WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars pathfinder science

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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 ...

  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. 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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

    -bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Samples of the crater wall and rim rock, and more recent to currently active surface materials also may be studied. Gale has a well-defined regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments. These environments are represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, and insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars. The interior mountain of Gale Crater has been informally designated at Mount Sharp, in honor of the pioneering planetary scientist Robert Sharp. The major subsystems of the MSL Project consist of a single rover (with science payload), a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, an Earth-Mars cruise stage, an entry, descent, and landing system, a launch vehicle, and the mission operations and ground data systems. The primary communication path for downlink is relay through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The primary path for uplink to the rover is Direct-from-Earth. The secondary paths for downlink are Direct-to-Earth and relay through the Mars Odyssey orbiter. Curiosity is a scaled version of the 6-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, rocker bogie system from the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity and the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner. Like Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity offers three primary modes of navigation: blind-drive, visual odometry, and visual odometry with hazard avoidance. Creation of terrain maps based on HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and other remote sensing data were used to conduct simulated driving with Curiosity in these various modes, and allowed selection of the Gale crater landing site which requires climbing the base of a

  8. 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.

  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. 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…

  11. 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)

  12. The Australian SKA Pathfinder: First Science Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey-Smith, Lisa

    2015-08-01

    The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a precursor and technology demonstrator for the Square Kilometre Array.A specialist wide-field survey instrument, ASKAP compises 36 x 12m dish antennas with a maximum separation of 6km. The array operates in the frequency range 700 - 1800 MHz and has an instantaneous bandwidth of 300 MHz. Each dish is mounted with a 'phased array feed', a radio receiver that dramatically enhances the telescope's field-of-view from 1 to 30 square degrees. ASKAP is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, Australia's core site for the SKA.Ten Science Survey Projects have been established by teams of more than 600 astronomers from around the world. Astronomical research topics tackled by these teams include galaxy evolution, cosmic magnetism, the history of gas in galaxies and cosmology. A program of ASKAP Early Science will commence in late 2015. The 6-antenna Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA) is currently being used by the commissioning team and at the time of writing has produced its first scientific discovery paper.In this talk, hear the ASKAP Project Scientist report some of the exciting new capabilities demonstrated by ASKAP and learn about the first scientific discoveries made by the commissioning and early science team.

  13. Pathfinder-Plus on flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

  14. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    ,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  16. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    4 days above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

  17. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    days above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

  18. Resonance – Journal of Science Education | Indian Academy of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 2; Issue 10. Pathfinder on Mars: A New Era of Planetary Exploration. Jitendranath Goswami. Research News Volume 2 Issue 10 October 1997 pp 76-79. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  19. 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...

  20. Increased Science Instrumentation Funding Strengthens Mars Program

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Pathfinder-Plus takes off on flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

  4. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. The Earth System Science Pathfinder Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisp, David

    2003-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing the Earth System Science Pathfinder Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mission is shown. The contents include: 1) Why CO2?; 2) What Processes Control CO2 Sinks?; 3) OCO Science Team; 4) Space-Based Measurements of CO2; 5) Driving Requirement: Precise, Bias-Free Global Measurements; 6) Making Precise CO2 Measurements from Space; 7) OCO Spatial Sampling Strategy; 8) OCO Observing Modes; 9) Implementation Approach; 10) The OCO Instrument; 11) The OCO Spacecraft; 12) OCO Will Fly in the A-Train; 13) Validation Program Ensures Accuracy and Minimizes Spatially Coherent Biases; 14) Can OCO Provide the Required Precision?; 15) O2 Column Retrievals with Ground-based FTS; 16) X(sub CO2) Retrieval Simulations; 17) Impact of Albedo and Aerosol Uncertainty on X(sub CO2) Retrievals; 18) Carbon Cycle Modeling Studies: Seasonal Cycle; 19) Carbon Cycle Modeling Studies: The North-South Gradient in CO2; 20) Carbon Cycle Modeling Studies: Effect of Diurnal Biases; 21) Project Status and Schedule; and 22) Summary.

  8. 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).

  9. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    -stop for at least 4 days above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    flying non-stop for at least 4 days above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

  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. 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.

  14. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    -stop for at least 4 days above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Mars Science Laboratory Using Laser Instrument, Artist's Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars science laboratory's curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassler, D.M.; Zeitlin, C.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Ehresmann, B.; Rafkin, S.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Brinza, D.E.; Weigle, G.; Böttcher, S.; Böhm, E.; Burmeister, S.; Guo, J.; Köhler, J.; Martin, C.; Reitz, G.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Kim, M.-H.; Grinspoon, D.; Bullock, M.A.; Posner, A.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Vasavada, A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Bitter, C.

    2008-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Simulation and Spacecraft Design: Engineering Mars Landings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Erik M

    2015-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mars Science Laboratory Heatshield Flight Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahzari, Milad; White, Todd

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Measurements of energetic particle radiation in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, C; Hassler, D M; Cucinotta, F A; Ehresmann, B; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R F; Brinza, D E; Kang, S; Weigle, G; Böttcher, S; Böhm, E; Burmeister, S; Guo, J; Köhler, J; Martin, C; Posner, A; Rafkin, S; Reitz, G

    2013-05-31

    The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011, and for most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector made detailed measurements of the energetic particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft. These data provide insights into the radiation hazards that would be associated with a human mission to Mars. We report measurements of the radiation dose, dose equivalent, and linear energy transfer spectra. The dose equivalent for even the shortest round-trip with current propulsion systems and comparable shielding is found to be 0.66 ± 0.12 sievert.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Antoni Quintana-Marí (1907-1998): A Pioneer of the Use of History of Science in Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca-Rosell, Antoni; Grapí-Vilumara, Pere

    2010-09-01

    In the early 1930s, the young Antoni Quintana-Marí undertook some research on Antoni de Martí i Franquès, one of the most prominent Catalan scientists of the Enlightenment. This scientist worked in Tarragona, where Quintana-Marí lived. Quintana-Marí learnt about Martí i Franquès from Josep Estalella, his teacher of physics and chemistry at the secondary school. It was while researching on Martí i Franquès that Quintana-Marí became a true historian of science. He subsequently collaborated with other Spanish and foreign historians of science in the early years of this discipline. Quintana-Marí never forgot that his passion for history of science had been aroused by his school teacher.

  16. 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...

  17. Mars' Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brinza, David E.; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A.; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Berger, Thomas; Matthia, Daniel; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Hamilton, Victoria; Peterson, Joseph; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  18. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Brinza, David E; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P

    2014-01-24

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    and flying non-stop for at least 4 days above 50,000 feet. Major activities of Pathfinder Plus' Hawaiian flights included detection of forest nutrient status, forest regrowth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters, and assessment of coral reef health. Pathfinder science activities were coordinated by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, and included researchers from the University of Hawaii and the University of California. Pathfinder is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program managed by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus were designed, built, and operated by AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, California. Pathfinder had a 98.4-foot wing span and weighed 560 pounds. Pathfinder Plus has a 121-foot wing span and weighs about 700 pounds. Pathfinder was powered by six electric motors while Pathfinder Plus has eight. Pathfinder's solar arrays produced approximately 8,000 watts of power while Pathfinder Plus' solar arrays produce about 12,500 watts of power. Both Pathfinder aircraft were built primarily of composites, plastic, and foam.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Emirates Mars Mission Science Data Center

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. The Science Operations Concept for the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frew, D.

    2014-04-01

    The ExoMars 2016 Science Operations Centre (SOC) based at the European Space Astronomy Centre is responsible for coordinating the science planning activities for the Trace Gas Orbiter. Science planning will involve all members of the ExoMars 2016 science ground segment (SGS), namely the SOC at ESAC, the Russian SOC at IKI, the orbiter instrument teams and the science management of the 2016 mission represented by the science working team (SWT) that is chaired by the project scientist. The science operations concept for the mission builds on the legacy inherited from previous ESA planetary missions, in particular from Mars Express for the core plan validation aspects and from the Smart-1 lunar mission for the opportunity analysis and longterm planning approach. Further concept drivers have been derived from the ExoMars 2016 mission profile in the areas of orbit predictability, instrument design and the usage of TGO as a relay for surface assets including the ExoMars 2018 rover. This paper will give an over view of the entire uplink planning process as it is conducted over 3 distinct planning cycles. The Long Term Plan (LTP) establishes the baseline science plan and demonstrates the operational feasibility of meeting the mission science goals formulated by the science working team (SWT) at science management level. The LTP has a planning horizon of 6 months. Each month of the baseline science plan is refined with the instrument teams within the Medium Term Plan (MTP) to converge on a frozen attitude request and resource envelopes for all of the observations in the plan. During the Short Term Planning cycle the SOC will iterate with the teams to finalise the commanding for all of the observations in the plan for the coming week. The description of the uplink planning process will focus on two key areas that are common to all of the planning cycles mentioned above: • Science Plan Abstraction: Interacting with the science plan at the appropriate level of abstraction to

  9. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Von der Heydt, Max O.; Mogensen, Claus T.; Canham, John; Harpold, Dan N.; Johnson, Joel; Errigo, Therese; Glavin, Daniel P.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-09-01

    Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover carries a set of five external verification standards in hermetically sealed containers that can be sampled as would be a Martian rock, by drilling and then portioning into the solid sample inlet of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite. Each organic check material (OCM) canister contains a porous ceramic solid, which has been doped with a fluorinated hydrocarbon marker that can be detected by SAM. The purpose of the OCM is to serve as a verification tool for the organic cleanliness of those parts of the sample chain that cannot be cleaned other than by dilution, i.e., repeated sampling of Martian rock. SAM possesses internal calibrants for verification of both its performance and its internal cleanliness, and the OCM is not used for that purpose. Each OCM unit is designed for one use only, and the choice to do so will be made by the project science group (PSG).

  10. 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.

  11. Measurement of Mars Analog Soil Dielectric Properties for Mars 2020 Radar Science Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decrossas, E.; Bell, D. J.; Jin, C.; Steinfeld, D.; Batres, J.

    2017-12-01

    On multiple solar system missions, radar instruments have been used to probe subsurface geomorphology and to infer chemical composition based on the dielectric signature derived from the reflected signal. One important planetary application is the identification of subsurface water ice at Mars. Low frequency, 15 MHz to 25 MHz, instruments like SHARAD have been used from Mars orbit to investigate subsurface features from 10's to 1000's of meters below the surface of Mars with a vertical resolution of 15m and a horizontal resolution of 300 to 3000 meters. SHARAD has been able to identify vast layers of CO2 and water ice. The ground-penetrating RIMFAX instrument that will ride on the back of the Mars 2020 rover will operate over the 150 MHz to 1200 MHz band and penetrate to a depth of 10 meters with a vertical resolution of 15 to 30 cm. RIMFAX will be able to identify near surface water ice if it exists below the travel path of the Mars 2020 rover. Identification of near surface water ice has science application to current and past Mars hydrologic processes and to the potential for finding remnants of past Mars biologic activity. Identification of near surface water ice also has application to future human missions that would benefit from access to a Mars local water source. Recently, JPL investigators have been pursuing a secondary use of telecom signals to capture bistatic radar signatures from subsurface areas surrounding the rover but away from its travel path. A particularly promising potential source would be the telecom signal from a proposed Mars Helicopter back to the Mars 2020 rover. The Mars 2020 rover will be equipped with up to three telecom subsystems. The Rover Relay telecom subsystem operates at UHF receiving at 435 MHz frequency. Anticipating opportunistic collection of near-surface bistatic radar signatures from telecom signals received at the rover, it is valuable to understand the dielectric properties of the Martian soil in each of these three

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. An Internationally Coordinated Science Management Plan for Samples Returned from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haltigin, T.; Smith, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    Mars Sample Return (MSR) remains a high priority of the planetary exploration community. Such an effort will undoubtedly be too large for any individual agency to conduct itself, and thus will require extensive global cooperation. To help prepare for an eventual MSR campaign, the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG) chartered the international Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples (iMARS) Phase II working group in 2014, consisting of representatives from 17 countries and agencies. The overarching task of the team was to provide recommendations for progressing towards campaign implementation, including a proposed science management plan. Building upon the iMARS Phase I (2008) outcomes, the Phase II team proposed the development of an International MSR Science Institute as part of the campaign governance, centering its deliberations around four themes: Organization: including an organizational structure for the Institute that outlines roles and responsibilities of key members and describes sample return facility requirements; Management: presenting issues surrounding scientific leadership, defining guidelines and assumptions for Institute membership, and proposing a possible funding model; Operations & Data: outlining a science implementation plan that details the preliminary sample examination flow, sample allocation process, and data policies; and Curation: introducing a sample curation plan that comprises sample tracking and routing procedures, sample sterilization considerations, and long-term archiving recommendations. This work presents a summary of the group's activities, findings, and recommendations, highlighting the role of international coordination in managing the returned samples.

  15. Mars in Motion: An online Citizen Science platform looking for changes on the surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprinks, James Christopher; Wardlaw, Jessica; Houghton, Robert; Bamford, Steven; Marsh, Stuart

    2016-10-01

    The European FP7 iMars project has developed tools and 3D models of the Martian surface through the co-registration of NASA and ESA mission data dating from the Viking missions of the 1970s to the present day, for a much more comprehensive interpretation of the geomorphological and climatic processes that have taken and do take place. We present the Citizen Science component of the project, 'Mars in Motion', created through the Zooniverse's Panoptes framework to allow volunteers to look for and identify changes on the surface of Mars over time. 'Mars in Motion', as with many other current citizen science platforms of a planetary or other disciplinary focus, has been developed to compliment the results of automated data mining analysis software, both by validation through the creation of training data and by adding context - gathering more in-depth data on the type and metrics of change initially detected.Through the analysis of initial volunteer results collected in the second half of 2016, the accuracy and ability of untrained participants to identify geomorphological changes is considered, as well as the impact of their position in the system. Volunteer contribution, either as a filter for poor quality imagery pre-algorithm, validation of algorithmic analysis, or adding context to pre-detected change, and their awareness and interpretation of its importance, can directly influence engagement with the platform and therefore ultimately its success. Understanding the effect of the volunteer and software's role in the system on both the results of and engagement with planetary science citizen science platforms will be an important lesson for the future, especially as the next generation of planetary missions will likely collect data orders of magnitude greater in volume. To deal with the data overload, it is likely that human or software solutions alone will not be sufficient, and that a combination of the two working together in a complimentary system that combines

  16. Science Programs for a 2-m Class Telescope at Dome C, Antarctica: PILOT, the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, M. G.; Lawrence, J. S.; Ashley, M. C. B.; Bailey, J. A.; Blake, C.; Bedding, T. R.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Bond, I. A.; Glazebrook, K.; Hidas, M. G.; Lewis, G.; Longmore, S. N.; Maddison, S. T.; Mattila, S.; Minier, V.; Ryder, S. D.; Sharp, R.; Smith, C. H.; Storey, J. W. V.; Tinney, C. G.; Tuthill, P.; Walsh, A. J.; Walsh, W.; Whiting, M.; Wong, T.; Woods, D.; Yock, P. C. M.

    2005-08-01

    The cold, dry, and stable air above the summits of the Antarctic plateau provides the best ground-based observing conditions from optical to sub-millimetre wavelengths to be found on the Earth. Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope (PILOT) is a proposed 2m telescope, to be built at Dome C in Antarctica, able to exploit these conditions for conducting astronomy at optical and infrared wavelengths. While PILOT is intended as a pathfinder towards the construction of future grand-design facilities, it will also be able to undertake a range of fundamental science investigations in its own right. This paper provides the performance specifications for PILOT, including its instrumentation. It then describes the kinds of projects that it could best conduct. These range from planetary science to the search for other solar systems, from star formation within the Galaxy to the star formation history of the Universe, and from gravitational lensing caused by exo-planets to that produced by the cosmic web of dark matter. PILOT would be particularly powerful for wide-field imaging at infrared wavelengths, achieving near diffraction-limited performance with simple tip-tilt wavefront correction. PILOT would also be capable of near diffraction-limited performance in the optical wavebands, as well be able to open new wavebands for regular ground-based observation, in the mid-IR from 17 to 40μm and in the sub-millimetre at 200μm.

  17. 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.

  18. In Situ Strategy of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory to Investigate the Habitability of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    The ten science investigations of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover named "Curiosity" seek to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability through chemical and geological measurements from a highly capable robotic' platform. This mission seeks to understand if the conditions for life on ancient Mars are preserved in the near-surface geochemical record. These substantial payload resources enabled by MSL's new entry descent and landing (EDL) system have allowed the inclusion of instrument types nevv to the Mars surface including those that can accept delivered sample from rocks and soils and perform a wide range of chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical analyses. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment that is located in the interior of the rover is a powder x-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument that provides elemental and mineralogical information. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments complements this experiment by analyzing the volatile component of identically processed samples and by analyzing atmospheric composition. Other MSL payload tools such as the Mast Camera (Mastcam) and the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instruments are utilized to identify targets for interrogation first by the arm tools and subsequent ingestion into SAM and CheMin using the Sample Acquisition, Processing, and Handling (SA/SPaH) subsystem. The arm tools include the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and the Chemistry and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXX). The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument provides subsurface identification of hydrogen such as that contained in hydrated minerals

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, J. E.; Mogensen, C. T.; VonderHeydt, M. O.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. M.; Johnson, J. A.

    2011-01-01

    The Organic Check Material (OCM) has been developed for use on the Mars Science Laboratory mission to serve as a sample standard for verification of organic cleanliness and characterization of potential sample alteration as a function of the sample acquisition and portioning process on the Curiosity rover. OCM samples will be acquired using the same procedures for drilling, portioning and delivery as are used to study martian samples with The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite during MSL surface operations. Because the SAM suite is highly sensitive to organic molecules, the mission can better verify the cleanliness of Curiosity's sample acquisition hardware if a known material can be processed through SAM and compared with the results obtained from martian samples.

  8. Selection of the Mars Science Laboratory landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratacci, Olivier

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

  10. 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.

