic behaviour of the system and some parts of the drag-free and attitude control system (DFACS) which controls the test masses and the satellite. The end-to-end testbed includes all parts of the LTP that can reasonably be tested on earth without free-falling test masses. At its present status it consists mainly of breadboard components. Some of those have already been replaced by engineering models of the LTP experiment. In the next steps, further engineering and flight models will also be inserted in this testbed and tested against well-characterized breadboard components. The presented testbed is an important reference for the unit tests and can also be used for validation of the on-board experiment during the mission.

  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.; 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

  3. 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

  4. Effective pathfinding for four-wheeled robot based on combining Theta* and hybrid A* algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Віталій Геннадійович Михалько

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Effective pathfinding algorithm based on Theta* and Hybrid A* algorithms was developed for four-wheeled robot. Pseudocode for algorithm was showed and explained. Algorithm and simulator for four-wheeled robot were implemented using Java programming language. Algorithm was tested on U-obstacles, complex maps and for parking problem

  5. 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.

  6. Actuation crosstalk in free-falling systems: Torsion pendulum results for the engineering model of the LISA pathfinder gravitational reference sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassan, M.; Cavalleri, A.; De Laurentis, M.; De Marchi, F.; De Rosa, R.; Di Fiore, L.; Dolesi, R.; Finetti, N.; Garufi, F.; Grado, A.; Hueller, M.; Marconi, L.; Milano, L.; Minenkov, Y.; Pucacco, G.; Stanga, R.; Vetrugno, D.; Visco, M.; Vitale, S.; Weber, W. J.

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we report on measurements on actuation crosstalk, relevant to the gravitational reference sensors for LISA Pathfinder and LISA. In these sensors, a Test Mass (TM) falls freely within a system of electrodes used for readout and control. These measurements were carried out on ground with a double torsion pendulum that allowed us to estimate both the torque injected into the sensor when a control force is applied and, conversely, the force leaking into the translational degree of freedom due to the applied torque.The values measured on our apparatus (the engineering model of the LISA Pathfinder sensor) agree to within 0.2% (over a maximum measured crosstalk of 1%) with predictions of a mathematical model when measuring force to torque crosstalk, while it is somewhat larger than expected (up to 3.5%) when measuring torque to force crosstalk. However, the values in the relevant range, i.e. when the TM is well centered ( ± 10 μm) in the sensor, remain smaller than 0.2%, satisfying the LISA Pathfinder requirements.

  7. Ground-based self-gravity tests for LISA Pathfinder and LISA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trenkel, C; Warren, C; Wealthy, D

    2009-01-01

    Gravitational coupling between the free-falling test masses and the surrounding spacecraft is one of the dominant noise sources for both LISA Pathfinder and LISA. At present, there are no plans to verify any of the self-gravity requirements by test, on the ground. Here, we explore the possibilities of conducting such tests, using a customised torsion balance. We discuss the main sources of systematic and statistical uncertainty present in such a set-up. Our preliminary assessment indicates that the sensitivity is sufficient to carry out meaningful self-gravity tests.

  8. 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

  9. Investigation of small scale roughness properties of Martian terrains using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Rossi, A.

    2009-04-01

    Studies of layered terrains in polar regions as well as inside craters and other areas on Mars often require knowledge of local topography at much finer resolution than global MOLA topography allows. For example, in the polar layered deposits spatial relationships are important to understand unconformities that are observed on the edges of the layered terrains [15,3]. Their formation process is not understood at this point, yet fine scale topography, joint with ground penetrating radar like SHARAD and MARSIS may shed light on their 3D structure. Landing site analysis also requires knowledge of local slopes and roughness at scales from 1 to 10 m [1,2]. Mars Orbiter Camera [13] has taken stereo images at these scales, however interpretation was difficult due to unstable behavior of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft during image take (wobbling effect). Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is much better stabilized, since it is required for optimal operation of its high resolution camera. In this work we have utilized data from MRO sensors (CTX camera [11] and HIRISE camera [12] in order to derive digital elevation models (DEM) from images targeted as stereo pairs. We employed methods and approaches utilized for the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) stereo data [4,5]. CTX data varies in resolution and stereo pairs analyzed in this work can be derived at approximately 10m scale. HIRISE images allow DEM post spacing at around 1 meter. The latter are very big images and our computer infrastructure was only able to process either reduced resolution images, covering larger surface or working with smaller patches at the original resolution. We employed stereo matching technique described in [5,9], in conjunction with radiometric and geometric image processing in ISIS3 [16]. This technique is capable of deriving tiepoint co-registration at subpixel precision and has proven itself when used for Pathfinder and MER operations [8]. Considerable part of this work was to accommodate CTX and

