Sample records for mercury orbiter mission

  1. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury (United States)


    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  2. Overview of Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) for BepiColombo (United States)

    Murakami, G.; Hayakawa, H.; Fujimoto, M.; BepiColombo Project Team


    The next Mercury exploration mission BepiColombo will be launched in October 2018 and will arrive at Mercury in December 2025. We present the current status, science goals, and observation plans of JAXA's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO).

  3. The Messenger Mission to Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Domingue, D. L


    NASA’s MESSENGER mission, launched on 3 August, 2004 is the seventh mission in the Discovery series. MESSENGER encounters the planet Mercury four times, culminating with an insertion into orbit on 18 March 2011. It carries a comprehensive package of geophysical, geological, geochemical, and space environment experiments to complete the complex investigations of this solar-system end member, which begun with Mariner 10. The articles in this book, written by the experts in each area of the MESSENGER mission, describe the mission, spacecraft, scientific objectives, and payload. The book is of interest to all potential users of the data returned by the MESSENGER mission, to those studying the nature of the planet Mercury, and by all those interested in the design and implementation of planetary exploration missions.

  4. BepiColombo — The Next Step of Mercury Exploration with Two Orbiting Spacecraft (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.


    BepiColombo is a joint project between ESA and JAXA. The mission consists of two orbiters — the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. From dedicated orbits, the spacecraft will be studying the planet and its environment.

  5. Insights into the Nature of Mercury's Exosphere: Early Results from the MESSENGER Orbital Mission Phase (United States)

    McClintock, William E.; Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Sprague, Ann L.; Solomon, Sean C.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.


    The Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer aboard the MESSENGER spacecraft has been making routine observations of Mercury's exosphere since March 29, 2011. Correlations of the spatial distributions of Ca, Mg, and Na with MESSENGER magnetic field and energetic particle distribution data provide insight into the processes that populate the neutral exosphere

  6. Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission (United States)

    Sittler Jr., E. C.; Acuna, M.; Burchell, M. J.; Coates, A.; Farrell, W.; Flasar, M.; Goldstein, B. E.; Gorevan, S.; Hartle, R. E.; Johnson, W. T. K.


    We propose a combined Titan orbiter and Titan Aerorover mission with an emphasis on both in situ and remote sensing measurements of Titan's surface, atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetospheric interaction. The biological aspect of the Titan environment will be emphasized by the mission (i.e., search for organic materials which may include simple organics to 'amono' analogues of amino acids and possibly more complex, lightening detection and infrared, ultraviolet, and charged particle interactions with Titan's surface and atmosphere). An international mission is assumed to control costs. NASA will provide the orbiter, launch vehicle, DSN coverage and operations, while international partners will provide the Aerorover and up to 30% of the cost for the scientific instruments through collaborative efforts. To further reduce costs we propose a single PI for orbiter science instruments and a single PI for Aerorover science instruments. This approach will provide single command/data and power interface between spacecraft and orbiter instruments that will have redundant central DPU and power converter for their instruments. A similar approach could be used for the Aerorover. The mission profile will be constructed to minimize conflicts between Aerorover science, orbiter radar science, orbiter radio science, orbiter imaging science, and orbiter fields and particles (FP) science. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  7. MESSENGER at Mercury: Early Orbital Operations (United States)

    McNutt, Ralph L., Jr; Solomon, Sean C.; Bedini, Peter D.; Anderson, Brian J.; Blewett, David T.; Evans, Larry G.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larry R.; hide


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, launched in August 2004 under NASA's Discovery Program, was inserted into orbit about the planet Mercury in March 2011. MESSENGER's three flybys of Mercury in 2008-2009 marked the first spacecraft visits to the innermost planet since the Mariner 10 flybys in 1974-1975. The unprecedented orbital operations are yielding new insights into the nature and evolution of Mercury. The scientific questions that frame the MESSENGER mission led to the mission measurement objectives to be achieved by the seven payload instruments and the radio science experiment. Interweaving the full set of required orbital observations in a manner that maximizes the opportunity to satisfy all mission objectives and yet meet stringent spacecraft pointing and thermal constraints was a complex optimization problem that was solved with a software tool that simulates science observations and tracks progress toward meeting each objective. The final orbital observation plan, the outcome of that optimization process, meets all mission objectives. MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System is acquiring a global monochromatic image mosaic at better than 90% coverage and at least 250 m average resolution, a global color image mosaic at better than 90% coverage and at least 1 km average resolution, and global stereo imaging at better than 80% coverage and at least 250 m average resolution. Higher-resolution images are also being acquired of targeted areas. The elemental remote sensing instruments, including the Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer and the X-Ray Spectrometer, are being operated nearly continuously and will establish the average surface abundances of most major elements. The Visible and Infrared Spectrograph channel of MESSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer is acquiring a global map of spectral reflectance from 300 to 1450 nm wavelength at a range of incidence and emission

  8. Mercury Lander Mission Concept Study Summary (United States)

    Eng, D. A.


    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.

  9. Mercury Orbiter: Report of the Science Working Team (United States)

    Belcher, John W.; Slavin, James A.; Armstrong, Thomas P.; Farquhar, Robert W.; Akasofu, Syun I.; Baker, Daniel N.; Cattell, Cynthia A.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Chupp, Edward L.; Clark, Pamela E.


    The results are presented of the Mercury Orbiter Science Working Team which held three workshops in 1988 to 1989 under the auspices of the Space Physics and Planetary Exploration Divisions of NASA Headquarters. Spacecraft engineering and mission design studies at the Jet Propulsion Lab were conducted in parallel with this effort and are detailed elsewhere. The findings of the engineering study, summarized herein, indicate that spin stabilized spacecraft carrying comprehensive particles and fields experiments and key planetology instruments in high elliptical orbits can survive and function in Mercury orbit without costly sun shields and active cooling systems.

  10. The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: scientific objectives and implementation (United States)

    Solomon, Sean C.; McNutt, Ralph L.; Gold, Robert E.; Acuña, Mario H.; Baker, Daniel N.; Boynton, William V.; Chapman, Clark R.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Gloeckler, George; Head, James W., III; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McClintock, William E.; Murchie, Scott L.; Peale, Stanton J.; Phillips, Roger J.; Robinson, Mark S.; Slavin, James A.; Smith, David E.; Strom, Robert G.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Zuber, Maria T.


    Mercury holds answers to several critical questions regarding the formation and evolution of the terrestrial planets. These questions include the origin of Mercury's anomalously high ratio of metal to silicate and its implications for planetary accretion processes, the nature of Mercury's geological evolution and interior cooling history, the mechanism of global magnetic field generation, the state of Mercury's core, and the processes controlling volatile species in Mercury's polar deposits, exosphere, and magnetosphere. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission has been designed to fly by and orbit Mercury to address all of these key questions. After launch by a Delta 2925H-9.5, two flybys of Venus, and two flybys of Mercury, orbit insertion is accomplished at the third Mercury encounter. The instrument payload includes a dual imaging system for wide and narrow fields-of-view, monochrome and color imaging, and stereo; X-ray and combined gamma-ray and neutron spectrometers for surface chemical mapping; a magnetometer; a laser altimeter; a combined ultraviolet-visible and visible-near-infrared spectrometer to survey both exospheric species and surface mineralogy; and an energetic particle and plasma spectrometer to sample charged species in the magnetosphere. During the flybys of Mercury, regions unexplored by Mariner 10 will be seen for the first time, and new data will be gathered on Mercury's exosphere, magnetosphere, and surface composition. During the orbital phase of the mission, one Earth year in duration, MESSENGER will complete global mapping and the detailed characterization of the exosphere, magnetosphere, surface, and interior.

  11. Mercury's Sodium Exosphere: Observations during the MESSENGER Orbital Phase (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Cassidy, Timothy A.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Sprague, Ann L.; McClintock, William E.; Benna, Mehdi; Solomon, Sean C.


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft entered into orbit about Mercury on March 18,2011. We now have approximately five Mercury years of data from orbit. Prior to the MESSENGER mission, Mercury's surface-bounded exosphere was known to contain H, He, Na. K, and Ca. The Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) began routine orbital observations of both the dayside and nightside exosphere on March 29. 2011, measuring altitude profiles for all previously detected neutral species except for He and K. We focus here on what we have learned about the sodium exosphere: its spatial, seasonal, and sporadic variation. Observations to date permit delineation of the relative roles of photon-stimulated desorption (PSD) and impact vaporization (IV) from seasonal and spatial effects, as well as of the roles of ions both as sputtering agents and in their possible role to enhance the efficiency of PSD. Correlations of Mercury's neutral sodium exosphere with measurements from MESSENGER's Magnetometer (MAG) and Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) provide insight into the roles of ions and electrons. Models incorporating MAG observations provide a basis for identifying the location and area of the surface exposed to solar wind plasma, and EPPS observations reveal episodic populations of energetic electrons in the magnetosphere and the presence of planetary He(+), 0(+), and Na(+),

  12. Mercury's Seasonal Sodium Exosphere: MESSENGER Orbital Observations (United States)

    Cassidy, Timothy A.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Sarantos, Menelaos


    The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft now orbiting Mercury provides the first close-up look at the planet's sodium exosphere. UVVS has observed the exosphere from orbit almost daily for over 10 Mercury years. In this paper we describe and analyze a subset of these data: altitude profiles taken above the low-latitude dayside and south pole. The observations show spatial and temporal variations, but there are no obvious year-to-year variations in most of the observations. We do not see the episodic variability reported by some ground-based observers. We used these altitude profiles to make estimates of sodium density and temperature. The bulk of the exosphere, at about 1200 K, is much warmer than Mercury's surface. This value is consistent with some ground-based measurements and suggests that photon-stimulated desorption is the primary ejection process. We also observe a tenuous energetic component but do not see evidence of the predicted thermalized (or partially thermalized) sodium near Mercury's surface temperature. Overall we do not see the variable mixture of temperatures predicted by most Monte Carlo models of the exosphere.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lithwick, Yoram; Wu Yanqin


    We study the chaotic orbital evolution of planetary systems, focusing on secular (i.e., orbit-averaged) interactions, which dominate on long timescales. We first focus on the evolution of a test particle that is forced by multiple planets. To linear order in eccentricity and inclination, its orbit precesses with constant frequencies. But nonlinearities modify the frequencies, and can shift them into and out of resonance with either the planets' eigenfrequencies (forming eccentricity or inclination secular resonances), or with linear combinations of those frequencies (forming mixed high-order secular resonances). The overlap of these nonlinear secular resonances drives secular chaos. We calculate the locations and widths of nonlinear secular resonances, display them together on a newly developed map (the 'map of the mean momenta'), and find good agreement between analytical and numerical results. This map also graphically demonstrates how chaos emerges from overlapping secular resonances. We then apply this newfound understanding to Mercury to elucidate the origin of its orbital chaos. We find that since Mercury's two free precession frequencies (in eccentricity and inclination) lie within ∼25% of two other eigenfrequencies in the solar system (those of the Jupiter-dominated eccentricity mode and the Venus-dominated inclination mode), secular resonances involving these four modes overlap and cause Mercury's chaos. We confirm this with N-body integrations by showing that a slew of these resonant angles alternately librate and circulate. Our new analytical understanding allows us to calculate the criterion for Mercury to become chaotic: Jupiter and Venus must have eccentricity and inclination of a few percent. The timescale for Mercury's chaotic diffusion depends sensitively on the forcing. As it is, Mercury appears to be perched on the threshold for chaos, with an instability timescale comparable to the lifetime of the solar system.

  14. Prospective Ukrainian lunar orbiter mission (United States)

    Shkuratov, Y.; Litvinenko, L.; Shulga, V.; Yatskiv, Y.; Kislyuk, V.

    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to the lunar orbit. Future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and the future missions, like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical polarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface in a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are: a synthetic aperture imaging radar (SAR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and imaging polarimeter (IP). The main purpose of SAR is to study with high resolution (50 m) the permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential of resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for permanent manned bases on the Moon. Radar imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequencies multi-polarization soun d ing of the lunar surface with GPR can provide information about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. GPR can be used for measuring the megaregolith layer properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. IP will be a CCD camera with an additional suite of polarizers. Modest spatial resolution (100 m) should provide a total coverage or a large portion of the lunar surface in oblique viewing basically at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional radiophysical experiments are considered with the use of the SAR system, e.g., bistatic radar

  15. The Mercury Laser Altimeter Instrument for the MESSENGER Mission (United States)

    Cavanaugh, John F.; Smith, James C.; Sun, Xiaoli; Bartels, Arlin E.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Krebs, Danny J.; Novo-Gradac, Anne marie; McGarry, Jan F.; Trunzo, Raymond; Britt, Jamie L.


    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of the payload science instruments on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission, which launched on 3 August 2004. The altimeter will measure the round trip time-of-flight of transmitted laser pulses reflected from the surface of the planet that, in combination with the spacecraft orbit position and pointing data, gives a high-precision measurement of surface topography referenced to Mercury's center of mass. The altimeter measurements will be used to determine the planet's forced librations by tracking the motion of large-scale topographic features as a function of time. MLA's laser pulse energy monitor and the echo pulse energy estimate will provide an active measurement of the surface reflectivity at 1064 nm. This paper describes the instrument design, prelaunch testing, calibration, and results of post-launch testing.

  16. Orbit determination for ISRO satellite missions (United States)

    Rao, Ch. Sreehari; Sinha, S. K.

    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been successful in using the in-house developed orbit determination and prediction software for satellite missions of Bhaskara, Rohini and APPLE. Considering the requirements of satellite missions, software packages are developed, tested and their accuracies are assessed. Orbit determination packages developed are SOIP, for low earth orbits of Bhaskara and Rohini missions, ORIGIN and ODPM, for orbits related to all phases of geo-stationary missions and SEGNIP, for drift and geo-stationary orbits. Software is tested and qualified using tracking data of SIGNE-3, D5-B, OTS, SYMPHONIE satellites with the help of software available with CNES, ESA and DFVLR. The results match well with those available from these agencies. These packages have supported orbit determination successfully throughout the mission life for all ISRO satellite missions. Member-Secretary

  17. Mission,System Design and Payload Aspects of ESA's Mercury Cornerstone Mission (United States)

    Ferri, A.; Anselmi, A.; Scoon, G. E. N.


    Aim of this paper is to summarise the 1-year study performed by Alenia Aerospazio in close co-operation with the European Space Agency, on the Mercury Cornerstone System and Technology Study, as a part of Horizon 2000+ Scientific Programme plan. ESA's definition study towards a mission to Mercury conceives the launch of a S/C in 2009, on a two to three years journey, plus a one-year scientific observations and data take. The mission's primary objectives are manyfolded, aiming at approaching basic scientific questions on the origin and evolution of Mercury: identify and map the chemical and mineral composition of the surface, measure the topography of surface landforms, define the gravitational field, investigate particles and magnetic fields. The mission is also intended to resolve the librational state of the planet, in a system experiment requiring high accuracy inertial attitude (arcsecond level) and orbit (m-level) reconstitution. This experiment will allow to infer whether Mercury has a molten core, which is crucial to theories of magnetic field generation, and theories of the thermal history of terrestrial type planets. A hard-lander is planned to perform in-situ surface geochemical analysis. The mission is expected to provide scientists with a global portrait of Mercury returning about 1200 Gbits of scientific data, during a 1-year observation phase. The crucial aspects of the spacecraft design have to do with the high-temperature and high-radiation environment. Thermal control is achieved by a combination of orbit selection, attitude law, and special design provisions for IR shielding and HT insulation. Ad-hoc design provisions are envisaged for power and antenna mechanisms. Though the conceptual objectives of this industrial study focused on system architectures and enabling technologies for a "Cornerstone" class mission, in this paper emphasis is given on the scientific payload aspects.

  18. The Mercury Thermal Environment As A Design Driver and A Scientific Objective of The Bepicolombo Mission (United States)

    Perotto, V.; Malosti, T.; Martino, R.; Briccarello, M.; Anselmi, A.

    The thermal environment of Mercury is extremely severe and a strong design driver for any mission to the planet. The main factors are the large amount of energy both di- rectly received from the sun and reflected/re-emitted from the planet, and the variation of such energy with time. The total thermal flux received by an object in orbit or on the surface of Mercury is a combination of the above-mentioned contributions, weighted according to the orbit characteristics, or the morphology of the surface. For a lander mission, the problems are compounded by the uncertainty in the a-priori knowledge of the surface properties and morphology. The thermal design of the orbiting and land- ing elements of the BepiColombo mission has a major role in the Definition Study being carried out under ESA contract by a team led by Alenia Spazio. The project en- compasses a spacecraft in low, near-circular, polar orbit (Mercury Planetary Orbiter, MPO), a spacecraft in high-eccentricity, polar orbit (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter, MMO, provided by ISAS, Japan) and a lander (Mercury Surface Element, MSE). The approach to a feasible mission design must rely on several provisions. For the orbiting elements, the orientation of the orbit plane with respect to the line of apsides of the or- bit of Mercury is found to have a major effect on the achievable orbiter temperatures. The spacecraft configuration, and its attitude with respect to the planet and the sun, drive the accommodation of the scientific instruments. Once the optimal orientation, attitude and configuration are determined, specific thermal control solutions must be elaborated, to maintain all components including the instruments in the required tem- perature range. The objective is maximizing the scientific return under constraints such as the available on-board resources and the project budget. A major outcome of the study so far has been the specification of requirements for improved thermal con- trol technologies, which are

  19. Compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for the MESSENGER mission to Mercury. (United States)

    Krebs, Danny J; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Li, Steven X; Lindauer, Steven J; Afzal, Robert S; Yu, Anthony W


    A compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been developed for the Mercury Laser Altimeter, an instrument on the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging mission to the planet Mercury. The laser achieves 5.4% efficiency with a near-diffraction-limited beam. It passed all space-flight environmental tests at subsystem, instrument, and satellite integration testing and successfully completes a postlaunch aliveness check en route to Mercury. The laser design draws on a heritage of previous laser altimetry missions, specifically the Ice Cloud and Elevation Satellite and the Mars Global Surveyor, but incorporates thermal management features unique to the requirements of an orbit of the planet Mercury.

  20. Spin-orbit evolution of Mercury revisited (United States)

    Noyelles, Benoît; Frouard, Julien; Makarov, Valeri V.; Efroimsky, Michael


    Although it is accepted that the significant eccentricity of Mercury (0.206) favours entrapment into the 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, open are the questions of how and when the capture took place. A recent work by Makarov (Makarov, V.V. [2012]. Astrophys. J., 752, 73) has proven that trapping into this state is certain for eccentricities larger than 0.2, provided we use a realistic tidal model based on the Darwin-Kaula expansion of the tidal torque. While in Ibid. a Mercury-like planet had its eccentricity fixed, we take into account its evolution. To that end, a family of possible histories of the eccentricity is generated, based on synthetic time evolution consistent with the expected statistics of the distribution of eccentricity. We employ a model of tidal friction, which takes into account both the rheology and self-gravitation of the planet. As opposed to the commonly used constant time lag (CTL) and constant phase lag (CPL) models, the physics-based tidal model changes dramatically the statistics of the possible final spin states. First, we discover that after only one encounter with the spin-orbit 3:2 resonance this resonance becomes the most probable end-state. Second, if a capture into this (or any other) resonance takes place, the capture becomes final, several crossings of the same state being forbidden by our model. Third, within our model the trapping of Mercury happens much faster than previously believed: for most histories, 10-20 Myr are sufficient. Fourth, even a weak laminar friction between the solid mantle and a molten core would most likely result in a capture in the 2:1 or even higher resonance, which is confirmed both semi-analytically and by limited numerical simulations. So the principal novelty of our paper is that the 3:2 end-state is more ancient than the same end-state obtained when the constant time lag model is employed. The swift capture justifies our treatment of Mercury as a homogeneous, unstratified body whose liquid core had not

  1. Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilas, F.; Chapman, C.R.; Matthews, M.S.


    Papers are presented on future observations of and missions to Mercury, the photometry and polarimetry of Mercury, the surface composition of Mercury from reflectance spectrophotometry, the Goldstone radar observations of Mercury, the radar observations of Mercury, the stratigraphy and geologic history of Mercury, the geomorphology of impact craters on Mercury, and the cratering record on Mercury and the origin of impacting objects. Consideration is also given to the tectonics of Mercury, the tectonic history of Mercury, Mercury's thermal history and the generation of its magnetic field, the rotational dynamics of Mercury and the state of its core, Mercury's magnetic field and interior, the magnetosphere of Mercury, and the Mercury atmosphere. Other papers are on the present bounds on the bulk composition of Mercury and the implications for planetary formation processes, the building stones of the planets, the origin and composition of Mercury, the formation of Mercury from planetesimals, and theoretical considerations on the strange density of Mercury

  2. Updated science issues and observation plans of BepiColombo Mercury Magnetosphere Orbiter (MMO) (United States)

    Murakami, G.; Fujimoto, M.; Hayakawa, H.


    After the successful observation by the first Mercury orbiter MESSENGER ended in 2015, Mercury becomes one of the most curious planets to investigate. MESSENGER raised new science issues, such as the northward offset of planetary dipole magnetic filed, the highly dynamic magnetosphere, and the year-to-year constant exosphere. These outstanding discoveries still remain as open issues due to some limitations of instruments onboard MESSENGER and its extended elliptical orbit with apherm in southern hemisphere. The next Mercury exploration project BepiColombo will address these open issues. BepiColombo is an ESA-JAXA joint mission to Mercury with the aim to understand the process of planetary formation and evolution as well as to understand Mercury's extreme environment in the solar system. Two spacecraft, i.e. the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will be launched in October 2018 by an Ariane-5 launch vehicle and arrive at Mercury in December 2025. The mechanical test in a complete stack configuration has been performed in the ESA test center and successfully finished. MMO is mainly designed for plasma observations and is expected to extract essential elements of space plasma physics that become visible in the Hermean environment. MMO has large constraints on science operations, such as thermal issue and limited telemetry rate. Due to the thermal issue each science instrument cannot always be turned on. In addition, due to the low telemetry rate in average, only a part ( 20-30%) of science mission data with high resolution can be downlinked. Therefore, in order to maximize the scientific results and outcomes to be achieved by MMO, we are now working to optimize the science observation and downlink plans in detail. Here we present the updated science goals for MMO based on the latest MESSENGER results and the current observation plans how to approach these science issues.

  3. Titan Orbiter with Aerorover Mission (TOAM) (United States)

    Sittler, Edward C.; Cooper, J. F.; Mahaffey, P.; Esper, J.; Fairbrother, D.; Farley, R.; Pitman, J.; Kojiro, D. R.; TOAM Team


    We propose to develop a new mission to Titan called Titan Orbiter with Aerorover Mission (TOAM). This mission is motivated by the recent discoveries of Titan, its atmosphere and its surface by the Huygens Probe, and a combination of in situ, remote sensing and radar mapping measurements of Titan by the Cassini orbiter. Titan is a body for which Astrobiology (i.e., prebiotic chemistry) will be the primary science goal of any future missions to it. TOAM is planned to use an orbiter and balloon technology (i.e., aerorover). Aerobraking will be used to put payload into orbit around Titan. The Aerorover will probably use a hot air balloon concept using the waste heat from the MMRTG 500 watts. Orbiter support for the Aerorover is unique to our approach for Titan. Our strategy to use an orbiter is contrary to some studies using just a single probe with balloon. Autonomous operation and navigation of the Aerorover around Titan will be required, which will include descent near to the surface to collect surface samples for analysis (i.e., touch and go technique). The orbiter can provide both relay station and GPS roles for the Aerorover. The Aerorover will have all the instruments needed to sample Titan’s atmosphere, surface, possible methane lakes-rivers, use multi-spectral imagers for surface reconnaissance; to take close up surface images; take core samples and deploy seismometers during landing phase. Both active and passive broadband remote sensing techniques will be used for surface topography, winds and composition measurements.

  4. The Impact of Mission Duration on a Mars Orbital Mission (United States)

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


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

  5. Moore on Mercury the planet and the missions

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Patrick


    In his inimitable style, Patrick Moore describes Mercury. He tells of those who have observed it over the centuries, and the past, present and future space missions to it. In doing so he has written the most up-to-date book about Mercury for amateur astronomers.

  6. SEP Mission Design Space for Mars Orbiters (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Nicholas, Austin K.


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

  7. Compact, Passively Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser for the MESSENGER Mission to the Planet Mercury (United States)

    Krebs, Danny J.; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Li, Steven X.; Lindauer, Steven J.; Afzal, Robert S.; Yu, Antony


    A compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been developed for the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instrument which is an instrument on the MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury. The laser achieves 5.4 percent efficiency with a near diffraction limited beam. It has passed all space flight environmental tests at system, instrument, and satellite integration. The laser design draws on a heritage of previous laser altimetry missions, specifically ISESAT and Mars Global Surveyor; but incorporates thermal management features unique to the requirements of an orbit of the planet Mercury.

  8. The fluxgate magnetometer of the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter (United States)

    Glassmeier, K.-H.; Auster, H.-U.; Heyner, D.; Okrafka, K.; Carr, C.; Berghofer, G.; Anderson, B. J.; Balogh, A.; Baumjohann, W.; Cargill, P.; Christensen, U.; Delva, M.; Dougherty, M.; Fornaçon, K.-H.; Horbury, T. S.; Lucek, E. A.; Magnes, W.; Mandea, M.; Matsuoka, A.; Matsushima, M.; Motschmann, U.; Nakamura, R.; Narita, Y.; O'Brien, H.; Richter, I.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Shibuya, H.; Slavin, J. A.; Sotin, C.; Stoll, B.; Tsunakawa, H.; Vennerstrom, S.; Vogt, J.; Zhang, T.


    The magnetometer (MAG) on the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) of the joint European-Japanese BepiColombo mission to planet Mercury is a low-noise, tri-axial, dual-sensor, digital fluxgate instrument with its sensors mounted on a 2.8-m-long boom. The primary MPO/MAG science objectives are to determine the spatial and temporal structure of the magnetic field in the Hermean system, in particular the structure and origin of the intrinsic magnetic field of Mercury. MPO/MAG has a dynamic measurement range of ±2000nT with a resolution of 2 pT during operation along the near-polar orbit of the MPO spacecraft around Mercury. MPO/MAG is designed to provide measurements with rates between 0.5 and 128 vectors/s. In cooperation with its sister magnetometer instrument, MMO/MGF on board the BepiColombo Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), MPO/MAG will be able to distinguish between temporal and spatial magnetic field variations in the magnetically closely coupled Hermean system.

  9. Sigma 7 the six Mercury orbits of Walter M. Schirra, Jr

    CERN Document Server

    Burgess, Colin


    Colin Burgess offers a comprehensive yet personal look at the 1962 orbital mission of Wally Schirra aboard the spacecraft Sigma 7, the first book about this popular pioneering astronaut which explores his entire life and accomplishments. This continues the author's attempt to fully document the record of Project Mercury's pioneering early phase of the Space Age.   Schirra’s pre-NASA life is examined, as well as his training as a NASA astronaut and for his Mercury MA-8 flight. The 6-orbit flight of Sigma 7 is fully covered from its origins through to the spacecraft’s safe recovery from the ocean after a highly successful Mercury mission. Schirra’s participation on the Gemini 6 and Apollo 7 missions is also told, but in brief, and the book also relates his post-NASA life and activities through to his passing in 2007. The Mercury Seven occupy a unique spot in the history of human spaceflight, and Schirra is at last given his due as one of the contributing astronauts in this painstakingly researched...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Preusker


    Full Text Available We produce high-resolution (222 m/grid element Digital Terrain Models (DTMs for Mercury using stereo images from the MESSENGER orbital mission. We have developed a scheme to process large numbers, typically more than 6000, images by photogrammetric techniques, which include, multiple image matching, pyramid strategy, and bundle block adjustments. In this paper, we present models for map quadrangles of the southern hemisphere H11, H12, H13, and H14.

  11. Autonomous Mission Design in Extreme Orbit Environments (United States)

    Surovik, David Allen

    An algorithm for autonomous online mission design at asteroids, comets, and small moons is developed to meet the novel challenges of their complex non-Keplerian orbit environments, which render traditional methods inapplicable. The core concept of abstract reachability analysis, in which a set of impulsive maneuvering options is mapped onto a space of high-level mission outcomes, is applied to enable goal-oriented decision-making with robustness to uncertainty. These nuanced analyses are efficiently computed by utilizing a heuristic-based adaptive sampling scheme that either maximizes an objective function for autonomous planning or resolves details of interest for preliminary analysis and general study. Illustrative examples reveal the chaotic nature of small body systems through the structure of various families of reachable orbits, such as those that facilitate close-range observation of targeted surface locations or achieve soft impact upon them. In order to fulfill extensive sets of observation tasks, the single-maneuver design method is implemented in a receding-horizon framework such that a complete mission is constructed on-the-fly one piece at a time. Long-term performance and convergence are assured by augmenting the objective function with a prospect heuristic, which approximates the likelihood that a reachable end-state will benefit the subsequent planning horizon. When state and model uncertainty produce larger trajectory deviations than were anticipated, the next control horizon is advanced to allow for corrective action -- a low-frequency form of feedback control. Through Monte Carlo analysis, the planning algorithm is ultimately demonstrated to produce mission profiles that vary drastically in their physical paths but nonetheless consistently complete all goals, suggesting a high degree of flexibility. It is further shown that the objective function can be tuned to preferentially minimize fuel cost or mission duration, as well as to optimize

  12. Mercury's Reference Frames After the MESSENGER Mission (United States)

    Stark, A.; Oberst, J.; Preusker, F.; Burmeister, S.; Steinbrügge, G.; Hussmann, H.


    We provide an overview of Mercury's reference frames based on MESSENGER observations. We discuss the dynamical, the principal-axes, the ellipsoid, as well as the cartographic frame, which was adopted for MESSENGER data products.

  13. Magnetoshell Aerocapture for Manned Missions and Planetary Deep Space Orbiters (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — It is clear from past mission studies that a manned Mars mission, as well as deep space planetary orbiters will require aerobraking and aerocapture which use...

  14. Unveiling Mercury's Mysteries with BepiColombo - an ESA/JAXA Mission to Explore the Innermost Planet of our Solar System (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.


    NASA's MESSENGER mission has fundamentally changed our view of the innermost planet. Mercury is in many ways a very different planet from what we were expecting. Now BepiColombo has to follow up on answering the fundamental questions that MESSENGER raised and go beyond. BepiColombo is a joint project between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The Mission consists of two orbiters, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The mission scenario foresees a launch of both spacecraft with an ARIANE V in October 2018 and an arrival at Mercury in 2025. From their dedicated orbits the two spacecraft will be studying the planet and its environment. BepiColombo will study and understand the composition, geophysics, atmosphere, magnetosphere and history of Mercury, the least explored planet in the inner Solar System. In addition, the BepiColombo mission will provide a rare opportunity to collect multi-point measurements in a planetary environment. This will be particularly important at Mercury because of short temporal and spatial scales in the Mercury's environment. The foreseen orbits of the MPO and MMO will allow close encounters of the two spacecrafts throughout the mission. The MPO scientific payload comprises eleven instruments/instrument packages; The MMO comprises 5 instruments/instrument packages to the the study of the environment. The MPO will focus on a global characterization of Mercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere and magnetosphere. In addition, it will be testing Einstein's theory of general relativity. Together, the scientific payload of both spacecraft will provide the detailed information necessary to understand Mercury and its magnetospheric environment and to find clues to the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star. The BepiColombo mission will complement and follow up the work of NASA's MESSENGER mission by

  15. Mercury Conditions for the MESSENGER Mission Simulated in High- Solar-Radiation Vacuum Tests (United States)

    Wong, Wayne A.


    The MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft, planned for launch in March 2004, will perform two flybys of Mercury before entering a year-long orbit of the planet in September 2009. The mission will provide opportunities for detailed characterization of the surface, interior, atmosphere, and magnetosphere of the closest planet to the Sun. The NASA Glenn Research Center and the MESSENGER spacecraft integrator, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, have partnered under a Space Act Agreement to characterize a variety of critical components and materials under simulated conditions expected near Mercury. Glenn's Vacuum Facility 6, which is equipped with a solar simulator, can simulate the vacuum and high solar radiation anticipated in Mercury orbit. The MESSENGER test hardware includes a variety of materials and components that are being characterized during the Tank 6 vacuum tests, where the hardware will be exposed to up to 11 suns insolation, simulating conditions expected in Mercury orbit. In 2002, ten solar vacuum tests were conducted, including beginning of life, end of life, backside exposure, and solar panel thermal shock cycling tests. Components tested include candidate solar array panels, sensors, thermal shielding materials, and communication devices. As an example, for the solar panel thermal shock cycling test, two candidate solar array panels were suspended on a lift mechanism that lowered the panels into a liquid-nitrogen-cooled box. After reaching -140 C, the panels were then lifted out of the box and exposed to the equivalent of 6 suns (8.1 kilowatts per square meters). After five cold soak/heating cycles were completed successfully, there was no apparent degradation in panel performance. An anticipated 100-hr thermal shield life test is planned for autumn, followed by solar panel flight qualification tests in winter. Glenn's ongoing support to the MESSENGER program has been instrumental in

  16. A mission to Mercury and a mission to the moons of Mars (United States)


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

  17. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: 10 Years of Exploration from Mars Orbit (United States)

    Johnston, M. Daniel; Zurek, Richard W.


    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.

  18. Autonomous scheduling technology for Earth orbital missions (United States)

    Srivastava, S.


    The development of a dynamic autonomous system (DYASS) of resources for the mission support of near-Earth NASA spacecraft is discussed and the current NASA space data system is described from a functional perspective. The future (late 80's and early 90's) NASA space data system is discussed. The DYASS concept, the autonomous process control, and the NASA space data system are introduced. Scheduling and related disciplines are surveyed. DYASS as a scheduling problem is also discussed. Artificial intelligence and knowledge representation is considered as well as the NUDGE system and the I-Space system.

  19. Mercury's Messenger (United States)

    Chapman, Clark R.


    Forty years after Mariner 2, planetary exploration has still only just begun, and many more missions are on drawing boards, nearing the launch pad, or even en route across interplanetary space to their targets. One of the most challenging missions that will be conducted this decade is sending the MESSENGER spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury.…

  20. Autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions (United States)

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


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

  1. Automated and Adaptive Mission Planning for Orbital Express (United States)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel; Koblick, Darin


    The Orbital Express space mission was a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) lead demonstration of on-orbit satellite servicing scenarios, autonomous rendezvous, fluid transfers of hydrazine propellant, and robotic arm transfers of Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) components. Boeing's Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) vehicle provided the servicing to the Ball Aerospace's Next Generation Serviceable Satellite (NextSat) client. For communication opportunities, operations used the high-bandwidth ground-based Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) along with the relatively low-bandwidth GEO-Synchronous space-borne Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) network. Mission operations were conducted out of the RDT&E Support Complex (RSC) at the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. All mission objectives were met successfully: The first of several autonomous rendezvous was demonstrated on May 5, 2007; autonomous free-flyer capture was demonstrated on June 22, 2007; the fluid and ORU transfers throughout the mission were successful. Planning operations for the mission were conducted by a team of personnel including Flight Directors, who were responsible for verifying the steps and contacts within the procedures, the Rendezvous Planners who would compute the locations and visibilities of the spacecraft, the Scenario Resource Planners (SRPs), who were concerned with assignment of communications windows, monitoring of resources, and sending commands to the ASTRO spacecraft, and the Mission planners who would interface with the real-time operations environment, process planning products and coordinate activities with the SRP. The SRP position was staffed by JPL personnel who used the Automated Scheduling and Planning ENvironment (ASPEN) to model and enforce mission and satellite constraints. The lifecycle of a plan began three weeks outside its execution on-board. During the planning timeframe, many aspects could change the plan

  2. Orbital Express mission operations planning and resource management using ASPEN (United States)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel


    As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less labor-power rises. Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Like a tow-truck delivering gas to a car on the road, the "servicing" satellite of OE had to find the "client" from several kilometers away, connect directly to the client, and transfer fluid (or a battery) autonomously, while on earth-orbit. The mission met 100% of its success criteria, and proved that autonomous satellite servicing is now a reality for space operations. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. As the constraints for execution could change weekly, daily, and even hourly, the tools used create the mission execution plans needed to be flexible and adaptable to many different kinds of changes. At the same time, the hard constraints of the plans needed to be maintained and satisfied. The Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, an overview of the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the NASA's Earth Observing One mission's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.

  3. Active Debris Removal mission design in Low Earth Orbit (United States)

    Martin, Th.; Pérot, E.; Desjean, M.-Ch.; Bitetti, L.


    Active Debris Removal (ADR) aims at removing large sized intact objects ― defunct satellites, rocket upper-stages ― from space crowded regions. Why? Because they constitute the main source of the long-term debris environment deterioration caused by possible future collisions with fragments and worse still with other intact but uncontrolled objects. In order to limit the growth of the orbital debris population in the future (referred to as the Kessler syndrome), it is now highly recommended to carry out such ADR missions, together with the mitigation measures already adopted by national agencies (such as postmission disposal). At the French Space Agency, CNES, and in the frame of advanced studies, the design of such an ADR mission in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is under evaluation. A two-step preliminary approach has been envisaged. First, a reconnaissance mission based on a small demonstrator (˜500 kg) rendezvousing with several targets (observation and in-flight qualification testing). Secondly, an ADR mission based on a larger vehicle (inherited from the Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) concept) being able to capture and deorbit several preselected targets by attaching a propulsive kit to these targets. This paper presents a flight dynamics level tradeoff analysis between different vehicle and mission concepts as well as target disposal options. The delta-velocity, times, and masses required to transfer, rendezvous with targets and deorbit are assessed for some propelled systems and propellant less options. Total mass budgets are then derived for two end-to-end study cases corresponding to the reconnaissance and ADR missions mentioned above.

  4. Nano-FTIR Spectroscopy to Investigate the Silicate Mineralogy of Mercury Analogues: Supporting MERTIS Onboard BepiColombo Mission (United States)

    Varatharajan, I.; Maturilli, A.; Helbert, J.; Ulrich, G.; Born, K.; Namur, O.; Kästner, B.; Hecht, L.; Charlier, B.; Hiesinger, H.


    Nano-FTIR Spectroscopy is used to investigate the silicate mineralogy of synthetic Mercury analogues produced under reduced conditions representing different Mercury terrains. The study will support MERTIS payload onboard BepiColombo mission.

  5. Faith 7 L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and the final Mercury mission

    CERN Document Server

    Burgess, Colin


    This book celebrates the final spaceflight in the Mercury series, flown by NASA astronaut Gordon Cooper, who led an adventurous life in the cockpit of airplanes and spacecraft alike, and on his Mercury mission he became the last American ever to rocket into space alone. He flew in the Mercury and Gemini programs and served as head of flight crew operations in both the Apollo and Skylab programs. His final Mercury mission closed out a pivotal chapter in American spaceflight. Based on extensive research and first-person interviews, this is a complete history of the Faith 7 flight and its astronaut. Cooper later gained notoriety following the release of the movie, The Right Stuff, in which he was depicted by Dennis Quaid, but Burgess discovers there was even more drama to his story. This recounting of the final Mercury 7 flight completes Burgess's investigation of the early spaceflight program in thrilling fashion.

  6. Orbital mechanics and astrodynamics techniques and tools for space missions

    CERN Document Server

    Hintz, Gerald R


    This textbook covers fundamental and advanced topics in orbital mechanics and astrodynamics to expose the student to the basic dynamics of space flight. The engineers and graduate students who read this class-tested text will be able to apply their knowledge to mission design and navigation of space missions. Through highlighting basic, analytic and computer-based methods for designing interplanetary and orbital trajectories, this text provides excellent insight into astronautical techniques and tools. This book is ideal for graduate students in Astronautical or Aerospace Engineering and related fields of study, researchers in space industrial and governmental research and development facilities, as well as researchers in astronautics. This book also: ·       Illustrates all key concepts with examples ·       Includes exercises for each chapter ·       Explains concepts and engineering tools a student or experienced engineer can apply to mission design and navigation of space missions ·�...

  7. Engineering a Successful Mission: Lessons from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (United States)

    Everett, David F.


    Schedule pressure is common in the commercial world, where late delivery of a product means delayed income and loss of profit. 12 Research spacecraft developed by NASA, on the other hand, tend to be driven by the high cost of launch vehicles and the public scrutiny of failure-- the primary driver is ensuring proper operation in space for a system that cannot be retrieved for repair. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) development faced both schedule pressure and high visibility. The team had to balance the strong push to meet a launch date against the need to ensure that this first mission for Exploration succeeded. This paper will provide an overview of the mission from concept through its first year of operation and explore some of the challenges the systems engineering team faced taking a mission from preliminary design review to pre-ship review in 3 years.

  8. Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission with Enceladus Science (TOAMES) (United States)

    Sittler, E.; Cooper, J.; Mahaffy, P.; Fairbrother, D.; de Pater, I.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Pitman, J.


    same time made us aware of how little we understand about these bodies. For example, the source, and/or recycling mechanism, of methane in Titan's atmosphere is still puzzling. Indeed, river beds (mostly dry) and lakes have been spotted, and occasional clouds have been seen, but the physics to explain the observations is still mostly lacking, since our "image" of Titan is still sketchy and quite incomplete. Enceladus, only 500 km in extent, is even more puzzling, with its fiery plumes of vapor, dust and ice emanating from its south polar region, "feeding" Saturn's E ring. Long term variability of magnetospheric plasma, neutral gas, E-ring ice grain density, radio emissions, and corotation of Saturn's planetary magnetic field in response to Enceladus plume activity are of great interest for Saturn system science. Both Titan and Enceladus are bodies of considerable astrobiological interest in view of high organic abundances at Titan and potential subsurface liquid water at Enceladus. We propose to develop a new mission to Titan and Enceladus, the Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission with Enceladus Science (TOAMES), to address these questions using novel new technologies. TOAMES is a multi-faceted mission that starts with orbit insertion around Saturn using aerobraking with Titan's extended atmosphere. We then have an orbital tour around Saturn (for 1-2 years) and close encounters with Enceladus, before it goes into orbit around Titan (via aerocapture). During the early reconnaissance phase around Titan, perhaps 6 months long, the orbiter will use altimetry, radio science and remote sensing instruments to measure Titan's global topography, subsurface structure and atmospheric winds. This information will be used to determine where and when to release the Aerorover, so that it can navigate safely around Titan and identify prime sites for surface sampling and analysis. In situ instruments will sample the upper atmosphere which may provide the seed population for the complex

  9. Robust approximate optimal guidance strategies for aeroassisted orbital transfer missions (United States)

    Ilgen, Marc R.

    This thesis presents the application of game theoretic and regular perturbation methods to the problem of determining robust approximate optimal guidance laws for aeroassisted orbital transfer missions with atmospheric density and navigated state uncertainties. The optimal guidance problem is reformulated as a differential game problem with the guidance law designer and Nature as opposing players. The resulting equations comprise the necessary conditions for the optimal closed loop guidance strategy in the presence of worst case parameter variations. While these equations are nonlinear and cannot be solved analytically, the presence of a small parameter in the equations of motion allows the method of regular perturbations to be used to solve the equations approximately. This thesis is divided into five parts. The first part introduces the class of problems to be considered and presents results of previous research. The second part then presents explicit semianalytical guidance law techniques for the aerodynamically dominated region of flight. These guidance techniques are applied to unconstrained and control constrained aeroassisted plane change missions and Mars aerocapture missions, all subject to significant atmospheric density variations. The third part presents a guidance technique for aeroassisted orbital transfer problems in the gravitationally dominated region of flight. Regular perturbations are used to design an implicit guidance technique similar to the second variation technique but that removes the need for numerically computing an optimal trajectory prior to flight. This methodology is then applied to a set of aeroassisted inclination change missions. In the fourth part, the explicit regular perturbation solution technique is extended to include the class of guidance laws with partial state information. This methodology is then applied to an aeroassisted plane change mission using inertial measurements and subject to uncertainties in the initial value

  10. The O/OREOS Mission - Astrobiology in Low Earth Orbit. [Astrobiology in Low Earth Orbit (United States)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Ricco, A. J.; Squires, D.; Kitts, C.; Agasid, E.; Bramall, N.; Bryson, K.; Chittenden, J.; Conley, C.; Cook, A.; hide


    The O/OREOS (Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses) nanosatellite is the first science demonstration spacecraft and flight mission of the NASA Astrobiology Small- Payloads Program (ASP). O/OREOS was launched successfully on November 19, 2010, to a high-inclination (72 deg), 650-km Earth orbit aboard a US Air Force Minotaur IV rocket from Kodiak, Alaska. O/OREOS consists of 3 conjoined cubesat (each 1000 cu cm) modules: (i) a control bus; (ii) the Space Environment Survivability of Living Organisms (SESLO) experiment; and (iii) the Space Environment Viability of Organics (SEVO) experiment. Among the innovative aspects of the O/OREOS mission are a real-time analysis of the photostability of organics and biomarkers and the collection of data on the survival and metabolic activity for microorganisms at 3 times during the 6-month mission. We report on the spacecraft characteristics, payload capabilities, and present operational phase and flight data from the O/OREOS mission. The science and technology rationale of O/OREOS supports NASA0s scientific exploration program by investigating the local space environment as well as space biology relevant to Moon and Mars missions. It also serves as a precursor for experiments on small satellites, the International Space Station (ISS), future free-flyers and lunar surface exposure facilities.

  11. Orbital Express Mission Operations Planning and Resource Management using ASPEN (United States)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Danny


    The Orbital Express satellite servicing demonstrator program is a DARPA program aimed at developing "a safe and cost-effective approach to autonomously service satellites in orbit". The system consists of: a) the Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) vehicle, under development by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and b) a prototype modular next-generation serviceable satellite, NEXTSat, being developed by Ball Aerospace. Flexibility of ASPEN: a) Accommodate changes to procedures; b) Accommodate changes to daily losses and gains; c) Responsive re-planning; and d) Critical to success of mission planning Auto-Generation of activity models: a) Created plans quickly; b) Repetition/Re-use of models each day; and c) Guarantees the AML syntax. One SRP per day vs. Tactical team

  12. Mission Analysis and Orbit Control of Interferometric Wheel Formation Flying (United States)

    Fourcade, J.

    Flying satellite in formation requires maintaining the specific relative geometry of the spacecraft with high precision. This requirement raises new problem of orbit control. This paper presents the results of the mission analysis of a low Earth observation system, the interferometric wheel, patented by CNES. This wheel is made up of three receiving spacecraft, which follow an emitting Earth observation radar satellite. The first part of this paper presents trades off which were performed to choose orbital elements of the formation flying which fulfils all constraints. The second part presents orbit positioning strategies including reconfiguration of the wheel to change its size. The last part describes the station keeping of the formation. Two kinds of constraints are imposed by the interferometric system : a constraint on the distance between the wheel and the radar satellite, and constraints on the distance between the wheel satellites. The first constraint is fulfilled with a classical chemical station keeping strategy. The second one is fulfilled using pure passive actuators. Due to the high stability of the relative eccentricity of the formation, only the relative semi major axis had to be controlled. Differential drag due to differential attitude motion was used to control relative altitude. An autonomous orbit controller was developed and tested. The final accuracy is a relative station keeping better than few meters for a wheel size of one kilometer.

  13. Got Mercury? (United States)

    Meyers, Valerie E.; McCoy, J. Torin; Garcia, Hector D.; James, John T.


    Many of the operational and payload lighting units used in various spacecraft contain elemental mercury. If these devices were damaged on-orbit, elemental mercury could be released into the cabin. Although there are plans to replace operational units with alternate light sources, such as LEDs, that do not contain mercury, mercury-containing lamps efficiently produce high quality illumination and may never be completely replaced on orbit. Therefore, exposure to elemental mercury during spaceflight will remain possible and represents a toxicological hazard. Elemental mercury is a liquid metal that vaporizes slowly at room temperature. However, it may be completely vaporized at the elevated operating temperatures of lamps. Although liquid mercury is not readily absorbed through the skin or digestive tract, mercury vapors are efficiently absorbed through the respiratory tract. Therefore, the amount of mercury in the vapor form must be estimated. For mercury releases from lamps that are not being operated, we utilized a study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Quality to calculate the amount of mercury vapor expected to form over a 2-week period. For longer missions and for mercury releases occurring when lamps are operating, we conservatively assumed complete volatilization of the available mercury. Because current spacecraft environmental control systems are unable to remove mercury vapors, both short-term and long-term exposures to mercury vapors are possible. Acute exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapors can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and behavioral symptoms, such as irritability and hyperactivity. Chronic exposure can result in damage to the nervous system (tremors, memory loss, insomnia, etc.) and kidneys (proteinurea). Therefore, the JSC Toxicology Group recommends that stringent safety controls and verifications (vibrational testing, etc.) be applied to any hardware that contains elemental mercury that could yield

  14. The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: new insights into geological processes and evolution (United States)

    Head, James W., III; Solomon, Sean C.; McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; Blewett, David T.; Chapman, Clark R.; Domingue, Deborah L.; Evans, Larry G.; Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J.; Hawkins, S. Edward, III; Helbert, Jörn; Holsclaw, Gregory M.; Izenberg, Noam R.; McClintock, William E.; McCoy, Timothy J.; Merline, William J.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larrz R.; Phillips, Roger J.; Prockter, Louise M.; Robinson, Mark S.; Sprague, Ann L.; Strom, Robert G.; Vilas, Faith; Watters, Thomas R.; Zuber, Maria T.


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission, a part of NASA's Discovery Program, was designed to answer six questions [1]: (1) What planetary formational processes led to Mercury's high ratio of metal to silicate? (2) What is the geological history of Mercury? (3) What are the nature and origin of Mercury's magnetic field? (4) What are the structure and state of Mercury's core? (5) What are the radar-reflective materials at Mercury's poles? (6) What are the important volatile species and their sources and sinks near Mercury? MESSENGER is currently midway through a complex interplanetary cruise phase that involves three flybys of Mercury. The first of these, on 14 January 2008, provided important new information relating to several of the questions above [2-13]. Here we summarize observations made during the flyby that are most relevant to new insights about geological processes that have operated on Mercury and implications for the planet's history [3, 8-13]. The instruments that provided the most direct information on the geological history of Mercury during this first encounter were the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) [14], the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) [15], and the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) [16]. Among the many specific questions remaining following the Mariner 10 mission to Mercury (1974- 1975) were (1) the level of mineralogical and compositional diversity of the crust, which appeared relatively bland in Mariner 10 data, (2) the nature of the rest of the huge Caloris impact basin seen only partially in Mariner 10 images, (3) the origin of the extensive plains observed on the surface (ponded impact ejecta or extrusive lava flows?), (4) the diversity and global distribution of tectonic features that have deformed the crust and their implications for strain as a function of time, and (5) the bombardment chronology and geological history of Mercury [1, 17-19]. The viewing

  15. Nuclear electric propulsion /NEP/ spacecraft for the outer planet orbiter mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrison, P.W.; Nock, K.T.


    The design, operating features, and a possible Neptune orbit for the spacecraft powered by the SP-100 nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system under study by NASA and the DOE are described. The system features a reactor and a payload situated on opposite ends of a 0.5 m diam, 11 m long astromast. Mercury-ion thrusters are located beneath the reactor for side thrusting, and no contamination of the payload or obstruction of the viewing angles for scientific objectives occurs with the system, which would not degrade in performance even under high insolation during near-sun maneuvers. Results of a theoretical study of earth escapes are presented to show that an NEP powered spiral trajectory out of a 700 km Shuttle orbit and using a Triton gravity assist would be superior to departing from a 300 km orbit with a Centaur boost. The mission profile includes a 1249 kg Galileo payload. The SP-100 has a 1.4 MWth reactor with UO2 fuel tiles and weighs 19,904 kg

  16. A Design for an Orbital Assembly Facility for Complex Missions (United States)

    Feast, S.; Bond, A.

    A design is presented for an Operations Base Station (OBS) in low earth orbit that will function as an integral part of a space transportation system, enabling assembly and maintenance of a Cis-Lunar transportation infrastructure and integration of vehicles for other high energy space missions to be carried out. Construction of the OBS assumes the use of the SKYLON Single-Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) spaceplane, which imposes design and assembly constraints due to its payload mass limits and payload bay dimensions. It is assumed that the space transport infrastructure and high mission energy vehicles would also make use of SKYLON to deploy standard transport equipment and stages bound by these same constraints. The OBS is therefore a highly modular arrangement, incorporating some of these other vehicle system elements in its layout design. Architecturally, the facilities of the OBS are centred around the Assembly Dock which is in the form of a large cylindrical spaceframe structure with two large doors on either end incorporating a skin of aluminised Mylar to enclose the dock. Longitudinal rails provide internal tether attachments to anchor vehicles and components while manipulators are used for the handling and assembling of vehicle structures. The exterior of the OBS houses the habitation modules for workforce and vehicle crews along with propellant farms and other operational facilities.

  17. Objectives of a prospective Ukrainian orbiter mission to the moon (United States)

    Shkuratov, Yu. G.; Lytvynenko, L. M.; Shulga, V. M.; Yatskiv, Ya. S.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Kislyulk, V. S.


    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to lunar orbit. A future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after the Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and future missions like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical photopolarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface at a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are a synthetic aperture imaging radar, ground-penetrating radar, and imaging UV-spectropolarimeter. The main purpose of the synthetic aperture imaging radar experiment is to study with high-resolution (50 m) permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential for resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for long-term manned bases on the Moon. Radar and optical imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequency, multi-polarization sounding of the lunar surface with ground-penetrating radar can provide data about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. The ground-penetrating radar can be used for measuring megaregolith properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. Modest spatial resolution (50 m) of the imaging UV-spectropolarimeter should provide total coverage (or coverage of a large portion) of the lunar surface in oblique viewing at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional experiments could use the synthetic aperture

  18. The Bepicolombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO Solar Array Design, Major Developments and Qualification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loehberg A.


    The MPO solar generator is composed of one wing consisting of three panels and provides an average power output up to 1800W during the nominal 1 Earth year mission around Mercury. The wing design is characterised by temperature reduction measures. The flight wing has already passed the majority of the environmental test program.

  19. The Gravity Field, Orientation, and Ephemeris of Mercury from MESSENGER Observations After Three Years in Orbit (United States)

    Mazarico, Erwan M.; Genova, Antonio; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Gregory; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.; Solomon, Sean C.


    We have analyzed three years of radio tracking data from the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around Mercury and determined the gravity field, planetary orientation, and ephemeris of the innermost planet. With improvements in spatial coverage, force modeling, and data weighting, we refined an earlier global gravity field both in quality and resolution, and we present here a spherical harmonic solution to degree and order 50. In this field, termed HgM005, uncertainties in low-degree coefficients are reduced by an order of magnitude relative to the earlier global field, and we obtained a preliminary value of the tidal Love number k(sub 2) of 0.451+/-0.014. We also estimated Mercury's pole position, and we obtained an obliquity value of 2.06 +/- 0.16 arcmin, in good agreement with analysis of Earth-based radar observations. From our updated rotation period (58.646146 +/- 0.000011 days) and Mercury ephemeris, we verified experimentally the planet's 3: 2 spin-orbit resonance to greater accuracy than previously possible. We present a detailed analysis of the HgM005 covariance matrix, and we describe some near-circular frozen orbits around Mercury that could be advantageous for future exploration.

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

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


    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.

  1. Future gravitational physics tests from ranging to the BepiColombo Mercury planetary orbiter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashby, Neil; Bender, Peter L.; Wahr, John M.