  11. Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, J; Ehresmann, B; Zeitlin, C; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R F; Hassler, D M; Reitz, G; Brinza, D E; Appel, J; Böttcher, S; Böhm, E; Burmeister, S; Guo, J; Lohf, H; Martin, C; Posner, A; Rafkin, S

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011. Although designed for measuring the radiation on the surface of Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measured the radiation environment inside the spacecraft during most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the radiation environment inside the spacecraft is the specific contribution of neutrons with their high biological effectiveness. We apply an inversion method (based on a maximum-likelihood estimation) to calculate the neutron and gamma spectra from the RAD neutral particle measurements. The measured neutron spectrum (12-436 MeV) translates into a radiation dose rate of 3.8±1.2 μGy/day and a dose equivalent of 19±5 μSv/day. Extrapolating the measured spectrum (0.1-1000 MeV), we find that the total neutron-induced dose rate is 6±2 μGy/day and the dose equivalent rate is 30±10 μSv/day. For a 360 day round-trip from Earth to Mars with comparable shielding, this translates into a neutron induced dose equivalent of about 11±4 mSv. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. In-Situ Operations and Planning for the Mars Science Laboratory Robotic Arm: The First 200 Sols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M.; Collins, C.; Leger, P.; Carsten, J.; Tompkins, V.; Hartman, F.; Yen, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Robotic Arm (RA) has operated for more than 200 Martian solar days (or sols) since the Mars Science Laboratory rover touched down in Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. During the first seven months on Mars the robotic arm has performed multiple contact science sols including the positioning of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and/or Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) with respect to rocks or loose regolith targets. The RA has supported sample acquisition using both the scoop and drill, sample processing with CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In- Situ Martian Rock Analysis), and delivery of sample portions to the observation tray, and the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) and CHEMIN (Chemistry and Mineralogy) science instruments. This paper describes the planning and execution of robotic arm activities during surface operations, and reviews robotic arm performance results from Mars to date.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Stationary Planetary Waves in the Mars Winter Atmosphere as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin; Häusler, Bernd; Tyler, Leonard G.; Hinson, David P.

    2015-11-01

    Stationary (Rossby) Waves are excited by the interaction of the zonally varying topography with the strong eastward winter jets. They lead to distinctive longitudinal temperature variations which contribute significantly to the asymmetry of the seasonal polar CO2 ice caps and are also important for the dust redistribution in the planetary atmosphere.Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science Experiment MaRS at northern and southern high latitudes are used to gain insight into winter stationary wave structures on both hemispheres.Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) radio occultation measurements from the same season and year with their exceptionally good longitudinal and temporal coverage can be used to estimate the influence of transient eddies. Transient waves are especially important in the northern winter hemisphere.Wave number 2 stationary waves, driven by topography, are dominant in the northern winter latitudes while the wave number 1 wave is the most significant wave number during southern winter. The wave amplitudes peak around winter solstice on both hemispheres.Radio occultation measurements provide the unique opportunity to determine simultaneous measurements of temperature and geopotential height structures. Assuming geostrophic balance, these measurements can be used to determine meridional winds and eddy heat fluxes which provide further insight into the contribution of stationary waves to the heat exchange between the poles and the lower latitudes.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. ExoMars entry, descent and landing science

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    In December 2015, the "Third Community Workshop on Affording and Sustaining Human Mars Exploration" (AM III) was held, which was designed to provide community recommendations on the potential human exploration of Mars. To facilitate the workshop, we focused on two key questions: 1) From the dual and interrelated perspectives of affordability and sustainability, what are the strengths/challenges of Mars exploration scenarios?; and 2) From the perspective of prioritized scientific objectives for the martian system (the planet's surface or its moons), what are the most enabling capabilities of the different exploration architecture(s) and why? Group discussion over three days resulted in the following findings and observations: 1. NASA's incremental approach to deep-space exploration defines the so-called "Proving Ground," specifically in cis-lunar space, generally occurring in the 2020s and prior to human journeys to Mars. We concluded that there are capabilities directly related to, and on the critical path to, human exploration of Mars that could be developed in cis-lunar space. However, we also concluded that the Proving Ground should best be viewed as a campaign that occurs within a certain timeframe (including activities at Mars), rather than merely occurring at a specific location. 2. The workshop participants agreed that the most valuable purposes of sending humans to the martian system would be accomplished only by surface operations. We concluded that specific benefits, both technical and cost, of sending humans to the Mars system without landing on the martian surface should be assessed in depth. We discussed - although were unable to conclude - whether Mars orbit or Phobos/Deimos as a destination would make sufficient contributions towards humans landing on the martian surface or to answering high-priority science questions (as identified by the Decadal Survey) to justify their associated costs and possible risks. Further study on the value of an orbital

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipp, Devin

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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).

  10. Micrometeorite Science with LISA Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagane, Nicole; Thorpe, James Ira; Littenberg, Tyson; Littenberg, Tyson; Baker, John; Slutsky, Jacob; Hourihane, Sophie; LISA Pathfinder Team

    2018-01-01

    The primary objective of LISA Pathfinder (LPF) was to demonstrate drag-free control of test masses—along with the technology necessary to maintain the inertial motion—that LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) would later utilize as a space-based gravitational wave observatory. Due to the precise interferometry used during the mission, LPF could be employed as an accelerometer and used to detect micrometeorite impacts while in orbit about the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point L1. To infer micrometeorite impacts, the flight data was processed for event reconstruction to determine external acceleration of LPF; impact parameters were then estimated through a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) tool via Bayesian analysis by fitting delta functions in the acceleration domain. As impact candidates were collected, a catalog of event data was curated with the reconstructed estimated parameters, among which were impact sky localizations that were later rotated into more intuitive reference frames. To infer the results of this dust modeling technique, current micrometeorite models were compared to the impact data. In the final reference frame common to the available micrometeorite models, the reconstructed impacts appear to cluster at (±90°, 0°)—where impacts prograde in this longitude-latitude frame were at (-90°, 0°), retrograde were (90°, 0°), and the sun was centered at the origin. The two available models used for comparison were of the Jupiter-family comets (JFC) and Halley-type comets (HTC), which clustered primarily around (±90°, 0°) and (0°, ±20°) respectively. This suggests that the JFC population seems to account for the majority of the impacts detected by LPF. The models’ expected rates given localization and velocity are currently being compared to the reconstructed data to further characterize the micrometeorite populations at L1. We will present our current analysis of this data set and discuss possibilities of extending such an analysis for LISA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    . 2003. [5] A. B. Ivanov and J. J. Lorre. Analysis of Mars Orbiter Camera Stereo Pairs. In Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference Abstracts, volume 33 of Lunar and Planetary Inst. Technical Report, pages 1845-+, Mar. 2002. [6] R. Jaumann, et al. The high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) experiment on mars express: Instrument aspects and experiment conduct from interplanetary cruise through the nominal mission. Planetary and Space Science, 55(7-8):928-952, MAY 2007. [7] R. L. Kirk, et al. Ultrahigh resolution topographic mapping of mars with MRO HIRISE stereo images: Meter-scale slopes of candidate phoenix landing sites. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 113, NOV 15 2008. [8] S. Lavoie, et al. Processing and analysis of mars pathfinder science data at the jet propulsion laboratory's science data processing systems section. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 104(E4):8831-8852, APR 25 1999. [9] J. J. Lorre, et al. Recent developments at JPL in the application of image processing to astronomy. In D. L. Crawford, editor, Instrumentation in Astronomy III, volume 172 of Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series, pages 394-402, 1979. [10] M. Malin, et al. Early views of the martian surface from the mars orbiter camera of mars global surveyor. Science, 279(5357):1681-1685, MAR 13 1998. [11] M. C. Malin,et al. Context camera investigation on board the mars reconnaissance orbiter. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 112(E5), MAY 18 2007. [12] A. S. McEwen, et al.. Mars reconnaissance orbiter's high resolution imaging science experiment (HIRISE). Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 112(E5), MAY 17 2007. [13] A. Rossi, et al. Multi-spacecraft synergy with MEX HRSC and MRO SHARAD: Light-Toned Deposits in crater bulges. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, pages B1371+, Dec. 2008. [14] A. P. Rossi, et al. Stratigraphic architecture and structural control on sediment emplacement in Becquerel crater (Mars). volume 40. Lunar and Planetary

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Jitendranath Goswami

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Jitendranath Goswami. Articles written in Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Volume 2 Issue 10 October 1997 pp 76-79 Research News. Pathfinder on Mars: A New Era of Planetary Exploration · Jitendranath Goswami · More Details Fulltext PDF ...

  20. Detection of Reduced Nitrogen Compounds at Rocknest Using the Sample Analysis At Mars (SAM) Instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Brunner, A.; Coll, P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D.; Jones, J. H.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected nitrogen-bearing compounds during the pyrolysis of Rocknest material at Gale Crater. Hydrogen cyanide and acetonitrile were identified by the quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) both in direct evolved gas analysis (EGA). SAM carried out four separate analyses from Rocknest Scoop 5. A significant low temperature release was present in Rocknest runs 1-4, while a smaller high temperature release was also seen in Rocknest runs 1-3. Here we evaluate whether these compounds are indigenous to Mars or a pyrolysis product resulting from known terrestrial materials that are part of the SAM derivatization.

  1. 6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Fluorocarbon Contamination from the Drill on the Mars Science Laboratory: Potential Science Impact on Detecting Martian Organics by Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigenbrode, J. L.; McAdam, A.; Franz, H.; Freissinet, C.; Bower, H.; Floyd, M.; Conrad, P.; Mahaffy, P.; Feldman, J.; Hurowitz, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or trade name: Teflon by Dupont Co.) has been detected in rocks drilled during terrestrial testing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) drilling hardware. The PTFE in sediments is a wear product of the seals used in the Drill Bit Assemblies (DBAs). It is expected that the drill assembly on the MSL flight model will also shed Teflon particles into drilled samples. One of the primary goals of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL is to test for the presence of martian organics in samples. Complications introduced by the potential presence of PTFE in drilled samples to the SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA or pyrolysisquadrupole mass spectrometry, pyr-QMS) and pyrolysis- gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Pyr- GCMS) experiments was investigated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  9. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

    This booklet describes the results of NASA's Viking spacecraft on Mars. It is intended to be useful for the teacher of basic courses in earth science, space science, astronomy, physics, or geology, but is also of interest to the well-informed layman. Topics include why we should study Mars, how the Viking spacecraft works, the winds of Mars, the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, C.; Buxner, S. R.

    2009-03-01

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

  12. Science Driven Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Fossils are not enough. We will want to determine if life on Mars was a separate genesis from life on Earth. For this determination we need to access intact martian life; possibly frozen in the deep old permafrost. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be the most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software Internal Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Justin D.; Lam, Danny

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team is sending the rover, Curiosity, to Mars, and therefore is physically and technically complex. During my stay, I have assisted the MSL Flight Software (FSW) team in implementing functional test scripts to ensure that the FSW performs to the best of its abilities. There are a large number of FSW requirements that have been written up for implementation; however I have only been assigned a few sections of these requirements. There are many stages within testing; one of the early stages is FSW Internal Testing (FIT). The FIT team can accomplish this with simulation software and the MSL Test Automation Kit (MTAK). MTAK has the ability to integrate with the Software Simulation Equipment (SSE) and the Mission Processing and Control System (MPCS) software which makes it a powerful tool within the MSL FSW development process. The MSL team must ensure that the rover accomplishes all stages of the mission successfully. Due to the natural complexity of this project there is a strong emphasis on testing, as failure is not an option. The entire mission could be jeopardized if something is overlooked.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  19. Introduction: The 6th special issue of Mars Polar Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sori, Michael M.; Brown, Adrian J.

    2018-07-01

    Polar science at Mars has the ability to elucidate outstanding problems in the planet's history. The long-lived, kilometers-thick deposits at both poles hold a climate record that is still being steadily deciphered (e.g., Becerra et al., 2017), seasonal volatiles are important drivers of geomorphological change (e.g., Pilorget and Forget, 2015), and there is a growing recognition that water ice at lower latitudes is an important piece of the story in understanding polar processes (e.g., Bramson et al., 2015). Additionally, the icy volatiles trapped in the mid-latitudes will be an important resource for future human explorers (e.g., Viola et al., 2015). One task of this generation of Martian polar explorers is to understand the evolution of water as it cycles through the polar and mid-latitudes on geologic timescales in anticipation of its eventual utilization by the next generation of human and robotic explorers. To address these and other topics, the 6th International Mars Polar Science Conference was held in September 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland (Smith et al., 2018). This special issue represents 16 papers presented at that conference.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. "Some curious drawings". Mars through Giovanni Schiaparelli's eyes: between science and fiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canadelli, Elena

    2009-01-01

    From the second half of the 19th century up to the first part of the 20th century the drawings of Mars by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli became the centre of an international controversy concerning the existence of canals and the hypothetical habitability of the red planet. These images also generated a full impact on the popular culture of the time. This essays follows the scientific representations of Mars by Schiaparelli (drawings of discs and maps) from their birth in the hands of the astronomy community up to their growing old in the hands of scientific popularizers such as Camille Flammarion and science fiction writers such as Herbert George Wells. With its seas and canyons Mars turned into the ideal background for scientific and exotic romanticism, offering a suitable setting for novels and tales. The core question crossed paths with the contemporary early 20th century debate raging on about the evolutionary theory. The study of Mars moved from astronomy to extraterrestrial physiology, biology, meteorology and geography: astronomical images then became imaginary portraits of Martians and artificial Martian landscapes.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Shidner, Jeremy D.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The instrumental blank of the Mars Science Laboratory alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2012-10-01

    The alpha particle X-ray spectrometers on the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity accomplished extensive elemental analysis of the Martian surface through a combination of XRF and PIXE. An advanced APXS is now part of the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover. APXS spectra contain contributions which enhance elemental peak areas but which do not arise from these elements within the sample under study, thereby introducing error into derived concentrations. A detailed examination of these effects in the MSL APXS enables us to test two schemes for making the necessary corrections.

  7. 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).

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. The Martian Goes To College: Open Inquiry with Science Fiction in the Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, L.; Patterson, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    Storytelling is an ancient art; one that can get lost in the reams of data available in a typical geology or astronomy classroom. But storytelling draws us to a magical place. Our students, with prior experience in either a geology or astronomy course, were invited to explore Mars in a special topics course at Johnson County Community College through reading The Martian by Andy Weir. As they traveled with astronaut Mark Watney, the students used Google Mars, Java Mission-planning and Analysis for Remote Sensing (JMARS), and learning modules from the Mars for Earthlings web site to investigate the terrain and the processes at work in the past and present on Mars. Our goal was to apply their understanding of processes on Earth in order to explain and predict what they observed on Mars courtesy of the remote sensing opportunities available from Viking, Pathfinder, the Mars Exploration Rovers, and Maven missions; sort of an inter-planetary uniformitarianism. Astronaut Mark Watney's fictional journey from Acidalia Planitia to Schiaparelli Crater was analyzed using learning modules in Mars for Earthlings and exercises that we developed based on Google Mars, JMARS, Rotating Sky Explorer, and Science Friday podcasts. Each student also completed an individual project that either focused on a particular region that Astronaut Mark Watney traveled through or a problem that he faced. Through this open-inquiry learning style, they determined some processes that shaped Mars such as crater impacts, volcanism, fluid flow, mass movement, and groundwater sapping and also investigated the efficacy of solar energy as a power source based on location and the likelihood of regolith potential as a mineral matter source for soil.

  13. Managing the Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Vacuum Test for Safety and Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jordan P.

    2010-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory is a NASA/JPL mission to send the next generation of rover to Mars. Originally slated for launch in 2009, development problems led to a delay in the project until the next launch opportunity in 2011. Amidst the delay process, the Launch/Cruise Solar Thermal Vacuum Test was undertaken as risk reduction for the project. With varying maturity and capabilities of the flight and ground systems, undertaking the test in a safe manner presented many challenges. This paper describes the technical and management challenges and the actions undertaken that led to the ultimate safe and successful execution of the test.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Interactive 3D Mars Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Implementing the Mars Science Laboratory Terminal Descent Sensor Field Test Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, James F.; Bodie, James H.; Brown, Joseph D.; Chen, Allen; Chen, Curtis W.; Essmiller, John C.; Fisher, Charles D.; Goldberg, Hannah R.; Lee, Steven W.; Shaffer, Scott J.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will deliver a 900 kg rover to the surface of Mars in August 2012. MSL will utilize a new pulse-Doppler landing radar, the Terminal Descent Sensor (TDS). The TDS employs six narrow-beam antennas to provide unprecedented slant range and velocity performance at Mars to enable soft touchdown of the MSL rover using a unique sky crane Entry, De-scent, and Landing (EDL) technique. Prior to use on MSL, the TDS was put through a rigorous verification and validation (V&V) process. A key element of this V&V was operating the TDS over a series of field tests, using flight-like profiles expected during the descent and landing of MSL over Mars-like terrain on Earth. Limits of TDS performance were characterized with additional testing meant to stress operational modes outside of the expected EDL flight profiles. The flight envelope over which the TDS must operate on Mars encompasses such a large range of altitudes and velocities that a variety of venues were neces-sary to cover the test space. These venues included an F/A-18 high performance aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350 AStar helicopter and 100-meter tall Echo Towers at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center. Testing was carried out over a five year period from July 2006 to June 2011. TDS performance was shown, in gen-eral, to be excellent over all venues. This paper describes the planning, design, and implementation of the field test campaign plus results and lessons learned.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. Filter Strategies for Mars Science Laboratory Orbit Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Paul F.; Gustafson, Eric D.; Kruizinga, Gerhard L.; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft had ambitious navigation delivery and knowledge accuracy requirements for landing inside Gale Crater. Confidence in the orbit determination (OD) solutions was increased by investigating numerous filter strategies for solving the orbit determination problem. We will discuss the strategy for the different types of variations: for example, data types, data weights, solar pressure model covariance, and estimating versus considering model parameters. This process generated a set of plausible OD solutions that were compared to the baseline OD strategy. Even implausible or unrealistic results were helpful in isolating sensitivities in the OD solutions to certain model parameterizations or data types.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. 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).

