WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars reconnaissance lander

  1. Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  3. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Mars Solar Balloon Lander, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

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

  8. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

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

  9. One Mars year: viking lander imaging observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1979-05-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Viking lander tracking contributions to Mars mapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael, W.H. Jr.

    1979-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-12-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm, Stereo View

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. MetHumi - Humidity Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. MetBaro - Pressure Instrument for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Viking Lander Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  2. Thermal Modeling of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Solar Panel and Instruments during Aerobraking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dec, John A.; Gasbarre, Joseph F.; Amundsen, Ruth M.

    2007-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched on August 12, 2005 and started aerobraking at Mars in March 2006. During the spacecraft s design phase, thermal models of the solar panels and instruments were developed to determine which components would be the most limiting thermally during aerobraking. Having determined the most limiting components, thermal limits in terms of heat rate were established. Advanced thermal modeling techniques were developed utilizing Thermal Desktop and Patran Thermal. Heat transfer coefficients were calculated using a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo technique. Analysis established that the solar panels were the most limiting components during the aerobraking phase of the mission.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S.L.; Mustard, J.F.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Milliken, R.E.; Bishop, J.L.; McKeown, N.K.; Noe Dobrea, E.Z.; Seelos, F.P.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Wiseman, S.M.; Arvidson, R. E.; Wray, J.J.; Swayze, G.; Clark, R.N.; Des Marais, D.J.; McEwen, A.S.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2009-01-01

    Martian aqueous mineral deposits have been examined and characterized using data acquired during Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (MRO) primary science phase, including Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral images covering the 0.4-3.9 ??m wavelength range, coordinated with higher-spatial resolution HiRISE and Context Imager images. MRO's new high-resolution measurements, combined with earlier data from Thermal Emission Spectrometer; Thermal Emission Imaging System; and Observatoire pour la Min??ralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activiti?? on Mars Express, indicate that aqueous minerals are both diverse and widespread on the Martian surface. The aqueous minerals occur in 9-10 classes of deposits characterized by distinct mineral assemblages, morphologies, and geologic settings. Phyllosilicates occur in several settings: in compositionally layered blankets hundreds of meters thick, superposed on eroded Noachian terrains; in lower layers of intracrater depositional fans; in layers with potential chlorides in sediments on intercrater plains; and as thousands of deep exposures in craters and escarpments. Carbonate-bearing rocks form a thin unit surrounding the Isidis basin. Hydrated silica occurs with hydrated sulfates in thin stratified deposits surrounding Valles Marineris. Hydrated sulfates also occur together with crystalline ferric minerals in thick, layered deposits in Terra Meridiani and in Valles Marineris and together with kaolinite in deposits that partially infill some highland craters. In this paper we describe each of the classes of deposits, review hypotheses for their origins, identify new questions posed by existing measurements, and consider their implications for ancient habitable environments. On the basis of current data, two to five classes of Noachian-aged deposits containing phyllosilicates and carbonates may have formed in aqueous environments with pH and water activities suitable for life. Copyright 2009 by the American

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  10. Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars CRISM Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frink, K.; Hayden, D.; Lecompte, D.

    2009-05-01

    The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars CRISM (CRISM) carried aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), is the first visible-infrared spectrometer to fly on a NASA Mars mission. CRISM scientists are using the instrument to look for the residue of minerals that form in the presence of water: the 'fingerprints' left by evaporated hot springs, thermal vents, lakes or ponds. With unprecedented clarity, CRISM is mapping regions on the Martian surface at scales as small as 60 feet (about 18 meters) across, when the spacecraft is 186 miles (300 kilometers) above the planet. CRISM is reading 544 'colors' in reflected sunlight to detect certain minerals on the surface, including signature traces of past water. CRISM alone will generate more than 10 terabytes of data, enough to fill more than 15,000 compact discs. Given that quantity of data being returned by MRO-CRISM, this project partners with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) scientists of the CRISM team to assist in the data analysis process. The CRISM operations team has prototyped and will provide the necessary software analysis tools. In addition, the CRISM operations team will provide reduced data volume representations of the data as PNG files, accessible via a web interface without recourse to specialized user tools. The web interface allows me to recommend repeating certain of the CRISM observations as survey results indicate, and to enter notes on the features present in the images. After analysis of a small percentage of CRISM observations, APL scientists concluded that their efforts would be greatly facilitated by adding a preliminary survey to evaluate the overall characteristics and quality of the CRISM data. The first-look should increase the efficiency and speed of their data analysis efforts. This project provides first-look assessments of the data quality while noting features of interest likely to need further study or additional CRISM observations. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Ralph

    2016-10-01

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

  12. Field Reconnaissance Geologic Mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars: Results from MER Spirit and MRO HiRISE Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levri, Julie A.; Perchonok, Michele H.

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Viking Lander 2 Anniversary

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Mass Spectrometry on Future Mars Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Allison M.

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Rossi, A.

    2009-04-01

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

  20. Radio Telescopes to Keep Sharp Eye on Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Frost on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  4. TMBM: Tethered Micro-Balloons on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  5. Telltale wind indicator for the Mars Phoenix lander

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, S.

    1974-01-01

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

  7. Frost at the Viking Lander 2 Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.; Palin, M.; Nikkanen, T.

    2015-10-01

    New kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  12. 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

  13. X-ray proportional counter for the Viking Lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  14. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  17. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  18. Low Cost Mars Sample Return Utilizing Dragon Lander Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Lander Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavers, Greg

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Rationale and concept for a lunar pit reconnaissance probe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorrington, G. E.

    2018-04-01

    Speculation on near-term scientific reasons for the exploration of lunar pits is offered alongside comments on possible longer-term human exploitation. It is proposed that in order to determine whether or not one or more of the pits offer access the large subsurface voids e.g. a non-collapsed lava tube, a preliminary reconnaissance mission solely focused on obtaining lateral images (and/or LiDAR maps) is needed. Possible concept options for such a preliminary reconnaissance mission are discussed. It is suggested that one of the best possible strategies is to employ a micro-sized probe (∼0.3m) that would hop from a nearby main landing spacecraft to the selected pit. After the surface position of the main lander is determined accurately, the probe would perform a ballistic hop, or hover-traverse, a distance of ∼3 km over the lunar surface using existing propulsive and guidance technology capability. Once hovering above the pit, the probe or a separate tethered imaging unit would then be lowered into the pit to acquire the necessary subsurface void topology data. This data would then be transmitted back to Earth, directly, via the lander, or via a store-and-forward orbiting relay. Preliminary estimates indicate that a probe of ∼14 kg (dry mass) is viable using a conventional hydrazine monopropellant system with a propellant mass fraction of less than ∼0.2 (20%) including margins, suggesting a piggyback architecture would be feasible.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Photogrammetry of the Viking-Lander imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  12. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  13. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Huu P.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. VL1 Digs A Deep Hole On Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. PHOENIX MARS MECA OPTICAL MICROSCOPE 2 EDR VERSION 1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Solar radiation for Mars power systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  8. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission Concept: Exploring Europa's Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Senske, David; Prockter, Louise; Paczkowski, Brian; Vance, Steve; Goldstein, Barry; Magner, Thomas; Cooke, Brian

    2015-04-01

    capability to perform reconnais-sance for a future lander. In consultation with NASA Headquarters, the SDT developed a reconnaissance goal: Characterize Scientifically Compelling Sites, and Hazards, for a Potential Future Landed Mission to Europa. This leads to two reconnaissance objectives: Site Safety: Assess the distribution of surface hazards, the load-bearing capacity of the surface, the structure of the subsurface, and the regolith thickness; and Sci-ence Value: Assess the composition of surface materi-als, the geologic context of the surface, the potential for geological activity, the proximity of near surface water, and the potential for active upwelling of ocean material. The Europa Clipper mission concept provides an efficient means to explore Europa and investigate its habitability through understanding the satellite's ice shell and ocean, composition, and geology. It also provides for surface reconnaissance for potential future landed exploration of Europa. Development of the Eu-ropa Clipper mission concept is ongoing, with current studies focusing on spacecraft design trades and re-finements, launch vehicle options (EELV and SLS), and power source (MMRTG and solar), to name a few. We will provide an update on status of the science and reconnaissance effort, as well as the results of trade studies as relevant to the science and reconnaissance potential of the mission concept.

  9. Red Dragon drill missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Photogrammetric portrayal of Mars topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.S.C.

    1979-01-01

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

  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. 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 ...

  18. ExoGeoLab Pilot Project for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2010-05-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 21st century early mission concepts for Mars delivery and earth return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1990-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Solar radiation on Mars: Update 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Desai, Prasun N.; Michelltree, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rover missions landed successfully on Mars surface in January of 2004. Both missions used a parachute system to slow the rover s descent rate from supersonic to subsonic speeds. Shortly after parachute deployment, the heat shield, which protected the rover during the hypersonic entry phase of the mission, was jettisoned using push-off springs. Mission designers were concerned about the heat shield recontacting the lander after separation, so a separation analysis was conducted to quantify risks. This analysis was used to choose a proper heat shield ballast mass to ensure successful separation with low probability of recontact. This paper presents the details of such an analysis, its assumptions, and the results. During both landings, the radar was able to lock on to the heat shield, measuring its distance, as it descended away from the lander. This data is presented and is used to validate the heat shield separation/recontact analysis.

  4. 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.

  5. Energy storage considerations for a robotic Mars surface sampler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  6. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaita, Cesare

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaidez, Mariana

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

  8. Special section introduction on MicroMars to MegaMars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo, Michelle A.

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Mars MetNet Mission Pressure and Humidity Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  12. ROSETTA lander Philae: Touch-down reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roll, Reinhard; Witte, Lars

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  15. Mars orbiter redirected in bid to find Beagle

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-03-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  7. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation: crater hopping at Meridiani Planum

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.E. Arvidson,; Bell, J.F.; Catalano, J.G.; Clark, B. C.; Fox, V.K.; Gellert, Ralf; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Knoll, A.H.; Lapotre, M.G.A.; McLennan, S.M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Powell, K. E.; Smith, M.D.; Squyres, S. W.; Wolff, M.J.; J.J. Wray,

    2015-01-01

    Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral (1.0–2.65 µm) along-track oversampled observations covering Victoria, Santa Maria, Endeavour, and Ada craters were processed to 6 m/pixel and used in combination with Opportunity observations to detect and map hydrated Mg and Ca sulfate minerals in the Burns formation. The strongest spectral absorption features were found to be associated with outcrops that are relatively young and fresh (Ada) or preferentially scoured of dust, soil, and coatings by prevailing winds. At Victoria and Santa Maria, the scoured areas are on the southeastern rims and walls, opposite to the sides where wind-blown sands extend out of the craters. At Endeavour, the deepest absorptions are in Botany Bay, a subdued and buried rim segment that exhibits high thermal inertias, extensive outcrops, and is interpreted to be a region of enhanced wind scour extending up and out of the crater. Ada, Victoria, and Santa Maria outcrops expose the upper portion of the preserved Burns formation and show spectral evidence for the presence of kieserite. In contrast, gypsum is pervasive spectrally in the Botany Bay exposures. Gypsum, a relatively insoluble evaporative mineral, is interpreted to have formed close to the contact with the Noachian crust as rising groundwaters brought brines close to and onto the surface, either as a direct precipitate or during later diagenesis. The presence of kieserite at the top of the section is hypothesized to reflect precipitation from evaporatively concentrated brines or dehydration of polyhydrated sulfates

  8. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Mars on January 4, 2004, for a prime mission designed to last three months (90 sols). After more than six years operating on the surface of Mars, the last communication received from Spirit occurred on Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010). Following the loss of signal, the Mars Exploration Rover Project radiated over 1400 commands to Mars in an attempt to elicit a response from the rover. Attempts were made utilizing Deep Space Network X-Band and UHF relay via both Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Search and recovery efforts concluded on July 13, 2011. It is the MER project's assessment that Spirit succumbed to the extreme environmental conditions experienced during its fourth winter on Mars. Focusing on the time period from the end of the third Martian winter through the fourth winter and end of recovery activities, this report describes possible explanations for the loss of the vehicle and the extent of recovery efforts that were performed. It offers lessons learned and provides an overall mission summary.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Multijunction Solar Cell Technology for Mars Surface Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Dennis; Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Archiving InSight Lander Science Data Using PDS4 Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Design of Photovoltaic Power System for a Precursor Mission for Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcnatt, Jeremiah; Landis, Geoffrey; Fincannon, James

    2016-01-01

    This project analyzed the viability of a photovoltaic power source for technology demonstration mission to demonstrate Mars in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) to produce propellant for a future human mission, based on technology available within the next ten years. For this assessment, we performed a power-system design study for a scaled ISRU demonstrator lander on the Mars surface based on existing solar array technologies.

  14. Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Mercury Lander Mission Concept Study Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eng, D. A.

    2018-05-01

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

  17. Mars north polar deposits: stratigraphy, age, and geodynamical response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Roger J; Zuber, Maria T; Smrekar, Suzanne E; Mellon, Michael T; Head, James W; Tanaka, Kenneth L; Putzig, Nathaniel E; Milkovich, Sarah M; Campbell, Bruce A; Plaut, Jeffrey J; Safaeinili, Ali; Seu, Roberto; Biccari, Daniela; Carter, Lynn M; Picardi, Giovanni; Orosei, Roberto; Mohit, P Surdas; Heggy, Essam; Zurek, Richard W; Egan, Anthony F; Giacomoni, Emanuele; Russo, Federica; Cutigni, Marco; Pettinelli, Elena; Holt, John W; Leuschen, Carl J; Marinangeli, Lucia

    2008-05-30

    The Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has imaged the internal stratigraphy of the north polar layered deposits of Mars. Radar reflections within the deposits reveal a laterally continuous deposition of layers, which typically consist of four packets of finely spaced reflectors separated by homogeneous interpacket regions of nearly pure ice. The packet/interpacket structure can be explained by approximately million-year periodicities in Mars' obliquity or orbital eccentricity. The observed approximately 100-meter maximum deflection of the underlying substrate in response to the ice load implies that the present-day thickness of an equilibrium elastic lithosphere is greater than 300 kilometers. Alternatively, the response to the load may be in a transient state controlled by mantle viscosity. Both scenarios probably require that Mars has a subchondritic abundance of heat-producing elements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paton, Mark

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  2. The environs of viking 2 lander.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-12-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-10-01

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

  7. Life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venkatavaradan, V.S.

    1976-01-01

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

  8. Multiple Smaller Missions as a Direct Pathway to Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niles, P. B.; Draper, D. S.; Evans, C. A.; Gibson, E. K.; Graham, L. D.; Jones, J. H.; Lederer, S. M.; Ming, D.; Seaman, C. H.; Archer, P. D.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Recent discoveries by the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft include multiple, tantalizing astrobiological targets representing both past and present environments on Mars. The most desirable path to Mars Sample Return (MSR) would be to collect and return samples from that site which provides the clearest examples of the variety of rock types considered a high priority for sample return (pristine igneous, sedimentary, and hydrothermal). Here we propose an MSR architecture in which the next steps (potentially launched in 2018) would entail a series of smaller missions, including caching, to multiple landing sites to verify the presence of high priority sample return targets through in situ analyses. This alternative architecture to one flagship-class sample caching mission to a single site would preserve a direct path to MSR as stipulated by the Planetary Decadal Survey, while permitting investigation of diverse deposit types and providing comparison of the site of returned samples to other aqueous environments on early Mars

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

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

  10. Robotic Lunar Lander Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, H.; Vago, J. L.

    2017-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Seismic exploration for water on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, T.

    1987-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Low Cost Precision Lander for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  17. Mars geodesy, rotation and gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenblatt, Pascal; Dehant, Veronique

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  19. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

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

  20. The Global and Local Characters of Mars Perihelion Cloud Trails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, R. T.; Wolff, M. J.; Smith, M. D.; Cantor, B. A.; Spiga, A.