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from AVHRR Pathfinder, Version 5.2

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.2 Sea Surface Temperature data set (PFV52) is a collection of global, twice-daily 4km sea surface temperature data produced in a...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The LISA Pathfinder interferometry-hardware and system testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Audley, H; Danzmann, K; MarIn, A Garcia; Heinzel, G; Monsky, A; Nofrarias, M; Steier, F; Bogenstahl, J [Albert-Einstein-Institut, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik und Universitaet Hannover, 30167 Hannover (Germany); Gerardi, D; Gerndt, R; Hechenblaikner, G; Johann, U; Luetzow-Wentzky, P; Wand, V [EADS Astrium GmbH, Friedrichshafen (Germany); Antonucci, F [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Trento and INFN, Gruppo Collegato di Trento, 38050 Povo, Trento (Italy); Armano, M [European Space Astronomy Centre, European Space Agency, Villanueva de la Canada, 28692 Madrid (Spain); Auger, G; Binetruy, P [APC UMR7164, Universite Paris Diderot, Paris (France); Benedetti, M [Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e Tecnologie Industriali, Universita di Trento and INFN, Gruppo Collegato di Trento, Mesiano, Trento (Italy); Boatella, C, E-mail: antonio.garcia@aei.mpg.de [CNES, DCT/AQ/EC, 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse, Cedex 9 (France)

    2011-05-07

    Preparations for the LISA Pathfinder mission have reached an exciting stage. Tests of the engineering model (EM) of the optical metrology system have recently been completed at the Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover, and flight model tests are now underway. Significantly, they represent the first complete integration and testing of the space-qualified hardware and are the first tests on an optical system level. The results and test procedures of these campaigns will be utilized directly in the ground-based flight hardware tests, and subsequently during in-flight operations. In addition, they allow valuable testing of the data analysis methods using the MATLAB-based LTP data analysis toolbox. This paper presents an overview of the results from the EM test campaign that was successfully completed in December 2009.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Model Checking JAVA Programs Using Java Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havelund, Klaus; Pressburger, Thomas

    2000-01-01

    This paper describes a translator called JAVA PATHFINDER from JAVA to PROMELA, the "programming language" of the SPIN model checker. The purpose is to establish a framework for verification and debugging of JAVA programs based on model checking. This work should be seen in a broader attempt to make formal methods applicable "in the loop" of programming within NASA's areas such as space, aviation, and robotics. Our main goal is to create automated formal methods such that programmers themselves can apply these in their daily work (in the loop) without the need for specialists to manually reformulate a program into a different notation in order to analyze the program. This work is a continuation of an effort to formally verify, using SPIN, a multi-threaded operating system programmed in Lisp for the Deep-Space 1 spacecraft, and of previous work in applying existing model checkers and theorem provers to real applications.

  6. Quantitative Mineralogical Analysis of Mars Analogues Using CHEMIN Data and Rietveld Refinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, D. L.; Sarrazin, P.; Chipera, S. J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Blake, D.

    2004-01-01

    Mineralogical analysis is a critical component of planetary surface exploration. Chemical data alone leave serious gaps in our understanding of the surfaces of planets where complex minerals may form in combination with H, S, and halogens. On such planets (e.g., Mars) a single chemical composition may represent a range of mineral assemblages. For example, Viking chemical analyses of excavated duricrust indicate that Mg and S are correlated and 10% MgSO4 (anhydrous weight) is a likely cementing agent. Pathfinder chemical data support a similar abundance of MgSO4 in the most altered materials. However, there are many possible Mg-sulfates with widely varying hydration states (including dehydrated and 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-hydrates). In addition, other sulfate minerals such as gypsum (CaSO4 .2H2O) and other salts containing Cl may also exist. X-ray diffraction (XRD) has the ability to decipher mixtures of these phases that would be difficult, if not impossible to unravel using only chemical or spectral data.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Australian SKA Pathfinder: operations management and user engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey-Smith, Lisa

    2016-07-01

    This paper describes the science operations model for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. ASKAP is a radio interferometer currently being commissioned in Western Australia. It will be operated by a dedicated team of observatory staff with the support of telescope monitoring, control and scheduling software. These tools, as well as the proposal tools and data archive will enable the telescope to operate with little direct input from the astronomy user. The paper also discusses how close engagement with the telescope user community has been maintained throughout the ASKAP construction and commissioning phase, leading to positive outcomes including early input into the design of telescope systems and a vibrant early science program.