  5. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Köhler

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD, on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements. We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements. We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  6. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koehler, J.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Appel, J. [Kiel Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Experimental and Applied Physics; and others

    2016-04-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements.We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements.We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  7. Mars Colony: Using Role-Play as a Pedagogical Approach to Teaching Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolenc, Nathan; Wood, Aja; Soldan, Katie; Tai, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss role-play as a pedagogical strategy to engage kindergarten and first-grade students in science and engineering. They present a five-part Mars colony lesson that they developed for a blended class, during which students role-play a space-exploration story that enables them to gain a firsthand perspective of what…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, M. Daniel; Zurek, Richard W.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Science Planning Implementation and Challenges for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashman, Mike; Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro; Frew, David; Garcia Beteta, Juan Jose; Geiger, Bernhard; Metcalfe, Leo; Muñoz, Michela; Nespoli, Federico

    2018-05-01

    The ExoMars Science Operations Centre (SOC) is located at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Spain and is responsible for coordinating the science planning activities for TGO in order to optimize the scientific return of the mission. The SOC constructs, in accordance with Science Working Team (SWT) science priorities, and in coordination with the PI science teams and ESA's Mission Operations Centre (MOC), a plan of scientific observations and delivers conflict free operational products for uplink and execution on-board. To achieve this, the SOC employs a planning concept based on Long, Medium and Short Term planning cycles. Long Term planning covers mission segments of several months and is conducted many months prior to execution. Its goal is to establish a feasible science observation strategy given the science priorities and the expected mission profile. Medium Term planning covers a 1 month mission segment and is conducted from 3 to 2 months prior to execution whilst Short Term planning covers a 1 week segment and is conducted from 2 weeks to 1 week prior to execution. The goals of Medium and Short Term planning are to operationally instantiate and validate the Long Term plan such that the SOC may deliver to MOC a conflict free spacecraft pointing profile request (a Medium Term planning deliverable), and the final instrument telecommanding products (a Short Term planning deliverable) such that the science plan is achieved and all operational constraints are met. With a 2 hour-400km science orbit, the vast number of solar occultation, nadir measurement, and surface imaging opportunities, combined with additional mission constraints such as the necessary provision of TGO communication slots to support the ExoMars 2020 Rover & Surface Platform mission and NASA surface assets, creates a science planning task of considerable magnitude and complexity. In this paper, we detail how the SOC is developing and implementing the necessary planning

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. Mars Rover Curriculum: Teacher Self Reporting of Increased Frequency and Confidence in their Science and Language Arts Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    The University of Houston is in the process of developing a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model Mars rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration (MRC). It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. A total of 65 Mars Rover teachers from the 2012-2013 cohort were invited to complete the Mars Rover Teacher Evaluation Survey. The survey was administered online and could be taken at the convenience of the participant. In total, 29 teachers participated in the survey. Teachers were asked to rate their current level of confidence in their ability to teach specific topics within the Earth and Life Science realms, as well as their confidence in their ability to implement teaching strategies with their students. In addition, they were asked to rate the degree to which they felt their confidence increased in the past year as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The majority of teachers (81-90%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively teach concepts related to earth and life sciences to their students. In addition, many of the teachers felt that their confidence in teaching these concepts increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their participation in the MRC program (54-88%). The most striking increase in this area was the reported 48% of teachers who felt their confidence in teaching 'Earth and the solar system and universe' increased 'Quite a bit' as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The vast majority of teachers (86-100%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively implement all of the listed teaching strategies. In addition, the vast majority reported believing that their confidence increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. "Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory", Köhler et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jack

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft carried the Curiosity rover to Mars. While the dramatic, successful landing of Curiosity and its subsequent exploration of the Martian surface have justifiably generated great excitement, from the standpoint of the health of crewmembers on missions to Mars, knowledge of the environment between Earth and Mars is critical. This paper reports data taken during the cruise phase of the MSL by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). The results are of great interest for several reasons. They are a direct measurement of the radiation environment during what will be a significant fraction of the duration of a proposed human mission to Mars; they were made behind the de facto shielding provided by various spacecraft components; and, in particular, they are a measurement of the contribution to radiation dose by neutrons. The neutron environment inside spacecraft is produced primarily by galactic cosmic ray ions interacting in shielding materials, and given the high biological effectiveness of neutrons and the increased contribution of neutrons to dose with increased depth in shielding, accurate knowledge of the neutron energy spectrum behind shielding is vital. The results show a relatively modest contribution from neutrons and gammas compared to that from charged particles, but also a discrepancy in both dose and dose rate between the data and simulations. The failure of the calculations to accurately reproduce the data is significant, given that future manned spacecraft will be more heavily shielded (and thus produce more secondary neutrons) and that spacecraft design will rely on simulations and model calculations of radiation transport. The methodology of risk estimation continues to evolve, and incorporates our knowledge of both the physical and biological effects of radiation. The relatively large uncertainties in the biological data, and the difficulties in reducing those uncertainties, makes it all the more important to

  2. Mars Mission Concepts: SAR and Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathers, Naomi; Pakakis, Michael; Christie, Ian

    2011-09-01

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

  4. EUSO-BALLOON a pathfinder for detecting UHECR's from the edge of space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scotti V.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available EUSO-Balloon has been conceived as a pathfinder mission for JEM-EUSO, to perform an end-to-end test of the subsystems and components, and to prove the global detection chain while improving our knowledge of the atmospheric and terrestrial UV background. Through a series of stratospheric balloon flights performed by the French Space Agency CNES, EUSO-BALLOON will serve as an evolutive test-bench for all the key technologies of JEM-EUSO. EUSO-Balloon also has the potential to detect Extensive Air Showers from above, marking a key milestone in the development of UHECR science, and paving the way for any future large scale, space-based UHECR observatory.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software Boot Robustness Testing Project Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Brian

    2011-01-01

    On the surface of Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory will boot up its flight computers every morning, having charged the batteries through the night. This boot process is complicated, critical, and affected by numerous hardware states that can be difficult to test. The hardware test beds do not facilitate testing a long duration of back-to-back unmanned automated tests, and although the software simulation has provided the necessary functionality and fidelity for this boot testing, there has not been support for the full flexibility necessary for this task. Therefore to perform this testing a framework has been build around the software simulation that supports running automated tests loading a variety of starting configurations for software and hardware states. This implementation has been tested against the nominal cases to validate the methodology, and support for configuring off-nominal cases is ongoing. The implication of this testing is that the introduction of input configurations that have yet proved difficult to test may reveal boot scenarios worth higher fidelity investigation, and in other cases increase confidence in the robustness of the flight software boot process.

  8. Aerothermodynamic Environments Definition for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry Capsule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edquist, Karl T.; Dyakonov, Artem A.; Wright, Michael J.; Tang, Chun Y.

    2007-01-01

    An overview of the aerothermodynamic environments definition status is presented for the Mars Science Laboratory entry vehicle. The environments are based on Navier-Stokes flowfield simulations on a candidate aeroshell geometry and worst-case entry heating trajectories. Uncertainties for the flowfield predictions are based primarily on available ground data since Mars flight data are scarce. The forebody aerothermodynamics analysis focuses on boundary layer transition and turbulent heating augmentation. Turbulent transition is expected prior to peak heating, a first for Mars entry, resulting in augmented heat flux and shear stress at the same heatshield location. Afterbody computations are also shown with and without interference effects of reaction control system thruster plumes. Including uncertainties, analysis predicts that the heatshield may experience peaks of 225 W/sq cm for turbulent heat flux, 0.32 atm for stagnation pressure, and 400 Pa for turbulent shear stress. The afterbody heat flux without thruster plume interference is predicted to be 7 W/sq cm on the backshell and 10 W/sq cm on the parachute cover. If the reaction control jets are fired near peak dynamic pressure, the heat flux at localized areas could reach as high as 76 W/sq cm on the backshell and 38 W/sq cm on the parachute cover, including uncertainties. The final flight environments used for hardware design will be updated for any changes in the aeroshell configuration, heating design trajectories, or uncertainties.

  9. 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.

  10. LISA Pathfinder and eLISA news

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, James Ira; Mueller, Guido

    2014-01-01

    Two important gatherings of the space-based gravitational-wave detector community were held in Zurich, Switzerland this past March. The first was a meeting of the Science Working Team for LISA Pathfinder (LPF), a dedicated technology demonstrator mission for a future LISA-like gravitational wave observatory. LPF is entering an extremely exciting phase with launch less than 15 months away. All flight components for both the European science payload, known as the LISA Technology Package (LTP), and the NASA science payload, known as the Space Technology 7 Disturbance Reduction System (ST7-DRS), have been delivered and are undergoing integration. The final flight component for the spacecraft bus, a cold-gas thruster based on the successful GAIA design, will be delivered later this year. Current focus is on completing integration of the science payload (see Figures 1 and 2) and preparation for operations and data analysis. After a launch in Summer 2015, LPF will take approximately 90 days to reach its operational orbit around the Earth-Sun Lagrange point (L1), where it will begin science operations. After 90 days of LTP operations followed by 90 days of DRS operations, LPF will have completed its prime mission of paving the way for a space-based observatory of gravitational waves in the milliHertz band. Immediately following the meeting of the LPF team, the eLISA consortium held its third progress meeting. The consortium (www.elisascience.org) is the organizing body of the European space-based gravitational-wave community, and it was responsible for the "The Gravitational Universe" whitepaper that resulted in the November 2013 election of a gravitational-wave science theme for ESA's Cosmic Visions L3 opportunity. In preparation for an L3 mission concept call, which is expected later this decade, and for launch in the mid 2030s, the eLISA consortium members are coordinating technology development and mission study activities which will build on the LPF results. The final

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Mars science laboratory radiation assessment detector (MSL/RAD) modeling workshop proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Norbury, John W.; Reitz, Günther

    2017-08-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) (Hassler et al., 2012; Zeitlin et al., 2016) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover (Grotzinger et al., 2012) is a sophisticated charged and neutral particle radiation analyzer developed by an international team of scientists and engineers from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado as the leading institution, the University of Kiel and the German Aerospace Center in Cologne, Germany. RAD is a compact, powerful instrument capable of distinguishing between ionizing particles and neutral particles and providing neutron, gamma, and charged particle spectra from protons to iron as well as absorbed dose measurements in tissue-equivalent material. During the 6 month cruise to Mars, inside the MSL spacecraft, RAD served as a proxy to validate models of the radiation levels expected inside a spacecraft that future astronauts might experience (Zeitlin et al., 2013). RAD was turned on one day after the landing on August 7, 2012, exactly 100 years to the day after the discovery of cosmic rays on Earth by Victor Hess. These measurements are the first of their kind on the surface of another planet (Hassler et al., 2014), and the radiation data collected by RAD on the surface of Mars will inform projections of crew health risks and the design of protective surface habitats and other countermeasures for future human missions in the coming decades.

  16. 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...

  17. Automated Scheduling of Personnel to Staff Operations for the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Russell; Mishkin, Andrew; Allbaugh, Alicia

    2014-01-01

    Leveraging previous work on scheduling personnel for space mission operations, we have adapted ASPEN (Activity Scheduling and Planning Environment) [1] to the domain of scheduling personnel for operations of the Mars Science Laboratory. Automated scheduling of personnel is not new. We compare our representations to a sampling of employee scheduling systems available with respect to desired features. We described the constraints required by MSL personnel schedulers and how each is handled by the scheduling algorithm.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Direct-to-Earth Communications with Mars Science Laboratory During Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Melissa; Finley, Susan; Fort, David; Schratz, Brian; Ilott, Peter; Mukai, Ryan; Estabrook, Polly; Oudrhiri, Kamal; Kahan, Daniel; Satorius, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) undergoes extreme heating and acceleration during Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) on Mars. Unknown dynamics lead to large Doppler shifts, making communication challenging. During EDL, a special form of Multiple Frequency Shift Keying (MFSK) communication is used for Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communication. The X-band signal is received by the Deep Space Network (DSN) at the Canberra Deep Space Communication complex, then down-converted, digitized, and recorded by open-loop Radio Science Receivers (RSR), and decoded in real-time by the EDL Data Analysis (EDA) System. The EDA uses lock states with configurable Fast Fourier Transforms to acquire and track the signal. RSR configuration and channel allocation is shown. Testing prior to EDL is discussed including software simulations, test bed runs with MSL flight hardware, and the in-flight end-to-end test. EDA configuration parameters and signal dynamics during pre-entry, entry, and parachute deployment are analyzed. RSR and EDA performance during MSL EDL is evaluated, including performance using a single 70-meter DSN antenna and an array of two 34-meter DSN antennas as a back up to the 70-meter antenna.

  1. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    We report on the MARS2013 mission, a 4-week Mars analog field test in the northern Sahara. Nineteen experiments were conducted by a field crew in Morocco under simulated martian surface exploration conditions, supervised by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for the management of a complex system of field assets; two advanced space suit simulators, four robotic vehicles, an emergency shelter, and a stationary sensor platform in a realistic work flow were coordinated by a Flight Control Team. A dedicated flight planning group, external control centers for rover tele-operations, and a biomedical monitoring team supported the field operations. A 10 min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. The fields of research for the experiments were geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, in particular the communication infrastructure emulating the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. We report on the operational work flows and the experiments conducted, including a deployable shelter prototype for multiple-day extravehicular activities and contingency situations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Asymptotic Parachute Performance Sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  13. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M; Westall, Frances

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Mars Target Encyclopedia: Information Extraction for Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagstaff, K. L.; Francis, R.; Gowda, T.; Lu, Y.; Riloff, E.; Singh, K.

    2017-06-01

    Mars surface targets / and published compositions / Seek and ye will find. We used text mining methods to extract information from LPSC abstracts about the composition of Mars surface targets. Users can search by element, mineral, or target.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Touring Mars Online, Real-time, in 3D for Math and Science Educators and Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Greg; Kalinowski, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses a project that placed over 97% of Mars' topography made available from NASA into an interactive 3D multi-user online learning environment beginning in 2003. In 2005 curriculum materials that were created to support middle school math and science education were developed. Research conducted at the University of North Texas…

  18. Mars Science Laboratory Differential Restraint: The Devil is in the Details

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Differential Restraint, a mechanism used on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover to maintain symmetry of the mobility system during the launch, cruise, and entry descent and landing phases of the MSL mission, completed nearly three full design cycles before a finalized successful design was achieved. This paper address the lessons learned through these design cycles, including three major design elements that can easily be overlooked during the design process, including, tolerance stack contribution to load path, the possibility of Martian dirt as a failure mode, and the effects of material properties at temperature extremes.

  19. Pumped Fluid Loop Heat Rejection and Recovery Systems for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Prina, Mauro; Ramirez, Brenda; Paris, Anthony; Novak, Keith; Pauken, Michael

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the heat rejection and heat recovery system for thermal control of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The MSL mission will use mechanically pumped fluid loop based architecture for thermal control of the spacecraft and rover. The architecture is designed to harness waste heat from an Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermo-electric Generator (MMRTG) during Mars surface operations for thermal control during cold conditions and also reject heat during the cruise aspect of the mission. There are several test that are being conducted that will insure the safety of this concept. This architecture can be used during any future interplanetary missions utilizing radioisotope power systems for power generation.

  20. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs" included the following:Physical Meaning of the Hapke Parameter for Macroscopic Roughness: Experimental Determination for Planetary Regolith Surface Analogs and Numerical Approach; Near-Infrared Spectra of Martian Pyroxene Separates: First Results from Mars Spectroscopy Consortium; Anomalous Spectra of High-Ca Pyroxenes: Correlation Between Ir and M ssbauer Patterns; THEMIS-IR Emissivity Spectrum of a Large Dark Streak near Olympus Mons; Geomorphologic/Thermophysical Mapping of the Athabasca Region, Mars, Using THEMIS Infrared Imaging; Mars Thermal Inertia from THEMIS Data; Multispectral Analysis Methods for Mapping Aqueous Mineral Depostis in Proposed Paleolake Basins on Mars Using THEMIS Data; Joint Analysis of Mars Odyssey THEMIS Visible and Infrared Images: A Magic Airbrush for Qualitative and Quantitative Morphology; Analysis of Mars Thermal Emission Spectrometer Data Using Large Mineral Reference Libraries ; Negative Abundance : A Problem in Compositional Modeling of Hyperspectral Images; Mars-LAB: First Remote Sensing Data of Mineralogy Exposed at Small Mars-Analog Craters, Nevada Test Site; A Tool for the 2003 Rover Mini-TES: Downwelling Radiance Compensation Using Integrated Line-Sight Sky Measurements; Learning About Mars Geology Using Thermal Infrared Spectral Imaging: Orbiter and Rover Perspectives; Classifying Terrestrial Volcanic Alteration Processes and Defining Alteration Processes they Represent on Mars; Cemented Volcanic Soils, Martian Spectra and Implications for the Martian Climate; Palagonitic Mars: A Basalt Centric View of Surface Composition and Aqueous Alteration; Combining a Non Linear Unmixing Model and the Tetracorder Algorithm: Application to the ISM Dataset; Spectral Reflectance Properties of Some Basaltic Weathering Products; Morphometric LIDAR Analysis of Amboy Crater, California: Application to MOLA Analysis of Analog Features on Mars; Airborne Radar Study of Soil Moisture at

  1. Journal of Earth System Science | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Earth System Science; Volume 109; Issue 4. Volume 109, Issue 4. December 2000, pages 393-551. pp 393-394. Editorial · V K Gaur · More Details Fulltext PDF. pp 395-405. Analysis of pathfinder SST algorithm for global and regional conditions · Ajoy Kumar P Minnett G Podesta R Evans K ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coradini, M.; Russo, A.

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Ionospheric Electron Densities at Mars: Comparison of Mars Express Ionospheric Sounding and MAVEN Local Measurement

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Němec, F.; Morgan, D. D.; Fowler, C.M.; Kopf, A.J.; Andersson, L.; Gurnett, D. A.; Andrews, D.J.; Truhlík, Vladimír

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 122, č. 12 (2017), s. 12393-12405 E-ISSN 2169-9402 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : Mars * ionosphere * MARSIS * Mars Express * MAVEN * radar sounding Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics OBOR OECD: Astronomy (including astrophysics,space science) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017JA024629/full

  8. Recalibration of the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam instrument with an expanded geochemical database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan; Forni, Olivier; Frydenvang, Jens; Lasue, Jeremie; Cousin, Agnes; Payre, Valerie; Boucher, Tommy; Dyar, M. Darby; McLennan, Scott M.; Morris, Richard V.; Graff, Trevor G.; Mertzman, Stanley A; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Belgacem, Ines; Newsom, Horton E.; Clark, Ben C.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; McInroy, Rhonda E.; Martinez, Ronald; Gasda, Patrick J.; Gasnault, Olivier; Maurice, Sylvestre

    2017-01-01

    The ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has obtained > 300,000 spectra of rock and soil analysis targets since landing at Gale Crater in 2012, and the spectra represent perhaps the largest publicly-available LIBS datasets. The compositions of the major elements, reported as oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O), have been re-calibrated using a laboratory LIBS instrument, Mars-like atmospheric conditions, and a much larger set of standards (408) that span a wider compositional range than previously employed. The new calibration uses a combination of partial least squares (PLS1) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) algorithms, together with a calibration transfer matrix to minimize differences between the conditions under which the standards were analyzed in the laboratory and the conditions on Mars. While the previous model provided good results in the compositional range near the average Mars surface composition, the new model fits the extreme compositions far better. Examples are given for plagioclase feldspars, where silicon was significantly over-estimated by the previous model, and for calcium-sulfate veins, where silicon compositions near zero were inaccurate. The uncertainties of major element abundances are described as a function of the abundances, and are overall significantly lower than the previous model, enabling important new geochemical interpretations of the data.