    2014-12-01

    We present the seasonal and spatial distribution of Mars perihelion cloud trails as mapped from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) MARCI (Mars Color Imager) imaging observations in 2 ultraviolet and 3 visible filters. The extended 2007-2013 period of MARCI daily global image maps reveals the widespread distribution of these high altitude clouds, which are somewhat paradoxically associated with specific surface regions. They appear as longitudinally extended (300-700 km) cloud trails with distinct leading plumes of substantial ice cloud optical depths (0.02-0.2) for such high altitudes of occurrence (40-50 km, from cloud surface shadow measurements). These plumes generate small ice particles (Reff~1 to reflect locally elevated mesospheric water ice formation that may impact the global expression of mesospheric water ice aerosols.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  3. Autonomous Operation of Mars Meteorological Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  4. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. Evidence for Basinwide Mud Volcanism in Acidalia Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2010-01-01

    High-albedo mounds in Acidalia Planitia occur in enormous numbers. They have been variously interpreted as pseudocraters, cinder cones, tuff cones, pingos, ice disintegration features, or mud volcanoes. Our work uses regional mapping, basin analysis, and new data from the Context Camera (CTX), High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), and Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) to re-assess the origin and significance of these structures.

  6. Spectral Evidence for Hydrated Salts in Seasonal Brine Flows on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, L.

    2015-12-01

    Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) are narrow, low-reflectance features forming on present-day Mars that have been hypothesized to be due to the transient flow of liquid water. RSL extend incrementally downslope on steep, warm slopes, fade when inactive, and reappear annually over multiple Mars years as monitored by the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). In the southern mid-latitudes of Mars, RSL are observed to form most commonly on equator facing slopes, but in equatorial regions RSL often "follow the sun", forming and growing on slopes that receive the greatest insolation during a particular season. The temperature on slopes where RSL are active typically exceeds 250 K and often but not always exceeds 273 K, although sub-surface temperatures would be colder. These characteristics suggest a possible role of salts in lowering the freezing point of water, allowing briny solutions to flow. Confirmation of this wet origin hypothesis for RSL would require either (i) detection of liquid water absorptions on the surface, or (ii) detection of hydrated salts precipitated from that water. The mineralogical composition of RSL and their surroundings can be investigated using orbital data acquired by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) also on board MRO, which acquires spectral cubes with 544 spectral channels in the visible to near-infrared range of ~0.36 μm to 3.92 μm [13], within which both liquid water and hydrated salts have diagnostic absorption bands at ~1.4 μm, ~1.9 μm, ~3.0 μm. Additionally, hydrated salts may have combination of overtones at other wavelengths from 1.7 μm to 2.4 μm. We present results from examination of individual pixels containing RSL at four different sites that confirm the hypothesis that RSL are due to present-day activity of briny water.

  7. 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.

  8. Photogrammetry of the Viking Lander imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  9. Low Energy Electrons in the Mars Plasma Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Richard

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Mert Davies: Pioneer in the Use of Spacecraft to Map Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B.; Augenstein, B.

    2002-12-01

    Mert Davies was one of the founding employees of the RAND Corporation in 1946, and continued that relationship until his death in 2001. He began his involvement in satellite imaging at Rand as one of about 100 researchers in Project Feedback in 1954, provided the basis for the initial US military space program. In 1957, in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik, Mert and a small group of Rand cohorts proposed a family of recoverable reconnaissance satellites featuring spin stabilized cameras, for which he later received a patent. This work, now declassified, was for a short time considered as a basis for the Corona, America's first reconnaissance satellite Corona, although ultimately alternative technologies were employed. In addition he was looking beyond Earth quite early and in May, 1958 published an analysis of a lunar mapping satellite. The 1957 work at Rand spurred considerations of space-based geodesy and mapping. These and other early contributions were recognized in 1999 by the National Reconnaissance Office which honored him as one of the founders of national reconnaissance. He was so enthused by the opportunity developing in the mid 1960?s to explore photographically the planets that he changed careers and joined the Television Team of the Mariner probes being developed to flyby Mars in 1969 (Mariner's 6&7). His abilities and accomplishments there led directly to central roles later in the Mariner 9 Mars Orbiter mission (1971-72) as well as Mariner 10 to Mercury (1973-75) and Voyagers 1&2 (1979-89) These early flights to Mars represented unprecedented technical challenges, especially to radio communications. As a consequence, analog television systems, like that carried on the Ranger impact probe in 1964-65 or film readout technology like that used on Lunar Orbiter in 1965-66 to send back high-resolution images from the Moon were not feasible from planetary distances. In order to exploit the remarkable communication potential of the DSN, JPL

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

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

  15. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulqueen, John A.

    1992-01-01

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

  17. Cryogenic Fluid Management Technology for Moon and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Michael P.; Gaby, Joseph D.; Salerno, Louis J.; Sutherlin, Steven G.

    2010-01-01

    In support of the U.S. Space Exploration Policy, focused cryogenic fluid management technology efforts are underway within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Under the auspices of the Exploration Technology Development Program, cryogenic fluid management technology efforts are being conducted by the Cryogenic Fluid Management Project. Cryogenic Fluid Management Project objectives are to develop storage, transfer, and handling technologies for cryogens to support high performance demands of lunar, and ultimately, Mars missions in the application areas of propulsion, surface systems, and Earth-based ground operations. The targeted use of cryogens and cryogenic technologies for these application areas is anticipated to significantly reduce propellant launch mass and required on-orbit margins, to reduce and even eliminate storage tank boil-off losses for long term missions, to economize ground pad storage and transfer operations, and to expand operational and architectural operations at destination. This paper organizes Cryogenic Fluid Management Project technology efforts according to Exploration Architecture target areas, and discusses the scope of trade studies, analytical modeling, and test efforts presently underway, as well as future plans, to address those target areas. The target areas are: liquid methane/liquid oxygen for propelling the Altair Lander Ascent Stage, liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen for propelling the Altair Lander Descent Stage and Ares V Earth Departure Stage, liquefaction, zero boil-off, and propellant scavenging for Lunar Surface Systems, cold helium and zero boil-off technologies for Earth-Based Ground Operations, and architecture definition studies for long term storage and on-orbit transfer and pressurization of LH2, cryogenic Mars landing and ascent vehicles, and cryogenic production via in situ resource utilization on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanboli, Alice; McAuley, James M.

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 3D reconstruction of the source and scale of buried young flood channels on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Gareth A; Campbell, Bruce A; Carter, Lynn M; Plaut, Jeffrey J; Phillips, Roger J

    2013-05-03

    Outflow channels on Mars are interpreted as the product of gigantic floods due to the catastrophic eruption of groundwater that may also have initiated episodes of climate change. Marte Vallis, the largest of the young martian outflow channels (Mars hydrologic activity during a period otherwise considered to be cold and dry. Using data from the Shallow Radar sounder on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, we present a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of buried channels on Mars and provide estimates of paleohydrologic parameters. Our work shows that Cerberus Fossae provided the waters that carved Marte Vallis, and it extended an additional 180 kilometers to the east before the emplacement of the younger lava flows. We identified two stages of channel incision and determined that channel depths were more than twice those of previous estimates.

  3. Accuracy Analysis of Lunar Lander Terminal Guidance Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. K. Li

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. The atmosphere and climate of Mars

    CERN Document Server

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  10. 'Mister Badger' Pushing Mars Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

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

  11. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Linear Covariance Analysis for a Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The Mars Climate Database (MCD version 5.3)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  19. Polygon on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  4. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Low-Latency Teleoperations for Human Exploration and Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupisella, Mark; Wright, Michael; Arney, Dale; Gershman, Bob; Stillwagen, Fred; Bobskill, Marianne; Johnson, James; Shyface, Hilary; Larman, Kevin; Lewis, Ruthan; hide

    2015-01-01

    NASA has been analyzing a number of mission concepts and activities that involve low-latency telerobotic (LLT) operations. One mission concept that will be covered in this presentation is Crew-Assisted Sample Return which involves the crew acquiring samples (1) that have already been delivered to space, and or acquiring samples via LLT from orbit to a planetary surface and then launching the samples to space to be captured in space and then returned to the earth with the crew. Both versions of have key roles for low-latency teleoperations. More broadly, the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign is exploring a number of other activities that involve LLT, such as: (a) human asteroid missions, (b) PhobosDeimos missions, (c) Mars human landing site reconnaissance and site preparation, and (d) Mars sample handling and analysis. Many of these activities could be conducted from Mars orbit and also with the crew on the Mars surface remotely operating assets elsewhere on the surface, e.g. for exploring Mars special regions and or teleoperating a sample analysis laboratory both of which may help address planetary protection concerns. The operational and technology implications of low-latency teleoperations will be explored, including discussion of relevant items in the NASA Technology Roadmap and also how previously deployed robotic assets from any source could subsequently be used by astronauts via LLT.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. The Challenge To Tactical Reconnaissance: Timeliness Through Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stromfors, Richard D.

    1984-12-01

    As you have no doubt gathered from Mr. Henkel's introduction, I have spent over 20 years of my Air Force career involved in the reconnaissance mission either as a tactical reconnaissance pilot, as a tactical reconnaissance inspector, as a writer and speaker on that subject while attending the Air Force Professional Military Education Schools, and currently as the Air Force's operational manager for reconnaissance aircraft. In all of those positions, I've been challenged many times over with what appeared, at first, to be insurmountable problems that upon closer examination weren't irresolvable after all. All of these problems pale, however, when viewed side-by-side with the one challenge that has faced me since I began my military career and, in fact, faces all of us as I talk with you today. That one challenge is the problem of timeliness. Better put: "Getting information to our customers firstest with the mostest." Together we must develop better platforms and sensors to cure this age-old "Achilles heel" in the reconnaissance cycle. Despite all of our best intentions, despite all of the emerging technologies that will be available, and despite all of the dollars that we've thrown at research and development, we in the reconnaissance business still haven't done a good job in this area. We must do better.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-29

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

  10. Crosslink Radio Occultation for the Remote Sensing of Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Asmar, S.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahan, D. S.; Paik, M.; Pi, X.; Williamson, W.

    2015-12-01

    Radio occultation utilizing deep space telecommunication signals has been used with great success in the profiling of planetary atmospheres and ionospheres since the 1960s. A shortcoming of this technique, however, is the limited temporal and spatial sampling that it provides. We consider a different approach where radio occultation measurements are taken between two spacecraft orbiting an extra-terrestrial body. Such "crosslink" radio occultations between the Global Positioning System satellites and low-earth orbiting spacecraft have been routinely acquired to provide global observations of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere that are used for weather forecast, climate analysis, and space weather applications. The feasibility of applying this concept to other planets has recently been demonstrated for the first time, where crosslink occultation measurements have been acquired between the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. These measurements leverage the proximity link telecommunication payloads on each orbiter, which are nominally used to provide relay communication and navigation services to Mars landers and rovers. In this presentation, we will describe the Mars crosslink experiments and the corresponding data analysis in detail. In addition, we will discuss how the crosslink occultation concepts can be effectively applied in future space exploration missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombeck, M.; Rapp, D.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

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

  16. A Novel, Low-Cost Conformable Lander

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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).

  18. Massive CO2 Ice Deposits Sequestered in the South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Roger J.; Davis, Brian J.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Byrne, Shane; Mellon, Michael T.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Haberle, Robert M.; Kahre, Melinda A.; Campbell, Bruce A.; Carter, Lynn M.; Smith, Isaac B.; Holt, John W.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.; Nunes, Daniel C.; Plaut, Jeffrey J.; Egan, Anthony F.; Titus, Timothy N.; Seu, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    Shallow Radar soundings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal a buried deposit of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice within the south polar layered deposits of Mars with a volume of 9500 to 12,500 cubic kilometers, about 30 times that previously estimated for the south pole residual cap. The deposit occurs within a stratigraphic unit that is uniquely marked by collapse features and other evidence of interior CO2 volatile release. If released into the atmosphere at times of high obliquity, the CO2 reservoir would increase the atmospheric mass by up to 80%, leading to more frequent and intense dust storms and to more regions where liquid water could persist without boiling.

  19. Mechanical Description of the Mars Climate Sounder Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jau, Bruno M.

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) Instrument of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. The instrument scans the Martian atmosphere almost continuously to systematically acquire weather and climate observations over time. Its primary components are an optical bench that houses dual telescopes with a total of nine channels for visible and infrared sensing, and a two axis gimbal that provides pointing capabilities. Both rotating joints consist of an integrated actuator with a hybrid planetary/harmonic transmission and a twist cap section that enables the electrical wiring to pass through the rotating joint. Micro stepping is used to reduce spacecraft disturbance torques to acceptable levels while driving the stepper motors. To ensure survivability over its four year life span, suitable mechanical components, lubrication, and an active temperature control system were incorporated. Some life test results and lessons learned are provided to serve as design guidelines for actuator parts and flex cables.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Candidate cave entrances on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Glen E.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  3. Extratropical Weather Systems on Mars: Radiatively-Active Water Ice Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahre, M. A.; Haberle, R. M.; Urata, R. A.; Montmessin, F.

    2017-01-01

    Extratropical, large-scale weather disturbances, namely transient, synoptic-period,baroclinic barotropic eddies - or - low- (high-) pressure cyclones (anticyclones), are components fundamental to global circulation patterns for rapidly rotating, differentially heated, shallow atmospheres such as Earth and Mars. Such "wave-like" disturbances that arise via (geophysical) fluid shear instability develop, mature and decay, and travel west-to-east in the middle and high latitudes within terrestrial-like planetary atmospheres. These disturbances serve as critical agents in the transport of heat and momentum between low and high latitudes of the planet. Moreover, they transport trace species within the atmosphere (e.g., water vapor/ice, other aerosols (dust), chemical species, etc). Between early autumn through early spring, middle and high latitudes on Mars exhibit strong equator-to-pole mean temperature contrasts (i.e., "baroclinicity"). Data collected during the Viking era and observations from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate that such strong baroclinicity supports vigorous, large-scale eastward traveling weather systems [Banfield et al., 2004; Barnes et al., 1993]. A good example of traveling weather systems, frontal wave activity and sequestered dust activity from MGS/MOC image analyses is provided in Figure 1 (cf. Wang et al. [2005]). Utilizing an upgraded and evolving version of the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) Mars global climate model, investigated here are key dynamical and physical aspects of simulated northern hemisphere (NH) large-scale extratropica lweather systems,with and without radiatively-active water ice clouds. Mars Climate Model:

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-25

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

  5. Non-Cooled Power System for Venus Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Reflectance Spectra Diversity of Silica-Rich Materials: Sensitivity to Environment and Implications for Detections on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, M. S.; Cloutis, E. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Bish, D. L.; Horgan, B. H.; Mertzman, S. A.; Craig, M. A.; Renault, R. W.; Gautason, B.; Mountain, B.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrated silica-rich materials have recently been discovered on the surface of Mars by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), and the Mars Express Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activite'(OMEGA) in several locations. Having been interpreted as hydrothermal deposits and aqueous alteration products, these materials have important implications for the history of water on the martian surface. Spectral detections of these materials in visible to near infrared (Vis NIR) wavelengths have been based on a H2O absorption feature in the 934-1009 nm region seen with Spirit s Pancam instrument, and on SiOH absorption features in the 2.21-2.26 micron range seen with CRISM. Our work aims to determine how the spectral reflectance properties of silica-rich materials in Vis NIR wavelengths vary as a function of environmental conditions and formation. Here we present laboratory reflectance spectra of a diverse suite of silica-rich materials (chert, opal, quartz, natural sinters and synthetic silica) under a range of grain sizes and temperature, pressure, and humidity conditions. We find that the H2O content and form of H2O/OH present in silica-rich materials can have significant effects on their Vis NIR spectra. Our main findings are that the position of the approx.1.4 microns OH feature and the symmetry of the approx.1.9 microns feature can be used to discern between various forms of silica-rich materials, and that the ratio of the approx.2.2 microns (SiOH) and approx.1.9 microns (H2O) band depths can aid in distinguishing between silica phases (opal-A vs. opal-CT) and formation conditions (low vs. high temperature). In a case study of hydrated silica outcrops in Valles Marineris, we show that careful application of a modified version of these spectral parameters to orbital near-infrared spectra (e.g., from CRISM and OMEGA) can aid in characterizing the

  9. The Landers earthquake; preliminary instrumental results

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. The Viking mission search for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Study on the shipboard radar reconnaissance equipment azimuth benchmark method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhenxing; Jiang, Ning; Ma, Qian; Liu, Songtao; Wang, Longtao

    2015-10-01

    The future naval battle will take place in a complex electromagnetic environment. Therefore, seizing the electromagnetic superiority has become the major actions of the navy. Radar reconnaissance equipment is an important part of the system to obtain and master battlefield electromagnetic radiation source information. Azimuth measurement function is one of the main function radar reconnaissance equipments. Whether the accuracy of direction finding meets the requirements, determines the vessels successful or not active jamming, passive jamming, guided missile attack and other combat missions, having a direct bearing on the vessels combat capabilities . How to test the performance of radar reconnaissance equipment, while affecting the task as little as possible is a problem. This paper, based on radar signal simulator and GPS positioning equipment, researches and experiments on one new method, which povides the azimuth benchmark required by the direction-finding precision test anytime anywhere, for the ships at jetty to test radar reconnaissance equipment performance in direction-finding. It provides a powerful means for the naval radar reconnaissance equipments daily maintenance and repair work[1].

