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Sample records for polar lander mars

  1. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  3. The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Mars Solar Balloon Lander, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. One Mars year: viking lander imaging observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1979-05-25

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

  6. Viking lander tracking contributions to Mars mapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael, W.H. Jr.

    1979-01-01

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

  7. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  10. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Mass Spectrometry on Future Mars Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

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

  14. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

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

  15. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm, Stereo View

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Lander Radioscience LaRa, a Space Geodesy Experiment to Mars within the ExoMars 2020 mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, V. M. A.; Le Maistre, S.; Yseboodt, M.; Peters, M. J.; Karatekin, O.; Van Hove, B.; Rivoldini, A.; Baland, R. M.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2017-12-01

    The LaRa (Lander Radioscience) experiment is designed to obtain coherent two-way Doppler measurements from the radio link between the 2020 ExoMars lander and Earth over at least one Martian year. The LaRa instrument consists of a coherent transponder with up- and downlinks at X-band radio frequencies. The signal received from Earth is a pure carrier at 7.178 GHz; it is transponded back to Earth at a frequency of 8.434 GHz. The transponder is designed to maintain its lock and coherency over its planed one-hour observation sessions. The transponder mass is at the one-kg level. There are one uplink antenna and two downlink antennas. They are small patch antennas covered by a radome of 130gr for the downlink ones and of 200gr for the uplink. The signals will be generated and received by Earth-based radio antennas belonging to the NASA deep space network (DSN), the ESA tracking station network, or the Russian ground stations network. The instrument lifetime is more than twice the nominal mission duration of one Earth year. The Doppler measurements will be used to observe the orientation and rotation of Mars in space (precession, nutations, and length-of-day variations), as well as polar motion. The ultimate objective is to obtain information/constraints on the Martian interior, and on the sublimation/condensation cycle of atmospheric CO2. Orientation and rotational variations will allow us to constrain the moment of inertia of the entire planet, the moment of inertia of the core, and seasonal mass transfer between the atmosphere and the ice caps. The LaRa experiment will be combined with other previous radio science experiments such as the InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) RISE experiment (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment) with radio science data of the NASA Viking landers, Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers. In addition, other ExoMars2020 and TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter) experiments providing

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  2. Learning to live on a Mars day: fatigue countermeasures during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Laura K; Sullivan, Jason P; Vincent, Andrea S; Fiedler, Edna R; McKenna, Laurence M; Flynn-Evans, Erin E; Gilliland, Kirby; Sipes, Walter E; Smith, Peter H; Brainard, George C; Lockley, Steven W

    2012-10-01

    To interact with the robotic Phoenix Mars Lander (PML) spacecraft, mission personnel were required to work on a Mars day (24.65 h) for 78 days. This alien schedule presents a challenge to Earth-bound circadian physiology and a potential risk to workplace performance and safety. We evaluated the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a fatigue management program to facilitate synchronization with the Mars day and alleviate circadian misalignment, sleep loss, and fatigue. Operational field study. PML Science Operations Center. Scientific and technical personnel supporting PML mission. Sleep and fatigue education was offered to all support personnel. A subset (n = 19) were offered a short-wavelength (blue) light panel to aid alertness and mitigate/reduce circadian desynchrony. They were assessed using a daily sleep/work diary, continuous wrist actigraphy, and regular performance tests. Subjects also completed 48-h urine collections biweekly for assessment of the circadian 6-sulphatoxymelatonin rhythm. Most participants (87%) exhibited a circadian period consistent with adaptation to a Mars day. When synchronized, main sleep duration was 5.98 ± 0.94 h, but fell to 4.91 ± 1.22 h when misaligned (P Mars day suggests that future missions should utilize a similar circadian rhythm and fatigue management program to reduce the risk of sleepiness-related errors that jeopardize personnel safety and health during critical missions.

  3. Radio Telescopes to Keep Sharp Eye on Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  5. Low Cost Mars Sample Return Utilizing Dragon Lander Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Telltale wind indicator for the Mars Phoenix lander

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-12-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  15. Rationale for a Mars Pathfinder mission to Chryse Planitia and the Viking 1 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1994-01-01

    Presently the landing site for Mars Pathfinder will be constrained to latitudes between 0 deg and 30 deg N to facilitate communication with earth and to allow the lander and rover solar arrays to generate the maximum possible power. The reference elevation of the site must also be below 0 km so that the descent parachute, a Viking derivative, has sufficient time to open and slow the lander to the correct terminal velocity. Although Mars has as much land surface area as the continental crust of the earth, such engineering constraints immediately limit the number of possible landing sites to only three broad areas: Amazonis, Chryse, and Isidis Planitia. Of these, both Chryse and Isidis Planitia stand out as the sites offering the most information to address several broad scientific topics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo, Michelle A.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. MetBaro - Pressure Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    MetNet Mars Mission focused for Martian atmospheric science is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called the MetNet Lander (MNL). The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. MetBaro is the pressure sensor of MetNet Lander designed to work on Martian surface. It is based on Barocap® technology developed by Vaisala, Inc. MetBaro is a capacitive type of sensing device where capasitor plates are moved by ambient pressure. MetBaro device consists of two pressure transducers including a total of 4 Barocap® sensor heads of high-stability and high-resolution types. The long-term stability of MetBaro is in order of 20…50 µBar and resolution a few µBar. MetBaro is small, lightweighed and has low power consumption. It weighs about 50g without wires and controlling FPGA, and consumes 15 mW of power. A similar device has successfully flown in Phoenix mission, where it performed months of measurements on Martian ground. Another device is also part of the Mars Science Laboratory REMS instrument (to be launched in 2011).

  2. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levri, Julie A.; Perchonok, Michele H.

    2004-01-01

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

  5. MetBaro - Pressure Instrument for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  6. MetHumi - Humidity Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Viking Lander Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Mars: Stratigraphy of Western Highlands and Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Scott, D. H.; Tuesink, M. F.

    1985-01-01

    Geologic mapping and stratigraphic studies of Mars based on Viking images improved knowledge of the relative age and occurrence of geologic units on a global scale. Densities of geologic units or features during the Noarchian, Hesperian, and Amazonian periods are indicated for the North and South polar regions as well as the equatorial region of Mars. Cumulative counts of crater size frequencies for craters larger than 2 km in diameter on plateau units mapped in the western region of Mars counts indicate that the plateau terrain as a whole was thinly resurfaced during the Hesperian Period, and a large proportion of pre-existing craters less than 10 to 15 km in diameter was buried. The formation of northern plains, subpolar highlands, and both polar regions is also described.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-05-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sori, Michael M.; Brown, Adrian J.

    2018-07-01

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

  5. Sediment volume in the north polar sand seas of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lancaster, N.; Greeley, R.

    1990-01-01

    Data from studies of the cross-sectional area of terrestrial transverse dunes have been combined with maps of dune morphometry derived from Viking orbiter images to generate new estimates of sediment thickness and dune sediment volume in the north polar sand seas of Mars. A relationship between dune spacing and equivalent sediment thickness (EST) was developed from field data on Namibian and North American dunes and was applied to data on dune spacing and dune cover measured on Viking orbiter images to generate maps of dune sediment thickness for Martian north polar sand seas. There are four major sand seas in the north polar region of Mars, covering an area of 6.8 x 10 5 km 2 . Equivalent sediment thickness ranges between 0.5 and 6.1 m with a mean of 1.8 m. The sand seas contain a total of 1158 km 3 of dune sediment, which may have been derived by erosion of polar layered deposits and concentrated in its present location by winds that change direction seasonally

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

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

  7. Lander Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavers, Greg

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Mars polar cap: a habitat for elementary life1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2009-04-01

    Ices in the Martian polar caps are potential habitats for various species of microorganisms. Salts in the ice and biological anti-freeze polymers maintain liquid in cracks in the ices far below 0°C, possibly down to the mean 220-240 K. Sub-surface microbial life is shielded from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but could potentially be activated on south-facing slopes under the midday, midsummer Sun. Such life would be limited by low levels of vapour, little transport of nutrients, low light levels below a protective dirt-crust, frost accumulation at night and in shadows, and little if any active translocation of organisms. As in the Antarctic and in permafrost, movement to new habitats depends on geo-climatic changes, which for Mars's north polar cap occur on a 50 000 year scale, except for rare meteorite impacts.

  9. Thermophysical Properties of Mars' North Polar Layered Deposits and Related Materials from Mars Odyssey THEMIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, A. R.; Richardson, M. I.; Byrne, S.; Ivanov, A. B.; Christensen, P. R.

    2003-01-01

    The presence of a thick sequence of horizontal layers of ice-rich material at Mars north pole, dissected by troughs and eroding at its margins, is undoubtedly telling us something about the evolution of Mars climate [1,2] we just don t know what yet. The North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) most likely formed as astronomically driven climate variations led to the deposition of conformable, areally extensive layers of ice and dust over the polar region. More recently, the balance seems to have fundamentally shifted to net erosion, as evidenced by the many troughs within the NPLD and the steep, arcuate scarps present near its margins, both of which expose layering. We defined a number of Regions of Interest ROI) for THEMIS to target as part of the Mars Odyssey Participating Scientist program. We use these THEMIS data in order to understand the morphology and color/thermal properties of the NPLD and related materials over relevant (i.e., m to km) spatial scales. We have assembled color mosaics of our ROIs in order to map the distribution of ices, the different layered units, dark material, and underlying basement. The color information from THEMIS is crucial for distinguishing these different units which are less distinct on Mars Orbiter Camera images. We wish to understand the nature of the marginal scarps and their relationship to the dark material. Our next, more ambitious goal is to derive the thermophysical properties of the different geologic materials using THEMIS and Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer TES) data.

  10. Polar warming in the middle atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, D.; Mumma, M. J.; Espenak, F.; Kostiuk, T.; Zipoy, D.

    1986-01-01

    During the 1984 Mars opposition, ground-based laser heterodyne spectroscopy was obtained for the nonthermal core emission of the 10.33-micron R(8) and 10.72-micron P(32) lines of C-12(O-16)2 at 23 locations on the Martian disk. It is deduced on the basis of these data that the temperature of the middle Martian atmosphere varies with latitude, and a meridional gradient of 0.4-0.9 K/deg latitude is indicated. The highest temperatures are noted to lie at high latitudes in the winter hemisphere; as in the terrestrial case of seasonal effects at the menopause, this winter polar warming in the Martian middle atmosphere requires departures from radiative equilibrium. Two-dimensional circulation model comparisons with these results indicate that atmospheric dust may enhance this dynamical heating at high winter latitudes.

  11. 6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Viking Lander 2 Anniversary

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. D. Putri

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Geologic history of the polar regions of Mars based on Mars Global survey data. I. Noachian and Hesperian Periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K.L.; Kolb, E.J.

    2001-01-01

    During the Noachian Period, the south polar region of Mars underwent intense cratering, construction of three groups of volcanoes, widespread contractional deformation, resurfacing of low areas, and local dissection of valley networks; no evidence for polar deposits, ice sheets, or glaciation is recognized. South polar Hesperian geology is broadly characterized by waning impacts, volcanism, and tectonism. Emplacement of the polar Dorsa Argentea Formation (DAF) occurred during the Hesperian Period. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter topographic data and Mars Orbiter Camera images elucidate stratigraphic, morphologic, and topographic relations, permitting the dividing of the DAF into eight members, which surround and underlie about half of the Amazonian south polar layered deposits. The lobate fronts and lack of typical volcanic-flow morphology of the six plains units indicate that they may be made up of debris flows. We think that these flows, tens of meters to 200 m thick, may have originated by the discharge of huge volumes of slurry fluidized by ground water or liquid CO2, perhaps triggered by local impacts, igneous activity, or basal melting beneath polar deposits. The cavi and rugged members include irregular depressions that penetrate the subsurface; some of the pits have raised rims. The depressions may have formed by collapse due to expulsion of subsurface material in which local explosive activity built up the raised rims. Further, smaller eruptions of volatile-rich material may have resulted in narrow, sinuous channel deposits within aggrading fine-grained unconsolidated material perhaps produced by gaseous discharge of subsurface volatiles; preferential erosion of the latter material could have produced the Dorsa Argentea-type ginuous ridges associated mainly with the DAF. Alternatively, the ridges may be eskers, but the lack of associated glacial and fluvial morphologies casts doubt on this interpretation. The knobby, degraded materials forming Scandia Colles

  15. Mars orbiter redirected in bid to find Beagle

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Power System Overview for the Small RPS Centaur Flyby and the Mars Polar Hard Lander NASA COMPASS Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) Radioisotope Power System Program Office (RPSPO) sponsored two studies lead by their mission analysis team. The studies were performed by NASA GRCs Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team. Typically a complete toplevel design reference mission (DRM) is performed assessing conceptual spacecraft design, launch mass, trajectory, science strategy and sub-system design such as, power, propulsion, structure and thermal.