  9. X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Treiman, A. H.; Sarrazin, P.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Achilles, C. N.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Crisp, J. A.; Morookian, J. M.; Farmer, J. D.; Rampe, E. B.; Stolper, E. M.; Spanovich, N.; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Verdasca, José Alexandre Alves; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Sushil; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F.; Avalos, Juan J. Blanco; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John "Iain"; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Carmosino, Marco; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie "Kenzie"; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; García, César Martín; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; Nachon, Marion; López, Sara Navarro; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel "Dan"; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Steele, Andrew; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Webster, Chris; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B. "Mouser"; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano

    2013-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity scooped samples of soil from the Rocknest aeolian bedform in Gale crater. Analysis of the soil with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument revealed plagioclase (~An57), forsteritic olivine (~Fo62), augite, and pigeonite, with minor K-feldspar, magnetite, quartz, anhydrite, hematite, and ilmenite. The minor phases are present at, or near, detection limits. The soil also contains 27 ± 14 weight percent x-ray amorphous material, likely containing multiple Fe3+- and volatile-bearing phases, including possibly a substance resembling hisingerite. The crystalline component is similar to the normative mineralogy of certain basaltic rocks from Gusev crater on Mars and of martian basaltic meteorites. The amorphous component is similar to that found on Earth in places such as soils on the Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. LISA Pathfinder E2E performance simulation: optical and self-gravity stability analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, N.; Fichter, W.; Kersten, M.; Lucarelli, S.; Montemurro, F.

    2005-05-01

    End-to-end (E2E) modelling and simulation, i.e. verifying the science performance of LISA Pathfinder (spacecraft and payload), is mandatory in order to minimize mission risks. In this paper, focus is on two particular applications of the E2E performance simulator currently being developed at EADS Astrium GmbH: the opto-dynamical stability and the self-gravity disturbance stability analysis. The E2E models applied here comprise the opto-dynamical modelling of the optical metrology systems (OMS) laser interferometry, the thermo-elastic distortion modelling of the OMS optical elements and the self-gravity disturbance model accounting for structural distortions. Preliminary analysis results are presented in detail, identifying shortcomings of the current LISA technology package (LTP) mounting baseline. As a consequence, the design is now being revised.

  13. LISA Pathfinder E2E performance simulation: optical and self-gravity stability analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, N; Fichter, W; Kersten, M; Lucarelli, S; Montemurro, F

    2005-01-01

    End-to-end (E2E) modelling and simulation, i.e. verifying the science performance of LISA Pathfinder (spacecraft and payload), is mandatory in order to minimize mission risks. In this paper, focus is on two particular applications of the E2E performance simulator currently being developed at EADS Astrium GmbH: the opto-dynamical stability and the self-gravity disturbance stability analysis. The E2E models applied here comprise the opto-dynamical modelling of the optical metrology systems (OMS) laser interferometry, the thermo-elastic distortion modelling of the OMS optical elements and the self-gravity disturbance model accounting for structural distortions. Preliminary analysis results are presented in detail, identifying shortcomings of the current LISA technology package (LTP) mounting baseline. As a consequence, the design is now being revised

  14. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Best View from Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after midnight Sunday morning (5 April 1998 12:39 AM PST), the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft successfully acquired a high resolution image of the 'Face on Mars' feature in the Cydonia region. The image was transmitted to Earth on Sunday, and retrieved from the mission computer data base Monday morning (6 April 1998). The image was processed at the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) facility 9:15 AM and the raw image immediately transferred to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for release to the Internet. The images shown here were subsequently processed at MSSS.The picture was acquired 375 seconds after the spacecraft's 220th close approach to Mars. At that time, the 'Face', located at approximately 40.8o N, 9.6o W, was 275 miles (444 km) from the spacecraft. The 'morning' sun was 25o above the horizon. The picture has a resolution of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) per pixel, making it ten times higher resolution than the best previous image of the feature, which was taken by the Viking Mission in the mid-1970's. The full image covers an area 2.7 miles (4.4 km) wide and 25.7 miles (41.5 km) long.This Viking Orbiter image is one of the best Viking pictures of the area Cydonia where the 'Face' is located. Marked on the image are the 'footprint' of the high resolution (narrow angle) Mars Orbiter Camera image and the area seen in enlarged views (dashed box). See PIA01440-1442 for these images in raw and processed form.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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Pressure Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kemppinen, Osku; Genzer, Maria; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Haberle, Robert M.; Schmidt, Walter; Savijärvi, Hannu; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Rafkin, Scott; Polkko, Jouni; Richardson, Mark; Newman, Claire; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Martín-Torres, Javier; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Kauhanen, Janne; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS pressure observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS pressure device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on silicon micro-machined capacitive pressure sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The pressure device makes use of two transducer electronics sections placed on a single multi-layer PCB inside the REMS Instrument Control Unit (ICU) with a filter-protected ventilation inlet to the ambient atmosphere. The absolute accuracy of the pressure device (< 3 Pa) and zero-drift (< 1 Pa/year) enables the investigations of long term and seasonal cycles of the Martian atmosphere. The relative accuracy, or repeatability, in the diurnal time scale is < 1.5 Pa, less than 2 % of the observed diurnal pressure variation at the landing site. The pressure device has special sensors with very high precision (less than 0.2 Pa) that makes it a good tool to study short-term atmospheric phenomena, e.g., dust devils and other convective vortices. The observed MSL pressure data enable us to study both the long term and short-term phenomena of the Martian atmosphere. This would add knowledge of these phenomena to that gathered by earlier Mars missions and modeling experiments [2,3]. Pressure observations are revealing new information on the local atmosphere and climate at Gale crater, and will shed light on the mesoscale and micrometeorological phenomena. Pressure observations show also

  18. Detection Limit of Smectite by Chemin IV Laboratory Instrument: Preliminary Implications for Chemin on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archilles, Cherie; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Blake, D. F.

    2011-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is an miniature X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument capable of detecting the mineralogical and elemental compositions of rocks, outcrops and soils on the surface of Mars. CheMin uses a microfocus-source Co X-ray tube, a transmission sample cell, and an energy-discriminating X-ray sensitive CCD to produce simultaneous 2-D XRD patterns and energy-dispersive X-ray histograms from powdered samples. CRISM and OMEGA have identified the presence of phyllosilicates at several locations on Mars including the four candidate MSL landing sites. The objective of this study was to conduct preliminary studies to determine the CheMin detection limit of smectite in a smectite/olivine mixed mineral system.

  19. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman Fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples. The SHERLOC instrument requires a calibration target which is being designed and fabricated at JSC as part of our continued science participation in Mars robotic missions. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

  1. Russian contribution to the ExoMars project

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Regina M.; Pellis, Neal R.

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Mineralogical Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David Frederick.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's CheMin instrument, the first X-ray Diffractometer flown in space, has been operating on Mars for nearly five years. CheMin was first to establish the quantitative mineralogy of the Mars global soil (1). The instrument was next used to determine the mineralogy of a 3.7 billion year old lacustrine mudstone, a result that, together with findings from other instruments on the MSL Curiosity rover, documented the first habitable environment found on another planet (2). The mineralogy of this mudstone from an ancient playa lake was also used to derive the maximum concentration of CO2 in the early Mars atmosphere, a surprisingly low value that calls into question the current theory that CO2 greenhouse warming was responsible for the warm and wet environment of early Mars. CheMin later identified the mineral tridymite, indicative of silica-rich volcanism, in mudstones of the Murray formation on Mt. Sharp. This discovery challenges the paradigm of Mars as a basaltic planet and ushers in a new chapter of comparative terrestrial planetology (3). CheMin is now being used to systematically sample the sedimentary layers that comprise the lower strata of Mt. Sharp, a 5,000 meter sequence of sedimentary rock laid down in what was once a crater lake, characterizing isochemical sediments that through their changing mineralogy, document the oxidation and drying out of the Mars in early Hesperian time.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dannenberg, K.

    2018-04-01

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

  6. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. HEAT OF MARS IS LOVE OF LIFE?! TWO WAYS TO LOOK AT MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Alavipanah

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  9. Heat of Mars is Love of LIFE?! Two Ways to Look at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavipanah, S. K.; Van Gasselt, S.; Mulder, N. J.; Nezammahalleh, M. A.

    2013-09-01

    Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a) the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b) the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Miller, K. E.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Summons, R. E.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Archer, P. D.; Franz, H. B.; Atreya, S. K.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Fairén, A. G.; François, P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kashyap, S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Leshin, L. A.; Malespin, C. A.; Martin, M. G.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mcadam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Prats, B. D.; Squyres, S. W.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Zorzano, M. P.

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is designed to conduct inorganic and organic chemical analyses of the atmosphere and the surface regolith and rocks to help evaluate the past and present habitability potential of Mars at Gale Crater.

  14. In Situ Analysis of Martian Phyllosilicates Using the Chemin Minerological Instrument on Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2008-01-01

    The CheMin minerological instrument on Mars Science Laboratory (MSL'09) [1] will return quantitive Xray diffraction data (XRD) and quantative X-ray fluorescence data (XRF;14Mars surface. Samples of 45-65 mm 3 from material sieved to less than 150 micrometers will be delivered through a funnel to one of 27 reusable sample cells (five additional cells on the sample wheel contain diffraction of fluorescence standards). Sample cells are 8-mm diamater discs with 7-micrometer thick Mylar or Kapton windows spaced 170 micrometers apart. Within this volume, the sample is shaken by piezoelectric vibration at sonic frequencies, causing the powder to flow past a narrow, collimated -ray beam in random orientation can be obtained even from minnerals exhibiting strong preferred orientation such as phylosilicates.

  15. 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)

  16. Automatic Detection of Changes on Mars Surface from High-Resolution Orbital Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2017-04-01

    Over the last 40 years Mars has been extensively mapped by several NASA and ESA orbital missions, generating a large image dataset comprised of approximately 500,000 high-resolution images (of citizen science can be employed for training and verification it is unsuitable for planetwide systematic change detection. In this work, we introduce a novel approach in planetary image change detection, which involves a batch-mode automatic change detection pipeline that identifies regions that have changed. This is tested in anger, on tens of thousands of high-resolution images over the MC11 quadrangle [5], acquired by CTX, HRSC, THEMIS-VIS and MOC-NA instruments [1]. We will present results which indicate a substantial level of activity in this region of Mars, including instances of dynamic natural phenomena that haven't been cataloged in the planetary science literature before. We will demonstrate the potential and usefulness of such an automatic approach in planetary science change detection. Acknowledgments: The research leading to these results has received funding from the STFC "MSSL Consolidated Grant" ST/K000977/1 and partial support from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under iMars grant agreement n° 607379. References: [1] P. Sidiropoulos and J. - P. Muller (2015) On the status of orbital high-resolution repeat imaging of Mars for the observation of dynamic surface processes. Planetary and Space Science, 117: 207-222. [2] O. Aharonson, et al. (2003) Slope streak formation and dust deposition rates on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 108(E12):5138 [3] A. McEwen, et al. (2011) Seasonal flows on warm martian slopes. Science, 333 (6043): 740-743. [4] S. Byrne, et al. (2009) Distribution of mid-latitude ground ice on mars from new impact craters. Science, 325(5948):1674-1676. [5] K. Gwinner, et al (2016) The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of Mars Express and its approach to science analysis and mapping for Mars and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  19. Tales from the Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Protection System Development (or, Try Not to Panic When Your Heatshield Material Disappears)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Helen H.

    2018-01-01

    In 2012, the entry vehicle for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission was the largest and heaviest vehicle flown to another planet, designed to be able to withstand the largest heat fluxes in the Martian atmosphere ever attempted. The heatshield material that had been successfully used for all previous Mars missions had been baselined in the design, but during the development and qualification testing demonstrated catastrophic and unexplained failures. With only 10 months remaining before the original launch date, the TPS team led by NASA Ames designed and implemented a first-ever tiled, ablative heatshield. Highlights from MSL of the testing difficulties and innovations required to execute a new heatshield design will be presented, along with a sneak peak of the Mars 2020 mission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Tactile Earth and Space Science Materials for Students with Visual Impairments: Contours, Craters, Asteroids, and Features of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule, Audrey C.

    2011-01-01

    New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation=revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented…

  2. Space Shuttle 750 psi Helium Regulator Application on Mars Science Laboratory Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizukami, Masashi; Yankura, George; Rust, Thomas; Anderson, John R.; Dien, Anthony; Garda, Hoshang; Bezer, Mary Ann; Johnson, David; Arndt, Scott

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is NASA's next major mission to Mars, to be launched in September 2009. It is a nuclear powered rover designed for a long duration mission, with an extensive suite of science instruments. The descent and landing uses a unique 'skycrane' concept, where a rocket-powered descent stage decelerates the vehicle, hovers over the ground, lowers the rover to the ground on a bridle, then flies a safe distance away for disposal. This descent stage uses a regulated hydrazine propulsion system. Performance requirements for the pressure regulator were very demanding, with a wide range of flow rates and tight regulated pressure band. These indicated that a piloted regulator would be needed, which are notoriously complex, and time available for development was short. Coincidentally, it was found that the helium regulator used in the Space Shuttle Orbiter main propulsion system came very close to meeting MSL requirements. However, the type was out of production, and fabricating new units would incur long lead times and technical risk. Therefore, the Space Shuttle program graciously furnished three units for use by MSL. Minor modifications were made, and the units were carefully tuned to MSL requirements. Some of the personnel involved had built and tested the original shuttle units. Delta qualification for MSL application was successfully conducted on one of the units. A pyrovalve slam start and shock test was conducted. Dynamic performance analyses for the new application were conducted, using sophisticated tools developed for Shuttle. Because the MSL regulator is a refurbished Shuttle flight regulator, it will be the only part of MSL which has physically already been in space.

  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. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  5. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of Mars Express and its approach to science analysis and mapping for Mars and its satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwinner, K.; Jaumann, R.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Heipke, C.; Oberst, J.; Neukum, G.; Ansan, V.; Bostelmann, J.; Dumke, A.; Elgner, S.; Erkeling, G.; Fueten, F.; Hiesinger, H.; Hoekzema, N. M.; Kersten, E.; Loizeau, D.; Matz, K.-D.; McGuire, P. C.; Mertens, V.; Michael, G.; Pasewaldt, A.; Pinet, P.; Preusker, F.; Reiss, D.; Roatsch, T.; Schmidt, R.; Scholten, F.; Spiegel, M.; Stesky, R.; Tirsch, D.; van Gasselt, S.; Walter, S.; Wählisch, M.; Willner, K.

    2016-07-01

    The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of ESA's Mars Express is designed to map and investigate the topography of Mars. The camera, in particular its Super Resolution Channel (SRC), also obtains images of Phobos and Deimos on a regular basis. As HRSC is a push broom scanning instrument with nine CCD line detectors mounted in parallel, its unique feature is the ability to obtain along-track stereo images and four colors during a single orbital pass. The sub-pixel accuracy of 3D points derived from stereo analysis allows producing DTMs with grid size of up to 50 m and height accuracy on the order of one image ground pixel and better, as well as corresponding orthoimages. Such data products have been produced systematically for approximately 40% of the surface of Mars so far, while global shape models and a near-global orthoimage mosaic could be produced for Phobos. HRSC is also unique because it bridges between laser altimetry and topography data derived from other stereo imaging instruments, and provides geodetic reference data and geological context to a variety of non-stereo datasets. This paper, in addition to an overview of the status and evolution of the experiment, provides a review of relevant methods applied for 3D reconstruction and mapping, and respective achievements. We will also review the methodology of specific approaches to science analysis based on joint analysis of DTM and orthoimage information, or benefitting from high accuracy of co-registration between multiple datasets, such as studies using multi-temporal or multi-angular observations, from the fields of geomorphology, structural geology, compositional mapping, and atmospheric science. Related exemplary results from analysis of HRSC data will be discussed. After 10 years of operation, HRSC covered about 70% of the surface by panchromatic images at 10-20 m/pixel, and about 97% at better than 100 m/pixel. As the areas with contiguous coverage by stereo data are increasingly abundant, we also

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Innovations in Delta Differential One-Way Range: from Viking to Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Border, James S.

    2009-01-01

    The Deep Space Network has provided the capability for very-long-baseline interferometry measurements in support of spacecraft navigation since the late 1970s. Both system implementation and the importance of such measurements to flight projects have evolved significantly over the past three decades. Innovations introduced through research and development programs have led to much better performance. This paper provides an overview of the development and use of interferometric tracking techniques in the DSN starting with the Viking era and continuing with a description of the current system and its planned use to support Mars Science Laboratory.

  9. Search for life on Mars in surface samples: Lessons from the 1999 Marsokhod rover field experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.; Bishop, J.L.; Cockell, C.; Roush, T.L.; Johnson, J. R.

    2001-01-01

    The Marsokhod 1999 field experiment in the Mojave Desert included a simulation of a rover-based sample selection mission. As part of this mission, a test was made of strategies and analytical techniques for identifying past or present life in environments expected to be present on Mars. A combination of visual clues from high-resolution images and the detection of an important biomolecule (chlorophyll) with visible/near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy led to the successful identification of a rock with evidence of cryptoendolithic organisms. The sample was identified in high-resolution images (3 times the resolution of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder camera) on the basis of a green tinge and textural information suggesting the presence of a thin, partially missing exfoliating layer revealing the organisms. The presence of chlorophyll bands in similar samples was observed in visible/NIR spectra of samples in the field and later confirmed in the laboratory using the same spectrometer. Raman spectroscopy in the laboratory, simulating a remote measurement technique, also detected evidence of carotenoids in samples from the same area. Laboratory analysis confirmed that the subsurface layer of the rock is inhabited by a community of coccoid Chroococcidioposis cyanobacteria. The identification of minerals in the field, including carbonates and serpentine, that are associated with aqueous processes was also demonstrated using the visible/NIR spectrometer. Other lessons learned that are applicable to future rover missions include the benefits of web-based programs for target selection and for daily mission planning and the need for involvement of the science team in optimizing image compression schemes based on the retention of visual signature characteristics. Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.

  10. Astrobiology and the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mast cameras and Descent imager: Investigation and instrument descriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, Michal C.; Ravine, Michael A.; Caplinger, Michael A.; Tony Ghaemi, F.; Schaffner, Jacob A.; Maki, Justin N.; Bell, James F.; Cameron, James F.; Dietrich, William E.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Garvin, James B.; Hallet, Bernard; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Heydari, Ezat; Kah, Linda C.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Olson, Timothy S.; Parker, Timothy J.; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Sletten, Ron; Sullivan, Robert J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Aileen Yingst, R.; Duston, Brian M.; McNair, Sean; Jensen, Elsa H.