    Milani et al. recently have published careful and fundamental studies of the accuracy with which both gravitational physics information and the solar quadrupole moment can be obtained from Earth-Mercury distance data. To complement these results, a quite different analysis method is used in the present paper. We calculate the first-order corrections to the Keplerian motion of a single planet around the Sun due to the parameterized post-Newtonian theory parameters β, γ, α 1 , α 2 , and ξ, as well as corrections due to the solar quadrupole moment J 2 and a possible secular change in GM · . The Nordtvedt parameter η that is used in tests of the strong equivalence principle also is included in this analysis. The expected accuracies are given for 1 yr, 2 yr, and 8 yr mission durations, assuming that the planet-planet and asteroid-planet perturbations are accurately known. The ''modified worst-case'' error analysis method that we use is quite different from the usual covariance analysis method based on assumed uncorrelated random errors, plus a bias that is fixed or that changes in a prescribed way. We believe this is appropriate because systematic measurement errors are likely to be the main limitation on the accuracy of the results. Our final estimated uncertainties are one-third of the errors that would result if a 4.5-cm rms systematic error had the most damaging possible variation with time. We discuss the resulting uncertainties for several different subsets of orbital and relativity parameters

  2. The Earth System Science Pathfinder Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mission (United States)

    Crisp, David


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

  3. Mars Relays Satellite Orbit Design Considerations for Global Support of Robotic Surface Missions (United States)

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


    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.

  4. Mariner-Venus-Mercury optical navigation demonstration - Results and implications for future missions (United States)

    Acton, C. H., Jr.; Ohtakay, H.


    Optical navigation uses spacecraft television pictures of a target body against a known star background in a process which relates the spacecraft trajectory to the target body. This technology was used in the Mariner-Venus-Mercury mission, with the optical data processed in near-real-time, simulating a mission critical environment. Optical data error sources were identified, and a star location error analysis was carried out. Several methods for selecting limb crossing coordinates were used, and a limb smear compensation was introduced. Omission of planetary aberration corrections was the source of large optical residuals.

  5. Tracking and data system support for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission. Volume 3: Orbit insertion through end of primary mission (United States)

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


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

  6. A Synthetic Biology Tool Kit for Manned Missions Outside Low Earth Orbit (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Our goal is to make human missions outside low earth orbit safer and better able to handle the unexpected through the use of synthetic biology as an enabling...

  7. Relativity mission with two counter-orbiting polar satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Patten, R.A.; Everitt, C.W.F.


    In 1918, J. Lense and H. Thirring calculated that a moon in orbit around a massive rotating planet would experience a nodal dragging effect due to general relativity. An experiment to measure this effect with two counter-orbiting drag-free satellites in polar earth orbit is described. For a 2 1 / 2 year experiment, the measurement accuracy should approach 1 percent. In addition to precision tracking data from existing ground stations, satellite-to-satellite Doppler ranging data are taken at points of passing near the poles. New geophysical information on both earth harmonics and tidal effects is inherent in the polar ranging data. (auth)

  8. Mercury (United States)

    Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If ... with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used ...

  9. Small Probes for Orbital Return of Experiments Mission Design (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Currently the Georgia Tech Small Probes for Orbital Return of Experiments (SPORE) team is collaborating with Aurora Flight Sciences to provide a launch, re-entry,...

  10. Bonding in Mercury-Alkali Molecules: Orbital-driven van der Waals Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dieter Cremer


    Full Text Available The bonding situation in mercury-alkali diatomics HgA (2Σ+ (A = Li, Na, K, Rb has been investigated employing the relativistic all-electron method Normalized Elimination of the Small Component (NESC, CCSD(T, and augmented VTZ basis sets. Although Hg,A interactions are typical of van der Waals complexes, trends in calculated De values can be explained on the basis of a 3-electron 2-orbital model utilizing calculated ionization potentials and the De values of HgA+(1Σ+ diatomics. HgA molecules are identified as orbital-driven van der Waals complexes. The relevance of results for the understanding of the properties of liquid alkali metal amalgams is discussed.

  11. MERTIS: the thermal infrared imaging spectrometer onboard of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (United States)

    Zeh, T.; Peter, G.; Walter, I.; Kopp, E.; Knollenberg, J.; Helbert, J.; Gebhardt, A.; Weber, I.; Hiesinger, Harry


    The MERTIS instrument is a thermal infrared imaging spectrometer onboard of ESA's cornerstone mission BepiColombo to Mercury. MERTIS has four goals: the study of Mercury's surface composition, identification of rock-forming minerals, mapping of the surface mineralogy, and the study of the surface temperature variations and thermal inertia. MERTIS will provide detailed information about the mineralogical composition of Mercury's surface layer by measuring the spectral emittance in the spectral range from 7-14 μm at high spatial and spectral resolution. Furthermore MERTIS will obtain radiometric measurements in the spectral range from 7-40 μm to study the thermo-physical properties of the surface material. The MERTIS detector is based on an uncooled micro-bolometer array providing spectral separation and spatial resolution according to its 2-dimensional shape. The operation principle is characterized by intermediate scanning of the planet surface and three different calibration targets - free space view and two on-board black body sources. In the current project phase, the MERTIS Qualification Model (QM) is under a rigorous testing program. Besides a general overview of the instrument principles, the papers addresses major aspects of the instrument design, manufacturing and verification.

  12. Formation Control of the MAXIM L2 Libration Orbit Mission (United States)

    Folta, David; Hartman, Kate; Howell, Kathleen; Marchand, Belinda


    The Micro-Arcsecond X-ray Imaging Mission (MAXIM), a proposed concept for the Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU) Black Hole Imager mission, is designed to make a ten million-fold improvement in X-ray image clarity of celestial objects by providing better than 0.1 micro-arcsecond imaging. Currently the mission architecture comprises 25 spacecraft, 24 as optics modules and one as the detector, which will form sparse sub-apertures of a grazing incidence X-ray interferometer covering the 0.3-10 keV bandpass. This formation must allow for long duration continuous science observations and also for reconfiguration that permits re-pointing of the formation. To achieve these mission goals, the formation is required to cooperatively point at desired targets. Once pointed, the individual elements of the MAXIM formation must remain stable, maintaining their relative positions and attitudes below a critical threshold. These pointing and formation stability requirements impact the control and design of the formation. In this paper, we provide analysis of control efforts that are dependent upon the stability and the configuration and dimensions of the MAXIM formation. We emphasize the utilization of natural motions in the Lagrangian regions to minimize the control efforts and we address continuous control via input feedback linearization (IFL). Results provide control cost, configuration options, and capabilities as guidelines for the development of this complex mission.

  13. A Mars orbiter/rover/penetrator mission for the 1984 opportunity (United States)

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


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

  14. A novel orbiter mission concept for venus with the EnVision proposal (United States)

    de Oliveira, Marta R. R.; Gil, Paulo J. S.; Ghail, Richard


    In space exploration, planetary orbiter missions are essential to gain insight into planets as a whole, and to help uncover unanswered scientific questions. In particular, the planets closest to the Earth have been a privileged target of the world's leading space agencies. EnVision is a mission proposal designed for Venus and competing for ESA's next launch opportunity with the objective of studying Earth's closest neighbor. The main goal is to study geological and atmospheric processes, namely surface processes, interior dynamics and atmosphere, to determine the reasons behind Venus and Earth's radically different evolution despite the planets' similarities. To achieve these goals, the operational orbit selection is a fundamental element of the mission design process. The design of an orbit around Venus faces specific challenges, such as the impossibility of choosing Sun-synchronous orbits. In this paper, an innovative genetic algorithm optimization was applied to select the optimal orbit based on the parameters with more influence in the mission planning, in particular the mission duration and the coverage of sites of interest on the Venusian surface. The solution obtained is a near-polar circular orbit with an altitude of 259 km that enables the coverage of all priority targets almost two times faster than with the parameters considered before this study.

  15. Performance Evaluation of Orbit Determination System during Initial Phase of INSAT-3 Mission (United States)

    Subramanian, B.; Vighnesam, N. V.

    INSAT-3C is the second in the third generation of ISRO's INSAT series of satellites that was launched by ARIANE-SPACE on 23 January 2002 at 23 h 46 m 57 s (lift off time in U.T). The ARIANE-4 Flight Nr.147 took off from Kourou in French Guyana and injected the 2750-kg communications satellite in a geostationary transfer orbit of (571 X 35935) km with an inclination of 4.007 deg at 00 h 07 m 48 s U.T on 24 January 2002 (1252 s after lift off). The satellite was successfully guided into its intended geostationary position of 74 deg E longitude by 09 February 2002 after a series of four firings of its Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) and four station acquisition (STAQ) maneuvers. Six distinct phases of the mission were categorized based on the orbit characteristics of the INSAT- 3C mission, namely, the pre-launch phase, the launch phase, transfer orbit phase, intermediate orbit phase, drift orbit phase and synchronous orbit phase. The orbit with a perigee height of 571 km at injection of the satellite, was gradually raised to higher orbits with perigee height increasing to 9346 km after Apogee Motor Firing #1 (AMF #1), 18335 km after AMF #2, 32448 km after AMF #3 and 35493 km after AMF #4. The North and South solar panels and the reflectors were deployed at this stage of the mission and the attitude of the satellite with respect to the three axes was stabilized. The Orbit Determination System (ODS) that was used in the initial phase of the mission played a crucial role in realizing the objectives of the mission. This system which consisted of Tracking Data Pre-Processing (TDPP) software, Ephemeris Generation (EPHGEN) software and the Orbit Determination (OD) software, performed rigorously and its results were used for planning the AMF and STAQ strategies with a greater degree of accuracy. This paper reports the results of evaluation of the performance of the apogee-motor firings employed to place the satellite in its intended position where it is collocated with INSAT-1D

  16. NASA's Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter Missions: Discovering the Secrets of our Star (United States)

    Zurbuchen, T.


    This session will explore the importance of the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter missions to NASA Science, and the preparations for discoveries from these missions. NASA's Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter Missions have complementary missions and will provide unique and unprecedented contributions to heliophysics and astrophysics overall. These inner heliospheric missions will also be part of the Heliophysics System Observatory which includes an increasing amount of innovative new technology and architectures to address science and data in an integrated fashion and advance models through assimilation and system-level tests. During this talk, we will briefly explore how NASA Heliophysics research efforts not only increase our understanding and predictive capability of space weather phenomena, but also provide key insights on fundamental processes important throughout the universe.

  17. Mercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Irma


    Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that exists in several physical and chemical forms. Inorganic mercury refers to compounds formed after the combining of mercury with elements such as chlorine, sulfur, or oxygen. After combining with carbon by covalent linkage, the compounds formed are called

  18. Coordinated science with the Solar Orbiter, Solar Probe Plus, Interhelioprobe and SPORT missions (United States)

    Maksimovic, Milan; Vourlidas, Angelos; Zimovets, Ivan; Velli, Marco; Zhukov, Andrei; Kuznetsov, Vladimir; Liu, Ying; Bale, Stuart; Ming, Xiong

    The concurrent science operations of the ESA Solar Orbiter (SO), NASA Solar Probe Plus (SPP), Russian Interhelioprobe (IHP) and Chinese SPORT missions will offer a truly unique epoch in heliospheric science. While each mission will achieve its own important science objectives, taken together the four missions will be capable of doing the multi-point measurements required to address many problems in Heliophysics such as the coronal origin of the solar wind plasma and magnetic field or the way the Solar transients drive the heliospheric variability. In this presentation, we discuss the capabilities of the four missions and the Science synergy that will be realized by concurrent operations

  19. Advanced staring Si PIN visible sensor chip assembly for Bepi-Colombo mission to Mercury (United States)

    Mills, R. E.; Drab, J. J.; Gin, A.


    The planet Mercury, by its near proximity to the sun, has always posed a formidable challenge to spacecraft. The Bepi-Colombo mission, coordinated by the European Space Agency, will be a pioneering effort in the investigation of this planet. Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) has been given the opportunity to develop the radiation hardened, high operability, high SNR, advanced staring focal plane array (FPA) for the spacecraft destined (Fig. 1) to explore the planet Mercury. This mission will launch in 2013 on a journey lasting approximately 6 years. When it arrives at Mercury in August 2019, it will endure temperatures as high as 350°C as well as relatively high radiation environments during its 1 year data collection period from September 2019 until September 2020. To support this challenging goal, RVS has designed and produced a custom visible sensor based on a 2048 x 2048 (2k2) format with a 10 μm unit cell. This sensor will support both the High Resolution Imaging Camera (HRIC) and the Stereo Camera (STC) instruments. This dual purpose sensor was designed to achieve high sensitivity as well as low input noise (<100 e-) for space-based, low light conditions. It also must maintain performance parameters in a total ionizing dose environment up to 70 kRad (Si) as well as immunity to latch-up and singe event upset. This paper will show full sensor chip assembly data highlighting the performance parameters prior to irradiation. Radiation testing performance will be reported by an independent source in a subsequent paper.

  20. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet


    Stevenson, David J.


    Planet Mercury is both difficult to observe and difficult to reach by spacecraft. Just one spacecraft, Mariner 10, flew by the planet 30 years ago. An upcoming NASA mission, MESSENGER, will be launched this year and will go into orbit around Mercury at the end of this decade. A European mission is planned for the following decade. It's worth going there because Mercury is a strange body and the history of planetary exploration has taught us that strangeness gives us insight into planetary ori...

  1. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a Planning Tool for Missions to the Moon (United States)

    Keller, J. W.; Petro, N. E.


    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission was conceived as a one year exploration mission to pave the way for a return to the lunar surface, both robotically and by humans. After a year in orbit LRO transitioned to a science mission but has operated in a duel role of science and exploration ever since. Over the years LRO has compiled a wealth of data that can and is being used for planning future missions to the Moon by NASA, other national agencies and by private enterprises. While collecting this unique and unprecedented data set, LRO's science investigations have uncovered new questions that motivate new missions and targets. Examples include: when did volcanism on the Moon cease, motivating a sample return mission from an irregular mare patch such as Ina-D; or, is there significant water ice sequestered near the poles outside of the permanently shaded regions? In this presentation we will review the data products, tools and maps that are available for mission planning, discuss how the operating LRO mission can further enhance future missions, and suggest new targets motivated by LRO's scientific investigations.

  2. Circular revisit orbits design for responsive mission over a single target (United States)

    Li, Taibo; Xiang, Junhua; Wang, Zhaokui; Zhang, Yulin


    The responsive orbits play a key role in addressing the mission of Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) because of their capabilities. These capabilities are usually focused on supporting specific targets as opposed to providing global coverage. One subtype of responsive orbits is repeat coverage orbit which is nearly circular in most remote sensing applications. This paper deals with a special kind of repeating ground track orbit, referred to as circular revisit orbit. Different from traditional repeat coverage orbits, a satellite on circular revisit orbit can visit a target site at both the ascending and descending stages in one revisit cycle. This typology of trajectory allows a halving of the traditional revisit time and does a favor to get useful information for responsive applications. However the previous reported numerical methods in some references often cost lots of computation or fail to obtain such orbits. To overcome this difficulty, an analytical method to determine the existence conditions of the solutions to revisit orbits is presented in this paper. To this end, the mathematical model of circular revisit orbit is established under the central gravity model and the J2 perturbation. A constraint function of the circular revisit orbit is introduced, and the monotonicity of that function has been studied. The existent conditions and the number of such orbits are naturally worked out. Taking the launch cost into consideration, optimal design model of circular revisit orbit is established to achieve a best orbit which visits a target twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon respectively for several days. The result shows that it is effective to apply circular revisit orbits in responsive application such as reconnoiter of natural disaster.

  3. Abort Options for Human Missions to Earth-Moon Halo Orbits (United States)

    Jesick, Mark C.


    Abort trajectories are optimized for human halo orbit missions about the translunar libration point (L2), with an emphasis on the use of free return trajectories. Optimal transfers from outbound free returns to L2 halo orbits are numerically optimized in the four-body ephemeris model. Circumlunar free returns are used for direct transfers, and cislunar free returns are used in combination with lunar gravity assists to reduce propulsive requirements. Trends in orbit insertion cost and flight time are documented across the southern L2 halo family as a function of halo orbit position and free return flight time. It is determined that the maximum amplitude southern halo incurs the lowest orbit insertion cost for direct transfers but the maximum cost for lunar gravity assist transfers. The minimum amplitude halo is the most expensive destination for direct transfers but the least expensive for lunar gravity assist transfers. The on-orbit abort costs for three halos are computed as a function of abort time and return time. Finally, an architecture analysis is performed to determine launch and on-orbit vehicle requirements for halo orbit missions.

  4. Preliminary radar systems analysis for Venus orbiter missions (United States)

    Brandenburg, R. K.; Spadoni, D. J.


    A short, preliminary analysis is presented of the problems involved in mapping the surface of Venus with radar from an orbiting spacecraft. Two types of radar, the noncoherent sidelooking and the focused synthetic aperture systems, are sized to fulfill two assumed levels of Venus exploration. The two exploration levels, regional and local, assumed for this study are based on previous Astro Sciences work (Klopp 1969). The regional level is defined as 1 to 3 kilometer spatial and 0.5 to 1 km vertical resolution of 100 percent 0 of the planet's surface. The local level is defined as 100 to 200 meter spatial and 50-10 m vertical resolution of about 100 percent of the surfAce (based on the regional survey). A 10cm operating frequency was chosen for both radar systems in order to minimize the antenna size and maximize the apparent radar cross section of the surface.

  5. Orbiter data reduction complex data processing requirements for the OFT mission evaluation team (level C) (United States)


    This document addresses requirements for post-test data reduction in support of the Orbital Flight Tests (OFT) mission evaluation team, specifically those which are planned to be implemented in the ODRC (Orbiter Data Reduction Complex). Only those requirements which have been previously baselined by the Data Systems and Analysis Directorate configuration control board are included. This document serves as the control document between Institutional Data Systems Division and the Integration Division for OFT mission evaluation data processing requirements, and shall be the basis for detailed design of ODRC data processing systems.

  6. IUS/TUG orbital operations and mission support study. Volume 4: Project planning data (United States)


    Planning data are presented for the development phases of interim upper stage (IUS) and tug systems. Major project planning requirements, major event schedules, milestones, system development and operations process networks, and relevant support research and technology requirements are included. Topics discussed include: IUS flight software; tug flight software; IUS/tug ground control center facilities, personnel, data systems, software, and equipment; IUS mission events; tug mission events; tug/spacecraft rendezvous and docking; tug/orbiter operations interface, and IUS/orbiter operations interface.

  7. MICROSCOPE Mission: on-orbit assessment of the Drag-Free and Attitude Control System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prieur, Pascal; Lienart, Thomas; Rodrigues, Manuel

    Microscope successfully completed in November 2016 its on-orbit assessment. The paper begins with a brief description of the mission, the challenging performances the DFACS has to comply with and how they led to the hardwareand software design. Then we go through the major phases of the commissio......Microscope successfully completed in November 2016 its on-orbit assessment. The paper begins with a brief description of the mission, the challenging performances the DFACS has to comply with and how they led to the hardwareand software design. Then we go through the major phases...

  8. EUV imager and spectrometer for LYOT and solar orbiter space missions (United States)

    Millard, Anne; Lemaire, Philippe; Vial, Jean-Claude


    In the 2010 horizon, solar space missions such as LYOT and Solar Orbiter will allow high cadence UV observations of the Sun at spatial and spectral resolution never obtained before. To reach these goals, the two missions could take advantage of spectro-imagers. A reflective only optical solution for such an instrument is described in this paper and the first results of the mock-up being built at IAS are shown.

  9. Mercury's capture into the 3/2 spin-orbit resonance as a result of its chaotic dynamics. (United States)

    Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques


    Mercury is locked into a 3/2 spin-orbit resonance where it rotates three times on its axis for every two orbits around the sun. The stability of this equilibrium state is well established, but our understanding of how this state initially arose remains unsatisfactory. Unless one uses an unrealistic tidal model with constant torques (which cannot account for the observed damping of the libration of the planet) the computed probability of capture into 3/2 resonance is very low (about 7 per cent). This led to the proposal that core-mantle friction may have increased the capture probability, but such a process requires very specific values of the core viscosity. Here we show that the chaotic evolution of Mercury's orbit can drive its eccentricity beyond 0.325 during the planet's history, which very efficiently leads to its capture into the 3/2 resonance. In our numerical integrations of 1,000 orbits of Mercury over 4 Gyr, capture into the 3/2 spin-orbit resonant state was the most probable final outcome of the planet's evolution, occurring 55.4 per cent of the time.

  10. Ground Contact Analysis for Korea’s Fictitious Lunar Orbiter Mission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song


    Full Text Available In this research, the ground contact opportunity for the fictitious low lunar orbiter is analyzed to prepare for a future Korean lunar orbiter mission. The ground contact opportunity is basically derived from geometrical relations between the typical ground stations at the Earth, the relative positions of the Earth and Moon, and finally, the lunar orbiter itself. Both the cut-off angle and the orbiter’s Line of Sight (LOS conditions (weather orbiter is located at near or far side of the Moon seen from the Earth are considered to determine the ground contact opportunities. Four KOMPSAT Ground Stations (KGSs are assumed to be Korea’s future Near Earth Networks (NENs to support lunar missions, and world-wide separated Deep Space Networks (DSNs are also included during the contact availability analysis. As a result, it is concluded that about 138 times of contact will be made between the orbiter and the Daejeon station during 27.3 days of prediction time span. If these contact times are converted into contact duration, the duration is found to be about 8.55 days, about 31.31% of 27.3 days. It is discovered that selected four KGSs cannot provide continuous tracking of the lunar orbiter, meaning that international collaboration is necessary to track Korea’s future lunar orbiter effectively. Possible combinations of world-wide separated DSNs are also suggested to compensate for the lack of contact availability with only four KGSs, as with primary and backup station concepts. The provided algorithm can be easily modified to support any type of orbit around the Moon, and therefore, the presented results could aid further progress in the design field of Korea’s lunar orbiter missions.

  11. Constellations of Next Generation Gravity Missions: Simulations regarding optimal orbits and mitigation of aliasing errors (United States)

    Hauk, M.; Pail, R.; Gruber, T.; Purkhauser, A.


    The CHAMP and GRACE missions have demonstrated the tremendous potential for observing mass changes in the Earth system from space. In order to fulfil future user needs a monitoring of mass distribution and mass transport with higher spatial and temporal resolution is required. This can be achieved by a Bender-type Next Generation Gravity Mission (NGGM) consisting of a constellation of satellite pairs flying in (near-)polar and inclined orbits, respectively. For these satellite pairs the observation concept of the GRACE Follow-on mission with a laser-based low-low satellite-to-satellite tracking (ll-SST) system and more precise accelerometers and state-of-the-art star trackers is adopted. By choosing optimal orbit constellations for these satellite pairs high frequency mass variations will be observable and temporal aliasing errors from under-sampling will not be the limiting factor anymore. As part of the European Space Agency (ESA) study "ADDCON" (ADDitional CONstellation and Scientific Analysis Studies of the Next Generation Gravity Mission) a variety of mission design parameters for such constellations are investigated by full numerical simulations. These simulations aim at investigating the impact of several orbit design choices and at the mitigation of aliasing errors in the gravity field retrieval by co-parametrization for various constellations of Bender-type NGGMs. Choices for orbit design parameters such as altitude profiles during mission lifetime, length of retrieval period, value of sub-cycles and choice of prograde versus retrograde orbits are investigated as well. Results of these simulations are presented and optimal constellations for NGGM's are identified. Finally, a short outlook towards new geophysical applications like a near real time service for hydrology is given.

  12. Analysis of Orbital Lifetime Prediction Parameters in Preparation for Post-Mission Disposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ha–Yeon Choi


    Full Text Available Atmospheric drag force is an important source of perturbation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO orbit satellites, and solar activity is a major factor for changes in atmospheric density. In particular, the orbital lifetime of a satellite varies with changes in solar activity, so care must be taken in predicting the remaining orbital lifetime during preparation for post-mission disposal. In this paper, the System Tool Kit (STK® Long-term Orbit Propagator is used to analyze the changes in orbital lifetime predictions with respect to solar activity. In addition, the STK® Lifetime tool is used to analyze the change in orbital lifetime with respect to solar flux data generation, which is needed for the orbital lifetime calculation, and its control on the drag coefficient control. Analysis showed that the application of the most recent solar flux file within the Lifetime tool gives a predicted trend that is closest to the actual orbit. We also examine the effect of the drag coefficient, by performing a comparative analysis between varying and constant coefficients in terms of solar activity intensities.

  13. Optimization of high-inclination orbits using planetary flybys for a zodiacal light-imaging mission (United States)

    Soto, Gabriel; Lloyd, James; Savransky, Dmitry; Grogan, Keith; Sinha, Amlan


    The zodiacal light caused by interplanetary dust grains is the second-most luminous source in the solar system. The dust grains coalesce into structures reminiscent of early solar system formation; their composition has been predicted through simulations and some edge-on observations but better data is required to validate them. Scattered light from these dust grains presents challenges to exoplanet imaging missions: resolution of their stellar environment is hindered by exozodiacal emissions and therefore sets the size and scope of these imaging missions. Understanding the composition of this interplanetary dust in our solar system requires an imaging mission from a vantage point above the ecliptic plane. The high surface brightness of the zodiacal light requires only a small aperture with moderate sensitivity; therefore a 3cm camera is enough to meet the science goals of the mission at an orbital height of 0.1AU above the ecliptic. A 6U CubeSat is the target mass for this mission which will be a secondary payload detaching from an existing interplanetary mission. Planetary flybys are utilized to produce most of the plane change Δv deep space corrective maneuvers are implemented to optimize each planetary flyby. We developed an algorithm which determines the minimum Δv required to place the CubeSat on a transfer orbit to a planet's sphere of influence and maximizes the resultant orbital height with respect to the ecliptic plane. The satellite could reach an orbital height of 0.22 AU with an Earth gravity assist in late 2024 by boarding the Europa Clipper mission.

  14. Thermal infrared spectrometer MERTIS for the BepiColumbo Mission to Mercury (United States)

    Zeh, T.; Kaiser, S.; Lenfert, K.; Peter, G.; Walter, I.; Hirsch, H.; Knollenberg, J.; Helbert, J.; Multhaup, K.; Hiesinger, H.; Gebhardt, A.; Risse, S.; Damm, C.; Eberhardt, R.; Baier, V.; Kessler, E.


    The MERTIS instrument is a thermal infrared imaging spectrometer onboard of ESA's cornerstone mission BepiColombo to Mercury. MERTIS will provide detailed information about the mineralogical composition of Mercury's surface layer by measuring the spectral emittance in the spectral range from 7-14 μm with a high spatial and spectral resolution. Furthermore MERTIS will obtain radiometric measurements in the spectral range from 7-40 μm to study the thermo-physical properties of the surface material. Under the lead of the German Aerospace Center DLR (Dep. Optical Information Systems, Berlin) a development model (DM) is in development which integrates all MERTIS sub-units of later flight models. With the DM the general design and performance goals of the system shall be investigated and verified. Besides a general overview about the instrument principles the following topics are addressed: Optics setup with a Three Mirror Anastigmatic (TMA) telescope and Offner Spectrometer, Manufacturing techniques for the robust and high precision optics and Radiometer Concept and Design

  15. Evaluation of use of MPAD trajectory tape and number of orbit points for orbiter mission thermal predictions (United States)

    Vogt, R. A.


    The application of using the mission planning and analysis division (MPAD) common format trajectory data tape to predict temperatures for preflight and post flight mission analysis is presented and evaluated. All of the analyses utilized the latest Space Transportation System 1 flight (STS-1) MPAD trajectory tape, and the simplified '136 note' midsection/payload bay thermal math model. For the first 6.7 hours of the STS-1 flight profile, transient temperatures are presented for selected nodal locations with the current standard method, and the trajectory tape method. Whether the differences are considered significant or not depends upon the view point. Other transient temperature predictions are also presented. These results were obtained to investigate an initial concern that perhaps the predicted temperature differences between the two methods would not only be caused by the inaccuracies of the current method's assumed nominal attitude profile but also be affected by a lack of a sufficient number of orbit points in the current method. Comparison between 6, 12, and 24 orbit point parameters showed a surprising insensitivity to the number of orbit points.

  16. Results of the mission profile life test. [for J-series mercury ion engines (United States)

    Bechtel, R. T.; Trump, G. E.; James, E. L.


    Seven J series 30-cm diameter thrusters have been tested in segments of up to 5,070 hr, for 14,541 hr in the Mission Profile Life Test facility. Test results have indicated the basic thruster design to be consistent with the lifetime goal of 15,000 hr at 2-A beam. The only areas of concern identified which appear to require additional verification testing involve contamination of mercury propellant isolators, which may be due to facility constituents, and the ability of specially covered surfaces to contain sputtered material and prevent flake formation. The ability of the SCR, series resonant inverter power processor to operate the J series thruster and autonomous computer control of the thruster/processor system were demonstrated.

  17. Optimizing Orbit-Instrument Configuration for Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Satellite Fleet (United States)

    Smith, Eric A.; Adams, James; Baptista, Pedro; Haddad, Ziad; Iguchi, Toshio; Im, Eastwood; Kummerow, Christian; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)


    Following the scientific success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) spearheaded by a group of NASA and NASDA scientists, their external scientific collaborators, and additional investigators within the European Union's TRMM Research Program (EUROTRMM), there has been substantial progress towards the development of a new internationally organized, global scale, and satellite-based precipitation measuring mission. The highlights of this newly developing mission are a greatly expanded scope of measuring capability and a more diversified set of science objectives. The mission is called the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM). Notionally, GPM will be a constellation-type mission involving a fleet of nine satellites. In this fleet, one member is referred to as the "core" spacecraft flown in an approximately 70 degree inclined non-sun-synchronous orbit, somewhat similar to TRMM in that it carries both a multi-channel polarized passive microwave radiometer (PMW) and a radar system, but in this case it will be a dual frequency Ku-Ka band radar system enabling explicit measurements of microphysical DSD properties. The remainder of fleet members are eight orbit-synchronized, sun-synchronous "constellation" spacecraft each carrying some type of multi-channel PMW radiometer, enabling no worse than 3-hour diurnal sampling over the entire globe. In this configuration the "core" spacecraft serves as a high quality reference platform for training and calibrating the PMW rain retrieval algorithms used with the "constellation" radiometers. Within NASA, GPM has advanced to the pre-formulation phase which has enabled the initiation of a set of science and technology studies which will help lead to the final mission design some time in the 2003 period. This presentation first provides an overview of the notional GPM program and mission design, including its organizational and programmatic concepts, scientific agenda, expected instrument package, and basic flight

  18. Solar Electric and Chemical Propulsion Technology Applications to a Titan Orbiter/Lander Mission (United States)

    Cupples, Michael


    Several advanced propulsion technology options were assessed for a conceptual Titan Orbiter/Lander mission. For convenience of presentation, the mission was broken into two phases: interplanetary and Titan capture. The interplanetary phase of the mission was evaluated for an advanced Solar Electric Propulsion System (SEPS), while the Titan capture phase was evaluated for state-of-art chemical propulsion (NTO/Hydrazine), three advanced chemical propulsion options (LOX/Hydrazine, Fluorine/Hydrazine, high Isp mono-propellant), and advanced tank technologies. Hence, this study was referred to as a SEPS/Chemical based option. The SEPS/Chemical study results were briefly compared to a 2002 NASA study that included two general propulsion options for the same conceptual mission: an all propulsive based mission and a SEPS/Aerocapture based mission. The SEP/Chemical study assumed identical science payload as the 2002 NASA study science payload. The SEPS/Chemical study results indicated that the Titan mission was feasible for a medium launch vehicle, an interplanetary transfer time of approximately 8 years, an advanced SEPS (30 kW), and current chemical engine technology (yet with advanced tanks) for the Titan capture. The 2002 NASA study showed the feasibility of the mission based on a somewhat smaller medium launch vehicle, an interplanetary transfer time of approximately 5.9 years, an advanced SEPS (24 kW), and advanced Aerocapture based propulsion technology for the Titan capture. Further comparisons and study results were presented for the advanced chemical and advanced tank technologies.

  19. Mercury (United States)

    ... that mercuric chloride and methylmercury are possible human carcinogens. top How does mercury affect children? Very young ... billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum ...

  20. Post-aerocapture orbit selection and maintenance for the Aerofast mission to Mars (United States)

    Pontani, Mauro; Teofilatto, Paolo


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

  1. Geo-oculus: high resolution multi-spectral earth imaging mission from geostationary orbit (United States)

    Vaillon, L.; Schull, U.; Knigge, T.; Bevillon, C.


    Geo-Oculus is a GEO-based Earth observation mission studied by Astrium for ESA in 2008-2009 to complement the Sentinel missions, the space component of the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment & Security). Indeed Earth imaging from geostationary orbit offers new functionalities not covered by existing LEO observation missions, like real-time monitoring and fast revisit capability of any location within the huge area in visibility of the satellite. This high revisit capability is exploited by the Meteosat meteorogical satellites, but with a spatial resolution (500 m nadir for the third generation) far from most of GMES needs (10 to 100 m). To reach such ground resolution from GEO orbit with adequate image quality, large aperture instruments (> 1 m) and high pointing stability (challenges of such missions. To address the requirements from the GMES user community, the Geo-Oculus mission is a combination of routine observations (daily systematic coverage of European coastal waters) with "on-demand" observation for event monitoring (e.g. disasters, fires and oil slicks). The instrument is a large aperture imaging telescope (1.5 m diameter) offering a nadir spatial sampling of 10.5 m (21 m worst case over Europe, below 52.5°N) in a PAN visible channel used for disaster monitoring. The 22 multi-spectral channels have resolutions over Europe ranging from 40 m in UV/VNIR (0.3 to 1 μm) to 750 m in TIR (10-12 μm).

  2. Space Network IP Services (SNIS): An Architecture for Supporting Low Earth Orbiting IP Satellite Missions (United States)

    Israel, David J.


    The NASA Space Network (SN) supports a variety of missions using the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), which includes ground stations in White Sands, New Mexico and Guam. A Space Network IP Services (SNIS) architecture is being developed to support future users with requirements for end-to-end Internet Protocol (IP) communications. This architecture will support all IP protocols, including Mobile IP, over TDRSS Single Access, Multiple Access, and Demand Access Radio Frequency (RF) links. This paper will describe this architecture and how it can enable Low Earth Orbiting IP satellite missions.

  3. What's New for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2? A Summary of Changes between the Original and Re-flight Missions (United States)

    Boland, S. W.; Kahn, P. B.


    The original Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission was lost in 2009 when the spacecraft failed to achieve orbit due to a launch vehicle failure. In 2010, NASA authorized a re-flight mission, known as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission, with direction to re-use the original hardware, designs, drawings, documents, and procedures wherever possible in order to minimize cost, schedule, and performance risk. During implementation, it was realized that some changes were required due to parts obsolescence, incorporation of lessons learned from the original OCO mission, and to provide optimal science return. In response to the OCO and Glory launch vehicle failures, a change in launch vehicle was also recently announced. A summary of changes, including those to hardware, orbit, and launch vehicle is provided, along with rationale, implementation approach, and impact (if any) on mission science.

  4. Thermal simulations of the STIX instrument for ESA Solar Orbiter mission (United States)

    Białek, Agata; Severyn, Karol; Grassmann, Kamil; Orleańskii, Piotr; Skup, Konrad R.; Arnold, Nicolas; Gröbelbauer, Hans-Peter; Hurford, Gordon J.; Krucker, Samuel; Bauer, Svend-Marian; Mann, Gottfied; Önel, Hakan; Bernet, Adeline; Blecha, Luc; Grimm, Oliver; Limousin, Olivier; Martignac, Jerome; Meuris, Aline


    The ESA Solar Orbiter mission, planned to be launched in 2017, is going to study the Sun with ten different instruments including the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays - STIX. The thermal environment on the elliptical orbit around the Sun - 0.28 AU at perihelion and 0.952 AU at aphelion - is extreme, where at one point of the orbit is very hot, while on another very cold. That makes the requirements for the heat fluxes exchanged between each instrument and the spacecraft, as well as between the instrument - subsystems, very restrictive. Here the authors discuss the thermal design with respect to the defined requirements and present the results of the thermal analyses performed with ESATAN TMS software.

  5. Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Mahoney, T J


    This gazetteer and atlas on Mercury lists, defines and illustrates every named (as opposed to merely catalogued) object and term as related to Mercury within a single reference work. It contains a glossary of terminology used, an index of all the headwords in the gazetteer, an atlas comprising maps and images with coordinate grids and labels identifying features listed in the gazetteer, and appendix material on the IAU nomenclature system and the transcription systems used for non-roman alphabets. This book is useful for the general reader, writers and editors dealing with astronomical themes, and those astronomers concerned with any aspect of astronomical nomenclature.

  6. Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Balogh, André; Steiger, Rudolf


    Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, is different in several respects from the other three terrestrial planets. In appearance, it resembles the heavily cratered surface of the Moon, but its density is high, it has a magnetic field and magnetosphere, but no atmosphere or ionosphere. This book reviews the progress made in Mercury studies since the flybys by Mariner 10 in 1974-75, based on the continued research using the Mariner 10 archive, on observations from Earth, and on increasingly realistic models of its interior evolution.

  7. The Megha-Tropiques mission: a review after three years in orbit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rémy eRoca


    Full Text Available The Megha-Tropiques mission is operating a suite of payloads dedicated to the documentation of the water and energy cycles in the intertropical region in a low inclination orbit. The satellite was launched in October, 2011 and we here review the scientific activity after the first three years of the mission. The microwave sounder (SAPHIR and the broad band radiometer (SCARAB are functioning nominally and exhibit instrumental performances well within the original specifications. The microwave imager, MADRAS, stopped acquisition of scientific data on January 26th, 2013 due to a mechanical failure. During its 16 months of operation, this radiometer experienced electrical issues making its usage difficult and delayed its validation. A suite of geophysical products has been retrieved from the Megha-Tropiques payloads, ranging from TOA radiative flux to water vapor profiles and instantaneous rain rates. Some of these geophysical products have been merged with geostationary data to provide, for instance, daily accumulation of rainfall all over the intertropical region. These products compare favorably with references from ground based or space-borne observation systems. The contribution of the mission unique orbit to its scientific objectives is investigated. Preliminary studies indicate a positive impact on both, humidity Numerical Weather Prediction forecasts thanks to the assimilation of SAPHIR Level 1 data, and on the rainfall estimation derived from the Global Precipitation Mission constellation. After a long commissioning phase, most of the data and the geophysical products suite are validated and readily available for further scientific investigation by the international community.

  8. Possible Periodic Orbit Control Maneuvers for an eLISA Mission (United States)

    Bender, Peter L.; Welter, Gary L.


    This paper investigates the possible application of periodic orbit control maneuvers for so-called evolved-LISA (eLISA) missions, i.e., missions for which the constellation arm lengths and mean distance from the Earth are substantially reduced. We find that for missions with arm lengths of 106 km and Earth-trailing distance ranging from approx. 12deg to 20deg over the science lifetime, the occasional use of the spacecraft micro-Newton thrusters for constellation configuration maintenance should be able to essentially eliminate constellation distortion caused by Earth-induced tidal forces at a cost to science time of only a few percent. With interior angle variation kept to approx. +/-0:1deg, the required changes in the angles between the laser beam pointing directions for the two arms from any spacecraft could be kept quite small. This would considerably simplify the apparatus necessary for changing the transmitted beam directions.

  9. Steady state obliquity of a rigid body in the spin-orbit resonant problem: application to Mercury (United States)

    Lhotka, Christoph


    We investigate the stable Cassini state 1 in the p : q spin-orbit resonant problem. Our study includes the effect of the gravitational potential up to degree and order 4 and p : q spin-orbit resonances with p,q≤ 8 and p≥ q. We derive new formulae that link the gravitational field coefficients with its secular orbital elements and its rotational parameters. The formulae can be used to predict the orientation of the spin axis and necessary angular momentum at exact resonance. We also develop a simple pendulum model to approximate the dynamics close to resonance and make use of it to predict the libration periods and widths of the oscillatory regime of motions in phase space. Our analytical results are based on averaging theory that we also confirm by means of numerical simulations of the exact dynamical equations. Our results are applied to a possible rotational history of Mercury.

  10. Coupled attitude-orbit dynamics and control for an electric sail in a heliocentric transfer mission. (United States)

    Huo, Mingying; Zhao, Jun; Xie, Shaobiao; Qi, Naiming


    The paper discusses the coupled attitude-orbit dynamics and control of an electric-sail-based spacecraft in a heliocentric transfer mission. The mathematical model characterizing the propulsive thrust is first described as a function of the orbital radius and the sail angle. Since the solar wind dynamic pressure acceleration is induced by the sail attitude, the orbital and attitude dynamics of electric sails are coupled, and are discussed together. Based on the coupled equations, the flight control is investigated, wherein the orbital control is studied in an optimal framework via a hybrid optimization method and the attitude controller is designed based on feedback linearization control. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy, a transfer problem from Earth to Mars is considered. The numerical results show that the proposed strategy can control the coupled system very well, and a small control torque can control both the attitude and orbit. The study in this paper will contribute to the theory study and application of electric sail.

  11. A Framework for Orbital Performance Evaluation in Distributed Space Missions for Earth Observation (United States)

    Nag, Sreeja; LeMoigne-Stewart, Jacqueline; Miller, David W.; de Weck, Olivier


    Distributed Space Missions (DSMs) are gaining momentum in their application to earth science missions owing to their unique ability to increase observation sampling in spatial, spectral and temporal dimensions simultaneously. DSM architectures have a large number of design variables and since they are expected to increase mission flexibility, scalability, evolvability and robustness, their design is a complex problem with many variables and objectives affecting performance. There are very few open-access tools available to explore the tradespace of variables which allow performance assessment and are easy to plug into science goals, and therefore select the most optimal design. This paper presents a software tool developed on the MATLAB engine interfacing with STK, for DSM orbit design and selection. It is capable of generating thousands of homogeneous constellation or formation flight architectures based on pre-defined design variable ranges and sizing those architectures in terms of predefined performance metrics. The metrics can be input into observing system simulation experiments, as available from the science teams, allowing dynamic coupling of science and engineering designs. Design variables include but are not restricted to constellation type, formation flight type, FOV of instrument, altitude and inclination of chief orbits, differential orbital elements, leader satellites, latitudes or regions of interest, planes and satellite numbers. Intermediate performance metrics include angular coverage, number of accesses, revisit coverage, access deterioration over time at every point of the Earth's grid. The orbit design process can be streamlined and variables more bounded along the way, owing to the availability of low fidelity and low complexity models such as corrected HCW equations up to high precision STK models with J2 and drag. The tool can thus help any scientist or program manager select pre-Phase A, Pareto optimal DSM designs for a variety of science

  12. Mission Analysis for LEO Microwave Power-Beaming Station in Orbital Launch of Microwave Lightcraft (United States)

    Myrabo, L. N.; Dickenson, T.


    A detailed mission analysis study has been performed for a 1 km diameter, rechargeable satellite solar power station (SPS) designed to boost 20m diameter, 2400 kg Micr,oWave Lightcraft (MWLC) into low earth orbit (LEO) Positioned in a 476 km daily-repeating oi.bit, the 35 GHz microwave power station is configured like a spinning, thin-film bicycle wheel covered by 30% efficient sola cells on one side and billions of solid state microwave transmitter elements on the other, At the rim of this wheel are two superconducting magnets that can stor,e 2000 G.J of energy from the 320 MW, solar array over a period of several orbits. In preparation for launch, the entire station rotates to coarsely point at the Lightcraft, and then phases up using fine-pointing information sent from a beacon on-board the Lightcraft. Upon demand, the station transmits a 10 gigawatt microwave beam to lift the MWLC from the earth surface into LEO in a flight of several minutes duration. The mission analysis study was comprised of two parts: a) Power station assessment; and b) Analysis of MWLC dynamics during the ascent to orbit including the power-beaming relationships. The power station portion addressed eight critical issues: 1) Drag force vs. station orbital altitude; 2) Solar pressure force on the station; 3) Station orbital lifetime; 4) Feasibility of geo-magnetic re-boost; 5) Beta angle (i..e., sola1 alignment) and power station effective area relationship; 6) Power station percent time in sun vs, mission elapsed time; 7) Station beta angle vs.. charge time; 8) Stresses in station structures.. The launch dynamics portion examined four issues: 1) Ascent mission/trajecto1y profile; 2) MWLC/power-station mission geometry; 3) MWLC thrust angle vs. time; 4) Power station pitch rate during power beaming. Results indicate that approximately 0 58 N of drag force acts upon the station when rotated edge-on to project the minimum frontal area of 5000 sq m. An ion engine or perhaps an electrodynamic

  13. Improved OSC Amtec generator design to meet goals of JPL's candidate Europa Orbiter mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schock, A.; Noravian, H.; Or, C.; Kumar, V.


    The preceding paper (Paper IECEC.98.244) described OSC's initial designs of AMTEC (Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electrical Conversion) power systems, consisting of one or two generators, each with 2, 3, or 4 General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules and with 16 refractory AMTEC cells containing 5 Beta Alumina Solid Electrolyte (BASE) tubes; and presented the effect of heat input and voltage output on the generator's BOM evaporator and clad temperatures and on its EOM system efficiency and power output. Comparison of the computed results with JPL's goals for the Europa Orbiter mission showed that all of the initial 16-cell design options yielded either excessive evaporator and clad temperatures or insufficient EOM power to satisfy the JPL-specified mission goals. The present paper describes modified OSC generator designs with different numbers of AMTEC cells, cell diameters, cell lengths, cell materials, BASE tube lengths, and number of tubes per cell. These efforts succeeded in identifying generator designs with only half the number of AMTEC cells which -- for the same assumptions -- can produce EOM power outputs substantially in excess of JPL's goals for NASA's Europa Orbiter mission while operating well below the prescribed BOM limits on evaporator and clad temperature; and revealed that lowering the emissivity of the generator's housing to raise the cells' condenser temperatures can achieve substantial additional performance improvement. Finally, the paper culminates in programmatic recommendations

  14. OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2) mission operations planning and initial operations experiences (United States)

    Basilio, Ralph R.; Pollock, H. Randy; Hunyadi-Lay, Sarah L.


    OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2) is the first NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, specifically to identify sources (emitters) and sinks (absorbers) on a regional (1000 km x 1000 km) scale. The mission is designed to meet a science imperative by providing critical and urgent measurements needed to improve understanding of the carbon cycle and global climate change processes. The single instrument consisting of three grating spectrometers was built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but is based on the design co-developed with Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation for the original OCO mission. The instrument underwent an extensive ground test program. This was generally made possible through the use of a thermal vacuum chamber with a window/port that allowed optical ground support equipment to stimulate the instrument. The instrument was later delivered to Orbital Sciences Corporation for integration and test with the LEOStar-2 spacecraft. During the overall ground test campaign, proper function and performance in simulated launch, ascent, and space environments were verified. The observatory was launched into space on 02 July 2014. Initial indications are that the instrument is meeting functional and performance specifications, and there is every expectation that the spatially-order, geo-located, calibrated spectra of reflected sunlight and the science retrievals will meet the Level 1 science requirements.

  15. A simulation of the Four-way lunar Lander-Orbiter tracking mode for the Chang'E-5 mission (United States)

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


    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.

  16. Characterizing Martian Soils: Correlating Orbital Observations with Chemistry and Mineralogy from Landed Missions (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.


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

  17. Review of a relativity and geodesy mission with counter-orbiting polar satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Patten, R.A.


    A new test of general relativity, capable of measuring the Lense-Thirring precession on a satellite orbit was proposed in 1974. We have recently realized that the remarkable geophysical output of this experiment can be enriched by allowing the point of encounter between the two satellites to progress from the poles to the equator during the course of the mission. There is reason to believe that by performing the experiment in this mode, all tesseral harmonics up to about 60th order could be separated and determined to accuracies up to three orders of magnitude better than current knowledge, and still obtain a 1% Lense-Thirring measurement. (orig.) [de

  18. A versatile silver oxide-zinc battery for synchronous orbit and planetary missions (United States)

    Schwartz, H. J.; Soltis, D. G.


    A new kind of silver-zinc cell has been developed and tested under NASA support which can withstand severe heat sterilization requirements and does not display the traditional life limiting aspect of zinc electrodes - i.e., shape change. These cells could be used on a planetary lander mission which requires wet-stand periods of over a year, a modest number of cycles (400 to 500) and may require dry heat sterilization. The weight advantage of these cells over the traditional nickel-cadmium batteries makes them also an attractive alternative for synchronous orbit service where 400 to 500 cycles would be required over a five-year period.

  19. Overview of the LARES Mission: orbit, error analysis and technological aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciufolini, Ignazio; Paolozzi, Antonio; Paris, Claudio


    LARES (LAser RElativity Satellite), is an Italian Space Agency (ASI) mission to be launched beginning of 2012 with the new European launch vehicle, VEGA; the launch opportunity was provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). LARES is a laser ranged satellite; it will be launched into a nearly circular orbit, with an altitude of 1450 km and an inclination of 69.5 degrees. The goal of the mission is the measurement of the Lense-Thirring effect with an uncertainty of few percent; such a small uncertainty will be achieved using LARES data together with data from the LAGEOS I (NASA) and LAGEOS II (NASA and ASI) satellites, and because GRACE mission (NASA-CSR and DLR-GFZ) is improving Earth's gravity field models. This paper describes LARES experiment along with the principal error sources affecting the measurement. Furthermore, some engineering aspects of the mission, in particular the structure and materials of the satellite (designed in order to minimize the non-gravitational perturbations), are described.

  20. Large Impact Basins on Mercury: Global Distribution, Characteristics, and Modification History from MESSENGER Orbital Data (United States)

    Fassett, Caleb I.; Head, James W.; Baker, David M. H.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Solomon, Sean C.; Klimczak, Christian; Strom, Robert G.; Chapman, Clark R.; Prockter, Louise M.; hide


    The formation of large impact basins (diameter D greater than or equal to 300 km) was an important process in the early evolution of Mercury and influenced the planet's topography, stratigraphy, and crustal structure. We catalog and characterize this basin population on Mercury from global observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft, and we use the new data to evaluate basins suggested on the basis of the Mariner 10 flybys. Forty-two certain or probable impact basins are recognized a few additional basins that may have been degraded to the point of ambiguity are plausible on the basis of new data but are classified as uncertain. The spatial density of large basins (D greater than or equal to 500 km) on Mercury is lower than that on the Moon. Morphological characteristics of basins on Mercury suggest that on average they are more degraded than lunar basins. These observations are consistent with more efficient modification, degradation, and obliteration of the largest basins on Mercury than on the Moon. This distinction may be a result of differences in the basin formation process (producing fewer rings), greater relaxation of topography after basin formation (subduing relief), and/or higher rates of volcanism during the period of heavy bombardment on Mercury compared to the Moon (burying basin rings and interiors).

  1. On-Orbit Gradiometry with the scientific instrument of the French Space Mission MICROSCOPE (United States)

    Foulon, B.; Baghi, Q.; Panet, I.; Rodrigues, M.; Metris, G.; Touboul, P.


    The MICROSCOPE mission is fully dedicated to the in-orbit test of the universality of free fall, the so-called Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP). Based on a CNES Myriade microsatellite launched on the 25th of April 2016, MICROSCOPE is a CNES-ESA-ONERA-CNRS-OCA mission, the scientific objective of which is to test of the Equivalence Principle with an extraordinary accuracy at the level of 10-15. The measurement will be obtained from the T-SAGE (Twin Space Accelerometer for Gravitational Experimentation) instrument constituted by two ultrasensitive differential accelerometers. One differential electrostatic accelerometer, labeled SU-EP, contains, at its center, two proof masses made of Titanium and Platinum and is used for the test. The twin accelerometer, labeled SU-REF, contains two Platinum proof masses and is used as a reference instrument. Separated by a 17 cm-length arm, they are embarked in a very stable and soft environment on board a satellite equipped with a drag-free control system and orbiting on a sun synchronous circular orbit at 710 km above the Earth. In addition to the WEP test, this configuration can be interesting for various applications, and one of the proposed ideas is to use MICROSCOPE data for the measurement of Earth's gravitational gradient. Considering the gradiometer formed by the inner Platinum proof-masses of the two differential accelerometers and the arm along the Y-axis of the instrument which is perpendicular to the orbital plane, possibly 3 components of the gradient can be measured: Txy, Tyy and Tzy. Preliminary studies suggest that the errors can be lower than 10mE. Taking advantage of its higher altitude with respect to GOCE, the low frequency signature of Earth's potential seen by MICROSCOPE could provide an additional observable in gradiometry to discriminate between different models describing the large scales of the mass distribution in the Earth's deep mantle. The poster will shortly present the MICROSCOPE mission

  2. Exploring Europa's Habitability: Science achieved from the Europa Orbiter and Clipper Mission Concepts (United States)

    Senske, D. A.; Prockter, L. M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Patterson, G. W.; Vance, S.


    Europa is a prime candidate in the search for present-day habitable environments in our solar system. Europa is unique among the large icy satellites because it probably has a saltwater ocean today beneath an ice shell that is geodynamically active. The combination of irradiation of its surface and tidal heating of its interior could make Europa a rich source of chemical energy for life. Perhaps most importantly, Europa's ocean is believed to be in direct contact with its rocky mantle, where conditions could be similar to those on Earth's biologically rich sea floor. Hydrothermal zones on Earth's seafloor are known to be rich with life, powered by energy and nutrients that result from reactions between the seawater and the warm rocky ocean floor. Life as we know it depends on three principal "ingredients": 1) a sustained liquid water environment; 2) essential chemical elements that are critical for building life; and 3) a source of energy that could be utilized by life. Europa's habitability requires understanding whether it possesses these three ingredients. NASA has enlisted a study team to consider Europa mission options feasible over the next decade, compatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget and addressing Planetary Decadal Survey priorities. Two Europa mission concepts (Orbiter and multiple flyby—call the "Clipper") are undergoing continued study with the goal to "Explore Europa to investigate its habitability." Each mission would address this goal in complementary ways, with high science value of its own. The Orbiter and Clipper architectures lend themselves to specific types of scientific measurements. The Orbiter concept is tailored to the unique geophysical science that requires being in orbit at Europa. This includes confirming the existence of an ocean and characterizing that ocean through geophysical measurements of Europa's gravitational tides and magnetic induction response. It also includes mapping of the global morphology and

  3. Mercury compositional units inferred by MDIS. A comparison with the geology in support to the BepiColombo mission (United States)

    Zambon, Francesca; Carli, Cristian; Galluzzi, Valentina; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Filacchione, Gianrico; Giacomini, Lorenza; Massirioni, Matteo; Palumbo, Pasquale


    Mercury has been explored by two spatial missions. Mariner 10 acquired 45% of the surface during three Hermean flybys in 1974, giving a first close view of the planet. The recent MESSENGER mission globally mapped the planet and contributed to understand many unsolved issues about Mercury (Solomon et al., 2007). Nevertheless, even after MESSENGER, Mercury surface composition remains still unclear, and the correlation between morphology and compositional heterogeneity is not yet well understood. Thanks to the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), onboard MESSENGER, a global coverage of Mercury surface with variable spatial resolution has been done. MDIS is equipped with a Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), dedicated to the high-resolution study of the surface morphology and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) with 12 filters useful to investigate the surface composition (Hawkins et al., 2007). Several works were focused on the different terrains present on Mercury, in particular, Denevi et al. (2013) observes that ~27% of Hermean surface is covered by volcanic origin smooth plains. These plains show differences in composition associated to spectral slope variation. High-reflectance red plains (HRP), with spectral slope greater than the average and low-reflectance blue plains (LBP), with spectral slope lesser than the average has been identified. This spectral variations could be correlated with different chemical composition. The X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) data show that HRP-type areas are associated with a low-Fe basalt-like composition, while the LBP are also Fe poor but are rich in Mg/Si and Ca/Si and with lower Al/Si and are interpreted as more ultramafic (Nittler et al., 2011; Weider et al., 2012; Denevi at al., 2013, Weider et al., 2014). In these work we produce high resolution multicolor mosaic to found a possible link between morphology and composition. The spectral properties have been used to define the principal units of Mercury's surface or to characterize other globally

  4. Optimal mission planning of GEO on-orbit refueling in mixed strategy (United States)

    Chen, Xiao-qian; Yu, Jing


    The mission planning of GEO on-orbit refueling (OOR) in Mixed strategy is studied in this paper. Specifically, one SSc will be launched to an orbital slot near the depot when multiple GEO satellites are reaching their end of lives. The SSc replenishes fuel from the depot and then extends the lifespan of the target satellites via refueling. In the mixed scenario, only some of the target satellites could be served by the SSc, and the remaining ones will be fueled by Pseudo SScs (the target satellite which has already been refueled by the SSc and now has sufficient fuel for its operation as well as the fuel to refuel other target satellites is called Pseudo SSc here). The mission sequences and fuel mass of the SSc and Pseudo SScs, the dry mass of the SSc are used as design variables, whereas the economic benefit of the whole mission is used as design objective. The economic cost and benefit models are stated first, and then a mathematical optimization model is proposed. A comprehensive solution method involving enumeration, particle swarm optimization and modification is developed. Numerical examples are carried out to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model and solution method. Economic efficiencies of different OOR strategies are compared and discussed. The mixed strategy would perform better than the other strategies only when the target satellites satisfy some conditions. This paper presents an available mixed strategy scheme for users and analyzes its advantages and disadvantages by comparing with some other OOR strategies, providing helpful references to decision makers. The best strategy in practical applications depends on the specific demands and user preference.