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  16. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  17. Sensor Control And Film Annotation For Long Range, Standoff Reconnaissance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Thomas G.; Peters, Owen L.; Post, Lawrence H.

    1984-12-01

    This paper describes a Reconnaissance Data Annotation System that incorporates off-the-shelf technology and system designs providing a high degree of adaptability and interoperability to satisfy future reconnaissance data requirements. The history of data annotation for reconnaissance is reviewed in order to provide the base from which future developments can be assessed and technical risks minimized. The system described will accommodate new developments in recording head assemblies and the incorporation of advanced cameras of both the film and electro-optical type. Use of microprocessor control and digital bus inter-face form the central design philosophy. For long range, high altitude, standoff missions, the Data Annotation System computes the projected latitude and longitude of central target position from aircraft position and attitude. This complements the use of longer ranges and high altitudes for reconnaissance missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D. L.

    1996-03-01

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

  20. Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Tripodi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance is a toolbox to examine and disentangle urban complexities. Not the city, not the urban territory, not the urbanization process but the irreducible condition produced by the dialectical relation and the semantic stratification resulting from these factors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Orbiting Depot and Reusable Lander for Lunar Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, Andrew

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

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

  4. Digibaro pressure instrument onboard the Phoenix Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardini, B.

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

  6. Multiple Autonomous Vehicles for Minefield Reconnaissance and Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-12-01

    NPS-ME-97-008 NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL Monterey, California ItC A D- 19980421 131 =C QUALTY Ui Ji.CTEJ) THESIS MULTIPLE AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES FOR...MULTIPLE AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES FOR MINEFIELD 5. FUNDING NUMBERS RECONNAISSANCE AND MAPPING N0001497WX30039 6. AUTHOR(S) Jack A. Starr 7. PERFORMING... AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES FOR MINEFIELD RECONNAISSANCE AND MAPPING Jack A. Starr Lieutenant, United States Navy B.S., Oregon State University, 1991 Submitted in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, E. L., III

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Information Management For Tactical Reconnaissance

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, James P.

    1984-12-01

    The expected battlefield tactics of the 1980's and 1990's will be fluid and dynamic. If tactical reconnaissance is to meet this challenge, it must explore all ways of accelerating the flow of information through the reconnaissance cycle, from the moment a tasking request is received to the time the mission results are delivered to the requestor. In addition to near real-time dissemination of reconnaissance information, the mission planning phase needs to be more responsive to the rapidly changing battlefield scenario. By introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) via an expert system to the mission planning phase, repetitive and computational tasks can be more readily performed by the ground-based mission planning system, thereby permitting the aircrew to devote more of their time to target study. Transporting the flight plan, plus other mission data, to the aircraft is simple with the Fairchild Data Transfer Equipment (DTE). Aircrews are relieved of the tedious, error-prone, and time-consuming task of manually keying-in avionics initialization data. Post-flight retrieval of mission data via the DTE will permit follow-on aircrews, just starting their mission planning phase, to capitalize on current threat data collected by the returning aircrew. Maintenance data retrieved from the recently flown mission will speed-up the aircraft turn-around by providing near-real time fault detection/isolation. As future avionics systems demand more information, a need for a computer-controlled, smart data base or expert system on-board the aircraft will emerge.

  12. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. LASL approach to uranium geochemical reconnaissance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharp, R.R. Jr.

    1977-01-01

    The US ERDA, as part of the NURE program, has initiated a nationwide Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR). The aims of the NURE program are to provide data on which to base more accurate estimates of US uranium reserves for long-range planning and to aid in meeting the nation's projected uranium demands into the next century. The HSSR objective is to complete, by 1980, a reconnaissance of the nation's surface waters, ground waters, and stream and lake sediments, to aid in assessment of uranium reserves and identification of areas of interest for exploration. Patterned after extensive uranium reconnaissance done in many other countries, the LASL project is comprised of the following five components: (1) organization and planning, which includes management, design, and execution; (2) field sampling, which includes orientation studies, generation of specifications, and contracting and inspection of field work; (3) sample receiving and analysis, which includes development of methods and hardware, quality assurance, and archival storage; (4) data handling and presentation, including verification, storage, output, and plotting; and (5) data evaluation and publication, which incorporates geochemical, geological, statistical, and empirical evaluation and report writing. The LASL approach to each component and the current status in each state are described.

  15. LASL approach to uranium geochemical reconnaissance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharp, R.R. Jr.

    1977-01-01

    The US ERDA, as part of the NURE program, has initiated a nationwide Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR). The aims of the NURE program are to provide data on which to base more accurate estimates of US uranium reserves for long-range planning and to aid in meeting the nation's projected uranium demands into the next century. The HSSR objective is to complete, by 1980, a reconnaissance of the nation's surface waters, ground waters, and stream and lake sediments, to aid in assessment of uranium reserves and identification of areas of interest for exploration. Patterned after extensive uranium reconnaissance done in many other countries, the LASL project is comprised of the following five components: (1) organization and planning, which includes management, design, and execution; (2) field sampling, which includes orientation studies, generation of specifications, and contracting and inspection of field work; (3) sample receiving and analysis, which includes development of methods and hardware, quality assurance, and archival storage; (4) data handling and presentation, including verification, storage, output, and plotting; and (5) data evaluation and publication, which incorporates geochemical, geological, statistical, and empirical evaluation and report writing. The LASL approach to each component and the current status in each state are described

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Qualitative Description and Quantitative Optimization of Tactical Reconnaissance Agents System Organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiong Li

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the problem of qualitative description and quantitative optimization for tactical reconnaissance agents system organization is considered with objective of higher teamwork efficiency and more reasonable task balancing strategies. By analyzing tactical reconnaissance system and its environment, task-(role-entity agent mapping mechanism and agents in system organization, the system framework is qualitatively described. By transforming the system into an interaction task request-service mechanism queuing system, a Markov chain of system state transition is obtained, since its state transition process in interaction is Markov process and accords with real tactical reconnaissance behaviors. By solving the state transition equations, the inherent relationship of tactical reconnaissance agents is found and the optimized system configuration is obtained. The established simulation demonstration system proves that the proposed approach and model are feasible and effective.

  18. Reconnaissance invariante d'objets 3-D et correlation SONG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Sebastien

    Cette these propose des solutions a deux problemes de la reconnaissance automatique de formes: la reconnaissance invariante d'objets tridimensionnels a partir d'images d'intensite et la reconnaissance robuste a la presence de bruit disjoint. Un systeme utilisant le balayage angulaire des images et un classificateur par trajectoires d'espace des caracteristiques permet d'obtenir la reconnaissance invariante d'objets tridimensionnels. La reconnaissance robuste a la presence de bruit disjoint est realisee au moyen de la correlation SONG. Nous avons realise la reconnaissance invariante aux translations, rotations et changements d'echelle d'objets tridimensionnels a partir d'images d'intensite segmentees. Nous utilisons le balayage angulaire et un classificateur a trajectoires d'espace des caracteris tiques. Afin d'obtenir l'invariance aux translations, le centre de balayage angulaire coincide avec le centre geometrique de l'image. Le balayage angulaire produit un vecteur de caracteristiques invariant aux changements d'echelle de l'image et il transforme en translations du signal les rotations autour d'un axe parallele a la ligne de visee. Le classificateur par trajectoires d'espace des caracteristiques represente une rotation autour d'un axe perpendiculaire a la ligne de visee par une courbe dans l'espace. La classification se fait par la mesure de la distance du vecteur de caracteristiques de l'image a reconnaitre aux trajectoires stockees dans l'espace. Nos resultats numeriques montrent un taux de classement atteignant 98% sur une banque d'images composee de 5 vehicules militaires. La correlation non-lineaire generalisee en tranches orthogonales (SONG) traite independamment les niveaux de gris presents dans une image. Elle somme les correlations lineaires des images binaires ayant le meme niveau de gris. Cette correlation est equivalente a compter le nombre de pixels situes aux memes positions relatives et ayant les memes intensites sur deux images. Nous presentons

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  1. Hints of Habitable Environments on Mars Challenge Our Studies of Mars-Analog Sites on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    desMarais, David J

    2009-01-01

    Life as we know it requires water with a chemical activity (alpha) >or approx.0.6 and sources of nutrients and useful energy. Some biota can survive even if favorable conditions occur only intermittently, but the minimum required frequency of occurrences is poorly understood. Recent discoveries have vindicated the Mars exploration strategy to follow the water. Mars Global Surveyor s Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) found coarse-grained hematite at Meridiani Planum. Opportunity rover confirmed this and also found evidence of ancient sulfate-rich playa lakes and near-surface groundwater. Elsewhere, TES found evidence of evaporitic halides in topographic depressions. But alpha might not have approached 0.6 in these evaporitic sulfate- and halide-bearing waters. Mars Express (MEX) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) found extensive sulfate evaporites in Meridiani and Valles Marineris. MEX found phyllosilicates at several sites, most notably Mawrth Valles and Nili Fossae. MRO's CRISM near-IR mapper extended the known diversity and geographic distribution of phyllosilicates to include numerous Noachian craters. Phyllosilicates typically occur at the base of exposed ancient rock sections or in sediments in early Hesperian craters. It is uncertain whether the phyllosilicates developed in surface or subsurface aqueous environments and how long aqueous conditions persisted. Spirit rover found remarkably pure ferric sulfate, indicating oxidation and transport of Fe and S, perhaps in fumaroles or hot springs. Spirit also found opaline silica, consistent with hydrothermal activity. CRISM mapped extensive silica deposits in the Valles Marineris region, consistent with aqueous weathering and deposition. CRISM also found ultramafic rocks and magnesite at Nili Fossae, consistent with serpentinization, a process that can sustain habitable environments on Earth. The report of atmospheric methane implies subsurface aqueous conditions. A working hypothesis is that aqueous

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. Military Transformation: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chizek, Judy G

    2003-01-01

    .... As the military services attempt to increase the agility and versatility of their weapon systems, they also see a need to increase the capabilities of military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  10. Dielectric properties of lava flows west of Ascraeus Mons, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, L.M.; Campbell, B.A.; Holt, J.W.; Phillips, R.J.; Putzig, N.E.; Mattei, S.; Seu, R.; Okubo, C.H.; Egan, A.F.

    2009-01-01

    The SHARAD instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detects subsurface interfaces beneath lava flow fields northwest of Ascraeus Mons. The interfaces occur in two locations; a northern flow that originates south of Alba Patera, and a southern flow that originates at the rift zone between Ascraeus and Pavonis Montes. The northern flow has permittivity values, estimated from the time delay of echoes from the basal interface, between 6.2 and 17.3, with an average of 12.2. The southern flow has permittivity values of 7.0 to 14.0, with an average of 9.8. The average permittivity values for the northern and southern flows imply densities of 3.7 and 3.4 g cm-3, respectively. Loss tangent values for both flows range from 0.01 to 0.03. The measured bulk permittivity and loss tangent values are consistent with those of terrestrial and lunar basalts, and represent the first measurement of these properties for dense rock on Mars. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Gilbert V; Straat, Patricia Ann

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Mars, accessing the third dimension: a software tool to exploit Mars ground penetrating radars data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantini, Federico; Ivanov, Anton B.

    2016-04-01

    The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS), on board the ESA's Mars Express and the SHAllow RADar (SHARAD), on board the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are two ground penetrating radars (GPRs) aimed to probe the crust of Mars to explore the subsurface structure of the planet. By now they are collecting data since about 10 years covering a large fraction of the Mars surface. On the Earth GPRs collect data by sending electromagnetic (EM) pulses toward the surface and listening to the return echoes occurring at the dielectric discontinuities on the planet's surface and subsurface. The wavelengths used allow MARSIS EM pulses to penetrate the crust for several kilometers. The data products (Radargrams) are matrices where the x-axis spans different sampling points on the planet surface and the y-axis is the power of the echoes over time in the listening window. No standard way to manage this kind of data is established in the planetary science community and data analysis and interpretation require very often some knowledge of radar signal processing. Our software tool is aimed to ease the access to this data in particular to scientists without a specific background in signal processing. MARSIS and SHARAD geometrical data such as probing point latitude and longitude and spacecraft altitude, are stored, together with relevant acquisition metadata, in a geo-enabled relational database implemented using PostgreSQL and PostGIS. Data are extracted from official ESA and NASA released data using self-developed python classes and scripts and inserted in the database using OGR utilities. This software is also aimed to be the core of a collection of classes and script to implement more complex GPR data analysis. Geometrical data and metadata are exposed as WFS layers using a QGIS server, which can be further integrated with other data, such as imaging, spectroscopy and topography. Radar geometry data will be available as a part of the iMars Web

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Vertical profiles of Mars 1.27 μm O2 dayglow from MRO CRISM limb spectra: Seasonal/global behaviors, comparisons to LMDGCM simulations, and a global definition for Mars water vapor profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd Clancy, R.; Smith, Michael D.; Lefèvre, Franck; McConnochie, Timothy H.; Sandor, Brad J.; Wolff, Michael J.; Lee, Steven W.; Murchie, Scott L.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Nair, Hari; Navarro, Thomas

    2017-09-01

    Since July of 2009, The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectral Mapper (CRISM) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has periodically obtained pole-to-pole observations (i.e., full MRO orbits) of limb scanned visible/near IR spectra (λ = 0.4 - 4.0 μ m, △λ ∼ 10 nm- Murchie et al., 2007). These CRISM limb observations support the first seasonally and spatially extensive set of Mars 1.27 μm O2(1△g) dayglow profile retrievals (∼ 1100) over ≥ 8-80 km altitudes. Their comparison to Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) global climate model (GCM) simulated O2(1△g) volume emission rate (VER) profiles, as a function of altitude, latitude, and season (solar longitude, Ls), supports several key conclusions regarding Mars atmospheric water vapor (which is derived from O2(1△g) emission rates), Mars O3, and the collisional de-excitation of O2(1△g) in the Mars CO2 atmosphere. Current (Navarro et al., 2014) LMDGCM simulations of Mars atmospheric water vapor fall 2-3 times below CRISM derived water vapor abundances at 20-40 km altitudes over low-to-mid latitudes in northern spring (Ls = 30-60°), and northern mid-to-high latitudes over northern summer (Ls = 60-140°). In contrast, LMDGCM simulated water vapor is 2-5 times greater than CRISM derived values at all latitudes and seasons above 40 km, within the aphelion cloud belt (ACB), and over high-southern to mid-southern latitudes in southern summer (Ls = 190-340°) at 15-35 km altitudes. Overall, the solstitial summer-to-winter hemisphere gradients in water vapor are reversed between the LMDGCM modeled versus the CRISM derived water vapor abundances above 10-30 km altitudes. LMDGCM-CRISM differences in water vapor profiles correlate with LMDGCM-CRISM differences in cloud mixing profiles; and likely reflect limitations in simulating cloud microphysics and radiative forcing, both of which restrict meridional transport of water from summer-to-winter hemispheres on Mars (Clancy et al., 1996

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  18. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  19. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-08-01

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

  20. Maintenance of remote reconnaissance vehicle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schein, D.C.

    1985-01-01

    A description is provided of the maintenance program developed for remote reconnaissance vehicles, such as RRV-1, in use at the Three Mile Island Unit 2. The described approach, which is simple, effective, and flexible, helped to make the effort successful. It will be applied to future projects

  1. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. New analysis software for Viking Lander meteorological data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Kemppinen

    2013-02-01

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

  3. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) instrument overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M.S.; Brylow, S.M.; Tschimmel, M.; Humm, D.; Lawrence, S.J.; Thomas, P.C.; Denevi, B.W.; Bowman-Cisneros, E.; Zerr, J.; Ravine, M.A.; Caplinger, M.A.; Ghaemi, F.T.; Schaffner, J.A.; Malin, M.C.; Mahanti, P.; Bartels, A.; Anderson, J.; Tran, T.N.; Eliason, E.M.; McEwen, A.S.; Turtle, E.; Jolliff, B.L.; Hiesinger, H.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) are on the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera (100 and 400 m/pixel visible and UV, respectively), while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers (0.5 m/pixel). The primary mission of LRO is to obtain measurements of the Moon that will enable future lunar human exploration. The overarching goals of the LROC investigation include landing site identification and certification, mapping of permanently polar shadowed and sunlit regions, meter-scale mapping of polar regions, global multispectral imaging, a global morphology base map, characterization of regolith properties, and determination of current impact hazards.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G.