  17. Polar vortices on Earth and Mars: A comparative study of the climatology and variability from reanalyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, D M; Montabone, L; Thomson, S; Read, P L

    2015-01-01

    Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth.

  18. Buried CO2 Ice traces in South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars detected by radar sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaldo, L.; Mège, D.; Orosei, R.; Séjourné, A.

    2014-12-01

    SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) is the subsurface sounding radar provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as a facility instrument to NASA's 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Reduced Data Record of SHARAD data covering the area of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD), has been used. The elaboration and interpretation of the data, aimed to estimate electromagnetic properties of surface layers, has been performed in terms of permittivity. The theory of electromagnetic scattering from fractal surfaces, and the estimation of geometric parameters from topographic data by Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) which was one of five instruments on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, has been used. A deep analysis of inversion has been made on all Mars and extended to the South Polar Caps in order to extract the area with a permittivity constant of CO2 ice. Several corrections have been applied to the data, moreover the calibration of the signal requires the determination of a constant that takes into account the power gain due to the radar system and the surface in order to compensate the power losses due to the orbitographic phenomena. The determination of regions with high probability of buried CO2 ice in the first layer of the Martian surface, is obtained extracting the real part of the permittivity constant of the CO2 ice (~2), estimated by other means. The permittivity of CO2ice is extracted from the Global Permittivity Map of Mars using the global standard deviation of itself as following: ɛCO2ice=ɛCO2ice+ Σ (1)where Σ=±std(ɛMapMars)/2Figure 1(a) shows the south polar areas where the values of the permittivity point to the possibility of a CO2 ice layer. Figure 1(b) is the corresponding geologic map. The comparison between the two maps indicates that the area with probable buried CO2 overlaps Hesperian and Amazonian polar units (Hp, Hesperian plains-forming deposits marked by narrow sinuous, anabranching ridges and irregular depressions, and

  19. Mars Seasonal Polar Caps as a Test of the Equivalence Principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubincam, Daivd Parry

    2011-01-01

    The seasonal polar caps of Mars can be used to test the equivalence principle in general relativity. The north and south caps, which are composed of carbon dioxide, wax and wane with the seasons. If the ratio of the inertial to gravitational masses of the caps differs from the same ratio for the rest of Mars, then the equivalence principle fails, Newton's third law fails, and the caps will pull Mars one way and then the other with a force aligned with the planet's spin axis. This leads to a secular change in Mars's along-track position in its orbit about the Sun, and to a secular change in the orbit's semimajor axis. The caps are a poor E6tv6s test of the equivalence principle, being 4 orders-of-magnitude weaker than laboratory tests and 7 orders-of-magnitude weaker than that found by lunar laser ranging; the reason is the small mass of the caps compared to Mars as a whole. The principal virtue of using Mars is that the caps contain carbon, an element not normally considered in such experiments. The Earth with its seasonal snow cover can also be used for a similar test.

  20. Mars seasonal polar caps as a test of the equivalence principle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rubincam, David Parry

    2011-01-01

    The seasonal polar caps of Mars can be used to test the equivalence principle in general relativity. The north and south caps, which are composed of carbon dioxide, wax and wane with the seasons. If the ratio of the inertial (passive) to gravitational (active) masses of the caps differs from the same ratio for the rest of Mars, then the equivalence principle fails, Newton's third law fails, and the caps will pull Mars one way and then the other with a force aligned with the planet's spin axis. This leads to a secular change in Mars's along-track position in its orbit about the Sun, and to a secular change in the orbit's semimajor axis. The caps are a poor Eoetvoes test of the equivalence principle, being 4 orders-of-magnitude weaker than laboratory tests and 7 orders-of-magnitude weaker than that found by lunar laser ranging; the reason is the small mass of the caps compared to Mars as a whole. The principal virtue of using Mars is that the caps contain carbon, an element not normally considered in such experiments. The Earth with its seasonal snow cover can also be used for a similar test.

  1. The Mars water cycle at other epochs - Recent history of the polar caps and layered terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1993-01-01

    A numerical model is presented of the integrated role of seasonal water cycle on the evolution of polar deposits on Mars over the last 10 million years. From the model, it is concluded that the only major difference between the polar caps which affects their long-term behavior is ultimately the difference in their elevations. Because of that difference, there is a preference for CO2 frost to stay longer on the northern polar cap. The average difference in sublimation at the caps results in a net south-to-north transport of water ice over long time scales. Superimposed on any long-term behavior is a transfer of water ice between the caps on the 10 exp 5 - 10 exp 6 yr time scales. The amount of water exchanged is small compared to the total ice content of the polar deposits.

  2. Transport of Mars atmospheric water into high northern latitudes during a polar warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J. R.; Hollingsworth, J. L.

    1988-01-01

    Several numerical experiments were conducted with a simplified tracer transport model in order to attempt to examine the poleward transport of Mars atmospheric water during a polar warming like that which occurred during the winter solstice dust storm of 1977. The flow for the transport experiments was taken from numerical simulations with a nonlinear beta-plane dynamical model. Previous studies with this model have demonstrated that a polar warming having essential characteristics like those observed during the 1977 dust storm can be produced by a planetary wave mechanism analogous to that responsible for terrestrial sudden stratospheric warmings. Several numerical experiments intended to simulate water transport in the absence of any condensation were carried out. These experiments indicate that the flow during a polar warming can transport very substantial amounts of water to high northern latitudes, given that the water does not condense and fall out before reaching the polar region.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Dune-slope activity due to frost and wind throughout the north polar erg, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniega, Serina; Hansen, Candice J; Allen, Amanda; Grigsby, Nathan; Li, Zheyu; Perez, Tyler; Chojnacki, Matthew

    2017-01-01

    Repeat, high-resolution imaging of dunes within the Martian north polar erg have shown that these dune slopes are very active, with alcoves forming along the dune brink each Mars year. In some areas, a few hundred cubic metres of downslope sand movement have been observed, sometimes moving the dune brink 'backwards'. Based on morphological and activity-timing similarities of these north polar features to southern dune gullies, identifying the processes forming these features is likely to have relevance for understanding the general evolution/modification of dune gullies. To determine alcove-formation model constraints, we have surveyed seven dune fields, each over 1-4 Mars winters. Consistent with earlier reports, we found that alcove-formation activity occurs during the autumn-winter seasons, before or while the stable seasonal frost layer is deposited. We propose a new model in which alcove formation occurs during the autumn, and springtime sublimation activity then enhances the feature. Summertime winds blow sand into the new alcoves, erasing small alcoves over a few Mars years. Based on the observed rate of alcove erasure, we estimated the effective aeolian sand transport flux. From this, we proposed that alcove formation may account for 2-20% of the total sand movement within these dune fields.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. A revised surface age for the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Margaret E.; Byrne, Shane; Daubar, Ingrid J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Dundas, Colin M.

    2016-01-01

    The North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) of Mars contain a complex stratigraphy that has been suggested to retain a record of past eccentricity- and obliquity-forced climate changes. The surface accumulation rate in the current climate can be constrained by the crater retention age. We scale NPLD crater diameters to account for icy target strength and compare surface age using a new production function for recent small impacts on Mars to the previously used model of Hartmann (2005). Our results indicate that ice is accumulating in these craters several times faster than previously thought, with a 100 m diameter crater being completely infilled within centuries. Craters appear to have a diameter-dependent lifetime, but the data also permit a complete resurfacing of the NPLD at ~1.5 ka.

  8. Mass balance of Mars' residual south polar cap from CTX images and other data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P. C.; Calvin, W.; Cantor, B.; Haberle, R.; James, P. B.; Lee, S. W.

    2016-04-01

    Erosion of pits in the residual south polar cap (RSPC) of Mars concurrent with deposition and fluctuating cap boundaries raises questions about the mass balance and long term stability of the cap. Determining a mass balance by measurement of a net gain or loss of atmospheric CO2 by direct pressure measurements (Haberle, R.M. et al. [2014]. Secular climate change on Mars: An update using one Mars year of MSL pressure data. American Geophysical Union (Fall). Abstract 3947), although perhaps the most direct method, has so far given ambiguous results. Estimating volume changes from imaging data faces challenges, and has previously been attempted only in isolated areas of the cap. In this study we use 6 m/pixel Context Imager (CTX) data from Mars year 31 to map all the morphologic units of the RSPC, expand the measurement record of pit erosion rates, and use high resolution images to place limits on vertical changes in the surface of the residual cap. We find the mass balance in Mars years 9-31 to be -6 to +4 km3/♂y, or roughly -0.039% to +0.026% of the mean atmospheric CO2 mass/♂y. The indeterminate sign results chiefly from uncertainty in the amounts of deposition or erosion on the upper surfaces of deposits (as opposed to scarp retreat). Erosion and net deposition in this period appear to be controlled by summertime planetary scale dust events, the largest occurring in MY 9, another, smaller one in MY 28. The rates of erosion and the deposition observed since MY 9 appear to be consistent with the types of deposits and erosional behavior found in most of the residual cap. However, small areas (100 ♂y) of depositional and/or erosional conditions different from those occurring in the period since MY 9, although these environmental differences could be subtle.

  9. Source-to-sink cycling of aeolian sediment in the north polar region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, R. C.; Kocurek, G.

    2012-12-01

    Aeolian sand dunes are prominent features on the landscapes of Earth, Mars, Venus and Titan and sedimentary deposits interpreted as aeolian in origin are found in the rock records of Earth and Mars. The widespread occurrence of aeolian dunes on the surface of these worlds and within their deep-time depositional records suggests that aeolian systems are and likely have been a default depositional environment for the Solar System. Within an aeolian source-to-sink context, we hypothesize that planet-specific boundary conditions strongly impact production, transport, accumulation and preservation of aeolian sediment, whereas dunes and dune-field patterns remain largely similar. This hypothesis is explored within the north polar region of Mars, which hosts the most extensive aeolian dune fields and aeolian sedimentary deposits yet recognized on Mars and appears to be a region of dynamic source-to-sink cycling of aeolian sediments. The Planum Boreum Cavi Unit rests beneath north polar ice cap of Mars and is composed of several hundred meters of niveo-aeolian dune cross-stratification. The overall architecture of the unit consists of sets of preserved dune topography with an upward increase in the abundance of ice. Dune sets are defined by stabilized, polygonally fractured bounding surfaces, erosional bounding surfaces and typical internal lee foresets made of sediment and ice. The accumulation of the Cavi Unit is interpreted as occurring through freezing and serves as an example of a cold temperature boundary condition on aeolian sediment accumulation. Preservation of the Cavi Unit arises because of deposition of the overlying ice cap and contrasts with preservation of aeolian sediment on Earth, which is largely driven by eustasy and tectonics. The Cavi Unit is thought to be one source of sediment for the north polar Olympia Undae Dune Field. The region of Olympia Undae near the Cavi Unit shows a reticulate dune field pattern composed of two sets of nearly orthogonal

  10. Water on Mars: Inventory, distribution, and possible sources of polar ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, S. M.