  5. Orbit and geometry constraints on the design and operation of a long-life SIRTF mission. [Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (United States)

    Jackson, R. W.


    For a long-life SIRTF mission, the ability of the telescope to observe targets everywhere in the sky is an important requirement. For low-inclination orbits, a telescope aperture shade must be designed for Sun and Earth Limb avoidance angles of 50 deg to 60 deg to prevent unwanted radiation from entering the telescope. The minimum orbit inclination depends on the Earth Limb avoidance angle. About 30 percent of the sky will be prohibited for observations during any day in orbit, with about 100 days in orbit required to observe the entire sky.

  6. Requirements for Designing Life Support System Architectures for Crewed Exploration Missions Beyond Low-Earth Orbit (United States)

    Howard, David; Perry,Jay; Sargusingh, Miriam; Toomarian, Nikzad


    NASA's technology development roadmaps provide guidance to focus technological development on areas that enable crewed exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. Specifically, the technology area roadmap on human health, life support and habitation systems describes the need for life support system (LSS) technologies that can improve reliability and in-situ maintainability within a minimally-sized package while enabling a high degree of mission autonomy. To address the needs outlined by the guiding technology area roadmap, NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program has commissioned the Life Support Systems (LSS) Project to lead technology development in the areas of water recovery and management, atmosphere revitalization, and environmental monitoring. A notional exploration LSS architecture derived from the International Space has been developed and serves as the developmental basis for these efforts. Functional requirements and key performance parameters that guide the exploration LSS technology development efforts are presented and discussed. Areas where LSS flight operations aboard the ISS afford lessons learned that are relevant to exploration missions are highlighted.

  7. Comparison of technologies for deorbiting spacecraft from low-earth-orbit at end of mission (United States)

    Sánchez-Arriaga, G.; Sanmartín, J. R.; Lorenzini, E. C.


    An analytical comparison of four technologies for deorbiting spacecraft from Low-Earth-Orbit at end of mission is presented. Basic formulas based on simple physical models of key figures of merit for each device are found. Active devices - rockets and electrical thrusters - and passive technologies - drag augmentation devices and electrodynamic tethers - are considered. A basic figure of merit is the deorbit device-to-spacecraft mass ratio, which is, in general, a function of environmental variables, technology development parameters and deorbit time. For typical state-of-the-art values, equal deorbit time, middle inclination and initial altitude of 850 km, the analysis indicates that tethers are about one and two orders of magnitude lighter than active technologies and drag augmentation devices, respectively; a tether needs a few percent mass-ratio for a deorbit time of a couple of weeks. For high inclination, the performance drop of the tether system is moderate: mass ratio and deorbit time increase by factors of 2 and 4, respectively. Besides collision risk with other spacecraft and system mass considerations, such as main driving factors for deorbit space technologies, the analysis addresses other important constraints, like deorbit time, system scalability, manoeuver capability, reliability, simplicity, attitude control requirement, and re-entry and multi-mission capability (deorbit and re-boost) issues. The requirements and constraints are used to make a critical assessment of the four technologies as functions of spacecraft mass and initial orbit (altitude and inclination). Emphasis is placed on electrodynamic tethers, including the latest advances attained in the FP7/Space project BETs. The superiority of tape tethers as compared to round and multi-line tethers in terms of deorbit mission performance is highlighted, as well as the importance of an optimal geometry selection, i.e. tape length, width, and thickness, as function of spacecraft mass and initial

  8. MESSENGER Orbital Observations of Large-Amplitude Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves at Mercury's Magnetopause (United States)

    Sundberg, Torbjorn; Boardsen, Scott A.; Slavin, James A.; Anderson, Brian J.; Korth, Haje; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Raines, Jim M.; Solomon, Sean C.


    We present a survey of Kelvi\\ n-Helmholtz (KH) waves at Mercury's magnetopause during MESSENGER's first Mercury year in orb it. The waves were identified on the basis of the well-established sawtooth wave signatures that are associated with non-linear KH vortices at the magnetopause. MESSENGER frequently observed such KH waves in the dayside region of the magnetosphere where the magnetosheath flow velocity is still sub -sonic, which implies that instability growth rates at Mercury's magnetopau are much larger than at Earth. We attribute these greater rates to the limited wave energy dissipation in Mercury's highly resistive regolith. The wave amplitude was often on the order of ' 00 nT or more, and the wave periods were - 10- 20 s. A clear dawn-dusk asymmetry is present in the data, in that all of the observed wave events occurred in the post-noon and dusk-side sectors of the magnetopause. This asymmetry is like ly related to finite Larmor-radius effects and is in agreement with results from particle-in-cell simulations of the instability. The waves were observed almost exclusively during periods when the north-south component of the magnetosheath magnetic field was northward, a pattern similar to that for most terrestrial KH wave events. Accompanying plasma measurements show that the waves were associated with the transport of magnetosheath plasma into the magnetosphere.

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

    Fratacci, Olivier

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

  10. Solar Array Disturbances to Spacecraft Pointing During the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Mission (United States)

    Calhoun, Philip


    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the first spacecraft to support NASA s return to the Moon, launched on June 18, 2009 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle. It was initially inserted into a direct trans-lunar trajectory to the Moon. After a five day transit to the Moon, LRO was inserted into the Lunar orbit and successfully lowered to a low altitude elliptical polar orbit for spacecraft commissioning. Successful commissioning was completed in October 2009 when LRO was placed in its near circular mission orbit with an approximate altitude of 50km. LRO will spend at least one year orbiting the Moon, collecting lunar environment science and mapping data, utilizing a suite of seven instruments to enable future human exploration. The objective is to provide key science data necessary to facilitate human return to the Moon as well as identification of opportunities for future science missions. LRO's instrument suite will provide the high resolution imaging data with sub-meter accuracy, highly accurate lunar cartographic maps, mineralogy mapping, amongst other science data of interest. LRO employs a 3-axis stabilized attitude control system (ACS) whose primary control mode, the "Observing Mode", provides Lunar nadir, off-nadir, and inertial fine pointing for the science data collection and instrument calibration. This controller combines the capability of fine pointing with on-demand large angle full-sky attitude reorientation. It provides simplicity of spacecraft operation as well as additional flexibility for science data collection. A conventional suite of ACS components is employed in the Observing Mode to meet the pointing and control objectives. Actuation is provided by a set of four reaction wheels developed in-house at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Attitude feedback is provided by a six state Kalman filter which utilizes two SELEX Galileo Star Trackers for attitude updates, and a single Honeywell Miniature

  11. A Wide Field Auroral Imager (WFAI for low Earth orbit missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. P. Bannister


    Full Text Available A comprehensive understanding of the solar wind interaction with Earth's coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere system requires an ability to observe the charged particle environment and auroral activity from the same platform, generating particle and photon image data which are matched in time and location. While unambiguous identification of the particles giving rise to the aurora requires a Low Earth Orbit satellite, obtaining adequate spatial coverage of aurorae with the relatively limited field of view of current space bourne auroral imaging systems requires much higher orbits. A goal for future satellite missions, therefore, is the development of compact, wide field-of-view optics permitting high spatial and temporal resolution ultraviolet imaging of the aurora from small spacecraft in low polar orbit. Microchannel plate optics offer a method of achieving the required performance. We describe a new, compact instrument design which can observe a wide field-of-view with the required spatial resolution. We report the focusing of 121.6 nm radiation using a spherically-slumped, square-pore microchannel plate with a focal length of 32 mm and an F number of 0.7. Measurements are compared with detailed ray-trace simulations of imaging performance. The angular resolution is 2.7±0.2° for the prototype, corresponding to a footprint ~33 km in diameter for an aurora altitude of 110 km and a spacecraft altitude of 800 km. In preliminary analysis, a more recent optic has demonstrated a full width at half maximum of 5.0±0.3 arcminutes, corresponding to a footprint of ~1 km from the same spacecraft altitude. We further report the imaging properties of a convex microchannel plate detector with planar resistive anode readout; this detector, whose active surface has a radius of curvature of only 100 mm, is shown to meet the spatial resolution and sensitivity requirements of the new wide field auroral imager (WFAI.

  12. Definition of technology development missions for early space station, orbit transfer vehicle servicing. Volume 1: Executive summary (United States)


    Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) servicing study scope, propellant transfer, storage and reliquefaction technology development missions (TDM), docking and berthing TDM, maintenance TDM, OTV/payload integration TDM, combined TDMS design, summary space station accomodations, programmatic analysis, and TDM equipment operational usage are discussed.

  13. Guidance system operations plan for manned CM earth orbital missions using program Skylark 1. Section 2: Data links (United States)

    Hamilton, M. H.


    A computer program to define the digital uplink and downlink for use in manned command module orbital missions is presented. The subjects discussed are: (1) digital uplink to command module, (2) CMC digital downlink, (3) downlist formats, (4) description of telemetered qualities, (5) flagbits, and (6) effects of Fresh Start (V36) and Hardware Restart on flagword and channel bits.

  14. Guidance system operations plan for manned cm earth orbital and lunar missions using program Colossus 3. Section 2: Data links (United States)

    Hamilton, M. H.


    The data links for use with the guidance system operations plan for manned command module earth orbital and lunar missions using program Colossus 3 are presented. The subjects discussed are: (1) digital uplink to CMC, (2) command module contiguous block update, (3) CMC retrofire external data update, (4) CMC digital downlink, and (5) CMC entry update.

  15. Mercury in Retrograde: Shaking Up the Study of Orbital Motion with Kinesthetic Learning (United States)

    DeStefano, Paul; Allen, Thomas; Widenhorn, Ralf


    We are investigating the use of kinesthetic activities to teach the orbital motion of planets at the introductory astronomy level. In addition to breaking the monotony of traditional classroom settings, kinesthetic activities can allow novel connections to form between the student and the material, as established in a recent study. In our example active learning activity, two students walk along predetermined paths in the classroom, simulating the dynamics of any two real or fictional bodies in orbital motion about a common object. Each student carries a short-range, local positioning device that records its 2D position, continuously. The position data from both devices are collected on a single computer. After acquisition, the data can be used to highlight interesting features of orbital dynamics. For example, we demonstrate a particular transformation of the data that shows apparent retrograde motion arising directly from the relative motion of two bodies orbiting a common object. This activity provides students with the opportunity to observe interesting orbital dynamics on a human scale.

  16. A probabilistic analysis of the implications of instrument failures on ESA's Swarm mission for its individual satellite orbit deployments (United States)

    Jackson, Andrew


    On launch, one of Swarm's absolute scalar magnetometers (ASMs) failed to function, leaving an asymmetrical arrangement of redundant spares on different spacecrafts. A decision was required concerning the deployment of individual satellites into the low-orbit pair or the higher "lonely" orbit. I analyse the probabilities for successful operation of two of the science components of the Swarm mission in terms of a classical probabilistic failure analysis, with a view to concluding a favourable assignment for the satellite with the single working ASM. I concentrate on the following two science aspects: the east-west gradiometer aspect of the lower pair of satellites and the constellation aspect, which requires a working ASM in each of the two orbital planes. I use the so-called "expert solicitation" probabilities for instrument failure solicited from Mission Advisory Group (MAG) members. My conclusion from the analysis is that it is better to have redundancy of ASMs in the lonely satellite orbit. Although the opposite scenario, having redundancy (and thus four ASMs) in the lower orbit, increases the chance of a working gradiometer late in the mission; it does so at the expense of a likely constellation. Although the results are presented based on actual MAG members' probabilities, the results are rather generic, excepting the case when the probability of individual ASM failure is very small; in this case, any arrangement will ensure a successful mission since there is essentially no failure expected at all. Since the very design of the lower pair is to enable common mode rejection of external signals, it is likely that its work can be successfully achieved during the first 5 years of the mission.

  17. Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) /Jason-3: Orbital Information, 2015- (NODC Accession 0122598) (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Jason-3 is the fourth mission in U.S.-European series of satellite missions that measure the height of the ocean surface. Scheduled to launch in 2015, the mission...

  18. Orbits

    CERN Document Server

    Xu, Guochang


    This is the first book of the satellite era which describes orbit theory with analytical solutions of the second order with respect to all possible disturbances. Based on such theory, the algorithms of orbits determination are completely revolutionized.

  19. Sentinel-5: the new generation European operational atmospheric chemistry mission in polar orbit (United States)

    Pérez Albiñana, Abelardo; Erdmann, Matthias; Wright, Norrie; Martin, Didier; Melf, Markus; Bartsch, Peter; Seefelder, Wolfgang


    Sentinel-5 is an Earth Observation instrument to be flown on the Metop Second Generation (Metop-SG) satellites with the fundamental objective of monitoring atmospheric composition from polar orbit. The Sentinel-5 instrument consists of five spectrometers to measure the solar spectral radiance backscattered by the earth atmosphere in five bands within the UV (270nm) to SWIR (2385nm) spectral range. Data provided by Sentinel-5 will allow obtaining the distribution of important atmospheric constituents such as ozone, on a global daily basis and at a finer spatial resolution than its precursor instruments on the first generation of Metop satellites. The launch of the first Metop-SG satellite is foreseen for 2021. The Sentinel-5 instrument is being developed by Airbus DS under contract to the European Space Agency. The Sentinel-5 mission is part of the Space Component of the Copernicus programme, a joint initiative by ESA, EUMETSAT and the European Commission. The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Sentinel-5 development was successfully completed in 2015. This paper provides a description of the Sentinel-5 instrument design and data calibration.

  20. Trajectory Options for a Potential Mars Mission Combining Orbiting Science, Relay and a Sample Return Rendezvous Demonstration (United States)

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


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

  1. Orbiter/carrier separation for the ALT free flight no. 1 reference trajectories. Mission planning, mission analysis and software formulation (United States)

    Glenn, G. M.


    Details of the generation of the separation trajectories are discussed. The analysis culminated in definition of separation trajectories between physical separation and orbiter/carrier vortex clearance. Specifications, assumptions and analytical approach used to generate the separation trajectories are presented. Results of the analytical approach are evaluated. Conclusions and recommendations are summarized. Supporting references are listed.

  2. ICARUS Mission, Next Step of Coronal Exploration after Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus (United States)

    Krasnoselskikh, V.; Tsurutani, B.; Velli, M.; Maksimovic, M.; Balikhin, M. A.; Dudok de Wit, T.; Kretzschmar, M.


    The primary scientific goal of ICARUS, a mother-daughter satellite mission, will be to determine how the magnetic field and plasma dynamics in the outer solar atmosphere give rise to the corona, the solar wind and the heliosphere. Reaching this goal will be a Rosetta-stone step, with results broadly applicable in the fields of space plasma and astrophysics. Within ESA's Cosmic Vision roadmap, these goals address Theme 2: How does the solar system work ?" Investigating basic processes occurring from the Sun to the edge of the Solar System". ICARUS will not only advance our understanding of the plasma environment around the Sun, but also of the numerous magnetically active stars with hot plasma coronae. ICARUS I will perform the firstever direct in situ measurements of electromagnetic fields, particle acceleration, wave activity, energy distribution and flows directly in the regions where the solar wind emerges from the coronal plasma. ICARUS I will have a perihelion at 1 Solar radius from its surface, it will cross the region where the major energy deposition occurs. The polar orbit of ICARUS I will enable crossing the regions where both the fast and slow wind are generated. It will probe local characteristics of the plasma and provide unique information about the processes involved in the creation of the solar wind. ICARUS II will observe this region using remote-sensing instruments, providing simultaneous information about regions crossed by ICARUS I and the solar atmosphere below as observed by solar telescopes. It will provide bridges for understanding the magnetic links between heliosphere and solar atmosphere. Such information is crucial to understanding of the physics and electrodynamics of the solar atmosphere. ICARUS II will also play an important relay role, enabling the radio-link with ICARUS I. It will receive, collect and store information transmitted from ICARUS I during its closest approach to the Sun. It will perform preliminary data processing and

  3. Orbital


    Yourshaw, Matthew Stephen


    Orbital is a virtual reality gaming experience designed to explore the use of traditional narrative structure to enhance immersion in virtual reality. The story structure of Orbital was developed based on the developmental steps of 'The Hero's Journey,' a narrative pattern identified by Joseph Campbell. Using this standard narrative pattern, Orbital is capable of immersing the player quickly and completely for the entirety of play time. MFA

  4. Design Concepts for a Small Space-Based GEO Relay Satellite for Missions Between Low Earth and near Earth Orbits (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul B.; Warner, Joseph D.; Oleson, Steven; Schier, James


    The main purpose of the Small Space-Based Geosynchronous Earth orbiting (GEO) satellite is to provide a space link to the user mission spacecraft for relaying data through ground networks to user Mission Control Centers. The Small Space Based Satellite (SSBS) will provide services comparable to those of a NASA Tracking Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) for the same type of links. The SSBS services will keep the user burden the same or lower than for TDRS and will support the same or higher data rates than those currently supported by TDRS. At present, TDRSS provides links and coverage below GEO; however, SSBS links and coverage capability to above GEO missions are being considered for the future, especially for Human Space Flight Missions (HSF). There is also a rising need for the capability to support high data rate links (exceeding 1 Gbps) for imaging applications. The communication payload on the SSBS will provide S/Ka-band single access links to the mission and a Ku-band link to the ground, with an optical communication payload as an option. To design the communication payload, various link budgets were analyzed and many possible operational scenarios examined. To reduce user burden, using a larger-sized antenna than is currently in use by TDRS was considered. Because of the SSBS design size, it was found that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket could deliver three SSBSs to GEO. This will greatly reduce the launch costs per satellite. Using electric propulsion was also evaluated versus using chemical propulsion; the power system size and time to orbit for various power systems were also considered. This paper will describe how the SSBS will meet future service requirements, concept of operations, and the design to meet NASA users' needs for below and above GEO missions. These users' needs not only address the observational mission requirements but also possible HSF missions to the year 2030. We will provide the trade-off analysis of the communication payload design in terms of

  5. Definition of technology development missions for early space station, orbit transfer vehicle servicing, volume 2 (United States)


    Propellant transfer, storage, and reliquefaction TDM; docking and berthing technology development mission; maintenance technology development mission; OTV/payload integration, space station interface/accommodations; combined TDM conceptual design; programmatic analysis; and TDM equipment usage are discussed.

  6. CRaTER: The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation Experiment on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission


    Spence, H. E.; Case, A. W.; Golightly, M. J.; Heine, T.; Larsen, B. A.; Blake, J. B.; Caranza, P.; Crain, W. R.; George, J.; Lalic, M.; Lin, A.; Looper, M. D.; Mazur, J. E.; Salvaggio, D.; Kasper, J. C.


    The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) characterizes the radiation environment to be experienced by humans during future lunar missions. CRaTER measures the effects of ionizing energy loss in matter due to penetrating solar energetic protons (SEP) and galactic cosmic rays (GCR), specifically in silicon solid-state detectors and after interactions with tissue-equivalent plastic (TEP), a synthetic analog of human tissue. The CRaT...

  7. Band crossings in mercury nuclei: effect of occupation of i13/2 neutron orbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khadkikar, S.B.; Praharaj, C.R.


    The K=0 + ground band and two rotation-aligned bands (K=1 + or K2 + two quasi-particle band and K=2 + four quasi-particle band) are studied in 198 Hg, 194 Hg and 190 Hg by angular momentum projection from Hartree-Fock and particle-hole intrinsic states. There is a first anomaly in these three nuclei around 8(h/2π) due to the crossing of the ground band and the two quasi-particle band. Because of the nature of occupation of i13/2 orbitals the four quasi-particle band is too highlying in 198 Hg and does not cross the two quasi-particle bands, while such a second crossing occurs in 194 Hg and 190 Hg near 20 (h/2π). (author)

  8. Investigating On-Orbit Attitude Determination Anomalies for the Solar Dynamics Observatory Mission (United States)

    Vess, Melissa F.; Starin, Scott R.; Chia-Kuo, Alice Liu


    The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched on February 11, 2010 from Kennedy Space Center on an Atlas V launch vehicle into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. SDO carries a suite of three scientific instruments, whose observations are intended to promote a more complete understanding of the Sun and its effects on the Earth's environment. After a successful launch, separation, and initial Sun acquisition, the launch and flight operations teams dove into a commissioning campaign that included, among other things, checkout and calibration of the fine attitude sensors and checkout of the Kalman filter (KF) and the spacecraft s inertial pointing and science control modes. In addition, initial calibration of the science instruments was also accomplished. During that process of KF and controller checkout, several interesting observations were noticed and investigated. The SDO fine attitude sensors consist of one Adcole Digital Sun Sensor (DSS), two Galileo Avionica (GA) quaternion-output Star Trackers (STs), and three Kearfott Two-Axis Rate Assemblies (hereafter called inertial reference units, or IRUs). Initial checkout of the fine attitude sensors indicated that all sensors appeared to be functioning properly. Initial calibration maneuvers were planned and executed to update scale factors, drift rate biases, and alignments of the IRUs. After updating the IRU parameters, the KF was initialized and quickly reached convergence. Over the next few hours, it became apparent that there was an oscillation in the sensor residuals and the KF estimation of the IRU bias. A concentrated investigation ensued to determine the cause of the oscillations, their effect on mission requirements, and how to mitigate them. The ensuing analysis determined that the oscillations seen were, in fact, due to an oscillation in the IRU biases. The low frequencies of the oscillations passed through the KF, were well within the controller bandwidth, and therefore the spacecraft was actually

  9. Mission Capability Gains from Multi-Mode Propulsion Thrust Variations on a Variety Spacecraft Orbital Maneuvers (United States)


    Geocentric -Equatorial Reference Frame2 ....................................................................... 31  Figure 8: Perifocal and Geocentric ...67  Figure 25: Mission 3 Geocentric Equatorial Reference Frame ...................................................... 69  Figure 26: Mission 3...but at the cost of the propellant required. Spacecraft electric propulsion systems provide high specific impulse which result in low propellant

  10. Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) /Jason-2: Orbital Information (NODC Accession 0044985) (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains the descriptions for the OSTM/Jason-2 orbital information, which is served through the NOAA/NESDIS Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship...

  11. An explanation of forms of planetary orbits and estimation of angular shift of the Mercury' perihelion using the statistical theory of gravitating spheroidal bodies (United States)

    Krot, A. M.


    This work develops a statistical theory of gravitating spheroidal bodies to calculate the orbits of planets and explore forms of planetary orbits with regard to the Alfvén oscillating force [1] in the Solar system and other exoplanetary systems. The statistical theory of formation of gravitating spheroidal bodies has been proposed in [2]-[5]. Starting the conception for forming a spheroidal body inside a gas-dust protoplanetary nebula, this theory solves the problem of gravitational condensation of a gas-dust protoplanetary cloud with a view to planetary formation in its own gravitational field [3] as well as derives a new law of the Solar system planetary distances which generalizes the wellknown laws [2], [3]. This work also explains an origin of the Alfvén oscillating force modifying forms of planetary orbits within the framework of the statistical theory of gravitating spheroidal bodies [5]. Due to the Alfvén oscillating force moving solid bodies in a distant zone of a rotating spheroidal body have elliptic trajectories. It means that orbits for the enough remote planets from the Sun in Solar system are described by ellipses with focus in the origin of coordinates and with small eccentricities. The nearby planet to Sun named Mercury has more complex trajectory. Namely, in case of Mercury the angular displacement of a Newtonian ellipse is observed during its one rotation on an orbit, i.e. a regular (century) shift of the perihelion of Mercury' orbit occurs. According to the statistical theory of gravitating spheroidal bodies [2]-[5] under the usage of laws of celestial mechanics in conformity to cosmogonic bodies (especially, to stars) it is necessary to take into account an extended substance called a stellar corona. In this connection the stellar corona can be described by means of model of rotating and gravitating spheroidal body [5]. Moreover, the parameter of gravitational compression α of a spheroidal body (describing the Sun, in particular) has been

  12. Class D management implementation approach of the first orbital mission of the Earth Venture series (United States)

    Wells, James E.; Scherrer, John; Law, Richard; Bonniksen, Chris


    A key element of the National Research Council's Earth Science and Applications Decadal Survey called for the creation of the Venture Class line of low-cost research and application missions within NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). One key component of the architecture chosen by NASA within the Earth Venture line is a series of self-contained stand-alone spaceflight science missions called "EV-Mission". The first mission chosen for this competitively selected, cost and schedule capped, Principal Investigator-led opportunity is the CYclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). As specified in the defining Announcement of Opportunity, the Principal Investigator is held responsible for successfully achieving the science objectives of the selected mission and the management approach that he/she chooses to obtain those results has a significant amount of freedom as long as it meets the intent of key NASA guidance like NPR 7120.5 and 7123. CYGNSS is classified under NPR 7120.5E guidance as a Category 3 (low priority, low cost) mission and carries a Class D risk classification (low priority, high risk) per NPR 8705.4. As defined in the NPR guidance, Class D risk classification allows for a relatively broad range of implementation strategies. The management approach that will be utilized on CYGNSS is a streamlined implementation that starts with a higher risk tolerance posture at NASA and that philosophy flows all the way down to the individual part level.

  13. Class D Management Implementation Approach of the First Orbital Mission of the Earth Venture Series (United States)

    Wells, James E.; Scherrer, John; Law, Richard; Bonniksen, Chris


    A key element of the National Research Council's Earth Science and Applications Decadal Survey called for the creation of the Venture Class line of low-cost research and application missions within NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). One key component of the architecture chosen by NASA within the Earth Venture line is a series of self-contained stand-alone spaceflight science missions called "EV-Mission". The first mission chosen for this competitively selected, cost and schedule capped, Principal Investigator-led opportunity is the CYclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). As specified in the defining Announcement of Opportunity, the Principal Investigator is held responsible for successfully achieving the science objectives of the selected mission and the management approach that he/she chooses to obtain those results has a significant amount of freedom as long as it meets the intent of key NASA guidance like NPR 7120.5 and 7123. CYGNSS is classified under NPR 7120.5E guidance as a Category 3 (low priority, low cost) mission and carries a Class D risk classification (low priority, high risk) per NPR 8705.4. As defined in the NPR guidance, Class D risk classification allows for a relatively broad range of implementation strategies. The management approach that will be utilized on CYGNSS is a streamlined implementation that starts with a higher risk tolerance posture at NASA and that philosophy flows all the way down to the individual part level.

  14. Apollo guidance, navigation and control: Guidance system operations plan for manned CM earth orbital and lunar missions using Program COLOSSUS 3. Section 3: Digital autopilots (revision 14) (United States)


    Digital autopilots for the manned command module earth orbital and lunar missions using program COLOSSUS 3 are discussed. Subjects presented are: (1) reaction control system digital autopilot, (2) thrust vector control autopilot, (3) entry autopilot and mission control programs, (4) takeover of Saturn steering, and (5) coasting flight attitude maneuver routine.

  15. 3D Printing in Zero G Technology Demonstration Mission: Summary of On-Orbit Operations, Material Testing, and Future Work (United States)

    Prater, Tracie; Bean, Quincy; Werkheiser, Niki; Ordonez, Erick; Ledbetter, Frank; Ryan, Richard; Newton, Steve


    Human space exploration to date has been limited to low Earth orbit and the moon. The International Space Station (ISS), an orbiting laboratory 200 miles above the earth, provides a unique and incredible opportunity for researchers to prove out the technologies that will enable humans to safely live and work in space for longer periods of time and venture farther into the solar system. The ability to manufacture parts in-space rather than launch them from earth represents a fundamental shift in the current risk and logistics paradigm for human spaceflight. In particularly, additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) techniques can potentially be deployed in the space environment to enhance crew safety (by providing an on-demand part replacement capability) and decrease launch mass by reducing the number of spare components that must be launched for missions where cargo resupply is not a near-term option. In September 2014, NASA launched the 3D Printing in Zero G technology demonstration mission to the ISS to explore the potential of additive manufacturing for in-space applications and demonstrate the capability to manufacture parts and tools on-orbit. The printer for this mission was designed and operated by the company Made In Space under a NASA SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) phase III contract. The overarching objectives of the 3D print mission were to use ISS as a testbed to further maturation of enhancing technologies needed for long duration human exploration missions, introduce new materials and methods to fabricate structure in space, enable cost-effective manufacturing for structures and mechanisms made in low-unit production, and enable physical components to be manufactured in space on long duration missions if necessary. The 3D print unit for fused deposition modeling (FDM) of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) was integrated into the ISS Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) in November 2014 and phase I printing operations took place from

  16. Optimization of the Orbiting Wide-Angle Light Collectors (OWL) Mission for Charged-Particle and Neutrino Astronomy (United States)

    Krizmanic, John F.; Mitchell, John W.; Streitmatter, Robert E.


    OWL [1] uses the Earth's atmosphere as a vast calorimeter to fully enable the emerging field of charged-particle astronomy with high-statistics measurements of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECR) and a search for sources of UHE neutrinos and photons. Confirmation of the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin (GZK) suppression above approx. 4 x 10(exp 19) eV suggests that most UHECR originate in astrophysical objects. Higher energy particles must come from sources within about 100 Mpc and are deflected by approx. 1 degree by predicted intergalactic/galactic magnetic fields. The Pierre Auger Array, Telescope Array and the future JEM-EUSO ISS mission will open charged-particle astronomy, but much greater exposure will be required to fully identify and measure the spectra of individual sources. OWL uses two large telescopes with 3 m optical apertures and 45 degree FOV in near-equatorial orbits. Simulations of a five-year OWL mission indicate approx. 10(exp 6) sq km/ sr/ yr of exposure with full aperture at approx. 6 x 10(exp 19) eV. Observations at different altitudes and spacecraft separations optimize sensitivity to UHECRs and neutrinos. OWL's stereo event reconstruction is nearly independent of track inclination and very tolerant of atmospheric conditions. An optional monocular mode gives increased reliability and can increase the instantaneous aperture. OWL can fully reconstruct horizontal and upward-moving showers and so has high sensitivity to UHE neutrinos. New capabilities in inflatable structures optics and silicon photomultipliers can greatly increase photon sensitivity, reducing the energy threshold for n detection or increasing viewed area using a higher orbit. Design trades between the original and optimized OWL missions and the enhanced science capabilities are described.

  17. Lunar base mission technology issues and orbital demonstration requirements on space station (United States)

    Llewellyn, Charles P.; Weidman, Deene J.


    The International Space Station has been the object of considerable design, redesign, and alteration since it was originally proposed in early 1984. In the intervening years the station has slowly evolved to a specific design that was thoroughly reviewed by a large agency-wide Critical Evaluation Task Force (CETF). As space station designs continue to evolve, studies must be conducted to determine the suitability of the current design for some of the primary purposes for which the station will be used. This paper concentrates on the technology requirements and issues, the on-orbit demonstration and verification program, and the space station focused support required prior to the establishment of a permanently manned lunar base as identified in the National Commission on Space report. Technology issues associated with the on-orbit assembly and processing of the lunar vehicle flight elements are also discussed.

  18. Guiding Requirements for Designing Life Support System Architectures for Crewed Exploration Missions Beyond Low-Earth Orbit (United States)

    Perry, Jay L.; Sargusingh, Miriam J.; Toomarian, Nikzad


    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) technology development roadmaps provide guidance to focus technological development in areas that enable crewed exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. Specifically, the technology area roadmap on human health, life support and habitation systems describes the need for life support system (LSS) technologies that can improve reliability and in-flight maintainability within a minimally-sized package while enabling a high degree of mission autonomy. To address the needs outlined by the guiding technology area roadmap, NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program has commissioned the Life Support Systems (LSS) Project to lead technology development in the areas of water recovery and management, atmosphere revitalization, and environmental monitoring. A notional exploration LSS architecture derived from the International Space has been developed and serves as the developmental basis for these efforts. Functional requirements and key performance parameters that guide the exploration LSS technology development efforts are presented and discussed. Areas where LSS flight operations aboard the ISS afford lessons learned that are relevant to exploration missions are highlighted.

  19. Precise orbit determination for the shuttle radar topography mission using a new generation of GPS receiver (United States)

    Bertiger, W.; Bar-Sever, Y.; Desai, S.; Duncan, C.; Haines, B.; Kuang, D.; Lough, M.; Reichert, A.; Romans, L.; Srinivasan, J.; hide


    The BlackJack family of GPS receivers has been developed at JPL to satisfy NASA's requirements for high-accuracy, dual-frequency, Y-codeless GPS receivers for NASA's Earth science missions. In this paper we will present the challenges that were overcome to meet this accuracy requirement. We will discuss the various reduced dynamic strategies, Space Shuttle dynamic models, and our tests for accuracy that included a military Y-code dual-frequency receiver (MAGR).

  20. Main magnetic field of Jupiter and its implications for future orbiter missions (United States)

    Acuna, M. H.; Ness, N. F.


    A very strong planetary magnetic field and an enormous magnetosphere with extremely intense radiation belts exist at Jupiter. Pioneer 10 and 11 fly-bys confirmed and extended the earlier ground based estimates of many of these characteristics but left unanswered or added to the list of several important and poorly understood features: the source mechanism and location of decametric emissions, and the absorption effects by the natural satellites Amalthea, Io, Europa and Ganymede. High inclination orbits (exceeding 60 deg) with low periapses (less than 2 Jupiter radii) are required to map the radiation belts and main magnetic field of Jupiter accurately so as to permit full investigation of these and associated phenomena.

  1. A MATLAB based Distributed Real-time Simulation of Lander-Orbiter-Earth Communication for Lunar Missions (United States)

    Choudhury, Diptyajit; Angeloski, Aleksandar; Ziah, Haseeb; Buchholz, Hilmar; Landsman, Andre; Gupta, Amitava; Mitra, Tiyasa

    Lunar explorations often involve use of a lunar lander , a rover [1],[2] and an orbiter which rotates around the moon with a fixed radius. The orbiters are usually lunar satellites orbiting along a polar orbit to ensure visibility with respect to the rover and the Earth Station although with varying latency. Communication in such deep space missions is usually done using a specialized protocol like Proximity-1[3]. MATLAB simulation of Proximity-1 have been attempted by some contemporary researchers[4] to simulate all features like transmission control, delay etc. In this paper it is attempted to simulate, in real time, the communication between a tracking station on earth (earth station), a lunar orbiter and a lunar rover using concepts of Distributed Real-time Simulation(DRTS).The objective of the simulation is to simulate, in real-time, the time varying communication delays associated with the communicating elements with a facility to integrate specific simulation modules to study different aspects e.g. response due to a specific control command from the earth station to be executed by the rover. The hardware platform comprises four single board computers operating as stand-alone real time systems (developed by MATLAB xPC target and inter-networked using UDP-IP protocol). A time triggered DRTS approach is adopted. The earth station, the orbiter and the rover are programmed as three standalone real-time processes representing the communicating elements in the system. Communication from one communicating element to another constitutes an event which passes a state message from one element to another, augmenting the state of the latter. These events are handled by an event scheduler which is the fourth real-time process. The event scheduler simulates the delay in space communication taking into consideration the distance between the communicating elements. A unique time synchronization algorithm is developed which takes into account the large latencies in space

  2. An Overview of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) Mission, Environments, and Materials Challenges (United States)

    Edwards, Dave


    Congress authorized NASA's Prometheus Project in February 2003, with the first Prometheus mission slated to explore the icy moons of Jupiter with the following main objectives: (1) Develop a nuclear reactor that would provide unprecedented levels of power and show that it could be processed safely and operated reliably in space for long-duration. (2) Explore the three icy moons of Jupiter -- Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa -- and return science data that would meet the scientific goals as set forth in the Decadal Survey Report of the National Academy of Sciences.

  3. Orbital transfer vehicle concept definition and system analysis study. Volume 2: OTV concept definition and evaluation. Book 1: Mission and system requirements (United States)

    Kofal, Allen E.


    The mission and system requirements for the concept definition and system analysis of the Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) are established. The requirements set forth constitute the single authority for the selection, evaluation, and optimization of the technical performance and design of the OTV. This requirements document forms the basis for the Ground and Space Based OTV concept definition analyses and establishes the physical, functional, performance and design relationships to STS, Space Station, Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV), and payloads.

  4. The Space Launch System -The Biggest, Most Capable Rocket Ever Built, for Entirely New Human Exploration Missions Beyond Earth's Orbit (United States)

    Shivers, C. Herb


    NASA is developing the Space Launch System -- an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit. The Space Launch System will provide a safe, affordable and sustainable means of reaching beyond our current limits and opening up new discoveries from the unique vantage point of space. The first developmental flight, or mission, is targeted for the end of 2017. The Space Launch System, or SLS, will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. Additionally, the SLS will serve as a backup for commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station. The SLS rocket will incorporate technological investments from the Space Shuttle Program and the Constellation Program in order to take advantage of proven hardware and cutting-edge tooling and manufacturing technology that will significantly reduce development and operations costs. The rocket will use a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propulsion system, which will include the RS-25D/E from the Space Shuttle Program for the core stage and the J-2X engine for the upper stage. SLS will also use solid rocket boosters for the initial development flights, while follow-on boosters will be competed based on performance requirements and affordability considerations.

  5. The Plasma Environment at Mercury (United States)

    Raines, James M.; Gershman, Daniel J.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gloeckler, George; Slavin, James A.; Anderson, Brian J.; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sarantos, Menalos; hide


    Mercury is the least explored terrestrial planet, and the one subjected to the highest flux of solar radiation in the heliosphere. Its highly dynamic, miniature magnetosphere contains ions from the exosphere and solar wind, and at times may allow solar wind ions to directly impact the planet's surface. Together these features create a plasma environment that shares many features with, but is nonetheless very different from, that of Earth. The first in situ measurements of plasma ions in the Mercury space environment were made only recently, by the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) during the MESSENGER spacecraft's three flybys of the planet in 2008-2009 as the probe was en route to insertion into orbit about Mercury earlier this year. Here. we present analysis of flyby and early orbital mission data with novel techniques that address the particular challenges inherent in these measurements. First. spacecraft structures and sensor orientation limit the FIPS field of view and allow only partial sampling of velocity distribution functions. We use a software model of FIPS sampling in velocity space to explore these effects and recover bulk parameters under certain assumptions. Second, the low densities found in the Mercury magnetosphere result in a relatively low signal-to-noise ratio for many ions. To address this issue, we apply a kernel density spread function to guide removal of background counts according to a background-signature probability map. We then assign individual counts to particular ion species with a time-of-flight forward model, taking into account energy losses in the carbon foil and other physical behavior of ions within the instrument. Using these methods, we have derived bulk plasma properties and heavy ion composition and evaluated them in the context of the Mercury magnetosphere.

  6. Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) Mission: Science from Geostationary Orbit on-board a Commercial Communications Satellite (United States)

    Eastes, R.; Deaver, T.; Krywonos, A.; Lankton, M. R.; McClintock, W. E.; Pang, R.


    Geostationary orbits are ideal for many science investigations of the Earth system on global scales. These orbits allow continuous observations of the same geographic region, enabling spatial and temporal changes to be distinguished and eliminating the ambiguity inherent to observations from low Earth orbit (LEO). Just as observations from geostationary orbit have revolutionized our understanding of changes in the troposphere, they will dramatically improve our understanding of the space environment at higher altitudes. However, geostationary orbits are infrequently used for science missions because of high costs. Geostationary satellites are large, typically weighing tons. Consequently, devoting an entire satellite to a science mission requires a large financial commitment, both for the spacecraft itself and for sufficient science instrumentation to justify a dedicated spacecraft. Furthermore, the small number of geostationary satellites produced for scientific missions increases the costs of each satellite. For these reasons, it is attractive to consider flying scientific instruments on satellites operated by commercial companies, some of whom have fleets of ~40 satellites. However, scientists' lack of understanding of the capabilities of commercial spacecraft as well as commercial companies' concerns about risks to their primary mission have impeded the cooperation necessary for the shared use of a spacecraft. Working with a commercial partner, the GOLD mission has successfully overcome these issues. Our experience indicates that there are numerous benefits to flying on commercial communications satellites (e.g., it is possible to downlink large amounts of data) and the costs are low if the experimental requirements adequately match the capabilities and available resources of the host spacecraft. Consequently, affordable access to geostationary orbit aboard a communications satellite now appears possible for science payloads.

  7. New General Relativistic Contribution to Mercury's Perihelion Advance (United States)

    Will, Clifford M.


    We point out the existence of a new general relativistic contribution to the perihelion advance of Mercury that, while smaller than the contributions arising from the solar quadrupole moment and angular momentum, is 100 times larger than the second-post-Newtonian contribution. It arises in part from relativistic "crossterms" in the post-Newtonian equations of motion between Mercury's interaction with the Sun and with the other planets, and in part from an interaction between Mercury's motion and the gravitomagnetic field of the moving planets. At a few parts in 1 06 of the leading general relativistic precession of 42.98 arcseconds per century, these effects are likely to be detectable by the BepiColombo mission to place and track two orbiters around Mercury, scheduled for launch around 2018.

  8. New General Relativistic Contribution to Mercury's Perihelion Advance. (United States)

    Will, Clifford M


    We point out the existence of a new general relativistic contribution to the perihelion advance of Mercury that, while smaller than the contributions arising from the solar quadrupole moment and angular momentum, is 100 times larger than the second-post-Newtonian contribution. It arises in part from relativistic "crossterms" in the post-Newtonian equations of motion between Mercury's interaction with the Sun and with the other planets, and in part from an interaction between Mercury's motion and the gravitomagnetic field of the moving planets. At a few parts in 10^{6} of the leading general relativistic precession of 42.98 arcseconds per century, these effects are likely to be detectable by the BepiColombo mission to place and track two orbiters around Mercury, scheduled for launch around 2018.

  9. Definition of technology development missions for early space stations orbit transfer vehicle serving. Phase 2, task 1: Space station support of operational OTV servicing (United States)


    Representative space based orbital transfer vehicles (OTV), ground based vehicle turnaround assessment, functional operational requirements and facilities, mission turnaround operations, a comparison of ground based versus space based tasks, activation of servicing facilities prior to IOC, fleet operations requirements, maintenance facilities, OTV servicing facilities, space station support requirements, and packaging for delivery are discussed.

  10. Guidance system operations plan for manned LM earth orbital and lunar missions using program luminary 1E. Section 2: Data links (United States)

    Hamilton, M. H.


    Data links for the guidance system of manned lunar module orbital and lunar missions are presented. Subjects discussed are: (1) digital uplink to lunar module, (2) lunar module liftoff time increment, (3) lunar module contiguous block update, (4) lunar module scatter update, (5) lunar module digital downlink, and (6) absolute addresses for update program.

  11. Planet Mercury from pale pink dot to dynamic world

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A


    A new and detailed picture of Mercury is emerging thanks to NASA's MESSENGER mission that spent four years in orbit about the Sun's innermost planet. Comprehensively illustrated by close-up images and other data, the author describes Mercury's landscapes from a geological perspective: from sublimation hollows, to volcanic vents, to lava plains, to giant thrust faults. He considers what its giant core, internal structure and weird composition have to tell us about the formation and evolution of a planet so close to the Sun. This is of special significance in view of the discovery of so many ex

  12. Circular polarization of light by planet Mercury and enantiomorphism of its surface minerals. (United States)

    Meierhenrich, Uwe J; Thiemann, Wolfram H P; Barbier, Bernard; Brack, André; Alcaraz, Christian; Nahon, Laurent; Wolstencroft, Ray


    Different mechanisms for the generation of circular polarization by the surface of planets and satellites are described. The observed values for Venus, the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter obtained by photo-polarimetric measurements with Earth based telescopes, showed accordance with theory. However, for planet Mercury asymmetric parameters in the circular polarization were measured that do not fit with calculations. For BepiColombo, the ESA cornerstone mission 5 to Mercury, we propose to investigate this phenomenon using a concept which includes two instruments. The first instrument is a high-resolution optical polarimeter, capable to determine and map the circular polarization by remote scanning of Mercury's surface from the Mercury Planetary Orbiter MPO. The second instrument is an in situ sensor for the detection of the enantiomorphism of surface crystals and minerals, proposed to be included in the Mercury Lander MSE.

  13. Caliste-SO X-ray micro-camera for the STIX instrument on-board Solar Orbiter space mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meuris, A.; Hurford, G.; Bednarzik, M.; Limousin, O.; Gevin, O.; Le Mer, I.; Martignac, J.; Horeau, B.; Grimm, O.; Resanovic, R.; Krucker, S.; Orleański, P.


    The Spectrometer Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) is an instrument on the Solar-Orbiter space mission that performs hard X-ray imaging spectroscopy of solar flares. It consists of 32 collimators with grids and 32 spectrometer units called Caliste-SO for indirect Fourier-transform imaging. Each Caliste-SO device integrates a 1 cm 2 CdTe pixel sensor with a low-noise low-power analog front-end ASIC and circuits for supply regulation and filtering. The ASIC named IDeF-X HD is designed by CEA/Irfu (France) whereas CdTe-based semiconductor detectors are provided by the Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland). The design of the hybrid, based on 3D Plus technology (France), is well suited for STIX spectroscopic requirements (1 keV FWHM at 6 keV, 4 keV low-level threshold) and system constraints (4 W power and 5 kg mass). The performance of the sub-assemblies and the design of the first Caliste-SO prototype are presented.

  14. Precision Closed-Loop Orbital Maneuvering System Design and Performance for the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale Mission (MMS) Formation (United States)

    Chai, Dean; Queen, Steve; Placanica, Sam


    NASA's Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission successfully launched on March 13, 2015 (UTC) consists of four identically instrumented spin-stabilized observatories that function as a constellation to study magnetic reconnection in space. The need to maintain sufficiently accurate spatial and temporal formation resolution of the observatories must be balanced against the logistical constraints of executing overly-frequent maneuvers on a small fleet of spacecraft. These two considerations make for an extremely challenging maneuver design problem. This paper focuses on the design elements of a 6-DOF spacecraft attitude control and maneuvering system capable of delivering the high-precision adjustments required by the constellation designers---specifically, the design, implementation, and on-orbit performance of the closed-loop formation-class maneuvers that include initialization, maintenance, and re-sizing. The maneuvering control system flown on MMS utilizes a micro-gravity resolution accelerometer sampled at a high rate in order to achieve closed-loop velocity tracking of an inertial target with arc-minute directional and millimeter-per-second magnitude accuracy. This paper summarizes the techniques used for correcting bias drift, sensor-head offsets, and centripetal aliasing in the acceleration measurements. It also discusses the on-board pre-maneuver calibration and compensation algorithms as well as the implementation of the post-maneuver attitude adjustments.

  15. Wavefront error measurement of the concave ellipsoidal mirrors of the METIS coronagraph on ESA Solar Orbiter mission (United States)

    Sandri, P.


    The paper describes the alignment technique developed for the wavefront error measurement of ellipsoidal mirrors presenting a central hole. The achievement of a good alignment with a classic setup at the finite conjugates when mirrors are uncoated cannot be based on the identification and materialization at naked eye of the retro-reflected spot by the mirror under test as the intensity of the retro-reflected spot results to be ≈1E-3 of the intensity of the injected laser beam of the interferometer. We present the technique developed for the achievement of an accurate alignment in the setup at the finite conjugate even in condition of low intensity based on the use of an autocollimator adjustable in focus position and a small polished flat surface on the rear side of the mirror. The technique for the alignment has successfully been used for the optical test of the concave ellipsoidal mirrors of the METIS coronagraph of the ESA Solar Orbiter mission. The presented method results to be advantageous in terms of precision and of time saving also when the mirrors are reflective coated and integrated into their mechanical hardware.

  16. A Summary of the Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, Docking, and Undocking (RPODU) Lessons Learned from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Orbital Express (OE) Demonstration System Mission (United States)

    Dennehy, Cornelius J.; Carpenter, James R.


    The Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) Technical Discipline Team (TDT) sponsored Dr. J. Russell Carpenter, a Navigation and Rendezvous Subject Matter Expert (SME) from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), to provide support to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Orbital Express (OE) rendezvous and docking flight test that was conducted in 2007. When that DARPA OE mission was completed, Mr. Neil Dennehy, NASA Technical Fellow for GN&C, requested Dr. Carpenter document his findings (lessons learned) and recommendations for future rendezvous missions resulting from his OE support experience. This report captures lessons specifically from anomalies that occurred during one of OE's unmated operations.

  17. Ice Sheet Roughness Estimation Based on Impulse Responses Acquired in the Global Ice Sheet Mapping Orbiter Mission (United States)

    Niamsuwan, N.; Johnson, J. T.; Jezek, K. C.; Gogineni, P.


    The Global Ice Sheet Mapping Orbiter (GISMO) mission was developed to address scientific needs to understand the polar ice subsurface structure. This NASA Instrument Incubator Program project is a collaboration between Ohio State University, the University of Kansas, Vexcel Corporation and NASA. The GISMO design utilizes an interferometric SAR (InSAR) strategy in which ice sheet reflected signals received by a dual-antenna system are used to produce an interference pattern. The resulting interferogram can be used to filter out surface clutter so as to reveal the signals scattered from the base of the ice sheet. These signals are further processed to produce 3D-images representing basal topography of the ice sheet. In the past three years, the GISMO airborne field campaigns that have been conducted provide a set of useful data for studying geophysical properties of the Greenland ice sheet. While topography information can be obtained using interferometric SAR processing techniques, ice sheet roughness statistics can also be derived by a relatively simple procedure that involves analyzing power levels and the shape of the radar impulse response waveforms. An electromagnetic scattering model describing GISMO impulse responses has previously been proposed and validated. This model suggested that rms-heights and correlation lengths of the upper surface profile can be determined from the peak power and the decay rate of the pulse return waveform, respectively. This presentation will demonstrate a procedure for estimating the roughness of ice surfaces by fitting the GISMO impulse response model to retrieved waveforms from selected GISMO flights. Furthermore, an extension of this procedure to estimate the scattering coefficient of the glacier bed will be addressed as well. Planned future applications involving the classification of glacier bed conditions based on the derived scattering coefficients will also be described.

  18. Stability and evolution of orbits around the binary asteroid 175706 (1996 FG3): Implications for the MarcoPolo-R mission (United States)

    Hussmann, Hauke; Oberst, Jürgen; Wickhusen, Kai; Shi, Xian; Damme, Friedrich; Lüdicke, Fabian; Lupovka, Valery; Bauer, Sven


    In support of the MarcoPolo-R mission, we have carried out numerical simulations of spacecraft trajectories about the binary asteroid 175706 (1996 FG3) under the influence of solar radiation pressure. We study the effects of (1) the asteroid's mass, shape, and rotational parameters, (2) the secondary's mass, shape, and orbit parameters, (3) the spacecraft's mass, surface area, and reflectivity, and (4) the time of arrival, and therefore the relative position to the sun and planets. We have considered distance regimes between 5 and 20 km, the typical range for a detailed characterization of the asteroids - primary and secondary - with imaging systems, spectrometers and by laser altimetry. With solar radiation pressure and gravity forces of the small asteroid competing, orbits are found to be unstable, in general. However, limited orbital stability can be found in the so-called Self-Stabilized Terminator Orbits (SSTO), where initial orbits are circular, orbital planes are oriented approximately perpendicular to the solar radiation pressure, and where the orbital plane of the spacecraft is shifted slightly (between 0.2 and 1 km) from the asteroid in the direction away from the sun. Under the effect of radiation pressure, the vector perpendicular to the orbit plane is observed to follow the sun direction. Shape and rotation parameters of the asteroid as well as gravitational perturbations by the secondary (not to mention sun and planets) were found not to affect the results. Such stable orbits may be suited for long radio tracking runs, which will allow for studying the gravity field. As the effect of the solar radiation pressure depends on the spacecraft mass, shape, and albedo, good knowledge of the spacecraft model and persistent monitoring of the spacecraft orientation are required.

  19. Study and validation of a gamma-ray spectrometer for the remote analysis of the chemical composition of planetary surfaces: application to a mission to the planet Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pirard, B.


    This work deals with the design of a gamma-ray spectrometer for the remote analysis of the chemical composition of planetary surfaces and was performed in the frame of a mission scenario to explore the planet Mercury. The research studies consisted first in characterizing the detection performances of a gamma-ray spectrometer using a high-purity germanium crystal cooled actively at cryogenic temperatures. The high energy resolution of the detector allows an accurate measurement of the chemical composition for the main elements from oxygen to uranium. Thereafter the studies dealt with the critical issues addressed for the use of such a detector onboard a mission to the inner solar system. The radiation damage caused by solar protons in germanium crystals was investigated by experimental and numerical means. It has been shown that the detector resolution begins getting damaged for proton fluences over 5*10 8 p/cm 2 . An annealing session where the crystal is heated up to 80 C degrees for a 4-day period allows the detector to get back a sufficient resolution. Annealing over 100 C degrees gives back the detector its initial resolution. Finally, a numerical thermal model of the instrument as well as some tests on a thermal mockup were performed to validate the thermal design of the instrument

  20. Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) Mission -Ultraviolet Remote Sensing of Earth's Space Environment from Geostationary Orbit (United States)

    Burns, A. G.; Eastes, R.