    2018-05-01

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

  7. Hydrogeological reconnaissance study: Dyfi Valley, Wales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glendining, S.J.

    1981-10-01

    This report describes work carried out for the Department of the Environment as part of its research programme into radioactive waste management. It presents an account of a hydrogeological reconnaissance study in the Dyfi Valley area of Central Wales. Initially the purposes of such a study are given and the assumptions used in deriving parameters such as flow volume, path length and transit time in areas of massive fractured rocks are described. Using these assumptions with geological, topographic and hydrometeorological data the potential ranges in properties such as bulk hydraulic conductivity, path lengths, hydraulic gradients and volumes of groundwater flow have been determined. These ranges have been used to estimate solute transport model parameters. The limitations and usefulness of the reconnaissance study in planning research and siting exploratory boreholes in the Dyfi area are discussed. (author)

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Paul; Gomberg, Joan

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. Uranium districts defined by reconnaissance geochemistry in South Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armour-Brown, A.; Steenfelt, A.; Kunzendorf, H.

    1983-01-01

    A reconnaissance exploration survey over 14 000 km 2 of Precambrian terrain in South Greenland using stream-sediment and stream-water samples delineated a central uranium district of 2000 km 2 with enhanced uranium levels and smaller anomalous zones in the south of the field area. Limited follow-up work located 8 pitchblende occurrences in this extensive district. The pitchblende is in veins which contain quartz, calcite, iron oxide, fluorite and minor sulphides. The isotopic (U-Pb) age of the pitchblende, which ranges from 1180-1090 Ma, corresponds to the late stages of Gardar alkaline igneous activity. It is concluded, therefore, that the reconnaissance geochemistry reflects a district-wide hydrothermal event related to the late volatile differentiates derived from the highly fractionated alkaline magma. A combination of primary and secondary features have complemented each other in enhancing the geochemical reconnaissance data and emphasized its importance but has not materially altered the interpretation. (Auth.)

  12. The Oscillating History in the Exploration of the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Suzanne M. M.

    2009-10-01

    The oldest, and very vague, map of Mars was drawn in 1659 by Christiaan Huygens, who like Galileo, was pointing his telescopes to nearly anything the sky presented him. In the 1700s, William Herschel, followed by Johann Hieronymus Schroeter, observed Mars extensively and attempted to map its features. In the mid-1800s, Warren De la Rue refined the features on maps of Mars enough to first display, unknowingly, the north and south polar glaciers of Mars. In 1877 Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli observed a dense network of linear structures on the surface of Mars which he called ``canali'' (Italian: meaning ``channels'', but mistranslated as ``canals''). Schiaparelli also named the ``seas'' and ``continents'' of Mars. With canals and seas, massive speculation began about water and life on Mars, perhaps even a civilization responsible for the canals (and, one might hope, with gondolas and singing gondoliers). Percival Lowell was captivated by the implications of these purported canals and spent much of his life trying to prove the existence of intelligent life on the red planet in the early 1900s. On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast on radio an adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel ``War of the Worlds''. This caused some listeners to panic. The assumption that Martians were benevolent was severely dented. With NASA's early exploration of Mars - Mariner Missions in the 1960s, and the Viking Missions in the 1970s - Mars was returned to a desolated place, although it now seems possible that the Viking landers were literally inches away from discovering water ice on Mars, finally encountered in abundance over 30 years later by the Phoenix Mission. With the detection of water by the Odyssey Orbiter, geological evidence for ancient water found by the Rovers, the highest resolution images ever taken of Mars by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the most recent discoveries by the Phoenix Lander, theories have almost come full circle in returning Mars to a place with water

  13. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Correlations Between Concretions in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D.; Dohm, J.; Kalm, V.; Krinsley, D.; Sodhi, R. N.; Anderson, R. C.; Boccia, S.; Malloch, D.; Kapran, B.; Havics, A.

    2008-12-01

    Concretionary Fe-Mn-rich nodular authigenic constituents of Jurassic Navajo sandstone (moki marbles) bear a certain relationship to similar concretionary forms ('blueberries') observed on Mars. Their origin on Earth is considered to invoke variable redox conditions with underground fluids penetrating porous quartz-rich sandstone leading to precipitation of hematite and goethite-rich material from solution, generally forming around a central nucleus of fine particles of quartz and orthoclase, recently verified by XRD and SEM-EDS analyses. At the outer rim/inner nucleus boundary, bulbous lobes of fine-grained quartz often invade and fracture the outer rim armored matrix. The bulbous forms are interpreted to result from fluid explusion from the inner concretionary mass, a response to pressure changes accompanying overburden loading. Moki marbles, harder than enclosing rock, often weather out of in situ sandstone outcrops that form a surface lag deposit of varnished marbles that locally resemble desert pavement. The marbles appear morphologically similar to 'blueberries' identified on the martian surface in Terra Meridiani through the MER-1 Opportunity rover. On Earth, redox fluids responsible for the genesis of marbles may have emanated from deep in the crust (often influenced by magmatic processes). These fluids, cooling to ambient temperatures, may have played a role in the genesis of the cemented outer rim of the concretions. The low frequency of fungi filaments in the marbles, contrasts with a high occurrence in Fe-encrusted sands of the Navajo formation [1], indicating that microbial content is of secondary importance in marble genesis relative to the fluctuating influx of ambient groundwater. Nevertheless, the presence of filaments in terrestrial concretions hints at the possibility of discovering fossil/extant life on Mars, and thus should be considered as prime targets for future reconnaissance missions to Mars. 1] Mahaney, W.C., et al. (2004), Icarus, 171, 39-53.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. SNAP 19 Viking RTG mission performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brittain, W.M.

    1976-01-01

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

  16. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Influence of Fault-Controlled Topography on Fluvio-Deltaic Sedimentary Systems in Eberswalde Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Melissa S.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bell, James F., III; Warner, Nicholas H.

    2011-01-01

    Eberswalde crater was selected as a candidate landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission based on the presence of a fan-shaped sedimentary deposit interpreted as a delta. We have identified and mapped five other candidate fluvio -deltaic systems in the crater, using images and digital terrain models (DTMs) derived from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Context Camera (CTX). All of these systems consist of the same three stratigraphic units: (1) an upper layered unit, conformable with (2) a subpolygonally fractured unit, unconformably overlying (3) a pitted unit. We have also mapped a system of NNE-trending scarps interpreted as dip-slip faults that pre-date the fluvial -lacustrine deposits. The post-impact regional faulting may have generated the large-scale topography within the crater, which consists of a Western Basin, an Eastern Basin, and a central high. This topography subsequently provided depositional sinks for sediment entering the crater and controlled the geomorphic pattern of delta development.

  18. 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

  19. Open Access Discovery of alunite in Cross crater, Terra Sirenum, Mars: Evidence for acidic, sulfurous waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Swayze, Gregg A.; Milliken, Ralph E.; Mustard, John F.; Clark, Roger N.; Murchie, Scott L.; Breit, George N.; Wray, James J.; Gondet, Brigitte; Poulet, Francois; Carter, John; Calvin, Wendy M.; Benzel, William M.; Seelos, Kimberly D.

    2016-01-01

    Cross crater is a 65 km impact crater, located in the Noachian highlands of the Terra Sirenum region of Mars (30°S, 158°W), which hosts aluminum phyllosilicate deposits first detected by the Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, L’Eau, les Glaces et l’Activitié (OMEGA) imaging spectrometer on Mars Express. Using high-resolution data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, we examine Cross crater’s basin-filling sedimentary deposits. Visible/shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectra from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) show absorptions diagnostic of alunite. Combining spectral data with high-resolution images, we map a large (10 km × 5 km) alunite-bearing deposit in southwest Cross crater, widespread kaolin-bearing sediments with variable amounts of alunite that are layered in <10 m scale beds, and silica- and/or montmorillonite-bearing deposits that occupy topographically lower, heavily fractured units. The secondary minerals are found at elevations ranging from 700 to 1550 m, forming a discontinuous ring along the crater wall beneath darker capping materials. The mineralogy inside Cross crater is different from that of the surrounding terrains and other martian basins, where Fe/Mg-phyllosilicates and Ca/Mg-sulfates are commonly found. Alunite in Cross crater indicates acidic, sulfurous waters at the time of its formation. Waters in Cross crater were likely supplied by regionally upwelling groundwaters as well as through an inlet valley from a small adjacent depression to the east, perhaps occasionally forming a lake or series of shallow playa lakes in the closed basin. Like nearby Columbus crater, Cross crater exhibits evidence for acid sulfate alteration, but the alteration in Cross is more extensive/complete. The large but localized occurrence of alunite suggests a localized, high-volume source of acidic waters or vapors, possibly supplied by sulfurous (H2S- and/or SO2-bearing) waters in contact with a magmatic source, upwelling

  20. Oak Ridge Geochemical Reconnaissance Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, J.W.

    1977-03-01

    The Oak Ridge reconnaissance program is responsible for the geochemical survey in a 12-state area covering Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois as part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation Program. The program concept is outlined and the planning and organization of the program is discussed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edquist, Karl T.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2017-12-01

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

  4. The central uplift of Ritchey crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Bray, Veronica J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mattson, Sarah S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2015-01-01

    Ritchey crater is a ∼79 km diameter complex crater near the boundary between Hesperian ridged plains and Noachian highland terrain on Mars (28.8°S, 309.0°E) that formed after the Noachian. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the central peak reveal fractured massive bedrock and megabreccia with large clasts. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectral analysis reveals low calcium pyroxene (LCP), olivine (OL), hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates) and a possible identification of plagioclase bedrock. We mapped the Ritchey crater central uplift into ten units, with 4 main groups from oldest and originally deepest to youngest: (1) megabreccia with large clasts rich in LCP and OL, and with alteration to phyllosilicates; (2) massive bedrock with bright and dark regions rich in LCP or OL, respectively; (3) LCP and OL-rich impactites draped over the central uplift; and (4) aeolian deposits. We interpret the primitive martian crust as igneous rocks rich in LCP, OL, and probably plagioclase, as previously observed in eastern Valles Marineris. We do not observe high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) rich bedrock as seen in Argyre or western Valles Marineris. The association of phyllosilicates with deep megabreccia could be from impact-induced alteration, either as a result of the Richey impact, or alteration of pre-existing impactites from Argyre basin and other large impacts that preceded the Ritchey impact, or both.

  5. The central uplift of Ritchey crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Bray, Veronica J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mattson, Sarah S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2015-05-01

    Ritchey crater is a ∼79 km diameter complex crater near the boundary between Hesperian ridged plains and Noachian highland terrain on Mars (28.8°S, 309.0°E) that formed after the Noachian. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the central peak reveal fractured massive bedrock and megabreccia with large clasts. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectral analysis reveals low calcium pyroxene (LCP), olivine (OL), hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates) and a possible identification of plagioclase bedrock. We mapped the Ritchey crater central uplift into ten units, with 4 main groups from oldest and originally deepest to youngest: (1) megabreccia with large clasts rich in LCP and OL, and with alteration to phyllosilicates; (2) massive bedrock with bright and dark regions rich in LCP or OL, respectively; (3) LCP and OL-rich impactites draped over the central uplift; and (4) aeolian deposits. We interpret the primitive martian crust as igneous rocks rich in LCP, OL, and probably plagioclase, as previously observed in eastern Valles Marineris. We do not observe high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) rich bedrock as seen in Argyre or western Valles Marineris. The association of phyllosilicates with deep megabreccia could be from impact-induced alteration, either as a result of the Richey impact, or alteration of pre-existing impactites from Argyre basin and other large impacts that preceded the Ritchey impact, or both.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  7. Phoenix Robotic Arm's Workspace After 90 Sols

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    During the first 90 Martian days, or sols, after its May 25, 2008, landing on an arctic plain of Mars, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander dug several trenches in the workspace reachable with the lander's robotic arm. The lander's Surface Stereo Imager camera recorded this view of the workspace on Sol 90, early afternoon local Mars time (overnight Aug. 25 to Aug. 26, 2008). The shadow of the the camera itself, atop its mast, is just left of the center of the image and roughly a third of a meter (one foot) wide. The workspace is on the north side of the lander. The trench just to the right of center is called 'Neverland.' The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Light armoured reconnaissance vehicle system S-LOV-CBRN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tomek, M.; Kare, J.; Cuda, P.; Fisera, O.; Res, B

    2014-01-01

    Light armoured reconnaissance vehicle system S-LOV-CBRN is intended mainly for CBRN reconnaissance and CBRN monitoring of areas of interest. The vehicle is designed to fulfil the missions according to military CBRN scenarios and to support effectively the first responders' teams during their response to the extent CBRN incident.The vehicle is equipped with a chemical (C) and a biological (B) detection system, as well as with a radiation and nuclear (RN) detection system consisting of the control unit with an internal dosimetric probe and of two external ones which are mounted on the right and left side of the vehicle. In this abstract the vehicle system S-LOV-CBRN is shortly described. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  12. National Uranium Resource Evaluation Program (NURE): hydrogeochemical and stream sediment reconnaissance in the eastern United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferguson, R.B.; Price, V. Jr.

    1976-01-01

    A geochemical reconnaissance of twenty-five eastern states for uranium will be conducted by the Savannah River Laboratory for the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration. A sound technical basis for the reconnaissance is being developed by intensive studies of sampling, analysis, and data management. Results of three orientation studies in the southern Appalachian Piedmont and Blue Ridge areas indicate that multi-element analysis of -100 mesh (less than 149 μm) stream sediments will provide adequate information for reconnaissance. Stream and groundwater samples also provide useful information but are not considered cost-effective for regional reconnaissance in the areas studied

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  15. The Philae lander mission and science overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-13

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

  16. Vibration and Acoustic Testing for Mars Micromission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Dennis L.; Scharton, Terry D.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Masahiro; Kuwata, Yoshiaki

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Design of comprehensive general maintenance service system of aerial reconnaissance camera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Xu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aiming at the problem of lack of security equipment for airborne reconnaissance camera and universal difference between internal and external field and model, the design scheme of comprehensive universal system based on PC-104 bus architecture and ARM wireless test module is proposed is proposed using the ATE design. The scheme uses the "embedded" technology to design the system, which meets the requirements of the system. By using the technique of classified switching, the hardware resources are reasonably extended, and the general protection of the various types of aerial reconnaissance cameras is realized. Using the concept of “wireless test”, the test interface is extended to realize the comprehensive protection of the aerial reconnaissance camera and the field. The application proves that the security system works stably, has good generality, practicability, and has broad application prospect.