    1992-01-01

    Theoretical considerations and various lines of morphologic evidence suggest that, in addition to the normal seasonal and climatic exchange of H2O that occurs between the Martian polar caps, atmosphere, and mid to high latitude regolith, large volumes of water have been introduced into the planet's long term hydrologic cycle by the sublimation of equatorial ground ice, impacts, catastrophic flooding, and volcanism. Under the climatic conditions that are thought to have prevailed on Mars throughout the past 3 to 4 b.y., much of this water is expected to have been cold trapped at the poles. The amount of polar ice contributed by each of the planet's potential crustal sources is discussed and estimated. The final analysis suggests that only 5 to 15 pct. of this potential inventory is now in residence at the poles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Huu P.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Palmer Quest: A Feasible Nuclear Fission "Vision Mission" to the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F. D.; Beegle, L. W.; Nakagawa, R.; Elliott, J. O.; Matthews, J. B.; Coleman, M. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Ivaniov, A. B.; Head, J. W.; Milkovich, S.

    2005-01-01

    We are engaged in a NASA Vision Mission study, called Palmer Quest after the American Antarctic explorer Nathaniel Palmer, to assess the presence of life and evaluate the habitability of the basal domain of the Mars polar caps. We address this goal through four objectives: 1. Determine the presence of amino acids, nutrients, and geochemical heterogeneity in the ice sheet. 2. Quantify and characterize the provenance of the amino acids in Mars ice. 3. Assess the stratification of outcropped units for indications of habitable zones. 4. Determine the accumulation of ice, mineralogic material, and amino acids in Mars ice caps over the present epoch. Because of the defined scientific goal for the vision mission, the Palmer Quest focus is astrobiological; however, the results of the study make us optimistic that aggressive multi-platform in-situ missions that address a wide range of objectives, such as climate change, can be supported by variations of the approach used on this mission. Mission Overview: The Palmer Quest baseline

  13. Thermal behavior and ice-table depth within the north polar erg of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Mellon, Michael T.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Phillips, Roger J.; Davis, Brian J.; Ewer, Kenneth J.; Bowers, Lauren M.

    2014-02-01

    We fully resolve a long-standing thermal discrepancy concerning the north polar erg of Mars. Several recent studies have shown that the erg's thermal properties are consistent with normal basaltic sand overlying shallow ground ice or ice-cemented sand. Our findings bolster that conclusion by thoroughly characterizing the thermal behavior of the erg, demonstrating that other likely forms of physical heterogeneity play only a minor role, and obviating the need to invoke exotic materials. Thermal inertia as calculated from orbital temperature observations of the dunes has previously been found to be more consistent with dust-sized materials than with sand. Since theory and laboratory data show that dunes will only form out of sand-sized particles, exotic sand-sized agglomerations of dust have been invoked to explain the low values of thermal inertia. However, the polar dunes exhibit the same darker appearance and color as that of dunes found elsewhere on the planet that have thermal inertia consistent with normal sand-sized basaltic grains, whereas Martian dust deposits are generally lighter and redder. The alternative explanation for the discrepancy as a thermal effect of a shallow ice table is supported by our analysis of observations from the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer and the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System and by forward modeling of physical heterogeneity. In addition, our results exclude a uniform composition of dark dust-sized materials, and they show that the thermal effects of the dune slopes and bright interdune materials evident in high-resolution images cannot account for the erg's thermal behavior.

  14. Thermal behavior and ice-table depth within the north polar erg of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Mellon, Michael T.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Phillips, Roger J.; Davis, Brian J.; Ewer, Kenneth J.; Bowers, Lauren M.

    2014-01-01

    We fully resolve a long-standing thermal discrepancy concerning the north polar erg of Mars. Several recent studies have shown that the erg’s thermal properties are consistent with normal basaltic sand overlying shallow ground ice or ice-cemented sand. Our findings bolster that conclusion by thoroughly characterizing the thermal behavior of the erg, demonstrating that other likely forms of physical heterogeneity play only a minor role, and obviating the need to invoke exotic materials. Thermal inertia as calculated from orbital temperature observations of the dunes has previously been found to be more consistent with dust-sized materials than with sand. Since theory and laboratory data show that dunes will only form out of sand-sized particles, exotic sand-sized agglomerations of dust have been invoked to explain the low values of thermal inertia. However, the polar dunes exhibit the same darker appearance and color as that of dunes found elsewhere on the planet that have thermal inertia consistent with normal sand-sized basaltic grains, whereas Martian dust deposits are generally lighter and redder. The alternative explanation for the discrepancy as a thermal effect of a shallow ice table is supported by our analysis of observations from the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer and the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System and by forward modeling of physical heterogeneity. In addition, our results exclude a uniform composition of dark dust-sized materials, and they show that the thermal effects of the dune slopes and bright interdune materials evident in high-resolution images cannot account for the erg’s thermal behavior.

  15. Frost at the Viking Lander 2 Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Ralph

    2016-10-01

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

  17. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: One Mars Year of CRISM EPF Observations of the South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    We have used CRISM Emission Phase Function gimballed observations to investigate atmospheric dust/ice opacity and surface albedo in the south polar region for the first Mars year of MRO operations. This covers the MY28 "dust event" and cap recession.

  18. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

    Discusses the fundamental facts concerning this mysterious planet, including its mass, size, and atmosphere, as well as the various missions that helped planetary scientists document the geological history of Mars. This volume also describes Mars'' seasons with their surface effects on the planet and how they have changed over time.

  19. Stratigraphy of the north polar layered deposits of Mars from high-resolution topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane; Sori, Michael M.; Sutton, Sarah; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.

    2016-01-01

    The stratigraphy of the layered deposits of the polar regions of Mars is theorized to contain a record of recent climate change linked to insolation changes driven by variations in the planet's orbital and rotational parameters. In order to confidently link stratigraphic signals to insolation periodicities, a description of the stratigraphy is required based on quantities that directly relate to intrinsic properties of the layers. We use stereo Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) to derive a characteristic of North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) strata that can be correlated over large distances: the topographic protrusion of layers exposed in troughs, which is a proxy for the layers’ resistance to erosion. Using a combination of image analysis and a signal-matching algorithm to correlate continuous depth-protrusion signals taken from DTMs at different locations, we construct a stratigraphic column that describes the upper ~500 m of at least 7% of the area of the NPLD, and find accumulation rates that vary by factors of up to two. We find that, when coupled with observations of exposed layers in orbital images, the topographic expression of the strata is consistently continuous through large distances in the top 300 – 500 m of the NPLD, suggesting it is better related to intrinsic layer properties than brightness alone.

  20. Sublimation and transport of water from the north residual polar cap on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Jakosky, Bruce M.

    1990-01-01

    The possible role of the north residual cap in the current Martian water cycle was examined using models to assess the ability of the cap to supply water to the atmosphere and the ability of the atmospheric circulation to transport it out of the polar regions to low northern latitudes. Results indicate that rather extreme circumstances would be required for the cap to provide all of the observed increase in atmospheric water, such as a combination of high surface winds, low cap emissivities, or substantial evaporation from dark material. But even if these conditions could be met, the high-latitude circulation is too localized in scale to move much water vapor out of the polar environment. Both the present calculations and the data from the Viking's Mars Atmospheric Water Detection Experiment show that about two thirds of the water appearing in the Martian northern hemisphere during summer must be supplied by other sources. It is suggested that the additional source is water desorbing from the nonpolar regolith.

  1. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

    This curriculum-based, fun, and approachable book offers everything young readers need to know to begin their study of the Red Planet. They will learn about the fundamental aspects of the Mars, including its size, mass, surface features, interior, orbit, and spin. Further, they will learn about the history of the missions to Mars, including the Viking spacecraft and the Curiosity and MAVEN rovers. Finally, readers will learn about why scientists think there's a chance that Mars is or was suitable for life. With stunning imagery from NASA itself, readers will have a front seat-view of the missi

  2. Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  3. The Contribution of Water Ice Clouds to the Water Cycle in the North Polar Region of Mars: Preliminary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, D. S.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2000-01-01

    While it has long been known that Mars' north residual polar cap and the Martian regolith are significant sources of atmospheric water vapor, the amount of water vapor observed in the northern spring season by the Viking Mars Atmospheric Water Detector instrument (MAWD) cannot be attributed to cap and regolith sources alone. Kahn suggested that ice hazes may be the mechanism by which additional water is supplied to the Martian atmosphere. Additionally, a significant decrease in atmospheric water vapor was observed in the late northern summer that could not be correlated with the return of the cold seasonal C02 ice. While the detection of water ice clouds on Mars indicate that water exists in Mars' atmosphere in several different phases, the extent to which water ice clouds play a role in moving water through the Martian atmosphere remains uncertain. Work by Bass et. al. suggested that the time dependence of water ice cap seasonal variability and the increase in atmospheric water vapor depended on the polar cap center reaching 200K, the night time saturation temperature. Additionally, they demonstrated that a decrease in atmospheric water vapor may be attributed to deposition of water ice onto the surface of the polar cap; temperatures were still too warm at this time in the summer for the deposition of carbon dioxide. However, whether water ice clouds contribute significantly to this variability is unknown. Additional information is contained in original extended abstract.

  4. H2O grain size and the amount of dust in Mars' residual North polar cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, H.H.

    1990-01-01

    In Mars' north polar cap the probable composition of material residual from the annual condensation cycle is a mixture of fine dust and H2O grains of comparable size and abundance. However, metamorphism of such material will gradually lower its albedo by increasing the size of the H2O grains only. If the cap is undergoing net annual sublimation (as inferred from water vapor observations), late summer observations should be of old ice with H2O grain sizes of 100 ??m or more. Ice of this granularity containing 30% fine dust has a reflectivity similar to that of dust alone; the observed albedo and computed ice grain size imply dust concentrations of 1 part per 1000 or less. The brightness of the icy areas conflicts with what would be expected for a residual cap deposited by an annual cycle similar to that observed by Viking and aged for thousands of years. The residual cap surface cannot be "old dirty' ice. It could be old, coarse, and clean; or it could be young, fine, and dirty. This brings into question both the source of the late summer water vapor and the formation rate of laminated terrain. -Author

  5. Dune field pattern formation and recent transporting winds in the Olympia Undae Dune Field, north polar region of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Peyret, Aymeric-Pierre B.; Kocurek, Gary; Bourke, Mary

    2010-01-01

    High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imagery of the central Olympia Undae Dune Field in the north polar region of Mars shows a reticulate dune pattern consisting of two sets of nearly orthogonal dune crestlines, with apparent slipfaces on the primary crests, ubiquitous wind ripples, areas of coarse-grained wind ripples, and deflated interdune areas. Geomorphic evidence and dune field pattern analysis of dune crest length, spacing, defect density, and orientation indicates that ...

  6. Electric Mars: The first direct measurement of an upper limit for the Martian "polar wind" electric potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collinson, Glyn; Mitchell, David; Glocer, Alex; Grebowsky, Joseph; Peterson, W. K.; Connerney, Jack; Andersson, Laila; Espley, Jared; Mazelle, Christian; Sauvaud, Jean-André; Fedorov, Andrei; Ma, Yingjuan; Bougher, Steven; Lillis, Robert; Ergun, Robert; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-11-01

    An important mechanism in the generation of polar wind outflow is the ambipolar electric potential which assists ions in overcoming gravity and is a key mechanism for Terrestrial ionospheric escape. At Mars, open field lines are not confined to the poles, and outflow of ionospheric electrons is observed far into the tail. It has thus been hypothesized that a similar electric potential may be present at Mars, contributing to global ionospheric loss. However, no direct measurements of this potential have been made. In this pilot study, we examine photoelectron spectra measured by the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer instrument on the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) Mars Scout to put an initial upper bound on the total potential drop in the ionosphere of Mars of Φ♂ ≾⊥ 2V , with the possibility of a further ≾4.5 V potential drop above this in the magnetotail. If the total potential drop was close to the upper limit, then strong outflows of major ionospheric species (H+, O+, and O2+) would be expected. However, if most of the potential drop is confined below the spacecraft, as expected by current theory, then such a potential would not be sufficient on its own to accelerate O2+ to escape velocities, but would be sufficient for lighter ions. However, any potential would contribute to atmospheric loss through the enhancement of Jeans escape.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. X-ray proportional counter for the Viking Lander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  9. Photogrammetry of the Viking-Lander imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Interannual and seasonal changes in the south seasonal polar cap of Mars: Observations from MY 28-31 using MARCI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Cantor, B. A.; James, P. B.