    The GOLD mission of opportunity will fly a far ultraviolet imaging spectrograph in geostationary (GEO) orbit as a hosted payload. The mission is scheduled for launch in late January 2018 on SES-14, a commercial communications satellite that will be stationed over eastern South America at 47.5 degrees west longitude. GOLD is on schedule to be the first NASA science mission to fly as a hosted payload on a commercial communications satellite. The GOLD imager has two identical channels. Each channel can scan the full disk at a 30 minute cadence, making spectral images of Earth's UV emission from 132 to 162 nm, as well as make a measurement on the Earth's limb. Remote sensing techniques that have been proven on previous Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions will be used to derive fundamental parameters for the neutral and ionized space environment. Parameters that will be derived include composition (O/N2 ratio) and temperature of the neutral atmosphere on the dayside disk. On the nightside, peak electron densities will be obtained in the low latitude ionosphere. Many of the algorithms developed for the mission are extensions of ones used on previous earth and planetary missions, with modifications for observations from geostationary orbit. All the algorithms have been tested using simulated observations based on the actual instrument performance. From geostationary orbit, GOLD can repeatedly image the same geographic locations over most of the hemisphere at a cadence comparable to that of the T-I system (order of an hour). Such time resolution and spatial coverage will allow the mission to track the changes due to geomagnetic storms, variations in solar extreme ultraviolet radiation, and forcing from the lower atmosphere. In addition to providing a new perspective by being able to repeatedly remotely sense the same hemisphere at a high cadence, GOLD's simultaneous measurements of not only composition but also temperatures across the disk will provide a valuable, new parameter

  1. Navigating the MESSENGER Spacecraft through End of Mission (United States)

    Bryan, C. G.; Williams, B. G.; Williams, K. E.; Taylor, A. H.; Carranza, E.; Page, B. R.; Stanbridge, D. R.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; O'Shaughnessy, D. J.; McAdams, J. V.; Calloway, A. B.


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft orbited the planet Mercury from March 2011 until the end of April 2015, when it impacted the planetary surface after propellant reserves used to maintain the orbit were depleted. This highly successful mission was led by the principal investigator, Sean C. Solomon, of Columbia University. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) designed and assembled the spacecraft and served as the home for spacecraft operations. Spacecraft navigation for the entirety of the mission was provided by the Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics Practice (SNAFD) of KinetX Aerospace. Orbit determination (OD) solutions were generated through processing of radiometric tracking data provided by NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) using the MIRAGE suite of orbital analysis tools. The MESSENGER orbit was highly eccentric, with periapsis at a high northern latitude and periapsis altitude in the range 200-500 km for most of the orbital mission phase. In a low-altitude "hover campaign" during the final two months of the mission, periapsis altitudes were maintained within a narrow range between about 35 km and 5 km. Navigating a spacecraft so near a planetary surface presented special challenges. Tasks required to meet those challenges included the modeling and estimation of Mercury's gravity field and of solar and planetary radiation pressure, and the design of frequent orbit-correction maneuvers. Superior solar conjunction also presented observational modeling issues. One key to the overall success of the low-altitude hover campaign was a strategy to utilize data from an onboard laser altimeter as a cross-check on the navigation team's reconstructed and predicted estimates of periapsis altitude. Data obtained from the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on a daily basis provided near-real-time feedback that proved invaluable in evaluating alternative orbit estimation strategies, and

  2. Geodesy at Mercury with MESSENGER (United States)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria t.; Peale, Stanley J.; Phillips, Roger J.; Solomon, Sean C.


    In 2011 the MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft will enter Mercury orbit and begin the mapping phase of the mission. As part of its science objectives the MESSENGER mission will determine the shape and gravity field of Mercury. These observations will enable the topography and the crustal thickness to be derived for the planet and will determine the small libration of the planet about its axis, the latter critical to constraining the state of the core. These measurements require very precise positioning of the MESSENGER spacecraft in its eccentric orbit, which has a periapsis altitude as low as 200 km, an apoapsis altitude near 15,000 km, and a closest approach to the surface varying from latitude 60 to about 70 N. The X-band tracking of MESSENGER and the laser altimetry are the primary data that will be used to measure the planetary shape and gravity field. The laser altimeter, which has an expected range of 1000 to 1200 km, is expected to provide significant data only over the northern hemisphere because of MESSENGER's eccentric orbit. For the southern hemisphere, radio occultation measurements obtained as the spacecraft passes behind the planet as seen from Earth and images obtained with the imaging system will be used to provide the long-wavelength shape of the planet. Gravity, derived from the tracking data, will also have greater resolution in the northern hemisphere, but full global models for both topography and gravity will be obtained at low harmonic order and degree. The limiting factor for both gravity and topography is expected to be knowledge of the spacecraft location. Present estimations are that in a combined tracking, altimetry, and occultation solution the spacecraft position uncertainty is likely to be of order 10 m. This accuracy should be adequate for establishing an initial geodetic coordinate system for Mercury that will enable positioning of imaged features on the surface, determination of

  3. In-Flight performance of MESSENGER's Mercury dual imaging system (United States)

    Hawkins, S.E.; Murchie, S.L.; Becker, K.J.; Selby, C.M.; Turner, F.S.; Noble, M.W.; Chabot, N.L.; Choo, T.H.; Darlington, E.H.; Denevi, B.W.; Domingue, D.L.; Ernst, C.M.; Holsclaw, G.M.; Laslo, N.R.; Mcclintock, W.E.; Prockter, L.M.; Robinson, M.S.; Solomon, S.C.; Sterner, R.E.


    The Mercury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, launched in August 2004 and planned for insertion into orbit around Mercury in 2011, has already completed two flybys of the innermost planet. The Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) acquired nearly 2500 images from the first two flybys and viewed portions of Mercury's surface not viewed by Mariner 10 in 1974-1975. Mercury's proximity to the Sun and its slow rotation present challenges to the thermal design for a camera on an orbital mission around Mercury. In addition, strict limitations on spacecraft pointing and the highly elliptical orbit create challenges in attaining coverage at desired geometries and relatively uniform spatial resolution. The instrument designed to meet these challenges consists of dual imagers, a monochrome narrow-angle camera (NAC) with a 1.5?? field of view (FOV) and a multispectral wide-angle camera (WAC) with a 10.5?? FOV, co-aligned on a pivoting platform. The focal-plane electronics of each camera are identical and use a 1024??1024 charge-coupled device detector. The cameras are passively cooled but use diode heat pipes and phase-change-material thermal reservoirs to maintain the thermal configuration during the hot portions of the orbit. Here we present an overview of the instrument design and how the design meets its technical challenges. We also review results from the first two flybys, discuss the quality of MDIS data from the initial periods of data acquisition and how that compares with requirements, and summarize how in-flight tests are being used to improve the quality of the instrument calibration. ?? 2009 SPIE.

  4. Payload/orbiter contamination control requirement study: Preliminary contamination mission support plan. [a management analysis of project planning of spacecraft sterilization (United States)

    Bareiss, L. E.; Hooper, V. W.; Ress, E. B.


    Progress is reported on the mission support plan and those support activities envisioned to be applicable and necessary during premission and postmission phases of the Spacelab program. The purpose, role, and requirements of the contamination control operations for the first two missions of the Spacelab equipped Space Transportation System are discussed. The organization of the contamination control operation and its relationship to and interfaces with other mission support functions is also discussed. Some specific areas of contamination to be investigated are treated. They are: (1) windows and viewports, (2) experiment equipment, (3) thermal control surfaces, (4) the contaminant induced atmosphere (as differentiated from the normal ambient atmosphere at the orbit altitude), and (5) optical navigation instruments.

  5. Mercury's interior, surface, and surrounding environment latest discoveries

    CERN Document Server

    Clark, Pamela Elizabeth


    This SpringerBrief details the MESSENGER Mission, the findings of which present challenges to widely held conventional views and remaining mysteries surrounding the planet. The work answers the question of why Mercury is so dense, and the implications from geochemical data on its planetary formation. It summarizes imaging and compositional data from the terrestrial planet surface processes and explains the geologic history of Mercury.  It also discusses the lack of southern hemisphere coverage. Our understanding of the planet Mercury has been in a transitional phase over the decades since Mariner 10. The influx of new data from the NASA MESSENGER Mission since it was inserted into the orbit of Mercury in March of 2011 has greatly accelerated that shift. The combined compositional data of relatively high volatiles (S, K), relatively low refractories (Al, Ca), and low crustal iron, combined with an active, partially molten iron rich core, has major implications for Mercury and Solar System formation. From a s...

  6. SeaWiFS technical report series. Volume 11: Analysis of selected orbit propagation models for the SeaWiFS mission (United States)

    Patt, Frederick S.; Hoisington, Charles M.; Gregg, Watson W.; Coronado, Patrick L.; Hooker, Stanford B. (Editor); Firestone, Elaine R. (Editor); Indest, A. W. (Editor)


    An analysis of orbit propagation models was performed by the Mission Operations element of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) Project, which has overall responsibility for the instrument scheduling. The orbit propagators selected for this analysis are widely available general perturbations models. The analysis includes both absolute accuracy determination and comparisons of different versions of the models. The results show that all of the models tested meet accuracy requirements for scheduling and data acquisition purposes. For internal Project use the SGP4 propagator, developed by the North American Air Defense (NORAD) Command, has been selected. This model includes atmospheric drag effects and, therefore, provides better accuracy. For High Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) ground stations, which have less stringent accuracy requirements, the publicly available Brouwer-Lyddane models are recommended. The SeaWiFS Project will make available portable source code for a version of this model developed by the Data Capture Facility (DCF).

  7. MESSENGER: Exploring Mercury's Magnetosphere (United States)

    Slavin, James A.


    The MESSENGER mission to Mercury offers our first opportunity to explore this planet's miniature magnetosphere since Mariner 10's brief fly-bys in 1974-5. Mercury's magnetosphere is unique in many respects. The magnetosphere of Mercury is the smallest in the solar system with its magnetic field typically standing off the solar wind only - 1000 to 2000 km above the surface. For this reason there are no closed dri-fi paths for energetic particles and, hence, no radiation belts; the characteristic time scales for wave propagation and convective transport are short possibly coupling kinetic and fluid modes; magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause may erode the subsolar magnetosphere allowing solar wind ions to directly impact the dayside regolith; inductive currents in Mercury's interior should act to modify the solar In addition, Mercury's magnetosphere is the only one with its defining magnetic flux tubes rooted in a planetary regolith as opposed to an atmosphere with a conductive ionosphere. This lack of an ionosphere is thought to be the underlying reason for the brevity of the very intense, but short lived, approx. 1-2 min, substorm-like energetic particle events observed by Mariner 10 in Mercury's magnetic tail. In this seminar, we review what we think we know about Mercury's magnetosphere and describe the MESSENGER science team's strategy for obtaining answers to the outstanding science questions surrounding the interaction of the solar wind with Mercury and its small, but dynamic magnetosphere.

  8. Five biomedical experiments flown in an Earth orbiting laboratory: Lessons learned from developing these experiments on the first international microgravity mission from concept to landing (United States)

    Winget, C. M.; Lashbrook, J. J.; Callahan, P. X.; Schaefer, R. L.


    There are numerous problems associated with accommodating complex biological systems in microgravity in the flexible laboratory systems installed in the Orbiter cargo bay. This presentation will focus upon some of the lessons learned along the way from the University laboratory to the IML-1 Microgravity Laboratory. The First International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1) mission contained a large number of specimens, including: 72 million nematodes, US-1; 3 billion yeast cells, US-2; 32 million mouse limb-bud cells, US-3; and 540 oat seeds (96 planted), FOTRAN. All five of the experiments had to undergo significant redevelopment effort in order to allow the investigator's ideas and objectives to be accommodated within the constraints of the IML-1 mission. Each of these experiments were proposed as unique entities rather than part of the mission, and many procedures had to be modified from the laboratory practice to meet IML-1 constraints. After a proposal is accepted by NASA for definition, an interactive process is begun between the Principal Investigator and the developer to ensure a maximum science return. The success of the five SLSPO-managed experiments was the result of successful completion of all preflight biological testing and hardware verification finalized at the KSC Life Sciences Support Facility housed in Hangar L. The ESTEC Biorack facility housed three U.S. experiments (US-1, US-2, and US-3). The U.S. Gravitational Plant Physiology Facility housed GTHRES and FOTRAN. The IML-1 mission (launched from KSC on 22 Jan. 1992, and landed at Dryden Flight Research Facility on 30 Jan. 1992) was an outstanding success--close to 100 percent of the prelaunch anticipated science return was achieved and, in some cases, greater than 100 percent was achieved (because of an extra mission day).

  9. Mercury: Exploration of a Planet (United States)


    The flight of the Mariner 10 spacecraft to Venus and Mercury is detailed in animation and photography. Views of Mercury are featured. Also included is animation on the origin of the solar system. Dr. Bruce C. Murray, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, comments on the mission.

  10. A Reflight of the Explorer-1 Science Mission: The Montana EaRth Orbiting Pico Explorer (MEROPE) (United States)

    Klumpar, D. M.; Obland, M.; Hunyadi, G.; Jepsen, S.; Larsen, B.; Kankelborg, C.; Hiscock, W.


    Montana State University's interdisciplinary Space Science and Engineering Laboratory (SSEL) under support from the Montana NASA Space Grant Consortium is engaged in an earth orbiting satellite student design and flight project. The Montana EaRth Orbiting Pico Explorer (MEROPE) will carry a modern-day reproduction of the scientific payload carried on Explorer-1. On February 1, 1958 the United States launched its first earth orbiting satellite carrying a 14 kg scientific experiment built by Professor James Van Allen's group at the State University of Iowa (now The University of Iowa). The MEROPE student satellite will carry a reproduction, using current-day technology, of the scientific payload flown on Explorer-1. The CubeSat-class satellite will use currently available, low cost technologies to produce a payload-carrying satellite with a total orbital mass of 1 kg in a volume of 1 cubic liter. The satellite is to be launched in late 2001 into a 600 km, 65° inclination orbit. MEROPE will utilize passive magnetic orientation for 2-axis attitude control. A central microprocessor provides timing, controls on-board operations and switching, and enables data storage. Body mounted GaAs solar arrays are expected to provide in excess of 1.5 W. to maintain battery charge and operate the bus and payload. The Geiger counter will be operated at approximately 50% duty cycle, primarily during transits of the earth's radiation belts. Data will be stored on board and transmitted approximately twice per day to a ground station located on the Bozeman campus of the Montana State University. Owing to the 65° inclination, the instrument will also detect the higher energy portion of the electron spectrum responsible for the production of the Aurora Borealis. This paper describes both the technical implementation and design of the satellite and its payload as well as the not inconsiderable task of large team organization and management. As of March 2001, the student team consists of

  11. The planet Mercury (1971) (United States)


    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  12. ERS orbit control (United States)

    Rosengren, Mats


    The European remote sensing mission orbit control is addressed. For the commissioning phase, the orbit is defined by the following requirements: Sun synchronous, local time of descending node 10:30; three days repeat cycle with 43 orbital revolutions; overhead Venice tower (12.508206 deg east, 45.314222 deg north). The launch, maneuvers for the initial acquisition of the operational orbit, orbit maintenance maneuvers, evaluation of the orbit control, and the drift of the inclination are summarized.

  13. Mercury's Dynamic Magnetic Tail (United States)

    Slavin, James A.


    The Mariner 10 and MESSENGER flybys of Mercury have revealed a magnetosphere that is likely the most responsive to upstream interplanetary conditions of any in the solar system. The source of the great dynamic variability observed during these brief passages is due to Mercury's proximity to the Sun and the inverse proportionality between reconnection rate and solar wind Alfven Mach number. However, this planet's lack of an ionosphere and its small physical dimensions also contribute to Mercury's very brief Dungey cycle, approx. 2 min, which governs the time scale for internal plasma circulation. Current observations and understanding of the structure and dynamics of Mercury's magnetotail are summarized and discussed. Special emphasis will be placed upon such questions as: 1) How much access does the solar wind have to this small magnetosphere as a function of upstream conditions? 2) What roles do heavy planetary ions play? 3) Do Earth-like substorms take place at Mercury? 4) How does Mercury's tail respond to extreme solar wind events such coronal mass ejections? Prospects for progress due to advances in the global magnetohydrodynamic and hybrid simulation modeling and the measurements to be taken by MESSENGER after it enters Mercury orbit on March 18, 2011 will be discussed.

  14. Guidance system operations plan for manned CM earth orbital missions using program SKYLARK 1. Section 4: Operational modes (United States)

    Dunbar, J. C.


    The operational modes for the guidance system operations plan for Program SKYLARK 1 are presented. The procedures control the guidance and navigation system interfaces with the flight crew and the mission control center. The guidance operational concept is designed to comprise a set of manually initiated programs and functions which may be arranged by the flight crew to implement a large class of flight plans. This concept will permit both a late flight plan definition and a capability for real time flight plan changes.

  15. MESSENGER'S First Flyby of Mercury (United States)

    Slavin, James A.


    The MESSENGER mission to Mercury offers our first opportunity to explore this planet's miniature magnetosphere since Mariner 10's brief fly-bys in 1974-5. The magnetosphere of Mercury is the smallest in the solar system with its magnetic field typically standing off the solar wind only - 1000 to 2000 km above the surface. An overview of the MESSENGER mission and its January 14th close flyby of Mercury will be provided. Primary science objectives and the science instrumentation will be described. Initial results from MESSENGER'S first flyby on January 14th, 2008 will be discussed with an emphasis on the magnetic field and charged particle measurements.

  16. Electron content near the lunar surface using dual-frequency VLBI tracking data in a single lunar orbiter mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Zhen; Wang, Na; Ping, Jin-Song


    In VLBI observations of Vstar, a subsatellite of the Japanese lunar mission SELENE, there were opportunities for lunar grazing occultation when Vstar was very close to the limb of the Moon. This kind of chance made it possible to probe the thin plasma layer above the Moon's surface as a meaningful by-product of VLBI, by using the radio occultation method with coherent radio waves from the S/X bands. The dual-frequency measurements were carried out at Earth-based VLBI stations. In the line-of-sight direction between the satellite and the ground-based tracking station where VLBI measurements were made, the effects of the terrestrial ionosphere, interplanetary plasma and the thin lunar ionosphere mixed together in the combined observables of dual-frequency Doppler shift and phase shift. To separate the variation of the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) near the surface of the Moon from the mixed signal, the influences of the terrestrial ionosphere and interplanetary plasma have been removed by using an extrapolation method based on a short-term trend. The lunar TEC is estimated from the dual-frequency observation for Vstar from UT 22:18 to UT 22:20 on 2008 June 28 at several tracking stations. The TEC results obtained from VLBI sites are identical, however, they are not as remarkable as the result obtained at the Usuda deep space tracking station. (paper)

  17. Mercury and Your Health (United States)

    ... the Risk of Exposure to Mercury Learn About Mercury What is Mercury What is Metallic mercury? Toxicological Profile ToxFAQs Mercury Resources CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program Factsheet on Mercury ...

  18. Properties of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star: Earth observed by the EPOXI mission. (United States)

    Livengood, Timothy A; Deming, L Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Meadows, Victoria S; Robinson, Tyler D; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D


    NASA's EPOXI mission observed the disc-integrated Earth and Moon to test techniques for reconnoitering extrasolar terrestrial planets, using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to observe Earth at the beginning and end of Northern Hemisphere spring, 2008, from a range of ∼1/6 to 1/3 AU. These observations furnish high-precision and high-cadence empirical photometry and spectroscopy of Earth, suitable as "ground truth" for numerically simulating realistic observational scenarios for an Earth-like exoplanet with finite signal-to-noise ratio. Earth was observed at near-equatorial sub-spacecraft latitude on 18-19 March, 28-29 May, and 4-5 June (UT), in the range of 372-4540 nm wavelength with low visible resolving power (λ/Δλ=5-13) and moderate IR resolving power (λ/Δλ=215-730). Spectrophotometry in seven filters yields light curves at ∼372-948 nm filter-averaged wavelength, modulated by Earth's rotation with peak-to-peak amplitude of ≤20%. The spatially resolved Sun glint is a minor contributor to disc-integrated reflectance. Spectroscopy at 1100-4540 nm reveals gaseous water and carbon dioxide, with minor features of molecular oxygen, methane, and nitrous oxide. One-day changes in global cloud cover resulted in differences between the light curve beginning and end of ≤5%. The light curve of a lunar transit of Earth on 29 May is color-dependent due to the Moon's red spectrum partially occulting Earth's relatively blue spectrum. The "vegetation red edge" spectral contrast observed between two long-wavelength visible/near-IR bands is ambiguous, not clearly distinguishing between the verdant Earth diluted by cloud cover versus the desolate mineral regolith of the Moon. Spectrophotometry in at least one other comparison band at short wavelength is required to distinguish between Earth-like and Moon-like surfaces in reconnaissance observations. However, measurements at 850 nm alone, the high-reflectance side of the red edge, could be sufficient to

  19. The BepiColombo MORE gravimetry and rotation experiments with the ORBIT14 software (United States)

    Cicalò, S.; Schettino, G.; Di Ruzza, S.; Alessi, E. M.; Tommei, G.; Milani, A.


    The BepiColombo mission to Mercury is an ESA/JAXA cornerstone mission, consisting of two spacecraft in orbit around Mercury addressing several scientific issues. One spacecraft is the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, with full instrumentation to perform radio science experiments. Very precise radio tracking from Earth, on-board accelerometer and optical measurements will provide large data sets. From these it will be possible to study the global gravity field of Mercury and its tidal variations, its rotation state and the orbit of its centre of mass. With the gravity field and rotation state, it is possible to constrain the internal structure of the planet. With the orbit of Mercury, it is possible to constrain relativistic theories of gravitation. In order to assess that all the scientific goals are achievable with the required level of accuracy, full cycle numerical simulations of the radio science experiment have been performed. Simulated tracking, accelerometer and optical camera data have been generated, and a long list of variables including the spacecraft initial conditions, the accelerometer calibrations and the gravity field coefficients have been determined by a least-squares fit. The simulation results are encouraging: the experiments are feasible at the required level of accuracy provided that some critical terms in the accelerometer error are moderated. We will show that BepiColombo will be able to provide at least an order of magnitude improvement in the knowledge of Love number k2, libration amplitudes and obliquity, along with a gravity field determination up to degree 25 with a signal-to-noise ratio of 10.

  20. Planet Mercury (United States)


    Mariner 10's first image of Mercury acquired on March 24, 1974. During its flight, Mariner 10's trajectory brought it behind the lighted hemisphere of Mercury, where this image was taken, in order to acquire important measurements with other instruments.This picture was acquired from a distance of 3,340,000 miles (5,380,000 km) from the surface of Mercury. The diameter of Mercury (3,031 miles; 4,878 km) is about 1/3 that of Earth.Images of Mercury were acquired in two steps, an inbound leg (images acquired before passing into Mercury's shadow) and an outbound leg (after exiting from Mercury's shadow). More than 2300 useful images of Mercury were taken, both moderate resolution (3-20 km/pixel) color and high resolution (better than 1 km/pixel) black and white coverage.

  1. The 2015-2016 El Niño and the response of the carbon cycle: Findings from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission (United States)

    Chatterjee, A.; Schimel, D.; Stephens, B. B.; Crisp, D.; Eldering, A.; Gunson, M. R.; Feely, R. A.; Gierach, M. M.; Keeling, R. F.; Sutton, A. J.; Weir, B.


    The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important mode of tropical climate variability on interannual to decadal time scales. Correlations between atmospheric CO2 growth rate and ENSO activity are relatively well known but the magnitude of this correlation, the contribution from tropical marine vs. terrestrial flux components, and the causal mechanisms, are poorly constrained in space and time. The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission in July 2014 was rather timely given the development of strong ENSO conditions over the tropical Pacific Ocean in 2015-2016. In this presentation, we will discuss how the high-density observations from OCO-2 provided us with a novel dataset to resolve the linkages between El Niño and atmospheric CO2. Along with information from in situ observations of ΔpCO2 from NOAA's Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) project and atmospheric CO2 from the Scripps CO2 Program, and other remote-sensing missions, we are able to piece together the time dependent response of atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the Tropics. Our findings confirm the hypothesis from studies following the 1997-1998 El Niño event that an early reduction in CO2 outgassing from the tropical Pacific Ocean is later reversed by enhanced net CO2 emissions from the terrestrial biosphere. This implies that a component of the interannual variability (IAV) in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2, which has typically been used to constrain the climate sensitivity of tropical land carbon fluxes, is strongly influenced and modified by ocean fluxes during the early phase of the ENSO event. Our analyses shed further light on the understanding of the marine vs. terrestrial partitioning of tropical carbon fluxes during El Niño events, their relative contributions to the global atmospheric CO2 growth rate, and provide clues about the sensitivity of the carbon cycle to climate forcing on interannual time scales.

  2. Mercurial poisoning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorton, B


    Cats which had been kept in a thermometer factory to catch rats were afflicted with mercury poisoning. So were the rats they were supposed to eat. The symptoms of mercury poisoning were the same in both species. The source of mercury for these animals is a fine film of the metal which coats floors, a result of accidental spills during the manufacturing process.

  3. Nuclear reactor power for an electrically powered orbital transfer vehicle (United States)

    Jaffe, L.; Beatty, R.; Bhandari, P.; Chow, E.; Deininger, W.; Ewell, R.; Fujita, T.; Grossman, M.; Kia, T.; Nesmith, B.


    To help determine the systems requirements for a 300-kWe space nuclear reactor power system, a mission and spacecraft have been examined which utilize electric propulsion and this nuclear reactor power for multiple transfers of cargo between low earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO). A propulsion system employing ion thrusters and xenon propellant was selected. Propellant and thrusters are replaced after each sortie to GEO. The mass of the Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), empty and dry, is 11,000 kg; nominal propellant load is 5000 kg. The OTV operates between a circular orbit at 925 km altitude, 28.5 deg inclination, and GEO. Cargo is brought to the OTV by Shuttle and an Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV); the OTV then takes it to GEO. The OTV can also bring cargo back from GEO, for transfer by OMV to the Shuttle. OTV propellant is resupplied and the ion thrusters are replaced by the OMV before each trip to GEO. At the end of mission life, the OTV's electric propulsion is used to place it in a heliocentric orbit so that the reactor will not return to earth. The nominal cargo capability to GEO is 6000 kg with a transit time of 120 days; 1350 kg can be transferred in 90 days, and 14,300 kg in 240 days. These capabilities can be considerably increased by using separate Shuttle launches to bring up propellant and cargo, or by changing to mercury propellant.

  4. Nuclear reactor power for an electrically powered orbital transfer vehicle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaffe, L.; Beatty, R.; Bhandari, P.


    To help determine the systems requirements for a 300-kWe space nuclear reactor power system, a mission and spacecraft have been examined which utilize electric propulsion and this nuclear reactor power for multiple transfers of cargo between low Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). A propulsion system employing ion thrusters and xenon propellant was selected. Propellant and thrusters are replaced after each sortie to GEO. The mass of the Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), empty and dry, is 11,000 kg; nominal propellant load is 5000 kg. The OTV operates between a circular orbit at 925 km altitude, 28.5 deg inclination, and GEO. Cargo is brought to the OTV by Shuttle and an Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV); the OTV then takes it to GEO. The OTV can also bring cargo back from GEO, for transfer by OMV to the Shuttle. OTV propellant is resupplied and the ion thrusters are replaced by the OMV before each trip to GEO. At the end of mission life, the OTV's electric propulsion is used to place it in a heliocentric orbit so that the reactor will not return to Earth. The nominal cargo capability to GEO is 6000 kg with a transit time of 120 days; 1350 kg can be transferred in 90 days, and 14,300 kg in 240 days. These capabilities can be considerably increased by using separate Shuttle launches to bring up propellant and cargo, or by changing to mercury propellant

  5. Mercury's Interior from MESSENGER Radio Science Data (United States)

    Genova, A.; Mazarico, E.; Goossens, S. J.; Lemoine, F. G.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft provided precise radio tracking data in orbit about Mercury for more than 4 years, from March 2011 to April 2015. These geodetic measurements enable us to investigate the interior structure of the planet from the inner core to the crust. The first three years of radio data allowed us to determine the gravity field of Mercury with a resolution of 150 km in the northern hemisphere (degree and order 50 in spherical harmonics) since the periapsis was located at higher latitudes (>65˚N) and 200-500 km altitudes. The comparison of this gravity solution with Mercury's topography, which was retrieved by using over 25 million individual measurements of the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), resulted in a preliminary map of the crustal thickness of the planet. However, those results were limited by the resolution of the gravity field since the topography was defined in spherical harmonics up to degree and order 125. The last year of the MESSENGER extended mission was dedicated to a low-altitude campaign, where the spacecraft periapsis was maintained at altitudes between 25 and 100 km. The radio data collected during this mission phase allowed us to significantly improve the resolution of the gravity field locally in the northern hemisphere up to degree and order 100 in spherical harmonics. We present the gravity anomalies and crustal thickness maps that lead to a better understanding on the formation and evolution of specific regions. We present our estimated orientation model, which slightly differs from the solutions that were obtained by using Earth-based radar measurements and the co-registration of MESSENGER imaging and altimetry data. These previous estimates provide a direct measurement of the surface response, whereas the orientation model from gravity is more sensitive to the inner and outer core. A discrepancy between core and surface obliquities may provide fundamental

  6. Orbital motions as gradiometers for post-Newtonian tidal effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iorio, Lorenzo, E-mail: [Ministero dell' Istruzione, dell' Università e della Ricerca, Istruzione, Bari (Italy)


    The direct long-term changes occurring in the orbital dynamics of a local gravitationally bound binary system S due to the post-Newtonian tidal acceleration caused by an external massive source are investigated. A class of systems made of a test particle m rapidly orbiting with orbital frequency n{sub b} an astronomical body of mass M which, in turn, slowly revolves around a distant object of mass M′ with orbital frequency n{sub b}′ « n{sub b} is considered. The characteristic frequencies of the non-Keplerian orbital variations of m and of M itself are assumed to be negligible with respect to both n{sub b} and n{sub b}′. General expressions for the resulting Newtonian and post-Newtonian tidal orbital shifts of m are obtained. The future missions BepiColombo and JUICE to Mercury and Ganymede, respectively, are considered in view of a possible detection. The largest effects, of the order of ≈ 0.1-0.5 milliarcseconds per year (mas yr{sup −1}), occur for the Ganymede orbiter of the JUICE mission. Although future improvements in spacecraft tracking and orbit determination might, perhaps, reach the required sensitivity, the systematic bias represented by the other known orbital perturbations of both Newtonian and post-Newtonian origin would be overwhelming. The realization of a dedicated artificial mini-planetary system to be carried onboard and Earth-orbiting spacecraft is considered as well. Post-Newtonian tidal precessions as large as ≈ 1−10{sup 2} mas yr{sup −1} could be obtained, but the quite larger Newtonian tidal effects would be a major source of systematic bias because of the present-day percent uncertainty in the product of the Earth's mass times the Newtonian gravitational parameter.

  7. Calculating the X-Ray Fluorescence from the Planet Mercury Due to High-Energy Electrons (United States)

    Burbine, T. H.; Trombka, J. I.; Bergstrom, P. M., Jr.; Christon, S. P.


    The least-studied terrestrial planet is Mercury due to its proximity to the Sun, which makes telescopic observations and spacecraft encounters difficult. Our lack of knowledge about Mercury should change in the near future due to the recent launching of MESSENGER, a Mercury orbiter. Another mission (BepiColombo) is currently being planned. The x-ray spectrometer on MESSENGER (and planned for BepiColombo) can characterize the elemental composition of a planetary surface by measuring emitted fluorescent x-rays. If electrons are ejected from an atom s inner shell by interaction with energetic particles such as photons, electrons, or ions, electrons from an outer shell can transfer to the inner shell. Characteristic x-rays are then emitted with energies that are the difference between the binding energy of the ion in its excited state and that of the ion in its ground state. Because each element has a unique set of energy levels, each element emits x-rays at a unique set of energies. Electrons and ions usually do not have the needed flux at high energies to cause significant x-ray fluorescence on most planetary bodies. This is not the case for Mercury where high-energy particles were detected during the Mariner 10 flybys. Mercury has an intrinsic magnetic field that deflects the solar wind, resulting in a bow shock in the solar wind and a magnetospheric cavity. Electrons and ions accelerated in the magnetosphere tend to follow its magnetic field lines and can impact the surface on Mercury s dark side Modeling has been done to determine if x-ray fluorescence resulting from the impact of high-energy electrons accelerated in Mercury's magnetosphere can be detected by MESSENGER. Our goal is to understand how much bulk chemical information can be obtained from x-ray fluorescence measurements on the dark side of Mercury.

  8. Chronology of Mercury's geological and geophysical evolution - the Vulcanoid hypothesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leake, M.A.; Chapman, C.R.; Weidenschilling, S.J.; Davis, D.R.; Greenberg, R.


    The possibility that constraints on Mercury's chronology can be relaxed through reference to a Mercury-specific bombarding population of planetesimals interior to its orbit, and therefore only occasionally encountering the planet at times of secular perturbations, is investigated. While such vulcanoids may have been a significant source of early cratering, those in the pertinent orbits are depleted by mutual collisions and can therefore only furnish a modest extension of the heavy bombardment period. A search is conducted for vulcanoids further within Mercury's orbit; evidence that Mercury's intercrater plains are of volcanic origin is discussed. 99 references

  9. NVP melt/magma viscosity: insight on Mercury lava flows (United States)

    Rossi, Stefano; Morgavi, Daniele; Namur, Olivier; Vetere, Francesco; Perugini, Diego; Mancinelli, Paolo; Pauselli, Cristina


    After more than four years of orbiting Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft came to an end in late April 2015. MESSENGER has provided many new and surprising results. This session will again highlight the latest results on Mercury based on MESSENGER observations or updated modelling. The session will further address instrument calibration and science performance both retrospective on MESSENGER and on the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission. Papers covering additional themes related to Mercury are also welcomed. Please be aware that this session will be held as a PICO session. This will allow an intensive exchange of expertise and experience between the individual instruments and mission. NVP melt/magma viscosity: insight on Mercury lava flows S. Rossi1, D. Morgavi1, O. Namur2, D. Perugini1, F.Vetere1, P. Mancinelli1 and C. Pauselli1 1 Dipartimento di Fisica e Geologia, Università di Perugia, piazza Università 1, 06123 Perugia, Italy 2 Uni Hannover Institut für Mineralogie, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstraβe 3, 30167 Hannover, Germany In this contribution we report new measurements of viscosity of synthetic komatitic melts, used the behaviour of silicate melts erupted at the surface of Mercury. Composition of Mercurian surface magmas was calculated using the most recent maps produced from MESSENGER XRS data (Weider et al., 2015). We focused on the northern hemisphere (Northern Volcanic Province, NVP, the largest lava flow on Mercury and possibly in the Solar System) for which the spatial resolution of MESSENGER measurements is high and individual maps of Mg/Si, Ca/Si, Al/Si and S/Si were combined. The experimental starting material contains high Na2O content (≈7 wt.%) that strongly influences viscosity. High temperature viscosity measurements were carried out at 1 atm using a concentric cylinder apparatus equipped with an Anton Paar RheolabQC viscometer head at the Department of Physics and Geology (PVRG_lab) at the University of Perugia (Perugia, Italy

  10. The STS-95 crew poses with a Mercury capsule model before returning to JSC (United States)


    Before returning to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, members of the STS-95 crew pose with a model of a Mercury capsule following a media briefing at the Kennedy Space Center Press Site Auditorium . From left to right are Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, with the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA); Pilot Steven W. Lindsey; Mission Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr.; Friendship 7; Payload Specialist John H. Glenn Jr., a senator from Ohio and one of the original seven Project Mercury astronauts; Mission Specialist Scott E. Parazynski; and Mission Specialist Pedro Duque, with the European Space Agency (ESA). Also on the crew is Mission Specialist and Payload Commander Stephen K. Robinson (not shown). The STS-95 mission ended with landing at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at 12:04 p.m. EST on Nov. 7. The mission included research payloads such as the Spartan-201 solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as a SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process.

  11. Getting Ready for BepiColombo: A Modeling Approach to Infer the Solar Wind Plasma Parameters Upstream of Mercury from Magnetic Field Observations (United States)

    Fatemi, S.; Poirier, N.; Holmström, M.; Wieser, M.; Barabash, S.


    We have developed a model to infer the solar wind plasma parameters upstream of Mercury from magnetic field observations in Mercury's magnetosphere. This is important for observations by MESSENGER and the future mission to Mercury, BepiColombo.

  12. Gemini flies! unmanned flights and the first manned mission

    CERN Document Server

    Shayler, David J


    In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy committed the United States to landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade. With just a handful of years to pull it off, NASA authorized the Project Gemini space program, which gathered vital knowledge needed to achieve the nation’s goal. This book introduces the crucial three-step test program employed by the Gemini system, covering:  The short unmanned orbital flight of Gemini 1 that tested the compatibility of launch vehicle, spacecraft and ground systems.  The unmanned suborbital flight of Gemini 2 to establish the integrity of the reentry system and protective heat shield.  The three-orbit manned evaluation flight of Gemini 3, christened ‘Molly Brown’ by her crew. A mission recalled orbit by orbit, using mission transcripts, post-flight reports and the astronauts’ own account of their historic journey. The missions of Project Gemini was the pivotal steppingstone between Project Mercury and the Apollo Program. Following the success of its fi...

  13. Deadly Sunflower Orbits (United States)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.


    Solar radiation pressure is usually very effective at removing hazardous millimeter-sized debris from distant orbits around asteroidsand other small solar system bodies (Hamilton and Burns 1992). Theprimary loss mechanism, driven by the azimuthal component of radiationpressure, is eccentricity growth followed by a forced collision withthe central body. One large class of orbits, however, neatly sidestepsthis fate. Orbits oriented nearly perpendicular to the solar directioncan maintain their face-on geometry, oscillating slowly around a stableequilibrium orbit. These orbits, designated sunflower orbits, arerelated to terminator orbits studied by spacecraft mission designers(Broschart etal. 2014).Destabilization of sunflower orbits occurs only for particles smallenough that radiation pressure is some tens of percent the strength ofthe central body's direct gravity. This greatly enhanced stability,which follows from the inability of radiation incident normal to theorbit to efficiently drive eccentricities, presents a threat tospacecraft missions, as numerous dangerous projectiles are potentiallyretained in orbit. We have investigated sunflower orbits insupport of the New Horizons, Aida, and Lucy missions and find thatthese orbits are stable for hazardous particle sizes at asteroids,comets, and Kuiper belt objects of differing dimensions. Weinvestigate the sources and sinks for debris that might populate suchorbits, estimate timescales and equilibrium populations, and willreport on our findings.

  14. Artist concept of Mercury program study of medical effects and technology (United States)


    Artist concept of Mercury program study of medical effects and technology development. Drawing depicts cut-away view of Mercury capsule orbiting the Earth, showing the astronaut and his capsule's hardware.

  15. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.


    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  16. Venus and Mercury as Planets (United States)


    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described.

  17. Venus and Mercury as planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described

  18. MESSENGER'S First and Second Flybys of Mercury (United States)

    Slavin, James A.


    The MESSENGER mission to Mercury offers our first opportunity to explore this planet's miniature magnetosphere since Mariner 10's brief fly-bys in 1974-5. The magnetosphere of Mercury is the smallest in the solar system with its magnetic field typically standing off the solar wind only approximately 1000 km above the surface. An overview of the MESSENGER mission and its January 14th and October 6th, 2008 close flybys of Mercury will be provided. Primary science objectives and the science instrumentation will be described. Initial results from MESSENGER will be discussed with an emphasis on the magnetic field and charged particle measurements.

  19. A Seasonal Feature in Mercury's Exosphere Caused by Meteoroids from Comet Encke (United States)

    Burger, M. H.; Christou, A.; Killen, R. M.


    The planet Mercury is enveloped in a tenuous atmosphere, the result of a delicate balance between poorly understood sources and sinks (Killen et al, 2007). Meteoroid impacts are a contributing source process (eg Wurz et al, 2010), but their importance compared to other production mechanisms is uncertain. Killen and Hahn (2015) found that seasonal variations in Mercury's calcium exosphere as observed by the MASCS spectrometer onboard the MESSENGER spacecraft (Burger et al, 2014) may be due to impact vaporization of surface material by the infall of interplanetary dust. However, an additional dust source was required to explain a Ca excess at a True Anomaly Angle (TAA) of 25±5 deg. Killen and Hahn suggested that dust from comet 2P/Encke, crossing Mercury's orbital plane at TAA=45 deg, may be the culprit. We have simulated numerically the stream of meteoroids ejected from Encke to test the Killen and Hahn conjecture. We find that Encke particles evolving solely under the gravity of the major planets and the Sun encounter Mercury at TAA=50-60 deg, well after the peak of the Ca excess emission. However, the addition of Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag in our model couples the age and size of the meteoroids to the TAA at encounter, causing smaller, older particles to encounter Mercury progressively earlier in the Hermean year. In particular, mm-sized grains ejected between 10 and 20 kyr ago impact on the nightside hemisphere of Mercury at TAA = 350-30 deg, near the observed peak time of the exospheric feature. During this presentation, we will describe our model results and discuss their implications for the physical mechanism that injects impact-liberated Ca into sunlight as well as the origin and evolution of the Encke stream of meteoroids. Astronomical research at the Armagh Observatory is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL). RMK was supported by NASA Grant NNX07AR78G-S01 as a Participating Scientist on the NASA MESSENGER

  20. Thermal Stability of Frozen Volatiles in the North Polar Region of Mercury (United States)

    Paige, David A.; Siegler, Matthew A.; Harmon, John K.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Solomon, Sean C.


    Earth-based radar observations have revealed the presence on Mercury of anomalously bright, depolarizing features that appear to be localized in the permanently shadowed regions of high-latitude impact craters [1]. Observations of similar radar signatures over a range of radar wavelengths implies that they correspond to deposits that are highly transparent at radar wavelengths and extend to depths of several meters below the surface [1]. Thermal models using idealized crater topographic profiles have predicted the thermal stability of surface and subsurface water ice at these same latitudes [2]. One of the major goals of the MESSENGER mission is to characterize the nature of radar-bright craters and presumed associated frozen volatile deposits at the poles of Mercury through complementary orbital observations by a suite of instruments [3]. Here we report on an examination of the thermal stability of water ice and other frozen volatiles in the north polar region of Mercury using topographic profiles obtained by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instrument [4] in conjunction with a three-dimensional ray-tracing thermal model previously used to study the thermal environment of polar craters on the Moon [5].

  1. Impact Vaporization as a Possible Source of Mercury's Calcium Exosphere (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Hahn, Joseph M.


    Mercury's calcium exosphere varies in a periodic way with that planet's true anomaly. We show that this pattern can be explained by impact vaporization from interplanetary dust with variations being due to Mercury's radial and vertical excursions through an interplanetary dust disk having an inclination within 5 degrees of the plane of Mercury's orbit. Both a highly inclined dust disk and a two-disk model (where the two disks have a mutual inclination) fail to reproduce the observed variation in calcium exospheric abundance with Mercury true anomaly angle. However, an additional source of impacting dust beyond the nominal dust disk is required near Mercury's true anomaly (?) 25deg +/-5deg. This is close to but not coincident with Mercury's true anomaly (?=45deg) when it crosses comet 2P/Encke's present day orbital plane. Interestingly, the Taurid meteor storms at Earth, which are also due to Comet Encke, are observed to occur when Earth's true anomaly is +/-20 or so degrees before and after the position where Earth and Encke orbital planes cross. The lack of exact correspondence with the present day orbit of Encke may indicate the width of the potential stream along Mercury's orbit or a previous cometary orbit. The extreme energy of the escaping calcium, estimated to have a temperature greater than 50000 K if the source is thermal, cannot be due to the impact process itself but must be imparted by an additional mechanism such as dissociation of a calcium-bearing molecule or ionization followed by recombination.

  2. Mercury's Densely Cratered Surface (United States)


    Mariner 10 took this picture (FDS 27465) of the densely cratered surface of Mercury when the spacecraft was 18,200 kilometers (8085 miles) from the planet on March 29. The dark line across top of picture is a 'dropout' of a few TV lines of data. At lower left, a portion of a 61 kilometer (38 mile) crater shows a flow front extending across the crater floor and filling more than half of the crater. The smaller, fresh crater at center is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) in diameter. Craters as small as one kilometer (about one-half mile) across are visible in the picture.The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Northwestern University

  3. Physical properties of the planet Mercury (United States)

    Clark, Pamela E.


    The global physical properties of Mercury are summarized with attention given to its figure and orbital parameters. The combination of properties suggests that Mercury has an extensive iron-rich core, possibly with a still-functioning dynamo, which is 42 percent of the interior by volume. Mercury's three major axes are comparable in size, indicating that the planet is a triaxial ellipsoid rather than an oblate spheroid. In terms of the domination of its surface by an intermediate plains terrane, it is more Venus- or Mars-like; however, due to the presence of a large metallic magnetic core, its interior may be more earth-like.

  4. The STEREO Mission

    CERN Document Server


    The STEREO mission uses twin heliospheric orbiters to track solar disturbances from their initiation to 1 AU. This book documents the mission, its objectives, the spacecraft that execute it and the instruments that provide the measurements, both remote sensing and in situ. This mission promises to unlock many of the mysteries of how the Sun produces what has become to be known as space weather.

  5. VEGA Space Mission (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.


    VEGA (mission) is a combined spacecraft mission to VENUS and COMET HALLEY. It was launched in the USSR at the end of 1984. The mission consisted of two identical spacecraft VEGA 1 and VEGA 2. VEGA is an acronym built from the words `Venus' and `Halley' (`Galley' in Russian spelling). The basic design of the spacecraft was the same as has been used many times to deliver Soviet landers and orbiter...

  6. The OICETS mission (United States)

    Jono, Takashi; Arai, Katsuyoshi


    The Optical Inter-orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite (OICETS) was successfully launched on 23th August 2005 and thrown into a circular orbit at the altitude of 610 km. The main mission is to demonstrate the free-space inter satellite laser communications with the cooperation of the Advanced Relay and Technology Mission (ARTEMIS) geostationary satellite developed by the European Space Agency. This paper presents the overview of the OICETS and laser terminal, a history of international cooperation between Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and ESA and typical results of the inter-orbit laser communication experiment carried out with ARTEMIS.

  7. Magnetic field of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, D.J.; Beard, D.B.


    The geomagnetic field, suitably scaled down and parameterized, is shown to give a very good fit to the magnetic field measurements taken on the first and third passes of the Mariner 10 space probe past Mercury. The excellence of the fit to a reliable planetary magnetospheric model is good evidence that the Mercury magnetosphere is formed by a simple, permanent, intrinsic planetary magnetic field distorted by the effects of the solar wind. The parameters used for a best fit to all the data are (depending slightly on the choice of data) 2.44--2.55 for the ratio of Mercury's magnetic field strength at the subsolar point to that of the earth's subsolar point field (this results in a dipole moment of 170 γR/sub M/ 3 (R/sub M/ is Mercury Radius), i.e., 2.41 x 10 22 G cm 3 in the same direction as the earth's dipole), approx.-113 γR/sub M/ 4 for the planetary quadrupole moment parallel to the dipole moment, 10degree--17degree for the tilt of the planet dipole toward the sun, 4.5degree for the tilt of the dipole toward dawn, and 2.5degree--7.6degree aberration angle for the shift in the tail axis from the planet-sun direction because of the planet's orbital velocity. The rms deviation overall for the entire data set compared with the theoretical fitted model for the magnetic field strength was 17 γ (approx.4% of the maximum field measured). If the data from the first pass that show presumed strong time variations are excluded, the overall rms deviation for the field magnitude is only 10 γ

  8. Mapping the Topography of Mercury with MESSENGER Laser Altimetry (United States)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Cavanaugh, John F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E..; Zubor, Maria T.


    The Mercury Laser Altimeter onboard MESSENGER involves unique design elements that deal with the challenges of being in orbit around Mercury. The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of seven instruments on NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. MESSENGER was launched on 3 August 2004, and entered into orbit about Mercury on 18 March 2011 after a journey through the inner solar system. This involved six planetary flybys, including three of Mercury. MLA is designed to map the topography and landforms of Mercury's surface. It also measures the planet's forced libration (motion about the spin axis), which helps constrain the state of the core. The first science measurements from orbit taken with MLA were made on 29 March 2011 and continue to date. MLA had accumulated about 8.3 million laser ranging measurements to Mercury's surface, as of 31 July 2012, i.e., over six Mercury years (528 Earth days). Although MLA is the third planetary lidar built at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), MLA must endure a much harsher thermal environment near Mercury than the previous instruments on Mars and Earth satellites. The design of MLA was derived in part from that of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on Mars Global Surveyor. However, MLA must range over greater distances and often in off-nadir directions from a highly eccentric orbit. In MLA we use a single-mode diode-pumped Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) laser that is highly collimated to maintain a small footprint on the planet. The receiver has both a narrow field of view and a narrow spectral bandwidth to minimize the amount of background light detected from the sunlit hemisphere of Mercury. We achieve the highest possible receiver sensitivity by employing the minimum receiver detection threshold.

  9. The escape of natural satellites from Mercury and Venus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, S.S.


    It is suggested that the slow rotations of Mercury and Venus may be connected with the absence of natural satellites around them. If Mercury or Venus possessed a satellite at the time of formation, the tidal evolution would have caused the satellite to recede. At a sufficiently large distance from the planet, the Sun's gravitational influence makes the satellite orbit unstable. The natural satellites of Mercury and Venus might have escaped as a consequence of this instability. (Auth.)

  10. Escape of natural satellites from Mercury and Venus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, S S [Virginia Univ., Charlottesville (USA)


    It is suggested that the slow rotations of Mercury and Venus may be connected with the absence of natural satellites around them. If Mercury or Venus possessed a satellite at the time of formation, the tidal evolution would have caused the satellite to recede. At a sufficiently large distance from the planet, the Sun's gravitational influence makes the satellite orbit unstable. The natural satellites of Mercury and Venus might have escaped as a consequence of this instability.

  11. Stratigraphy and geologic history of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spudis, P.D.; Guest, J.E.


    The geologic evolution of Mercury based on the Mariner-10 mission data is discussed. As reconstructed through photogeological analysis of global geologic relations of rock-stratigraphic units, Mercury's geologic history is shown to involve intensive early impact bombardment and widespread resurfacing by volcanic lavas. Evidence is presented to indicate that this volcanic activity essentially ended as much as 3 Gyr ago, with most of the major geologic events being completed within the first 1 to 1.5 Gyr of Mercurian history

  12. Stratigraphy and geologic history of Mercury (United States)

    Spudis, Paul D.; Guest, John E.


    The geologic evolution of Mercury based on the Mariner-10 mission data is discussed. As reconstructed through photogeological analysis of global geologic relations of rock-stratigraphic units, Mercury's geologic history is shown to involve intensive early impact bombardment and widespread resurfacing by volcanic lavas. Evidence is presented to indicate that this volcanic activity essentially ended as much as 3 Gyr ago, with most of the major geologic events being completed within the first 1 to 1.5 Gyr of Mercurian history.

  13. The Gravity Field of Mercury After the Messenger Low-Altitude Campaign (United States)

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


    The final year of the MESSENGER mission was designed to take advantage of the remaining propellant onboard to provide a series of lowaltitude observation campaigns and acquire novel scientific data about the innermost planet. The lower periapsis altitude greatly enhances the sensitivity to the short-wavelength gravity field, but only when the spacecraft is in view of Earth. After more than 3 years in orbit around Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft was tracked for the first time below 200-km altitude on 5 May 2014 by the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN). Between August and October, periapsis passages down to 25-km altitude were routinely tracked. These periods considerably improved the quality of the data coverage. Before the end of its mission, MESSENGER will fly at very low altitudes for extended periods of time. Given the orbital geometry, however the periapses will not be visible from Earth and so no new tracking data will be available for altitudes lower than 75 km. Nevertheless, the continuous tracking of MESSENGER in the northern hemisphere will help improve the uniformity of the spatial coverage at altitudes lower than 150 km, which will further improve the overall quality of the Mercury gravity field.

  14. Energetic Electron Acceleration, Injection, and Transport in Mercury's Magnetosphere (United States)

    Dewey, R. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Raines, J. M.; Baker, D. N.; Lawrence, D. J.


    Electrons are accelerated in Mercury’s magnetotail by dipolarization events, flux ropes, and magnetic reconnection directly. Following energization, these electrons are injected close to Mercury where they drift eastward in Shabansky-like orbits.

  15. Mercury Report-Children's exposure to elemental mercury (United States)

    ... gov . Mercury Background Mercury Report Additional Resources Mercury Report - Children's Exposure to Elemental Mercury Recommend on Facebook ... I limit exposure to mercury? Why was the report written? Children attending a daycare in New Jersey ...

  16. The pre-flight calibration setup of the instrument SIMBIO-SYS onboard the mission BepiColombo (United States)

    Poulet, F.; Rodriguez-Ferreira, J.; Arondel, A.; Dassas, K.; Eng, P.; Lami, P.; Langevin, Y.; Longval, Y.; Pradel, P.; Dami, M.


    BepiColombo, an European Space Agency (ESA) mission being conducted in cooperation with the Japan space agency, will explore Mercury with a set of eleven instruments onboard the spacecraft Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO). Among them, SIMBIO-SYS (Spectrometers and Imagers for MPO BepiColombo Integrated Observatory SYStem) is a complex instrument that will provide images and spectra in the 400-2000 nm wavelength range of the entire surface of Mercury. Pre-flight calibration of the SYMBIO-SYS instrument is mandatory for reliable scientific interpretation of images and spectra returned from the planet Mercury. This paper presents the calibration device designed and implemented for the specific requirements of this instrument. It mainly consists of a thermal vacuum chamber simulating the space environment, an optical bench collecting calibration sources and optical elements that simulate the conditions of Mercury observations, mechanical interfaces used for positioning the three channels inside the vacuum chamber, thermal interfaces to explore the operating temperatures, computer interfaces that allow to communicate with both the instrument and the calibration elements and synchronize the calibrations sequences with the status of the calibration device. As the major goal is the characterization of the radiometric performances of the three channels of SIMBIO-SYS, radiometric performances of the test setup evaluated by simulations and measurements are emphasized.

  17. Optical System Design and Integration of the Mercury Laser Altimeter (United States)

    Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Scott, V. Stanley, III; Schmidt, Stephen; Britt, Jamie; Mamakos, William; Trunzo, Raymond; Cavanaugh, John; Miller, Roger


    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA). developed for the 2004 MESSENGER mission to Mercury, is designed to measure the planet's topography via laser ranging. A description of the MLA optical system and its measured optical performance during instrument-level and spacecraft-level integration and testing are presented.

  18. Topography and Reflectance of Mercury After Two Years of Laser Altimetry (United States)

    Neumann, G. A.; Sun, X.; Mazarico, E.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Ernst, C. M.; Barnouin, O. S.; Chabot, N. L.; Paige, D. A.; Solomon, S. C.


    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on the MESSENGER spacecraft has been ranging to the planet Mercury since March 2011, first in a 12-h, 83.5°-inclination orbit, and currently in an 8-h orbit. The orbital periapsis latitude, initially at 60°N, moved slowly northward during the first two years of the orbital mission, enabling near-complete coverage of the northern hemisphere with ~15 million measured radii. Targeted observations during the first extended mission allowed mapping of nearly all regions of extensive shadow within northern high-latitude craters. The refined topography provides a comprehensive dataset for geological studies, illumination and thermal modeling, and studies of the interior. The strength of laser returns in relation to the 10-20 mJ energy of the outgoing laser pulses has provided ~8.7 million active measurements of surface reflectance. Initial results, in conjunction with neutron spectrometry and Earth-based radar, confirmed the existence of water ice exposed at the surface within the deepest shadows of Prokofiev Crater at 85° N and other regions of high radar cross-section, as well as darker volatile species that provide an insulating surficial layer for most radar-bright polar deposits. Refined measurements of reflectance, corroborated by imaging of shadowed regions illuminated by scattered light, reveal the areal extent of polar deposits. These deposits expose water ice at the surface only in limited regions where surface temperatures are predicted never to exceed the long-term stability limit of water ice, whereas subsurface temperatures in other areas of permanent shadow predict the long-term preservation of more extensive deposits of water ice and other volatiles if that material is overlain by an insulating layer.