    2017-08-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Mast camera and Descent Imager investigations were designed, built, and operated by Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego, CA. They share common electronics and focal plane designs but have different optics. There are two Mastcams of dissimilar focal length. The Mastcam-34 has an f/8, 34 mm focal length lens, and the M-100 an f/10, 100 mm focal length lens. The M-34 field of view is about 20° × 15° with an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 218 μrad; the M-100 field of view (FOV) is 6.8° × 5.1° with an IFOV of 74 μrad. The M-34 can focus from 0.5 m to infinity, and the M-100 from 1.6 m to infinity. All three cameras can acquire color images through a Bayer color filter array, and the Mastcams can also acquire images through seven science filters. Images are ≤1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall. The Mastcams, mounted on the 2 m tall Remote Sensing Mast, have a 360° azimuth and 180° elevation field of regard. Mars Descent Imager is fixed-mounted to the bottom left front side of the rover at 66 cm above the surface. Its fixed focus lens is in focus from 2 m to infinity, but out of focus at 66 cm. The f/3 lens has a FOV of 70° by 52° across and along the direction of motion, with an IFOV of 0.76 mrad. All cameras can acquire video at 4 frames/second for full frames or 720p HD at 6 fps. Images can be processed using lossy Joint Photographic Experts Group and predictive lossless compression.

  12. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten

    2016-04-01

    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on http://www.expeditionmundus.org. Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a

  13. Nuclear technologies for Moon and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  19. Gravity Waves in the Atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Gravity waves are atmospheric waves whose restoring force is the buoyancy. They are known to play an essential role in the redistribution of energy, momentum and atmospheric constituents in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. Possible excitation mechanisms comprise convection in an adjacent atmospheric layer, other atmospheric instabilities like wind shear instabilities, or air flow over orographic obstacles especially in combination with the strong winter jets on Mars. Gravity waves on Mars were observed in the lower atmosphere [1,2] but are also expected to play a major role in the cooling of the thermosphere [3] and the polar warming [4]. A fundamental understanding of the possible source mechanisms is required to reveal the influence of small scale gravity waves on the global atmospheric circulation. Radio occultation profiles from the MaRS experiment on Mars Express [5] with their exceptionally high vertical resolution can be used to study small-scale vertical gravity waves and their global distribution in the lower atmosphere from the planetary boundary layer up to 40 km altitude. Atmospheric instabilities, which are clearly identified in the data, are used to gain further insight into possible atmospheric processes contributing to the excitation of gravity waves. [1] Creasey, J. E., et al.,(2006), Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01803, doi:10.1029/2005GL024037. [2]Tellmann, S., et al.(2013), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 306-320, doi:10.1002/jgre.20058. [3]Medvedev, A. S., et al.(2015), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 120, 913-927. doi:10.1002/2015JE004802.[4] Barnes, J. R. (1990), J. Geophys. Res., 95, B2, 1401-1421. [5] Pätzold, M., et al. (2016), Planet. Space Sci., 127, 44 - 90.

  20. Journal of Chemical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences. Journal of Chemical Sciences. Volumes & Issues. Volume 130. Issue 1. Jan 2018; Issue 2. Feb 2018; Issue 3. Mar 2018; Issue 4. Apr 2018. Volume 129. Issue 1. Jan 2017; Issue 2. Feb 2017; Issue 3. Mar 2017; Issue 4. Apr 2017; Issue 5. May 2017; Issue 6. Jun 2017; Issue 7

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

    CERN Document Server

    Lele, Ajey

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Database and Library Development of Organic Species using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectral Measurements in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Raul; Mahaffy, Paul; Misra, Prabhakar

    2010-02-01

    Our work involves the development of an organic contaminants database that will allow us to determine which compounds are found here on Earth and would be inadvertently detected in the Mars soil and gaseous samples as impurities. It will be used for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrumentation analysis in the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover scheduled for launch in 2011. In order to develop a comprehensive target database, we utilize the NIST Mass Spectral Library, Automated Mass Spectral Deconvolution and Identification System (AMDIS) and Ion Fingerprint Deconvolution (IFD) software to analyze the GC-MS data. We have analyzed data from commercial samples, such as paint and polymers, which have not been implemented into the rover and are now analyzing actual data from pyrolyzation on the rover. We have successfully developed an initial target compound database that will aid SAM in determining whether the components being analyzed come from Mars or are contaminants from either the rover itself or the Earth environment and are continuing to make improvements and adding data to the target contaminants database. )

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. Analysis of Organic Molecules Extracted from Mars Analogues and Influence of Their Mineralogy Using N-Methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)Trifluoroacetamide Derivatization Coupled with Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry in Preparation for the Sample Analysis at Mars Derivatization Experiment on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalport, F.; Glavin, D. P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Bish, D.; Blake, D.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; McAdam, A.; Dworkin, J. P.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The search for complex organic molecules on Mars, including important biomolecules such as amino acids and carboxylic acids will require a chemical extraction and derivatization step to transform these organic compounds into species that are sufficiently volatile to be detected by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). We have developed, a one-pot extraction and chemical derivatization protocol using N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) and dimethylformamide (DMF) for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The temperature and duration the derivatization reaction, pre-concentration of chemical derivatives, and gas chromatographic separation parameters have been optimized under SAM instrument design constraints. MTBSTFA/DMF extraction and derivatization at 300 C for several minutes of a variety of terrestrial Mars analogue materials facilitated the detection of amino acids and carboxylic acids in a surface soil sample collected from the Atacama Desert and a carbonate-rich stromatolite sample from Svalbard. However, the rapid reaction of MTBSTFA with water in several analogue materials that contained high abundances of hydrated minerals and the possible deactivation of derivatized compounds by iron oxides, as detected by XRD/XRF using the CheMin field unit Terra, proved to be highly problematic for the direct extraction of organics using MTBSTFA, The combination of pyrolysis and two different chemical derivatization methods employed by SAM should enable a wide range of organic compounds to be detected by GCMS if present on Mars,

  12. Journal of Earth System Science | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Earth System Science. Journal of Earth System Science. Volumes & Issues. Volume 127. Issue 1. Feb 2018; Issue 2. Mar 2018; Issue 3. Apr 2018. Volume 126. Issue 1. Feb 2017; Issue 2. Mar 2017; Issue 3. Apr 2017; Issue 4. Jun 2017; Issue 5. Jul 2017; Issue 6. Aug 2017; Issue 7. Oct 2017 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

  14. Constraints on LISA Pathfinder's Self-Gravity: Design Requirements, Estimates and Testing Procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armano, M.; Audley, H.; Auger, G.; Baird, J.; Binetruy, P.; Born, M.; Bortoluzzi, M.; Brandt, Nico; Bursi, Alessandro; Slutsky. J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    LISA Pathfinder satellite was launched on 3 December 2015 toward the Sun Earth first Lagrangian point (L1) where the LISA Technology Package (LTP), which is the main science payload, will be tested. LTP achieves measurements of differential acceleration of free-falling test masses (TMs) with sensitivity below 3 x 10(exp -14) m s(exp -2) Hz(exp - 1/2) within the 130 mHz frequency band in one dimension. The spacecraft itself is responsible for the dominant differential gravitational field acting on the two TMs. Such a force interaction could contribute a significant amount of noise and thus threaten the achievement of the targeted free-fall level. We prevented this by balancing the gravitational forces to the sub nm s(exp -2) level, guided by a protocol based on measurements of the position and the mass of all parts that constitute the satellite, via finite element calculation tool estimates. In this paper, we will introduce the gravitational balance requirements and design, and then discuss our predictions for the balance that will be achieved in flight.

  15. 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...

  16. Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  17. The Mars Science Laboratory APXS calibration target: Comparison of Martian measurements with the terrestrial calibration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, J.L.; King, P.L.; Burkemper, L.; Berger, J.A.; Gellert, R.; Boyd, N.I.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Thompson, L.; Edgett, K.S.; Yingst, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover carries a basalt calibration target for monitoring the performance of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The spectrum acquired on Sol 34 shows increased contributions from Mg, S, Cl and Fe relative to laboratory spectra recorded before launch. Mars Hand Lens Imager images confirm changes in the appearance of the surface. Spectra taken on Sols 179 and 411 indicate some loss of the deposited material. The observations suggest deposition of a surface film likely consisting of dust mobilized by impingement of the sky crane’s terminal descent engine plumes with surface fines during Curiosity’s landing. New APXS software has been used to model the thin film that coated the calibration target on landing. The results suggest that a film of about 100 nm thickness, and containing predominantly MgO, Fe 2 O 3 , SO 3 , Cl and Na 2 O could give rise to the observed spectral changes. If this film is also present on the alpha particle sources within the APXS, then its effect is negligible and the terrestrial calibration remains appropriate

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. EOS Reference Handbook 1999: A Guide to NASA's Earth Science Enterprise and the Earth Observing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, M. D. (Editor); Greenstone, R. (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    The content of this handbook includes Earth Science Enterprise; The Earth Observing System; EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS); Data and Information Policy; Pathfinder Data Sets; Earth Science Information Partners and the Working Prototype-Federation; EOS Data Quality: Calibration and Validation; Education Programs; International Cooperation; Interagency Coordination; Mission Elements; EOS Instruments; EOS Interdisciplinary Science Investigations; and Points-of-Contact.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  2. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  4. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I: Overview and introduction to the special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2018-01-01

    The Bagnold dunes in Gale Crater, Mars, are the first active aeolian dune field explored in situ on another planet. The Curiosity rover visited the Bagnold dune field to understand modern winds, aeolian processes, rates, and structures; to determine dune material composition, provenance, and the extent and type of compositional sorting; and to collect knowledge that informs the interpretation of past aeolian processes that are preserved in the Martian sedimentary rock record. The Curiosity rover conducted a coordinated campaign of activities lasting 4 months, interspersed with other rover activities, and employing all of the rover's science instruments and several engineering capabilities. Described in 13 manuscripts and summarized here, the major findings of the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I, include the following: the characterization of and explanation for a distinctive, meter-scale size of sinuous aeolian bedform formed in the high kinetic viscosity regime of Mars' thin atmosphere; articulation and evaluation of a grain splash model that successfully explains the occurrence of saltation even at wind speeds below the fluid threshold; determination of the dune sands' basaltic mineralogy and crystal chemistry in comparison with other soils and sedimentary rocks; and characterization of chemically distinctive volatile reservoirs in sand-sized versus dust-sized fractions of Mars soil, including two volatile-bearing types of amorphous phases.

  5. Radiological Contingency Planning for the Mars Science Laboratory Launch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul P. Guss

    2008-04-01

    This paper describes the contingency planning for the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory scheduled for the 21-day window beginning on September 15, 2009. National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), based in Las Vegas, Nevada, will support the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its role for managing the overall radiological contingency planning support effort. This paper will focus on new technologies that NSTec’s Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) is developing to enhance the overall response capability that would be required for a highly unlikely anomaly. This paper presents recent advances in collecting and collating data transmitted from deployed teams and sensors. RSL is responsible to prepare the contingency planning for a range of areas from monitoring and assessment, sample collection and control, contaminated material release criteria, data management, reporting, recording, and even communications. The tools RSL has available to support these efforts will be reported. The data platform RSL will provide shall also be compatible with integration of assets and field data acquired with other DOE, National Space and Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), state, and local resources, personnel, and equipment. This paper also outlines the organizational structure for response elements in radiological contingency planning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. The aurora, Mars, and more! Increasing science content in elementary grades through art and literacy programs in earth and space science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfrow, S.; Wood, E. L.

    2011-12-01

    Although reading, writing, and math examinations are often conducted early in elementary school, science is not typically tested until 4th or 5th grade. The result is a refocus on the tested topics at the expense of the untested ones, despite that standards exist for each topic at all grades. On a national level, science instruction is relegated to a matter of a few hours per week. A 2007 Education Policy study states that elementary school students spend an average of 178 minutes a week on science while spending 500 minutes on literacy. A recent NSTA report in July of elementary and middle school teachers confirms that teachers feel pressured to teach math and literacy at the expense of other programs. One unintended result is that teachers in grades where science is tested must play catch-up with students for them to be successful on the assessment. A unique way to combat the lack of science instruction at elementary grades is to combine literacy, social studies, and math into an integrated science program, thereby increasing the number of science contact hours. The Dancing Lights program, developed at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, is a science, art, and literacy program about the aurora designed to easily fit into a typical 3rd-5th grade instructional day. It mirrors other successful literacy programs and will provide a basis for the literacy program being developed for the upcoming MAVEN mission to Mars. We will present early findings, as well as "lessons learned" during our development and implementation of the Dancing Lights program and will highlight our goals for the MAVEN mission literacy program.

  9. 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...

  10. ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Instrument Modelling Approach to Streamline Science Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz Fernandez, Michela; Frew, David; Ashman, Michael; Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro; Garcia Beteta, Juan Jose; Geiger, Bernhard; Metcalfe, Leo; Nespoli, Federico; Muniz Solaz, Carlos

    2018-05-01

    ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) science operations activities are centralised at ESAC's Science Operations Centre (SOC). The SOC receives the inputs from the principal investigators (PIs) in order to implement and deliver the spacecraft pointing requests and instrument timelines to the Mission Operations Centre (MOC). The high number of orbits per planning cycle has made it necessary to abstract the planning interactions between the SOC and the PI teams at the observation level. This paper describes the modelling approach we have conducted for TGOís instruments to streamline science operations. We have created dynamic observation types that scale to adapt to the conditions specified by the PI teams including observation timing, and pointing block parameters calculated from observation geometry. This approach is considered and improvement with respect to previous missions where the generation of the observation pointing and commanding requests was performed manually by the instrument teams. Automation software assists us to effectively handle the high density of planned orbits with increasing volume of scientific data and to successfully meet opportunistic scientific goals and objectives. Our planning tool combines the instrument observation definition files provided by the PIs together with the flight dynamics products to generate the Pointing Requests and the instrument timeline (ITL). The ITL contains all the validated commands at the TC sequence level and computes the resource envelopes (data rate, power, data volume) within the constraints. At the SOC, our main goal is to maximise the science output while minimising the number of iterations among the teams, ensuring that the timeline does not violate the state transitions allowed in the Mission Operations Rules and Constraints Document.

  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. 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.

  13. Development and testing of the data automation subsystem for the Mariner Mars 1971 spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    1971-01-01

    The data automation subsystem designed and built as part of the Mariner Mars 1971 program, sequences and controls the science instruments and formats all science data. A description of the subsystem with emphasis on major changes relative to Mariner Mars 1969 is presented. In addition, the complete test phase is described.

  14. A Draft Science Management Plan for Returned Samples from Mars: Recommendations from the International Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples (iMARS) Phase II Working Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haltigin, T.; Lange, C.; Mugnuolo, R.; Smith, C.

    2018-04-01

    This paper summarizes the findings and recommendations of the International Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples (iMARS) Phase II Working Group, an international team comprising 38 members from 16 countries and agencies.

  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. Journal of Chemical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. L Ramajo1 R Parra1 M Reboredo1 M Castro1. Institute of Research in Materials Science and Technology (INTEMA), (CONICET - University of Mar del Plata), Juan B Justo 4302 (B7608FDQ), Mar del Plata, Argentina ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Daybell, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them ...

  19. The Mars Science Laboratory APXS calibration target: Comparison of Martian measurements with the terrestrial calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); King, P.L. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario N6A3K7 (Canada); Burkemper, L. [Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Berger, J.A. [Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario N6A3K7 (Canada); Gellert, R.; Boyd, N.I.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Thompson, L. [Planetary and Space Science Centre, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B5A3 (Canada); Edgett, K.S. [Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA 92191-0148 (United States); Yingst, R.A. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover carries a basalt calibration target for monitoring the performance of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The spectrum acquired on Sol 34 shows increased contributions from Mg, S, Cl and Fe relative to laboratory spectra recorded before launch. Mars Hand Lens Imager images confirm changes in the appearance of the surface. Spectra taken on Sols 179 and 411 indicate some loss of the deposited material. The observations suggest deposition of a surface film likely consisting of dust mobilized by impingement of the sky crane’s terminal descent engine plumes with surface fines during Curiosity’s landing. New APXS software has been used to model the thin film that coated the calibration target on landing. The results suggest that a film of about 100 nm thickness, and containing predominantly MgO, Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, SO{sub 3}, Cl and Na{sub 2}O could give rise to the observed spectral changes. If this film is also present on the alpha particle sources within the APXS, then its effect is negligible and the terrestrial calibration remains appropriate.

  20. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Relative Humidity Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kemppinen, Osku; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Renno, Nilton; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schmidt, Walter; Polkko, Jouni; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Mischna, Michael; Martín-Torres, Javier; Haukka, Harri; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Rafkin, Scott; Paton, Mark; MSL Science Team

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS relative humidity observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS humidity device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on polymeric capacitive humidity sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The humidity device makes use of one transducer electronics section placed in the vicinity of the three (3) humidity sensor heads. The humidity device is mounted on the REMS boom 2 providing ventilation with the ambient atmosphere through a filter protecting the device from airborne dust. The absolute accuracy of the humidity device is temperature dependent, and is of the order of 2% at the temperature range of -30 to -10 °C, and of the order of 10% at the temperature range of -80 to -60 °C. This enables the investigations of atmospheric humidity variations of both diurnal and seasonal scale. The humidity device measurements will have a lag, when a step-wise change in humidity is taking place. This lag effect is increasing with decreasing temperature, and it is of the order of a few hours at the temperature of -75 °C. To compensate for the lag effect we used an algorithm developed by Mäkinen [2]. The humidity observations were validated after tedious efforts. This was needed to compensate for the artifacts of the transducer electronics. The compensation process includes an assumption that the relative humidity at Mars in the temperature range of 0 to -30 °C is about zero. The

  1. 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).