  20. Modeling the effectiveness of shielding in the earth-moon-mars radiation environment using PREDICCS: five solar events in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Philip R.; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Townsend, Larry W.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Case, Anthony W.; Spence, Harlan E.; Wilson, Jody K.; Joyce, Colin J.

    2017-08-01

    Radiation in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs) presents a severe risk to the short-term health of astronauts and the success of human exploration missions beyond Earth's protective shielding. Modeling how shielding mitigates the dose accumulated by astronauts is an essential step toward reducing these risks. PREDICCS (Predictions of radiation from REleASE, EMMREM, and Data Incorporating the CRaTER, COSTEP, and other SEP measurements) is an online tool for the near real-time prediction of radiation exposure at Earth, the Moon, and Mars behind various levels of shielding. We compare shielded dose rates from PREDICCS with dose rates from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the Moon and from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) during its cruise phase to Mars for five solar events in 2012 when Earth, MSL, and Mars were magnetically well connected. Calculations of the accumulated dose demonstrate a reasonable agreement between PREDICCS and RAD ranging from as little as 2% difference to 54%. We determine mathematical relationships between shielding levels and accumulated dose. Lastly, the gradient of accumulated dose between Earth and Mars shows that for the largest of the five solar events, lunar missions require aluminum shielding between 1.0 g cm-2 and 5.0 g cm-2 to prevent radiation exposure from exceeding the 30-day limits for lens and skin. The limits were not exceeded near Mars.

  1. Ice on Mars Utopia Planitia Again

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

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

  2. First Sample Delivery to Mars Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Antarctic Mirabilite Mounds as Mars Analogs: The Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Sun, Tao; Niles, Paul B.; Harvey, Ralph P.; Bish, David L.; Tonui, Eric

    2012-01-01

    It has been proposed, based on geomorphic and geochemical arguments, that subsurface water has played an important role in the history of water on the planet Mars [1]. Subsurface water, if present, could provide a protected and long lived environment for potential life. Discovery of gullies [2] and recurring slopes [3] on Mars suggest the potential for subsurface liquid water or brines. Recent attention has also focused on small (the mid to high latitudes on the surface of Mars which may be caused by eruptions of subsurface fluids [4, 5]. We have identified massive but highly localized Na-sulfate deposits (mirabilite mounds, Na2SO4 .10H2O) that may be derived from subsurface fluids and may provide insight into the processes associated with subsurface fluids on Mars. The mounds are found on the end moraine of the Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue (LCIT) [6] in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica, and are potential terrestrial analogs for mounds observed on the martian surface. The following characteristics distinguish LCIT evaporite mounds from other evaporite mounds found in Antarctic coastal environments and/or the McMurdo Dry Valleys: (1) much greater distance from the open ocean (approx.500 km); (2) higher elevation (approx.2200 meters); and (3) colder average annual temperature (average annual temperature = -30 C for LCIT [7] vs. 20 C at sea level in the McMurdo region [8]. Furthermore, the recent detection of subsurface water ice (inferred as debris-covered glacial ice) by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter [9] supports the use of an Antarctic glacial environment, particularly with respect to the mirabilite deposits described in this work, as an ideal terrestrial analog for understanding the geochemistry associated with near-surface martian processes. S and O isotopic compositions.

  4. Traveling Weather Disturbances in Mars Southern Extratropics: Sway of the Great Impact Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.

    2016-01-01

    As on Earth, between late autumn and early spring on Mars middle and high latitudes within its atmosphere support strong mean thermal contrasts between the equator and poles (i.e. "baroclinicity"). Data collected during the Viking era and observations from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate that this strong baroclinicity supports vigorous, large-scale eastward traveling weather systems (i.e. transient synoptic-period waves). Within a rapidly rotating, differentially heated, shallow atmosphere such as on Earth and Mars, such large-scale, extratropical weather disturbances are critical components of the global circulation. These wave-like disturbances act as agents in the transport of heat and momentum, and moreover generalized tracer quantities (e.g., atmospheric dust, water vapor and water-ice clouds) between low and high latitudes of the planet. The character of large-scale, traveling extratropical synoptic-period disturbances in Mars' southern hemisphere during late winter through early spring is investigated using a high-resolution Mars global climate model (Mars GCM). This global circulation model imposes interactively lifted (and radiatively active) dust based on a threshold value of the instantaneous surface stress. Compared to observations, the model exhibits a reasonable "dust cycle" (i.e. globally averaged, a more dusty atmosphere during southern spring and summer occurs). In contrast to their northern-hemisphere counterparts, southern synoptic-period weather disturbances and accompanying frontal waves have smaller meridional and zonal scales, and are far less intense synoptically. Influences of the zonally asymmetric (i.e. east-west varying) topography on southern large-scale weather disturbances are examined. Simulations that adapt Mars' full topography compared to simulations that utilize synthetic topographies emulating essential large-scale features of the southern middle latitudes indicate that Mars

  5. 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

  6. Prospecting effect of the combined gamma-ray survey in the hydrochemical reconnaissance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Zheng'an.

    1991-01-01

    Gamma-ray survey is characterized by economies, rapidness, portability and continuous measurement in uranium reconnaissance. Combined gamma-ray survey can be conducted in hydrochemical reconnaissance with less investment and faster results, and prospects for detailed prospecting and exposing can be directly found by the survey. The arrangements in the field operation is suited to hydrochemical reconnaissance. By working for one time two sets of data with different characteristics could be obtained. In data interpretation and application, both data can be mutually complementary. It is a blank area for the non-water section in hydrochemical reconnaissance in which gamma-ray survey can be supplemented. Gamma-ray survey can provide data for the interpretation of hydrochemical anomalies and the size and concentration of hydrochemical anomalies are the basis for the inference of the mineralization at depth. The statistical results confirm that as compared with the conventional gamma-ray survey (at 1:10000 scale), the discovery rate of anomalies from the combined gamma-ray survey (at 1: 25000 scale) may reach 60%. It is thus that the data from the combined gamma-ray survey can be applied by lowering one grade in measurement accuracy which can meet the demand for accuracy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Lunar lander and return propulsion system trade study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  11. Alumina+Silica+/-Germanium Alteration in Smectite-Bearing Marathon Valley, Endeavour Crater Rim, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Gellert, R.; Van Bommel, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Schroeder, C.; Yen, A. S.; Fox, V. K.; Farrand, W. H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring Mars for 12+ years, and is presently investigating the geology of a western rim segment of 22 kilometers diameter, Noachian- aged Endeavour crater. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer has determined the compositions of a pre-impact lithology, the Matijevic fm., and polymict impact breccias ejected from the crater, the Shoemaker fm. Opportunity is now investigating a region named Marathon Valley that cuts southwest-northeast through the central portion of the rim segment and provides a window into the lower stratigraphic record. (Geographic names used here are informal.) At the head of Marathon Valley, referred to here as Upper Marathon Valley, is a shallow, ovoid depression approximately 25×35 millimeters in size, named Spirit of Saint Louis. Layering inside Spirit of Saint Louis appears continuous with the Upper Marathon Valley rocks outside, indicating they are coeval. Spirit of Saint Louis is partly bounded by approximately 10-20 centimeters wide zone containing reddish altered rocks (red zone). Red zones also form prominent curvilinear features in Marathon Valley. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectra provide evidence for a really extensive Fe-Mg smectite in the Marathon Valley region, indicating distinct styles of aqueous alteration. The CRISM detections of smectites are based on metal-OH absorptions at approximately 2.3 and 2.4 micron that are at least two times the background noise level.

  12. Effect of Sulfur Concentration and PH Conditions on Akaganeite Formation: Understanding Akaganeite Formation Conditions in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, A.; Peretyazhko, T.; Sutter, B.; Niles, P.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2015-01-01

    The Chemistry and Mineralogy Instrument (CHEMIN) on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover identified minor amounts of akaganeite (beta-FeOOH) at Yellowknife Bay, Mars. There is also evidence for akaganeite at other localities on Mars from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). Akaganeite is an iron(III) hydroxide with a hollandite- like structure and Cl in its tunnels. Terrestrial akaganeite usually forms in Cl-rich environments under acidic, oxidizing conditions. Previous studies of akaganeite have revealed that akaganeite formation is affected by the presence of sulfate (hereafter denoted as S. The prediction of circumneutral pH coupled with the detection of S at Yellowknife Bay dictate that work is needed to determine how S and pH together affect akaganeite formation. The goal of this work is to study how changes in both S concentration and pH influence akaganeite precipitation. Akaganeite formation was investigated at S/Cl molar ratios of 0, 0.017, 0.083, 0.17 and 0.33 at pH 1.5, 2, and 4. Results are anticipated to provide combined S concentration and pH constraints on akaganeite formation in Yellowknife Bay and elsewhere on Mars. Knowledge of solution pH and S concentrations can be utilized in understanding microbial habitability potential on the Martian surface.

  13. Mercury soil surveys: a good reconnaissance tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stone, C.; Ruscetta, C.A.; Foley, D. (eds.)

    1981-05-01

    Three examples of mercury soil surveys are discussed, along with the gravity data. An excellent correlation was found in southern Arizona between buried structures revealed by gravity and mercury soil surveys. The advantages of the latter over the former as a reconnaissance tool are listed. (MHR)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Sample collection: an overview of the Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1979-01-01

    A Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) for uranium is currently being conducted throughout the conterminous United States and Alaska. The HSSR is part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation sponsored by the US Department of Energy. This ambitious geochemical reconnaissance program is conducted by four national laboratories: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and Savannah River Laboratory. The program is based on an extensive review of world literature, reconnaissance work done in other countries, and pilot studies conducted by each laboratory. Sample-collection methods and sample density are determined to optimize the probability of detecting potential uranium mineralization. To achieve this aim, each laboratory has developed independent standardized field collection procedures that are designed for its section of the country. Field parameters such as pH, conductivity, climate, geography, and geology are recorded at each site. Most samples are collected at densities of one sample site per 10 to 23 km 2 . The HSSR program has helped to improve existing hydrogeochemical reconnaissance exploration techniques. In addition to providing industry with data that may help to identify potential uranium districts and to extend known uranium provinces, the HSSR also provides multi-element analytical data, which can be used in water quality, soil, sediment, environmental, and base-metal exploration studies

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  18. Reconnaissance level study Mississippi storm surge barrier

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ledden, M.; Lansen, A.J.; De Ridder, H.A.J.; Edge, B.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports a reconnaissance level study of a storm surge barrier in the Mississippi River. Historical hurricanes have shown storm surge of several meters along the Mississippi River levees up to and upstream of New Orleans. Future changes due to sea level rise and subsidence will further

  19. IDENTIFYING SURFACE CHANGES ON HRSC IMAGES OF THE MARS SOUTH POLAR RESIDUAL CAP (SPRC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. D. Putri

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars has been an object of interest for planetary research since the launch of Mariner 4 in 1964. Since then different cameras such as the Viking Visual Imaging Subsystem (VIS, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO Context Camera (CTX and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE have been imaging its surface at ever higher resolution. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC on board of the European Space Agency (ESA Mars Express, has been imaging the Martian surface, since 25th December 2003 until the present-day. HRSC has covered 100 % of the surface of Mars, about 70 % of the surface with panchromatic images at 10-20 m/pixel, and about 98 % at better than 100 m/pixel (Neukum et. al., 2004, including the polar regions of Mars. The Mars polar regions have been studied intensively recently by analysing images taken by the Mars Express and MRO missions (Plaut et al., 2007. The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC does not change very much in volume overall but there are numerous examples of dynamic phenomena associated with seasonal changes in the atmosphere. In particular, we can examine the time variation of layers of solid carbon dioxide and water ice with dust deposition (Bibring, 2004, spider-like channels (Piqueux et al., 2003 and so-called Swiss Cheese Terrain (Titus et al., 2004. Because of seasonal changes each Martian year, due to the sublimation and deposition of water and CO2 ice on the Martian south polar region, clearly identifiable surface changes occur in otherwise permanently icy region. In this research, good quality HRSC images of the Mars South Polar region are processed based on previous identification as the optimal coverage of clear surfaces (Campbell et al., 2015. HRSC images of the Martian South Pole are categorized in terms of quality, time, and location to find overlapping areas, processed into high quality Digital Terrain Models (DTMs and

  20. The Lens of Power: Aerial Reconnaissance and Diplomacy in the Airpower Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    comments at Burrows , By Any Means Necessary, 321. These comments are echoed by Larry Tart at Burrows , By Any Means Necessary, xvi. 1143 As if to make this...For example: William Burrows , Paul Lashmar, L. Parker Temple, Chris Pocock, Gregory Pedlow, and Donald Welzenbach. Their works are covered more...reconnaissance. For example, Larry Tart and Robert Keefe’s 2001 The Price of Vigilance was written to raise awareness about reconnaissance crews who never

  1. Modeling the effectiveness of shielding in the earth-moon-mars radiation environment using PREDICCS: five solar events in 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quinn Philip R.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Radiation in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs presents a severe risk to the short-term health of astronauts and the success of human exploration missions beyond Earth’s protective shielding. Modeling how shielding mitigates the dose accumulated by astronauts is an essential step toward reducing these risks. PREDICCS (Predictions of radiation from REleASE, EMMREM, and Data Incorporating the CRaTER, COSTEP, and other SEP measurements is an online tool for the near real-time prediction of radiation exposure at Earth, the Moon, and Mars behind various levels of shielding. We compare shielded dose rates from PREDICCS with dose rates from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO at the Moon and from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL during its cruise phase to Mars for five solar events in 2012 when Earth, MSL, and Mars were magnetically well connected. Calculations of the accumulated dose demonstrate a reasonable agreement between PREDICCS and RAD ranging from as little as 2% difference to 54%. We determine mathematical relationships between shielding levels and accumulated dose. Lastly, the gradient of accumulated dose between Earth and Mars shows that for the largest of the five solar events, lunar missions require aluminum shielding between 1.0 g cm−2 and 5.0 g cm−2 to prevent radiation exposure from exceeding the 30-day limits for lens and skin. The limits were not exceeded near Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  7. Dedicated Low Latitude Diurnal CO2 Frost Observation Campaigns by the Mars Climate Sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, S.; Kass, D. M.; Kleinboehl, A.; Hayne, P. O.; Heavens, N. G.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Shirley, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    In December 2016 (Ls≈280, MY33) and July 2017 (Ls≈30, MY34), the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) conducted two distinct observation campaigns. The first one aimed at 1) confirming the presence of low latitude diurnal CO2 frost on Mars, and 2) refining the estimated mass of carbon dioxide condensed at the surface, whereas the second campaign was designed to 3) search for temporally and spatially varying spectral characteristics indicative of frost properties (i.e., crystal size, contamination, etc.) and relationship to the regolith. To meet these goals, MCS acquired thermal infrared observations of the surface and atmosphere at variable local times (≈1.70-3.80 h Local True Solar Time) and in the 10°-50°N latitude band where very low thermal inertia material (frost distribution and spectral properties. In addition, pre-frost deposition surface cooling rates are found to be consistent with those predicted by numerical models (i.e., 1-2K per hour). Finally, we observe buffered surface temperatures near the local frost point, indicating a surface emissivity ≈1. (i.e., optically thin frost layers, or dust contaminated frost, or slab-like ice) and no discernable frost metamorphism. We will present a detailed analysis of these new and unique observations, and elaborate on the potential relationship between the regolith and this recurring frost cycle.