  19. Spin-Orbit Evolution of Mercury Revisited (United States)


    Astronomy and Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA. cUS Naval...numerical simulations. So the principal novelty of our paper is that the 3:2 end-state is more ancient than the same end-state obtained when the constant...longitudinal librations (Margot et al., 2007), which are significantly larger in amplitude than what should be expected from a uniformly solid planet. As a

  20. Design and Performance Measurement of the Mercury Laser Altimeter (United States)

    Sun, Xiao-Li; Cavanaugh, John F.; Smith, James C.; Bartels, Arlin E.


    We report the design and test results of the Mercury Laser Altimeter on MESSENGER mission to be launched in May 2004. The altimeter will provide planet surface topography measurements via laser pulse time of flight.

  1. Aurora 7 the Mercury space flight of M. Scott Carpenter

    CERN Document Server

    Burgess, Colin


    TO A NATION enthralled by the heroic exploits of the Mercury astronauts, the launch of Lt. Cmdr. Scott Carpenter on NASA’s second orbital space flight was a renewed cause for pride, jubilation and celebration. Within hours, that excitement had given way to stunned disbelief and anxiety as shaken broadcasters began preparing the American public for the very real possibility that an American astronaut and his spacecraft may have been lost at sea. In fact, it had been a very close call. Completely out of fuel and forced to manually guide Aurora 7 through the frightening inferno of re-entry, Carpenter brought the Mercury spacecraft down to a safe splashdown in the ocean. In doing so, he controversially overshot the intended landing zone. Despite his efforts, Carpenter’s performance on the MA-7 mission was later derided by powerful figures within NASA. He would never fly into space again. Taking temporary leave of NASA, Carpenter participated in the U.S. Navy’s pioneering Sealab program. For a record 30 days...

  2. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission . XIX. CoRoT-23b: a dense hot Jupiter on an eccentric orbit

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rouan, D.; Parviainen, H.; Moutou, C.


    We report the detection of CoRoT-23b, a hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 3.6314 ± 0.0001 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured with the CoRoT satellite, combined with spectroscopic radial velocity (RV) measurements. A photometric search...... to be 7 Gyr, not far from the transition to subgiant, in agreement with the rather large stellar radius. The two features of a significant eccentricity of the orbit and of a fairly high density are fairly uncommon for a hot Jupiter. The high density is, however, consistent with a model of contraction...... is more than a few 105, a value that is the lower bound of the usually expected range. Even if CoRoT-23b  features a density and an eccentricity that are atypical of a hot Jupiter, it is thus not an enigmatic object....

  3. Construction and experimental verification of a novel flexible thermal control system configuration for the autonomous on-orbit services of space missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Wei; Li, Yunhua; Li, Yun-Ze; Wang, Sheng-Nan; Zhong, Ming-Liang; Wang, Ji-Xiang; Zhang, Jia-Xun


    Highlights: • A novel flexible thermal control system (F-TCS) for spacecraft on-orbit services is proposed. • Systemic construction and reconfiguration operating mechanism are highlighted. • Thermal-hydraulic performances of the F-TCS are investigated both numerically and experimentally. • The F-TCS has the vast potential for spacecrafts autonomous thermal management. - Abstract: This paper proposed a novel flexible thermal control system (F-TCS) configuration for realizing thermal management for spacecrafts autonomous on-orbit service (A-OOS) demands. With a dual-ring topology which composes of a heat collecting bus, a heat dissipating bus, connection brunches and inter-platform service interfaces, the F-TCS may realize not only self-reconfiguration operations but also providing heat dissipation resources for other spacecrafts or cabins. The F-TCS hydraulic and thermal dynamics were modeled, a verification testbed was also established to validate the F-TCS thermal control performance. Focused on investigating the self-reconfiguration and thermal control cooperative operations, several typical A-OOS cases were imposed on the F-TCS, numerical simulations and experimental validations were respectively implemented. Both results demonstrated that the meticulously designed F-TCS is capable of offering self-topological reconfiguration with fast time response and robust temperature control performances, high systemic heat transfer efficiency is also recommended from the point of view of energy saving. The F-TCS is suggested as a promising solution for A-OOS owing to its higher reliability and promising autonomous maintenance potential which is suitable for future spacecrafts thermal management requirements.

  4. Modelling Mercury's magnetosphere and plasma entry through the dayside magnetopause (United States)

    Massetti, S.; Orsini, S.; Milillo, A.; Mura, A.


    Owing to the next space mission Messenger (NASA) and BepiColombo (ESA/JAXA), there is a renewed interest in modelling the Mercury's environment. The geometry of the Mercury's magnetosphere, as well as its response to the solar wind conditions, is one of the major issues. The weak magnetic field of the planet and the increasing weight of the IMF BX component at Mercury's orbit, introduce critical differences with respect to the Earth's case, such as a strong north-south asymmetry and a significant solar wind precipitation into the dayside magnetosphere even for non-negative IMF BZ. With the aim of analysing the interaction between the solar wind and Mercury's magnetosphere, we have developed an empirical-analytical magnetospheric model starting from the Toffoletto-Hill TH93 code. Our model has been tuned to reproduce the key features of the Mariner 10 magnetic data, and to mimic the magnetic field topology obtained by the self-consistent hybrid simulation developed by Kallio and Janhunen [Solar wind and magnetospheric ion impact on Mercury's magnetosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett. 30, 1877, doi: 10.1029/2003GL017842]. The new model has then been used to study the effect of the magnetic reconnection on the magnetosheath plasma entry through the open areas of the dayside magnetosphere (cusps), which are expected to be one of the main sources of charged particles circulating inside the magnetosphere. We show that, depending on the Alfvén speeds on both sides of the magnetopause discontinuity, the reconnection process would be able to accelerate solar wind protons up to few tens of keV: part of these ions can hit the surface and then trigger, via ion-sputtering, the refilling of the planetary exosphere. Finally, we show that non-adiabatic effects are expected to develop in the cusp regions as the energy gained by injected particles increases. The extent of these non-adiabatic regions is shown to be also modulated by upstream IMF condition.

  5. Mercury contamination extraction (United States)

    Fuhrmann, Mark [Silver Spring, MD; Heiser, John [Bayport, NY; Kalb, Paul [Wading River, NY


    Mercury is removed from contaminated waste by firstly applying a sulfur reagent to the waste. Mercury in the waste is then permitted to migrate to the reagent and is stabilized in a mercury sulfide compound. The stable compound may then be removed from the waste which itself remains in situ following mercury removal therefrom.

  6. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. IV. CoRoT-Exo-4b: a transiting planet in a 9.2 day synchronous orbit (United States)

    Aigrain, S.; Collier Cameron, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pont, F.; Jorda, L.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Deeg, H.; de La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Gondoin, P.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Lammer, H.; Lanza, A. F.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Magain, P.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Paetzold, M.; Pinte, C.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Schneider, J.; Wuchter, G.; Zucker, S.


    CoRoT, the first space-based transit search, provides ultra-high-precision light curves with continuous time-sampling over periods of up to 5 months. This allows the detection of transiting planets with relatively long periods, and the simultaneous study of the host star's photometric variability. In this Letter, we report the discovery of the transiting giant planet CoRoT-Exo-4b and use the CoRoT light curve to perform a detailed analysis of the transit and determine the stellar rotation period. The CoRoT light curve was pre-processed to remove outliers and correct for orbital residuals and artefacts due to hot pixels on the detector. After removing stellar variability about each transit, the transit light curve was analysed to determine the transit parameters. A discrete autocorrelation function method was used to derive the rotation period of the star from the out-of-transit light curve. We determine the periods of the planetary orbit and star's rotation of 9.20205 ± 0.00037 and 8.87 ± 1.12 days respectively, which is consistent with this being a synchronised system. We also derive the inclination, i = 90.00_-0.085+0.000 in degrees, the ratio of the orbital distance to the stellar radius, a/Rs = 17.36-0.25+0.05, and the planet-to-star radius ratio R_p/R_s=0.1047-0.0022+0.0041. We discuss briefly the coincidence between the orbital period of the planet and the stellar rotation period and its possible implications for the system's migration and star-planet interaction history. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Germany, and Spain. The first CoRoT data will be available to the public in February 2009 from the CoRoT archive: Figures 1, 4 and 5 are only available in electronic form at

  7. Study of the unknown hemisphere of mercury by ground-based astronomical facilities (United States)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.


    The short exposure method proved to be very productive in ground-based observations of Mercury. Telescopic observations with short exposures, together with computer codes for the processing of data arrays of many thousands of original electronic photos, make it possible to improve the resolution of images from ground-based instruments to almost the diffraction limit. The resulting composite images are comparable with images from spacecrafts approaching from a distance of about 1 million km. This paper presents images of the hemisphere of Mercury in longitude sectors 90°-180°W, 215°-350°W, and 50°-90°W, including, among others, areas not covered by spacecraft cameras. For the first time a giant S basin was discovered in the sector of longitudes 250°-290°W, which is the largest formation of this type on terrestrial planets. Mercury has a strong phase effects. As a result, the view of the surface changes completely with the change in the planetary phase. But the choice of the phase in the study using spacecrafts is limited by orbital characteristics of the mission. Thus, ground-based observations of the planet provide a valuable support.

  8. Plasma Distribution in Mercury's Magnetosphere Derived from MESSENGER Magnetometer and Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer Observations (United States)

    Korth, Haje; Anderson, Brian J.; Gershman, Daniel J.; Raines, Jim M.; Slavin, James A.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Solomon, Sean C.; McNutt, Ralph L.


    We assess the statistical spatial distribution of plasma in Mercury's magnetosphere from observations of magnetic pressure deficits and plasma characteristics by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. The statistical distributions of proton flux and pressure were derived from 10months of Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) observations obtained during the orbital phase of the MESSENGER mission. The Magnetometer-derived pressure distributions compare favorably with those deduced from the FIPS observations at locations where depressions in the magnetic field associated with the presence of enhanced plasma pressures are discernible in the Magnetometer data. The magnitudes of the magnetic pressure deficit and the plasma pressure agree on average, although the two measures of plasma pressure may deviate for individual events by as much as a factor of approximately 3. The FIPS distributions provide better statistics in regions where the plasma is more tenuous and reveal an enhanced plasma population near the magnetopause flanks resulting from direct entry of magnetosheath plasma into the low-latitude boundary layer of the magnetosphere. The plasma observations also exhibit a pronounced north-south asymmetry on the nightside, with markedly lower fluxes at low altitudes in the northern hemisphere than at higher altitudes in the south on the same field line. This asymmetry is consistent with particle loss to the southern hemisphere surface during bounce motion in Mercury's offset dipole magnetic field.

  9. Theory and design methods of special space orbits

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yasheng; Zhou, Haijun


    This book focuses on the theory and design of special space orbits. Offering a systematic and detailed introduction to the hovering orbit, spiral cruising orbit, multi-target rendezvous orbit, initiative approaching orbit, responsive orbit and earth pole-sitter orbit, it also discusses the concept, theory, design methods and application of special space orbits, particularly the design and control method based on kinematics and astrodynamics. In addition the book presents the latest research and its application in space missions. It is intended for researchers, engineers and postgraduates, especially those working in the fields of orbit design and control, as well as space-mission planning and research.

  10. Future Seismic Constraints on Mercury's Core Composition (United States)

    Knibbe, J. S.; Luginbhuel, S. M.; Rivoldini, A.; Kono, Y.; Van Hoolst, T.; van Westrenen, W.


    The composition of Mercury's large core is strongly linked to the planet's origin and magnetic field generation. We present P-wave velocity measurements for liquid Fe-Si and Fe-S metals. A future seismic mission can constrain the core composition.

  11. Computer graphics aid mission operations. [NASA missions (United States)

    Jeletic, James F.


    The application of computer graphics techniques in NASA space missions is reviewed. Telemetric monitoring of the Space Shuttle and its components is discussed, noting the use of computer graphics for real-time visualization problems in the retrieval and repair of the Solar Maximum Mission. The use of the world map display for determining a spacecraft's location above the earth and the problem of verifying the relative position and orientation of spacecraft to celestial bodies are examined. The Flight Dynamics/STS Three-dimensional Monitoring System and the Trajectroy Computations and Orbital Products System world map display are described, emphasizing Space Shuttle applications. Also, consideration is given to the development of monitoring systems such as the Shuttle Payloads Mission Monitoring System and the Attitude Heads-Up Display and the use of the NASA-Goddard Two-dimensional Graphics Monitoring System during Shuttle missions and to support the Hubble Space Telescope.

  12. Conditions of Passage and Entrapment of Terrestrial Planets in Spin-Orbit Resonances (United States)


    May 25 ABSTRACT The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using... planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury -like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in... Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance. Key words: celestial mechanics – planets

  13. Global Trends in Mercury Management (United States)

    Choi, Kyunghee


    The United Nations Environmental Program Governing Council has regulated mercury as a global pollutant since 2001 and has been preparing the mercury convention, which will have a strongly binding force through Global Mercury Assessment, Global Mercury Partnership Activities, and establishment of the Open-Ended Working Group on Mercury. The European Union maintains an inclusive strategy on risks and contamination of mercury, and has executed the Mercury Export Ban Act since December in 2010. The US Environmental Protection Agency established the Mercury Action Plan (1998) and the Mercury Roadmap (2006) and has proposed systematic mercury management methods to reduce the health risks posed by mercury exposure. Japan, which experienced Minamata disease, aims vigorously at perfection in mercury management in several ways. In Korea, the Ministry of Environment established the Comprehensive Plan and Countermeasures for Mercury Management to prepare for the mercury convention and to reduce risks of mercury to protect public health. PMID:23230466

  14. Mission to the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.


    The plans of space agencies in the United States and Europe for an exploratory comet mission including a one year rendezvous with comet Temple-2 and a fast fly-by of comet Halley are discussed. The mission provides an opportunity to make comparative measurements on the two different types of comets and also satisfies the three major scientific objectives of cometary missions namely: (1) To determine the chemical nature and the physical structure of cometary nuclei, and the changes that occur with time and orbital position. (2) To study the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes that occur in them, and their development with time and orbital position. (3) To determine the nature of the tails of comets and the processes by which they are formed, and to characterise the interaction of comets with solar wind. (UK)

  15. Global Precipitation Measurement Mission: Architecture and Mission Concept (United States)

    Bundas, David


    The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission is a collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and other partners, with the goal of monitoring the diurnal and seasonal variations in precipitation over the surface of the earth. These measurements will be used to improve current climate models and weather forecasting, and enable improved storm and flood warnings. This paper gives an overview of the mission architecture and addresses some of the key trades that have been completed, including the selection of the Core Observatory s orbit, orbit maintenance trades, and design issues related to meeting orbital debris requirements.

  16. Basic Information about Mercury (United States)

    ... or metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white metal and is liquid at room temperature. It is ... releases can happen naturally. Both volcanoes and forest fires send mercury into the atmosphere. Human activities, however, ...

  17. Minamata Convention on Mercury (United States)

    On November 6, 2013 the United States signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a new multilateral environmental agreement that addresses specific human activities which are contributing to widespread mercury pollution

  18. Enabling Ring-Cusp Ion Thruster Technology for NASA Missions (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ESA is flying T6 Kaufman ion thrusters on the BepiColombo Mission to Mercury in 2018. They are planning to develop a longer life, higher performing, 30-cm ring-cusp...

  19. Missions to Venus (United States)

    Titov, D. V.; Baines, K. H.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Chassefiere, E.; Chin, G.; Crisp, D.; Esposito, L. W.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Lellouch, E.; Moroz, V. I.; Nagy, A. F.; Owen, T. C.; Oyama, K.-I.; Russell, C. T.; Taylor, F. W.; Young, R. E.


    Venus has always been a fascinating objective for planetary studies. At the beginning of the space era Venus became one of the first targets for spacecraft missions. Our neighbour in the solar system and, in size, the twin sister of Earth, Venus was expected to be very similar to our planet. However, the first phase of Venus spacecraft exploration in 1962-1992 by the family of Soviet Venera and Vega spacecraft and US Mariner, Pioneer Venus, and Magellan missions discovered an entirely different, exotic world hidden behind a curtain of dense clouds. These studies gave us a basic knowledge of the conditions on the planet, but generated many more questions concerning the atmospheric composition, chemistry, structure, dynamics, surface-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric and geological evolution, and the plasma environment. Despite all of this exploration by more than 20 spacecraft, the "morning star" still remains a mysterious world. But for more than a decade Venus has been a "forgotten" planet with no new missions featuring in the plans of the world space agencies. Now we are witnessing the revival of interest in this planet: the Venus Orbiter mission is approved in Japan, Venus Express - a European orbiter mission - has successfully passed the selection procedure in ESA, and several Venus Discovery proposals are knocking at the doors of NASA. The paper presents an exciting story of Venus spacecraft exploration, summarizes open scientific problems, and builds a bridge to the future missions.

  20. Mercury in Your Environment (United States)

    Basic information about mercury, how it gets in the air, how people are exposed to it and health effects associated with exposure; what EPA and other organizations are doing to limit exposures; what citizens should know to minimize exposures and to reduce mercury in the environment; and information about products that contain mercury.

  1. Intoxication with metallic mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fichte, B.; Assmann, H.; Ritzau, F.


    Intoxications by metallic mercury are extremely rare. Report of a patient, who tried to commit suicide by subcutaneous injection of 500 g of metallic mercury. He died 16 months later in the course of the intoxication. A short review is given of effects and reactions of metallic mercury in the human organism. (orig.) [de

  2. Intoxication with metallic mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichte, B.; Ritzau, F.; Assmann, H.


    Intoxications by metallic mercury are extremely rare. Report is given of a patient who tried to commit suicide by subcutaneous injection of 500 g of metallic mercury. He died 16 months later in the course of the intoxication. A short review is given of effects and reactions of metallic mercury in the human organism.

  3. Intoxication with metallic mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichte, B.; Assmann, H.; Ritzau, F.


    Intoxications by metallic mercury are extremely rare. Report is given of a patient, who tried to commit suicide by subcutaneous injection of 500 g of metallic mercury. He died 16 months later in the course of the intoxication. A short review is given of effects and reactions of metallic mercury in the human organism.

  4. Orbit Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anatoliy Klimyk


    Full Text Available In the paper, properties of orbit functions are reviewed and further developed. Orbit functions on the Euclidean space E_n are symmetrized exponential functions. The symmetrization is fulfilled by a Weyl group corresponding to a Coxeter-Dynkin diagram. Properties of such functions will be described. An orbit function is the contribution to an irreducible character of a compact semisimple Lie group G of rank n from one of its Weyl group orbits. It is shown that values of orbit functions are repeated on copies of the fundamental domain F of the affine Weyl group (determined by the initial Weyl group in the entire Euclidean space E_n. Orbit functions are solutions of the corresponding Laplace equation in E_n, satisfying the Neumann condition on the boundary of F. Orbit functions determine a symmetrized Fourier transform and a transform on a finite set of points.

  5. The PROPEL Electrodynamic Tether Demonstration Mission (United States)

    Bilen, Sven G.; Johnson, C. Les; Wiegmann, Bruce M.; Alexander, Leslie; Gilchrist, Brian E.; Hoyt, Robert P.; Elder, Craig H.; Fuhrhop, Keith P.; Scadera, Michael


    The PROPEL ("Propulsion using Electrodynamics") mission will demonstrate the operation of an electrodynamic tether propulsion system in low Earth orbit and advance its technology readiness level for multiple applications. The PROPEL mission has two primary objectives: first, to demonstrate the capability of electrodynamic tether technology to provide robust and safe, near-propellantless propulsion for orbit-raising, de-orbit, plane change, and station keeping, as well as to perform orbital power harvesting and formation flight; and, second, to fully characterize and validate the performance of an integrated electrodynamic tether propulsion system, qualifying it for infusion into future multiple satellite platforms and missions with minimal modification. This paper provides an overview of the PROPEL system and design reference missions; mission goals and required measurements; and ongoing PROPEL mission design efforts.

  6. Global Distribution of Mercury's Neutrals from MESSENGER Measurements Combined with a Tomographic Method (United States)

    Sarantos, Menelaos; McClintock, Bill; Vervack, Ron, Jr.; Killen, Rosemary; Merkel, Aimee; Slavin, James; Solomon, Sean C.


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft entered orbit about Mercury on March 18, 2011. Since then, the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) onboard this spacecraft has been observing Mercury's collisionless exosphere. We present measurements by MESSENGER UVVS of the sodium, calcium, and magnesium distributions that were obtained during multiple passes through the tail over a period of one month. Global maps of the exosphere were constructed daily from such measurements using a recently developed tomographic technique. During this period, Mercury moved towards the Sun from being about 0.44 astronomical units (AU) to approximately 0.32 AU from the Sun. Hence, our reconstructions provide information about the three-dimensional structure of the exosphere, the source processes for these species, and their dependence with orbital distance during the entire in-leg of Mercury's orbit.

  7. Launch of Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission (United States)


    The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 7:51 a.m., December 21, 1968. In this view there is water in the foreground and seagulls.

  8. Missions and planning for nuclear space power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.


    Requirements for electrical and propulsion power for space are expected to increase dramatically in the 1980s. Nuclear power is probably the only source for some deep space missions and a major competitor for many orbital missions, especially those at geosynchronous orbit. Because of the potential requirements, a technology program on reactor components has been initiated by the Department of Energy. The missions that are foreseen, the current reactor concept, and the technology program plan are described

  9. Seasonal Variations in Mercury's Dayside Calcium Exosphere (United States)

    Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Cassidy, Timothy A.; Sarantos, Menelaos


    The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer on the MESSENGER spacecraft has observed calcium emission in Mercury's exosphere on a near-daily basis since March 2011. During MESSENGER's primary and first extended missions (March 2011 - March 2013) the dayside calcium exosphere was measured over eight Mercury years. We have simulated these data with a Monte Carlo model of exospheric source processes to show that (a) there is a persistent source of energetic calcium located in the dawn equatorial region, (b) there is a seasonal dependence in the calcium source rate, and (c) there are no obvious year-to-year variations in the near-surface dayside calcium exosphere. Although the precise mechanism responsible for ejecting the calcium has not yet been determined, the most likely process is the dissociation of Ca-bearing molecules produced in micrometeoroid impact plumes to form energetic, escaping calcium atoms.

  10. Multiscale geomorphometric modeling of Mercury (United States)

    Florinsky, I. V.


    Topography is one of the key characteristics of a planetary body. Geomorphometry deals with quantitative modeling and analysis of the topographic surface and relationships between topography and other natural components of landscapes. The surface of Mercury is systematically studied by interpretation of images acquired during the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission. However, the Mercurian surface is still little explored by methods of geomorphometry. In this paper, we evaluate the Mercury MESSENGER Global DEM MSGR_DEM_USG_SC_I_V02 - a global digital elevation model (DEM) of Mercury with the resolution of 0.015625° - as a source for geomorphometric modeling of this planet. The study was performed at three spatial scales: the global, regional (the Caloris basin), and local (the Pantheon Fossae area) ones. As the initial data, we used three DEMs of these areas with resolutions of 0.25°, 0.0625°, and 0.015625°, correspondingly. The DEMs were extracted from the MESSENGER Global DEM. From the DEMs, we derived digital models of several fundamental morphometric variables, such as: slope gradient, horizontal curvature, vertical curvature, minimal curvature, maximal curvature, catchment area, and dispersive area. The morphometric maps obtained represent peculiarities of the Mercurian topography in different ways, according to the physical and mathematical sense of a particular variable. Geomorphometric models are a rich source of information on the Mercurian surface. These data can be utilized to study evolution and internal structure of the planet, for example, to visualize and quantify regional topographic differences as well as to refine geological boundaries.

  11. Stable low-altitude orbits around Ganymede considering a disturbing body in a circular orbit (United States)

    Cardoso dos Santos, J.; Carvalho, J. P. S.; Vilhena de Moraes, R.


    Some missions are being planned to visit Ganymede like the Europa Jupiter System Mission that is a cooperation between NASA and ESA to insert the spacecraft JGO (Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter) into Ganymedes orbit. This comprehension of the dynamics of these orbits around this planetary satellite is essential for the success of this type of mission. Thus, this work aims to perform a search for low-altitude orbits around Ganymede. An emphasis is given in polar orbits and it can be useful in the planning of space missions to be conducted around, with respect to the stability of orbits of artificial satellites. The study considers orbits of artificial satellites around Ganymede under the influence of the third-body (Jupiter's gravitational attraction) and the polygenic perturbations like those due to non-uniform distribution of mass (J_2 and J_3) of the main body. A simplified dynamic model for these perturbations is used. The Lagrange planetary equations are used to describe the orbital motion of the artificial satellite. The equations of motion are developed in closed form to avoid expansions in eccentricity and inclination. The results show the argument of pericenter circulating. However, low-altitude (100 and 150 km) polar orbits are stable. Another orbital elements behaved variating with small amplitudes. Thus, such orbits are convenient to be applied to future space missions to Ganymede. Acknowledgments: FAPESP (processes n° 2011/05671-5, 2012/12539-9 and 2012/21023-6).

  12. Early Mission Maneuver Operations for the Deep Space Climate Observatory Sun-Earth L1 Libration Point Mission (United States)

    Roberts, Craig; Case, Sara; Reagoso, John; Webster, Cassandra


    The Deep Space Climate Observatory mission launched on February 11, 2015, and inserted onto a transfer trajectory toward a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth L1 libration point. This paper presents an overview of the baseline transfer orbit and early mission maneuver operations leading up to the start of nominal science orbit operations. In particular, the analysis and performance of the spacecraft insertion, mid-course correction maneuvers, and the deep-space Lissajous orbit insertion maneuvers are discussed, com-paring the baseline orbit with actual mission results and highlighting mission and operations constraints..

  13. The ARTEMIS mission

    CERN Document Server

    Angelopoulos, Vassilis


    The ARTEMIS mission was initiated by skillfully moving the two outermost Earth-orbiting THEMIS spacecraft into lunar orbit to conduct unprecedented dual spacecraft observations of the lunar environment. ARTEMIS stands for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun. Indeed, this volume discusses initial findings related to the Moon’s magnetic and plasma environments and the electrical conductivity of the lunar interior. This work is aimed at researchers and graduate students in both heliophysics and planetary physics. Originally published in Space Science Reviews, Vol. 165/1-4, 2011.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrej Kansky


    Full Text Available Background. Orbit is involved in 40% of all facial fractures. There is considerable variety in severity, ranging from simple nondisplaced to complex comminuted fractures. Complex comminuted fractures (up to 20% are responsible for the majority of complications and unfavorable results. Orbital fractures are classified as internal orbital fractures, zygomatico-orbital fractures, naso-orbito-ethmoidal fractures and combined fractures. The ophtalmic sequelae of midfacial fractures are usually edema and ecchymosis of the soft tissues, subconjuctival hemorrhage, diplopia, iritis, retinal edema, ptosis, enophthalmos, ocular muscle paresis, mechanical restriction of ocular movement and nasolacrimal disturbances. More severe injuries such as optic nerve trauma and retinal detachments have also been reported. Within the wide range of orbital fractures small group of complex fractures causes most of the sequelae. Therefore identification of severe injuries and adequate treatment is of major importance. The introduction of craniofacial techniques made possible a wide exposure even of large orbital wall defects and their reconstruction by bone grafts. In spite of significant progress, repair of complex orbital wall defects remains a problem even for the experienced surgeons.Results. In 1999 121 facial injuries were treated at our department (Clinical Centre Ljubljana Dept. Of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery. Orbit was involved in 65% of cases. Isolated inner orbital fractures presented 4% of all fractures. 17 (14% complex cases were treated, 5 of them being NOE, 5 orbital (frame and inner walls, 3 zygomatico-orbital, 2 FNO and 2 maxillo-orbital fractures.Conclusions. Final result of the surgical treatment depends on severity of maxillofacial trauma. Complex comminuted fractures are responsable for most of the unfavorable results and ocular function is often permanently damaged (up to 75% in these fractures.

  15. [Orbital inflammation]. (United States)

    Mouriaux, F; Coffin-Pichonnet, S; Robert, P-Y; Abad, S; Martin-Silva, N


    Orbital inflammation is a generic term encompassing inflammatory pathologies affecting all structures within the orbit : anterior (involvement up to the posterior aspect of the globe), diffuse (involvement of intra- and/or extraconal fat), apical (involvement of the posterior orbit), myositis (involvement of only the extraocular muscles), dacryoadenitis (involvement of the lacrimal gland). We distinguish between specific inflammation and non-specific inflammation, commonly referred to as idiopathic inflammation. Specific orbital inflammation corresponds to a secondary localization of a "generalized" disease (systemic or auto-immune). Idiopathic orbital inflammation corresponds to uniquely orbital inflammation without generalized disease, and thus an unknown etiology. At the top of the differential diagnosis for specific or idiopathic orbital inflammation are malignant tumors, represented most commonly in the adult by lympho-proliferative syndromes and metastases. Treatment of specific orbital inflammation begins with treatment of the underlying disease. For idiopathic orbital inflammation, treatment (most often corticosteroids) is indicated above all in cases of visual loss due to optic neuropathy, in the presence of pain or oculomotor palsy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Orbit Propagation and Determination of Low Earth Orbit Satellites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho-Nien Shou


    Full Text Available This paper represents orbit propagation and determination of low Earth orbit (LEO satellites. Satellite global positioning system (GPS configured receiver provides position and velocity measures by navigating filter to get the coordinates of the orbit propagation (OP. The main contradictions in real-time orbit which is determined by the problem are orbit positioning accuracy and the amount of calculating two indicators. This paper is dedicated to solving the problem of tradeoffs. To plan to use a nonlinear filtering method for immediate orbit tasks requires more precise satellite orbit state parameters in a short time. Although the traditional extended Kalman filter (EKF method is widely used, its linear approximation of the drawbacks in dealing with nonlinear problems was especially evident, without compromising Kalman filter (unscented Kalman Filter, UKF. As a new nonlinear estimation method, it is measured at the estimated measurements on more and more applications. This paper will be the first study on UKF microsatellites in LEO orbit in real time, trying to explore the real-time precision orbit determination techniques. Through the preliminary simulation results, they show that, based on orbit mission requirements and conditions using UKF, they can satisfy the positioning accuracy and compute two indicators.

  17. New Space at Airbus Defence & Space to facilitate science missions (United States)

    Boithias, Helene; Benchetrit, Thierry


    In addition to Airbus legacy activities, where Airbus satellites usually enable challenging science missions such as Venus Express, Mars Express, Rosetta with an historic landing on a comet, Bepi Colombo mission to Mercury and JUICE to orbit around Jupiter moon Ganymede, Swarm studying the Earth magnetic field, Goce to measure the Earth gravitational field and Cryosat to monitor the Earth polar ice, Airbus is now developing a new approach to facilitate next generation missions.After more than 25 years of collaboration with the scientists on space missions, Airbus has demonstrated its capacity to implement highly demanding missions implying a deep understanding of the science mission requirements and their intrinsic constraints such as- a very fierce competition between the scientific communities,- the pursuit of high maturity for the science instrument in order to be selected,- the very strict institutional budget limiting the number of operational missions.As a matter of fact, the combination of these constraints may lead to the cancellation of valuable missions.Based on that and inspired by the New Space trend, Airbus is developing an highly accessible concept called HYPE.The objective of HYPE is to make access to Space much more simple, affordable and efficient.With a standardized approach, the scientist books only the capacities he needs among the resources available on-board, as the HYPE satellites can host a large range of payloads from 1kg up to 60kg.At prices significantly more affordable than those of comparable dedicated satellite, HYPE is by far a very cost-efficient way of bringing science missions to life.After the launch, the scientist enjoys a plug-and-play access to two-way communications with his instrument through a secure high-speed portal available online 24/7.Everything else is taken care of by Airbus: launch services and the associated risk, reliable power supply, setting up and operating the communication channels, respect of space law

  18. Gas mission; Mission gaz

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    This preliminary report analyses the desirable evolutions of gas transport tariffing and examines some questions relative to the opening of competition on the French gas market. The report is made of two documents: a synthesis of the previous report with some recommendations about the tariffing of gas transport, about the modalities of network access to third parties, and about the dissociation between transport and trade book-keeping activities. The second document is the progress report about the opening of the French gas market. The first part presents the European problem of competition in the gas supply and its consequences on the opening and operation of the French gas market. The second part presents some partial syntheses about each topic of the mission letter of the Ministry of Economics, Finances and Industry: future evolution of network access tariffs, critical analysis of contractual documents for gas transport and delivery, examination of auxiliary services linked with the access to the network (modulation, balancing, conversion), consideration about the processing of network congestions and denied accesses, analysis of the metering dissociation between the integrated activities of gas operators. Some documents are attached in appendixes: the mission letter from July 9, 2001, the detailed analysis of the new temporary tariffs of GdF and CFM, the offer of methane terminals access to third parties, the compatibility of a nodal tariffing with the presence of three transport operators (GdF, CFM and GSO), the contract-type for GdF supply, and the contract-type for GdF connection. (J.S.)

  19. Mercury balance analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maag, J.; Lassen, C.; Hansen, E.


    A detailed assessment of the consumption of mercury, divided into use areas, was carried out. Disposal and emissions to the environment were also qualified. The assessment is mainly based on data from 1992 - 1993. The most important source of emission of mercury to air is solid waste incineration which is assessed in particular to be due to the supply of mercury in batteries (most likely mercury oxide batteries from photo equipment) and to dental fillings. The second most important source of mercury emission to air is coal-fired power plants which are estimated to account for 200-500 kg of mercury emission p.a. Other mercury emissions are mainly related to waste treatment and disposal. The consumption of mercury is generally decreasing. During the period from 1982/83 - 1992-93, the total consumption of mercury in Denmark was about halved. This development is related to the fact that consumption with regard to several important use areas (batteries, dental fillings, thermometers etc.) has been significantly reduced, while for other purposes the use of mercury has completely, or almost disappeared, i.e. (fungicides for seed, tubes etc.). (EG)

  20. Early MESSENGER Results for Less Abundant or Weakly Emitting Species in Mercury's Exosphere (United States)

    Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; McClintock, William E.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sprague, Ann L.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos


    Now that the Messenger spacecraft is in orbit about Mercury, the extended observing time enables searches for exospheric species that are less abundant or weakly emitting compared with those for which emission has previously been detected. Many of these species cannot be observed from the ground because of terrestrial atmospheric absorption. We report here on the status of MESSENGER orbital-phase searches for additional species in Mercury's exosphere.

  1. Process for low mercury coal (United States)

    Merriam, Norman W.; Grimes, R. William; Tweed, Robert E.


    A process for producing low mercury coal during precombustion procedures by releasing mercury through discriminating mild heating that minimizes other burdensome constituents. Said mercury is recovered from the overhead gases by selective removal.

  2. Mercury (Environmental Health Student Portal) (United States)

    ... in contact with) to mercury is by eating fish or shellfish that have high levels of mercury. You can also get sick from: Touching it Breathing it in Drinking contaminated water How can mercury ...

  3. The Making of the 1:3M Geological Map Series of Mercury: Status and Updates (United States)

    Galluzzi, V.; Guzzetta, L.; Mancinelli, P.; Giacomini, L.; Lewang, A. M.; Malliband, C.; Mosca, A.; Pegg, D.; Wright, J.; Ferranti, L.; Hiesinger, H.; Massironi, M.; Pauselli, C.; Rothery, D. A.; Palumbo, P.


    A complete global series of 1:3M-scale maps of Mercury is being prepared in support to the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission. Currently, 35% of Mercury has been mapped and 55% of the planet will be covered soon by the maps in progress.

  4. Mercury is Moon's brother

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ksanfomalifi, L.V.


    The latest information on Mercury planet is presented obtained by studying the planet with the aid of radar and space vehicles. Rotation of Mercury about its axis has been discovered; within 2/3 of its year it executes a complete revolution about its axis. In images obtained by the ''Mariner-10'' Mercurys surface differs little from that of the Moon. The ''Mariner-10'' has also discovered the Mercurys atmosphere, which consists of extremely rarefied helium. The helium is continuously supplied to the planet by the solar wind. The Mercury's magnetic field has been discovered, whose strength is 35 x 10 -4 at the Equator and 70 x 10 -4 E at the poles. The inclination of the dipole axis to the Mercury's rotation axis is 7 deg

  5. The Double Star mission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The Double Star Programme (DSP was first proposed by China in March, 1997 at the Fragrant Hill Workshop on Space Science, Beijing, organized by the Chinese Academy of Science. It is the first mission in collaboration between China and ESA. The mission is made of two spacecraft to investigate the magnetospheric global processes and their response to the interplanetary disturbances in conjunction with the Cluster mission. The first spacecraft, TC-1 (Tan Ce means "Explorer", was launched on 29 December 2003, and the second one, TC-2, on 25 July 2004 on board two Chinese Long March 2C rockets. TC-1 was injected in an equatorial orbit of 570x79000 km altitude with a 28° inclination and TC-2 in a polar orbit of 560x38000 km altitude. The orbits have been designed to complement the Cluster mission by maximizing the time when both Cluster and Double Star are in the same scientific regions. The two missions allow simultaneous observations of the Earth magnetosphere from six points in space. To facilitate the comparison of data, half of the Double Star payload is made of spare or duplicates of the Cluster instruments; the other half is made of Chinese instruments. The science operations are coordinated by the Chinese DSP Scientific Operations Centre (DSOC in Beijing and the European Payload Operations Service (EPOS at RAL, UK. The spacecraft and ground segment operations are performed by the DSP Operations and Management Centre (DOMC and DSOC in China, using three ground station, in Beijing, Shanghai and Villafranca.

  6. Science on a Sphere: Moon and Mercury Interactive Spherical Display using iclickers (United States)

    Sherman, S. B.; Gillis-Davis, J. J.; Pilger, E.; Au, C.; Platt, N.


    Using data from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission to Mercury and data from Clementine, Lunar Orbiter, Lunar Prospector, as well as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission we are creating multimedia applications for the Magic Planet and Science on a Sphere (hence forth we will use SOS to denote both display types) for Mercury and the Moon, respectively. Presenting the data on this innovative and stimulating medium captures the interest, stimulates curiosity, and inspires scientific learning in children, as well as general audiences. In order to maximize the learning potential of the SOS we are constructing animated, interactive presentations which incorporate audience participation using iclickers. The interactive nature of the presentations accommodates a variety of audiences’ knowledge levels and the presentations can be adapted in real-time accordingly. The focus of the presentations are either geared toward addressing misconceptions, such as why we have seasons and phases of the Moon, or general education, for example, an interactive game where the audience’s iclicker responses control the direction of their own Moon mission while they learn about conditions on the Moon along the way. The iclickers are used as assessment tools as well as a means for the audience to control the direction of the application. As an assessment tool audience members can make predictions and answer questions using the iclicker, such as the time a full moon rises. In this manner we will be able to evaluate learning gains. In addition, the audience can use the iclickers to vote on what they want to do next. Having control over the direction of the application increases the audiences’ involvement. Both uses of the iclickers engage the audience and they become active participants rather than passive observers. An undergraduate from Leeward Community College, and a high school student from Campbell High School, are actively

  7. Elemental Mercury Diffusion Processes and Concentration at the Lunar Poles (United States)

    Moxley, Frederick; Killen, Rosemary M.; Hurley, Dana M.


    In 2009, the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) spectrograph onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft made the first detection of element mercury (Hg) vapor in the lunar exosphere after the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Centaur rocket impacted into the Cabeus crater in the southern polar region of the Moon. The lunar regolith core samples from the Apollo missions determined that Hg had a devolatilized pattern with a concentration gradient increasing with depth, in addition to a layered pattern suggesting multiple episodes of burial and volatile loss. Hg migration on the lunar surface resulted in cold trapping at the poles. We have modeled the rate at which indigenous Hg is lost from the regolith through diffusion out of lunar grains. We secondly modeled the migration of Hg vapor in the exosphere and estimated the rate of cold-trapping at the poles using a Monte Carlo technique. The Hg vapor may be lost from the exosphere via ionization, Jeans escape, or re-impact into the surface causing reabsorption.

  8. [The mission]. (United States)

    Ruiz Moreno, J; Blanch Mon, A


    After having made a historical review of the concept of mission statement, of evaluating its importance (See Part I), of describing the bases to create a mission statement from a strategic perspective and of analyzing the advantages of this concept, probably more important as a business policy (See Parts I and II), the authors proceed to analyze the mission statement in health organizations. Due to the fact that a mission statement is lacking in the majority of health organizations, the strategy of health organizations are not exactly favored; as a consequence, neither are its competitive advantage nor the development of its essential competencies. After presenting a series of mission statements corresponding to Anglo-Saxon health organizations, the authors highlight two mission statements corresponding to our social context. The article finishes by suggesting an adequate sequence for developing a mission statement in those health organizations having a strategic sense.

  9. Mercury - the hollow planet (United States)

    Rothery, D. A.


    from orbit. Although the vent itself may have been excavated partly by explosive volcanism, the most recent event is collapse of a 7 km wide zone in the south centre of the vent. The sharpness of features within this (unmuted either by regolith-forming processes or by fall of volcanic ejecta) suggests that this collapse considerably post-dates the rest of the vent interior. It could reflect a late-stage minor 'throat clearing' explosive eruption, but (in the absence of evidence of associated volcanic ejecta) more likely reflects collapse into a void within the volcanic conduit, itself a result of magma-drainage. A class of 'hole' that is so far conspicuous by its absence on Mercury is sinuous rilles (as opposed to much straighter tectonic grabens) or aligned skylights representing collapsed or partly-collapsed drained lava tubes. Tube-fed flows are to be expected during emplacement of volcanic plains, and it will be surprising if no examples are revealed on MESSENGER and BepiColombo high-resolution images.

  10. Modeling Mercury in Proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Jeremy C [ORNL; Parks, Jerry M [ORNL


    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that is released into the biosphere both by natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Although its reduced, elemental form Hg(0) is relatively non-toxic, other forms such as Hg2+ and, in particular, its methylated form, methylmercury, are toxic, with deleterious effects on both ecosystems and humans. Microorganisms play important roles in the transformation of mercury in the environment. Inorganic Hg2+ can be methylated by certain bacteria and archaea to form methylmercury. Conversely, bacteria also demethylate methylmercury and reduce Hg2+ to relatively inert Hg(0). Transformations and toxicity occur as a result of mercury interacting with various proteins. Clearly, then, understanding the toxic effects of mercury and its cycling in the environment requires characterization of these interactions. Computational approaches are ideally suited to studies of mercury in proteins because they can provide a detailed picture and circumvent issues associated with toxicity. Here we describe computational methods for investigating and characterizing how mercury binds to proteins, how inter- and intra-protein transfer of mercury is orchestrated in biological systems, and how chemical reactions in proteins transform the metal. We describe quantum chemical analyses of aqueous Hg(II), which reveal critical factors that determine ligand binding propensities. We then provide a perspective on how we used chemical reasoning to discover how microorganisms methylate mercury. We also highlight our combined computational and experimental studies of the proteins and enzymes of the mer operon, a suite of genes that confers mercury resistance in many bacteria. Lastly, we place work on mercury in proteins in the context of what is needed for a comprehensive multi-scale model of environmental mercury cycling.

  11. Mercury's Surface Magnetic Field Determined from Proton-Reflection Magnetometry (United States)

    Winslow, Reka M.; Johnson, Catherine L.; Anderson, Brian J.; Gershman, Daniel J.; Raines, Jim M.; Lillis, Robert J.; Korth, Haje; Slavin, James A.; Solomon, Sean C.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; hide


    Solar wind protons observed by the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit about Mercury exhibit signatures of precipitation loss to Mercury's surface. We apply proton-reflection magnetometry to sense Mercury's surface magnetic field intensity in the planet's northern and southern hemispheres. The results are consistent with a dipole field offset to the north and show that the technique may be used to resolve regional-scale fields at the surface. The proton loss cones indicate persistent ion precipitation to the surface in the northern magnetospheric cusp region and in the southern hemisphere at low nightside latitudes. The latter observation implies that most of the surface in Mercury's southern hemisphere is continuously bombarded by plasma, in contrast with the premise that the global magnetic field largely protects the planetary surface from the solar wind.

  12. KEPLER Mission: development and overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borucki, William J


    The Kepler Mission is a space observatory launched in 2009 by NASA to monitor 170 000 stars over a period of four years to determine the frequency of Earth-size and larger planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars, the size and orbital distributions of these planets, and the types of stars they orbit. Kepler is the tenth in the series of NASA Discovery Program missions that are competitively-selected, PI-directed, medium-cost missions. The Mission concept and various instrument prototypes were developed at the Ames Research Center over a period of 18 years starting in 1983. The development of techniques to do the 10 ppm photometry required for Mission success took years of experimentation, several workshops, and the exploration of many ‘blind alleys’ before the construction of the flight instrument. Beginning in 1992 at the start of the NASA Discovery Program, the Kepler Mission concept was proposed five times before its acceptance for mission development in 2001. During that period, the concept evolved from a photometer in an L2 orbit that monitored 6000 stars in a 50 sq deg field-of-view (FOV) to one that was in a heliocentric orbit that simultaneously monitored 170 000 stars with a 105 sq deg FOV. Analysis of the data to date has detected over 4600 planetary candidates which include several hundred Earth-size planetary candidates, over a thousand confirmed planets, and Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (HZ). These discoveries provide the information required for estimates of the frequency of planets in our galaxy. The Mission results show that most stars have planets, many of these planets are similar in size to the Earth, and that systems with several planets are common. Although planets in the HZ are common, many are substantially larger than Earth. (review article)

  13. Cassini Solstice Mission Maneuver Experience: Year Two (United States)

    Arrieta, Juan; Ballard, Christopher G.; Hahn, Yungsun


    The Cassini Spacecraft was launched in October 1997 on a mission to observe Saturn and its moons; it entered orbit around Saturn in July 2004 for a nominal four-year Prime Mission, later augmented by two extensions: the Equinox Mission, from July 2008 through September 2010, and the Solstice Mission, from October 2010 through September 2017. This paper provides an overview of the maneuver activities from August 2011 through June 2012 which include the design of 38 Orbit Trim Maneuvers--OTM-288 through OTM-326-- for attaining 14 natural satellite encounters: seven with Titan, six with Enceladus, and one with Dione.

  14. Getting a Crew into Orbit (United States)

    Riddle, Bob


    Despite the temporary setback in our country's crewed space exploration program, there will continue to be missions requiring crews to orbit Earth and beyond. Under the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, NASA should have its own heavy launch rocket and crew vehicle developed by 2016. Private companies will continue to explore space, as well. At the…

  15. Mercury's radius change estimates revisited using high incidence angle MESSENGER data (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Popa, C.; Massironi, M.; Ferrari, S.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Zusi, M.; Cremonese, G.; Palumbo, P.


    obtained in the present study are up to five times higher with respect to previous estimates. Our results are more compatible with recent studies suggesting that the Mercury's radius contraction could have been up to 5-6 km throughout its thermal evolution than previous results, supporting the idea that Mercury could have recorded more tectonism than that required to account for 1-2 km of radial contraction. These estimates should be confirmed by further observations over significant portions of the planet and at most favorable sun angle conditions using data from the MESSENGER orbital phase and the high resolution basemaps which will be provided by the next BepiColombo mission.

  16. The precession of mercury's perihelion via perturbation theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosales, M.H.; Castro-Quilantan, J.L.


    Perturbation theory is used to solve the problem of the precession of Mercury's perihelion, this phenomenon being a relativistic effect. The expansion parameter appears naturally when the orbit equation is written in an appropriate form and it completely justifies the use of the first order approximation. (author)

  17. Intentional intravenous mercury injection

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this case report, intravenous complications, treatment strategies and possible ... Mercury toxicity is commonly associated with vapour inhalation or oral ingestion, for which there exist definite treatment options. Intravenous mercury ... personality, anxiousness, irritability, insomnia, depression and drowsi- ness.[1] However ...

  18. Mercury's shifting, rolling past


    Trulove, Susan


    Patterns of scalloped-edged cliffs or lobate scarps on Mercury's surface are thrust faults that are consistent with the planet shrinking and cooling with time. However, compression occurred in the planet's early history and Mariner 10 images revealed decades ago that lobate scarps are among the youngest features on Mercury. Why don't we find more evidence of older compressive features?

  19. Global Mercury Assessment 2013

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    mercury pollution. This summary report and the accompanying. Technical Background Report for the Global. Mercury Assessment 2013 are developed in response to Decision 25/5, paragraph ... The use of different pollution control technologies in different ...... vegetation, snow, freshwater, and seawater. One of the largest ...

  20. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))


    This report provides a first comprehensive compilation and assessment of available data on mercury in air, precipitation, sediments and fish in the Nordic countries. The main conclusion is that mercury levels in Nordic ecosystems continue to be affected by long-range atmospheric transport. The geographical patterns of mercury concentrations in both sediments and fish are also strongly affected by ecosystem characteristics and in some regions possibly by historical pollution. An evaluation of geographical variations in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicates that the influence from anthropogenic sources from Central European areas is still significant. The annual variability of deposition is large and dependant of precipitation amounts. An evaluation of data from stations around the North Sea has indicated a significant decrease in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicating a continuous decrease of emissions in Europe (Waengberg et al., 2007). For mercury in air (TGM), the geographical pattern is less pronounced indicating the influence of mercury emissions and distribution over a larger geographical area (i.e. hemispherical transport). Comparison of recent (surficial) and historical lake sediments show significantly elevated concentrations of mercury most likely caused by anthropogenic atmospheric deposition over the past century. The highest pollution impact was observed in the coastal areas of southern Norway, in south western Finland and in Sweden from the coastal areas in the southwest across the central parts to the north-east. The general increase in recent versus old sediments was 2-5 fold. Data on mercury in Nordic freshwater fish was assembled and evaluated with respect to geographical variations. The fish data were further compared with temporal and spatial trends in mercury deposition and mercury contamination of lake sediments in order to investigate the coupling between atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury and local mercury

  1. [Myanmar mission]. (United States)

    Alfandari, B; Persichetti, P; Pelissier, P; Martin, D; Baudet, J


    The authors report the accomplishment of humanitarian missions in plastic surgery performed by a small team in town practice in Yangon, about their 3 years experience in Myanmar with 300 consultations and 120 surgery cases. They underline the interest of this type of mission and provide us their reflexion about team training, the type of relation with the country where the mission is conducted and the type of right team.

  2. Planetary science. Low-altitude magnetic field measurements by MESSENGER reveal Mercury's ancient crustal field. (United States)

    Johnson, Catherine L; Phillips, Roger J; Purucker, Michael E; Anderson, Brian J; Byrne, Paul K; Denevi, Brett W; Feinberg, Joshua M; Hauck, Steven A; Head, James W; Korth, Haje; James, Peter B; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A; Philpott, Lydia C; Siegler, Matthew A; Tsyganenko, Nikolai A; Solomon, Sean C


    Magnetized rocks can record the history of the magnetic field of a planet, a key constraint for understanding its evolution. From orbital vector magnetic field measurements of Mercury taken by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft at altitudes below 150 kilometers, we have detected remanent magnetization in Mercury's crust. We infer a lower bound on the average age of magnetization of 3.7 to 3.9 billion years. Our findings indicate that a global magnetic field driven by dynamo processes in the fluid outer core operated early in Mercury's history. Ancient field strengths that range from those similar to Mercury's present dipole field to Earth-like values are consistent with the magnetic field observations and with the low iron content of Mercury's crust inferred from MESSENGER elemental composition data. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Crew Transportation System Design Reference Missions (United States)

    Mango, Edward J.


    Contains summaries of potential design reference mission goals for systems to transport humans to andfrom low Earth orbit (LEO) for the Commercial Crew Program. The purpose of this document is to describe Design Reference Missions (DRMs) representative of the end-to-end Crew Transportation System (CTS) framework envisioned to successfully execute commercial crew transportation to orbital destinations. The initial CTS architecture will likely be optimized to support NASA crew and NASA-sponsored crew rotation missions to the ISS, but consideration may be given in this design phase to allow for modifications in order to accomplish other commercial missions in the future. With the exception of NASA’s mission to the ISS, the remaining commercial DRMs are notional. Any decision to design or scar the CTS for these additional non-NASA missions is completely up to the Commercial Provider. As NASA’s mission needs evolve over time, this document will be periodically updated to reflect those needs.

  4. Getting Mercury out of Schools. (United States)


    This guide was prepared while working with many Massachusetts schools to remove items that contain mercury and to find suitable alternatives. It contains fact sheets on: mercury in science laboratories and classrooms, mercury in school buildings and maintenance areas, mercury in the medical office and in medical technology classrooms in vocational…

  5. Orbital transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oertel, H. Jr.; Koerner, H.


    The Third Aerospace Symposium in Braunschweig presented, for the first time, the possibility of bringing together the classical disciplines of aerospace engineering and the natural science disciplines of meteorology and air chemistry in a european setting. In this way, aspects of environmental impact on the atmosphere could be examined quantitatively. An essential finding of the european conference, is the unrestricted agreement of the experts that the given launch frequencies of the present orbital transport result in a negligible amount of pollutants being released in the atmosphere. The symposium does, however, call attention to the increasing need to consider the effect of orbital and atmospheric environmental impact of a future increase in launch frequencies of orbital transport in connection with future space stations. The Third Aerospace Symposium, 'Orbital Transport, Technical, Meteorological and Chemical Aspects', constituted a first forum of discussion for engineers and scientists. Questions of new orbital transport technologies and their environmental impact were to be discussed towards a first consensus. Through the 34 reports and articles, the general problems of space transportation and environmental protection were addressed, as well as particular aspects of high temperatures during reentry in the atmosphere of the earth, precision navigation of flight vehicles or flow behavior and air chemistry in the stratosphere. (orig./CT). 342 figs

  6. Safe passage: astronaut care for exploration missions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ball, John; Evans, Charles H


    .... As space missions increase in duration from months to years and extend well beyond Earth’s orbit, so will the attendant risks of working in these extreme and isolated environmental conditions...

  7. The Ulysses mission: An introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marsden, R.G.


    On 30 September 1995, Ulysses completed its initial, highly successful, survey of the polar regions of the heliosphere in both southern and northern hemispheres, thereby fulfilling its prime mission. The results obtained to date are leading to a revision of many earlier ideas concerning the solar wind and the heliosphere. Now embarking on the second phase of the mission, Ulysses will continue along its out-of-ecliptic flight path for another complete orbit of the Sun. In contrast to the high-latitude phase of the prime mission, which occurred near solar minimum, the next polar passes (in 2000 and 2001) will take place when the Sun is at its most active

  8. Business analysis: The commercial mission of the International Asteroid Mission (United States)

    The mission of the International Asteroid Mission (IAM) is providing asteroidal resources to support activities in space. The short term goal is to initiate IAM by mining a near-Earth, hydrous carbonaceous chondrite asteroid to service the nearer-term market of providing cryogenic rocket fuel in low lunar orbit (LLO). The IAM will develop and contract for the building of the transportation vehicles and equipment necessary for this undertaking. The long-term goal is to expand operations by exploiting asteroids in other manners, as these options become commercially viable. The primary business issues are what revenue can be generated from the baseline mission, how much will the mission cost, and how funding for this mission can be raised. These issues are addressed.