  2. Space radiation protection: Destination Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durante, Marco

    2014-04-01

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

  3. EU-FP7-iMars: Analysis of Mars Multi-Resolution Images using Auto-Coregistration, Data Mining and Crowd Source Techniques: One year on with a focus on auto-DTM, auto-coregistration and citizen science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Jan-Peter; Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Yershov, Vladimir; Gwinner, Klaus; van Gasselt, Stephan; Walter, Sebastian; Ivanov, Anton; Morley, Jeremy; Sprinks, James; Houghton, Robert; Bamford, Stephen; Kim, Jung-Rack

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the role of different planetary surface formation processes within our Solar System is one of the fundamental goals of planetary science research. There has been a revolution in planetary surface observations over the last 8 years, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape (down to resolutions of 10cm) and subsequent terrain correction of imagery from orbiting spacecraft. This has led to the ability to be able to overlay different epochs back to the mid-1970s, examine time-varying changes (such as impact craters, RSLs, CO2 geysers, gullies, boulder movements and a host of ice-related phenomena). Consequently we are seeing a dramatic improvement in our understanding of surface formation processes. Since January 2004 the ESA Mars Express has been acquiring global data, especially HRSC stereo (12.5-25m nadir images) with 98% coverage with images ≤100m and more than 70% useful for stereo mapping (e.g. atmosphere sufficiently clear). It has been demonstrated [Gwinner et al., 2010] that HRSC has the highest possible planimetric accuracy of ≤25m and is well co-registered with MOLA, which represents the global 3D reference frame. HRSC 3D and terrain-corrected image products therefore represent the best available 3D reference data for Mars. Recently [Gwinner et al., 2015] have shown the ability to generate mosaiced DTM and BRDF-corrected surface reflectance maps. NASA began imaging the surface of Mars, initially from flybys in the 1960s with the first orbiter with images ≤100m in the late 1970s from Viking Orbiter. The most recent orbiter to begin imaging in November 2006 is the NASA MRO which has acquired surface imagery of around 1% of the Martian surface from HiRISE (at ≈25cm) and ≈5% from CTX (≈6m) in stereo. Unfortunately, for most of these NASA images, especially MGS, MO, VO and HiRISE their accuracy of georeferencing is often worse than the quality of Mars reference data from HRSC. This reduces their value for analysing changes in time

  4. Principles, operations, and expected performance of the LISA Pathfinder charge management system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ziegler, T [Astrium GmbH, 88039 Friedrichshafen (Germany); Fichter, W [iFR, Universitaet Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 7a, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany); Schulte, M [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BZ (United Kingdom); Vitale, S, E-mail: tobias.ziegler@astrium.eads.ne [Department of Physics, University of Trento, 38050 Povo, Trento (Italy)

    2009-03-01

    The test masses of LISA Pathfinder are free flying and therefore not grounded to the spacecraft by a wire. Because of galactic cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, and unknown microscopic surface effects during initial test mass release, an unacceptable level of absolute charge might be present on the test masses. A charged test mass can endanger transition to high accuracy control modes which are required for science experiments. Furthermore, charged test masses introduce unwanted disturbance accelerations for example due to Coulomb interactions with surrounding conducting surfaces. The charge management system is designed to discharge the test masses up to a tolerable level of absolute charge such that the mission goal can be achieved. It is therefore an essential part of the experiments to be performed with the LISA Technology Package. The paper describes charge management tasks to be performed on board the spacecraft and summarizes the principles of charge measurement and discharge control. An overview of the experiment operations is given where the interconnection of operational charge management system modes and operational modes of the drag-free, suspension and attitude control system is considered. Simulated performance results are presented.

  5. The Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) and EoR Key-Science Project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brentjens, Michiel; Koopmans, L. V. E.; de Bruyn, A. G.; Zaroubi, S.

    The Low-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a novel radio-telescope facility with its core and operation center in the Netherlands. LOFAR is one of several current pathfinders toward SKA. One of LOFAR's key science projects is the detection and characterization of the redshifted 21-cm emission from neutral

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  9. Robotics and automation in Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Enabling Tethered Exploration on Mars, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  14. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  15. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  16. Mars Science Laboratory relative humidity observations: Initial results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A-M; Genzer, M; Kemppinen, O; Gomez-Elvira, J; Haberle, R; Polkko, J; Savijärvi, H; Rennó, N; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J A; Schmidt, W; Richardson, M; Siili, T; Paton, M; Torre-Juarez, M De La; Mäkinen, T; Newman, C; Rafkin, S; Mischna, M; Merikallio, S; Haukka, H; Martin-Torres, J; Komu, M; Zorzano, M-P; Peinado, V; Vazquez, L; Urqui, R

    2014-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity (REMS-H), and UV measurements. We concentrate on describing the REMS-H measurement performance and initial observations during the first 100 MSL sols as well as constraining the REMS-H results by comparing them with earlier observations and modeling results. The REMS-H device is based on polymeric capacitive humidity sensors developed by Vaisala Inc., and it makes use of transducer electronics section placed in the vicinity of the three humidity sensor heads. The humidity device is mounted on the REMS boom providing ventilation with the ambient atmosphere through a filter protecting the device from airborne dust. The final relative humidity results appear to be convincing and are aligned with earlier indirect observations of the total atmospheric precipitable water content. The water mixing ratio in the atmospheric surface layer appears to vary between 30 and 75 ppm. When assuming uniform mixing, the precipitable water content of the atmosphere is ranging from a few to six precipitable micrometers. Atmospheric water mixing ratio at Gale crater varies from 30 to 140 ppmMSL relative humidity observation provides good dataHighest detected relative humidity reading during first MSL 100 sols is RH75.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Calibration and Sequence Development Status for the Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    The measurement goals of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the "Curiosity" Rover of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) include chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples [1,2]. SAM directly supports the ambitious goals of the MSL mission to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability and preservation in Gale crater by means of a range of chemical and geological measurements [3]. The SAM FM combined calibration and environmental testing took place primarily in 2010 with a limited set of tests implemented after integration into the rover in January 2011. The scope of SAM FM testing was limited both to preserve SAM consumables such as life time of its electromechanical elements and to minimize the level of terrestrial contamination in the SAM instrument. A more comprehensive calibration of a SAM-like suite of instruments will be implemented in 2012 with calibration runs planned for the SAM testbed. The SAM Testbed is nearly identical to the SAM FM and operates in a ambient pressure chamber. The SAM Instrument Suite: SAM's instruments are a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), a 6-column Gas Chromatograph (GC), and a 2-channel Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS). Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry is designed for identification of even trace organic compounds. The TLS [5] secures the C, H, and O isotopic composition in carbon dioxide, water, and methane. Sieved materials are delivered from the MSL sample acquisition and processing system to one of68 cups of the Sample Manipulation System (SMS). 59 of these cups are fabricated from inert quartz. After sample delivery, a cup is inserted into one of 2 ovens for evolved gas analysis (EGA ambient to >9500C) by the QMS and TLS. A portion of the gas released can be trapped and subsequently analyzed by GCMS. Nine sealed cups contain liquid solvents and chemical derivatization or thermochemolysis agents to extract and transform polar molecules

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-11-01

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

  7. MarsSedEx III: linking Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and reduced gravity experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2015-12-01

    Nikolaus J. Kuhn (1), Brigitte Kuhn (1), and Andres Gartmann (2) (1) University of Basel, Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Basel, Switzerland (nikolaus.kuhn@unibas.ch), (2) Meteorology, Climatology, Remote Sensing, Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland Experiments conducted during the MarsSedEx I and II reduced gravity experiments showed that using empirical models for sediment transport on Mars developed for Earth violates fluid dynamics. The error is caused by the interaction between runing water and sediment particles, which affect each other in a positive feedback loop. As a consequence, the actual flow conditions around a particle cannot be represented by drag coefficients derived on Earth. This study exmines the implications of such gravity effects on sediment movement on Mars, with special emphasis on the limits of sandstones and conglomerates formed on Earth as analogues for sedimentation on Mars. Furthermore, options for correctiong the errors using a combination of CFD and recent experiments conducted during the MarsSedEx III campaign are presented.

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Peter; von Richter, Andreas

    2003-01-01

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

  10. ESSC-ESF Position Paper: Science-Driven Scenario for Space Exploration: Report from the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Worms, Jean-Claude; Lammer, Helmut; Barucci, Antonella

    2009-01-01

    Abstract In 2005 the then ESA Directorate for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration (D-HME) commissioned a study from the European Science Foundation's (ESF) European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) to examine the science aspects of the Aurora Programme in preparation for the December......'s exploration programme, dubbed "Emergence and co-evolution of life with its planetary environments," focusing on those targets that can ultimately be reached by humans, i.e., Mars, the Moon, and Near Earth Objects. Mars was further recognized as the focus of that programme, with Mars sample return...

  11. Development of the science instrument CLUPI: the close-up imager on board the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Beauvivre, S.; Cessa, V.; Martin, P.

    2017-11-01

    First mission of the Aurora Exploration Programme of ESA, ExoMars will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies, and will pursue fundamental scientific investigations. Planned for launch in 2013, ExoMars will send a robotic rover to the surface of Mars. The Close-UP Imager (CLUPI) instrument is part of the Pasteur Payload of the rover fixed on the robotic arm. It is a robotic replacement of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits at high resolution is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the Pasteur rover may be active on Mars. At the resolution provided by CLUPI (approx. 15 micrometer/pixel), rocks show a plethora of surface and internal structures, to name just a few: crystals in igneous rocks, sedimentary structures such as bedding, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sedimentary bedding, sediment components, surface marks in sediments, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be visualized, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes, potentially present in sediments and in palaeocavitites in any rock type. CLUPI is a complete imaging system, consisting of an APS (Active Pixel Sensor) camera with 27° FOV optics. The sensor is sensitive to light between 400 and 900 nm with 12 bits digitization. The fixed focus optics provides well focused images of 4 cm x 2.4 cm rock area at a distance of about 10 cm. This challenging camera system, less than 200g, is an independent scientific instrument linked to the rover on board computer via a SpaceWire interface. After the science goals and specifications presentation, the development of this complex high performance miniaturized imaging system will be described.

  12. 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.

  13. Beyond the Required LISA Free-Fall Performance: New LISA Pathfinder Results down to 20 μ Hz

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armano, M.; Audley, H.; Baird, J.; Binetruy, P.; Born, M.; Bortoluzzi, D.; Castelli, E.; Cavalleri, A.; Cesarini, A.; Cruise, A. M.; Danzmann, K.; de Deus Silva, M.; Diepholz, I.; Dixon, G.; Dolesi, R.; Ferraioli, L.; Ferroni, V.; Fitzsimons, E. D.; Freschi, M.; Gesa, L.; Gibert, F.; Giardini, D.; Giusteri, R.; Grimani, C.; Grzymisch, J.; Harrison, I.; Heinzel, G.; Hewitson, M.; Hollington, D.; Hoyland, D.; Hueller, M.; Inchauspé, H.; Jennrich, O.; Jetzer, P.; Karnesis, N.; Kaune, B.; Korsakova, N.; Killow, C. J.; Lobo, J. A.; Lloro, I.; Liu, L.; López-Zaragoza, J. P.; Maarschalkerweerd, R.; Mance, D.; Meshksar, N.; Martín, V.; Martin-Polo, L.; Martino, J.; Martin-Porqueras, F.; Mateos, I.; McNamara, P. W.; Mendes, J.; Mendes, L.; Nofrarias, M.; Paczkowski, S.; Perreur-Lloyd, M.; Petiteau, A.; Pivato, P.; Plagnol, E.; Ramos-Castro, J.; Reiche, J.; Robertson, D. I.; Rivas, F.; Russano, G.; Slutsky, J.; Sopuerta, C. F.; Sumner, T.; Texier, D.; Thorpe, J. I.; Vetrugno, D.; Vitale, S.; Wanner, G.; Ward, H.; Wass, P. J.; Weber, W. J.; Wissel, L.; Wittchen, A.; Zweifel, P.

    2018-02-01

    In the months since the publication of the first results, the noise performance of LISA Pathfinder has improved because of reduced Brownian noise due to the continued decrease in pressure around the test masses, from a better correction of noninertial effects, and from a better calibration of the electrostatic force actuation. In addition, the availability of numerous long noise measurement runs, during which no perturbation is purposely applied to the test masses, has allowed the measurement of noise with good statistics down to 20 μ Hz . The Letter presents the measured differential acceleration noise figure, which is at (1.74 ±0.01 ) fm s-2/√{Hz } above 2 mHz and (6 ±1 ) ×10 fm s-2/√{Hz } at 20 μ Hz , and discusses the physical sources for the measured noise. This performance provides an experimental benchmark demonstrating the ability to realize the low-frequency science potential of the LISA mission, recently selected by the European Space Agency.

  14. MarsSI: Martian surface data processing information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; Thollot, P.; Loizeau, D.; Bultel, B.; Fernando, J.; Allemand, P.; Dubuffet, F.; Poulet, F.; Ody, A.; Clenet, H.; Leyrat, C.; Harrisson, S.

    2018-01-01

    MarsSI (Acronym for Mars System of Information, https://emars.univ-lyon1.fr/MarsSI/, is a web Geographic Information System application which helps managing and processing martian orbital data. The MarsSI facility is part of the web portal called PSUP (Planetary SUrface Portal) developed by the Observatories of Paris Sud (OSUPS) and Lyon (OSUL) to provide users with efficient and easy access to data products dedicated to the martian surface. The portal proposes 1) the management and processing of data thanks to MarsSI and 2) the visualization and merging of high level (imagery, spectral, and topographic) products and catalogs via a web-based user interface (MarsVisu). The portal PSUP as well as the facility MarsVisu is detailed in a companion paper (Poulet et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to describe the facility MarsSI. From this application, users are able to easily and rapidly select observations, process raw data via automatic pipelines, and get back final products which can be visualized under Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, MarsSI also contains an automatic stereo-restitution pipeline in order to produce Digital Terrain Models (DTM) on demand from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) or CTX (Context Camera) pair-images. This application is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) (ERC project eMars, No. 280168) and has been developed in the scope of Mars, but the design is applicable to any other planetary body of the solar system.

  15. JPL Project Information Management: A Continuum Back to the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiz, Julie M.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the practices and architecture that support information management at JPL. This practice has allowed concurrent use and reuse of information by primary and secondary users. The use of this practice is illustrated in the evolution of the Mars Rovers from the Mars Pathfinder to the development of the Mars Science Laboratory. The recognition of the importance of information management during all phases of a project life cycle has resulted in the design of an information system that includes metadata, has reduced the risk of information loss through the use of an in-process appraisal, shaping of project's appreciation for capturing and managing the information on one project for re-use by future projects as a natural outgrowth of the process. This process has also assisted in connection of geographically disbursed partners into a team through sharing information, common tools and collaboration.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The Hydrosphere State (Hydros) Satellite Mission: An Earth System Pathfinder for Global Mapping of Soil Moisture and Land Freeze/Thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Entekhabi, D.; Njoku, E. G.; Spencer, M.; Kim, Y.; Smith, J.; McDonald, K. C.; vanZyl, J.; Houser, P.; Dorion, T.; Koster, R.; hide

    2004-01-01

    The Hydrosphere State Mission (Hydros) is a pathfinder mission in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth System Science Pathfinder Program (ESSP). The objective of the mission is to provide exploratory global measurements of the earth's soil moisture at 10-km resolution with two- to three-days revisit and land-surface freeze/thaw conditions at 3-km resolution with one- to two-days revisit. The mission builds on the heritage of ground-based and airborne passive and active low-frequency microwave measurements that have demonstrated and validated the effectiveness of the measurements and associated algorithms for estimating the amount and phase (frozen or thawed) of surface soil moisture. The mission data will enable advances in weather and climate prediction and in mapping processes that link the water, energy, and carbon cycles. The Hydros instrument is a combined radar and radiometer system operating at 1.26 GHz (with VV, HH, and HV polarizations) and 1.41 GHz (with H, V, and U polarizations), respectively. The radar and the radiometer share the aperture of a 6-m antenna with a look-angle of 39 with respect to nadir. The lightweight deployable mesh antenna is rotated at 14.6 rpm to provide a constant look-angle scan across a swath width of 1000 km. The wide swath provides global coverage that meet the revisit requirements. The radiometer measurements allow retrieval of soil moisture in diverse (nonforested) landscapes with a resolution of 40 km. The radar measurements allow the retrieval of soil moisture at relatively high resolution (3 km). The mission includes combined radar/radiometer data products that will use the synergy of the two sensors to deliver enhanced-quality 10-km resolution soil moisture estimates. In this paper, the science requirements and their traceability to the instrument design are outlined. A review of the underlying measurement physics and key instrument performance parameters are also presented.

  20. 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).

  1. Calibrating the ChemCam LIBS for Carbonate Minerals on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, Roger C.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Ollila, Ann M.; Barefield, James E.; Lanza, Nina; Newsom, Horton E.

    2009-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument suite on board the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover includes the first LIBS instrument for extraterrestrial applications. Here we examine carbonate minerals in a simulated martian environment using the LIDS technique in order to better understand the in situ signature of these materials on Mars. Both chemical composition and rock type are determined using multivariate analysis (MVA) techniques. Composition is confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Our initial results suggest that ChemCam can recognize and differentiate between carbonate materials on Mars.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Mars atmosphere. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Atreya, Sushil K; Flesch, Gregory J; Mischna, Michael A; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A; Conrad, Pamela G; Christensen, Lance E; Pavlov, Alexander A; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Glavin, Daniel P; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A; Archer, P Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P; Moores, John E; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Bridges, John C; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T

    2015-01-23

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. 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

  7. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project celebrates the inauguration of its outstanding 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile). The APEX telescope, designed to work at sub-millimetre wavelengths, in the 0.2 to 1.5 mm range, passed successfully its Science Verification phase in July, and since then is performing regular science observations. This new front-line facility provides access to the "Cold Universe" with unprecedented sensitivity and image quality. After months of careful efforts to set up the telescope to work at the best possible technical level, those involved in the project are looking with satisfaction at the fruit of their labour: APEX is not only fully operational, it has already provided important scientific results. "The superb sensitivity of our detectors together with the excellence of the site allow fantastic observations that would not be possible with any other telescope in the world," said Karl Menten, Director of the group for Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and Principal Investigator of the APEX project. ESO PR Photo 30/05 ESO PR Photo 30/05 Sub-Millimetre Image of a Stellar Cradle [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 627 pix - 200k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1254 pix - 503k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1539 x 2413 pix - 1.3M] Caption: ESO PR Photo 30/05 is an image of the giant molecular cloud G327 taken with APEX. More than 5000 spectra were taken in the J=3-2 line of the carbon monoxide molecule (CO), one of the best tracers of molecular clouds, in which star formation takes place. The bright peak in the north of the cloud is an evolved star forming region, where the gas is heated by a cluster of new stars. The most interesting region in the image is totally inconspicuous in CO: the G327 hot core, as seen in methanol contours. It is a truly exceptional source, and is one of the richest sources of emission from complex organic molecules in the

  8. 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.

  9. Organics on Mars : Laboratory studies of organic material under simulated martian conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kate, Inge Loes ten

    2006-01-01

    The search for organic molecules and traces of life on Mars has been a major topic in planetary science for several decades, and is the future perspective of several missions to Mars. In order to determine where and what those missions should be looking for, laboratory experiments under simulated

  10. 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.