    2017-08-01

    The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides daily synoptic coverage that allows monitoring of seasonal cap retreat and interannual changes that occur between Mars Years (MY) and over the southern summer. We present the first analysis of this data for the southern seasonal cap evolution observed in MY 28, 29, 30 and 31 (2/2007 to 07/2013). Observation over multiple Mars years allows us to compare changes between years as well as longer-term evolution of the high albedo deposits at the poles. Seasonal cap retreat is similar in all years and to retreats observed in other years by both optical and thermal instruments. The cryptic terrain has a fairly consistent boundary in each year, but numerous small-scale variations occur in each MY observed. Additionally, numerous small dark deposits are identified outside the classically identified cyptic region, including Inca City and other locations not previously noted. The large water ice outlier is observed to retain seasonal frost the longest (outside the polar dome) and is also highly variable in each MY. The development of the cryptic/anti-cryptic hemispheres is inferred to occur due to albedo variations that develop after dust venting starts and may be caused by recondensation of CO2 ice on the brightest and coldest regions controlled by topographic winds. Ground ice may play a role in which regions develop cryptic terrain, as there is no elevation control on either cryptic terrain or the late season brightest deposits.

  12. Digibaro pressure instrument onboard the Phoenix Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

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

  14. Continuous Planetary Polar Observation from Hybrid Pole-Sitters at Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heiligers, M.J.; van den Oever (student TUDelft), Tom; Ceriotti, M.; Mulligan, P.; McInnes, CR

    2017-01-01

    A pole-sitter is a satellite that is stationed along the polar axis of the Earth, or any other planet, to generate a continuous, hemispherical view of the planet’s polar regions. In order to maintain such a vantage point, a low-thrust propulsion system is required to counterbalance the gravitational

  15. Survival and sacrifice in Mars exploration what we know from polar expeditions

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik

    2015-01-01

    With current technology, a voyage to Mars and back will take three years. That’s a lot of time for things to go wrong. But sooner or later a commercial enterprise will commit itself to sending humans to Mars. How will the astronauts survive? Some things to consider are: ith current technology, a voyage to Mars and back will take three years. That’s a lot of time for things to go wrong. But sooner or later a commercial enterprise will commit itself to sending humans to Mars. How will the astronauts survive? Some things to consider are: • Who decides what medical resources are used for whom? Who decides what medical resources are used for whom? • What is the relative weight of mission success and the health of the crew? What is the relative weight of mission success and the health of the crew? • Do we allow crewmembers to sacrifi ce their lives for the good of the mission? Do we allow crewmembers to sacrifi ce their lives for the good of the mission? • And what if a crewmember does perish? Do we sto...

  16. Frost on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Experimental Demonstration of the Formation of Liquid Brines under Martian Polar Conditions in the Michigan Mars Environmental Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Erik; Martinez, German; Elliott, Harvey; Borlina, Caue; Renno, Nilton

    2014-05-01

    Liquid water is one of the necessary ingredients for the development of life as we know it. The behavior of various liquid states of H2O such as liquid brine, undercooled liquid interfacial water, subsurface melt water and ground water [1] needs to be understood in order to address the potential habitability of Mars for microbes and future human exploration. It has been shown thermodynamically that liquid brines can exist under Martian polar conditions [2, 3]. We have developed the Michigan Mars Environmental Chamber (MMEC) to simulate the entire range of Martian surface and shallow subsurface conditions with respect to temperature, pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation and soil wetness at equatorial and polar latitudes. Our experiments in the MMEC show that deliquescence of NaClO4, Mg(ClO4)2 and Ca(ClO4)2 occurs diurnally under the environmental conditions of the Phoenix landing site when these salts get in contact with water ice. Since Phoenix detected these salts and water ice at the landing site, including frost formation, it is extremely likely that deliquescence occurs at the Phoenix landing site. By layering NaClO4, Mg(ClO4)2 or Ca(ClO4)2 on top of a pure water ice slab at 800 Pa and 190 K and raising the temperature stepwise across the eutectic temperature of the perchlorate salts, we observe distinct changes in the Raman spectra of the samples when deliquescence occurs. When crossing the eutectic temperatures of NaClO4 (236 K), Mg(ClO4)2 (205 K) and Ca(ClO4)2 (199 K) [4, 5], the perchlorate band of the Raman spectrum shows a clear shift from 953 cm-1 to 936 cm-1. Furthermore, the appearance of a broad O-H vibrational stretching spectrum between 3244 cm-1 and 3580 cm-1 is another indicator of deliquescence. This process of deliquescence occurs on the order of seconds when the perchlorate salt is in contact with water ice. On the contrary, when the perchlorate salt is only subjected to water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, deliquescence was not

  18. Operations and Autonomy of the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  19. The Mars water cycle at other epochs: History of the polar caps and layered terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1992-01-01

    The atmospheric water cycle at the present epoch involves summertime sublimation of water from the north polar cap, transport of water through the atmosphere, and condensation on one or both winter CO2 caps. Exchange with the regolith is important seasonally, but the water content of the atmosphere appears to be controlled by the polar caps. The net annual transport through the atmosphere, integrated over long timescales, must be the driving force behind the long-term evolution of the polar caps; clearly, this feeds back into the evolution of the layered terrain. We have investigated the behavior of the seasonal water cycle and the net integrated behavior at the pole for the last 10 exp 7 years. Our model of the water cycle includes the solar input, CO2 condensation and sublimation, and summertime water sublimation through the seasonal cycles, and incorporates the long-term variations in the orbital elements describing the Martian orbit.

  20. Dark material in the polar layered deposits and dunes on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herkenhoff, Ken E.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    1999-07-01

    Viking infrared thermal mapping and bistatic radar data suggest that the bulk density of the north polar erg material is much lower than that of the average Martian surface or of dark dunes at lower latitudes. We have derived a thermal inertia of 245-280Jm-2s-1/2K-1(5.9-6.7×10-3calcm-2s-1/2K-1) for the Proctor dune field and 25-150Jm-2s-1/2K-1(0.6-3.6×10-3calcm-2s-1/2K-1) for the north polar erg. The uniqueness of the thermophysical properties of the north polar erg material may be due to a unique polar process that has created them. The visible and near-infrared spectral reflectance of the erg suggests that the dark material may be composed of basalt or ferrous clays. These data are consistent with the dark material being composed of basaltic ash or filamentary sublimate residue (FSR) particles derived from erosion of the layered deposits. Dark dust may be preferentially concentrated at the surface of the layered deposits by the formation of FSR particles upon sublimation of water ice. Further weathering and erosion of these areas of exposed layered deposits may form the dark, saltating material that is found in both polar regions. Dark FSR particles may saltate for great distances before eventually breaking down into dust grains, re-mixing with the global dust reservoir, and being recycled into the polar layered deposits via atmospheric suspension.

  1. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. Recession of the Northern polar cap from the PFS Mars Express observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L. V.; Formisano, V.; Moroz, V. I.; Giuranna, M.; Grassi, D.; Hansen, G.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Maturilli, A.; Pfs Team

    Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) has two spectral channels, devoted to the thermal and solar reflected spectral range investigations. The first observations by PFS of the Northern hemisphere ,which includes the North pole, occurred at Ls= 342 (northern winter). Surface temperature alone the orbit shows that the CO2 ice polar cap, where the surface temperature is found around 150K and below, is extended down to about 62 N. The spectra at latitudes above 80 N are obtained at polar darkness and at latitudes below 80 at illumination by the low Sun. Retrieved temperature profiles of the atmosphere at darkness show that temperature of the atmosphere is low enough to allow the CO2 condensation up to about 25 km. Between 70 and 80 latitude the upper levels of the atmosphere are heated by the Sun, but condensation of the CO2 may occur in the near surface layer below 5 km. The water ice clouds exist at lower latitudes with maximum opacity at the edge of the polar cap. More detailed investigation of the data obtained in winter as well as of the measurements in the northern spring will be presented.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. PHOENIX MARS MECA OPTICAL MICROSCOPE 2 EDR VERSION 1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Mercury Lander Mission Concept Study Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eng, D. A.

    2018-05-01

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

  9. Low Cost Precision Lander for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  10. Robotic Lunar Lander Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Soil developments in polar deserts: Implications for exobiology and future Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Chemical alterations, weathering, and diagenesis of soil profiles from the dry valleys of Antarctica were studied as analogs of regolith development for the Martian regolith. Chemical weathering processes play an important part in soil development within the dry valleys of Antarctica. A suite of core samples were studied which were taken within the valley floors in addition to samples taken in the vicinity of evaporite and brine ponds. Analysis of water soluable cations and anions from core samples were performed along with petrographic analysis of selected samples. It was shown that ionic transport processes operate primarily above the permafrost zone. Abundances of the water soluable ions reflect the nature of secondary minerals produced by evaporation and weathering. Chloride, calcium, and sodium abundances for soils from the cores within the North and South Forks of Wright Valley, reflect the secondary mineralogy of the soil columns. Calculations for Na, Ca, and Cl abundances reflect the appearance of halite and antarcticite. In areas where excess Ca is present, X-ray diffraction studies show the presence of gypsum. It is well known that the Martian surface conditions may be favorable for chemical weathering. Primary silicates would be expected to be reactive with any ground water. It seems likely that Martian subsurface water is available to assist in the weathering of the primary minerals. Such weathering could result in the formation of clays, sulfates, carbonates, hydrates, halides, and zeolites. The dry valley cores have shown that they maybe excellent analogs to weathering processes on the near-surface of Mars. Since movement of water within the near-surface region clearly results in chemical weathering, leaching, and salt formation in the dry valleys, similar processes are probably operating within the Martian regolith.

  12. Dune field pattern formation and recent transporting winds in the Olympia Undae Dune Field, north polar region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Peyret, Aymeric-Pierre B.; Kocurek, Gary; Bourke, Mary

    2010-08-01

    High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imagery of the central Olympia Undae Dune Field in the north polar region of Mars shows a reticulate dune pattern consisting of two sets of nearly orthogonal dune crestlines, with apparent slipfaces on the primary crests, ubiquitous wind ripples, areas of coarse-grained wind ripples, and deflated interdune areas. Geomorphic evidence and dune field pattern analysis of dune crest length, spacing, defect density, and orientation indicates that the pattern is complex, representing two constructional generations of dunes. The oldest and best-organized generation forms the primary crestlines and is transverse to circumpolar easterly winds. Gross bed form-normal analysis of the younger pattern of crestlines indicates that it emerged with both circumpolar easterly winds and NE winds and is reworking the older pattern. Mapping of secondary flow fields over the dunes indicates that the most recent transporting winds were from the NE. The younger pattern appears to represent an influx of sediment to the dune field associated with the development of the Olympia Cavi reentrant, with NE katabatic winds channeling through the reentrant. A model of the pattern reformation based upon the reconstructed primary winds and resulting secondary flow fields shows that the development of the secondary pattern is controlled by the boundary condition of the older dune topography.

  13. Polar layered deposits on Mars: Inner structure and relation to the climate record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreslavsky, M.; Head, J.