  9. Robotic planetary mission benefits from nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelley, J.H.; Yen, C.L.


    Several interesting planetary missions are either enabled or significantly enhanced by nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) in the 50 to 100 kW power range. These missions include a Pluto Orbiter/Probe with an 11-year flight time and several years of operational life in orbit versus a ballistic very fast (13 km/s) flyby which would take longer to get to Pluto and would have a very short time to observe the planet. (A ballistic orbiter would take about 40 years to get to Pluto.) Other missions include a Neptune Orbiter/Probe, a Jupiter Grand Tour orbiting each of the major moons in order, a Uranus Orbiter/Probe, a Multiple Mainbelt Asteroid Rendezvous orbiting six selected asteroids, and a Comet Nucleus Sample Return. This paper discusses potential missions and compares the nuclear electric propulsion option to the conventional ballistic approach on a parametric basis

  10. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet. (United States)

    Barclay, Thomas; Rowe, Jason F; Lissauer, Jack J; Huber, Daniel; Fressin, François; Howell, Steve B; Bryson, Stephen T; Chaplin, William J; Désert, Jean-Michel; Lopez, Eric D; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Mullally, Fergal; Ragozzine, Darin; Torres, Guillermo; Adams, Elisabeth R; Agol, Eric; Barrado, David; Basu, Sarbani; Bedding, Timothy R; Buchhave, Lars A; Charbonneau, David; Christiansen, Jessie L; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; Dupree, Andrea K; Elsworth, Yvonne; Everett, Mark; Fischer, Debra A; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Geary, John C; Haas, Michael R; Handberg, Rasmus; Hekker, Saskia; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Howard, Andrew W; Hunter, Roger C; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Karoff, Christoffer; Kawaler, Steven D; Kjeldsen, Hans; Klaus, Todd C; Latham, David W; Li, Jie; Lillo-Box, Jorge; Lund, Mikkel N; Lundkvist, Mia; Metcalfe, Travis S; Miglio, Andrea; Morris, Robert L; Quintana, Elisa V; Stello, Dennis; Smith, Jeffrey C; Still, Martin; Thompson, Susan E


    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of Earth or somewhat smaller. Hitherto, no planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in the Solar System. Here we report a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the innermost of three that orbit the Sun-like host star, which we have designated Kepler-37. Owing to its extremely small size, similar to that of the Moon, and highly irradiated surface, the planet, Kepler-37b, is probably rocky with no atmosphere or water, similar to Mercury.

  11. Feasibility analysis of cislunar flight using the Shuttle Orbiter (United States)

    Haynes, Davy A.


    A first order orbital mechanics analysis was conducted to examine the possibility of utilizing the Space Shuttle Orbiter to perform payload delivery missions to lunar orbit. In the analysis, the earth orbit of departure was constrained to be that of Space Station Freedom. Furthermore, no enhancements of the Orbiter's thermal protection system were assumed. Therefore, earth orbit insertion maneuvers were constrained to be all propulsive. Only minimal constraints were placed on the lunar orbits and no consideration was given to possible landing sites for lunar surface payloads. The various phases and maneuvers of the mission are discussed for both a conventional (Apollo type) and an unconventional mission profile. The velocity impulses needed, and the propellant masses required are presented for all of the mission maneuvers. Maximum payload capabilities were determined for both of the mission profiles examined. In addition, other issues relating to the feasibility of such lunar shuttle missions are discussed. The results of the analysis indicate that the Shuttle Orbiter would be a poor vehicle for payload delivery missions to lunar orbit.

  12. Overview of Mission Design for NASA Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission Concept (United States)

    Strange, Nathan; Landau, Damon; McElrath, Timothy; Lantoine, Gregory; Lam, Try; McGuire, Melissa; Burke, Laura; Martini, Michael; Dankanich, John


    Part of NASA's new asteroid initiative would be a robotic mission to capture a roughly four to ten meter asteroid and redirect its orbit to place it in translunar space. Once in a stable storage orbit at the Moon, astronauts would then visit the asteroid for science investigations, to test in space resource extraction, and to develop experience with human deep space missions. This paper discusses the mission design techniques that would enable the redirection of a 100-1000 metric ton asteroid into lunar orbit with a 40-50 kW Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system.

  13. Orbital Normalization of MESSENGER Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Data (United States)

    Rhodes, E. A.; Peplowski, P. N.; Evans, L. G.; Hamara, D. K.; Boynton, W. V.; Solomon, S. C.


    The MESSENGER Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS) measures energy spectra of gamma rays emanating from the surface of Mercury. Analysis of these spectra provides elemental abundances of surface material. The MESSENGER mission necessarily provides some data normalization challenges for GRS analysis. So as to keep the spacecraft cool while orbiting the dayside of the planet, the orbits are highly eccentric, with altitudes varying from 200-500 km to ~ 15,000 km. A small fraction of time is spent at the low altitudes where gamma-ray signals are largest, requiring a large number of orbits to yield sufficient counting statistics for elemental analysis. Also, the sunshade must always shield the spacecraft from the Sun, which causes the orientation of the GRS often to be far from nadir-pointing, so the detector efficiency and attenuation of gamma rays from the planet must be known for a wide range of off-nadir orientations. An efficiency/attenuation map for the expected ranges of orientations and energies was constructed in a ground calibration experiment for a limited range of orientations using a nuclear reactor and radioisotope sources, and those results were extended to other orientations by radiation transport computations using as input a computer-aided design model of the spacecraft and its composition. This normalization has allowed abundance determinations of elements K, Th, and U from radioisotopes of these elements in the Mercury regolith during the first quarter of the year-long mission. These results provide constraints on models of Mercury's chemical and thermal evolution. The normalization of gamma-ray spectra for surface elements not having radioisotopes is considerably more complex; these gamma rays come from neutron inelastic-scatter and capture reactions in the regolith, where the neutrons are generated by cosmic ray impact onto the planet. A radiation transport computation was performed to generate the expected count rates in the neutron-generated gamma

  14. An Orbit Propagation Software for Mars Orbiting Spacecraft

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song


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

  15. Total Mercury content of skin toning creams

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Apr 1, 2008 ... used it for cosmetics (Silberberg, 1995). Mercury- ... Cosmetic preparations containing mercury com- pounds are .... mercury determination by a modified version of an open .... level mercury exposure, which could lead to a.

  16. Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006 (United States)

    Lawrence, S. J. (Editor); Gaddis, L. R.; Joy, K. H.; Petro, N. E.


    The announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 sparked a resurgence in lunar missions worldwide. Since the publication of the first "New Views of the Moon" volume, as of 2017 there have been 11 science-focused missions to the Moon. Each of these missions explored different aspects of the Moon's geology, environment, and resource potential. The results from this flotilla of missions have revolutionized lunar science, and resulted in a profoundly new emerging understanding of the Moon. The New Views of the Moon II initiative itself, which is designed to engage the large and vibrant lunar science community to integrate the results of these missions into new consensus viewpoints, is a direct outcome of this impressive array of missions. The "Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006" chapter will "set the stage" for the rest of the volume, introducing the planetary community at large to the diverse array of missions that have explored the Moon in the last decade. Content: This chapter will encompass the following missions: Kaguya; ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun); Chang’e-1; Chandrayaan-1; Moon Impact Probe; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); Chang’e-2; Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL); Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE); Chang’e-3.

  17. Recovery of mercury from mercury compounds via electrolytic methods (United States)

    Grossman, Mark W.; George, William A.


    A process for electrolytically recovering mercury from mercury compounds is provided. In one embodiment, Hg is recovered from Hg.sub.2 Cl.sub.2 employing as the electrolyte solution a mixture of HCl and H.sub.2 O. In another embodiment, Hg is electrolytically recovered from HgO wherein the electrolyte solution is comprised of glacial acetic acid and H.sub.2 O. Also provided is an apparatus for producing isotopically enriched mercury compounds in a reactor and then transporting the dissolved compounds into an electrolytic cell where mercury ions are electrolytically reduced and elemental mercury recovered from the mercury compounds.

  18. Designing Mission Operations for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory Mission (United States)

    Havens, Glen G.; Beerer, Joseph G.


    NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, to understand the internal structure and thermal evolution of the Moon, offered unique challenges to mission operations. From launch through end of mission, the twin GRAIL orbiters had to be operated in parallel. The journey to the Moon and into the low science orbit involved numerous maneuvers, planned on tight timelines, to ultimately place the orbiters into the required formation-flying configuration necessary. The baseline GRAIL mission is short, only 9 months in duration, but progressed quickly through seven very unique mission phases. Compressed into this short mission timeline, operations activities and maneuvers for both orbiters had to be planned and coordinated carefully. To prepare for these challenges, development of the GRAIL Mission Operations System began in 2008. Based on high heritage multi-mission operations developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin, the GRAIL mission operations system was adapted to meet the unique challenges posed by the GRAIL mission design. This paper describes GRAIL's system engineering development process for defining GRAIL's operations scenarios and generating requirements, tracing the evolution from operations concept through final design, implementation, and validation.

  19. Metallic mercury recycling. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beck, M.A.


    Metallic mercury is known to be a hazardous material and is regulated as such. The disposal of mercury, usually by landfill, is expensive and does not remove mercury from the environment. Results from the Metallic Mercury Recycling Project have demonstrated that metallic mercury is a good candidate for reclamation and recycling. Most of the potential contamination of mercury resides in the scum floating on the surface of the mercury. Pinhole filtration was demonstrated to be an inexpensive and easy way of removing residues from mercury. The analysis method is shown to be sufficient for present release practices, and should be sufficient for future release requirements. Data from tests are presented. The consistently higher level of activity of the filter residue versus the bulk mercury is discussed. Recommendations for the recycling procedure are made.

  20. Metallic mercury recycling. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beck, M.A.


    Metallic mercury is known to be a hazardous material and is regulated as such. The disposal of mercury, usually by landfill, is expensive and does not remove mercury from the environment. Results from the Metallic Mercury Recycling Project have demonstrated that metallic mercury is a good candidate for reclamation and recycling. Most of the potential contamination of mercury resides in the scum floating on the surface of the mercury. Pinhole filtration was demonstrated to be an inexpensive and easy way of removing residues from mercury. The analysis method is shown to be sufficient for present release practices, and should be sufficient for future release requirements. Data from tests are presented. The consistently higher level of activity of the filter residue versus the bulk mercury is discussed. Recommendations for the recycling procedure are made

  1. MESSENGER Observations of ULF Waves in Mercury's Foreshock Region (United States)

    Le, Guan; Chi, Peter J.; Bardsen, Scott; Blanco-Cano, Xochitl; Slavin, James A.; Korth, Haje


    The region upstream from a planetary bow shock is a natural plasma laboratory containing a variety of wave particle phenomena. The study of foreshocks other than the Earth s is important for extending our understanding of collisionless shocks and foreshock physics since the bow shock strength varies with heliocentric distance from the Sun, and the sizes of the bow shocks are different at different planets. The Mercury s bow shock is unique in our solar system as it is produced by low Mach number solar wind blowing over a small magnetized body with a predominately radial interplanetary magnetic field. Previous observations of Mercury upstream ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves came exclusively from two Mercury flybys of Mariner 10. The MESSENGER orbiter data enable us to study of upstream waves in the Mercury s foreshock in depth. This paper reports an overview of upstream ULF waves in the Mercury s foreshock using high-time resolution magnetic field data, 20 samples per second, from the MESSENGER spacecraft. The most common foreshock waves have frequencies near 2 Hz, with properties similar to the 1-Hz waves in the Earth s foreshock. They are present in both the flyby data and in every orbit of the orbital data we have surveyed. The most common wave phenomenon in the Earth s foreshock is the large-amplitude 30-s waves, but similar waves at Mercury have frequencies at 0.1 Hz and occur only sporadically with short durations (a few wave cycles). Superposed on the "30-s" waves, there are spectral peaks at 0.6 Hz, not reported previously in Mariner 10 data. We will discuss wave properties and their occurrence characteristics in this paper.

  2. The tectonics of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melosh, H.J.; Mckinnon, W.B.


    The probable tectonic history of Mercury and the relative sequence of events are discussed on the basis of data collected by the Mariner-10 spacecraft. Results indicate that Mercury's tectonic activity was confined to its early history; its endogenic activity was principally due to a small change in the shape of its lithosphere, caused by tidal despinning, and a small change in area caused by shrinkage due to cooling. Exogenic processes, in particular the impact activity, have produced more abundant tectonic features. Many features associated with the Caloris basin are due to loading of Mercury's thick lithosphere by extrusive lavas or subsidence due to magma withdrawal. It is emphasized that tectonic features observed on Mercury yield insight into the earliest tectonic events on planets like Mars and, perhaps, the earth, where subsequent events obscured or erased the most ancient tectonic records

  3. Intentional intravenous mercury injection

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Elemental mercury is the well-known silver liquid and usually causes pulmonary, neurological and ... suicidal ideation or features of major depression. Clinically the patient was .... medically at this stage and consider surgical intervention later.

  4. Mercury's Dynamic Magnetosphere (United States)

    Imber, S. M.


    The global dynamics of Mercury's magnetosphere will be discussed, focussing on observed asymmetries in the magnetotail and on the precipitation of particles of magnetospheric origin onto the nightside planetary surface.

  5. Mercury analysis in hair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esteban, Marta; Schindler, Birgit K; Jiménez-Guerrero, José A


    Human biomonitoring (HBM) is an effective tool for assessing actual exposure to chemicals that takes into account all routes of intake. Although hair analysis is considered to be an optimal biomarker for assessing mercury exposure, the lack of harmonization as regards sampling and analytical...... assurance program (QAP) for assessing mercury levels in hair samples from more than 1800 mother-child pairs recruited in 17 European countries. To ensure the comparability of the results, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for sampling and for mercury analysis were drafted and distributed to participating...... laboratories. Training sessions were organized for field workers and four external quality-assessment exercises (ICI/EQUAS), followed by the corresponding web conferences, were organized between March 2011 and February 2012. ICI/EQUAS used native hair samples at two mercury concentration ranges (0...

  6. Mercury's Early Geologic History (United States)

    Denevi, B. W.; Ernst, C. M.; Klima, R. L.; Robinson, M. S.


    A combination of geologic mapping, compositional information, and geochemical models are providing a better understanding of Mercury's early geologic history, and allow us to place it in the context of the Moon and the terrestrial planets.

  7. STS-40 Mission Insignia (United States)


    The STS-40 patch makes a contemporary statement focusing on human beings living and working in space. Against a background of the universe, seven silver stars, interspersed about the orbital path of Columbia, represent the seven crew members. The orbiter's flight path forms a double-helix, designed to represent the DNA molecule common to all living creatures. In the words of a crew spokesman, ...(the helix) affirms the ceaseless expansion of human life and American involvement in space while simultaneously emphasizing the medical and biological studies to which this flight is dedicated. Above Columbia, the phrase Spacelab Life Sciences 1 defines both the Shuttle mission and its payload. Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian man, silhouetted against the blue darkness of the heavens, is in the upper center portion of the patch. With one foot on Earth and arms extended to touch Shuttle's orbit, the crew feels, he serves as a powerful embodiment of the extension of human inquiry from the boundaries of Earth to the limitless laboratory of space. Sturdily poised amid the stars, he serves to link scentists on Earth to the scientists in space asserting the harmony of efforts which produce meaningful scientific spaceflight missions. A brilliant red and yellow Earth limb (center) links Earth to space as it radiates from a native American symbol for the sun. At the frontier of space, the traditional symbol for the sun vividly links America's past to America's future, the crew states. Beneath the orbiting Shuttle, darkness of night rests peacefully over the United States. Drawn by artist Sean Collins, the STS 40 Space Shuttle patch was designed by the crewmembers for the flight.

  8. Mission to Planet Earth (United States)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.


    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  9. The solar probe mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldman, W.C.; Anderson, J.; Bohlin, J.D.; Burlaga, L.F.; Farquhar, R.; Gloeckler, G.; Goldstein, B.E.; Harvey, J.W.; Holzer, T.E.; Jones, W.V.; Kellogg, P.J.; Krimigis, S.M.; Kundu, M.R.; Lazarus, A.J.; Mellott, M.M.; Parker, E.N.; Rosner, R.; Rottman, G.J.; Slavin, J.A.; Suess, S.T.; Tsurutani, B.T.; Woo, R.T.; Zwickl, R.D.


    The Solar Probe will deliver a 133.5 kg science payload into a 4 R s perihelion solar polar orbit (with the first perihelion passage in 2004) to explore in situ one of the last frontiers in the solar system---the solar corona. This mission is both affordable and technologically feasible. Using a payload of 12 (predominantly particles and fields) scientific experiments, it will be possible to answer many long-standing, fundamental problems concerning the structure and dynamics of the outer solar atmosphere, including the acceleration, storage, and transport of energetic particles near the Sun and in the inner ( s ) heliosphere

  10. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.S.; Backlund, P.W.


    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. 8 refs

  11. Mercury CEM Calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John F. Schabron; Joseph F. Rovani; Susan S. Sorini


    The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) which was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2005, requires that calibration of mercury continuous emissions monitors (CEMs) be performed with NIST-traceable standards. Western Research Institute (WRI) is working closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate the development of the experimental criteria for a NIST traceability protocol for dynamic elemental mercury vapor generators. The traceability protocol will be written by EPA. Traceability will be based on the actual analysis of the output of each calibration unit at several concentration levels ranging from about 2-40 ug/m{sup 3}, and this analysis will be directly traceable to analyses by NIST using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ID ICP/MS) through a chain of analyses linking the calibration unit in the power plant to the NIST ID ICP/MS. Prior to this project, NIST did not provide a recommended mercury vapor pressure equation or list mercury vapor pressure in its vapor pressure database. The NIST Physical and Chemical Properties Division in Boulder, Colorado was subcontracted under this project to study the issue in detail and to recommend a mercury vapor pressure equation that the vendors of mercury vapor pressure calibration units can use to calculate the elemental mercury vapor concentration in an equilibrium chamber at a particular temperature. As part of this study, a preliminary evaluation of calibration units from five vendors was made. The work was performed by NIST in Gaithersburg, MD and Joe Rovani from WRI who traveled to NIST as a Visiting Scientist.

  12. Cutaneous mercury granuloma


    Kalpana A Bothale; Sadhana D Mahore; Sushil Pande; Trupti Dongre


    Cutaneous mercury granuloma is rarely encountered. Clinically it may pose difficulty in diagnosis. Here, we report a 23-year-old male presented with erythematous, nodular lesions over the forearm and anterior aspect of chest wall. Metallic mercury in tissue sections appear as dark black, opaque, spherical globules of varying size and number. They are surrounded by granulomatous foreign-body reaction. It is composed of foreign body giant cells and mixed inflammatory infiltrate composed of hist...

  13. Mercury in human hair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kapauan, P.A.; Cruz, C.C.; Verceluz, F.P.


    The analysis of mercury (Hg) in scalp hair obtained from individuals residing in five different localities in the Philippines - Metro Manila, Naga City in Bicol, Bataan, Oriental Mindoro, and Palawan is presented. An overall mean of 1.46 ug/g of hair was obtained for all samples excluding those from Palawan and represents a baseline value.'' In terms of the mercury levels found in hair, the Honda Bay area in Palawan is, relatively, a ''contaminated area.'' (author)

  14. Mars Sample Return - Launch and Detection Strategies for Orbital Rendezvous (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Mattingly, Richard L.; Riedel, Joseph E.; Sturm, Erick J.


    This study sets forth conceptual mission design strategies for the ascent and rendezvous phase of the proposed NASA/ESA joint Mars Sample Return Campaign. The current notional mission architecture calls for the launch of an acquisition/cache rover in 2018, an orbiter with an Earth return vehicle in 2022, and a fetch rover and ascent vehicle in 2024. Strategies are presented to launch the sample into a coplanar orbit with the Orbiter which facilitate robust optical detection, orbit determination, and rendezvous. Repeating ground track orbits exist at 457 and 572 km which provide multiple launch opportunities with similar geometries for detection and rendezvous.

  15. Mars Sample Return: Launch and Detection Strategies for Orbital Rendezvous (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Mattingly, Richard L.; Riedel, Joseph E.; Sturm, Erick J.


    This study sets forth conceptual mission design strategies for the ascent and rendezvous phase of the proposed NASA/ESA joint Mars Sample Return Campaign. The current notional mission architecture calls for the launch of an acquisition/ caching rover in 2018, an Earth return orbiter in 2022, and a fetch rover with ascent vehicle in 2024. Strategies are presented to launch the sample into a nearly coplanar orbit with the Orbiter which would facilitate robust optical detection, orbit determination, and rendezvous. Repeating ground track orbits existat 457 and 572 km which would provide multiple launch opportunities with similar geometries for detection and rendezvous.

  16. Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Missions (United States)

    Chesley, Steven


    Asteroid impact missions can be carried out as a relatively low-cost add-ons to most asteroid rendezvous missions and such impact experiments have tremendous potential, both scientifically and in the arena of planetary defense.The science returns from an impactor demonstration begin with the documentation of the global effects of the impact, such as changes in orbit and rotation state, the creation and dissipation of an ejecta plume and debris disk, and morphological changes across the body due to the transmission of seismic waves, which might induce landslides and toppling of boulders, etc. At a local level, an inspection of the impact crater and ejecta blanket reveals critical material strength information, as well as spectral differences between the surface and subsurface material.From the planetary defense perspective, an impact demonstration will prove humankind’s capacity to alter the orbit of a potentially threatening asteroid. This technological leap comes in two parts. First, terminal guidance systems that can deliver an impactor with small errors relative to the ~100-200 meter size of a likely impactor have yet to be demonstrated in a deep space environment. Second, the response of an asteroid to such an impact is only understood theoretically due to the potentially significant dependence on the momentum carried by escaping ejecta, which would tend to enhance the deflection by tens of percent and perhaps as much as a factor of a few. A lack of validated understanding of momentum enhancement is a significant obstacle in properly sizing a real-world impactor deflection mission.This presentation will describe the drivers for asteroid impact demonstrations and cover the range of such concepts, starting with ESA’s pioneering Don Quijote mission concept and leading to a brief description of concepts under study at the present time, including the OSIRIS-REx/ISIS, BASiX/KIX and AIM/DART (AIDA) concepts.

  17. Gravity, Topography, and Magnetic Field of Mercury from Messenger (United States)

    Neumann, Gregory A.; Solomon, Sean C.; Zuber, Maria T.; Phillips, Roger J.; Barnouin, Olivier; Ernst, Carolyn; Goosens, Sander; Hauck, Steven A., II; Head, James W., III; Johnson, Catherine L.; hide


    On 18 March 2011, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft was inserted into a 12-hour, near-polar orbit around Mercury, with an initial periapsis altitude of 200 km, initial periapse latitude of 60 deg N, and apoapsis at approximately 15,200 km altitude in the southern hemisphere. This orbit has permitted the mapping of regional gravitational structure in the northern hemisphere, and laser altimetry from the MESSENGER spacecraft has yielded a geodetically controlled elevation model for the same hemisphere. The shape of a planet combined with gravity provides fundamental information regarding its internal structure and geologic and thermal evolution. Elevations in the northern hemisphere exhibit a unimodal distribution with a dynamic range of 9.63 km, less than that of the Moon (19.9 km), but consistent with Mercury's higher surface gravitational acceleration. After one Earth-year in orbit, refined models of gravity and topography have revealed several large positive gravity anomalies that coincide with major impact basins. These candidate mascons have anomalies that exceed 100 mGal and indicate substantial crustal thinning and superisostatic uplift of underlying mantle. An additional uncompensated 1000-km-diameter gravity and topographic high at 68 deg N, 33 deg E lies within Mercury's northern volcanic plains. Mercury's northern hemisphere crust is generally thicker at low latitudes than in the polar region. The low-degree gravity field, combined with planetary spin parameters, yields the moment of inertia C/MR2 = 0.353 +/- 0.017, where M=3.30 x 10(exp 23) kg and R=2440 km are Mercury's mass and radius, and a ratio of the moment of inertia of Mercury's solid outer shell to that of the planet of Cm/C = 0.452 +/- 0.035. One proposed model for Mercury's radial density distribution consistent with these results includes silicate crust and mantle layers overlying a dense solid (possibly Fe-S) layer, a liquid Fe

  18. Large longitude libration of Mercury reveals a molten core. (United States)

    Margot, J L; Peale, S J; Jurgens, R F; Slade, M A; Holin, I V


    Observations of radar speckle patterns tied to the rotation of Mercury establish that the planet occupies a Cassini state with obliquity of 2.11 +/- 0.1 arc minutes. The measurements show that the planet exhibits librations in longitude that are forced at the 88-day orbital period, as predicted by theory. The large amplitude of the oscillations, 35.8 +/- 2 arc seconds, together with the Mariner 10 determination of the gravitational harmonic coefficient C22, indicates that the mantle of Mercury is decoupled from a core that is at least partially molten.

  19. Method and apparatus for monitoring mercury emissions (United States)

    Durham, Michael D.; Schlager, Richard J.; Sappey, Andrew D.; Sagan, Francis J.; Marmaro, Roger W.; Wilson, Kevin G.


    A mercury monitoring device that continuously monitors the total mercury concentration in a gas. The device uses the same chamber for converting speciated mercury into elemental mercury and for measurement of the mercury in the chamber by radiation absorption techniques. The interior of the chamber is resistant to the absorption of speciated and elemental mercury at the operating temperature of the chamber.

  20. Mercury pollution in Malaysia. (United States)

    Hajeb, Parvaneh; Jinap, S; Ismail, Ahmad; Mahyudin, Nor Ainy


    Although several studies have been published on levels of mercury contamination of the environment, and of food and human tissues in Peninsular Malaysia, there is a serious dearth of research that has been performed in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). Industry is rapidly developing in East Malaysia, and, hence, there is a need for establishing baseline levels of mercury contamination in environmental media in that part of the country by performing monitoring studies. Residues of total mercury and inorganic in food samples have been determined in nearly all previous studies that have been conducted; however, few researchers have analyzed samples for the presence of methlymercury residues. Because methylmercury is the most toxic form of mercury, and because there is a growing public awareness of the risk posed by methylmercury exposure that is associated with fish and seafood consumption, further monitoring studies on methylmercury in food are also essential. From the results of previous studies, it is obvious that the economic development in Malaysia, in recent years, has affected the aquatic environment of the country. Primary areas of environmental concern are centered on the rivers of the west Peninsular Malaysian coast, and the coastal waters of the Straits of Malacca, wherein industrial activities are rapidly expanding. The sources of existing mercury input to both of these areas of Malaysia should be studied and identified. Considering the high levels of mercury that now exists in human tissues, efforts should be continued, and accelerated in the future, if possible, to monitor mercury contamination levels in the coastal states, and particularly along the west Peninsular Malaysian coast. Most studies that have been carried out on mercury residues in environmental samples are dated, having been conducted 20-30 years ago; therefore, the need to collect much more and more current data is urgent. Furthermore, establishing baseline levels of mercury exposure to

  1. Mercury Quick Facts: Health Effects of Mercury Exposure (United States)

    ... 2012 What are the Health Effects of Mercury Exposure? The health effects that can be caused by breathing mercury depend ... they breathe faster and have smaller lungs. Health effects caused by long-term exposure to mercury vapors • • Anxiety • • Excessive shyness • • Anorexia • • Sleeping ...

  2. First in-situ observations of exospheric response to CME impact at Mercury (United States)

    Raines, J. M.; Wallace, K. L.; Sarantos, M.; Jasinski, J. M.; Tracy, P.; Dewey, R. M.; Weberg, M. J.; Slavin, J. A.


    We present the first in-situ observations of enhancements to Mercury's He exosphere generated by CME impact. We analyzed both plasma and magnetic field measurements from the Mercury Surface Space Environment, Geochemistry and Mapping (MESSENGER) spacecraft over a 60-hour period as a coronal mass ejection (CME) passed by the planet. We identified the shock, magnetic cloud and cavity regions of the moderate intensity CME while MESSENGER was in the solar wind. Inside the magnetosphere just after the CME shock passage, we observed a very active dayside magnetosphere, as evident from the high flux plasma parcels passing through the dayside and a broad northern magnetospheric cusp with exceptionally high planetary ion content. All of these signatures indicate substantial reconnection at the dayside magnetopause, making conditions that were excellent for solar wind access to Mercury's surface. The CME appeared to have been particularly enriched in He2+, causing the observed density of solar wind He2+ in the cusp to rise above 0.1 cm-3 and putting it in the top 1% of the over 3200 cusps analyzed. As the low-density CME cavity passed over the planet on the next orbit, the magnetosphere appeared much quieter, with smoother magnetic fields and a smaller, less intense northern cusp but with greatly enhanced He+ content. The elevated He+ observed density continued to increase on subsequent cusp crossings, peaking at 0.1 cm-3 36 hours after CME impact, the highest observed throughout the entire MESSENGER mission. We suggest that the enhancement in He+ indicates an increase to the neutral He exosphere density from the He-enriched CME, a phenomenon observed at the moon, possibly acting as follows: Increased access to the surface from CME-enhanced reconnection, combined with high He2+ flux, enhanced surface implantation. Neutral He atoms were then liberated at an increased rate by surface processes supplying the exosphere, causing a gradual increase in He exosphere density. This

  3. Geology of the Shakespeare quadrangle (H03), Mercury (United States)

    Guzzetta, L.; Galluzzi, V.; Ferranti, L.; Palumbo, P.


    A 1:3M geological map of the H03 Shakespeare quadrangle of Mercury has been compiled through photointerpretation of the remotely sensed images of the NASA MESSENGER mission. This quadrangle is characterized by the occurrence of three main types of plains materials and four basin materials, pertaining to the Caloris basin, the largest impact crater on Mercury's surface. The geologic boundaries have been redefined compared to the previous 1:5M map of the quadrangle and the craters have been classified privileging their stratigraphic order rather than morphological appearance. The abundant tectonic landforms have been interpreted and mapped as thrusts or wrinkle ridges.

  4. Dynamic Planet Mercury in the Context of Its Environment

    CERN Document Server

    Clark, Pamela Elizabeth


    We are in a time of transition in our understanding of Mercury. Of particular interest here is the emerging picture of the planet as a system, with interactions between interior, surface, exosphere, and magnetosphere that have influenced and constrained the evolution of each part of the system. Previous books have emphasized the results of Mariner 10 and current ground-based measurements, with very little discussion of the nature and influence of the magnetosphere. This book will present the planet in the context of its surroundings, thus providing a foundation for the next major influx of information from Mercury and contributing to the planning for future missions.

  5. Small Orbital Stereo Tracking Camera Technology Development (United States)

    Gagliano, L.; Bryan, T.; MacLeod, T.

    On-Orbit Small Debris Tracking and Characterization is a technical gap in the current National Space Situational Awareness necessary to safeguard orbital assets and crew. This poses a major risk of MOD damage to ISS and Exploration vehicles. In 2015 this technology was added to NASAs Office of Chief Technologist roadmap. For missions flying in or assembled in or staging from LEO, the physical threat to vehicle and crew is needed in order to properly design the proper level of MOD impact shielding and proper mission design restrictions. Need to verify debris flux and size population versus ground RADAR tracking. Use of ISS for In-Situ Orbital Debris Tracking development provides attitude, power, data and orbital access without a dedicated spacecraft or restricted operations on-board a host vehicle as a secondary payload. Sensor Applicable to in-situ measuring orbital debris in flux and population in other orbits or on other vehicles. Could enhance safety on and around ISS. Some technologies extensible to monitoring of extraterrestrial debris as well To help accomplish this, new technologies must be developed quickly. The Small Orbital Stereo Tracking Camera is one such up and coming technology. It consists of flying a pair of intensified megapixel telephoto cameras to evaluate Orbital Debris (OD) monitoring in proximity of International Space Station. It will demonstrate on-orbit optical tracking (in situ) of various sized objects versus ground RADAR tracking and small OD models. The cameras are based on Flight Proven Advanced Video Guidance Sensor pixel to spot algorithms (Orbital Express) and military targeting cameras. And by using twin cameras we can provide Stereo images for ranging & mission redundancy. When pointed into the orbital velocity vector (RAM), objects approaching or near the stereo camera set can be differentiated from the stars moving upward in background.

  6. Mercury pOIsonIng

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A case of mercury poisoning is reported and clinical observations of 6 .... fish ingested and occupational exposure. .... exposed to mercury as a result of inadequate industrial safety standards, and ... WHO Tech Rep Ser 1980; No. 674: 102-115.

  7. Mercury Study Report to Congress (United States)

    EPA's Report to Congress on Mercury provides an assessment of the magnitude of U.S. mercury emissions by source, the health and environmental implications of those emissions, and the availability and cost of control technologies.

  8. True Polar Wander of Mercury (United States)

    Keane, J. T.; Matsuyama, I.


    We use new MESSENGER gravity data to investigate how impact basins and volcanic provinces alter Mercury's moments of inertia. We find that Mercury has reoriented tens of degrees over its history, affecting tectonics, volatiles, and more.

  9. Mercury Emissions: The Global Context (United States)

    Mercury emissions are a global problem that knows no national or continental boundaries. Mercury that is emitted to the air can travel thousands of miles in the atmosphere before it is eventually deposited back to the earth.

  10. Orbit analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michelotti, L.


    The past fifteen years have witnessed a remarkable development of methods for analyzing single particle orbit dynamics in accelerators. Unlike their more classic counterparts, which act upon differential equations, these methods proceed by manipulating Poincare maps directly. This attribute makes them well matched for studying accelerators whose physics is most naturally modelled in terms of maps, an observation that has been championed most vigorously by Forest. In the following sections the author sketchs a little background, explains some of the physics underlying these techniques, and discusses the best computing strategy for implementing them in conjunction with modeling accelerators

  11. Brane orbits

    CERN Document Server

    Bergshoeff, Eric A; Riccioni, Fabio


    We complete the classification of half-supersymmetric branes in toroidally compactified IIA/IIB string theory in terms of representations of the T-duality group. As a by-product we derive a last wrapping rule for the space-filling branes. We find examples of T-duality representations of branes in lower dimensions, suggested by supergravity, of which none of the component branes follow from the reduction of any brane in ten-dimensional IIA/IIB string theory. We discuss the constraints on the charges of half-supersymmetric branes, determining the corresponding T-duality and U-duality orbits.

  12. Orbit analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michelotti, L.


    The past fifteen years have witnessed a remarkable development of methods for analyzing single particle orbit dynamics in accelerators. Unlike their more classic counterparts, which act upon differential equations, these methods proceed by manipulating Poincare maps directly. This attribute makes them well matched for studying accelerators whose physics is most naturally modelled in terms of maps, an observation that has been championed most vigorously by Forest. In the following sections the author sketchs a little background, explains some of the physics underlying these techniques, and discusses the best computing strategy for implementing them in conjunction with modeling accelerators.

  13. OMV mission simulator (United States)

    Cok, Keith E.


    The Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV) will be remotely piloted during rendezvous, docking, or proximity operations with target spacecraft from a ground control console (GCC). The real-time mission simulator and graphics being used to design a console pilot-machine interface are discussed. A real-time orbital dynamics simulator drives the visual displays. The dynamics simulator includes a J2 oblate earth gravity model and a generalized 1962 rotating atmospheric and drag model. The simulator also provides a variable-length communication delay to represent use of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and NASA Communications (NASCOM). Input parameter files determine the graphics display. This feature allows rapid prototyping since displays can be easily modified from pilot recommendations. A series of pilot reviews are being held to determine an effective pilot-machine interface. Pilots fly missions with nominal to 3-sigma dispersions in translational or rotational axes. Console dimensions, switch type and layout, hand controllers, and graphic interfaces are evaluated by the pilots and the GCC simulator is modified for subsequent runs. Initial results indicate a pilot preference for analog versus digital displays and for two 3-degree-of-freedom hand controllers.

  14. Mercury's magnetic field and interior

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connerney, J.E.P.; Ness, N.F.


    The magnetic-field data collected on Mercury by the Mariner-10 spacecraft present substantial evidence for an intrinsic global magnetic field. However, studies of Mercury's thermal evolution show that it is most likely that the inner core region of Mercury solidified or froze early in the planet's history. Thus, the explanation of Mercury's magnetic field in the framework of the traditional planetary dynamo is less than certain

  15. Distant retrograde orbits and the asteroid hazard (United States)

    Perozzi, Ettore; Ceccaroni, Marta; Valsecchi, Giovanni B.; Rossi, Alessandro


    Distant Retrograde Orbits (DROs) gained a novel wave of fame in space mission design because of their numerous advantages within the framework of the US plans for bringing a large asteroid sample in the vicinity of the Earth as the next target for human exploration. DROs are stable solutions of the three-body problem that can be used whenever an object, whether of natural or artificial nature, is required to remain in the neighborhood of a celestial body without being gravitationally captured by it. As such, they represent an alternative option to Halo orbits around the collinear Lagrangian points L1 and L2. Also known under other names ( e.g., quasi-satellite orbits, cis-lunar orbits, family- f orbits) these orbital configurations found interesting applications in several mission profiles, like that of a spacecraft orbiting around the small irregularly shaped satellite of Mars Phobos or the large Jovian moon Europa. In this paper a basic explanation of the DRO dynamics is presented in order to clarify some geometrical properties that characterize them. Their accessibility is then discussed from the point of view of mission analysis under different assumptions. Finally, their relevance within the framework of the present asteroid hazard protection programs is shown, stressing the significant increase in warning time they would provide in the prediction of impactors coming from the direction of the Sun.

  16. Rotation of mercury: theoretical analysis of the dynamics of a rigid ellipsoidal planet. (United States)

    Laslett, L J; Sessler, A M


    The second-order nonlinear differential equation for the rotation of Mercury implies locked-in motion when the period is within the range where e is the eccentricity and T is the period of Mercury's orbit, the time t is measured from perihelion, and lambda is a measure of the planet's disiortion. For values near 2T/3, the instantaneous period oscillates about 2T/3 with period (21lambdae/2)T.


    The purpose of the Mercury in Marine Life Project is to organize information on estuarine and marine species so that EPA can better understand both the extent of monitoring for mercury and level of mercury contamination in the biota of coastal environments. This report follows a ...

  18. Reference Atmosphere for Mercury (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.


    We propose that Ar-40 measured in the lunar atmosphere and that in Mercury's atmosphere is due to current diffusion into connected pore space within the crust. Higher temperatures at Mercury, along with more rapid loss from the atmosphere will lead to a smaller column abundance of argon at Mercury than at the Moon, given the same crustal abundance of potassium. Because the noble gas abundance in the Hermean atmosphere represents current effusion, it is a direct measure of the crustal potassium abundance. Ar-40 in the atmospheres of the planets is a measure of potassium abundance in the interiors, since Ar-40 is a product of radiogenic decay of K-40 by electron capture with the subsequent emission of a 1.46 eV gamma-ray. Although the Ar-40 in the Earth's atmosphere is expected to have accumulated since the late bombardment, Ar-40 in the atmospheres of Mercury and the Moon is eroded quickly by photoionization and electron impact ionization. Thus, the argon content in the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury is representative of current effusion rather than accumulation over the lifetime of the planet.

  19. Mercury's Atmosphere and Magnetosphere: MESSENGER Third Flyby Observations (United States)

    Slavin, James A.; Anderson, Brian J.; Baker, Daniel N.; Benna, Mehdi; Johnson, Catherine L.; Gloeckler, George; Killen, Rosemary M.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McClintock, William; McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; hide


    MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury en route to orbit insertion about the innermost planet took place on 29 September 2009. The earlier 14 January and 6 October 2008 encounters revealed that Mercury's magnetic field is highly dipolar and stable over the 35 years since its discovery by Mariner 10; that a structured, temporally variable exosphere extends to great altitudes on the dayside and forms a long tail in the anti-sunward direction; a cloud of planetary ions encompasses the magnetosphere from the dayside bow shock to the downstream magnetosheath and magnetotail; and that the magnetosphere undergoes extremely intense magnetic reconnect ion in response to variations in the interplanetary magnetic field. Here we report on new results derived from observations from MESSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS), Magnetometer (MAG), and Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) taken during the third flyby.

  20. Water displacement mercury pump (United States)

    Nielsen, M.G.


    A water displacement mercury pump has a fluid inlet conduit and diffuser, a valve, a pressure cannister, and a fluid outlet conduit. The valve has a valve head which seats in an opening in the cannister. The entire assembly is readily insertable into a process vessel which produces mercury as a product. As the mercury settles, it flows into the opening in the cannister displacing lighter material. When the valve is in a closed position, the pressure cannister is sealed except for the fluid inlet conduit and the fluid outlet conduit. Introduction of a lighter fluid into the cannister will act to displace a heavier fluid from the cannister via the fluid outlet conduit. The entire pump assembly penetrates only a top wall of the process vessel, and not the sides or the bottom wall of the process vessel. This insures a leak-proof environment and is especially suitable for processing of hazardous materials.

  1. Calcium in Mercury's Exosphere: Modeling MESSENGER Data (United States)

    Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Merkel, Aimee; Vervack, Ronald J.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Sprague, Ann L.


    Mercury is surrounded by a surface-bounded exosphere comprised of atomic species including hydrogen, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and likely oxygen. Because it is collisionless. the exosphere's composition represents a balance of the active source and loss processes. The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) on the MErcury Surface. Space ENvironment. GEochemistry. and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has made high spatial-resolution observations of sodium, calcium, and magnesium near Mercury's surface and in the extended, anti-sunward direction. The most striking feature of these data has been the substantial differences in the spatial distribution of each species, Our modeling demonstrates that these differences cannot be due to post-ejection dynamics such as differences in photo-ionization rate and radiation pressure. but instead point to differences in the source mechanisms and regions on the surface from which each is ejected. The observations of calcium have revealed a strong dawn/dusk asymmetry. with the abundance over the dawn hemisphere significantly greater than over the dusk. To understand this asymmetry, we use a Monte Carlo model of Mercury's exosphere that we developed to track the motions of exospheric neutrals under the influence of gravity and radiation pressure. Ca atoms can be ejected directly from the surface or produced in a molecular exosphere (e.g., one consisting of CaO). Particles are removed from the system if they stick to the surface or escape from the model region of interest (within 15 Mercury radii). Photoionization reduces the final weighting given to each particle when simulating the Ca radiance. Preliminary results suggest a high temperature ( I-2x 10(exp 4) K) source of atomic Ca concentrated over the dawn hemisphere. The high temperature is consistent with the dissociation of CaO in a near-surface exosphere with scale height <= 100 km, which imparts 2 eV to the freshly produced Ca atom. This

  2. Energetic Particles Dynamics in Mercury's Magnetosphere (United States)

    Walsh, Brian M.; Ryou, A.S.; Sibeck, D. G.; Alexeev, I. I.


    We investigate the drift paths of energetic particles in Mercury's magnetosphere by tracing their motion through a model magnetic field. Test particle simulations solving the full Lorentz force show a quasi-trapped energetic particle population that gradient and curvature drift around the planet via "Shabansky" orbits, passing though high latitudes in the compressed dayside by equatorial latitudes on the nightside. Due to their large gyroradii, energetic H+ and Na+ ions will typically collide with the planet or the magnetopause and will not be able to complete a full drift orbit. These simulations provide direct comparison for recent spacecraft measurements from MESSENGER. Mercury's offset dipole results in an asymmetric loss cone and therefore an asymmetry in particle precipitation with more particles precipitating in the southern hemisphere. Since the planet lacks an atmosphere, precipitating particles will collide directly with the surface of the planet. The incident charged particles can kick up neutrals from the surface and have implications for the formation of the exosphere and weathering of the surface

  3. Kilometer-Scale Topographic Roughness of Mercury: Correlation with Geologic Features and Units (United States)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.


    We present maps of the topographic roughness of the northern circumpolar area of Mercury at kilometer scales. The maps are derived from range profiles obtained by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instrument onboard the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission. As measures of roughness, we used the interquartile range of profile curvature at three baselines: 0.7 kilometers, 2.8 kilometers, and 11 kilometers. The maps provide a synoptic overview of variations of typical topographic textures. They show a dichotomy between the smooth northern plains and rougher, more heavily cratered terrains. Analysis of the scale dependence of roughness indicates that the regolith on Mercury is thicker than on the Moon by approximately a factor of three. Roughness contrasts within northern volcanic plains of Mercury indicate a younger unit inside Goethe basin and inside another unnamed stealth basin. These new data permit interplanetary comparisons of topographic roughness.

  4. Dawn Mission Update (United States)

    Sykes, M. V.; Russell, C. T.; Coradini, A.; Christensen, U.; de Sanctis, M. C.; Feldman, W. C.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, U.; Konopliv, A. S.; McCord, T. B.; McFadden, L. A.; McSween, H. Y.; Mottola, S.; Neukum, G.; Pieters, C. M.; Prettyman, T. H.; Raymond, C. A.; Smith, D. E.; Williams, B. G.; Wise, J.; Zuber, M. T.


    Dawn, the ninth Discovery mission, will be the first spacecraft to rendezvous with two solar system bodies, the main belt asteroids Vesta and Ceres. This is made possible by utilizing ion propulsion to reach its targets and to maneuver into (and depart) orbits about these bodies. Vesta and Ceres are two terrestrial protoplanets that have survived since the earliest epoch of the solar system and will provide important insights into planet building processes and their evolution under very different circumstances, with and without water. Dawn carries a double framing camera, a visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, and a gamma ray and neutron detector. At Vesta our studies will include the volcanic emplacement of basalts, its differentiation, the possible exposure of its interior near the south pole. At Ceres our studies will include the role of water in its evolution, hydration processes on its surface, and the possible existence of a subsurface ocean. The mission has passed its critical design review and is scheduled to be launched in June 2006 with arrival at Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. Operation strategies will be presented. Groundbased observations of Vesta, Ceres, and Vesta family members over broad wavelengths, periods and phases will play an important role in detailed mission planning.

  5. Landsat Data Continuity Mission (United States)



    The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is a partnership formed between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to place the next Landsat satellite in orbit in January 2013. The Landsat era that began in 1972 will become a nearly 41-year global land record with the successful launch and operation of the LDCM. The LDCM will continue the acquisition, archiving, and distribution of multispectral imagery affording global, synoptic, and repetitive coverage of the Earth's land surfaces at a scale where natural and human-induced changes can be detected, differentiated, characterized, and monitored over time. The mission objectives of the LDCM are to (1) collect and archive medium resolution (30-meter spatial resolution) multispectral image data affording seasonal coverage of the global landmasses for a period of no less than 5 years; (2) ensure that LDCM data are sufficiently consistent with data from the earlier Landsat missions in terms of acquisition geometry, calibration, coverage characteristics, spectral characteristics, output product quality, and data availability to permit studies of landcover and land-use change over time; and (3) distribute LDCM data products to the general public on a nondiscriminatory basis at no cost to the user.

  6. The Spartan 1 mission (United States)

    Cruddace, Raymond G.; Fritz, G. G.; Shrewsberry, D. J.; Brandenstein, D. J.; Creighton, D. C.; Gutschewski, G.; Lucid, S. W.; Nagel, J. M.; Fabian, J. M.; Zimmerman, D.


    The first Spartan mission is documented. The Spartan program, an outgrowth of a joint Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) development effort, was instituted by NASA for launching autonomous, recoverable payloads from the space shuttle. These payloads have a precise pointing system and are intended to support a wide range of space-science observations and experiments. The first Spartan, carrying an NRL X-ray astronomy instrument, was launched by the orbiter Discovery (STS51G) on June 20, 1985 and recovered successfully 45 h later, on June 22. During this period, Spartan 1 conducted a preprogrammed series of observations of two X-ray sources: the Perseus cluster of galaxies and the center of our galaxy. The mission was successful from both on engineering and a scientific viewpoint. Only one problem was encountered, the attitude control system (ACS) shut down earlier than planned because of high attitude control system gas consumption. A preplanned emergency mode then placed Spartan 1 into a stable, safe condition and allowed a safe recovery. The events are described of the mission and presents X-ray maps of the two observed sources, which were produced from the flight data.

  7. Mercury's Na Exosphere from MESSENGER Data (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Burger, M. H.; Cassidy, T. A.; Sarantos, M.; Vervack, R. J.; McClintock, W. El; Merkel, A. W.; Sprague, A. L.; Solomon, S. C.


    MESSENGER entered orbit about Mercury on March 18, 2011. Since then, the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UWS) channel of MESSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) has been observing Mercury's exosphere nearly continuously. Daily measurements of Na brightness were fitted with non-uniform exospheric models. With Monte Carlo sampling we traced the trajectories of a representative number of test particles, generally one million per run per source process, until photoionization, escape from the gravitational well, or permanent sticking at the surface removed the atom from the simulation. Atoms were assumed to partially thermally accommodate on each encounter with the surface with accommodation coefficient 0.25. Runs for different assumed source processes are run separately, scaled and co-added. Once these model results were saved onto a 3D grid, we ran lines of sight from the MESSENGER spacecraft :0 infinity using the SPICE kernels and we computed brightness integrals. Note that only particles that contribute to the measurement can be constrained with our method. Atoms and molecules produced on the nightside must escape the shadow in order to scatter light if the excitation process is resonant-light scattering, as assumed here. The aggregate distribution of Na atoms fits a 1200 K gas, with a PSD distribution, along with a hotter component. Our models constrain the hot component, assumed to be impact vaporization, to be emitted with a 2500 K Maxwellian. Most orbits show a dawnside enhancement in the hot component broadly spread over the leading hemisphere. However, on some dates there is no dawn/dusk asymmetry. The portion of the hot/cold source appears to be highly variable.

  8. Mercury exposure in Ireland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cullen, Elizabeth; Evans, David S; Davidson, Fred


    of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. METHODS: Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES...... guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. RESULTS: Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children's samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair) and children (0.149 µg /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were...

  9. Mercury CEM Calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John Schabron; Joseph Rovani; Mark Sanderson


    Mercury continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) are being implemented in over 800 coal-fired power plant stacks. The power industry desires to conduct at least a full year of monitoring before the formal monitoring and reporting requirement begins on January 1, 2009. It is important for the industry to have available reliable, turnkey equipment from CEM vendors. Western Research Institute (WRI) is working closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate the development of the experimental criteria for a NIST traceability protocol for dynamic elemental mercury vapor generators. The generators are used to calibrate mercury CEMs at power plant sites. The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) which was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2005 requires that calibration be performed with NIST-traceable standards (Federal Register 2007). Traceability procedures will be defined by EPA. An initial draft traceability protocol was issued by EPA in May 2007 for comment. In August 2007, EPA issued an interim traceability protocol for elemental mercury generators (EPA 2007). The protocol is based on the actual analysis of the output of each calibration unit at several concentration levels ranging initially from about 2-40 {micro}g/m{sup 3} elemental mercury, and in the future down to 0.2 {micro}g/m{sup 3}, and this analysis will be directly traceable to analyses by NIST. The document is divided into two separate sections. The first deals with the qualification of generators by the vendors for use in mercury CEM calibration. The second describes the procedure that the vendors must use to certify the generator models that meet the qualification specifications. The NIST traceable certification is performance based, traceable to analysis using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry performed by NIST in Gaithersburg, MD. The

  10. Report of the terrestrial bodies science working group. Volume 2. Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albee, A.L.; Coroniti, F.V.; Malin, M.C.; Sonett, C.P.


    The objectives and rationale for scientific investigation of Mercury are explored. Knowledge already obtained by astronomical observations and Mariner 10 spacecraft is reviewed and measurements required for the principal scientific goals are described. The use of low thrust propulsion systems is recommended so that maximum scientific return may be achieved and the reconnaissance phase of Mercury exploration may be completed in a single mission. Accelerated development is recommended on solar electric propulsion, solar sails, passive and active cooling mechanisms, and single rough landers

  11. Method and apparatus for sampling atmospheric mercury (United States)

    Trujillo, Patricio E.; Campbell, Evan E.; Eutsler, Bernard C.


    A method of simultaneously sampling particulate mercury, organic mercurial vapors, and metallic mercury vapor in the working and occupational environment and determining the amount of mercury derived from each such source in the sampled air. A known volume of air is passed through a sampling tube containing a filter for particulate mercury collection, a first adsorber for the selective adsorption of organic mercurial vapors, and a second adsorber for the adsorption of metallic mercury vapor. Carbon black molecular sieves are particularly useful as the selective adsorber for organic mercurial vapors. The amount of mercury adsorbed or collected in each section of the sampling tube is readily quantitatively determined by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry.


    Dauro, V. A.


    IMP is a simulation language that is used to model missions around the Earth, Moon, Mars, or other planets. It has been used to model missions for the Saturn Program, Apollo Program, Space Transportation System, Space Exploration Initiative, and Space Station Freedom. IMP allows a user to control the mission being simulated through a large event/maneuver menu. Up to three spacecraft may be used: a main, a target and an observer. The simulation may begin at liftoff, suborbital, or orbital. IMP incorporates a Fehlberg seventh order, thirteen evaluation Runge-Kutta integrator with error and step-size control to numerically integrate the equations of motion. The user may choose oblate or spherical gravity for the central body (Earth, Mars, Moon or other) while a spherical model is used for the gravity of an additional perturbing body. Sun gravity and pressure and Moon gravity effects are user-selectable. Earth/Mars atmospheric effects can be included. The optimum thrust guidance parameters are calculated automatically. Events/maneuvers may involve many velocity changes, and these velocity changes may be impulsive or of finite duration. Aerobraking to orbit is also an option. Other simulation options include line-of-sight communication guidelines, a choice of propulsion systems, a soft landing on the Earth or Mars, and rendezvous with a target vehicle. The input/output is in metric units, with the exception of thrust and weight which are in English units. Input is read from the user's input file to minimize real-time keyboard input. Output includes vehicle state, orbital and guide parameters, event and total velocity changes, and propellant usage. The main output is to the user defined print file, but during execution, part of the input/output is also displayed on the screen. An included FORTRAN program, TEKPLOT, will display plots on the VDT as well as generating a graphic file suitable for output on most laser printers. The code is double precision. IMP is written in

  13. Calibration, Projection, and Final Image Products of MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System (United States)

    Denevi, Brett W.; Chabot, Nancy L.; Murchie, Scott L.; Becker, Kris J.; Blewett, David T.; Domingue, Deborah L.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; Hash, Christopher D.; Hawkins, S. Edward; Keller, Mary R.; Laslo, Nori R.; Nair, Hari; Robinson, Mark S.; Seelos, Frank P.; Stephens, Grant K.; Turner, F. Scott; Solomon, Sean C.


    We present an overview of the operations, calibration, geodetic control, photometric standardization, and processing of images from the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) acquired during the orbital phase of the MESSENGER spacecraft's mission at Mercury (18 March 2011-30 April 2015). We also provide a summary of all of the MDIS products that are available in NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS). Updates to the radiometric calibration included slight modification of the frame-transfer smear correction, updates to the flat fields of some wide-angle camera (WAC) filters, a new model for the temperature dependence of narrow-angle camera (NAC) and WAC sensitivity, and an empirical correction for temporal changes in WAC responsivity. Further, efforts to characterize scattered light in the WAC system are described, along with a mosaic-dependent correction for scattered light that was derived for two regional mosaics. Updates to the geometric calibration focused on the focal lengths and distortions of the NAC and all WAC filters, NAC-WAC alignment, and calibration of the MDIS pivot angle and base. Additionally, two control networks were derived so that the majority of MDIS images can be co-registered with sub-pixel accuracy; the larger of the two control networks was also used to create a global digital elevation model. Finally, we describe the image processing and photometric standardization parameters used in the creation of the MDIS advanced products in the PDS, which include seven large-scale mosaics, numerous targeted local mosaics, and a set of digital elevation models ranging in scale from local to global.