  8. Planetary entry, descent, and landing technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. RETRIEVAL OF MINERAL ABUNDANCES OF THE DELTA REGION IN EBERSWALDE, MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Wu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Eberswalde Crater, a hotspot of Mars exploration, possesses an unambiguous hydrological system. However, little research has been performed on the large-scale mineral abundances retrieval in this region. Hence, we employed hyperspectral unmixing technology to quantitatively retrieve mineral abundances of the delta region in Eberswalde. In this paper, the single-scattering albedos were calculated by the Hapke bidirectional reflectance function from Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM data (FRT000060DD and CRISM spectral library respectively, and a sparse unmixing algorithm was adopted to quantitatively retrieve mineral abundances. The abundance maps show that there are six kinds of minerals (pyroxene, olivine, plagioclase, siderite, diaspore, and tremolite. By comparing minerals spectra obtained from images with corresponding spectra in spectral library, we found the similar trend in both curves. Besides, the mineral abundance maps derived in this study agree well spatially with CRISM parameter maps. From the perspective of mineralogy, the instability of pyroxene and olivine indicates the area in which they distribute is close to provenance, and the original provenance is ultrabasic rock (e.g. peridotite and basic rock (e.g. gabbro, respectively. And minerals, existing in the area of alluvial fan, also distribute in the outside of alluvial fan, which might be caused by fluid transportation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The Viking Orbiter and its Mariner inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  13. A Subjective Assessment of Alternative Mission Architecture Operations Concepts for the Human Exploration of Mars at NASA Using a Three-Dimensional Multi-Criteria Decision Making Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavana, Madjid

    2003-01-01

    The primary driver for developing missions to send humans to other planets is to generate significant scientific return. NASA plans human planetary explorations with an acceptable level of risk consistent with other manned operations. Space exploration risks can not be completely eliminated. Therefore, an acceptable level of cost, technical, safety, schedule, and political risks and benefits must be established for exploratory missions. This study uses a three-dimensional multi-criteria decision making model to identify the risks and benefits associated with three alternative mission architecture operations concepts for the human exploration of Mars identified by the Mission Operations Directorate at Johnson Space Center. The three alternatives considered in this study include split, combo lander, and dual scenarios. The model considers the seven phases of the mission including: 1) Earth Vicinity/Departure; 2) Mars Transfer; 3) Mars Arrival; 4) Planetary Surface; 5) Mars Vicinity/Departure; 6) Earth Transfer; and 7) Earth Arrival. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and subjective probability estimation are used to captures the experts belief concerning the risks and benefits of the three alternative scenarios through a series of sequential, rational, and analytical processes.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  16. Spectral and stratigraphic mapping of hydrated minerals associated with interior layered deposits near the southern wall of Melas Chasma, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Goudge, Timothy A.; Catalano, Jeffrey G.; Wang, Alian

    2018-03-01

    Orbital remote sensing data acquired from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), in conjunction with other datasets, are used to perform detailed spectral and stratigraphic analyses over a portion of south Melas Chasma, Mars. The Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer (DISORT) model is used to retrieve atmospherically corrected single scattering albedos from CRISM I/F data for mineral identification. A sequence of interbedded poly- and monohydrated sulfates associated with interior layered deposits (ILDs) is identified and mapped. Analyses from laboratory experiments and spectral unmixing of CRISM hyperspectral data support the hypothesis of precipitation and dehydration of multiple inputs of complex Mg-Ca-Fe-SO4-Cl brines. In this scenario, the early precipitated Mg sulfates could dehydrate into monohydrated sulfate due to catalytic effects, and the later-precipitated Mg sulfates from the late-stage "clean" brine could terminate their dehydration at mid-degree of hydration to form a polyhydrated sulfate layer due to depletion of the catalytic species (e.g., Ca, Fe, and Cl). Distinct jarosite-bearing units are identified stratigraphically above the hydrated sulfate deposits. These are hypothesized to have formed either by oxidation of a fluid containing Fe(II) and SO4, or by leaching of soluble phases from precursor intermixed jarosite-Mg sulfate units that may have formed during the later stages of deposition of the hydrated sulfate sequence. Results from stratigraphic analysis of the ILDs show that the layers have a consistent northward dip towards the interior of the Melas Chasma basin, a mean dip angle of ∼6°, and neighboring strata that are approximately parallel. These strata are interpreted as initially sub-horizontal layers of a subaqueous, sedimentary evaporite deposits that underwent post-depositional tilting from slumping into the Melas Chasma basin. The interbedded hydrated sulfate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, R; Orenberg, J

    1993-10-01

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

  18. Data-Foraging-Oriented Reconnaissance Based on Bio-Inspired Indirect Communication for Aerial Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josué Castañeda Cisneros

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, aerial vehicles have allowed exploring scenarios with harsh conditions. These can conduct reconnaissance tasks in areas that change periodically and have a high spatial and temporal resolution. The objective of a reconnaissance task is to survey an area and retrieve strategic information. The aerial vehicles, however, have inherent constraints in terms of energy and transmission range due to their mobility. Despite these constraints, the Data Foraging problem requires the aerial vehicles to exchange information about profitable data sources. In Data Foraging, establishing a single path is not viable because of dynamic conditions of the environment. Thus, reconnaissance must be focused on periodically searching profitable environmental data sources, as some animals perform foraging. In this work, a data-foraging-oriented reconnaissance algorithm based on bio-inspired indirect communication for aerial vehicles is presented. The approach establishes several paths that overlap to identify valuable data sources. Inspired by the stigmergy principle, the aerial vehicles indirectly communicate through artificial pheromones. The aerial vehicles traverse the environment using a heuristic algorithm that uses the artificial pheromones as feedback. The solution is formally defined and mathematically evaluated. In addition, we show the viability of the algorithm by simulations which have been tested through various statistical hypothesis.

  19. Investigations of Water-Bearing Environments on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Julie

    Water is a critical resource for future human missions, and is necessary for understanding the evolution of the Solar System. The Moon and Mars have water in various forms and are therefore high-priority targets in the search for accessible extraterrestrial water. Complementary remote sensing analyses coupled with laboratory and field studies are necessary to provide a scientific context for future lunar and Mars exploration. In this thesis, I use multiple techniques to investigate the presence of water-ice at the lunar poles and the properties of martian chloride minerals, whose evolution is intricately linked with liquid water. Permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) at the lunar poles may contain substantial water ice, but radar signatures at PSRs could indicate water ice or large block populations. Mini-RF radar and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) products were used to assess block abundances where radar signatures indicated potential ice deposits. While the majority of PSRs in this study indicated large block populations and a low likelihood of water ice, one crater--Rozhdestvenskiy N--showed indirect indications of water ice in its interior. Chloride deposits indicate regions where the last substantial liquid water existed on Mars. Major ion abundances and expected precipitation sequences of terrestrial chloride brines could provide context for assessing the provenance of martian chloride deposits. Chloride minerals are most readily distinguished in the far-infrared (45+ microm), where their fundamental absorption features are strongest. Multiple chloride compositions and textures were characterized in far-infrared emission for the first time. Systematic variations in the spectra were observed; these variations will allow chloride mineralogy to be determined and large variations in texture to be constrained. In the present day, recurring slope lineae (RSL) may indicate water flow, but fresh water is not stable on Mars. However

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Atypical pit craters on Mars: new insights from THEMIS, CTX and HiRISE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Glen; Okubo, Chris H.; Titus, Timothy N.

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 pit craters in the Tharsis region of Mars exhibit morphologies, diameters and thermal behaviors that diverge from the much larger bowl-shaped pit craters that occur in most regions across Mars. These Atypical Pit Craters (APCs) generally have sharp and distinct rims, vertical or overhanging walls that extend down to their floors, surface diameters of ~50-350 m, and high depth-to-diameter (d/D) ratios that are usually greater than 0.3 (which is an upper-range value for impacts and bowl-shaped pit craters), and can exceed values of 1.8. Observations by the Mars Odyssey THermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) show that APC floor temperatures are warmer at night, and fluctuate with much lower diurnal amplitudes than nearby surfaces or adjacent bowl-shaped pit craters. Kīlauea volcano, Hawai'i, hosts pit craters that formed through subsurface collapse into active volcanic dikes, resulting in pits that can appear morphologically analogous to either APCs or bowl-shaped pit craters. Partially-drained dikes are sometimes exposed within the lower walls and floors of these terrestrial APC analogs and can form extensive cave systems with unique microclimates. Similar caves in martian pit craters are of great interest for astrobiology. This study uses new observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Context Camera (CTX) to refine previous work where seven APCs were described from lower-resolution THEMIS visible-wavelength (VIS) observations. Here, we identify locations of 115 APCs, map their distribution across the Tharsis region, characterize their internal morphologies with high-resolution observations, and discuss possible formation mechanisms.

  3. Hacking web intelligence open source intelligence and web reconnaissance concepts and techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Chauhan, Sudhanshu

    2015-01-01

    Open source intelligence (OSINT) and web reconnaissance are rich topics for infosec professionals looking for the best ways to sift through the abundance of information widely available online. In many cases, the first stage of any security assessment-that is, reconnaissance-is not given enough attention by security professionals, hackers, and penetration testers. Often, the information openly present is as critical as the confidential data. Hacking Web Intelligence shows you how to dig into the Web and uncover the information many don't even know exists. The book takes a holistic approach

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  5. 100 New Impact Crater Sites Found on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, M. R.; Malin, M. C.

    2009-12-01

    Recent observations constrain the formation of 100 new impact sites on Mars over the past decade; 19 of these were found using the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), and the other 81 have been identified since 2006 using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera (CTX). Every 6 meter/pixel CTX image is examined upon receipt and, where they overlap images of 0.3-240 m/pixel scale acquired by the same or other Mars-orbiting spacecraft, we look for features that may have changed. New impact sites are initially identified by the presence of a new dark spot or cluster of dark spots in a CTX image. Such spots may be new impact craters, or result from the effect of impact blasts on the dusty surface. In some (generally rare) cases, the crater is sufficiently large to be resolved in the CTX image. In most cases, however, the crater(s) cannot be seen. These are tentatively designated as “candidate” new impact sites, and the CTX team then creates an opportunity for the MRO spacecraft to point its cameras off-nadir and requests that the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team obtain an image of ~0.3 m/pixel to confirm whether a crater or crater cluster is present. It is clear even from cursory examination that the CTX observations are areographically biased to dusty, higher albedo areas on Mars. All but 3 of the 100 new impact sites occur on surfaces with Lambert albedo values in excess of 23.5%. Our initial study of MOC images greatly benefited from the initial global observations made in one month in 1999, creating a baseline date from which we could start counting new craters. The global coverage by MRO Mars Color Imager is more than a factor of 4 poorer in resolution than the MOC Wide Angle camera and does not offer the opportunity for global analysis. Instead, we must rely on partial global coverage and global coverage that has taken years to accumulate; thus we can only treat impact rates statistically. We subdivide the total data

  6. Radioactive reconnaissance in area of utilization ammunition of depleted uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fortuna, D.; Dimitrijevic, D.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper are presented methods of radioactive reconnaissance and taking of samples in area of utilization ammunition of depleted uranium during the armed aggression of NATO to Yugoslavia (author)

  7. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riris, H.; Cavanaugh, J.; Sun, X.; Liiva, P.; Rodriguez, M.; Neuman, G.

    2017-11-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument [1-3] on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, launched on June 18th, 2009, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, will provide a precise global lunar topographic map using laser altimetry. LOLA will assist in the selection of landing sites on the Moon for future robotic and human exploration missions and will attempt to detect the presence of water ice on or near the surface, which is one of the objectives of NASA's Exploration Program. Our present knowledge of the topography of the Moon is inadequate for determining safe landing areas for NASA's future lunar exploration missions. Only those locations, surveyed by the Apollo missions, are known with enough detail. Knowledge of the position and characteristics of the topographic features on the scale of a lunar lander are crucial for selecting safe landing sites. Our present knowledge of the rest of the lunar surface is at approximately 1 km kilometer level and in many areas, such as the lunar far side, is on the order of many kilometers. LOLA aims to rectify that and provide a precise map of the lunar surface on both the far and near side of the moon. LOLA uses short (6 ns) pulses from a single laser through a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE) to produce a five-beam pattern that illuminates the lunar surface. For each beam, LOLA measures the time of flight (range), pulse spreading (surface roughness), and transmit/return energy (surface reflectance). LOLA will produce a high-resolution global topographic model and global geodetic framework that enables precise targeting, safe landing, and surface mobility to carry out exploratory activities. In addition, it will characterize the polar illumination environment, and image permanently shadowed regions of the lunar surface to identify possible locations of surface ice crystals in shadowed polar craters.

  8. Overview of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1980-01-01

    A Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) for uranium is currently being conducted throughout the conterminous United States and Alaska. The HSSR is part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation sponsored by the US Department of Energy. This ambitious geochemical reconnaissance program is conducted by four Department of Energy laboratories: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and Savannah River Laboratory. The program is based on an extensive review of world literature, reconnaissance work done in other countries, and pilot studies conducted by each laboratory. Sample-collection methods and sample density are determined to optimize the probability of detecting potential uranium mineralization. To achieve this aim, each laboratory has developed independent standardized field collection procedures that are designed for its section of the country. Field parameters such as pH, conductivity, climate, geography, and geology are recorded at each site. Most areas are sampled at densities of one sample site per 10 to 23 km 2 . The HSSR program has helped to improve existing hydrogeochemical reconnaissance exploration techniques. In addition to providing industry with data that may help to identify potential uranium districts and to extend known uranium provinces, the HSSR also provides multielement analytical data that can be used in water quality, soil, sediment, environmental, and base-metal exploration studies

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. KSC-05PD-0820

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. At Kennedy Space Centers Shuttle Landing Facility, the second of two containers with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) equipment is lifted onto a flatbed truck for transport to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The MRO was built by Lockheed-Martin for NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. It is the next major step in Mars exploration and scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in a window opening Aug. 10. The MRO carries six primary instruments: the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, Context Camera, Mars Color Imager, Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, Mars Climate Sounder and Shallow Radar. By 2007, the MRO will begin a series of global mapping, regional survey and targeted observations from a near-polar, low-altitude Mars orbit. It will observe the atmosphere and surface of Mars while probing its shallow subsurface as part of a follow the water strategy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Rock pushing and sampling under rocks on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roll, R.

    2015-10-01

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

  16. Basic Remote Sensing Investigations for Beach Reconnaissance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Progress is reported on three tasks designed to develop remote sensing beach reconnaissance techniques applicable to the benthic, beach intertidal...and beach upland zones. Task 1 is designed to develop remote sensing indicators of important beach composition and physical parameters which will...ultimately prove useful in models to predict beach conditions. Task 2 is designed to develop remote sensing techniques for survey of bottom features in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  18. Current approaches to geochemical reconnaissance for uranium in the Canadian Shield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cameron, E.M.; Hornbrook, E.H.W.

    1976-01-01

    Wide-interval geochemical reconnaissance is currently being carried out over large areas of the Canadian Shield by the Geological Survey of Canada. This work is in support of the federal-provincial Uranium Reconnaissance Program. The paper reviews the methodology employed for this reconnaissance to outline areas of enhanced potential for uranium and other mineral commodities. The generally low relief of the Shield virtually restricts wide-interval reconnaissance to the mobile elements that can travel some distance in solution. The high mobility of uranium, particularly in waters of neutral pH, makes it one of the most suitable types of mineralization for detection. For much of the Shield the most appropriate sampling media are lake sediments and lake waters. Centre-lake sediments are homogeneous, and are readily and economically collected utilizing helicopter support. They provide a good response for uranium and a variety of other indicator elements. Waters collected at the same sample sites are a useful supplement in the search for uranium mineralization, particularly in carbonate terrain. However, because of the very low content of uranium in many Shield waters, they present as yet unresolved problems of analysis and storage. The influence of organic material, iron and manganese on the uranium content of lake sediments are examined. Their scavenging influence has been found to be significant only at their lower concentration levels, particularly for organic matter and iron. For the majority of centre-lake samples the effect is negligible. The choice of sample interval is related to total survey costs, to speed of coverage, and to ability to detect uranium and other types of mineralization. For current G.S.C. programs a sample density of one per five square mile appears optimal. The results are presented as l:250,000 symbol maps that are prepared largely by computer, and as 1:1,000,000 contoured compilation maps. (author)

  19. Comments about "Earth 3.0"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dator, Jim

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Massive stereo-based DTM production for Mars on cloud computers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Y.; Muller, J.-P.; Sidiropoulos, P.; Xiong, Si-Ting; Putri, A. R. D.; Walter, S. H. G.; Veitch-Michaelis, J.; Yershov, V.