    Martian polar layered deposits (PLD) have long been thought to contain a record of the past climate. Roles of deposition, ablation and flow in PLD are a subject of discussion and controversy. Understanding of these roles is critical for reading the climate record. We show that simple mechanism including latitude-dependent deposition and ablation, albedo feedback and role of slopes explains many essential features of the PLD. We consider the present-day PLD is a result of a history of H2O ice deposition and sublimation during some recent period of the geological history. The deposition - ablation balance is a function of latitude. Typically, net deposition occurs in the polar area inside some boundary latitude of zero balance, and net ablation occurs outside. This dividing latitude shifts back and forth due to climate change caused by (1) the change of the spin/orbit parameters ("astronomical forcing"), (2) availability of the water vapor source at lower latitudes (tropical mountain glaciers, high-latitude icy mantles, the opposite polar cap, groundwater discharge events), (3) internal climate instabilities. The outermost position of the ablation/deposition boundary was well outside the present margins of the PLD; in the opposite extremes, the area of the positive balance disappeared, and the whole polar cap underwent ablation. Through time such oscillations produced a dome-shaped stack of deposits with a possible thin layer of deposits outside the dome and with a number of unconformities inside. These unconformities will have an east-west oriented strike and a very shallow dip. There is a positive feedback between the deposition/ablation balance and albedo: high albedo favors deposition, and fresh deposits have high albedo. With this feedback, when the climate system goes through oscillations, the boundary latitude between positive and negative balance will stay for some periods of time at its outermost and innermost positions. This will result in steps in the

  14. The Mars water cycle at other epochs: Recent history of the polar caps and layered terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1992-01-01

    The Martian polar caps and layered terrain presumably evolves by the deposition and removal of small amounts of water and dust each year, the current cap attributes therefore represent the incremental transport during a single year as integrated over long periods of time. The role was studied of condensation and sublimation of water ice in this process by examining the seasonal water cycle during the last 10(exp 7) yr. In the model, axial obliquity, eccentricity, and L sub s of perihelion vary according to dynamical models. At each epoch, the seasonal variations in temperature are calculated at the two poles, keeping track of the seasonal CO2 cap and the summertime sublimation of water vapor into the atmosphere; net exchange of water between the two caps is calculated based on the difference in the summertime sublimation between the two caps (or on the sublimation from one cap if the other is covered with CO2 frost all year). Results from the model can help to explain (1) the apparent inconsistency between the timescales inferred for layer formation and the much older crater retention age of the cap and (2) the difference in sizes of the two residual caps, with the south being smaller than the north.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Semi-automatic measures of activity in selected south polar regions of Mars using morphological image analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aye, Klaus-Michael; Portyankina, Ganna; Pommerol, Antoine; Thomas, Nicolas

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been used to monitor the seasonal evolution of several regions at high southern latitudes. Of particular interest have been jet-like activities that may result from the process described by Kieffer (2007), involving translucent CO2 ice. These jets are assumed to create fan-shaped ground features, as studied e.g. in Hansen et.al. (2010) and Portyankina et.al. (2010). In Thomas et.al. (2009), a small region of interest (ROI) inside the south polar Inca City region (81° S, 296° E) was defined for which the seasonal change of the number of fans was determined. This ROI was chosen for its strong visual variability in ground features. The mostly manual counting work showed, that the number of apparent fans increases monotonously for a considerable amount of time from the beginning of the spring time observations at Ls of 178° until approx. 230° , following the increase of available solar energy for the aforementioned processes of the Kieffer model. This fact indicates that the number of visual fan features can be used as an activity measure for the seasonal evolution of this area, in addition to commonly used evolution studies of surface reflectance. Motivated by these results, we would like to determine the fan count evolution for more south polar areas like Ithaca, Manhattan, Giza and others. To increase the reproducibility of the results by avoiding potential variability in fan shape recognition by human eye and to increase the production efficiency, efforts are being undertaken to automise the fan counting procedure. The techniques used, cleanly separated in different stages of the procedure, the difficulties for each stage and an overview of the tools used at each step will be presented. After showing a proof of concept in Aye et.al. (2010), for a ROI that is comparable to the one previously used for manual counting in Thomas et.al. (2009), we now will show

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

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

  1. ROSETTA lander Philae: Touch-down reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roll, Reinhard; Witte, Lars

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Mars Pathfinder Microrover- Implementing a Low Cost Planetary Mission Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matijevic, J.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder Microrover Flight Experiment (MFEX) is a NASA Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT) flight experiment which has been delivered and integrated with the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) lander and spacecraft system. The total cost of the MFEX mission, including all subsystem design and development, test, integration with the MPF lander and operations on Mars has been capped at $25 M??is paper discusses the process and the implementation scheme which has resulted in the development of this first Mars rover.

  3. Mid-Latitude versus Polar-Latitude Transitional Impact Craters: Geometric Properties from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Observations and Viking Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, A.; Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    1998-01-01

    One intriguing aspect of martian impact crater morphology is the change of crater cavity and ejecta characteristics from the mid-latitudes to the polar regions. This is thought to reflect differences in target properties such as an increasing presence of ice in the polar regions. Previous image-based efforts concerning martian crater morphology has documented some aspects of this, but has been hampered by the lack of adequate topography data. Recent Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic profiles provide a quantitative perspective for interpreting the detailed morphologies of martian crater cavities and ejecta morphology. This study is a preliminary effort to quantify the latitude-dependent differences in morphology with the goal of identifying target-dependent and crater modification effects from the combined of images and MOLA topography. We combine the available MOLA profiles and the corresponding Viking Mars Digital Image Mosaics (MDIMS), and high resolution Viking Orbiter images to focus on two transitional craters; one on the mid-latitudes, and one in the North Polar region. One MOLA pass (MGS Orbit 34) traverses the center of a 15.9 km diameter fresh complex crater located at 12.8degN 83.8degE on the Hesperian ridge plains unit (Hvr). Viking images, as well as MOLA data, show that this crater has well developed wall terraces and a central peak with 429 m of relative relief. Three MOLA passes have been acquired for a second impact crater, which is located at 69.5degN 41degE on the Vastitas Borealis Formation. This fresh rampart crater lacks terraces and central peak structures and it has a depth af 579 m. Correlation between images and MOLA topographic profiles allows us to construct basic facies maps of the craters. Eight main units were identified, four of which are common on both craters.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, S.

    1974-01-01

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

  5. The environs of viking 2 lander.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-12-11

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

  6. A Novel, Low-Cost Conformable Lander

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Linear Covariance Analysis for a Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. TMBM: Tethered Micro-Balloons on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Circular polarization of light by planet Mercury and enantiomorphism of its surface minerals.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-04-01

    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.

  10. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  11. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Polar Polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    18 August 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark-outlined polygons on a frost-covered surface in the south polar region of Mars. In summer, this surface would not be bright and the polygons would not have dark outlines--these are a product of the presence of seasonal frost. Location near: 77.2oS, 204.8oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  13. Fourier transform infrared spectral detection of life in polar subsurface environments and its application to Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Louisa J; Johnson, Diane; Cockell, Charles S; Grady, Monica M

    2015-09-01

    Cryptoendolithic lichen communities of the Dry Valleys, Antarctica, survive in an extremely inhospitable environment, finding refuge in microscopic niches where conditions suitable for life exist. Such "within-rock" communities may have evolved on Mars when conditions for life on the surface deteriorated to such an extent that they could no longer survive. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of unprepared whole-rock Antarctic Beacon sandstones was used to vertically profile molecular vibrations of fatty acids, proteins, and carboxylic acids created by endolithic communities. Spectral biosignatures were found localized to lichen-rich areas and were absent in crustal regions and the bulk rock substrate. These cryptoendolithic profiles will aid similar spectroscopic investigations of organic biosignatures during future Martian subsurface studies and will help in the identification of similar communities in other localities across the Earth.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

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

  15. Photogrammetry of the Viking Lander imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  16. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaita, Cesare

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

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

  2. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  4. Solar radiation for Mars power systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

  5. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  6. The Landers earthquake; preliminary instrumental results

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  9. Mars @ ASDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carraro, Francesco

    "Mars @ ASDC" is a project born with the goal of using the new web technologies to assist researches involved in the study of Mars. This project employs Mars map and javascript APIs provided by Google to visualize data acquired by space missions on the planet. So far, visualization of tracks acquired by MARSIS and regions observed by VIRTIS-Rosetta has been implemented. The main reason for the creation of this kind of tool is the difficulty in handling hundreds or thousands of acquisitions, like the ones from MARSIS, and the consequent difficulty in finding observations related to a particular region. This led to the development of a tool which allows to search for acquisitions either by defining the region of interest through a set of geometrical parameters or by manually selecting the region on the map through a few mouse clicks The system allows the visualization of tracks (acquired by MARSIS) or regions (acquired by VIRTIS-Rosetta) which intersect the user defined region. MARSIS tracks can be visualized both in Mercator and polar projections while the regions observed by VIRTIS can presently be visualized only in Mercator projection. The Mercator projection is the standard map provided by Google. The polar projections are provided by NASA and have been developed to be used in combination with APIs provided by Google The whole project has been developed following the "open source" philosophy: the client-side code which handles the functioning of the web page is written in javascript; the server-side code which executes the searches for tracks or regions is written in PHP and the DB which undergoes the system is MySQL.

  10. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    trajectory with Mars, on 20 December. It will enter the Martian atmosphere on Christmas day, after five days’ ballistic flight. As it descends, the lander will be protected in the first instance by a heat-shield; two parachutes will then open to provide further deceleration. With its weight down to 30 kg at most, it will land in an equatorial region known as Isidis Planitia. Three airbags will soften the final impact. This crucial phase in the mission will last just ten minutes, from entry into the atmosphere to landing. Meanwhile, the Mars Express probe proper will have performed a series of manœuvres through to a capture orbit. At this point its main motor will fire, providing the deceleration needed to acquire a highly elliptical transition orbit. Attaining the final operational orbit will call for four more firings. This 7.5 hour quasi-polar orbit will take the probe to within 250 km of the planet. Getting to know Mars - inside and out Having landed on Mars, Beagle 2 - named after HMS Beagle, on which Charles Darwin voyaged round the world, developing his evolutionary theory - will deploy its solar panels and the payload adjustable workbench, a set of instruments (two cameras, a microscope and two spectrometers) mounted on the end of a robot arm. It will proceed to explore its new environment, gathering geological and mineralogical data that should, for the first time, allow rock samples to be dated with absolute accuracy. Using a grinder and corer, and the “mole”, a wire-guided mini-robot able to borrow its way under rocks and dig the ground to a depth of 2 m, samples will be collected and then examined in the GAP automated mini-laboratory, equipped with 12 furnaces and a mass spectrometer. The spectrometer will have the job of detecting possible signs of life and dating rock samples. The Mars Express orbiter will carry out a detailed investigation of the planet, pointing its instruments at Mars for between half-an-hour and an hour per orbit and then, for the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaidez, Mariana

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardini, B.

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

  13. Mars Sample Return: Mars Ascent Vehicle Mission and Technology Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Jeffrey V.; Huynh, Loc C.; Hawke, Veronica M.; Jiang, Xun J.

    2013-01-01

    A Mars Sample Return mission is the highest priority science mission for the next decade recommended by the recent Decadal Survey of Planetary Science, the key community input process that guides NASAs science missions. A feasibility study was conducted of a potentially simple and low cost approach to Mars Sample Return mission enabled by the use of developing commercial capabilities. Previous studies of MSR have shown that landing an all up sample return mission with a high mass capacity lander is a cost effective approach. The approach proposed is the use of an emerging commercially available capsule to land the launch vehicle system that would return samples to Earth. This paper describes the mission and technology requirements impact on the launch vehicle system design, referred to as the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV).