  14. Mercury Information Clearinghouse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chad A. Wocken; Michael J. Holmes; Dennis L. Laudal; Debra F. Pflughoeft-Hassett; Greg F. Weber; Nicholas V. C. Ralston; Stanley J. Miller; Grant E. Dunham; Edwin S. Olson; Laura J. Raymond; John H. Pavlish; Everett A. Sondreal; Steven A. Benson


    The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) identified a need and contracted the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to create and maintain an information clearinghouse on global research and development activities related to mercury emissions from coal-fired electric utilities. With the support of CEA, the Center for Air Toxic Metals{reg_sign} (CATM{reg_sign}) Affiliates, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the EERC developed comprehensive quarterly information updates that provide a detailed assessment of developments in the various areas of mercury monitoring, control, policy, and research. A total of eight topical reports were completed and are summarized and updated in this final CEA quarterly report. The original quarterly reports can be viewed at the CEA Web site ( In addition to a comprehensive update of previous mercury-related topics, a review of results from the CEA Mercury Program is provided. Members of Canada's coal-fired electricity generation sector (ATCO Power, EPCOR, Manitoba Hydro, New Brunswick Power, Nova Scotia Power Inc., Ontario Power Generation, SaskPower, and TransAlta) and CEA, have compiled an extensive database of information from stack-, coal-, and ash-sampling activities. Data from this effort are also available at the CEA Web site and have provided critical information for establishing and reviewing a mercury standard for Canada that is protective of environment and public health and is cost-effective. Specific goals outlined for the CEA mercury program included the following: (1) Improve emission inventories and develop management options through an intensive 2-year coal-, ash-, and stack-sampling program; (2) Promote effective stack testing through the development of guidance material and the support of on-site training on the Ontario Hydro method for employees, government representatives, and contractors on an as-needed basis; (3) Strengthen laboratory analytical capabilities through

  15. Constructional Volcanic Edifices on Mercury: Candidates and Hypotheses of Formation (United States)

    Wright, Jack; Rothery, David A.; Balme, Matthew R.; Conway, Susan J.


    Mercury, a planet with a predominantly volcanic crust, has perplexingly few, if any, constructional volcanic edifices, despite their common occurrence on other solar system bodies with volcanic histories. Using image and topographical data from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, we describe two small (Earth and the Moon. Though we cannot definitively conclude that these landforms are volcanic, the paucity of constructional volcanic edifices on Mercury is intriguing in itself. We suggest that this lack is because volcanic eruptions with sufficiently low eruption volumes, rates, and flow lengths, suitable for edifice construction, were highly spatiotemporally restricted during Mercury's geological history. We suggest that volcanic edifices may preferentially occur in association with late-stage, postimpact effusive volcanic deposits. The European Space Agency/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency BepiColombo mission to Mercury will be able to investigate further our candidate volcanic edifices; search for other, as-yet unrecognized edifices beneath the detection limits of MESSENGER data; and test our hypothesis that edifice construction is favored by late-stage, low-volume effusive eruptions.

  16. Mercury Phase II Study - Mercury Behavior in Salt Processing Flowsheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jain, V.; Shah, H.; Wilmarth, W. R.


    Mercury (Hg) in the Savannah River Site Liquid Waste System (LWS) originated from decades of canyon processing where it was used as a catalyst for dissolving the aluminum cladding of reactor fuel. Approximately 60 metric tons of mercury is currently present throughout the LWS. Mercury has long been a consideration in the LWS, from both hazard and processing perspectives. In February 2015, a Mercury Program Team was established at the request of the Department of Energy to develop a comprehensive action plan for long-term management and removal of mercury. Evaluation was focused in two Phases. Phase I activities assessed the Liquid Waste inventory and chemical processing behavior using a system-by-system review methodology, and determined the speciation of the different mercury forms (Hg+, Hg++, elemental Hg, organomercury, and soluble versus insoluble mercury) within the LWS. Phase II activities are building on the Phase I activities, and results of the LWS flowsheet evaluations will be summarized in three reports: Mercury Behavior in the Salt Processing Flowsheet (i.e. this report); Mercury Behavior in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) Flowsheet; and Mercury behavior in the Tank Farm Flowsheet (Evaporator Operations). The evaluation of the mercury behavior in the salt processing flowsheet indicates, inter alia, the following: (1) In the assembled Salt Batches 7, 8 and 9 in Tank 21, the total mercury is mostly soluble with methylmercury (MHg) contributing over 50% of the total mercury. Based on the analyses of samples from 2H Evaporator feed and drop tanks (Tanks 38/43), the source of MHg in Salt Batches 7, 8 and 9 can be attributed to the 2H evaporator concentrate used in assembling the salt batches. The 2H Evaporator is used to evaporate DWPF recycle water. (2) Comparison of data between Tank 21/49, Salt Solution Feed Tank (SSFT), Decontaminated Salt Solution Hold Tank (DSSHT), and Tank 50 samples suggests that the total mercury as well as speciated

  17. LISA Pathfinder: A Mission Status (United States)

    Hewitson, Martin; LISA Pathfinder Team Team


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

  18. A mercury transport and fate model (LM2-mercury) for mass budget assessment of mercury cycling in Lake Michigan (United States)

    LM2-Mercury, a mercury mass balance model, was developed to simulate and evaluate the transport, fate, and biogeochemical transformations of mercury in Lake Michigan. The model simulates total suspended solids (TSS), disolved organic carbon (DOC), and total, elemental, divalent, ...

  19. Burn Delay Analysis of the Lunar Orbit Insertion for Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (United States)

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


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

  20. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases (United States)

    Genchi, Giuseppe; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Carocci, Alessia; Lauria, Graziantonio; Catalano, Alessia


    Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system. PMID:28085104

  1. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases. (United States)

    Genchi, Giuseppe; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Carocci, Alessia; Lauria, Graziantonio; Catalano, Alessia


    Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.

  2. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Genchi


    Full Text Available Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.

  3. Discovery touches down after successful mission STS-95 (United States)


    Orbiter Discovery touches down on runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility after a successful mission of nearly nine days and 3.6 million miles. Main gear touchdown was at 12:04 p.m. EST, landing on orbit 135. The STS-95 crew consists of Mission Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr.; Pilot Steven W. Lindsey; Mission Specialist Scott E. Parazynski; Mission Specialist Stephen K. Robinson; Payload Specialist John H. Glenn Jr., a senator from Ohio; Mission Specialist Pedro Duque, with the European Space Agency (ESA); and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, M.D., with the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). The mission included research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process.


    Many industries have already found alternatives for mercury or have greatly decreased mercury use. However, the unique electromechanical and photoelectric properties of mercury and mercury compounds have made replacement of mercury difficult in some applications. This study was i...

  5. SNAP 19 Viking RTG mission performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brittain, W.M.


    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

  6. Mercury's exosphere: observations during MESSENGER's First Mercury flyby. (United States)

    McClintock, William E; Bradley, E Todd; Vervack, Ronald J; Killen, Rosemary M; Sprague, Ann L; Izenberg, Noam R; Solomon, Sean C


    During MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby, the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer measured Mercury's exospheric emissions, including those from the antisunward sodium tail, calcium and sodium close to the planet, and hydrogen at high altitudes on the dayside. Spatial variations indicate that multiple source and loss processes generate and maintain the exosphere. Energetic processes connected to the solar wind and magnetospheric interaction with the planet likely played an important role in determining the distributions of exospheric species during the flyby.

  7. The Europa Ocean Discovery mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, B.C. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Chyba, C.F. [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Abshire, J.B. [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, MD (United States). Goddard Space Flight Center] [and others


    Since it was first proposed that tidal heating of Europa by Jupiter might lead to liquid water oceans below Europa`s ice cover, there has been speculation over the possible exobiological implications of such an ocean. Liquid water is the essential ingredient for life as it is known, and the existence of a second water ocean in the Solar System would be of paramount importance for seeking the origin and existence of life beyond Earth. The authors present here a Discovery-class mission concept (Europa Ocean Discovery) to determine the existence of a liquid water ocean on Europa and to characterize Europa`s surface structure. The technical goal of the Europa Ocean Discovery mission is to study Europa with an orbiting spacecraft. This goal is challenging but entirely feasible within the Discovery envelope. There are four key challenges: entering Europan orbit, generating power, surviving long enough in the radiation environment to return valuable science, and complete the mission within the Discovery program`s launch vehicle and budget constraints. The authors will present here a viable mission that meets these challenges.

  8. Space nuclear tug mission applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hodge, J.R.; Rauen, L.A.


    An initial assessment indicates that the NEBA-1 and NEBA-3 bimodal reactor designs can be integrated into a reusable tug which is capable of supporting many missions including GSO delivery, GSO retrieval, lunar trajectory deliveries, interplanetary deliveries, and a variety of satellite servicing. The tug close-quote s nuclear thermal propulsion provides timely transport and payload delivery, with GSO deliveries on the order of 3 endash 7 days. In general, the tug may provide a number of potential benefits to users. The tug may, for example, extend the life of an existing on-orbit spacecraft, boost spacecraft which were not delivered to their operational orbit, offer increased payload capability, or possibly allow payloads to launch on smaller less expensive launch vehicles. Reusing the tug for 5 or 10 missions requires total reactor burn times of 50 and 100 hours, respectively. Shielding, boom structure, and radiator requirements were identified as key factors in the configuration layout. Economic feasibility is still under evaluation, but preliminary estimates indicate that average flight costs may range from $32 M to $34 M for a 10-mission vehicle and from $39 M to $42 M for a 5-mission vehicle. copyright 1996 American Institute of Physics

  9. EOS Aura Mission Status at Earth Science Constellation MOWG Meeting @ LASP (Boulder, CO) April 13, 2016 (United States)

    Guit, William J.; Fisher, Dominic


    Presentation reflects EOS Aura mission status, spacecraft subsystems summary, recent and planned activities, inclination adjust maneuvers, propellant usage, orbit maintenance maneuvers, conjunction assessment events, orbital parameters trends and predictions.

  10. EOS Aqua Mission Status at Earth Science Constellation MOWG Meeting @ LASP April 13, 2016 (United States)

    Guit, William J.


    This presentation reflects the EOS Aqua mission status, spacecraft subsystem summary, recent and planned activities, inclination adjust maneuvers, propellant usage and lifetime estimate, orbital maintenance maneuvers, conjunction assessment high interest events, ground track error, spacecraft orbital parameters trends and predictions.

  11. Resumes of the Bird mission (United States)

    Lorenz, E.; Borwald, W.; Briess, K.; Kayal, H.; Schneller, M.; Wuensten, Herbert


    The DLR micro satellite BIRD (Bi-spectral Infra Red Detection) was piggy- back launched with the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C3 into a 570 km circular sun-synchronous orbit on 22 October 2001. The BIRD mission, fully funded by the DLR, answers topical technological and scientific questions related to the operation of a compact infra- red push-broom sensor system on board of a micro satellite and demonstrates new spacecraft bus technologies. BIRD mission control is conducted by DLR / GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen. Commanding, data reception and data processing is performed via ground stations in Weilheim and Neustrelitz (Germany). The BIRD mission is a demonstrator for small satellite projects dedicated to the hazard detection and monitoring. In the year 2003 BIRD has been used in the ESA project FUEGOSAT to demonstrate the utilisation of innovative space technologies for fire risk management.

  12. Recovery of mercury from acid waste residues (United States)

    Greenhalgh, Wilbur O.


    Mercury can be recovered from nitric acid-containing fluids by reacting the fluid with aluminum metal to produce mercury metal, and then quenching the reactivity of the nitric acid prior to nitration of the mercury metal.

  13. Health Effects of Exposures to Mercury (United States)

    ... IRIS database Top of Page Elemental (Metallic) Mercury Effects Exposures to metallic mercury most often occur when metallic ... poor performance on tests of mental function Higher exposures may also cause kidney effects, respiratory failure and death. Note that metallic mercury ...

  14. Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products (United States)

    ... Products For Consumers Home For Consumers Consumer Updates Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products Share Tweet Linkedin ... and, in some situations, criminal prosecution. Dangers of Mercury Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences. ...

  15. Space Tourism: Orbital Debris Considerations (United States)

    Mahmoudian, N.; Shajiee, S.; Moghani, T.; Bahrami, M.


    Space activities after a phase of research and development, political competition and national prestige have entered an era of real commercialization. Remote sensing, earth observation, and communication are among the areas in which this growing industry is facing competition and declining government money. A project like International Space Station, which draws from public money, has not only opened a window of real multinational cooperation, but also changed space travel from a mere fantasy into a real world activity. Besides research activities for sending man to moon and Mars and other outer planets, space travel has attracted a considerable attention in recent years in the form of space tourism. Four countries from space fairing nations are actively involved in the development of space tourism. Even, nations which are either in early stages of space technology development or just beginning their space activities, have high ambitions in this area. This is worth noting considering their limited resources. At present, trips to space are available, but limited and expensive. To move beyond this point to generally available trips to orbit and week long stays in LEO, in orbital hotels, some of the required basic transportations, living requirements, and technological developments required for long stay in orbit are already underway. For tourism to develop to a real everyday business, not only the price has to come down to meaningful levels, but also safety considerations should be fully developed to attract travelers' trust. A serious hazard to space activities in general and space tourism in particular is space debris in earth orbit. Orbiting debris are man-made objects left over by space operations, hazardous to space missions. Since the higher density of debris population occurs in low earth orbit, which is also the same orbit of interest to space tourism, a careful attention should be paid to the effect of debris on tourism activities. In this study, after a

  16. NASA CYGNSS Mission Overview (United States)

    Ruf, C. S.; Balasubramaniam, R.; Gleason, S.; McKague, D. S.; O'Brien, A.


    The CYGNSS constellation of eight satellites was successfully launched on 15 December 2016 into a low inclination (tropical) Earth orbit. Each satellite carries a four-channel bi-static radar receiver that measures GPS signals scattered by the ocean, from which ocean surface roughness, near surface wind speed, and air-sea latent heat flux are estimated. The measurements are unique in several respects, most notably in their ability to penetrate through all levels of precipitation, made possible by the low frequency at which GPS operates, and in the frequent sampling of tropical cyclone intensification and of the diurnal cycle of winds, made possible by the large number of satellites. Engineering commissioning of the constellation was successfully completed in March 2017 and the mission is currently in the early phase of science operations. Level 2 science data products have been developed for near surface (10 m referenced) ocean wind speed, ocean surface roughness (mean square slope) and latent heat flux. Level 3 gridded versions of the L2 products have also been developed. A set of Level 4 products have also been developed specifically for direct tropical cyclone overpasses. These include the storm intensity (peak sustained winds) and size (radius of maximum winds), its extent (34, 50 and 64 knot wind radii), and its integrated kinetic energy. Assimilation of CYGNSS L2 wind speed data into the HWRF hurricane weather prediction model has also been developed. An overview and the current status of the mission will be presented, together with highlights of early on-orbit performance and scientific results.

  17. Mercury content in Hot Springs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakagawa, R


    A method of determination of mercury in hot spring waters by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry is described. Further, the mercury content and the chemical behavior of the elementary mercury in hot springs are described. Sulfide and iodide ions interfered with the determination of mercury by the reduction-vapor phase technique. These interferences could, however, be minimized by the addition of potassium permanganate. Waters collected from 55 hot springs were found to contain up to 26.0 ppb mercury. High concentrations of mercury have been found in waters from Shimoburo Springs, Aomori (10.0 ppb), Osorezan Springs, Aomori (1.3 approximately 18.8 ppb), Gosyogake Springs, Akita (26.0 ppb), Manza Springs, Gunma (0.30 approximately 19.5 ppb) and Kusatu Springs, Gunma (1.70 approximately 4.50 ppb). These hot springs were acid waters containing a relatively high quantity of chloride or sulfate.

  18. STS-26 MS Nelson on fixed based (FB) shuttle mission simulator (SMS) middeck (United States)


    STS-26 Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, Mission Specialist (MS) George D. Nelson trains on the middeck of the fixed based (FB) shuttle mission simulator (SMS). Nelson, wearing communications assembly headset, adjusts camera mounting bracket.

  19. STS-68 Mission Insignia (United States)


    This STS-68 patch was designed by artist Sean Collins. Exploration of Earth from space is the focus of the design of the insignia, the second flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). SRL-2 was part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) project. The world's land masses and oceans dominate the center field, with the Space Shuttle Endeavour circling the globe. The SRL-2 letters span the width and breadth of planet Earth, symbolizing worldwide coverage of the two prime experiments of STS-68: The Shuttle Imaging Radar-C and X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) instruments; and the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS) sensor. The red, blue, and black colors of the insignia represent the three operating wavelengths of SIR-C/X-SAR, and the gold band surrounding the globe symbolizes the atmospheric envelope examined by MAPS. The flags of international partners Germany and Italy are shown opposite Endeavour. The relationship of the Orbiter to Earth highlights the usefulness of human space flights in understanding Earth's environment, and the monitoring of its changing surface and atmosphere. In the words of the crew members, the soaring Orbiter also typifies the excellence of the NASA team in exploring our own world, using the tools which the Space Program developed to explore the other planets in the solar system.

  20. B-52 Flight Mission Symbology - Close up (United States)


    A close-up view of some of the mission markings that tell the story of the NASA B-52 mothership's colorful history. These particular markings denote some of the experiments the bomber conducted to develop parachute recovery systems for the solid rocket boosters used by the Space Shuttle. NASA B-52, Tail Number 008, is an air launch carrier aircraft, 'mothership,' as well as a research aircraft platform that has been used on a variety of research projects. The aircraft, a 'B' model built in 1952 and first flown on June 11, 1955, is the oldest B-52 in flying status and has been used on some of the most significant research projects in aerospace history. Some of the significant projects supported by B-52 008 include the X-15, the lifting bodies, HiMAT (highly maneuverable aircraft technology), Pegasus, validation of parachute systems developed for the space shuttle program (solid-rocket-booster recovery system and the orbiter drag chute system), and the X-38. The B-52 served as the launch vehicle on 106 X-15 flights and flew a total of 159 captive-carry and launch missions in support of that program from June 1959 to October 1968. Information gained from the highly successful X-15 program contributed to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo human spaceflight programs as well as space shuttle development. Between 1966 and 1975, the B-52 served as the launch aircraft for 127 of the 144 wingless lifting body flights. In the 1970s and 1980s, the B-52 was the launch aircraft for several aircraft at what is now the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, to study spin-stall, high-angle-of attack, and maneuvering characteristics. These included the 3/8-scale F-15/spin research vehicle (SRV), the HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) research vehicle, and the DAST (drones for aerodynamic and structural testing). The aircraft supported the development of parachute recovery systems used to recover the space shuttle solid rocket booster casings. It also supported

  1. Interior Volatile Reservoirs in Mercury (United States)

    Anzures, B. A.; Parman, S. W.; Milliken, R. E.; Head, J. W.


    More measurements of 1) surface volatiles, and 2) pyroclastic deposits paired with experimental volatile analyses in silicate minerals can constrain conditions of melting and subsequent eruption on Mercury.

  2. Mercury in Canadian crude oil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollebone, B.P.


    Estimates for average mercury concentrations in crude oil range widely from 10 ng/g of oil to 3,500 ng/g of oil. With such a broad range of estimates, it is difficult to determine the contributions of the petroleum sector to the total budget of mercury emissions. In response to concerns that the combustion of petroleum products may be a major source of air-borne mercury pollution, Environment Canada and the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute has undertaken a survey of the average total mercury concentration in crude oil processed in Canadian refineries. In order to calculate the potential upper limit of total mercury in all refined products, samples of more than 30 different types of crude oil collected from refineries were measured for their concentration of mercury as it enters into a refinery before processing. High temperature combustion, cold vapour atomic absorption and cold vapour atomic fluorescence were the techniques used to quantify mercury in the samples. The results of the study provide information on the total mass of mercury present in crude oil processed in Canada each year. Results can be used to determine the impact of vehicle exhaust emissions to the overall Canadian mercury emission budget. 17 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  3. Mercury in bryophytes (moss)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yeaple, D S


    Recent reports in the literature, concerning the ability of certain mosses and lichens to concentrate heavy metals, have led to an investigation of the potential application of mosses as indicators of the transport of mercury through the atmosphere. A number of moss samples were collected to provide information regarding the level of mercury in moss around several types of populated areas. The results reported are from moss collected within an 80 mile radius of Boston, Massachusetts, along the Maine coast, near the tops of Mount Katahdin in Maine and Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and from Walden, New York, a small town located about 60 miles north of New York City. The data are admittedly limited, but provide sufficient insight into the usefulness of moss as an indicator to warrant the pursuit of a more detailed investigation. 6 references, 1 table.

  4. Integrated criteria document mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sloof, W.; Beelan, P. van; Annema, J.A.; Janus, J.A.


    The document contains a systematic review and a critical evaluation of the most relevant data on the priority substance mercury for the purpose of effect-oriented environmental policy. Chapter headings are: properties and existing standards; production, application, sources and emissions (natural sources, industry, energy, households, agriculture, dental use, waste); distribution and transformation (cinnabar; Hg 2+ , Hg 2 2+ , elemental mercury, methylmercury, behavior in soil, water, air, biota); concentrations and fluxes in the environment and exposure levels (sampling and measuring methods, occurrence in soil, water, air etc.); effects (toxicity to humans and aquatic and terrestrial systems); emissions reduction (from industrial sources, energy, waste processing etc.); and evaluation (risks, standards, emission reduction objectives, measuring strategies). 395 refs

  5. Mercury: Photomosaic of the Shakespeare Quadrangle of Mercury (Southern Half) H-3 (United States)


    This computer generated photomosaic from Mariner 10 is of the southern half of Mercury's Shakespeare Quadrangle, named for the ancient Shakespeare crater located on the upper edge to the left of center. This portion of the quadrangle covers the geographic region from 20 to 45 degrees north latitude and from 90 to 180 degrees longitude. The photomosaic was produced using computer techniques and software developed in the Image Processing Laboratory of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The pictures have been high-pass filtered and contrast enhanced to accentuate surface detail, and geometrically transformed into a Lambert conformal projection.Well defined bright streaks or ray systems radiating away from craters constitute another distinctive feature of the Mercurian surface, remarkably similar to the Moon. The rays cut across and are superimposed on all other surface features, indicating that the source craters are the youngest topographic features on the surface of Mercury.The above material was taken from the following publication... Davies, M. E., S. E. Dwornik, D. E. Gault, and R. G. Strom, Atlas of Mercury,NASA SP-423 (1978).The Mariner 10 mission was managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  6. Method for mercury refinement (United States)

    Grossman, M.W.; Speer, R.; George, W.A.


    The effluent from mercury collected during the photochemical separation of the [sup 196]Hg isotope is often contaminated with particulate mercurous chloride, Hg[sub 2]Cl[sub 2]. The use of mechanical filtering via thin glass tubes, ultrasonic rinsing with acetone (dimethyl ketone) and a specially designed cold trap have been found effective in removing the particulate (i.e., solid) Hg[sub 2]Cl[sub 2] contaminant. The present invention is particularly directed to such filtering. 5 figures.

  7. Apparatus for mercury refinement (United States)

    Grossman, M.W.; Speer, R.; George, W.A.


    The effluent from mercury collected during the photochemical separation of the [sup 196]Hg isotope is often contaminated with particulate mercurous chloride, Hg[sub 2]Cl[sub 2]. The use of mechanical filtering via thin glass tubes, ultrasonic rinsing with acetone (dimethyl ketone) and a specially designed cold trap have been found effective in removing the particulate (i.e., solid) Hg[sub 2]Cl[sub 2] contaminant. The present invention is particularly directed to such filtering. 5 figures.

  8. Method for scavenging mercury (United States)

    Chang, Shih-ger [El Cerrito, CA; Liu, Shou-heng [Kaohsiung, TW; Liu, Zhao-rong [Beijing, CN; Yan, Naiqiang [Berkeley, CA


    Disclosed herein is a method for removing mercury from a gas stream comprising contacting the gas stream with a getter composition comprising bromine, bromochloride, sulphur bromide, sulphur dichloride or sulphur monochloride and mixtures thereof. In one preferred embodiment the getter composition is adsorbed onto a sorbent. The sorbent may be selected from the group consisting of flyash, limestone, lime, calcium sulphate, calcium sulfite, activated carbon, charcoal, silicate, alumina and mixtures thereof. Preferred is flyash, activated carbon and silica.

  9. Apparatus for mercury refinement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grossman, M.W.; Speer, R.; George, W.A.


    The effluent from mercury collected during the photochemical separation of the 196 Hg isotope is often contaminated with particulate mercurous chloride, Hg 2 Cl 2 . The use of mechanical filtering via thin glass tubes, ultrasonic rinsing with acetone (dimethyl ketone) and a specially designed cold trap have been found effective in removing the particulate (i.e., solid) Hg 2 Cl 2 contaminant. The present invention is particularly directed to such filtering. 5 figures

  10. Method for mercury refinement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grossman, M.W.; Speer, R.; George, W.A.


    The effluent from mercury collected during the photochemical separation of the 196 Hg isotope is often contaminated with particulate mercurous chloride, Hg 2 Cl 2 . The use of mechanical filtering via thin glass tubes, ultrasonic rinsing with acetone (dimethyl ketone) and a specially designed cold trap have been found effective in removing the particulate (i.e., solid) Hg 2 Cl 2 contaminant. The present invention is particularly directed to such filtering. 5 figures

  11. Mercury removal sorbents (United States)

    Alptekin, Gokhan


    Sorbents and methods of using them for removing mercury from flue gases over a wide range of temperatures are disclosed. Sorbent materials of this invention comprise oxy- or hydroxyl-halogen (chlorides and bromides) of manganese, copper and calcium as the active phase for Hg.sup.0 oxidation, and are dispersed on a high surface porous supports. In addition to the powder activated carbons (PACs), this support material can be comprised of commercial ceramic supports such as silica (SiO.sub.2), alumina (Al.sub.2O.sub.3), zeolites and clays. The support material may also comprise of oxides of various metals such as iron, manganese, and calcium. The non-carbon sorbents of the invention can be easily injected into the flue gas and recovered in the Particulate Control Device (PCD) along with the fly ash without altering the properties of the by-product fly ash enabling its use as a cement additive. Sorbent materials of this invention effectively remove both elemental and oxidized forms of mercury from flue gases and can be used at elevated temperatures. The sorbent combines an oxidation catalyst and a sorbent in the same particle to both oxidize the mercury and then immobilize it.

  12. Electrical Power System Architectures for In-House NASA/GSFC Missions (United States)

    Yun, Diane D.


    This power point presentation reviews the electrical power system (EPS) architecture used for a few NASA GSFC's missions both current and planned. Included in the presentation are reviews of electric power systems for the Space Technology 5 (ST5) mission, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Mission, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). There is a slide that compares the three missions' electrical supply systems.

  13. MSFC Skylab electrical power systems mission evaluation (United States)

    Woosley, A. P.


    The design, development, and operation of the Skylab electrical power system are discussed. The electrical systems for the airlock module of the orbital workshop and the Apollo telescope mount are described. Skylab is considered an integral laboratory, however, both cluster and module hardware distinct sections are included. Significant concept and requirement evolution, testing, and modifications resulting from tests are briefly summarized to aid in understanding the launch configuration description and the procedures and performance discussed for in-orbit operation. Specific problems encountered during Skylab orbital missions are analyzed.

  14. Mission Analysis for the Don Quijote Phase-A Study (United States)

    Cano, Juan L.; Sanchez, Mariano; Cornara, Stefania; Carnelli, Ian


    The Don Quijote Phase-A study is a definition study funded by ESA and devoted to the analysis of the possibilities to deflect a Near Earth Object (NEO) in the range of 300-800 m diameter. DEIMOS Space S.L. and EADS Astrium have teamed up within this study to form one of the three consortia that have analyzed these aspects for ESA. Target asteroids for the mission are 1989 ML, 2002 AT4 and Apophis. This paper presents the mission analysis activities within the consortium providing: low-thrust interplanetary rendezvous Orbiter trajectories to the target asteroids, ballistic interplanetary trajectories for the Impactor, Orbiter arrival description at the asteroids, Orbiter stable orbits characterization at the asteroid, deflection determination by means of a Radio Science Experiment (RSE) as well as the mission timelines and overall mission scenarios.

  15. Mars orbiter redirected in bid to find Beagle

    CERN Multimedia


    "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. STS-49 Endeavour, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 105, Orbit Team O1 in MCC Bldg 30 FCR (United States)


    STS-49 Endeavour, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 105, Orbit Team 1 (O1) poses in front of large display screens in JSC's Mission Control Center (MCC) Bldg 30 Flight Control Room (FCR) for group portrait. Lead Flight Director (FD) Granvil A. Pennington stands next to a model of the James Cook's ship, the Endeavour (left). Astronaut and Spacecraft Communicator (CAPCOM) John H. Casper stands at the right of the model.

  17. Secular chaos and its application to Mercury, hot Jupiters, and the organization of planetary systems. (United States)

    Lithwick, Yoram; Wu, Yanqin


    In the inner solar system, the planets' orbits evolve chaotically, driven primarily by secular chaos. Mercury has a particularly chaotic orbit and is in danger of being lost within a few billion years. Just as secular chaos is reorganizing the solar system today, so it has likely helped organize it in the past. We suggest that extrasolar planetary systems are also organized to a large extent by secular chaos. A hot Jupiter could be the end state of a secularly chaotic planetary system reminiscent of the solar system. However, in the case of the hot Jupiter, the innermost planet was Jupiter (rather than Mercury) sized, and its chaotic evolution was terminated when it was tidally captured by its star. In this contribution, we review our recent work elucidating the physics of secular chaos and applying it to Mercury and to hot Jupiters. We also present results comparing the inclinations of hot Jupiters thus produced with observations.

  18. Secular chaos and its application to Mercury, hot Jupiters, and the organization of planetary systems (United States)

    Lithwick, Yoram; Wu, Yanqin


    In the inner solar system, the planets’ orbits evolve chaotically, driven primarily by secular chaos. Mercury has a particularly chaotic orbit and is in danger of being lost within a few billion years. Just as secular chaos is reorganizing the solar system today, so it has likely helped organize it in the past. We suggest that extrasolar planetary systems are also organized to a large extent by secular chaos. A hot Jupiter could be the end state of a secularly chaotic planetary system reminiscent of the solar system. However, in the case of the hot Jupiter, the innermost planet was Jupiter (rather than Mercury) sized, and its chaotic evolution was terminated when it was tidally captured by its star. In this contribution, we review our recent work elucidating the physics of secular chaos and applying it to Mercury and to hot Jupiters. We also present results comparing the inclinations of hot Jupiters thus produced with observations. PMID:24367108

  19. Monte Carlo Analysis as a Trajectory Design Driver for the TESS Mission (United States)

    Nickel, Craig; Lebois, Ryan; Lutz, Stephen; Dichmann, Donald; Parker, Joel


    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be injected into a highly eccentric Earth orbit and fly 3.5 phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby to enter a mission orbit with lunar 2:1 resonance. Through the phasing loops and mission orbit, the trajectory is significantly affected by lunar and solar gravity. We have developed a trajectory design to achieve the mission orbit and meet mission constraints, including eclipse avoidance and a 30-year geostationary orbit avoidance requirement. A parallelized Monte Carlo simulation was performed to validate the trajectory after injecting common perturbations, including launch dispersions, orbit determination errors, and maneuver execution errors. The Monte Carlo analysis helped identify mission risks and is used in the trajectory selection process.

  20. Monte Carlo Analysis as a Trajectory Design Driver for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission (United States)

    Nickel, Craig; Parker, Joel; Dichmann, Don; Lebois, Ryan; Lutz, Stephen


    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be injected into a highly eccentric Earth orbit and fly 3.5 phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby to enter a mission orbit with lunar 2:1 resonance. Through the phasing loops and mission orbit, the trajectory is significantly affected by lunar and solar gravity. We have developed a trajectory design to achieve the mission orbit and meet mission constraints, including eclipse avoidance and a 30-year geostationary orbit avoidance requirement. A parallelized Monte Carlo simulation was performed to validate the trajectory after injecting common perturbations, including launch dispersions, orbit determination errors, and maneuver execution errors. The Monte Carlo analysis helped identify mission risks and is used in the trajectory selection process.


    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    was done without contrast and 3mm/5mm/10mm slices were obtained to cover the orbit, skull base and brain. The findings included a soft tissue mass arising from the orbit. The left eye ball was extra orbital. There was no defect .... love's Short Practice of Surgery. 7 Edition,. Levis London, 1997; 45-64. 2. Orbital tumor Part 1, ...

  2. Radiovolumetry of the orbit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abujamra, S.


    The authors present a method called ''Radiovolumetry of the orbit'' that permits the evaluation of the orbital volume from anteroposterior skull X-Rays (CALDWELL 30 0 position). The research was based in the determination of the orbital volume with lead spheres, in 1010 orbits of 505 dry skulls of Anatomy Museums. After the dry skulls was X-rayed six frontal orbital diameters were made, with care to correct the radiographic amplification. PEARSON correlation coeficient test was applied between the mean orbital diameter and the orbital volume. The result was r = 0,8 with P [pt



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


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

  4. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Ticker, Ronald


    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human spaceflight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human spaceflight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM). Mission Description: NASA's ARM consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the first robotic mission to visit a large (greater than ~100 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, demonstrate a planetary defense technique, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will take the Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic vehicle, conduct multiple extravehicular activities to explore the boulder, and return to Earth with samples. NASA's proposed

  5. Rotation of the planet mercury. (United States)

    Jefferys, W H


    The equations of motion for the rotation of Mercury are solved for the general case by an asymptotic expansion. The findings of Liu and O'Keefe, obtained by numerical integration of a special case, that it is possible for Mercury's rotation to be locked into a 2:3 resonance with its revolution, are confirmed in detail. The general solution has further applications.

  6. 49 CFR 173.164 - Mercury (metallic and articles containing mercury). (United States)


    ... ounces) of mercury per package; (iv) Tubes which are completely jacketed in sealed leakproof metal cases... 49 Transportation 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Mercury (metallic and articles containing mercury... Than Class 1 and Class 7 § 173.164 Mercury (metallic and articles containing mercury). (a) For...

  7. Wide angle view of MOCR activity during STS-3 mission (United States)


    Wide angle view of Mission Operation Control Room (MOCR) activity during Day 2 of STS-3 mission. This view shows many of th consoles, tracking map, and Eidophor-controlled data screens. Flight controllers in the foreground are (l.r.) R. John Rector and Chares L. Dumie. They are seated at the EECOM console. The 'thermodillo' contraption, used by flight controllers to indicate the Shuttle's position in relation to the sun for various tests, can be seen at right (28732); closeup view of the 'thermodillo'. The position of the armadillo's tail indicates position of the orbiter in relation to sun (28733); Mission Specialist/Astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-3 orbit team spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM), talks to flight director during mission control center activity. Mission Specialist/Astronaut George D. Nelson, backup orbit team CAPCOM, watches the monitor at his console (28734).

  8. Development of a High Temperature Antenna Pointing Mechanism for BepiColombo Planetary Orbiter (United States)

    Campo, Pablo; Barrio, Aingeru; Puente, Nicolas; Kyle, Robert


    BepiColombo is an ESA mission to Mercury its planetary orbiter (MPO) has two antenna pointing mechanism, High gain antenna pointing mechanism steers and points a large reflector which is integrated at system level by TAS-I Rome. Medium gain antenna (MGA) APM points a 1.5 m boom with a horn antenna. Both radiating elements exposed to sun fluxes as high as 10 solar constants without protections.The pointing mechanism is a major challenge as high performances are required in a harsh environment. It has required the development of new technologies, and components specially dedicated for the mission needs. Some of the state of the art required for the mission was achieved during the preparatory technology development activities [1]. However the number of critical elements involved, and the difficulties of some areas have required the continuation of the developments, and new research activities had to be launched in CD phase. Some of the major concerns and related areas of development are:- High temperature and long life requirements for the gearhead motors (up to 15500 equivalent APM revolutions, 19 million motor revolution)- Low thermal distortion of the mechanical chain, being at the same time insulating from external environment and interfaces (55 arcsec pointing error)- Low heat leak to the spacecraft (in the order of 50W per APM)- High precision position control, low microvibration noise and error stability in motion (16 arcsec/s)- High power radio frequency (18W in band Ka, 30 in X band) with phase stability for use in radio-science (3mm in Ka band, 5o in X band).- Wide range of motion (full 360o with end-stops)Currently HGA APM EQM azimuth and elevation stages are assembled and ready for test at actuator level.

  9. Deciphering the Hot Giant Atmospheres Orbiting Nearby Extrasolar Systems with JWST (United States)

    Afrin Badhan, Mahmuda; Batalha, Natasha; Deming, Drake; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; HEBRARD, Eric; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Irwin, Patrick Gerard Joseph


    Unique and exotic planets give us an opportunity to understand how planetary systems form and evolve over their lifetime, by placing our own planetary system in the context of the vastly different extrasolar systems that are being continually discovered by present space missions. With orbital separations that are less than one-tenth of the Mercury-Sun distance, these close-in planets provide us with valuable insights about the host stellar atmosphere and planetary atmospheres subjected to their enormous stellar insolation. Observed spectroscopic signatures reveal all spectrally active species in a planet, along with information about its thermal structure and dynamics, allowing us to characterize the planet's atmosphere. NASA's upcoming missions will give us the high-resolution spectra necessary to constrain the atmospheric properties with unprecedented accuracy. However, to interpret the observed signals from exoplanetary transit events with any certainty, we need reliable atmospheric retrieval tools that can model the expected observables adequately. In my work thus far, I have built a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) convergence scheme, with an analytical radiative equilibrium formulation for the thermal structures, within the NEMESIS atmospheric modeling tool, to allow sufficient (and efficient) exploration of the parameter space. I also augmented the opacity tables to improve the speed and reliability of retrieval models. I then utilized this upgraded version to infer the pressure-temperature (P-T) structures and volume-mixing ratios (VMRs) of major gas species in hot Jupiter dayside atmospheres, from their emission spectra. I have employed a parameterized thermal structure to retrieve plausible P-T profiles, along with altitude-invariant VMRs. Here I show my retrieval results on published datasets of HD189733b, and compare them with both medium and high spectral resolution JWST/NIRSPEC simulations. In preparation for the upcoming JWST mission, my current work

  10. Modeling MESSENGER Observations of Calcium in Mercury's Exosphere (United States)

    Burger, Matthew Howard; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sprague, Ann L.; Sarantos, Menelaos


    The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) on the MESSENGER spacecraft has made the first high-spatial-resolution observations of exospheric calcium at Mercury. We use a Monte Carlo model of the exosphere to track the trajectories of calcium atoms ejected from the surface until they are photoionized, escape from the system, or stick to the surface. This model permits an exploration of exospheric source processes and interactions among neutral atoms, solar radiation, and the planetary surface. The MASCS data have suggested that a persistent, high-energy source of calcium that was enhanced in the dawn, equatorial region of Mercury was active during MESSENGER's three flybys of Mercury and during the first seven orbits for which MASCS obtained data. The total Ca source rate from the surface varied between 1.2x10(exp 23) and 2.6x10(exp 23) Ca atoms/s, if its temperature was 50,000 K. The origin of this high-energy, asymmetric source is unknown, although from this limited data set it does not appear to be consistent with micrometeoroid impact vaporization, ion sputtering, electron-stimulated desorption, or vaporization at dawn of material trapped on the cold nightside.

  11. Constraints on particle density evolution within a CME at Mercury (United States)

    Exner, W.; Liuzzo, L.; Heyner, D.; Feyerabend, M.; Motschmann, U. M.; Glassmeier, K. H.; Shiota, D.; Kusano, K.


    Mercury (RM=2440) is the closest orbiting planet around the Sun and is embedded in an intensive and highly varying solar wind.Mercury's intrinsic dipole with a southward magnetic moment is aligned with the rotation axis and has a northward offset of 0.2 RM.In-situ data from the MESSENGER spacecraft of the magnetic environment near Mercury indicate that a coronal mass ejection (CME) passed the planet on 8 May 2012. The data constrain the direction and magnitude of the CME magnetic field but no information on its particle density could be determined.We apply the hybrid (kinetic ions, electron fluid) code A.I.K.E.F. to study the interaction of Mercury's magnetosphere with the CME.We use MESSENGER magnetic field observations as well as simulation results to constrain the evolution of the particle density inside the CME.We show that within a 24-hour period the particle density within the CME had to vary between 1-100 cm-3 in order to explain MESSENGER magnetic field observations.

  12. Orbital resonances of Taiwan's FORMOSAT-2 remote sensing satellite (United States)

    Lin, Shin-Fa; Hwang, Cheinway


    Unlike a typical remote sensing satellite that has a global coverage and non-integral orbital revolutions per day, Taiwan's FORMOSAT-2 (FS-2) satellite has a non-global coverage due to the mission requirements of one-day repeat cycle and daily visit around Taiwan. These orbital characteristics result in an integer number of revolutions a day and orbital resonances caused by certain components of the Earth's gravity field. Orbital flight data indicated amplified variations in the amplitudes of FS-2's Keplerian elements. We use twelve years of orbital observations and maneuver data to analyze the cause of the resonances and explain the differences between the simulated (at the pre-launch stage) and real orbits of FS-2. The differences are quantified using orbital perturbation theories that describe secular and long-period orbital evolutions caused by resonances. The resonance-induced orbital rising rate of FS-2 reaches +1.425 m/day, due to the combined (modeled) effect of resonances and atmospheric drags (the relative modeling errors remote sensing mission similar to FS-2, especially in the early mission design and planning phase.

  13. Methyl mercury in terrestrial compartments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoeppler, M.; Burow, M.; Padberg, S.; May, K.


    On the basis of the analytical methodology available at present the state of the art for the determination of total mercury and of various organometallic compounds of mercury in air, precipitation, limnic systems, soils, plants and biota is reviewed. This is followed by the presentation and discussion of examples for the data obtained hitherto for trace and ultratrace levels of total mercury and mainly methyl mercury in terrestrial and limnic environments as well as in biota. The data discussed stem predominantly from the past decade in which, due to significant methodological progress, many new aspects were elucidated. They include the most important results in this area achieved by the Research Centre (KFA) Juelich within the project 'Origin and Fate of Methyl Mercury' (contracts EV4V-0138-D and STEP-CT90-0057) supported by the Commission of the European Communities, Brussels. (orig.) [de

  14. Human Exposure and Health Effects of Inorganic and Elemental Mercury


    Park, Jung-Duck; Zheng, Wei


    Mercury is a toxic and non-essential metal in the human body. Mercury is ubiquitously distributed in the environment, present in natural products, and exists extensively in items encountered in daily life. There are three forms of mercury, i.e., elemental (or metallic) mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. This review examines the toxicity of elemental mercury and inorganic mercury compounds. Inorganic mercury compounds are water soluble with a bioavailability o...

  15. Imaging the Sources and Full Extent of the Sodium Tail of the Planet Mercury (United States)

    Baumgardner, Jeffrey; Wilson, Jody; Mendillo, Michael


    Observations of sodium emission from Mercury can be used to describe the spatial and temporal patterns of sources and sinks in the planet s surface-boundary-exosphere. We report on new data sets that provide the highest spatial resolution of source regions at polar latitudes, as well as the extraordinary length of a tail of escaping Na atoms. The tail s extent of approx.1.5 degrees (nearly 1400 Mercury radii) is driven by radiation pressure effects upon Na atoms sputtered from the surface in the previous approx.5 hours. Wide-angle filtered-imaging instruments are thus capable of studying the time history of sputtering processes of sodium and other species at Mercury from ground-based observatories in concert with upcoming satellite missions to the planet. Plasma tails produced by photo-ionization of Na and other gases in Mercury s neutral tails may be observable by in-situ instruments.

  16. Merging of the USGS Atlas of Mercury 1:5,000,000 Geologic Series (United States)

    Frigeri, A.; Federico, C.; Pauselli, C.; Coradini, A.


    After 30 years, the planet Mercury is going to give us new information. The NASA MESSENGER [1] already made its first successful flyby on December 2007 while the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency ISAS/JAXA are preparing the upcoming mission BepiColombo [2]. In order to contribute to current and future analyses on the geology of Mercury, we have started to work on the production of a single digital geologic map of Mercury derived from the merging process of the geologic maps of the Atlas of Mercury, produced by the United States Geological Survey, based on Mariner 10 data. The aim of this work is to merge the nine maps so that the final product reflects as much as possible the original work. Herein we describe the data we used, the working environment and the steps made for producing the final map.

  17. Investigating Mercury's South Polar Deposits: Arecibo Radar Observations and High-Resolution Determination of Illumination Conditions (United States)

    Chabot, Nancy L.; Shread, Evangela E.; Harmon, John K.


    There is strong evidence that Mercury's polar deposits are water ice hosted in permanently shadowed regions. In this study, we present new Arecibo radar observations of Mercury's south pole, which reveal numerous radar-bright deposits and substantially increase the radar imaging coverage. We also use images from MESSENGER's full mission to determine the illumination conditions of Mercury's south polar region at the same spatial resolution as the north polar region, enabling comparisons between the two poles. The area of radar-bright deposits in Mercury's south is roughly double that found in the north, consistent with the larger permanently shadowed area in the older, cratered terrain at the south relative to the younger smooth plains at the north. Radar-bright features are strongly associated with regions of permanent shadow at both poles, consistent with water ice being the dominant component of the deposits. However, both of Mercury's polar regions show that roughly 50% of permanently shadowed regions lack radar-bright deposits, despite some of these locations having thermal environments that are conducive to the presence of water ice. The observed uneven distribution of water ice among Mercury's polar cold traps may suggest that the source of Mercury's water ice was not a steady, regular process but rather that the source was an episodic event, such as a recent, large impact on the innermost planet.

  18. Methods for dispensing mercury into devices (United States)

    Grossman, Mark W.; George, William A.


    A process for dispensing mercury into devices which requires mercury. Mercury is first electrolytically separated from either HgO or Hg.sub.2 Cl.sub.2 and plated onto a cathode wire. The cathode wire is then placed into a device requiring mercury.

  19. Determination of mercury in plant material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickard, J A; Martin, J T


    An analytical procedure used for the determination of traces of mercury in plant material is described. The conditions of combustion of organic matter are controlled to avoid loss of mercury and EDTA is used to reduce the values for apparent mercury on uncontaminated samples. Satisfactory recoveries of mercury added to apples, tomatoes and coffee are obtained. 10 references, 1 table.

  20. Poor Man's Asteroid Sample Return Missions (United States)

    Landis, R. R.; Graham, L. D.


    A cislunar platform at a Near-Rectilinear [Halo] Orbit in the vicinity of the Moon could provide an opportunity for a small NEA sample return mission at relatively low cost. There are a couple potential small ( 1m) object target dynamical groups.

  1. An Overview of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter Concept's Europa Science Phase Orbit Design (United States)

    Lock, Robert E.; Ludwinski, Jan M.; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.; Clark, Karla B.; Pappalardo, Robert T.


    Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), the proposed NASA element of the proposed joint NASA-ESA Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), could launch in February 2020 and conceivably arrive at Jupiter in December of 2025. The concept is to perform a multi-year study of Europa and the Jupiter system, including 30 months of Jupiter system science and a comprehensive Europa orbit phase of 9 months. This paper provides an overview of the JEO concept and describes the Europa Science phase orbit design and the related science priorities, model pay-load and operations scenarios needed to conduct the Europa Science phase. This overview is for planning and discussion purposes only.

  2. Weights assessment for orbit-on-demand vehicles (United States)

    Macconochie, I. O.; Martin, J. A.; Breiner, C. A.; Cerro, J. A.


    Future manned, reusable earth-to-orbit vehicles may be required to reach orbit within hours or even minutes of a mission decision. A study has been conducted to consider vehicles with such a capability. In the initial phase of the study, 11 vehicles were sized for deployment of 5000 lbs to a polar orbit. From this matrix, two of the most promising concepts were resized for a modified mission and payload. A key feature of the study was the use of consistent mass estimating techniques for a broad range of concepts, allowing direct comparisons of sizes and weights.

  3. Mercury's Lithospheric Magnetization (United States)

    Johnson, C.; Phillips, R. J.; Philpott, L. C.; Al Asad, M.; Plattner, A.; Mast, S.; Kinczyk, M. J.; Prockter, L. M.


    Magnetic field data obtained by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft have been used to demonstrate the presence of lithospheric magnetization on Mercury. Larger amplitude fields resulting from the core dynamo and the strongly time-varying magnetospheric current systems are first estimated and subtracted from the magnetic field data to isolate lithospheric signals with wavelengths less than 500 km. These signals (hereafter referred to as data) are only observed at spacecraft altitudes less than 120 km, and are typically a few to 10 nT in amplitude. We present and compare equivalent source dipole magnetization models for latitudes 35°N to 75°N obtained from two distinct approaches to constrain the distribution and origin of lithospheric magnetization. First, models that fit either the data or the surface field predicted from a regional spherical harmonic representation of the data (see Plattner & Johnson abstract) and that minimize the root mean square (RMS) value of the magnetization are derived. Second, models in which the spatial distribution of magnetization required to fit the data is minimized are derived using the approach of Parker (1991). As seen previously, the largest amplitudes of lithospheric magnetization are concentrated around the Caloris basin. With this exception, across the northern hemisphere there are no overall correlations of magnetization with surface geology, although higher magnetizations are found in regions with darker surfaces. Similarly, there is no systematic correlation of magnetization signatures with crater materials, although there are specific instances of craters with interiors or ejecta that have magnetizations distinct from the surrounding region. For the latter case, we observe no correlation of the occurrence of these signatures with crater degradation state (a proxy for age). At the lowest spacecraft altitudes (source depths less than O(10 km) are unlikely in most regions

  4. Radar observations of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harmon, J.K.; Campbell, D.B.


    Some of the radar altimetry profiles of Mercury obtained on the basis of data from the Arecibo Observatory are presented. In these measurements, the delay-Doppler method was used to measure altitudes along the Doppler equator, rather than to map radar reflectivity. The profiles, derived from observations made over a 6-yr period, provide extensive coverage over a restricted equatorial band and permit the identification of radar signatures for features as small as 50-km diameter craters and 1-km-high arcuate scarps. The data allowed identification of large-scale topographic features such as smooth plains subsidence zones and major highland regions

  5. Fluorescent sensor for mercury (United States)

    Wang, Zidong [Urbana, IL; Lee, Jung Heon [Evanston, IL; Lu, Yi [Champaign, IL


    The present invention provides a sensor for detecting mercury, comprising: a first polynucleotide, comprising a first region, and a second region, a second polynucleotide, a third polynucleotide, a fluorophore, and a quencher, wherein the third polynucleotide is optionally linked to the second region; the fluorophore is linked to the first polynucleotide and the quencher is linked to the second polynucleotide, or the fluorophore is linked to the second polynucleotide and the quencher is linked to the first polynucleotide; the first region and the second region hybridize to the second polynucleotide; and the second region binds to the third polynucleotide in the presence of Hg.sup.2+ ions.

  6. Dynamics of the conservative and dissipative spin-orbit problem

    CERN Document Server

    Celletti, A; Lega, E


    We investigate the dynamics of the spin--orbit coupling under different settings. First we consider the conservative problem, and then we add a dissipative torque as provided by MacDonald's or Darwin's models. By means of frequency analysis and of the computation of the maximum Lyapunov indicator we explore the different dynamical behaviors associated to the main resonances. In particular we focus on the 1:1 and 3:2 resonances in which the Moon and Mercury are actually trapped.

  7. Effects of DeOrbitSail as applied to Lifetime predictions of Low Earth Orbit Satellites (United States)

    Afful, Andoh; Opperman, Ben; Steyn, Herman


    Orbit lifetime prediction is an important component of satellite mission design and post-launch space operations. Throughout its lifetime in space, a spacecraft is exposed to risk of collision with orbital debris or operational satellites. This risk is especially high within the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) region where the highest density of space debris is accumulated. This paper investigates orbital decay of some LEO micro-satellites and accelerating orbit decay by using a deorbitsail. The Semi-Analytical Liu Theory (SALT) and the Satellite Toolkit was employed to determine the mean elements and expressions for the time rates of change. Test cases of observed decayed satellites (Iridium-85 and Starshine-1) are used to evaluate the predicted theory. Results for the test cases indicated that the theory fitted observational data well within acceptable limits. Orbit decay progress of the SUNSAT micro-satellite was analysed using relevant orbital parameters derived from historic Two Line Element (TLE) sets and comparing with decay and lifetime prediction models. This paper also explored the deorbit date and time for a 1U CubeSat (ZACUBE-01). The use of solar sails as devices to speed up the deorbiting of LEO satellites is considered. In a drag sail mode, the deorbitsail technique significantly increases the effective cross-sectional area of a satellite, subsequently increasing atmospheric drag and accelerating orbit decay. The concept proposed in this study introduced a very useful technique of orbit decay as well as deorbiting of spacecraft.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Correia, Alexandre C. M. [Department of Physics, I3N, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Laskar, Jacques, E-mail: [ASD, IMCCE-CNRS UMR8028, Observatoire de Paris, UPMC, 77 Av. Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris (France)


    Impact basins identified by Mariner 10 and Messenger flyby images provide us with a fossilized record of the impactor flux of asteroids on Mercury during the last stages of the early solar system. The distribution of these basins is not uniform across the surface and is consistent with a primordial synchronous rotation. By analyzing the size of the impacts, we derive a simple collisional model coherent with the observations. When combining it with the secular evolution of the spin of Mercury, we are able to reproduce the present 3/2 spin-orbit resonance ({approx}50% of chances), as well as a primordial synchronous rotation. This result is robust with respect to variations in the dissipation and collisional models, or in the initial spin state of the planet.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Correia, Alexandre C. M.; Laskar, Jacques


    Impact basins identified by Mariner 10 and Messenger flyby images provide us with a fossilized record of the impactor flux of asteroids on Mercury during the last stages of the early solar system. The distribution of these basins is not uniform across the surface and is consistent with a primordial synchronous rotation. By analyzing the size of the impacts, we derive a simple collisional model coherent with the observations. When combining it with the secular evolution of the spin of Mercury, we are able to reproduce the present 3/2 spin-orbit resonance (∼50% of chances), as well as a primordial synchronous rotation. This result is robust with respect to variations in the dissipation and collisional models, or in the initial spin state of the planet.

  10. Mercury kinetics in marine zooplankton

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fowler, S.W.; Heyraud, M.; LaRosa, J.


    Mercury, like many other heavy metals, is potentially available to marine animals by uptake directly from water and/or through the organisms food. Furthermore, bioavailability, assimilation and subsequent retention in biota may be affected by the chemical species of the element in sea water. While mercury is known to exist in the inorganic form in sea water, recent work has indicated that, in certain coastal areas, a good portion of the total mercury appears to be organically bound; however, the exact chemical nature of the organic fraction has yet to be determined. Methyl mercury may be one constituent of the natural organically bound fraction since microbial mechanisms for in situ methylation of mercury have been demonstrated in the aquatic environment. Despite the fact that naturally produced methyl mercury probably comprises only a small fraction of an aquatic ecosystem, the well-documented toxic effects of this organo-mercurial, caused by man-made introductions into marine food chains, make it an important compound to study

  11. Volcanic mercury in Pinus canariensis (United States)

    Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Nanos, Nikos; Miranda, José Carlos; Carbonell, Gregoria; Gil, Luis


    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that is emitted to the atmosphere by both human activities and natural processes. Volcanic emissions are considered a natural source of mercury in the environment. In some cases, tree ring records taken close to volcanoes and their relation to volcanic activity over time are contradictory. In 1949, the Hoyo Negro volcano (La Palma-Canary Islands) produced significant pyroclastic flows that damaged the nearby stand of Pinus canariensis. Recently, 60 years after the eruption, we assessed mercury concentrations in the stem of a pine which survived volcano formation, located at a distance of 50 m from the crater. We show that Hg content in a wound caused by pyroclastic impacts (22.3 μg kg-1) is an order of magnitude higher than the Hg concentrations measured in the xylem before and after the eruption (2.3 μg kg-1). Thus, mercury emissions originating from the eruption remained only as a mark—in pyroclastic wounds—and can be considered a sporadic and very high mercury input that did not affect the overall Hg input in the xylem. In addition, mercury contents recorded in the phloem (9.5 μg kg-1) and bark (6.0 μg kg-1) suggest that mercury shifts towards non-living tissues of the pine, an aspect that can be related to detoxification in volcanism-adapted species.