    2018-05-01

    Digital Terrain Model (DTM) creation is essential to improving our understanding of the formation processes of the Martian surface. Although there have been previous demonstrations of open-source or commercial planetary 3D reconstruction software, planetary scientists are still struggling with creating good quality DTMs that meet their science needs, especially when there is a requirement to produce a large number of high quality DTMs using "free" software. In this paper, we describe a new open source system to overcome many of these obstacles by demonstrating results in the context of issues found from experience with several planetary DTM pipelines. We introduce a new fully automated multi-resolution DTM processing chain for NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) stereo processing, called the Co-registration Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP) Gotcha Optimised (CASP-GO), based on the open source NASA ASP. CASP-GO employs tie-point based multi-resolution image co-registration, and Gotcha sub-pixel refinement and densification. CASP-GO pipeline is used to produce planet-wide CTX and HiRISE DTMs that guarantee global geo-referencing compliance with respect to High Resolution Stereo Colour imaging (HRSC), and thence to the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA); providing refined stereo matching completeness and accuracy. All software and good quality products introduced in this paper are being made open-source to the planetary science community through collaboration with NASA Ames, United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System (AMMOS) Planetary Data System (PDS) Pipeline Service (APPS-PDS4), as well as browseable and visualisable through the iMars web based Geographic Information System (webGIS) system.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  4. D.R.O.P. The Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, Clifford; Parness, Aaron

    2012-01-01

    The Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP) is a prototype robotic platform with the ability to climb concrete surfaces up to 85deg at a rate of 25cm/s, make rapid horizontal to vertical transitions, carry an audio/visual reconnaissance payload, and survive impacts from 3 meters. DROP is manufactured using a combination of selective laser sintering (SLS) and shape deposition manufacturing (SDM) techniques. The platform uses a two-wheel, two-motor design that delivers high mobility with low complexity. DROP extends microspine climbing technology from linear to rotary applications, providing improved transition ability, increased speeds, and simpler body mechanics while maintaining microspines ability to opportunistically grip rough surfaces. Various aspects of prototype design and performance are discussed, including the climbing mechanism, body design, and impact survival.

  5. Automated motion imagery exploitation for surveillance and reconnaissance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Se, Stephen; Laliberte, France; Kotamraju, Vinay; Dutkiewicz, Melanie

    2012-06-01

    Airborne surveillance and reconnaissance are essential for many military missions. Such capabilities are critical for troop protection, situational awareness, mission planning and others, such as post-operation analysis / damage assessment. Motion imagery gathered from both manned and unmanned platforms provides surveillance and reconnaissance information that can be used for pre- and post-operation analysis, but these sensors can gather large amounts of video data. It is extremely labour-intensive for operators to analyse hours of collected data without the aid of automated tools. At MDA Systems Ltd. (MDA), we have previously developed a suite of automated video exploitation tools that can process airborne video, including mosaicking, change detection and 3D reconstruction, within a GIS framework. The mosaicking tool produces a geo-referenced 2D map from the sequence of video frames. The change detection tool identifies differences between two repeat-pass videos taken of the same terrain. The 3D reconstruction tool creates calibrated geo-referenced photo-realistic 3D models. The key objectives of the on-going project are to improve the robustness, accuracy and speed of these tools, and make them more user-friendly to operational users. Robustness and accuracy are essential to provide actionable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information. Speed is important to reduce operator time on data analysis. We are porting some processor-intensive algorithms to run on a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in order to improve throughput. Many aspects of video processing are highly parallel and well-suited for optimization on GPUs, which are now commonly available on computers. Moreover, we are extending the tools to handle video data from various airborne platforms and developing the interface to the Coalition Shared Database (CSD). The CSD server enables the dissemination and storage of data from different sensors among NATO countries. The CSD interface allows

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  7. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

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

  8. The Mars Dust and Water Cycles: Investigating the Influence of Clouds on the Vertical Distribution and Meridional Transport of Dust and Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahre, Melinda A.; Haberle, Robert M.; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Brecht, Amanda S.; Urata, Richard A.

    2015-11-01

    The dust and water cycles are critical to the current Martian climate, and they interact with each other through cloud formation. Dust modulates the thermal structure of the atmosphere and thus greatly influences atmospheric circulation. Clouds provide radiative forcing and control the net hemispheric transport of water through the alteration of the vertical distributions of water and dust. Recent advancements in the quality and sophistication of both climate models and observations enable an increased understanding of how the coupling between the dust and water cycles (through cloud formation) impacts the dust and water cycles. We focus here on the effects of clouds on the vertical distributions of dust and water and how those vertical distributions control the net meridional transport of water. We utilize observations of temperature, dust and water ice from the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the NASA ARC Mars Global Climate Model (MGCM) to show that the magnitude and nature of the hemispheric exchange of water during NH summer is sensitive to the vertical structure of the simulated aphelion cloud belt. Further, we investigate how clouds influence atmospheric temperatures and thus the vertical structure of the cloud belt. Our goal is to isolate and understand the importance of radiative/dynamic feedbacks due to the physical processes involved with cloud formation and evolution on the current climate of Mars.

  9. The Mars Dust and Water Cycles: Investigating the Influence of Clouds on the Vertical Distribution and Meridional Transport of Dust and Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahre, M. A.; Haberle, R. M.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Brecht, A. S.; Urata, R.

    2015-01-01

    The dust and water cycles are critical to the current Martian climate, and they interact with each other through cloud formation. Dust modulates the thermal structure of the atmosphere and thus greatly influences atmospheric circulation. Clouds provide radiative forcing and control the net hemispheric transport of water through the alteration of the vertical distributions of water and dust. Recent advancements in the quality and sophistication of both climate models and observations enable an increased understanding of how the coupling between the dust and water cycles (through cloud formation) impacts the dust and water cycles. We focus here on the effects of clouds on the vertical distributions of dust and water and how those vertical distributions control the net meridional transport of water. We utilize observations of temperature, dust and water ice from the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the NASA ARC Mars Global Climate Model (MGCM) to show that the magnitude and nature of the hemispheric exchange of water during NH summer is sensitive to the vertical structure of the simulated aphelion cloud belt. Further, we investigate how clouds influence atmospheric temperatures and thus the vertical structure of the cloud belt. Our goal is to isolate and understand the importance of radiative/dynamic feedbacks due to the physical processes involved with cloud formation and evolution on the current climate of Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  11. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

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

  12. Digital Video Imagery and Wireless Communications for Land-Based Reconnaissance Missions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Munroe, James

    1999-01-01

    .... This thesis explores, analyzes, and performs a proof-of-concept implementation for a real-time digital video reconnaissance system from forward locations to the rear using wireless communication...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Automatic speech recognition (zero crossing method). Automatic recognition of isolated vowels; Reconnaissance automatique de la parole (methode des passages par zero). Reconnaissance automatique de voyelles isolees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dupeyrat, Benoit

    1975-06-10

    This note describes a recognition method of isolated vowels, using a preprocessing of the vocal signal. The processing extracts the extrema of the vocal signal and the interval time separating them (Zero crossing distances of the first derivative of the signal). The recognition of vowels uses normalized histograms of the values of these intervals. The program determines a distance between the histogram of the sound to be recognized and histograms models built during a learning phase. The results processed on real time by a minicomputer, are relatively independent of the speaker, the fundamental frequency being not allowed to vary too much (i.e. speakers of the same sex). (author) [French] Cette note decrit une methode de reconnaissance automatique de voyelles isolees basee sur un pretraitement particulier du signal vocal. Ce pretraitement consiste a extraire les extrema du signal vocal et les intervalles de temps les separant (distances entre passages par zero de la derivee du signal). La reconnaissance des voyelles est faite en utilisant des histogrammes normalises des valeurs de ces interval les. Le programme de reconnaissance utilise une distance entre l'histogramme du son a reconnaitre et des histogrammes modeles provenant d'un apprentissage. Les resultats obtenus en temps reels sur un minicalculateur, sont assez independants du locuteur, pourvu que la frequence fondamentale de la voix ne varie pas trop (locuteurs de meme sexe). (auteur)

  17. Parameterization of Rocket Dust Storms on Mars in the LMD Martian GCM: Modeling Details and Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Forget, François; Bertrand, Tanguy; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn; Navarro, Thomas

    2018-04-01

    The origin of the detached dust layers observed by the Mars Climate Sounder aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is still debated. Spiga et al. (2013, https://doi.org/10.1002/jgre.20046) revealed that deep mesoscale convective "rocket dust storms" are likely to play an important role in forming these dust layers. To investigate how the detached dust layers are generated by this mesoscale phenomenon and subsequently evolve at larger scales, a parameterization of rocket dust storms to represent the mesoscale dust convection is designed and included into the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Martian Global Climate Model (GCM). The new parameterization allows dust particles in the GCM to be transported to higher altitudes than in traditional GCMs. Combined with the horizontal transport by large-scale winds, the dust particles spread out and form detached dust layers. During the Martian dusty seasons, the LMD GCM with the new parameterization is able to form detached dust layers. The formation, evolution, and decay of the simulated dust layers are largely in agreement with the Mars Climate Sounder observations. This suggests that mesoscale rocket dust storms are among the key factors to explain the observed detached dust layers on Mars. However, the detached dust layers remain absent in the GCM during the clear seasons, even with the new parameterization. This implies that other relevant atmospheric processes, operating when no dust storms are occurring, are needed to explain the Martian detached dust layers. More observations of local dust storms could improve the ad hoc aspects of this parameterization, such as the trigger and timing of dust injection.

  18. 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.

  19. Laser Mass Spectrometry in Planetary Science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Uranium Districts Defined by Reconnaissance Geochemistry in South Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armour-Brown, A.; Steenfelt, A.; Kunzendorf, Helmar

    1983-01-01

    A reconnaissance exploration survey over 14 000 km2 of Precambrian terrain in South Greenland using stream-sediment and stream-water samples delineated a central uranium district of 2000 km2 with enhanced uranium levels and smaller anomalous zones in the south of the field area. The area is under...

  2. 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.

  3. The Coupled Mars Dust and Water Cycles: Understanding How Clouds Affect the Vertical Distribution and Meridional Transport of Dust and Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahre, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    The dust and water cycles are crucial to the current Martian climate, and they are coupled through cloud formation. Dust strongly impacts the thermal structure of the atmosphere and thus greatly affects atmospheric circulation, while clouds provide radiative forcing and control the hemispheric exchange of water through the modification of the vertical distributions of water and dust. Recent improvements in the quality and sophistication of both observations and climate models allow for a more comprehensive understanding of how the interaction between the dust and water cycles (through cloud formation) affects the dust and water cycles individually. We focus here on the effects of clouds on the vertical distribution of dust and water, and how those vertical distributions control the net meridional transport of water. For this study, we utilize observations of temperature, dust and water ice from the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) combined with the NASA ARC Mars Global Climate Model (MGCM). We demonstrate that the magnitude and nature of the net meridional transport of water between the northern and southern hemispheres during NH summer is sensitive to the vertical structure of the simulated aphelion cloud belt. We further examine how clouds influence the atmospheric thermal structure and thus the vertical structure of the cloud belt. Our goal is to identify and understand the importance of radiative/dynamic feedbacks due to the physical processes involved with cloud formation and evolution on the current climate of Mars.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. EU-FP7-iMARS: analysis of Mars multi-resolution images using auto-coregistration, data mining and crowd source techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Anton; Muller, Jan-Peter; Tao, Yu; Kim, Jung-Rack; Gwinner, Klaus; Van Gasselt, Stephan; Morley, Jeremy; Houghton, Robert; Bamford, Steven; Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Fanara, Lida; Waenlish, Marita; Walter, Sebastian; Steinkert, Ralf; Schreiner, Bjorn; Cantini, Federico; Wardlaw, Jessica; Sprinks, James; Giordano, Michele; Marsh, Stuart

    2016-07-01

    Understanding planetary atmosphere-surface and extra-terrestrial-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 15 years, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape. This has led to the ability to be able to overlay different epochs back in time to the mid 1970s, to examine time-varying changes, such as the recent discovery of mass movement, tracking inter-year seasonal changes and looking for occurrences of fresh craters. Within the EU FP-7 iMars project, UCL have developed a fully automated multi-resolution DTM processing chain, called the Co-registration ASP-Gotcha Optimised (CASP-GO), based on the open source NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP), which is being applied to the production of planetwide DTMs and ORIs (OrthoRectified Images) from CTX and HiRISE. Alongside the production of individual strip CTX & HiRISE DTMs & ORIs, DLR have processed HRSC mosaics of ORIs and DTMs for complete areas in a consistent manner using photogrammetric bundle block adjustment techniques. A novel automated co-registration and orthorectification chain has been developed and is being applied to level-1 EDR images taken by the 4 NASA orbital cameras since 1976 using the HRSC map products (both mosaics and orbital strips) as a map-base. The project has also included Mars Radar profiles from Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions. A webGIS has been developed for displaying this time sequence of imagery and a demonstration will be shown applied to one of the map-sheets. Automated quality control techniques are applied to screen for suitable images and these are extended to detect temporal changes in features on the surface such as mass movements, streaks, spiders, impact craters, CO2 geysers and Swiss Cheese terrain. These data mining techniques are then being employed within a citizen science project within the Zooniverse family

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  9. Interannual and seasonal changes in the south seasonal polar cap of Mars: Observations from MY 28-31 using MARCI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Cantor, B. A.; James, P. B.

    2017-08-01

    The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides daily synoptic coverage that allows monitoring of seasonal cap retreat and interannual changes that occur between Mars Years (MY) and over the southern summer. We present the first analysis of this data for the southern seasonal cap evolution observed in MY 28, 29, 30 and 31 (2/2007 to 07/2013). Observation over multiple Mars years allows us to compare changes between years as well as longer-term evolution of the high albedo deposits at the poles. Seasonal cap retreat is similar in all years and to retreats observed in other years by both optical and thermal instruments. The cryptic terrain has a fairly consistent boundary in each year, but numerous small-scale variations occur in each MY observed. Additionally, numerous small dark deposits are identified outside the classically identified cyptic region, including Inca City and other locations not previously noted. The large water ice outlier is observed to retain seasonal frost the longest (outside the polar dome) and is also highly variable in each MY. The development of the cryptic/anti-cryptic hemispheres is inferred to occur due to albedo variations that develop after dust venting starts and may be caused by recondensation of CO2 ice on the brightest and coldest regions controlled by topographic winds. Ground ice may play a role in which regions develop cryptic terrain, as there is no elevation control on either cryptic terrain or the late season brightest deposits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Huang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch

    2003-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Boesswetter

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  16. Viking orbiter and its Mariner inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

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

  17. Buried CO2 Ice traces in South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars detected by radar sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaldo, L.; Mège, D.; Orosei, R.; Séjourné, A.

    2014-12-01

    SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) is the subsurface sounding radar provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as a facility instrument to NASA's 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Reduced Data Record of SHARAD data covering the area of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD), has been used. The elaboration and interpretation of the data, aimed to estimate electromagnetic properties of surface layers, has been performed in terms of permittivity. The theory of electromagnetic scattering from fractal surfaces, and the estimation of geometric parameters from topographic data by Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) which was one of five instruments on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, has been used. A deep analysis of inversion has been made on all Mars and extended to the South Polar Caps in order to extract the area with a permittivity constant of CO2 ice. Several corrections have been applied to the data, moreover the calibration of the signal requires the determination of a constant that takes into account the power gain due to the radar system and the surface in order to compensate the power losses due to the orbitographic phenomena. The determination of regions with high probability of buried CO2 ice in the first layer of the Martian surface, is obtained extracting the real part of the permittivity constant of the CO2 ice (~2), estimated by other means. The permittivity of CO2ice is extracted from the Global Permittivity Map of Mars using the global standard deviation of itself as following: ɛCO2ice=ɛCO2ice+ Σ (1)where Σ=±std(ɛMapMars)/2Figure 1(a) shows the south polar areas where the values of the permittivity point to the possibility of a CO2 ice layer. Figure 1(b) is the corresponding geologic map. The comparison between the two maps indicates that the area with probable buried CO2 overlaps Hesperian and Amazonian polar units (Hp, Hesperian plains-forming deposits marked by narrow sinuous, anabranching ridges and irregular depressions, and

  18. Visible and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Hephaestus Fossae Cratered Cones, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dapremont, A.; Wray, J. J.