  11. Humans to Mars: The Greatest Adventure in Human History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Schild,Rudy

    2011-01-01

    The reasons for a human mission to Mars are many and include (1) World technological leadership, (2) Enhanced national security, (3) Enhanced economic vitality, (4) The human urge to explore new and distant frontiers, (5) Scientific discovery (how did Mars evolve from an early Earth-like, hospitable planet to its present inhospitable state? Is there life on Mars?) (6) Inspiring the American public and the next generation of scientists and engineers (following the launch of Sputnik I by the USSR on October 4, 1957, the U. S. and the rest of the world witnessed a significant increase in the number of students going into science and engineering), (7) Develop new technologies for potential non-space spin-off applications, and, (8) Enhanced national prestige, etc. Other reasons for colonizing the Red Planet are more catastrophic in nature, including Mars as a safe haven for the survival of the human species in the event of an impact with a large asteroid (remember the demise of the dinosaurs 65-million years as a result of an asteroid impact!). Some have also suggested that the colonization of Mars may be a solution to the global exponential population explosion on our planet! A human mission to and the colonization of the Red Planet requires multi-disciplined expertise in many areas including engineering, technology, science, human health and medicine and the human psychological and behavior. To capture the relevant areas of needed expertise, we have invited a group of more than 70 U. S. and foreign experts in these areas, including astronauts, scientists, engineers, technologists, medical doctors, psychologists and economists to share their views and thoughts on a human mission to Mars.

  12. SAM : an experiment dedicated to the Carbon Quest at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Patrice; Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris; Cabane, Michel; Tan, F.; Coscia, D.; Nolan, T.; Rahen, E.; Teinturier, S.; Goutail, J. P.; Martin, D.; Montaron, C.; Galic, A.

    SAM is a suite of instruments that will be onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The SAM team consist of scientists and engineers at GSFC, U. Paris/CNRS, JPL, and Honeybee Robotics, along with many additional external partners. SAM's five science goals will address three of the most fundamental questions about the ability of Mars to support life -past, present, and future. Question 1: What does the inventory of carbon compounds near the surface of Mars tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 1: Survey carbon compound sources and evaluate their possible mechanism of formation and destruction. 2.Goal 2: Search for organic compounds of biotic and prebiotic importance expecially methane. Question 2: What are the chemical and isotopic states of the lighter elements in the solids and atmosphere of Mars and what do they tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 3: Reveal the chemical and isotopic state of elements (i.e., N, H, O, S and others) that are important for life as we know it. 2.Goal 4: Evaluate the habitability of Mars by studying its atmospheric chemistry and the composition of trace species that are evidence of interactions between the atmosphere and soil. Question 3: Were past habitability conditions different from today's? 1.Goal 5: Understand atmospheric and climatic evolution through measurements of noble gas and light element isotopes.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, Vidvuds

    2016-07-01

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

  18. The Present Habitability Potential of Gale Crater: What We Have Learned So Far From Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Archer, P. D.; Domagal-Goldman, S.; Eigenbrode, J.; Fisk, M.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V.; Kah, L.; Kahanpaa, Henrik; Martin-Torres, J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission has comprehensively interrogated the surface environment of Mars as it explores Gale Crater. Both chemical and physical attributes of the present environment have been measured over the course of the mission, enabling us to compare the present state of the martian surface with the environmental requirements of prokaryotic microbes. While this approach does not exclude the possibility of martian life that may have evolved to adapt to the present conditions, it is advantageous in that it allows us to evaluate environmental requirements of known life and also provide insight into the likelihood of forward contamination by Earth organisms with the comparison of their environmental requirements with the measured attributes of the environment at Gale Crater. We have already modeled a paleoenvironment with high habitability potential (HP) based upon chemistry, mineralogy and other geological evidence such as sedimentary structures and larger scale geomorphology [1]. In this report, we turn our attention to the present HP of the Yellowknife Bay area, including the importance of the physical environmental metrics such as atmospheric pressure, air and ground temperature, ionizing radiation, wind speed and direction, slope, etc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Spice In Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiferlin, K.; Spohn, T.; Spice Team

    The Netlander mission offers a unique opportunity to study the surface and the inte- rior of Mars at four different locations at the same time. In addition to real "network"- science, where the presence of four stations is a 'must' to address global science as- pects, local, landing site-related instruments can more than double our knowledge of the surface of Mars, compared to the three landing sites (Viking 1 and 2, Pathfinder) we are currently familiar with. The SPICE instrument will characterize the soil at the landing sites. Force sensors integrated into the seismometer legs (three per station) will determine the mechanical strength of the soil. Thermal sensors will measure the local soil temperature, the thermal inertia and the thermal diffusivity independently, thus allowing us to determine the thermal conductivity and the volumetric heat capac- ity of the soil. These properties will tell us about (1) soil cementation ("duricrust"), (2) volatile exchange with the atmosphere, (3) grain size, (4) near-surface stratigra- phy, and (5) will finally provide ground truth for remote sensing data such as that from Mars Global Surveyor's thermal emission spectrometer.

  2. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

    J. Dong; Z. Sun; W. Rao; Y. Jia; L. Meng; C. Wang; B. Chen

    2017-01-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achiev...

  3. The iMars WebGIS - A Central Hub for Displaying and Distributing Co-Registered Data of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gasselt, S.; Morley, J.; Houghton, R.; Bamford, S.; Ivanov, A.; Muller, J.-P.; Yershov, V.; Sidiripoulos, P.; Gwinner, K.; Waehlisch, M.; Kim, J. R.

    2014-04-01

    The iMars-project [1] is an EU funded R&D project which has started in 2014 and which is aimed at developing an automated processing system for generating image stacks of high-precision, co-registered, terrain-corrected and multi-temporal data of Mars obtained since 1977. It is anticipated that the entire NASA and ESA record of orbital image data will be co-registered and terrain-corrected in 2015 [1] so that time-series data can be generated for subsequent analyses. Such analyses will be conducted automatically using change-detection algorithms or interactively and visually using the citizen-science concept implemented at Zooniverse [2]. For more detailed information see [1] and visit the project's website at http://www.i-Mars.eu. Close user interaction plays a paramount role within iMars which requires sophisticated concepts for data handling and communication allowing users to integrate, analyse and visualise data from a central location. This interactive data hub will be realised through open-source webGIS implementations and by providing webGIS services to the user community using established OGC-protocols (see Fig. 1, [3, 4, 5]).

  4. The Nitrate/Perchlorate Ratio on Mars as an Indicator for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalex, R.; Freissinet, C.; Conrad, P. G.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and the potential development of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected evolved nitric oxide (NO) gas during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled mudstone acquired in Gale Crater. The detection of NO suggests an indigenous source of fixed N, and may indicate a mineralogical sink for atmospheric N2 in the form of nitrate. The ratio of nitrate to oxychlorine species (e.g. perchlorate) may provide insight into the extent of development of a nitrogen cycle on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Refinement of the Compton–Rayleigh scatter ratio method for use on the Mars Science Laboratory alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Perrett, G.M. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Maxwell, J.A. [3A 47 Surrey St. East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 3P6 (Canada); Nield, E.; Gellert, R. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); King, P.L. [Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200 (Australia); Lee, M.; O’Meara, J.M.; Pradler, I. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2013-05-01

    Spectra from the Mars rover alpha particle X-ray spectrometers contain the elastic and inelastic scatter peaks of the plutonium L X-rays emitted by the instrument’s {sup 244}Cm source. Various spectrum fitting approaches are tested using the terrestrial twin of the APXS instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, in order to provide accurate extraction of the Lα and Lβ Compton/Rayleigh intensity ratios, which can provide information about light “invisible” constituents such as water in geological samples. A well-defined dependence of C/R ratios upon mean sample atomic number is established using a large and varied set of geochemical reference materials, and the accuracy of this calibration is examined. Detailed attention is paid to the influence of the rubidium and strontium peaks which overlap the Lα scatter peaks. Our Monte Carlo simulation code for prediction of C/R ratios from element concentrations is updated. The ratio between measured and simulated C/R ratios provides a second means of calibration.

  7. Sci-Fi Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freudenrich, Craig C.

    2000-01-01

    Recommends using science fiction television episodes, novels, and films for teaching science and motivating students. Studies Newton's Law of Motion, principles of relativity, journey to Mars, interplanetary trajectories, artificial gravity, and Martian geology. Discusses science fiction's ability to capture student interest and the advantages of…

  8. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Comparison with Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after midnight Sunday morning (5 April 1998 12:39 AM PST), the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft successfully acquired a high resolution image of the 'Face on Mars' feature in the Cydonia region. The image was transmitted to Earth on Sunday, and retrieved from the mission computer data base Monday morning (6 April 1998). The image was processed at the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) facility 9:15 AM and the raw image immediately transferred to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for release to the Internet. The images shown here were subsequently processed at MSSS.The picture was acquired 375 seconds after the spacecraft's 220th close approach to Mars. At that time, the 'Face', located at approximately 40.8o N, 9.6o W, was 275 miles (444 km) from the spacecraft. The 'morning' sun was 25o above the horizon. The picture has a resolution of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) per pixel, making it ten times higher resolution than the best previous image of the feature, which was taken by the Viking Mission in the mid-1970's. The full image covers an area 2.7 miles (4.4 km) wide and 25.7 miles (41.5 km) long.In this comparison, the best Viking image has been enlarged to 3.3 times its original resolution, and the MOC image has been decreased by a similar 3.3 times, creating images of roughly the same size. In addition, the MOC images have been geometrically transformed to a more overhead projection (different from the mercator map projection of PIA01440 & 1441) for ease of comparison with the Viking image. The left image is a portion of Viking Orbiter 1 frame 070A13, the middle image is a portion of MOC frame shown normally, and the right image is the same MOC frame but with the brightness inverted to simulate the approximate lighting conditions of the Viking image.Processing Image processing has been applied to the images in order to improve the visibility of features. This processing included the following steps: The image was

  9. 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

  10. Small Spacecraft Constellation Concept for Mars Atmospheric Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. The UFFO (Ultra Fast Flash Observatory) Pathfinder: Science and Mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, P.; Ahmad, S.; Ahn, K.

    in a more rigorous test of current internal shock models, probe the extremes of bulk Lorentz factors, provide the first early and detailed measurements of fast-rise GRB optical light curves, and help verify the prospect of GRB as a new standard candle. We will describe the science and the mission...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Heldmann, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The case for a modern multiwavelength, polarization-sensitive LIDAR in orbit around Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Michaels, Timothy I.; Byrne, Shane; Sun, Wenbo; Titus, Timothy N.; Colaprete, Anthony; Wolff, Michael J.; Videen, Gorden; Grund, Christian J.

    2015-01-01

    We present the scientific case to build a multiple-wavelength, active, near-infrared (NIR) instrument to measure the reflected intensity and polarization characteristics of backscattered radiation from planetary surfaces and atmospheres. We focus on the ability of such an instrument to enhance, potentially revolutionize, our understanding of climate, volatiles and astrobiological potential of modern-day Mars. Such an instrument will address the following three major science themes, which we address in this paper: Science Theme 1. Surface. This would include global, night and day mapping of H 2 O and CO 2 surface ice properties. Science Theme 2. Ice Clouds. This would including unambiguous discrimination and seasonal mapping of CO 2 and H 2 O ice clouds. Science Theme 3. Dust Aerosols. This theme would include multiwavelength polarization measurements to infer dust grain shapes and size distributions. - Highlights: • We present the scientific rationale for a multi-wavelength, polarization sensitive lidar to be placed in orbit around Mars. • Scientific questions focus on the Martian climate and modern-day interactions between surface, ice clouds and dust aerosols. • What we would learn about volatile transport and deposition has implications for past, present and future life on Mars

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  20. Indigenous Fixed Nitrogen on Mars: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, D., Jr.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Conrad, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate has been detected in Mars surface sediments and aeolian deposits by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover (Stern et al., 2015). This detection is significant because fixed nitrogen is necessary for life, a requirement that drove the evolution of N-fixing metabolism in life on Earth. The question remains as to the extent to which a primitive N cycle ever developed on Mars, and whether N is currently being deposited on the martian surface at a non-negligible rate. It is also necessary to consider processes that could recycle oxidized N back into the atmosphere, and how these processes may have changed the soil inventory of N over time. The abundance of fixed nitrogen detected as NO from thermal decomposition of nitrate is consistent with both delivery of nitrate via impact generated thermal shock early in martian history and dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO, occurring in the present. Processes that could recycle N back into the atmosphere may include nitrate reduction by Fe(II) in aqueous environments on early Mars, impact decomposition, and/or UV photolysis. In order to better understand the history of nitrogen fixation on Mars, we look to cycling of N in Mars analog environments on Earth such as the Atacama Desert and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. In particular, we examine the ratio of nitrate to perchlorate (NO3-/ClO4-) in these areas compared to those calculated from data acquired on Mars.

  1. 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)...

  2. Burn Delay Analysis of the Lunar Orbit Insertion for Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jonghee; Song, Young-Joo; Kim, Young-Rok; Kim, Bangyeop

    2017-12-01

    The first Korea lunar orbiter, Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), has been in development since 2016. After launch, the KPLO will execute several maneuvers to enter into the lunar mission orbit, and will then perform lunar science missions for one year. Among these maneuvers, the lunar orbit insertion (LOI) is the most critical maneuver because the KPLO will experience an extreme velocity change in the presence of the Moon’s gravitational pull. However, the lunar orbiter may have a delayed LOI burn during operation due to hardware limitations and telemetry delays. This delayed burn could occur in different captured lunar orbits; in the worst case, the KPLO could fly away from the Moon. Therefore, in this study, the burn delay for the first LOI maneuver is analyzed to successfully enter the desired lunar orbit. Numerical simulations are performed to evaluate the difference between the desired and delayed lunar orbits due to a burn delay in the LOI maneuver. Based on this analysis, critical factors in the LOI maneuver, the periselene altitude and orbit period, are significantly changed and an additional delta-V in the second LOI maneuver is required as the delay burn interval increases to 10 min from the planned maneuver epoch.

  3. Mars Sample Return: The Critical Need for Planning a Meaningful and Participatory Public Engagement Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug Boonstra, S.

    2018-04-01

    The Mars Sample Return campaign offers the prospect of an historical leap forward in the understanding of the science of Mars, and an unprecedented opportunity to engage our citizenry in one of the enduring questions of humanity, "Are we alone?".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Bussey, Ben

    2016-01-01

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

  5. International cooperation for Mars exploration and sample return

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Andrew A; Stoker, Carol R

    2016-06-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. X-Ray Computed Tomography: The First Step in Mars Sample Return Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welzenbach, L. C.; Fries, M. D.; Grady, M. M.; Greenwood, R. C.; McCubbin, F. M.; Zeigler, R. A.; Smith, C. L.; Steele, A.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission will collect and cache samples from the martian surface for possible retrieval and subsequent return to Earth. If the samples are returned, that mission would likely present an opportunity to analyze returned Mars samples within a geologic context on Mars. In addition, it may provide definitive information about the existence of past or present life on Mars. Mars sample return presents unique challenges for the collection, containment, transport, curation and processing of samples [1] Foremost in the processing of returned samples are the closely paired considerations of life detection and Planetary Protection. In order to achieve Mars Sample Return (MSR) science goals, reliable analyses will depend on overcoming some challenging signal/noise-related issues where sparse martian organic compounds must be reliably analyzed against the contamination background. While reliable analyses will depend on initial clean acquisition and robust documentation of all aspects of developing and managing the cache [2], there needs to be a reliable sample handling and analysis procedure that accounts for a variety of materials which may or may not contain evidence of past or present martian life. A recent report [3] suggests that a defined set of measurements should be made to effectively inform both science and Planetary Protection, when applied in the context of the two competing null hypotheses: 1) that there is no detectable life in the samples; or 2) that there is martian life in the samples. The defined measurements would include a phased approach that would be accepted by the community to preserve the bulk of the material, but provide unambiguous science data that can be used and interpreted by various disciplines. Fore-most is the concern that the initial steps would ensure the pristine nature of the samples. Preliminary, non-invasive techniques such as computed X-ray tomography (XCT) have been suggested as the first method to interrogate and

  12. Scientists are from Mars, educators are from Venus: Relationships in the ecosystem of science teacher preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggan-Haas, Don Andrew

    2000-10-01

    Great problems exist in science teaching from kindergarten through the college level (NRC, 1996; NSF, 1996). The problem may be attributed to the failure of teachers to integrate their own understanding of science content with appropriate pedagogy (Shulman, 1986, 1987). All teachers were trained by college faculty and therefore some of the blame for these problems rests on those faculty. This dissertation presents three models for describing secondary science teacher preparation. Two Programs, Two Cultures adapts C. P. Snow's classic work (1959) to describe the work of a science teacher candidate as that of an individual who navigates between two discrete programs: one in college science and the second in teacher education. The second model, Scientists Are from Mars, Educators Are from Venus adapts the popular work of John Gray to describe the system of science teacher education as hobbled by the dysfunctional relationships among the major players and describes the teacher as progeny from this relationship. The third model, The Ecosystem of Science Teacher Preparation reveals some of the deeper complexities of science teacher education and posits that the traditional college science approach treats students as a monoculture when great diversity in fact exists. The three models are described in the context of a large Midwestern university's teacher education program as that program is construed for future biology teachers. Four undergraduate courses typically taken by future biology teachers were observed and described: an introductory biology course; an introductory teacher education course; an upper division course in biochemistry and a senior level science teaching methods course. Seven second semester seniors who were biological Science majors were interviewed. All seven students had taken all of the courses observed. An organization of scientists and educators working together to improve science teaching from kindergarten through graduate school is also

  13. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-29

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

  14. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M G; Ewing, R C; Lamb, M P; Fischer, W W; Grotzinger, J P; Rubin, D M; Lewis, K W; Ballard, M; Day, Mitch D.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S G; Bridges, N T; Des Marais, D J; Fraeman, A A; Grant, J A; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Ming, D W; Mischna, M A; Rice, M S; Sumner, D A; Vasavada, A R; Yingst, R A

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  17. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Day, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Mischna, M. A.; Rice, M. S.; Sumner, D. A.; Vasavada, A. R.; Yingst, R. A.

    2016-07-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter- to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  18. 727.pdf | mar102006 | currsci | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; currsci; mar102006; 727.pdf. 404! error. The page your are looking for can not be found! Please check the link or use the navigation bar at the top. YouTube · Twitter · Facebook · Blog. Academy News. IAS Logo. Ethical Guidelines and Procedures document. Posted on 17 January 2017. A revised version of the ...

  19. Hydrovolcanic features on Mars: Preliminary observations from the first Mars year of HiRISE imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keszthelyi, L.P.; Jaeger, W.L.; Dundas, C.M.; Martinez-Alonso, S.; McEwen, A.S.; Milazzo, M.P.