  12. Atmospheric mercury footprints of nations. (United States)

    Liang, Sai; Wang, Yafei; Cinnirella, Sergio; Pirrone, Nicola


    The Minamata Convention was established to protect humans and the natural environment from the adverse effects of mercury emissions. A cogent assessment of mercury emissions is required to help implement the Minamata Convention. Here, we use an environmentally extended multi-regional input-output model to calculate atmospheric mercury footprints of nations based on upstream production (meaning direct emissions from the production activities of a nation), downstream production (meaning both direct and indirect emissions caused by the production activities of a nation), and consumption (meaning both direct and indirect emissions caused by final consumption of goods and services in a nation). Results show that nations function differently within global supply chains. Developed nations usually have larger consumption-based emissions than up- and downstream production-based emissions. India, South Korea, and Taiwan have larger downstream production-based emissions than their upstream production- and consumption-based emissions. Developed nations (e.g., United States, Japan, and Germany) are in part responsible for mercury emissions of developing nations (e.g., China, India, and Indonesia). Our findings indicate that global mercury abatement should focus on multiple stages of global supply chains. We propose three initiatives for global mercury abatement, comprising the establishment of mercury control technologies of upstream producers, productivity improvement of downstream producers, and behavior optimization of final consumers.

  13. Volcanic mercury in Pinus canariensis. (United States)

    Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Nanos, Nikos; Miranda, José Carlos; Carbonell, Gregoria; Gil, Luis


    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that is emitted to the atmosphere by both human activities and natural processes. Volcanic emissions are considered a natural source of mercury in the environment. In some cases, tree ring records taken close to volcanoes and their relation to volcanic activity over time are contradictory. In 1949, the Hoyo Negro volcano (La Palma-Canary Islands) produced significant pyroclastic flows that damaged the nearby stand of Pinus canariensis. Recently, 60 years after the eruption, we assessed mercury concentrations in the stem of a pine which survived volcano formation, located at a distance of 50 m from the crater. We show that Hg content in a wound caused by pyroclastic impacts (22.3 μg kg(-1)) is an order of magnitude higher than the Hg concentrations measured in the xylem before and after the eruption (2.3 μg kg(-1)). Thus, mercury emissions originating from the eruption remained only as a mark-in pyroclastic wounds-and can be considered a sporadic and very high mercury input that did not affect the overall Hg input in the xylem. In addition, mercury contents recorded in the phloem (9.5 μg kg(-1)) and bark (6.0 μg kg(-1)) suggest that mercury shifts towards non-living tissues of the pine, an aspect that can be related to detoxification in volcanism-adapted species.

  14. Method for removal and stabilization of mercury in mercury-containing gas streams (United States)

    Broderick, Thomas E.


    The present invention is directed to a process and apparatus for removing and stabilizing mercury from mercury-containing gas streams. A gas stream containing vapor phase elemental and/or speciated mercury is contacted with reagent, such as an oxygen-containing oxidant, in a liquid environment to form a mercury-containing precipitate. The mercury-containing precipitate is kept or placed in solution and reacts with one or more additional reagents to form a solid, stable mercury-containing compound.

  15. Stability of orbits around planetary satellites considering a disturbing body in an elliptical orbit: Applications to Europa and Ganymede (United States)

    Cardoso dos Santos, Josué; Carvalho, Jean Paulo; Vilhena de Moraes, Rodolpho

    Europa and Ganymede are two of the four Jupiter’s moons which compose the Galilean satellite. These ones are planetary satellites of greater interest at the present moment among the scientific community. There are some missions being planned to visit them and and the Jovian system. One of them is the cooperation between NASA and ESA for the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). In this mission are planned the insertion of the spacecrafts JEO (Jupiter Europa Orbiter) and JGO (Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter) into Europa and Ganymede’s orbit. Thus, there is a great necessity for having a better comprehension of the dynamics of the orbits around this planetary satellite. This comprehension is essential for the success of this type of mission. In this context, this work aims to perform a search for low-altitude orbits around these planetary satellites. An emphasis is given in polar orbits. These orbits can be useful in the planning of aerospace activities to be conducted around this planetary satellite, with respect to the stability of orbits of artificial satellites. The study considers orbits of an artificial satellite around Europa and Ganymede under the influence of the third-body perturbation (the gravitational attraction of Jupiter) and the polygenic perturbations. These last ones occur due to forces such as the non-uniform distribution of mass (J2 and J3) of the main (central) body. A simplified dynamic model for polygenic perturbations is used. A new model for the third-body disturbance is presented considering it in an elliptical orbit. The Lagrange planetary equations, which compose a system of nonlinear differential equations, are used to describe the orbital motion of the artificial satellite around Ganymede. The equations showed here are developed in closed form to avoid expansions in inclination and eccentricity.

  16. Discovery prepares to land after successful mission STS-95 (United States)


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

  17. Options for Staging Orbits in Cis-Lunar Space (United States)

    Martinez, Roland; Whitley, Ryan


    NASA has been studying options to conduct missions beyond Low Earth Orbit, but within the Earth-Moon system, in preparation for deep space exploration including human missions to Mars. Referred to as the Proving Ground, this arena of exploration activities will enable the development of human spaceflight systems and operations to satisfy future exploration objectives beyond the cis-lunar environment. One option being considered includes the deployment of a habitable element or elements, which could be used as a central location for aggregation of supplies and resources for human missions in cis-lunar space and beyond. Characterizing candidate orbit locations for this asset and the impacts on system design and mission operations is important in the overall assessment of the options being considered. The orbits described in this paper were initially selected by taking advantage of previous studies conducted by NASA and the work of other authors. In this paper orbits are assessed for their relative attractiveness based on various factors. A set of constraints related to the capability of the combined Orion and SLS system to deliver humans and cargo to and from the orbit are evaluated. Deployed assets intended to spend multiple years in the Proving Ground would ideally require minimal station keeping costs to reduce the mass budget allocated to this function. Additional mission design drivers include eclipse frequency, potential for uninterrupted communication with deployed assets, thermal, attitude control, communications, and other operational implications. Also the ability to support potential lunar surface activities and excursion missions beyond Earth-Moon space is considered. The results of the characterization and evaluation of the selected orbits indicate a Near Rectilinear Orbit (NRO) is an attractive candidate as an aggregation point or staging location for operations. In this paper, the NRO is further described in terms which balance a number of key

  18. Nuclear reactor power as applied to a space-based radar mission (United States)

    Jaffe, L.; Beatty, R.; Bhandari, P.; Chow, E.; Deininger, W.; Ewell, R.; Fujita, T.; Grossman, M.; Bloomfield, H.; Heller, J.


    A space-based radar mission and spacecraft are examined to determine system requirements for a 300 kWe space nuclear reactor power system. The spacecraft configuration and its orbit, launch vehicle, and propulsion are described. Mission profiles are addressed, and storage in assembly orbit is considered. Dynamics and attitude control and the problems of nuclear and thermal radiation are examined.

  19. Mission operations for unmanned nuclear electric propulsion outer planet exploration with a thermionic reactor spacecraft. (United States)

    Spera, R. J.; Prickett, W. Z.; Garate, J. A.; Firth, W. L.


    Mission operations are presented for comet rendezvous and outer planet exploration NEP spacecraft employing in-core thermionic reactors for electric power generation. The selected reference missions are the Comet Halley rendezvous and a Jupiter orbiter at 5.9 planet radii, the orbit of the moon Io. The characteristics of the baseline multi-mission NEP spacecraft are presented and its performance in other outer planet missions, such as Saturn and Uranus orbiters and a Neptune flyby, are discussed. Candidate mission operations are defined from spacecraft assembly to mission completion. Pre-launch operations are identified. Shuttle launch and subsequent injection to earth escape by the Centaur D-1T are discussed, as well as power plant startup and the heliocentric mission phases. The sequence and type of operations are basically identical for all missions investigated.

  20. MIOSAT Mission Scenario and Design (United States)

    Agostara, C.; Dionisio, C.; Sgroi, G.; di Salvo, A.


    MIOSAT ("Mssione Ottica su microSATellite") is a low-cost technological / scientific microsatellite mission for Earth Observation, funded by Italian Space Agency (ASI) and managed by a Group Agreement between Rheinmetall Italia - B.U. Spazio - Contraves as leader and Carlo Gavazzi Space as satellite manufacturer. Several others Italians Companies, SME and Universities are involved in the development team with crucial roles. MIOSAT is a microsatellite weighting around 120 kg and placed in a 525 km altitude sun-synchronuos circular LEO orbit. The microsatellite embarks three innovative optical payloads: Sagnac multi spectral radiometer (IFAC-CNR), Mach Zehender spectrometer (IMM-CNR), high resolution pancromatic camera (Selex Galileo). In addition three technological experiments will be tested in-flight. The first one is an heat pipe based on Marangoni effect with high efficiency. The second is a high accuracy Sun Sensor using COTS components and the last is a GNSS SW receiver that utilizes a Leon2 processor. Finally a new generation of 28% efficiency solar cells will be adopted for the power generation. The platform is highly agile and can tilt along and cross flight direction. The pointing accuracy is in the order of 0,1° for each axe. The pointing determination during images acquisition is <0,02° for the axis normal to the boresight and 0,04° for the boresight. This paper deals with MIOSAT mission scenario and definition, highlighting trade-offs for mission implementation. MIOSAT mission design has been constrained from challenging requirements in terms of satellite mass, mission lifetime, instrument performance, that have implied the utilization of satellite agility capability to improve instruments performance in terms of S/N and resolution. The instruments provide complementary measurements that can be combined in effective ways to exploit new applications in the fields of atmosphere composition analysis, Earth emissions, antropic phenomena, etc. The Mission

  1. The inner magnetosphere imager mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, L.; Herrmann, M.


    After 30 years of in situ measurements of the Earth's magnetosphere, scientists have assembled an incomplete picture of its global composition and dynamics. Imaging the magnetosphere from space will enable scientists to better understand the global shape of the inner magnetosphere, its components and processes. The proposed inner magnetosphere imager (IMI) mission will obtain the first simultaneous images of the component regions of the inner magnetosphere and will enable scientists to relate these global images to internal and external influences as well as local observations. To obtain simultaneous images of component regions of the inner magnetosphere, measurements will comprise: the ring current and inner plasma sheet using energetic neutral atoms; the plasmasphere using extreme ultraviolet; the electron and proton auroras using far ultraviolet (FUV) and x rays; and the geocorona using FUV. The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is performing a concept definition study of the proposed mission. NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications has placed the IMI third in its queue of intermediate-class missions for launch in the 1990's. An instrument complement of approximately seven imagers will fly in an elliptical Earth orbit with a seven Earth Radii (R E ) altitude apogee and approximately 4,800-kin altitude perigee. Several spacecraft concepts were examined for the mission. The first concept utilizes a spinning spacecraft with a despun platform. The second concept splits the instruments onto a spin-stabilized spacecraft and a complementary three-axis stabilized spacecraft. Launch options being assessed for the spacecraft range from a Delta 11 for the single and dual spacecraft concepts to dual Taurus launches for the two smaller spacecraft. This paper will address the mission objectives, the spacecraft design considerations, the results of the MSFC concept definition study, and future mission plans

  2. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study. Report no. 1: Orbit/launch vehicle tradeoff studies and recommendations (United States)


    A study was conducted to determine the recommended orbit for the Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) Land Resources Mission. It was determined that a promising sun synchronous orbit is 366 nautical miles when using an instrument with a 100 nautical mile swath width. The orbit has a 17 day repeat cycle and a 14 nautical mile swath overlap. Payloads were developed for each mission, EOS A through F. For each mission, the lowest cost booster that was capable of lifting the payload to the EOS orbit was selected. The launch vehicles selected for the missions are identified on the basis of tradeoff studies and recommendations. The reliability aspects of the launch vehicles are analyzed.

  3. Chelation Therapy for Mercury Poisoning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong Guan


    Full Text Available Chelation therapy has been the major treatment for heavy metal poisoning. Various chelating agents have been developed and tested for treatment of heavy metal intoxications, including mercury poisoning. It has been clearly shown that chelating agents could rescue the toxicity caused by heavy metal intoxication, but the potential preventive role of chelating agents against heavy metal poisoning has not been explored much. Recent paper by Siddiqi and colleagues has suggested a protective role of chelating agents against mercury poisoning, which provides a promising research direction for broader application of chelation therapy in prevention and treatment of mercury poisoning.

  4. Distribution and retention of organic and inorganic mercury in methyl mercury-treated neonatal rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, D.J.; Fisher, H.L.; Sumler, M.R.; Hall, L.L.; Mushak, P.


    Seven-day-old Long Evans rats received one mumol of 203 Hg-labeled methyl mercury/kg sc and whole body retention and tissue distribution of organic and inorganic mercury were examined for 32 days postdosing. Neonates cleared mercury slowly until 10 days postdosing when the clearance rate abruptly increased. During the interval when whole body clearance of mercury was extremely slow, methyl mercury was metabolized to inorganic mercury. Peak concentration of mercury in kidney occurred at 2 days postdosing. At 32 days postdosing, 8% of mercury in kidney was in an organic from. Liver mercury concentration peaked at 2 days postdosing and organic mercury accounted for 38% at 32 days postdosing. Brain concentrations of mercury peaked at 2 days postdosing. At 10 days postdosing, organic mercury accounted for 86% of the brain mercury burden, and, at 32 days postdosing, for 60%. The percentage of mercury body burden in pelt rose from 30 to 70% between 1 and 10 days postdosing. At 32 days postdosing pelt contained 85% of the body burden of mercury. At all time points, about 95% of mercury in pelt was in an organic form. Compartmental analysis of these data permitted development of a model to describe the distribution and excretion of organic and inorganic mercury in methyl mercury-treated neonatal rats

  5. 3-D Spherical Convection Modeling Applied to Mercury: Dislocation Versus Diffusion Rheology (United States)

    Robertson, S. D.; King, S. D.


    Mercury is the smallest among the terrestrial planets and, prior to NASA's MESSENGER mission was thought to be the least tectonically and volcanically active body. Gravity and moment of inertia from MESSENGER constrain Mercury to have a thin silicate mantle shell of approximately 400 km over a massive iron core. This mantle is thinner than previously thought and the smallest end-member in comparison with the other terrestrial planets. Although Mercury currently has a stagnant lid and the present day mantle is likely not convecting, a significant proportion of Mercury's surface features could have been derived from convection in the viscous mantle. Given Mercury's small size, the amount of volcanism and tectonic activity was a surprise. We investigate the effect of dislocation creep rheology in olivine on the dynamics of Mercury. At the pressures and temperatures of Mercury's mantle, laboratory creep studies indicate that olivine deforms by dislocation creep. Previous studies using diffusion creep rheology find that the thin mantle shell of Mercury quickly becomes diffusive and, this is difficult to reconcile with the surface observations. We use the three-dimensional spherical code, CitcomS, to compare numerical models with both dislocation and diffusion creep. We compare gravity, topography, and mantle temperature as a function of time from the models with constraints on the timing of volcanic and tectonic activity on Mercury. The results show that with the dislocation creep mechanism, there is potential for convective flow in the mantle over billions of years. In contrast, models with the diffusion creep mechanism start with a convecting mantle that transitions to global diffusive cooling within 500 Myrs. Diffusion creep rheology does not adequately produce a dynamic interior that is consistent with the historical volcanic and tectonic evolution of the planet. This research is the result of participation in GLADE, a nine-week summer REU program directed by Dave

  6. Estimating maneuvers for precise relative orbit determination using GPS (United States)

    Allende-Alba, Gerardo; Montenbruck, Oliver; Ardaens, Jean-Sébastien; Wermuth, Martin; Hugentobler, Urs


    Precise relative orbit determination is an essential element for the generation of science products from distributed instrumentation of formation flying satellites in low Earth orbit. According to the mission profile, the required formation is typically maintained and/or controlled by executing maneuvers. In order to generate consistent and precise orbit products, a strategy for maneuver handling is mandatory in order to avoid discontinuities or precision degradation before, after and during maneuver execution. Precise orbit determination offers the possibility of maneuver estimation in an adjustment of single-satellite trajectories using GPS measurements. However, a consistent formulation of a precise relative orbit determination scheme requires the implementation of a maneuver estimation strategy which can be used, in addition, to improve the precision of maneuver estimates by drawing upon the use of differential GPS measurements. The present study introduces a method for precise relative orbit determination based on a reduced-dynamic batch processing of differential GPS pseudorange and carrier phase measurements, which includes maneuver estimation as part of the relative orbit adjustment. The proposed method has been validated using flight data from space missions with different rates of maneuvering activity, including the GRACE, TanDEM-X and PRISMA missions. The results show the feasibility of obtaining precise relative orbits without degradation in the vicinity of maneuvers as well as improved maneuver estimates that can be used for better maneuver planning in flight dynamics operations.

  7. ESOC activities during the MIR de-orbit (United States)

    Klinkrad, H.; Flury, W.; Hernández, C.; Landgraf, M.; Jehn, R.; Christ, U.; Sintoni, F.


    On March 23, 2001, MIR was de-orbited in a controlled fashion, following a successful mission of 15 years. The de-orbiting operations were conducted by the TsUP Mission Control Center, who also consulted entities outside Russia, in order to consolidate their knowledge on the MIR orbit and attitude prior to the initiation of the de-orbit sequence. The European Space Agency ESA through their operations centre ESOC was tasked to support the pre-entry analysis of TsUP by own results, and by routing of Russian and European data via a dedicated communications network. Analysis results produced by ESOC, and details on the data exchange will be highlighted in this paper. The MIR de-orbit and its assessed risk potential will also be compared with the re-entries of Skylab and Salyut-7/Kosmos-1686.

  8. Traumatic orbital CSF leak (United States)

    Borumandi, Farzad


    Compared to the cerebrospinalfluid (CSF) leak through the nose and ear, the orbital CSF leak is a rare and underreported condition following head trauma. We present the case of a 49-year-old woman with oedematous eyelid swelling and ecchymosis after a seemingly trivial fall onto the right orbit. Apart from the above, she was clinically unremarkable. The CT scan revealed a minimally displaced fracture of the orbital roof with no emphysema or intracranial bleeding. The fractured orbital roof in combination with the oedematous eyelid swelling raised the suspicion for orbital CSF leak. The MRI of the neurocranium demonstrated a small-sized CSF fistula extending from the anterior cranial fossa to the right orbit. The patient was treated conservatively and the lid swelling resolved completely after 5 days. Although rare, orbital CSF leak needs to be included in the differential diagnosis of periorbital swelling following orbital trauma. PMID:24323381

  9. Existence of collisional trajectories of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the Earth. (United States)

    Laskar, J; Gastineau, M


    It has been established that, owing to the proximity of a resonance with Jupiter, Mercury's eccentricity can be pumped to values large enough to allow collision with Venus within 5 Gyr (refs 1-3). This conclusion, however, was established either with averaged equations that are not appropriate near the collisions or with non-relativistic models in which the resonance effect is greatly enhanced by a decrease of the perihelion velocity of Mercury. In these previous studies, the Earth's orbit was essentially unaffected. Here we report numerical simulations of the evolution of the Solar System over 5 Gyr, including contributions from the Moon and general relativity. In a set of 2,501 orbits with initial conditions that are in agreement with our present knowledge of the parameters of the Solar System, we found, as in previous studies, that one per cent of the solutions lead to a large increase in Mercury's eccentricity-an increase large enough to allow collisions with Venus or the Sun. More surprisingly, in one of these high-eccentricity solutions, a subsequent decrease in Mercury's eccentricity induces a transfer of angular momentum from the giant planets that destabilizes all the terrestrial planets approximately 3.34 Gyr from now, with possible collisions of Mercury, Mars or Venus with the Earth.

  10. TandEM: Titan and Enceladus mission (United States)

    Coustenis, A.; Atreya, S.K.; Balint, T.; Brown, R.H.; Dougherty, M.K.; Ferri, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Gautier, D.; Gowen, R.A.; Griffith, C.A.; Gurvits, L.I.; Jaumann, R.; Langevin, Y.; Leese, M.R.; Lunine, J.I.; McKay, C.P.; Moussas, X.; Muller-Wodarg, I.; Neubauer, F.; Owen, T.C.; Raulin, F.; Sittler, E.C.; Sohl, F.; Sotin, Christophe; Tobie, G.; Tokano, T.; Turtle, E.P.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Waite, J.H.; Baines, K.H.; Blamont, J.; Coates, A.J.; Dandouras, I.; Krimigis, T.; Lellouch, E.; Lorenz, R.D.; Morse, A.; Porco, C.C.; Hirtzig, M.; Saur, J.; Spilker, T.; Zarnecki, J.C.; Choi, E.; Achilleos, N.; Amils, R.; Annan, P.; Atkinson, D.H.; Benilan, Y.; Bertucci, C.; Bezard, B.; Bjoraker, G.L.; Blanc, M.; Boireau, L.; Bouman, J.; Cabane, M.; Capria, M.T.; Chassefiere, E.; Coll, P.; Combes, M.; Cooper, J.F.; Coradini, A.; Crary, F.; Cravens, T.; Daglis, I.A.; de Angelis, E.; De Bergh, C.; de Pater, I.; Dunford, C.; Durry, G.; Dutuit, O.; Fairbrother, D.; Flasar, F.M.; Fortes, A.D.; Frampton, R.; Fujimoto, M.; Galand, M.; Grasset, O.; Grott, M.; Haltigin, T.; Herique, A.; Hersant, F.; Hussmann, H.; Ip, W.; Johnson, R.; Kallio, E.; Kempf, S.; Knapmeyer, M.; Kofman, W.; Koop, R.; Kostiuk, T.; Krupp, N.; Kuppers, M.; Lammer, H.; Lara, L.-M.; Lavvas, P.; Le, Mouelic S.; Lebonnois, S.; Ledvina, S.; Li, Ji; Livengood, T.A.; Lopes, R.M.; Lopez-Moreno, J. -J.; Luz, D.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Mall, U.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Marty, B.; McCord, T.; Salvan, C.M.; Milillo, A.; Mitchell, D.G.; Modolo, R.; Mousis, O.; Nakamura, M.; Neish, Catherine D.; Nixon, C.A.; Mvondo, D.N.; Orton, G.; Paetzold, M.; Pitman, J.; Pogrebenko, S.; Pollard, W.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Rannou, P.; Reh, K.; Richter, L.; Robb, F.T.; Rodrigo, R.; Rodriguez, S.; Romani, P.; Bermejo, M.R.; Sarris, E.T.; Schenk, P.; Schmitt, B.; Schmitz, N.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Selig, A.; Sicardy, B.; Soderblom, L.; Spilker, L.J.; Stam, D.; Steele, A.; Stephan, K.; Strobel, D.F.; Szego, K.; Szopa,


    TandEM was proposed as an L-class (large) mission in response to ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 Call, and accepted for further studies, with the goal of exploring Titan and Enceladus. The mission concept is to perform in situ investigations of two worlds tied together by location and properties, whose remarkable natures have been partly revealed by the ongoing Cassini–Huygens mission. These bodies still hold mysteries requiring a complete exploration using a variety of vehicles and instruments. TandEM is an ambitious mission because its targets are two of the most exciting and challenging bodies in the Solar System. It is designed to build on but exceed the scientific and technological accomplishments of the Cassini–Huygens mission, exploring Titan and Enceladus in ways that are not currently possible (full close-up and in situ coverage over long periods of time). In the current mission architecture, TandEM proposes to deliver two medium-sized spacecraft to the Saturnian system. One spacecraft would be an orbiter with a large host of instruments which would perform several Enceladus flybys and deliver penetrators to its surface before going into a dedicated orbit around Titan alone, while the other spacecraft would carry the Titan in situ investigation components, i.e. a hot-air balloon (Montgolfière) and possibly several landing probes to be delivered through the atmosphere.

  11. The Use of Bacteria for Remediation of Mercury Contaminated Groundwater (United States)

    Many processes of mercury transformation in the environment are bacteria mediated. Mercury properties cause some difficulties of remediation of mercury contaminated environment. Despite the significance of the problem of mercury pollution, methods of large scale bioremediation ...

  12. Eye and orbital cavity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panfilova, G.V.; Koval', G.Yu.


    Radioanatomy of eyes and orbit is described. Diseases of the orbit (developmental anomalies, inflammatory diseases, lacrimal apparatus deseases, toxoplasmosis, tumors and cysts et al.), methods of foreign body localization in the eye are considered. Roentgenograms of the orbit and calculation table for foreign body localization in spherical eyes of dissimilar diameter are presented

  13. Introducing Earth's Orbital Eccentricity (United States)

    Oostra, Benjamin


    Most students know that planetary orbits, including Earth's, are elliptical; that is Kepler's first law, and it is found in many science textbooks. But quite a few are mistaken about the details, thinking that the orbit is very eccentric, or that this effect is somehow responsible for the seasons. In fact, the Earth's orbital eccentricity is…

  14. The History of Orbiter Corrosion Control (1981 - 2011) (United States)

    Russell, Richard W.


    After 135 missions and 30 years the Orbiter fleet was retired in 2011. Working with Orbiter project management and a world class engineering team the CCRB was successful in providing successful sustaining engineering support for approximately 20 years. Lessons learned from the Orbiter program have aided NASA and contractor engineers in the design and manufacture of new spacecraft so that exploration of space can continue. The Orbiters are proudly being displayed for all the public to see in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  15. GPS Based Reduced-Dynamic Orbit Determination for Low Earth Orbiters with Ambiguity Fixing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yang


    Full Text Available With the ever-increasing number of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO for scientific missions, the precise determination of the position and velocity of the satellite is a necessity. GPS (Global Positioning System based reduced-dynamic orbit determination (RPOD method is commonly used in the post processing with high precision. This paper presents a sequential RPOD strategy for LEO satellite in the framework of Extended Kalman Filter (EKF. Precise Point Positioning (PPP technique is used to process the GPS observations, with carrier phase ambiguity resolution using Integer Phase Clocks (IPCs products. A set of GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment mission data is used to test and validate the RPOD performance. Results indicate that orbit determination accuracy could be improved by 15% in terms of 3D RMS error in comparison with traditional RPOD method with float ambiguity solutions.

  16. Elimination of mercury in health care facilities. (United States)


    Mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative toxin that has been linked to numerous health effects in humans and wildlife. It is a potent neurotoxin that may also harm the brain, kidneys, and lungs. Unborn children and young infants are at particular risk for brain damage from mercury exposure. Hospitals' use of mercury in chemical solutions, thermometers, blood pressure gauges, batteries, and fluorescent lamps makes these facilities large contributors to the overall emission of mercury into the environment. Most hospitals recognize the dangers of mercury. In a recent survey, four out of five hospitals stated that they have policies in place to eliminate the use of mercury-containing products. Sixty-two percent of them require vendors to disclose the presence of mercury in chemicals that the hospitals purchase. Only 12 percent distribute mercury-containing thermometers to new parents. Ninety-two percent teach their employees about the health and environmental effects of mercury, and 46 percent teach all employees how to clean up mercury spills. However, the same study showed that many hospitals have not implemented their policies. Forty-two percent were not aware whether they still purchased items containing mercury. In addition, 49 percent still purchase mercury thermometers, 44 percent purchase mercury gastrointestinal diagnostic equipment, and 64 percent still purchase mercury lab thermometers.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Burmeister


    Full Text Available We analyse images taken by the MErcury Surface, Space ENviorment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER spacecraft for the camera’s thermal response in the harsh thermal environment near Mercury. Specifically, we study thermally induced variations in focal length of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS. Within the several hundreds of images of star fields, the Wide Angle Camera (WAC typically captures up to 250 stars in one frame of the panchromatic channel. We measure star positions and relate these to the known star coordinates taken from the Tycho-2 catalogue. We solve for camera pointing, the focal length parameter and two non-symmetrical distortion parameters for each image. Using data from the temperature sensors on the camera focal plane we model a linear focal length function in the form of f(T = A0 + A1 T. Next, we use images from MESSENGER’s orbital mapping mission. We deal with large image blocks, typically used for the production of a high-resolution digital terrain models (DTM. We analyzed images from the combined quadrangles H03 and H07, a selected region, covered by approx. 10,600 images, in which we identified about 83,900 tiepoints. Using bundle block adjustments, we solved for the unknown coordinates of the control points, the pointing of the camera – as well as the camera’s focal length. We then fit the above linear function with respect to the focal plane temperature. As a result, we find a complex response of the camera to thermal conditions of the spacecraft. To first order, we see a linear increase by approx. 0.0107 mm per degree temperature for the Narrow-Angle Camera (NAC. This is in agreement with the observed thermal response seen in images of the panchromatic channel of the WAC. Unfortunately, further comparisons of results from the two methods, both of which use different portions of the available image data, are limited. If leaving uncorrected, these effects may pose significant difficulties in

  18. MESSENGER Magnetic Field Observations of Upstream Ultra-Low Frequency Waves at Mercury (United States)

    Le, G.; Chi, P. J.; Boardsen, S.; Blanco-Cano, X.; Anderosn, B. J.; Korth, H.


    The region upstream from a planetary bow shock is a natural plasma laboratory containing a variety of wave particle phenomena. The study of foreshocks other than the Earth's is important for extending our understanding of collisionless shocks and foreshock physics since the bow shock strength varies with heliocentric distance from the Sun, and the sizes of the bow shocks are different at different planets. The Mercury's bow shock is unique in our solar system as it is produced by low Mach number solar wind blowing over a small magnetized body with a predominately radial interplanetary magnetic field. Previous observations of Mercury upstream ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves came exclusively from two Mercury flybys of Mariner 10. The MESSENGER orbiter data enable us to study of upstream waves in the Mercury's foreshock in depth. This paper reports an overview of upstream ULF waves in the Mercury's foreshock using high-time resolution magnetic field data, 20 samples per second, from the MESSENGER spacecraft. The most common foreshock waves have frequencies near 2 Hz, with properties similar to the I-Hz waves in the Earth's foreshock. They are present in both the flyby data and in every orbit of the orbital data we have surveyed. The most common wave phenomenon in the Earth's foreshock is the large-amplitude 30-s waves, but similar waves at Mercury have frequencies at near 0.1 Hz and occur only sporadically with short durations (a few wave cycles). Superposed on the "30-s" waves, there are spectral peaks at near 0.6 Hz, not reported previously in Mariner 10 data. We will discuss wave properties and their occurrence characteristics in this paper.

  19. The AGILE Mission

    CERN Document Server

    Tavani, M.; Argan, A.; Boffelli, F.; Bulgarelli, A.; Caraveo, P.; Cattaneo, P.W.; Chen, A.W.; Cocco, V.; Costa, E.; D'Ammando, F.; Del Monte, E.; De Paris, G.; Di Cocco, G.; Di Persio, G.; Donnarumma, I.; Evangelista, Y.; Feroci, M.; Ferrari, A.; Fiorini, M.; Fornari, F.; Fuschino, F.; Froysland, T.; Frutti, M.; Galli, M.; Gianotti, F.; Giuliani, A.; Labanti, C.; Lapshov, I.; Lazzarotto, F.; Liello, F.; Lipari, P.; Longo, F.; Mattaini, E.; Marisaldi, M.; Mastropietro, M.; Mauri, A.; Mauri, F.; Mereghetti, S.; Morelli, E.; Morselli, A.; Pacciani, L.; Pellizzoni, A.; Perotti, F.; Piano, G.; Picozza, P.; Pontoni, C.; Porrovecchio, G.; Prest, M.; Pucella, G.; Rapisarda, M.; Rappoldi, A.; Rossi, E.; Rubini, A.; Soffitta, P.; Traci, A.; Trifoglio, M.; Trois, A.; Vallazza, E.; Vercellone, S.; Vittorini, V.; Zambra, A.; Zanello, D.; Pittori, C.; Preger, B.; Santolamazza, P.; Verrecchia, F.; Giommi, P.; Colafrancesco, S.; Antonelli, A.; Cutini, S.; Gasparrini, D.; Stellato, S.; Fanari, G.; Primavera, R.; Tamburelli, F.; Viola, F.; Guarrera, G.; Salotti, L.; D'Amico, F.; Marchetti, E.; Crisconio, M.; Sabatini, P.; Annoni, G.; Alia, S.; Longoni, A.; Sanquerin, R.; Battilana, M.; Concari, P.; Dessimone, E.; Grossi, R.; Parise, A.; Monzani, F.; Artina, E.; Pavesi, R.; Marseguerra, G.; Nicolini, L.; Scandelli, L.; Soli, L.; Vettorello, V.; Zardetto, E.; Bonati, A.; Maltecca, L.; D'Alba, E.; Patane, M.; Babini, G.; Onorati, F.; Acquaroli, L.; Angelucci, M.; Morelli, B.; Agostara, C.; Cerone, M.; Michetti, A.; Tempesta, P.; D'Eramo, S.; Rocca, F.; Giannini, F.; Borghi, G.; Garavelli, B.; Conte, M.; Balasini, M.; Ferrario, I.; Vanotti, M.; Collavo, E.; Giacomazzo, M.


    AGILE is an Italian Space Agency mission dedicated to the observation of the gamma-ray Universe. The AGILE very innovative instrumentation combines for the first time a gamma-ray imager (sensitive in the energy range 30 MeV - 50 GeV), a hard X-ray imager (sensitive in the range 18-60 keV) together with a Calorimeter (sensitive in the range 300 keV - 100 MeV) and an anticoincidence system. AGILE was successfully launched on April 23, 2007 from the Indian base of Sriharikota and was inserted in an equatorial orbit with a very low particle background. AGILE provides crucial data for the study of Active Galactic Nuclei, Gamma-Ray Bursts, pulsars, unidentified gamma-ray sources, Galactic compact objects, supernova remnants, TeV sources, and fundamental physics by microsecond timing. An optimal angular resolution (reaching 0.1-0.2 degrees in gamma-rays, 1-2 arcminutes in hard X-rays) and very large fields of view (2.5 sr and 1 sr, respectively) are obtained by the use of Silicon detectors integrated in a very compa...

  20. STS-78 Mission Insignia (United States)


    The STS-78 patch links past with present to tell the story of its mission and science through a design imbued with the strength and vitality of the 2-dimensional art of North America's northwest coast Indians. Central to the design is the space Shuttle whose bold lines and curves evoke the Indian image for the eagle, a native American symbol of power and prestige as well as the national symbol of the United States. The wings of the Shuttle suggest the wings of the eagle whose feathers, indicative of peace and friendship in Indian tradition, are captured by the U forms, a characteristic feature of Northwest coast Indian art. The nose of the Shuttle is the strong downward curve of the eagle's beak, and the Shuttle's forward windows, the eagle's eyes, represented through the tapered S forms again typical of this Indian art form. The basic black and red atoms orbiting the mission number recall the original NASA emblem while beneath, utilizing Indian ovoid forms, the major mission scientific experiment package LMS (Life and Materials Sciences) housed in the Shuttle's cargo bay is depicted in a manner reminiscent of totem-pole art. This image of a bird poised for flight, so common to Indian art, is counterpointed by an equally familiar Tsimshian Indian symbol, a pulsating sun with long hyperbolic rays, the symbol of life. Within each of these rays are now encased crystals, the products of this mission's 3 major, high-temperature materials processing furnaces. And as the sky in Indian lore is a lovely open country, home of the Sun Chief and accessible to travelers through a hole in the western horizon, so too, space is a vast and beckoning landscape for explorers launched beyond the horizon. Beneath the Tsimshian sun, the colors of the earth limb are appropriately enclosed by a red border representing life to the Northwest coast Indians. The Indian colors of red, navy blue, white, and black pervade the STS-78 path. To the right of the Shuttle-eagle, the constellation

  1. Mercury pollution: a transdisciplinary treatment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zuber, Sharon L; Newman, Michael C


    .... Also included are smaller case studies, such as the Minamata tragedy, fish consumption, and international treaties"-- "Mercury is the gravest chemical pollutant problem of our time, and this is...

  2. Mercury contamination in the Amazon

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Nancy Minogue

    contamination is mainly caused by deforestation upstream. ... The team expected to find that the mercury levels in the water, sediment, and soil decreased as they ... Methylmercury poisoning — known as Minamata Disease after the Japanese ...

  3. Mercury absorption in aqueous hypochlorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, L.L.; Rochelle, G.T.


    The absorption of elemental Hg vapor into aqueous hypochlorite was measured in a stirred tank reactor at 25 and 55C. NaOCl strongly absorbs Hg even at high pH. Low pH, high Cl - and high-temperature favor mercury absorption. Aqueous free Cl 2 was the active species that reacted with mercury. However, chlorine desorption was evident at high Cl - and pH 15 M -1 s -1 at 25C and 1.4x10 17 M -1 s -1 at 55C. Gas-phase reaction was observed between Hg and Cl 2 on apparatus surfaces. Strong mercury absorption in water was also detected with Cl 2 present. Results indicate that the chlorine concentration, moisture, and surface area contribute positively to mercury removal. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  4. Origin and composition of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.


    The predictions of the expected range of composition of Mercury at the time of its formation made on the basis of a suite of condensation-accretion models of Mercury spanning a range of condensation temperature and accretion sampling functions appropriate to Mercury are examined. It is concluded that these compositonal models can, if modified to take into account the nonselective loss of most of the silicate component of the planet during accretion, provide compositional predictions for the Weidenschilling (1978, 1980) mechanism for the accretion of a metal-rich Mercury. The silicate portion would, in this case, contain 3.6 to 4.5 percent alumina, roughly 1 percent of alkali oxides, and between 0.5 and 6 percent FeO

  5. Localized surface plasmon resonance mercury detection system and methods (United States)

    James, Jay; Lucas, Donald; Crosby, Jeffrey Scott; Koshland, Catherine P.


    A mercury detection system that includes a flow cell having a mercury sensor, a light source and a light detector is provided. The mercury sensor includes a transparent substrate and a submonolayer of mercury absorbing nanoparticles, e.g., gold nanoparticles, on a surface of the substrate. Methods of determining whether mercury is present in a sample using the mercury sensors are also provided. The subject mercury detection systems and methods find use in a variety of different applications, including mercury detecting applications.

  6. MONTE: the next generation of mission design and navigation software (United States)

    Evans, Scott; Taber, William; Drain, Theodore; Smith, Jonathon; Wu, Hsi-Cheng; Guevara, Michelle; Sunseri, Richard; Evans, James


    The Mission analysis, Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment (MONTE) (Sunseri et al. in NASA Tech Briefs 36(9), 2012) is an astrodynamic toolkit produced by the Mission Design and Navigation Software Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It provides a single integrated environment for all phases of deep space and Earth orbiting missions. Capabilities include: trajectory optimization and analysis, operational orbit determination, flight path control, and 2D/3D visualization. MONTE is presented to the user as an importable Python language module. This allows a simple but powerful user interface via CLUI or script. In addition, the Python interface allows MONTE to be used seamlessly with other canonical scientific programming tools such as SciPy, NumPy, and Matplotlib. MONTE is the prime operational orbit determination software for all JPL navigated missions.

  7. Mercury Toolset for Spatiotemporal Metadata (United States)

    Devarakonda, Ranjeet; Palanisamy, Giri; Green, James; Wilson, Bruce; Rhyne, B. Timothy; Lindsley, Chris


    Mercury ( is a set of tools for federated harvesting, searching, and retrieving metadata, particularly spatiotemporal metadata. Version 3.0 of the Mercury toolset provides orders of magnitude improvements in search speed, support for additional metadata formats, integration with Google Maps for spatial queries, facetted type search, support for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) delivery of search results, and enhanced customization to meet the needs of the multiple projects that use Mercury. It provides a single portal to very quickly search for data and information contained in disparate data management systems, each of which may use different metadata formats. Mercury harvests metadata and key data from contributing project servers distributed around the world and builds a centralized index. The search interfaces then allow the users to perform a variety of fielded, spatial, and temporal searches across these metadata sources. This centralized repository of metadata with distributed data sources provides extremely fast search results to the user, while allowing data providers to advertise the availability of their data and maintain complete control and ownership of that data. Mercury periodically (typically daily)harvests metadata sources through a collection of interfaces and re-indexes these metadata to provide extremely rapid search capabilities, even over collections with tens of millions of metadata records. A number of both graphical and application interfaces have been constructed within Mercury, to enable both human users and other computer programs to perform queries. Mercury was also designed to support multiple different projects, so that the particular fields that can be queried and used with search filters are easy to configure for each different project.

  8. Mercury Toolset for Spatiotemporal Metadata (United States)

    Wilson, Bruce E.; Palanisamy, Giri; Devarakonda, Ranjeet; Rhyne, B. Timothy; Lindsley, Chris; Green, James


    Mercury ( is a set of tools for federated harvesting, searching, and retrieving metadata, particularly spatiotemporal metadata. Version 3.0 of the Mercury toolset provides orders of magnitude improvements in search speed, support for additional metadata formats, integration with Google Maps for spatial queries, facetted type search, support for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) delivery of search results, and enhanced customization to meet the needs of the multiple projects that use Mercury. It provides a single portal to very quickly search for data and information contained in disparate data management systems, each of which may use different metadata formats. Mercury harvests metadata and key data from contributing project servers distributed around the world and builds a centralized index. The search interfaces then allow the users to perform a variety of fielded, spatial, and temporal searches across these metadata sources. This centralized repository of metadata with distributed data sources provides extremely fast search results to the user, while allowing data providers to advertise the availability of their data and maintain complete control and ownership of that data. Mercury periodically (typically daily) harvests metadata sources through a collection of interfaces and re-indexes these metadata to provide extremely rapid search capabilities, even over collections with tens of millions of metadata records. A number of both graphical and application interfaces have been constructed within Mercury, to enable both human users and other computer programs to perform queries. Mercury was also designed to support multiple different projects, so that the particular fields that can be queried and used with search filters are easy to configure for each different project.

  9. Inhibition of solar wind impingement on Mercury by planetary induction currents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hood, L.L.; Schubert, G.


    The simple compression of a planetary magnetosphere by varying solar wind stagnation pressure is limited by currents induced in the electrically conducting parts of the planet. This inhibition is especially important for Mercury, since the radius of the electrically conducting iron core is a large fraction of the planetary radius, which in turn is a significant fraction of the subsolar magnetospheric radius b. Previous treatments of solar wind standoff distance variations at Mercury using the terrestrial analogue b 6 assumption have neglected this phenomenon. Using the lowest suggested value of the planetary dipole moment, 2.4 x 10 22 G cm 3 , we estimate that a minimum pressure of approx.38P 0 where P 0 is the external stagnation pressure in the steady state, is required to force the standoff distance down to the subsolar surface of Mercury if the pressure change persists for at least 1 day. This value is 4.3 times that which would be predicted if Mercury had no core, and it is larger than the maximum pressure predicted at Mercury's orbit (approx.25P 0 ) on the basis of hourly averaged solar wind statistics at 1 AU. Thus a direct interaction at any time of solar wind plasma with the surface of Mercury due to external compression effects alone is unlikely for solar wind conditions similar to those at present

  10. Space station orbit maintenance (United States)

    Kaplan, D. I.; Jones, R. M.


    The orbit maintenance problem is examined for two low-earth-orbiting space station concepts - the large, manned Space Operations Center (SOC) and the smaller, unmanned Science and Applications Space Platform (SASP). Atmospheric drag forces are calculated, and circular orbit altitudes are selected to assure a 90 day decay period in the event of catastrophic propulsion system failure. Several thrusting strategies for orbit maintenance are discussed. Various chemical and electric propulsion systems for orbit maintenance are compared on the basis of propellant resupply requirements, power requirements, Shuttle launch costs, and technology readiness.

  11. Nontraumatic orbital roof encephalocele. (United States)

    Hoang, Amber; Maugans, Todd; Ngo, Thang; Ikeda, Jamie


    Intraorbital meningoencephaloceles occur most commonly as a complication of traumatic orbital roof fractures. Nontraumatic congenital orbital meningoncephaloceles are very rare, with most secondary to destructive processes affecting the orbit and primary skull defects. Treatment for intraorbital meningoencephaloceles is surgical repair, involving the excision of herniated brain parenchyma and meninges and reconstruction of the osseous defect. Most congenital lesions present in infancy with obvious globe and orbital deformities; we report an orbital meningoencephalocele in a 3-year-old girl who presented with ptosis. Copyright © 2017 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Topology and Properties of Mercury's Tail Current Sheet (United States)

    Al Asad, M.; Johnson, C.; Philpott, L. C.


    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft orbited Mercury from March 2011 until April 2015, measuring the vector magnetic field inside and outside the magnetosphere. MESSENGER repeatedly encountered the tail current sheet (TCS) on the nightside of the planet. We examined 1s magnetic field data within 20 minutes of the magnetic equator position on 2435 orbit to characterize the shape and properties of Mercury's TCS and investigate its response to solar wind conditions. Identification of the TCS from vector magnetic field data used the following criteria: (1) a rapid rotation in the field direction from anti-sunward in the southern tail lobe to sunward in the northern lobe, accompanied by (2) a decrease in the field magnitude and (3) an increase in field variability. The current sheet was encountered on 606 orbits allowing the probability of encountering the tail current sheet in the equatorial plane to be mapped. Orbits on which the TCS was identified were binned spatially and superposed epoch analysis used to determine the field magnitude at the edge of the TCS, from which its time-averaged 3D shape was extracted. The TCS has an inner edge at 1.5 RM downtail in the midnight plane with a thickness of 0.34 RM, extends to the observation limit of 2.8 RM, decreasing in thickness to 0.28 RM. The thickness of the TCS increases in the dawn/dusk directions to 0.7 RM at 1.8 RM downtail and ± 1.5 RM from the noon-midnight plane and it warps towards the planet in the dawn/dusk directions. No strong correlations were found between the time-averaged shape and position of the TCS and solar wind conditions such as the solar wind ram pressure and the magnetic disturbance index, nor with parameters that control these conditions such as heliocentric distance. However, it is likely that the TCS does respond to these conditions on time scales too short to be characterized with MESSENGER data. In addition to mapping the shape of the

  13. Orbital fractures: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey M Joseph


    Full Text Available Jeffrey M Joseph, Ioannis P GlavasDivision of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY, USA; Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, New York, NY, USAAbstract: This review of orbital fractures has three goals: 1 to understand the clinically relevant orbital anatomy with regard to periorbital trauma and orbital fractures, 2 to explain how to assess and examine a patient after periorbital trauma, and 3 to understand the medical and surgical management of orbital fractures. The article aims to summarize the evaluation and management of commonly encountered orbital fractures from the ophthalmologic perspective and to provide an overview for all practicing ophthalmologists and ophthalmologists in training.Keywords: orbit, trauma, fracture, orbital floor, medial wall, zygomatic, zygomatic complex, zmc fracture, zygomaticomaxillary complex fractures 

  14. An Atmospheric Variability Model for Venus Aerobraking Missions (United States)

    Tolson, Robert T.; Prince, Jill L. H.; Konopliv, Alexander A.


    Aerobraking has proven to be an enabling technology for planetary missions to Mars and has been proposed to enable low cost missions to Venus. Aerobraking saves a significant amount of propulsion fuel mass by exploiting atmospheric drag to reduce the eccentricity of the initial orbit. The solar arrays have been used as the primary drag surface and only minor modifications have been made in the vehicle design to accommodate the relatively modest aerothermal loads. However, if atmospheric density is highly variable from orbit to orbit, the mission must either accept higher aerothermal risk, a slower pace for aerobraking, or a tighter corridor likely with increased propulsive cost. Hence, knowledge of atmospheric variability is of great interest for the design of aerobraking missions. The first planetary aerobraking was at Venus during the Magellan mission. After the primary Magellan science mission was completed, aerobraking was used to provide a more circular orbit to enhance gravity field recovery. Magellan aerobraking took place between local solar times of 1100 and 1800 hrs, and it was found that the Venusian atmospheric density during the aerobraking phase had less than 10% 1 sigma orbit to orbit variability. On the other hand, at some latitudes and seasons, Martian variability can be as high as 40% 1 sigmaFrom both the MGN and PVO mission it was known that the atmosphere, above aerobraking altitudes, showed greater variability at night, but this variability was never quantified in a systematic manner. This paper proposes a model for atmospheric variability that can be used for aerobraking mission design until more complete data sets become available.

  15. Direct Fusion Drive for a Human Mars Orbital Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paluszek, Michael [Princeton Satellite Systems; Pajer, Gary [Princeton Satellite Systems; Razin, Yosef [Princeton Satellite Systems; Slonaker, James [Princeton Satellite Systems; Cohen, Samuel [PPPL; Feder, Russ [PPPL; Griffin, Kevin [Princeton University; Walsh, Matthew [Princeton University


    The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) is a nuclear fusion engine that produces both thrust and electric power. It employs a field reversed configuration with an odd-parity rotating magnetic field heating system to heat the plasma to fusion temperatures. The engine uses deuterium and helium-3 as fuel and additional deuterium that is heated in the scrape-off layer for thrust augmentation. In this way variable exhaust velocity and thrust is obtained.

  16. ECLSS Reliability for Long Duration Missions Beyond Lower Earth Orbit (United States)

    Sargusingh, Miriam J.; Nelson, Jason


    Reliability has been highlighted by NASA as critical to future human space exploration particularly in the area of environmental controls and life support systems. The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) projects have been encouraged to pursue higher reliability components and systems as part of technology development plans. However, there is no consensus on what is meant by improving on reliability; nor on how to assess reliability within the AES projects. This became apparent when trying to assess reliability as one of several figures of merit for a regenerable water architecture trade study. In the Spring of 2013, the AES Water Recovery Project (WRP) hosted a series of events at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) with the intended goal of establishing a common language and understanding of our reliability goals and equipping the projects with acceptable means of assessing our respective systems. This campaign included an educational series in which experts from across the agency and academia provided information on terminology, tools and techniques associated with evaluating and designing for system reliability. The campaign culminated in a workshop at JSC with members of the ECLSS and AES communities with the goal of developing a consensus on what reliability means to AES and identifying methods for assessing our low to mid-technology readiness level (TRL) technologies for reliability. This paper details the results of the workshop.

  17. Satellite laser ranging to low Earth orbiters: orbit and network validation (United States)

    Arnold, Daniel; Montenbruck, Oliver; Hackel, Stefan; Sośnica, Krzysztof


    Satellite laser ranging (SLR) to low Earth orbiters (LEOs) provides optical distance measurements with mm-to-cm-level precision. SLR residuals, i.e., differences between measured and modeled ranges, serve as a common figure of merit for the quality assessment of orbits derived by radiometric tracking techniques. We discuss relevant processing standards for the modeling of SLR observations and highlight the importance of line-of-sight-dependent range corrections for the various types of laser retroreflector arrays. A 1-3 cm consistency of SLR observations and GPS-based precise orbits is demonstrated for a wide range of past and present LEO missions supported by the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS). A parameter estimation approach is presented to investigate systematic orbit errors and it is shown that SLR validation of LEO satellites is not only able to detect radial but also along-track and cross-track offsets. SLR residual statistics clearly depend on the employed precise orbit determination technique (kinematic vs. reduced-dynamic, float vs. fixed ambiguities) but also reveal pronounced differences in the ILRS station performance. Using the residual-based parameter estimation approach, corrections to ILRS station coordinates, range biases, and timing offsets are derived. As a result, root-mean-square residuals of 5-10 mm have been achieved over a 1-year data arc in 2016 using observations from a subset of high-performance stations and ambiguity-fixed orbits of four LEO missions. As a final contribution, we demonstrate that SLR can not only validate single-satellite orbit solutions but also precise baseline solutions of formation flying missions such as GRACE, TanDEM-X, and Swarm.

  18. On-orbit technology experiment facility definition (United States)

    Russell, Richard A.; Buchan, Robert W.; Gates, Richard M.


    A study was conducted to identify on-orbit integrated facility needs to support in-space technology experiments on the Space Station and associated free flyers. In particular, the first task was to examine the proposed technology development missions (TDMX's) from the model mission set and other proposed experimental facilities, both individually and by theme, to determine how and if the experiments might be combined, what equipment might be shared, what equipment might be used as generic equipment for continued experimentation, and what experiments will conflict with the conduct of other experiments or Space Station operations. Then using these results, to determine on-orbit facility needs to optimize the implementation of technology payloads. Finally, to develop one or more scenarios, design concepts, and outfitting requirements for implementation of onboard technology experiments.

  19. STS-61 Space Shuttle mission report (United States)

    Fricke, Robert W., Jr.


    The STS-61 Space Shuttle Program Mission Report summarizes the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission as well as the Orbiter, External Tank (ET), Solid Rocket Booster (SRB), Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM), and the Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) systems performance during the fifty-ninth flight of the Space Shuttle Program and fifth flight of the Orbiter vehicle Endeavour (OV-105). In addition to the Orbiter, the flight vehicle consisted of an ET designated as ET-60; three SSME's which were designated as serial numbers 2019, 2033, and 2017 in positions 1, 2, and 3, respectively; and two SRB's which were designated BI-063. The RSRM's that were installed in each SRB were designated as 360L023A (lightweight) for the left SRB, and 360L023B (lightweight) for the right SRB. This STS-61 Space Shuttle Program Mission Report fulfills the Space Shuttle Program requirement as documented in NSTS 07700, Volume 8, Appendix E. That document requires that each major organizational element supporting the Program report the results of its hardware evaluation and mission performance plus identify all related in-flight anomalies. The primary objective of the STS-61 mission was to perform the first on-orbit servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope. The servicing tasks included the installation of new solar arrays, replacement of the Wide Field/Planetary Camera I (WF/PC I) with WF/PC II, replacement of the High Speed Photometer (HSP) with the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR), replacement of rate sensing units (RSU's) and electronic control units (ECU's), installation of new magnetic sensing systems and fuse plugs, and the repair of the Goddard High Resolution Spectrometer (GHRS). Secondary objectives were to perform the requirements of the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), the IMAX Camera, and the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test.

  20. IntroductionThe Cluster mission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Fehringer

    Full Text Available The Cluster mission, ESA’s first cornerstone project, together with the SOHO mission, dating back to the first proposals in 1982, was finally launched in the summer of 2000. On 16 July and 9 August, respectively, two Russian Soyuz rockets blasted off from the Russian cosmodrome in Baikonour to deliver two Cluster spacecraft, each into their proper orbit. By the end of August 2000, the four Cluster satellites had reached their final tetrahedral constellation. The commissioning of 44 instruments, both individually and as an ensemble of complementary tools, was completed five months later to ensure the optimal use of their combined observational potential. On 1 February 2001, the mission was declared operational. The main goal of the Cluster mission is to study the small-scale plasma structures in three dimensions in key plasma regions, such as the solar wind, bow shock, magnetopause, polar cusps, magnetotail and the auroral zones. With its unique capabilities of three-dimensional spatial resolution, Cluster plays a major role in the International Solar Terrestrial Program (ISTP, where Cluster and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO are the European contributions. Cluster’s payload consists of state-of-the-art plasma instrumentation to measure electric and magnetic fields from the quasi-static up to high frequencies, and electron and ion distribution functions from energies of nearly 0 eV to a few MeV. The science operations are coordinated by the Joint Science Operations Centre (JSOC, at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK, and implemented by the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany. A network of eight national data centres has been set up for raw data processing, for the production of physical parameters, and their distribution to end users all over the world. The latest information on the Cluster mission can be found at