  10. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Cloud Properties from AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres - Extended (PATMOS-x), Version 5.3

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of cloud products was produced by the University of Wisconsin using the AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres - Extended (PATMOS-X)...

  11. 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...

  12. Open questions on optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V.; Petrova, E.; Rodin, A.

    Particulate component of the atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds that strongly affect the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data and measurem ents from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give in the quiet seasons the typical optical depth of? 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range that frequently infer <0.2, on the other side. Also the relationship between9 and the visible optical depth is not well established experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Cloud Screened Version 5.0 Monthly Climatologies (1985-2006) (NODC Accession 0110657)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km monthly sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 sea surface...

  16. 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.

  17. AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.3 level 3 collated (L3C) global 4km sea surface temperature

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.3 (PFV53) L3C Sea Surface Temperature data set is a collection of global, twice-daily (Day and Night) 4km sea surface temperature...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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)

  3. 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)

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. In-orbit performance of the LISA Pathfinder drag-free and attitude control system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleicher, A.; Ziegler, T.; Schubert, R.; Brandt, N.; Bergner, P.; Johann, U.; Fichter, W.; Grzymisch, J.

    2018-04-01

    LISA Pathfinder is a technology demonstrator mission that was funded by the European Space Agency and that was launched on December 3, 2015. LISA Pathfinder has been conducting experiments to demonstrate key technologies for the gravitational wave observatory LISA in its operational orbit at the L1 Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system until final switch off on July 18, 2017. These key technologies include the inertial sensors, the optical metrology system, a set of µ-propulsion cold gas thrusters and in particular the high performance drag-free and attitude control system (DFACS) that controls the spacecraft in 15 degrees of freedom during its science phase. The main goal of the DFACS is to shield the two test masses inside the inertial sensors from all external disturbances to achieve a residual differential acceleration between the two test masses of less than 3 × 10-14 m/s2/√Hz over the frequency bandwidth of 1-30 mHz. This paper focuses on two important aspects of the DFACS that has been in use on LISA Pathfinder: the DFACS Accelerometer mode and the main DFACS Science mode. The Accelerometer mode is used to capture the test masses after release into free flight from the mechanical grabbing mechanism. The main DFACS Science Mode is used for the actual drag-free science operation. The DFACS control system has very strong interfaces with the LISA Technology Package payload which is a key aspect to master the design, development, and analysis of the DFACS. Linear as well as non-linear control methods are applied. The paper provides pre-flight predictions for the performance of both control modes and compares these predictions to the performance that is currently achieved in-orbit. Some results are also discussed for the mode transitions up to science mode, but the focus of the paper is on the Accelerometer mode performance and on the performance of the Science mode in steady state. Based on the achieved results, some lessons learnt are formulated to extend

  8. Pathfinder irradiation of advanced fuel (Th/U mixed oxide) in a power reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brant Pinheiro, R.

    1993-01-01

    Within the joint Brazilian-German cooperative R and D Program on Thorium Utilization in Pressurized Water Reactors carried out from 1979 to 1988 by Nuclebras/CDTN, KFA-Juelich, Siemens/KWU and NUKEM, a pathfinder irradiation of Th/U mixed oxide fuel in the Angra 1 nuclear power reactor was planned. The objectives of this irradiation testing, the irradiation strategy, the work performed and the status achieved at the end of the joint Program are presented. (author)

  9. Monitor and Control of the Deep-Space network via Secure Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamarra, N.

    1997-01-01

    (view graph) NASA lead center for robotic space exploration. Operating division of Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Current missions, Voyagers, Galileo, Pathfinder, Global Surveyor. Upcoming missions, Cassini, Mars and New Millennium.

  10. Sockets and Pebbles

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This close-up Sojourner rover image of a small rock shows that weathering has etched-out pebbles to produce sockets. In the image, sunlight is coming from the upper left. Sockets (with shadows on top) are visible at the lower left and pebbles (with bright tops and shadowed bases) are seen at the lower center and lower right. Two pebbles (about 0.5 cm across) are visible at the lower center.Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  11. AGU Pathfinder: Career and Professional Development Resources for Earth and Space Scientists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harwell, D. E.; Asher, P. M.; Hankin, E. R.; Janick, N. G.; Marasco, L.