    2010-01-01

    We provide an overview of features indicative of the interaction between water and lava and/or magma on Mars as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera during the Primary Science Phase of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. The ability to confidently resolve meter-scale features from orbit has been extremely useful in the study of the most pristine examples. In particular, HiRISE has allowed the documentation of previously undescribed features associated with phreatovolcanic cones (formed by the interaction of lava and groundwater) on rapidly emplaced flood lavas. These include "moats" and "wakes" that indicate that the lava crust was thin and mobile, respectively [Jaeger, W.L., Keszthelyi, L.P., McEwen, A.S., Dundas, C.M., Russel, P.S., 2007. Science 317, 1709-1711]. HiRISE has also discovered entablature-style jointing in lavas that is indicative of water-cooling [Milazzo, M.P., Keszthelyi, L.P., Jaeger, W.L., Rosiek, M., Mattson, S., Verba, C., Beyer, R.A., Geissler, P.E., McEwen, A.S., and the HiRISE Team, 2009. Geology 37, 171-174]. Other observations strongly support the idea of extensive volcanic mudflows (lahars). Evidence for other forms of hydrovolcanism, including glaciovolcanic interactions, is more equivocal. This is largely because most older and high-latitude terrains have been extensively modified, masking any earlier 1-10 m scale features. Much like terrestrial fieldwork, the prerequisite for making full use of HiRISE's capabilities is finding good outcrops.

  20. A Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (MVP-SEM) for the Surface of Mars: An Instrument for the Planetary Science Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunson, J.; Gaskin, J. A.; Danilatos, G.; Doloboff, I. J.; Effinger, M. R.; Harvey, R. P.; Jerman, G. A.; Klein-Schoder, R.; Mackie, W.; Magera, B.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope(MVP-SEM) project, funded by the NASA Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO) Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES), will build upon previous miniaturized SEM designs for lunar and International Space Station (ISS) applications and recent advancements in variable pressure SEM's to design and build a SEM to complete analyses of samples on the surface of Mars using the atmosphere as an imaging medium. By the end of the PICASSO work, a prototype of the primary proof-of-concept components (i.e., the electron gun, focusing optics and scanning system)will be assembled and preliminary testing in a Mars analog chamber at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be completed to partially fulfill Technology Readiness Level to 5 requirements for those components. The team plans to have Secondary Electron Imaging(SEI), Backscattered Electron (BSE) detection, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) capabilities through the MVP-SEM.

  1. Data from the Mars Science Laboratory CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, David; Blake, David; Bristow, Tom; DesMarais, David; Achilles, Cherie; Anderson, Robert; Crips, Joy; Morookian, John Michael; Spanovich, Nicole; Vasavada, Ashwin; hide

    2013-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity uses a Co tube source and a CCD detector to acquire mineralogy from diffracted primary X-rays and chemical information from fluoresced X-rays. CheMin has been operating at the MSL Gale Crater field site since August 5, 2012 and has provided the first X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses in situ on a body beyond Earth. Data from the first sample collected, the Rocknest eolian soil, identify a basaltic mineral suite, predominantly plagioclase (approx.An50), forsteritic olivine (approx.Fo58), augite and pigeonite, consistent with expectation that detrital grains on Mars would reflect widespread basaltic sources. Minor phases (each XRD. This amorphous component is attested to by a broad rise in background centered at approx.27deg 2(theta) (Co K(alpha)) and may include volcanic glass, impact glass, and poorly crystalline phases including iron oxyhydroxides; a rise at lower 2(theta) may indicate allophane or hisingerite. Constraints from phase chemistry of the crystalline components, compared with a Rocknest bulk composition from the APXS instrument on Curiosity, indicate that in sum the amorphous or poorly crystalline components are relatively Si, Al, Mg-poor and enriched in Ti, Cr, Fe, K, P, S, and Cl. All of the identified crystalline phases are volatile-free; H2O, SO2 and CO2 volatile releases from a split of this sample analyzed by the SAM instrument on Curiosity are associated with the amorphous or poorly ordered materials. The Rocknest eolian soil may be a mixture of local detritus, mostly crystalline, with a regional or global set of dominantly amorphous or poorly ordered components. The Rocknest sample was targeted by MSL for "first time analysis" to demonstrate that a loose deposit could be scooped, sieved to <150 microns, and delivered to instruments in the body of the rover. A drilled sample of sediment in outcrop is anticipated. At the time of writing this abstract, promising outcrops are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. Volumes & Issues. Volume 128. Issue 1. Mar 2018; Issue 2. Apr 2018. Volume 127. Issue 1. Feb 2017; Issue 2. Apr 2017; Issue 3. Jun 2017; Issue 4. Sep 2017; Issue 5. Nov 2017. Volume 126. Issue 1. Feb 2016; Issue 2

  5. MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR RAW DATA SET - CRUISE V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) Raw Data Archive (RDA) is a time-ordered collection of raw and partially processed data collected during the MGS...

  6. Rock Formation and Cosmic Radiation Exposure Ages in Gale Crater Mudstones from the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Farley, Ken; Malespin, Charles; Gellert, Ralph; Grotzinger, John

    2014-05-01

    The quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been utilized to secure abundances of 3He, 21Ne, 36Ar, and 40Ar thermally evolved from the mudstone in the stratified Yellowknife Bay formation in Gale Crater. As reported by Farley et al. [1] these measurements of cosmogenic and radiogenic noble gases together with Cl and K abundances measured by MSL's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer enable a K-Ar rock formation age of 4.21+0.35 Ga to be established as well as a surface exposure age to cosmic radiation of 78+30 Ma. Understanding surface exposures to cosmic radiation is relevant to the MSL search for organic compounds since even the limited set of studies carried out, to date, indicate that even 10's to 100's of millions of years of near surface (1-3 meter) exposure may transform a significant fraction of the organic compounds exposed to this radiation [2,3,4]. Transformation of potential biosignatures and even loss of molecular structural information in compounds that could point to exogenous or endogenous sources suggests a new paradigm in the search for near surface organics that incorporates a search for the most recently exposed outcrops through erosional processes. The K-Ar rock formation age determination shows promise for more precise in situ measurements that may help calibrate the martian cratering record that currently relies on extrapolation from the lunar record with its ground truth chronology with returned samples. We will discuss the protocol for the in situ noble gas measurements secured with SAM and ongoing studies to optimize these measurements using the SAM testbed. References: [1] Farley, K.A.M Science Magazine, 342, (2013). [2] G. Kminek et al., Earth Planet Sc Lett 245, 1 (2006). [3] Dartnell, L.R., Biogeosciences 4, 545 (2007). [4] Pavlov, A. A., et al. Geophys Res Lett 39, 13202 (2012).

  7. CO2 Insulation for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Karlmann, Paul; Anderson, Kevin; Novak, Keith

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sending a large (>850 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars in 2011. The rover's primary power source is a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) that generates roughly 2000 W of heat, which is converted to approximately 110 W of electrical power for use by the rover electronics, science instruments, and mechanism-actuators. The large rover size and extreme thermal environments (cold and hot) for which the rover is designed for led to a sophisticated thermal control system to keep it within allowable temperature limits. The pre-existing Martian atmosphere of low thermal conductivity CO2 gas (8 Torr) is used to thermally protect the rover and its components from the extremely cold Martian environment (temperatures as low as -130 deg C). Conventional vacuum based insulation like Multi Layer Insulation (MLI) is not effective in a gaseous atmosphere, so engineered gaps between the warm rover internal components and the cold rover external structure were employed to implement this thermal isolation. Large gaps would lead to more thermal isolation, but would also require more of the precious volume available within the rover. Therefore, a balance of the degree of thermal isolation achieved vs. the volume of rover utilized is required to reach an acceptable design. The temperature differences between the controlled components and the rover structure vary from location to location so each gap has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to arrive at an optimal thickness. For every configuration and temperature difference, there is a critical thickness below which the heat transfer mechanism is dominated by simple gaseous thermal conduction. For larger gaps, the mechanism is dominated by natural convection. In general, convection leads to a poorer level of thermal isolation as compared to conduction. All these considerations play important roles in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  9. Mars Ascent Vehicle-Propellant Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankanich, John; Rousseau, Jeremy; Williams, Jacob

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Feeding People's Curiosity: Leveraging the Cloud for Automatic Dissemination of Mars Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, David; Powell, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Smartphones and tablets have made wireless computing ubiquitous, and users expect instant, on-demand access to information. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) operations software suite, MSL InterfaCE (MSLICE), employs a different back-end image processing architecture compared to that of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) in order to better satisfy modern consumer-driven usage patterns and to offer greater server-side flexibility. Cloud services are a centerpiece of the server-side architecture that allows new image data to be delivered automatically to both scientists using MSLICE and the general public through the MSL website (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Using Planning, Scheduling and Execution for Autonomous Mars Rover Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, Tara A.; Gaines, Daniel M.; Chouinard, Caroline M.; Fisher, Forest W.; Castano, Rebecca; Judd, Michele J.; Nesnas, Issa A.

    2006-01-01

    With each new rover mission to Mars, rovers are traveling significantly longer distances. This distance increase raises not only the opportunities for science data collection, but also amplifies the amount of environment and rover state uncertainty that must be handled in rover operations. This paper describes how planning, scheduling and execution techniques can be used onboard a rover to autonomously generate and execute rover activities and in particular to handle new science opportunities that have been identified dynamically. We also discuss some of the particular challenges we face in supporting autonomous rover decision-making. These include interaction with rover navigation and path-planning software and handling large amounts of uncertainty in state and resource estimations. Finally, we describe our experiences in testing this work using several Mars rover prototypes in a realistic environment.

  13. Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. José M Sigarreta. Articles written in Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. Volume 120 Issue 5 November 2010 pp 593-609. Gromov Hyperbolicity in Cartesian Product Graphs · Junior Michel José M Rodríguez José M Sigarreta María Villeta · More Details Abstract ...

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. The Voyager Journey to Interstellar Space

    KAUST Repository

    Stone, Edward

    2017-01-09

    Edward Stone joined Caltech as a research fellow in physics after receiving his Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago. Over the years, he held a variety of positions, from assistant professor to Vice-President for Astronomical Facilities. In 1972 he became project scientist for the Voyager mission, a position he currently still holds. He was nationally known as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) public spokesman during the planetary flybys, explaining the Voyager\\'s scientific discoveries to the public. He became the Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from January 1991 to April 2001. While Stone was Director, JPL\\'s Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover sent back images that were seen by millions of people on television and the Web. Highlights of his decade of leadership as the Direction of JPL include Galileo\\'s five-year orbital mission to Jupiter, the launch of Cassini to Saturn, the launch of Mars Global Surveyor and a new generation of Earth science satellites such as TOPEX/Poseidon and SeaWinds.

  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 2020 Rover Mission: EISD Participation in Mission Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-03-01

    the relationship between SWIR multispectral imaging data and APXS- and Mössbauer-derived composition/mineralogy is often weak, a perhaps not entirely unexpected result given the different surface sampling depths of SWIR imaging (uppermost few microns) vs. APXS (tens of μm) and MB measurements (hundreds of μm). Results from the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover’s ChemCam Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument may show a closer relationship to Mastcam SWIR multispectral observations, however, because the initial laser shots onto a target will analyze only the upper few micrometers of the surface. The clustering and classification methods used in this study can be applied to any data set to formalize the definition of classes and identify targets that do not fit in previously defined classes.

  20. 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.

  1. The Get Going to Mars campaign: an outreach experiment in art, literacy, and science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfrow, S.; Mason, T.; Christofferson, R.

    2013-12-01

    The 6-month Going to Mars campaign brought crowdsourcing to the next NASA Mars mission: a student art contest flooded us in the colorful imagination of children; a haiku contest gave us poetry about dunes and ice caps, love, humor, and our place in the universe; and a send-your-name activity connected MAVEN with tens of thousands of people. In this discussion, we'll dive into the statistics (1+ million page views, 15,000+ message submissions, 375+ art entries), the individual winners from small-town USA and across the globe, and the dirt and grit that made the Going to Mars campaign come alive. View the archived site at http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/goingtomars.

  2. Image Quality Assessment of JPEG Compressed Mars Science Laboratory Mastcam Images using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerner, H. R.; Bell, J. F., III; Ben Amor, H.

    2017-12-01

    The Mastcam color imaging system on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover acquires images within Gale crater for a variety of geologic and atmospheric studies. Images are often JPEG compressed before being downlinked to Earth. While critical for transmitting images on a low-bandwidth connection, this compression can result in image artifacts most noticeable as anomalous brightness or color changes within or near JPEG compression block boundaries. In images with significant high-frequency detail (e.g., in regions showing fine layering or lamination in sedimentary rocks), the image might need to be re-transmitted losslessly to enable accurate scientific interpretation of the data. The process of identifying which images have been adversely affected by compression artifacts is performed manually by the Mastcam science team, costing significant expert human time. To streamline the tedious process of identifying which images might need to be re-transmitted, we present an input-efficient neural network solution for predicting the perceived quality of a compressed Mastcam image. Most neural network solutions require large amounts of hand-labeled training data for the model to learn the target mapping between input (e.g. distorted images) and output (e.g. quality assessment). We propose an automatic labeling method using joint entropy between a compressed and uncompressed image to avoid the need for domain experts to label thousands of training examples by hand. We use automatically labeled data to train a convolutional neural network to estimate the probability that a Mastcam user would find the quality of a given compressed image acceptable for science analysis. We tested our model on a variety of Mastcam images and found that the proposed method correlates well with image quality perception by science team members. When assisted by our proposed method, we estimate that a Mastcam investigator could reduce the time spent reviewing images by a minimum of 70%.

  3. EU-FP7-iMARS: analysis of Mars multi-resolution images using auto-coregistration, data mining and crowd source techniques: A Mid-term Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, J.-P.; Yershov, V.; Sidiropoulos, P.; Gwinner, K.; Willner, K.; Fanara, L.; Waelisch, M.; van Gasselt, S.; Walter, S.; Ivanov, A.; Cantini, F.; Morley, J. G.; Sprinks, J.; Giordano, M.; Wardlaw, J.; Kim, J.-R.; Chen, W.-T.; Houghton, R.; Bamford, S.

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the role of different solid surface formation processes within our Solar System is one of the fundamental goals of planetary science research. There has been a revolution in planetary surface observations over the last 8 years, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape (down to resolutions of 10s of cms) and subsequent terrain correction of imagery from orbiting spacecraft. This has led to the potential to be able to overlay different epochs back to the mid-1970s. Within iMars, a processing system has been developed to generate 3D Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and corresponding OrthoRectified Images (ORIs) fully automatically from NASA MRO HiRISE and CTX stereo-pairs which are coregistered to corresponding HRSC ORI/DTMs. In parallel, iMars has developed a fully automated processing chain for co-registering level-1 (EDR) images from all previous NASA orbital missions to these HRSC ORIs and in the case of HiRISE these are further co-registered to previously co-registered CTX-to-HRSC ORIs. Examples will be shown of these multi-resolution ORIs and the application of different data mining algorithms to change detection using these co-registered images. iMars has recently launched a citizen science experiment to evaluate best practices for future citizen scientist validation of such data mining processed results. An example of the iMars website will be shown along with an embedded Version 0 prototype of a webGIS based on OGC standards.

  4. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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).

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  12. A New Generation of Telecommunications for Mars: The Reconfigurable Software Radio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, J.; Horne, W.

    2000-01-01

    Telecommunications is a critical component for any mission at Mars as it is an enabling function that provides connectivity back to Earth and provides a means for conducting science. New developments in telecommunications, specifically in software - configurable radios, expand the possible approaches for science missions at Mars. These radios provide a flexible and re-configurable platform that can evolve with the mission and that provide an integrated approach to communications and science data processing. Deep space telecommunication faces challenges not normally faced by terrestrial and near-earth communications. Radiation, thermal, highly constrained mass, volume, packaging and reliability all are significant issues. Additionally, once the spacecraft leaves earth, there is no way to go out and upgrade or replace radio components. The reconfigurable software radio is an effort to provide not only a product that is immediately usable in the harsh space environment but also to develop a radio that will stay current as the years pass and technologies evolve.

  13. Geographies of Mars seeing and knowing the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Lane, K Maria D

    2010-01-01

    One of the first maps of Mars, published by an Italian astronomer in 1877, with its pattern of canals, fueled belief in intelligent life forms on the distant red planet-a hope that continued into the 1960s. Although the Martian canals have long since been dismissed as a famous error in the history of science, K. Maria D. Lane argues that there was nothing accidental about these early interpretations. Indeed, she argues, the construction of Mars as an incomprehensibly complex and engineered world both reflected and challenged dominant geopolitical themes during a time of majo

  14. The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Christopher R.; Conrad, Pamela G.; Arvey, Robert; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Chalmers, Robert A.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Errigo, Therese; hide

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) addresses the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere and volatiles extracted from solid samples. The SAM investigation is designed to contribute substantially to the mission goal of quantitatively assessing the habitability of Mars as an essential step in the search for past or present life on Mars. SAM is a 40 kg instrument suite located in the interior of MSL's Curiosity rover. The SAM instruments are a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and a 6-column gas chromatograph all coupled through solid and gas processing systems to provide complementary information on the same samples. The SAM suite is able to measure a suite of light isotopes and to analyze volatiles directly from the atmosphere or thermally released from solid samples. In addition to measurements of simple inorganic compounds and noble gases SAM will conduct a sensitive search for organic compounds with either thermal or chemical extraction from sieved samples delivered by the sample processing system on the Curiosity rover's robotic arm,

  15. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    mobilize and redistribute volatile reservoirs both on and below the surface. And for Mars, these variations are large. In the past 20 My, for example, the obliquity is believed to have varied from a low of 15° to a high of 45° with a regular oscillation time scale of ~10^5 years. These variations are typically less than two degrees on the Earth. Mars, therefore, offers a natural laboratory for the study of orbitally induced climate change on a terrestrial planet. Finally, general circulation models (GCMs) for Mars have reached a level of sophistication that justifies their application to the study of spin axis/orbitally forced climate change. With recent advances in computer technology the models can run at reasonable spatial resolution for many Mars years with physics packages that include cloud microphysics, radiative transfer in scattering/absorbing atmospheres, surface heat budgets, boundary layer schemes, and a host of other processes. To be sure, the models will undergo continual improvement, but with carefully designed experiments they can now provide insights into mechanisms of climate change in the recent past. Thus, the geologic record is better preserved, the forcing function is large, and GCMs have become useful tools. While research efforts in each of these areas have progressed considerably over the past several decades, they have proceeded mostly on independent paths occasionally leading to conflicting ideas. To remedy this situation and accelerate progress in the area, the NASA/Ames Research Center's Mars General Circulation Modeling Group hosted a 3-day workshop on May 15-17, 2012 that brought together the geological and atmospheric science communities to collectively discuss the evidence for recent climate change on Mars, the nature of the change required, and how that change could be brought about. Over 50 researchers, students, and post-docs from the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan attended the meeting. The program and abstracts from the workshop are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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