  14. Hydrogeology of Basins on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, Raymond E.

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Solar radiation on Mars: Update 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

  20. The Philae lander mission and science overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-13

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

  1. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  2. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Mars geodesy, rotation and gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenblatt, Pascal; Dehant, Veronique

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Polygon on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  8. Relay Telecommunications for the Coming Decade of Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C.; DePaula, R.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, an evolving network of relay-equipped orbiters has advanced our capabilities for Mars exploration. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, 2001 Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), as well as ESA's Mars Express Orbiter, have provided telecommunications relay services to the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and to the 2007 Phoenix Lander. Based on these successes, a roadmap for continued Mars relay services is in place for the coming decade. MRO and Odyssey will provide key relay support to the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, including capture of critical event telemetry during entry, descent, and landing, as well as support for command and telemetry during surface operations, utilizing new capabilities of the Electra relay payload on MRO and the Electra-Lite payload on MSL to allow significant increase in data return relative to earlier missions. Over the remainder of the decade a number of additional orbiter and lander missions are planned, representing new orbital relay service providers and new landed relay users. In this paper we will outline this Mars relay roadmap, quantifying relay performance over time, illustrating planned support scenarios, and identifying key challenges and technology infusion opportunities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Photogrammetric portrayal of Mars topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.S.C.

    1979-01-01

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

  11. Sensor systems for the Altair Lunar Lander:

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mariella, R

    2009-12-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  13. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-10-01

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

  16. Life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venkatavaradan, V.S.

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  19. Wind reconstruction algorithm for Viking Lander 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kynkäänniemi, Tuomas; Kemppinen, Osku; Harri, Ari-Matti; Schmidt, Walter

    2017-06-01

    The wind measurement sensors of Viking Lander 1 (VL1) were only fully operational for the first 45 sols of the mission. We have developed an algorithm for reconstructing the wind measurement data after the wind measurement sensor failures. The algorithm for wind reconstruction enables the processing of wind data during the complete VL1 mission. The heater element of the quadrant sensor, which provided auxiliary measurement for wind direction, failed during the 45th sol of the VL1 mission. Additionally, one of the wind sensors of VL1 broke down during sol 378. Regardless of the failures, it was still possible to reconstruct the wind measurement data, because the failed components of the sensors did not prevent the determination of the wind direction and speed, as some of the components of the wind measurement setup remained intact for the complete mission. This article concentrates on presenting the wind reconstruction algorithm and methods for validating the operation of the algorithm. The algorithm enables the reconstruction of wind measurements for the complete VL1 mission. The amount of available sols is extended from 350 to 2245 sols.

  20. Wind reconstruction algorithm for Viking Lander 1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kynkäänniemi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The wind measurement sensors of Viking Lander 1 (VL1 were only fully operational for the first 45 sols of the mission. We have developed an algorithm for reconstructing the wind measurement data after the wind measurement sensor failures. The algorithm for wind reconstruction enables the processing of wind data during the complete VL1 mission. The heater element of the quadrant sensor, which provided auxiliary measurement for wind direction, failed during the 45th sol of the VL1 mission. Additionally, one of the wind sensors of VL1 broke down during sol 378. Regardless of the failures, it was still possible to reconstruct the wind measurement data, because the failed components of the sensors did not prevent the determination of the wind direction and speed, as some of the components of the wind measurement setup remained intact for the complete mission. This article concentrates on presenting the wind reconstruction algorithm and methods for validating the operation of the algorithm. The algorithm enables the reconstruction of wind measurements for the complete VL1 mission. The amount of available sols is extended from 350 to 2245 sols.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  2. Mars MetNet Mission Pressure and Humidity Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  3. Europe is going to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

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

  4. Red Dragon drill missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Fine-Scale Layering of Mars Polar Deposits and Signatures of Ice Content in Nonpolar Material From Multiband SHARAD Data Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Morgan, Gareth A.

    2018-02-01

    The variation of Shallow Radar (SHARAD) echo strength with frequency reveals material dielectric losses and polar layer properties. Loss tangents for Elysium and Amazonis Planitiae deposits are consistent with volcanic flows and sediments, while the Medusae Fossae Formation, lineated valley fill, and lobate debris aprons have low losses consistent with a major component of water ice. Mantling materials in Arcadia and Utopia Planitiae have higher losses, suggesting they are not dominated by ice over large fractions of their thickness. In Gemina Lingula, there are frequent deviations from a simple dependence of loss on depth. Within reflector packets, the brightest reflectors are often different among the frequency subbands, and there are cases of reflectors that occur in only the high- or low-frequency echoes. Many polar radar reflections must arise from multiple thin interfaces, or single deposits of appropriate thickness, that display resonant scattering behaviors. Reflector properties may be linked to climate-controlled polar dust deposition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information. Key Words: Biosignatures—ExoMars—Landing sites—Mars rover—Search for life. Astrobiology 17, 471–510.

  8. South Polar Polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    4 July 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a polgyon-cracked surface, into which deep, somewhat kidney-bean-shaped pits have formed. These are landscapes of the martian south polar residual cap. This view was captured during May 2005. Location near: 86.9oS, 5.1oW Image width: 1.5 km (0.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season Southern Spring

  9. Energy storage considerations for a robotic Mars surface sampler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  10. Archiving InSight Lander Science Data Using PDS4 Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. Seismic exploration for water on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, T.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  13. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

    2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen......2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen...

  14. The Icebreaker Life Mission to Mars: a search for biomolecular evidence for life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P; Stoker, Carol R; Glass, Brian J; Davé, Arwen I; Davila, Alfonso F; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Marinova, Margarita M; Fairen, Alberto G; Quinn, Richard C; Zacny, Kris A; Paulsen, Gale; Smith, Peter H; Parro, Victor; Andersen, Dale T; Hecht, Michael H; Lacelle, Denis; Pollard, Wayne H

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Accuracy Analysis of Lunar Lander Terminal Guidance Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. K. Li

    2017-01-01

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

  16. MMPM - Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Pichkhadze, K.; Linkin, V.; Vazquez, L.; Uspensky, M.; Polkko, J.; Genzer, M.; Lipatov, A.; Guerrero, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Haukka, H.; Savijarvi, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2008-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. Prototyping of the payload instrumentation with final dimensions was carried out in 2003-2006.This huge development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development. To understand the behavior and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, a wealth of simultaneous in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes. This will be performed by the Mars MetNet Mission. In addition to the science aspects the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

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

  18. ExoGeoLab Pilot Project for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcnatt, Jeremiah; Landis, Geoffrey; Fincannon, James

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Autonomous Operation of Mars Meteorological Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Paloma: an instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of the mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch

    2003-07-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (Payload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astro-biological interest, like CH{sub 4}, H{sub 2}CO, N{sub 2}O, H{sub 2}S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest. Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. (author)

  6. Paloma: an instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of the mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.

    2003-01-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (Payload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astro-biological interest, like CH 4 , H 2 CO, N 2 O, H 2 S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest. Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

    magnetic sensor accommodated on the Rover. As a consequence, since the direction that the rover will follow after its egress will not be know until the Lander is on Mars, it is essential to chose a configuration that will result in a radiation pattern compatible with bi-static measurements whatever the direction of the rover is (within a distance of 1 kilometer). Studies based on electromagnetic simulations have been performed to check the impact of the angle between the two monopoles on the radiation pattern. Study of EISS performances is ongoing using numerical modeling and experimental verifications. We use numerical simulation (FDTD code), analytical models and data processing algorithms to determine the performances of each operating mode and to prepare data interpretation. The subsurface survey requires knowledge of the permittivity of the studied sub-surface layers to convert the measured propagation delay into distance. Access to electrical characteristics of ground without return samples and in situ analysis is unusual in space missions and aroused great interest. Results will be presented about different ways EISS can provide estimation of the electrical properties of the shallow subsurface. Simulations that highlight the impact of the chosen resistive profile and of the angle between the two deployed monopoles will be shown. The presentation will mainly be focused on the bi-static mode that greatly improves the 3D representation of subsurface structure and on the associated instrumental requirements such as the perfect synchronization of the two part of the instrument. A method to retrieve the direction of arrival for each detected echo will be presented that allows a more accurate sub-surface mapping. Only the three magnetic field components are required to implement it, which makes the EISS configuration particularly interesting. This method is based on the orthogonality between the propagation vector and the polarization plane.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  12. Ground Contact Model for Mars Science Laboratory Mission Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Way, David

    2012-01-01

    The Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST 2) has been successful in simulating the flight of launch vehicles and entry bodies on earth and other planets. POST 2 has been the primary simulation tool for the Entry Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase of numerous Mars lander missions such as Mars Pathfinder in 1997, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER-A and MER-B) in 2004, Mars Phoenix lander in 2007, and it is now the main trajectory simulation tool for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) in 2012. In all previous missions, the POST 2 simulation ended before ground impact, and a tool other than POST 2 simulated landing dynamics. It would be ideal for one tool to simulate the entire EDL sequence, thus avoiding errors that could be introduced by handing off position, velocity, or other fight parameters from one simulation to the other. The desire to have one continuous end-to-end simulation was the motivation for developing the ground interaction model in POST 2. Rover landing, including the detection of the postlanding state, is a very critical part of the MSL mission, as the EDL landing sequence continues for a few seconds after landing. The method explained in this paper illustrates how a simple ground force interaction model has been added to POST 2, which allows simulation of the entire EDL from atmospheric entry through touchdown.

  13. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  14. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. The atmosphere and climate of Mars

    CERN Document Server

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Magnetic Storms at Mars and Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup

    In analogy with magnetic storms at the Earth, periods of significantly enhanced global magnetic activity also exist at Mars. The extensive database of magnetic measurements from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), covering almost an entire solar cycle, is used in combination with geomagnetic activity...... indices at Earth to compare the occurrence of magnetic storms at Mars and Earth. Based on superposed epochs analysis the time-development of typical magnetic storms at Mars and Earth is described. In contradiction to storms at Earth, most magnetic storms at Mars are found to be associated...... with heliospheric current sheet crossings, where the IMF changes polarity. While most storms at the Earth occur due to significant southward excursions of the IMF associated with CMEs, at Mars most storms seem to be associated with the density enhancement of the heliospheric current sheet. Density enhancements...

  18. New analysis software for Viking Lander meteorological data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Kemppinen

    2013-02-01

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

  19. VL1 Digs A Deep Hole On Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

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

  20. Special section introduction on MicroMars to MegaMars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Orbiting Depot and Reusable Lander for Lunar Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, Andrew

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  3. Low Energy Electrons in the Mars Plasma Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Richard

    2001-01-01

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

  4. 'Mister Badger' Pushing Mars Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

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

  5. Mars Array Technology Experiment Developed to Test Solar Arrays on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Solar arrays will be the power supply for future missions to the planet Mars, including landers, rovers, and eventually human missions to explore the Martian surface. Until Mars Pathfinder landed in July 1997, no solar array had been used on the surface. The MATE package is intended to measure the solar energy reaching the surface, characterize the Martian environment to gather the baseline information required for designing power systems for long-duration missions, and to quantify the performance and degradation of advanced solar cells on the Martian surface. To measure the properties of sunlight reaching the Martian surface, MATE incorporates two radiometers and a visible/NIR spectrometer. The radiometers consist of multiple thermocouple junctions using thin-film technology. These devices generate a voltage proportional to the solar intensity. One radiometer measures the global broadband solar intensity, including both the direct and scattered sunlight, with a field of view of approximately 130. The second radiometer incorporates a slit to measure the direct (unscattered) intensity radiation. The direct radiometer can only be read once per day, with the Sun passing over the slit. The spectrometer measures the global solar spectrum with two 256-element photodiode arrays, one Si sensitive in the visible range (300 to 1100 nm), and a second InGaAs sensitive to the near infrared (900 to 1700 nm). This range covers 86 percent of the total energy from the Sun, with approximately 5-nm resolution. Each photodiode array has its own fiber-optic feed and grating. Although the purpose of the MATE is to gather data useful in designing solar arrays for Mars surface power systems, the radiometer and spectrometer measurements are expected to also provide important scientific data for characterizing the properties of suspended atmospheric dust. In addition to measuring the solar environment of Mars, MATE will measure the performance of five different individual solar cell types

  6. A Case Study in the Mars Landing Site Selection for Science Objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haingja Seo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available It is a crucial matter to select a landing site for landers or rovers in planning the Mars exploration. The landing site must have not only a scientific value as a landing site, but also geographical features to lead a safe landing for Mars probes. In this regard, this study analyzed landing site of Mars probes and rovers in previous studies and discussed the adequacy of the landing site to scientific missions. Moreover, this study also examined domestic studies on the Mars. The frameworks of these studies will guide the selection of exploration sites and a landing site when sending Mars probe to the Mars through our own efforts. Additionally, this paper will be used as the preliminary data for selection of exploration site and a landing site.