    2017-12-01

    The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is committed to inspiring and educating present and future generations of diverse, innovative, and creative Earth and space scientists. To meet our commitment, AGU provides career and educational resources, webinars, mentoring, and support for students and professionals at each level of development to reduce barriers to achievement and to promote professional advancement. AGU is also working with other organizations and educational institutions to collaborate on projects benefiting the greater geoscience community. The presentation will include an overview of current Pathfinder efforts, collaborative efforts, and an appeal for additional partnerships.

  12. Bayesian statistics for the calibration of the LISA Pathfinder experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Freschi, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Fitzsimons, E; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    The main goal of LISA Pathfinder (LPF) mission is to estimate the acceleration noise models of the overall LISA Technology Package (LTP) experiment on-board. This will be of crucial importance for the future space-based Gravitational-Wave (GW) detectors, like eLISA. Here, we present the Bayesian analysis framework to process the planned system identification experiments designed for that purpose. In particular, we focus on the analysis strategies to predict the accuracy of the parameters that describe the system in all degrees of freedom. The data sets were generated during the latest operational simulations organised by the data analysis team and this work is part of the LTPDA Matlab toolbox. (paper)

  13. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Reflectance and Brightness Temperatures from AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres - Extended (PATMOS-x), Version 5.3

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of AVHRR reflectance and brightness temperatures was produced by the University of Wisconsin using the AVHRR Pathfinder...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    imbalances that requires a prohibitively large ISRU atmospheric processor or a notably different system architecture to manage; and (4) at least 13 Falcon Heavy launches are needed to deliver a portion of the required equipment to the Martian surface, a value that is at least double that planned by Mars One for the same mission phase. Most importantly, we find that the one-way nature of the Mars One mission, coupled with its plans to increase its crew population every 26 months, causes the operating costs of the program to grow continually over time. This is due to the fact that maintaining a growing colony on the Martian surface incurs increasing equipment and spare parts resupply requirements and hence launch costs over time. Based on published launch vehicle and lander estimates, our analysis finds that by the launch of the fifth crew, the cost associated with launching a portion of all required equipment and spares is approximately equal to half of the total NASA FY2015 budget - and this cost will grow when other critical systems outside the scope of this analysis are included. To mitigate these costs and bring the plan closer towards feasibility, we recommend a number of mission architecture modifications and technology development efforts be implemented before the initiation of any Mars settlement campaign. These include the further development of EDL, life support, and ISRU technologies, as well as additive manufacturing technology that utilizes ISRU-derived Martian feedstock as a potential means to address the growing cost of resupply.

  18. 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

  19. The slewing mirror telescope of the Ultra Fast Flash Observatory Pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeong, S.; Ahmad, S.; Barrillon, P.

    2012-01-01

    The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is a key telescope of Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) space project to explore the first sub-minute or sub-seconds early photons from the Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) afterglows. As the realization of UFFO, 20kg of UFFO-Pathfinder (UFFO-P) is going to be on board...... the Russian Lomonosov satellite in November 2012 by Soyuz-2 rocket. Once the UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) detects the GRBs, Slewing mirror (SM) will slew to bring new GRB into the SMT’s field of view rather than slewing the entire spacecraft. SMT can give a UV/Optical counterpart position...

  20. 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.

  1. Distributed Mission Operations Within-Simulator Training Effectiveness Baseline Study. Volume 5. Using the Pathfinder Methodology to Assess Pilot Knowledge Structure Changes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schreiber, Brian T; DiSalvo, Pam; Stock, William A; Bennett, Jr., Winston

    2006-01-01

    ...) Within Simulator Training Effectiveness Baseline Study as described in Volume I, Summary Report, of AFRL-HE-AZ-TR-2006-0015, the current work examined pilots who participated in a Pathfinder data...