    2017-12-01

    Hephaestus Fossae are a system of sub-parallel fractures on Mars (> 500 km long) interpreted as near-surface tensional cracks [1]. Images of the Martian surface from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment have revealed cratered cones within the Hephaestus Fossae region. A volcanic origin (cinder/tuff cones) has been proposed for these features based on morphometric measurements and fine-scale surface characteristics [2]. In an effort to further constrain the origin of these cones as the products of igneous or sedimentary volcanism, we use data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). We take advantage of CRISM's S (0.4 - 1.0 microns) and L (1.0 - 3.9 microns) detector wavelength ranges to investigate the presence or absence of spectral signatures consistent with previous identifications of igneous and mud volcanism products on Mars [3,4]. Hephaestus Fossae cratered cone rims exhibit a consistent nanophase ferric oxide signature. We also identify ferrous phases and 3-micron absorptions (attributed to fundamental vibrational stretch frequencies in H2O) on the crater rims of several cones. Mafic signatures on cratered cone rims support an igneous provenance for these features. The 3-micron absorptions are consistent with the presence of structurally bound or adsorbed water. Our CRISM observations are similar to those of small edifice features in Chryse Planitia, which were interpreted as mud volcanism products based on their enrichment of nanophase ferric minerals and 3-micron absorptions on summit crater rims [3]. Hydrothermal activity was invoked for a Coprates Chasma pitted cone (scoria/tuff cone) based on CRISM identification of partially dehydrated opaline silica, which we do not observe in Hephaestus Fossae [4]. Our spectral observations are more consistent with mud volcanism, but we do not definitively rule out an igneous volcanic origin for the cones in our study region. We demonstrate that VNIR spectroscopy is a valuable

  19. Measuring and Tracking Skills in the Army Reconnaissance Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    aggregation and trend analysis over time. The ARC-FT also supports course management activities by allowing students and instructors to sign...iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank all of the Army Reconnaissance Course Leadership and instructors for supporting this research and...the consummate support and guidance of Brigade, Battalion, and course leadership ; an internal instructor training program; the setting of conditions

  20. Advanced Pattern Recognition Techniques (Techniques avancees de reconnaissance de forme)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-09-01

    alarmes dans la d6tection des mines terrestres et des munitions explosives non explos6es. Les m~thodes classiques de reconnaissance de forme...the XVIII. Congress of the International Society for [19] DIN EN 60825-1(IEC 825-1) VDE 0837, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Sicherheit von Laser

  1. 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

  2. Optimizing Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Systems for Removal of Trace Organic Chemicals (TOrCs)

    KAUST Repository

    Alidina, Mazahirali

    2014-06-01

    Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a low-energy subsurface water treatment system with the potential of being an important component of sustainable water reuse schemes. Alongside common wastewater contaminants, MAR systems have been shown to attenuate a range of trace organic chemicals (TOrCs). Despite several factors being possibly important for TOrC attenuation, many have not been investigated in depth. This research effort investigated three factors affecting attenuation of the moderately degradable TOrCs: primary substrate, adaptation of the microbial community to presence of TOrCs, and groundwater temperature. The overall goal was to optimize TOrC attenuation using different MAR configurations considering how these factors affect TOrC attenuation. The primary substrate composition and concentration significantly impacted attenuation of the moderately degradable TOrCs. Lower primary substrate concentrations and more refractory carbon generally resulted in better TOrC transformation, a more diverse microbial community in the infiltration zone and more diverse capabilities for TOrC degradation. The enzyme group cytochrome P450 may be important for TOrC transformation since its genes were more abundant under carbon-starving primary substrate conditions. Adaptation of the microbial community by pre-exposure to TOrCs was not required in order to degrade them. However, adaptation to the primary substrate was necessary for TOrC biotransformation due to its effect on the microbial community. Attenuation of most TOrCs was unaffected by changes in temperature. Some moderately degradable TOrCs, however, were better attenuated at higher temperatures likely due to increased microbial activity. Others were better degraded at lower temperatures likely due to favorable sorption conditions. In the context of applying MAR systems to potential water reuse schemes within Saudi Arabia, a reconnaissance study of TOrC occurrence in treated wastewater effluents was undertaken. Most of

  3. A History of Satellite Reconnaissance. Volume 2A. SAMOS (REDACTED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-10-01

    CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING... Disneyland aspe, ts of some RCA actiVities, results of system testa conducted late in March seemed to have Cully justilied the Reconnaissance Laboratory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Searching for Ancient Lakebeds in Ladon Basin, Mars and Implications for Future Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colón, A. M.; Miranda, C.; Milliken, R.

    2017-12-01

    It is well known from terrestrial studies that clay-rich rocks, and lacustrine mudstones in particular, are efficient at trapping, binding, and preserving organic matter through geologic time. This has also been demonstrated on Mars, where the Curiosity rover has detected organics in ancient mudstones in Gale crater. A number of other potential ancient lake sites have been proposed as landing sties for the Mars 2020 rover, including regions within the Ladon Basin and Valles system. In this study we map of the distribution of clay deposits in the Uzboi-Morava-Ladon (ULM) System, a system thought to have been a series of lakes interconnected by channels, and assess how these hydrous minerals relate to topography, adjacent fluvial networks, and the overall stratigraphy of basin deposits. We use CTX images and near-IR spectral reflectance data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument to independently map morphological and mineralogical features within Ladon. We find a number of occurrences of stratified, light-toned outcrops within the basin, but individual outcrops are small even at the scale of CTX images and are concentrated in several locations in the basin. Some light-toned outcrops are associated with clay minerals, but in general the light-toned appearance appears to be a poor proxy for clay distribution. CRISM data reveal that some clay-bearing regions are visually indistinct from adjacent clay-poor terrains. Some of the best examples of stratified, clay-bearing rocks are found in Ladon Valles, where they occur in terraces. In general, the stratigraphic, topographic, and morphologic evidence do not preclude a lacustrine origin, but there is no diagnostic evidence to support this interpretation either. The clay-bearing and light-toned deposits within Ladon basin may instead reflect deposition in an alluvial/fluvial system that post-dates the peak period of inferred lacustrine activity in the ULM system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  7. Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Further ecological and shoreline stability reconnaissance surveys of Back Island, Behm Canal, Southeast Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, J.S.; Strand, J.A.; Ecker, R.M.

    1987-09-01

    A diver reconnaissance of the intertidal and subtidal zones of Back Island was performed to catalog potentially vulnerable shellfish, other invertebrates, and marine plant resources occurring at three proposed alternate pier sites on the west side of Back Island. Additionally, a limited survey of terrestrial vegetation was conducted in the vicinity of one of the proposed alternate pier sites to describe the littoral community and to list the dominant plant species found there. Finally, a reconnaissance survey of the shoreline of Back Island was conducted to evaluate potential changes in shoreline stability resulting from construction of onshore portions of the Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility (SEAFAC).

  9. Experimental Alteration of Basalt to Support Interpretation of Remote Sensing and In Situ Meausrements from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. S.

    2014-01-01

    are a function of the original mineral assemblage in the parent rocks, the chemistry of fluids that interacted with the rocks, and physico-chemical conditions (pH, temperatures, and pressure) during the time of mineral formation. Understanding the alteration assemblages produced by a range of conditions is vital for the interpretation of phyllosilicate spectral signatures and to decipher the environment and evolution of early Mars, and especially for identifying habitable niches in which life could be initiated and sustained. No experimentally controlled and well characterized analog materials that simulate martian shock metamorphism and alteration conditions currently exist for calibrating either remote sensing or in situ measurements of Mars. A series of experiments was initiated to assess the effects of systematic changes in the physico-chemical conditions on Mars analog materials thereby providing samples to ground-truth Mars remote sensing observations from CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) and in situ measurements from Opportunity's Mössbauer and Curiosity's CHEMIN (Chemistry and Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/XRay Fluorescence) instruments. Results of initial experimental runs as analysed by SEM-EDS (Secondary Electron Microscopy -Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis are reported here and lay the foundation for comparison with shocked and altered samples that will be characterized in the next phase of this work.

  10. Lava Tubes as Martian Analog sites on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Christian; Hamilton, J. C.; Adams, M.

    2013-10-01

    The existence of geologic features similar to skylights seen in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HIRISE imagery suggest Martian lava tube networks. Along with pit craters, these features are evidence of a past era of vulcanism. If these were contemporary with the wet Mars eras, then it is suggestive that any Martian life may have retreated into these subsurface oases. Hawaii island has numerous lava tubes of differing ages, humidity, lengths and sizes that make ideal analog test environments for future Mars exploration. PISCES has surveyed multiple candidate sites during the past summer with a team of University of Hawaii at Hilo student interns. It should be noted that Lunar features have also been similarly discovered via Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC imagery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Scalable Sensor Management for Automated Fusion and Tactical Reconnaissance

    OpenAIRE

    Walls, Thomas J.; Wilson, Michael L.; Partridge, Darin C.; Haws, Jonathan R.; Jensen, Mark D.; Johnson, Troy R.; Petersen, Brad D.; Sullivan, Stephanie W.

    2013-01-01

    The capabilities of tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) payloads are expanding from single sensor imagers to integrated systems-of-systems architectures. Increasingly, these systems-of-systems include multiple sensing modalities that can act as force multipliers for the intelligence analyst. Currently, the separate sensing modalities operate largely independent of one another, providing a selection of operating modes but not an integrated intelligence product. We des...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The Advanced Linked Extended Reconnaissance & Targeting Technology Demonstration project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark

    2008-04-01

    The Advanced Linked Extended Reconnaissance & Targeting (ALERT) Technology Demonstration (TD) project is addressing many operational needs of the future Canadian Army's Surveillance and Reconnaissance forces. Using the surveillance system of the Coyote reconnaissance vehicle as an experimental platform, the ALERT TD project aims to significantly enhance situational awareness by fusing multi-sensor and tactical data, developing automated processes, and integrating beyond line-of-sight sensing. The project is exploiting important advances made in computer processing capability, displays technology, digital communications, and sensor technology since the design of the original surveillance system. As the major research area within the project, concepts are discussed for displaying and fusing multi-sensor and tactical data within an Enhanced Operator Control Station (EOCS). The sensor data can originate from the Coyote's own visible-band and IR cameras, laser rangefinder, and ground-surveillance radar, as well as from beyond line-of-sight systems such as mini-UAVs and unattended ground sensors. Video-rate image processing has been developed to assist the operator to detect poorly visible targets. As a second major area of research, automatic target cueing capabilities have been added to the system. These include scene change detection, automatic target detection and aided target recognition algorithms processing both IR and visible-band images to draw the operator's attention to possible targets. The merits of incorporating scene change detection algorithms are also discussed. In the area of multi-sensor data fusion, up to Joint Defence Labs level 2 has been demonstrated. The human factors engineering aspects of the user interface in this complex environment are presented, drawing upon multiple user group sessions with military surveillance system operators. The paper concludes with Lessons Learned from the project. The ALERT system has been used in a number of C4ISR

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Image processing in aerial surveillance and reconnaissance: From pixels to understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, J.; Eekeren, A.W.M. van; Rajadell Rojas, O.; Burghouts, G.J.; Schutte, K.

    2013-01-01

    Surveillance and reconnaissance tasks are currently often performed using an airborne platform such as a UAV. The airborne platform can carry different sensors. EO/IR cameras can be used to view a certain area from above. To support the task from the sensor analyst, different image processing

  17. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory approach to hydrogeochemical and stream sediment reconnaissance for uranium in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1980-01-01

    The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory of the United States is conducting a geochemical survey for uranium in the Rocky Mountain states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana and in Alaska. This survey is part of a national hydrogeochemical and stream sediment reconnaissance in which four Department of Energy laboratories will study the uranium resources of the United States to provide data for the National Uranium Resource Evaluation program. The reconnaissance will identify areas having higher than background concentrations of uranium in ground waters, surface waters, and water-transported sediments. The reconnaissance data will be combined with data from airborne radiometric surveys and geological and geophysical investigations to provide an improved estimate for the economics and availability of nuclear fuel resources in the United States and to make information available to industry for use in the exploration and development of uranium resources. Water samples are analyzed for uranium by fluorometry which has a 0.02 parts per billion lower limit of detection. Concentrations of 12 additional elements in water are determined by plasma-source emission spectrography. All sediments are analyzed for uranium by delayed-neutron counting and a 20 parts per billion lower limit of detection. Elemental concentrations in sediments are also determined by neutron activation analysis, x-ray fluorescence, and by arc-source emission spectrography. To date, all of four Rocky Mountain states and about 80% of Alaska have been sampled. About 220,000 samples have been collected from an area of nearly 2,500,000 km 2 . The philosophy, sampling methodology, analytical techniques, and progress of the reconnaissance are described in several published pilot study, reconnaissance, and technical reports. The Los Alamos program was designed to maximize the identification of uranium in terrains of varied geography, geology, and climate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

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

  1. Chemical signatures of life in modern stromatolites from Lake Alchichica, Mexico. Applications for the search of life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Karina F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Alcocer, Javier; Escobar, Elva; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, Francois; Stalport, Fabien; Cabane, Michel; Person, Alain; McKay, Chris

    Stromatolites are one of the most important forms of fossil evidence for microbial life on early Earth (Schopf et al., 1971). They are formed when layers of microbial organisms at the shallow bottom of a lake or tide pool are periodically covered with sediment or precipitating salts (e.g. carbonate). The photosynthetic organisms that form the basis of the community must migrate through sediment toward the light in order to survive. If life emerged on Mars, it is possible that stromatolites were formed in lakes and marine lagoons. Recently the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapping found a regional rock layer with near-infrared spectral characteristics that are consistent with the presence of magnesium carbonate in the Nili Fossae region (Ehlmann et al., 2008). The Nili Fossae is a fracture in the surface of Mars that has been eroded and partly filled in by sediments and clay-rich ejecta from a nearby crater. It is located at 22° N, 75° E and has an elevation of 0.6 km. The carbonate-bearing rocks outcrops in the Nili Fossae region could have formed in (1) the subsurface by groundwater percolating through fractures in the ultramafic rock and altering olivine or (2) in shallow lakes from waters enriched in Mg2+ relative to other cations by percolation through ultramafic olivine-bearing rocks. In the latter scenario, it is possible that these carbonate outcrops could have been deposited in association with microbial activity. The purpose of this work is to chemically characterize a modern stromatolite by thermal volatization (TV), a method that has been widely used in past missions (Viking and Phoenix) and will also be used in future missions (Mars Science Laboratory and ExoMars) in the search for life on Mars. Alchichica is a volcanic crater lake situated in an enclosed basin within the El Seco Valley at 19° 24' 13" N, 97° 24' 0" W, and 2.345 km above sea level in Mexico. It has an area of 1.81 km2 , a mean depth of 38.5 m and a maximum depth of 64 m. The lake is

  2. Spacecraft Conceptual Design Compared to the Apollo Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Geologic Reconnaissance and Lithologic Identification by Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    remote sensing in geologic reconnaissance for purposes of tunnel site selection was studied further and a test case was undertaken to evaluate this geological application. Airborne multispectral scanning (MSS) data were obtained in May, 1972, over a region between Spearfish and Rapid City, South Dakota. With major effort directed toward the analysis of these data, the following geologic features were discriminated: (1) exposed rock areas, (2) five separate rock groups, (3) large-scale structures. This discrimination was accomplished by ratioing multispectral channels.

  4. Overview of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1980-07-01

    A Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) for uranium is currently being conducted throughout the conterminous United States and Alaska. The HSSR is part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation sponsored by the US Department of Energy. This ambitious geochemical reconnasissanc