  7. Non-Cooled Power System for Venus Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, E. L., III

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Dual-Frequency Bistatic Radar Probing of Mars: Potential and Pitfalls for Depth Sounding at Centimeter Wavelengths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, R. A.; Tyler, G. L.; Paetzold, M.; Haeusler, B.; Asmar, S. W.

    2009-12-01

    Early spacecraft-to-Earth bistatic radar (BSR) probing of Mars' surface emphasized measurement of rms surface slopes on scales of centimeters to a few meters, information of particular interest to the design and deployment of landers and rovers. Shorter wavelengths yielded higher values, consistent with fractal models in which surface texture becomes rougher as the measuring instrument senses more detail. Although Mars Express (MEX) has found the smoothest extraterrestrial solid surface yet observed by radar (0.17 deg rms in the north polar region), its antenna pattern typically illuminates only part of the scattering surface, making rms slope determination difficult. With careful calibration, however, the ratio of echo power in its two orthogonal polarizations can be used to infer the dielectric constant of the surface material from the Fresnel reflection coefficients. Early results showed larger dielectric constant at 12.6 cm than 3.6 cm, consistent with materials which become more densely packed at depth; as the data collection continued, regional variations became apparent. More puzzling, are cases in which the derived dielectric constant is 30 percent larger at the shorter wavelength, suggesting a centimeter of crust (invisible at 12.6 cm wavelength) overlying less dense regolith below. Duricrust layers have been inferred in some of these areas from thermal measurements; and a layer of gravel, stripped of finer particles, could produce similar effects. Earth-to-spacecraft BSR could improve measurement sensitivity by factors of 100-1000; spacecraft-to-spacecraft experiments could improve surface coverage. All three configurations, including the conventional 'downlink' experiments now being conducted, can provide basic information on surface structure to depths of a few centimeters.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulqueen, John A.

    1992-01-01

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

  14. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Atmospheric Risk Assessment for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Allen; Vasavada, Ashwin; Cianciolo, Alicia; Barnes, Jeff; Tyler, Dan; Hinson, David; Lewis, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    In 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will pioneer the next generation of robotic Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems, by delivering the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. As with previous Mars landers, atmospheric conditions during entry, descent, and landing directly impact the performance of MSL's EDL system. While the vehicle's novel guided entry system allows it to "fly out" a range of atmospheric uncertainties, its trajectory through the atmosphere creates a variety of atmospheric sensitivities not present on previous Mars entry systems and landers. Given the mission's stringent landing capability requirements, understanding the atmosphere state and spacecraft sensitivities takes on heightened importance. MSL's guided entry trajectory differs significantly from recent Mars landers and includes events that generate different atmospheric sensitivities than past missions. The existence of these sensitivities and general advancement in the state of Mars atmospheric knowledge has led the MSL team to employ new atmosphere modeling techniques in addition to past practices. A joint EDL engineering and Mars atmosphere science and modeling team has been created to identify the key system sensitivities, gather available atmospheric data sets, develop relevant atmosphere models, and formulate methods to integrate atmosphere information into EDL performance assessments. The team consists of EDL engineers, project science staff, and Mars atmospheric scientists from a variety of institutions. This paper provides an overview of the system performance sensitivities that have driven the atmosphere modeling approach, discusses the atmosphere data sets and models employed by the team as a result of the identified sensitivities, and introduces the tools used to translate atmospheric knowledge into quantitative EDL performance assessments.

  16. Polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    The book on 'polarized neutrons' is intended to inform researchers in condensed matter physics and chemistry of the diversity of scientific problems that can be investigated using polarized neutron beams. The contents include chapters on:- neutron polarizers and instrumentation, polarized neutron scattering, neutron polarization analysis experiments and precessing neutron polarization. (U.K.)

  17. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

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

  19. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

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

  20. Multijunction Solar Cell Technology for Mars Surface Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edquist, Karl T.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  8. Lunar lander and return propulsion system trade study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  11. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    Papers about Mars and Mars exploration are presented, covering topics such as Martian history, geology, volcanism, channels, moons, atmosphere, meteorology, water on the planet, and the possibility of life. The unmanned exploration of Mars is discussed, including the Phobos Mission, the Mars Observer, the Mars Aeronomy Observer, the seismic network, Mars sample return missions, and the Mars Ball, an inflatable-sectored-tire rover concept. Issues dealing with manned exploration of Mars are examined, such as the reasons for exploring Mars, mission scenarios, a transportation system for routine visits, technologies for Mars expeditions, the human factors for Mars missions, life support systems, living and working on Mars, and the report of the National Commission on Space

  12. Planned Products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Lognonné, Philippe; Bruce Banerdt, W.; Garcia, Raphaël; Golombek, Matthew; Kedar, Sharon; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mocquet, Antoine; Teanby, Nick A.; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee; Beucler, Eric; Blanchette-Guertin, Jean-Francois; Bozdağ, Ebru; Drilleau, Mélanie; Gudkova, Tamara; Hempel, Stefanie; Khan, Amir; Lekić, Vedran; Murdoch, Naomi; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Rivoldini, Atillio; Schmerr, Nicholas; Ruan, Youyi; Verhoeven, Olivier; Gao, Chao; Christensen, Ulrich; Clinton, John; Dehant, Veronique; Giardini, Domenico; Mimoun, David; Thomas Pike, W.; Smrekar, Sue; Wieczorek, Mark; Knapmeyer, Martin; Wookey, James

    2017-10-01

    The InSight lander will deliver geophysical instruments to Mars in 2018, including seismometers installed directly on the surface (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, SEIS). Routine operations will be split into two services, the Mars Structure Service (MSS) and Marsquake Service (MQS), which will be responsible, respectively, for defining the structure models and seismicity catalogs from the mission. The MSS will deliver a series of products before the landing, during the operations, and finally to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. Prior to the mission, we assembled a suite of a priori models of Mars, based on estimates of bulk composition and thermal profiles. Initial models during the mission will rely on modeling surface waves and impact-generated body waves independent of prior knowledge of structure. Later modeling will include simultaneous inversion of seismic observations for source and structural parameters. We use Bayesian inversion techniques to obtain robust probability distribution functions of interior structure parameters. Shallow structure will be characterized using the hammering of the heatflow probe mole, as well as measurements of surface wave ellipticity. Crustal scale structure will be constrained by measurements of receiver function and broadband Rayleigh wave ellipticity measurements. Core interacting body wave phases should be observable above modeled martian noise levels, allowing us to constrain deep structure. Normal modes of Mars should also be observable and can be used to estimate the globally averaged 1D structure, while combination with results from the InSight radio science mission and orbital observations will allow for constraint of deeper structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-09-01

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

  14. Lower-Cost, Relocatable Lunar Polar Lander and Lunar Surface Sample Return Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, G. Michael; Garvin, James B.; Burt, I. Joseph; Karpati, Gabe

    2011-01-01

    Key science and exploration objectives of lunar robotic precursor missions can be achieved with the Lunar Explorer (LEx) low-cost, robotic surface mission concept described herein. Selected elements of the LEx concept can also be used to create a lunar surface sample return mission that we have called Boomerang

  15. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D. L.

    1996-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. An improved gravity model for Mars: Goddard Mars Model 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. E.; Lerch, F. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Zuber, M. T.; Patel, G. B.; Fricke, S. K.; Lemoine, F. G.

    1993-01-01

    Doppler tracking data of three orbiting spacecraft have been reanalyzed to develop a new gravitational field model for the planet Mars, Goddard Mars Model 1 (GMM-1). This model employs nearly all available data, consisting of approximately 1100 days of S band tracking data collected by NASA's Deep Space Network from the Mariner 9 and Viking 1 and Viking 2 spacecraft, in seven different orbits, between 1971 and 1979. GMM-1 is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 50, which corresponds to a half-wavelength spatial resolution of 200-300 km where the data permit. GMM-1 represents satellite orbits with considerably better accuracy than previous Mars gravity models and shows greater resolution of identifiable geological structures. The notable improvement in GMM-1 over previous models is a consequence of several factors: improved computational capabilities, the use of otpimum weighting and least squares collocation solution techniques which stabilized the behavior of the solution at high degree and order, and the use of longer satellite arcs than employed in previous solutions that were made possible by improved force and measurement models. The inclusion of X band tracking data from the 379-km altitude, nnear-polar orbiting Mars Observer spacecraft should provide a significant improvement over GMM-1, particularly at high latitudes where current data poorly resolve the gravitational signature of the planet.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Spacecraft Conceptual Design Compared to the Apollo Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. The Mars Simulation Laboratory, University of Aarhus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Field, D.; Finster, K.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Nørnberg, P.; Ramsing, N. B.; Uggerhøj, E.

    2001-08-01

    Present day Mars presents an extremely hostile environment to organic material. The average temperature is low (-50C), the atmospheric pressure is also low (7mbar) and there is little water over most of the planet. Chemically the surface is extremely oxidising and no signs of organic material have been detected. There is also a strong component of ultra violet radiation in the Martian sun light, lethal to most organisms. At Aarhus University we have constructed a Mars simulation environment which reproduces the physical, chemical and mineralogical conditions on Mars. It is hoped to set limits on where organic matter (or even life) might exist on Mars, for example at some depth under the surface, beneath the polar ice or within rocks. It is also possible to adjust the conditions in the simulation to investigate the most extreme environments in which organisms can be preserved or still function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Allison M.

    2016-10-01

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

  9. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

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

  17. Altair Lander Life Support: Design Analysis Cycles 4 and 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Molly; Curley, Su; Rotter, Henry; Stambaugh, Imelda; Yagoda, Evan

    2011-01-01

    Life support systems are a critical part of human exploration beyond low earth orbit. NASA s Altair Lunar Lander team is pursuing efficient solutions to the technical challenges of human spaceflight. Life support design efforts up through Design Analysis Cycle (DAC) 4 focused on finding lightweight and reliable solutions for the Sortie and Outpost missions within the Constellation Program. In DAC-4 and later follow on work, changes were made to add functionality for new requirements accepted by the Altair project, and to update the design as knowledge about certain issues or hardware matured. In DAC-5, the Altair project began to consider mission architectures outside the Constellation baseline. Selecting the optimal life support system design is very sensitive to mission duration. When the mission goals and architecture change several trade studies must be conducted to determine the appropriate design. Finally, several areas of work developed through the Altair project may be applicable to other vehicle concepts for microgravity missions. Maturing the Altair life support system related analysis, design, and requirements can provide important information for developers of a wide range of other human vehicles.