  2. The first mock data challenge for LISA Pathfinder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monsky, A; Hewitson, M; Wanner, G; Nofrarias, M; Diepholz, I; Danzmann, K [Albert-Einstein-Institut, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik und Universitaet Hannover, 30167 Hannover (Germany); Ferraioli, L; Hueller, M; Cavalleri, A; Ciani, G; Dolesi, R [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Trento and INFN, Gruppo Collegato di Trento, 38050 Povo, Trento (Italy); Grynagier, A [Institut fuer Flugmechanik und Flugregelung, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany); Armano, M [European Space Agency, ESAC, Villanueva de la Canada, 28692 Madrid (Spain); Benedetti, M [Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e Tecnologie Industriali, Universita di Trento and INFN, Gruppo Collegato di Trento, Mesiano, Trento (Italy); Bogenstahl, J [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow (United Kingdom); Bortoluzzi, D; Bosetti, P; Cristofolini, I [Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Strutturale, Universita di Trento and INFN, Gruppo Collegato di Trento, Mesiano, Trento (Italy); Brandt, N [Astrium GmbH, 88039 Friedrichshafen (Germany); Cruise, M, E-mail: anneke.monsky@aei.mpg.d [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (United Kingdom)

    2009-05-07

    The data analysis of the LISA Technology Package (LTP) will comprise a series of discrete experiments, each focusing on a particular noise measurement or characterization of the instrument in various operating modes. Each of these experiments must be analysed and planned in advance of the mission because the results of a given experiment will have an impact on those that follow. As such, a series of mock data challenges (MDCs) will be developed and carried out with the aim of preparing the analysis tools and optimizing the various planned analyses. The first of these MDCs (MDC1) is a simplified treatment of the dynamics along the axis joining the two test masses onboard LISA Pathfinder. The validation of the dynamical model by predicting the spectra of the interferometer output data is shown, a prediction for the data analysis is calculated and, finally, several simulated interferometer data sets are analysed and calibrated to equivalent out-of-loop test mass acceleration.

  3. LISA Pathfinder drag-free control and system implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fichter, Walter; Gath, Peter; Vitale, Stefano; Bortoluzzi, Daniele

    2005-01-01

    The top-level requirement of the LISA Pathfinder mission is the verification of pure relative free fall between two test masses with an accuracy of about 3 x 10 -14 m s -2 Hz -1/2 in a measurement bandwidth between 1 mHz and 30 mHz. The drag-free control system is one of the key technology elements that shall be verified. Its design is strongly connected to the overall system and experimental design, in particular, via the following issues: the differential test mass motion and thus the science measurements depend on the control system; design constraints, such as negative stiffness of test masses and electrostatic actuation cross-talk, have an impact on science and control system performance; derived requirements for control system components, in particular, the micro-propulsion system, must be within reasonable and feasible limits. In this paper, the control design approach is outlined and the system-related issues are addressed

  4. 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...

  5. Pathfinding the Flight Advanced Stirling Convertor Design with the ASC-E3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Kyle; Smith, Eddie; Collins, Josh

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) was initially developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) as a technology development project. The ASC technology fulfills NASA's need for high efficiency power convertors for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). Early successful technology demonstrations between 2003 to 2005 eventually led to the expansion of the project including the decision in 2006 to use the ASC technology on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). Sunpower has delivered 22 ASC convertors of progressively mature designs to date to GRC. Currently, Sunpower with support from GRC, Lockheed Martin Space System Company (LMSSC), and the Department of Energy (DOE) is developing the flight ASC-F in parallel with the ASC-E3 pathfinders. Sunpower will deliver four pairs of ASC-E3 convertors to GRC which will be used for extended operation reliability assessment, independent validation and verification testing, system interaction tests, and to support LMSSC controller verification. The ASC-E3 and -F convertors are being built to the same design and processing documentation and the same product specification. The initial two pairs of ASC-E3 are built before the flight units and will validate design and processing changes prior to implementation on the ASC-F flight convertors. This paper provides a summary on development of the ASC technology and the status of the ASC-E3 build and how they serve the vital pathfinder role ahead of the flight build for ASRG. The ASRG is part of two of the three candidate missions being considered for selection for the Discovery 12 mission.

  6. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 Monthly Harmonic Climatologies (1982-2008) (NODC Accession 0075098)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km monthly sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 sea...

  7. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 Daily Harmonic Climatologies (1982-2008) (NODC Accession 0071181)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km daily sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 sea...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. Ascending Midbrain Dopaminergic Axons Require Descending GAD65 Axon Fascicles for Normal Pathfinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Marcela Garcia-Peña

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Nigrostriatal pathway (NSP is formed by dopaminergic axons that