  18. Design and Analysis of Morpheus Lander Flight Control System

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Aerial radiometric and magnetic survey: Lander National Topographic Map, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    The results of analyses of the airborne gamma radiation and total magnetic field survey flown for the region identified as the Lander National Topographic Map NK12-6 are presented. The airborne data gathered are reduced by ground computer facilities to yield profile plots of the basic uranium, thorium and potassium equivalent gamma radiation intensities, ratios of these intensities, aircraft altitude above the earth's surface, total gamma ray and earth's magnetic field intensity, correlated as a function of geologic units. The distribution of data within each geologic unit, for all surveyed map lines and tie lines, has been calculated and is included. Two sets of profiled data for each line are included, with one set displaying the above-cited data. The second set includes only flight line magnetic field, temperature, pressure, altitude data plus magnetic field data as measured at a base station. A general description of the area, including descriptions of the various geologic units and the corresponding airborne data, is included also

  20. The inducible CAM plants in putative lunar lander experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burlak, Olexii; Zaetz, Iryna; Soldatkin, Olexii; Rogutskyy, Ivan; Danilchenko, Boris; Mikheev, Olexander; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Vidmachenko, Anatolii; Foing, Bernard H.; Kozyrovska, Natalia

    Precursory lunar lander experiments on growing plants in locker-based chambers will increase our understanding of effect of lunar conditions on plant physiology. The inducible CAM (Cras-sulacean Acid Metabolism)-plants are reasonable model for a study of relationships between environmental challenges and changes in plant/bacteria gene expression. In inducible CAM-plants the enzymatic machinery for the environmentally activated CAM switches on from a C3-to a full-CAM mode of photosynthesis in response to any stresses (Winter et al., 2008). In our study, Kalanchoe spp. are shown to be promising candidates for putative lunar experiments as resistant to irradiation and desiccation, especially after inoculation with a bacterial consortium (Boorlak et al., 2010). Within frames of the experiment we expect to get information about the functional activity of CAM-plants, in particular, its organogenesis, photosystem, the circadian regulation of plant metabolism on the base of data gaining with instrumental indications from expression of the reporter genes fused to any genes involved in vital functions of the plant (Kozyrovska et al., 2009). References 1. Winter K., Garcia M., Holtum J. (2008) J. Exp. Bot. 59(7):1829-1840 2. Bourlak O., Lar O., Rogutskyy I., Mikheev A., Zaets I., Chervatyuk N., de Vera J.-P., Danilchenko A.B. Foing B.H., zyrovska N. (2010) Space Sci. Technol. 3. Kozyrovska N.O., Vidmachenko A.P., Foing B.H. et al. Exploration/call/estec/ESA. 2009.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Dennis; Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2016-03-01

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

  3. PALOMA : An instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E.; Paloma Team

    2003-04-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (PAyload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astrobiological interest, like CH_4, H_2CO, N_2O, H_2S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest (a small fraction of ppbv). Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. The PALOMA instrument consists of : a gas purification and separation line, using techniques of chemical and cryogenic trapping, and possibly membrane permeation, a mass spectrometer working in static mode, a turbo-molecular pump that provides the

  4. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977,1979) by deriving more accurate brightnesses closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius (r(sub eff)) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 microns at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 microns at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance (nu(eff)) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 microns. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollack et al. (1977,1979) estimates.

  10. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

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

  11. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.

    1988-01-01

    The geology of Mars and the results of the Mariner 4, 6/7, and 9 missions and the Viking mission are reviewed. The Mars chronology and geologic modification are examined, including chronological models for the inactive planet, the active planet, and crater flux. The importance of surface materials is discussed and a multispectral map of Mars is presented. Suggestions are given for further studies of the geology of Mars using the Viking data. 5 references

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombeck, M.; Rapp, D.

    1996-01-01

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

  13. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Polarization developments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prescott, C.Y.

    1993-07-01

    Recent developments in laser-driven photoemission sources of polarized electrons have made prospects for highly polarized electron beams in a future linear collider very promising. This talk discusses the experiences with the SLC polarized electron source, the recent progress with research into gallium arsenide and strained gallium arsenide as a photocathode material, and the suitability of these cathode materials for a future linear collider based on the parameters of the several linear collider designs that exist

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Paul; Gomberg, Joan

    1994-01-01

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

  19. Mars Drilling Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Humboldt, C., Jr.

    2002-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the current status of work to explore Mars beneath the surface of planet. One of the objective of this work is to enable further exploration of Mars by humans. One of the requirements for this is to find water on Mars. The presences of water is critical for Human Exploration and a permanent presence on Mars. If water is present beneath the surface it is the best chance of finding life on Mars. The presentation includes a timeline showing the robotic missions, those that have already been on Mars, and planned missions, an explanation of why do we want to drill on Mars, and some of the challenges, Also include are reviews of a missions that would drill 200 and 4,000 to 6,000 meters into the Martian bedrock, and a overview description of the drill. There is a view of some places where we have hopes of finding water.

  20. Thermal inertia and surface heterogeneity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.

    Thermal inertia derived from temperature observations is critical for understanding surface geology and assessing potential landing sites on Mars. Derivation methods generally assume uniform surface properties for any given observation. Consequently, horizontal heterogeneity and near-surface layering may yield apparent thermal inertia that varies with time of day and season. To evaluate the effects of horizontal heterogeneity, I modeled the thermal behavior of surfaces containing idealized material mixtures (dust, sand, duricrust, and rocks) and differing slope facets. These surfaces exhibit diurnal and seasonal variability in apparent thermal inertia of several 100 tiu, 1 even for components with moderately contrasting thermal properties. To isolate surface effects on the derived thermal inertia of Mars, I mapped inter- annual and seasonal changes in albedo and atmospheric dust opacity, accounting for their effects in a modified derivation algorithm. Global analysis of three Mars years of MGS-TES 2 data reveals diurnal and seasonal variations of ~200 tiu in the mid-latitudes and 600 tiu or greater in the polar regions. Correlation of TES results and modeled apparent thermal inertia of heterogeneous surfaces indicates pervasive surface heterogeneity on Mars. At TES resolution, the near-surface thermal response is broadly dominated by layering and is consistent with the presence of duricrusts over fines in the mid-latitudes and dry soils over ground ice in the polar regions. Horizontal surface mixtures also play a role and may dominate at higher resolution. In general, thermal inertia obtained from single observations or annually averaged maps may misrepresent surface properties. In lieu of a robust heterogeneous- surface derivation technique, repeat coverage can be used together with forward-modeling results to constrain the near-surface heterogeneity of Mars. 1 tiu == J m -2 K -1 s - 2 Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  2. Cryogenic Fluid Management Technology for Moon and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Neutron polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firk, F.W.K.

    1976-01-01

    Some recent experiments involving polarized neutrons are discussed; they demonstrate how polarization studies provide information on fundamental aspects of nuclear structure that cannot be obtained from more traditional neutron studies. Until recently, neutron polarization studies tended to be limited either to very low energies or to restricted regions at higher energies, determined by the kinematics of favorable (p, vector n) and (d, vector n) reactions. With the advent of high intensity pulsed electron and proton accelerators and of beams of vector polarized deuterons, this is no longer the case. One has entered an era in which neutron polarization experiments are now being carried out, in a routine way, throughout the entire range from thermal energies to tens-of-MeV. The significance of neutron polarization studies is illustrated in discussions of a wide variety of experiments that include the measurement of T-invariance in the β-decay of polarized neutrons, a search for the effects of meson exchange currents in the photo-disintegration of the deuteron, the determination of quantum numbers of states in the fission of aligned 235 U and 237 Np induced by polarized neutrons, and the double- and triple-scattering of fast neutrons by light nuclei

  5. Polarization holography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nikolova, L.; Ramanujam, P.S.

    Current research into holography is concerned with applications in optically storing, retrieving, and processing information. Polarization holography has many unique properties compared to conventional holography. It gives results in high efficiency, achromaticity, and special polarization...... properties. This books reviews the research carried out in this field over the last 15 years. The authors provide basic concepts in polarization and the propagation of light through anisotropic materials, before presenting a sound theoretical basis for polarization holography. The fabrication...... and characterization of azobenzene based materials, which remain the most efficient for the purpose, is described in detail. This is followed by a description of other materials that are used in polarization holography. An in-depth description of various applications, including display holography and optical storage...

  6. Where on Mars Should We Search for Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

    There is persuasive evidence that liquid water has been a significant geological processes on Mars. In particular, evidence suggests that one of the major epochs of liquid water on Mars was during and after the late heavy bombardment. During this time life originated on Earth and may have originated on Mars as well. Liquid water per se, independent of models for the temperature or atmospheric pressure, motivate the question of life. Promising sites for searching for evidence of life on Mars include dry lake beds, the ancient cratered terrain, and the South Polar permafrost. Life on Earth in environments that are analogous to those that might have provided the final refuge for life on Mars provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of past life.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, H.; Vago, J. L.

    2017-12-01

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

  11. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

    The design of a Mars Mission Vehicle that would have to be launched by two very heavy lift launch vehicles is described along with plans for a mission to Mars. The vehicle has three nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application (NERVA) boosters with a fourth in the center that acts as a dual mode system. The fourth generates electrical power while in route, but it also helps lift the vehicle out of earth orbit. A Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a Mars transfer vehicle stage, and a Mars Excursion Vehicle (MEV) are located on the front end of this vehicle. Other aspects of this research including aerobraking, heat shielding, nuclear thermal rocket engines, a mars mission summary, closed Brayton cycle with and without regeneration, liquid hydrogen propellant storage, etc. are addressed

  12. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

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

  13. Mars Analytical Microimager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batory, Krzysztof J.; Govindjee; Andersen, Dale; Presley, John; Lucas, John M.; Sears, S. Kelly; Vali, Hojatollah

    Unambiguous detection of extraterrestrial nitrogenous hydrocarbon microbiology requires an instrument both to recognize potential biogenic specimens and to successfully discriminate them from geochemical settings. Such detection should ideally be in-situ and not jeopardize other experiments by altering samples. Taken individually most biomarkers are inconclusive. For example, since amino acids can be synthesized abiotically they are not always considered reliable biomarkers. An enantiomeric imbalance, which is characteristic of all terrestrial life, may be questioned because chirality can also be altered abiotically. However, current scientific understanding holds that aggregates of identical proteins or proteinaceous complexes, with their well-defined amino acid residue sequences, are indisputable biomarkers. Our paper describes the Mars Analytical Microimager, an instrument for the simultaneous imaging of generic autofluorescent biomarkers and overall morphology. Autofluorescence from ultraviolet to near-infrared is emitted by all known terrestrial biology, and often as consistent complex bands uncharacteristic of abiotic mineral luminescence. The MAM acquires morphology, and even sub-micron morphogenesis, at a 3-centimeter working distance with resolution approaching a laser scanning microscope. Luminescence is simultaneously collected via a 2.5-micron aperture, thereby permitting accurate correlation of multi-dimensional optical behavior with specimen morphology. A variable wavelength excitation source and photospectrometer serve to obtain steady-state and excitation spectra of biotic and luminescent abiotic sources. We believe this is the first time instrumentation for detecting hydrated or desiccated microbiology non-destructively in-situ has been demonstrated. We have obtained excellent preliminary detection of biota and inorganic matrix discrimination from terrestrial polar analogues, and perimetric morphology of individual magnetotactic bacteria. Proposed

  14. Mars at Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

    On January 29, Mars will reach opposition, a point along its orbit around the Sun where Mars will be directly opposite from the Sun in a two-planet and Sun line-up with the Earth in between. At this opposition, the Earth and Mars will be separated by nearly 100 million km. An opposition is similar to a full Moon in that the planet at opposition…

  15. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

    The origin and early history of Mars and the relationship between Mars and the other planets are reviewed. The solar system formation and planetary differentiation are examined using data from planetary missions. Different views of Mars are presented, showing how ideas about the planet have changed as the amount of available observational data has increased. Viking aerography and surface characterization are discussed, including the nature of specific atmospheric components and the implications of surface phenomena. Models for the planetary formation and accretion processes are considered. The value of future missions to Mars is stressed

  16. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Ionic polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahan, G.D.

    1992-01-01

    Ferroelectricity occurs in many different kinds of materials. Many of the technologically important solids, which are ferroelectric, can be classified as ionic. Any microscopic theory of ferroelectricity must contain a description of local polarization forces. We have collaborated in the development of a theory of ionic polarization which is quite successful. Its basic assumption is that the polarization is derived from the properties of the individual ions. We have applied this theory successfully to diverse subjects as linear and nonlinear optical response, phonon dispersion, and piezoelectricity. We have developed numerical methods using the local Density approximation to calculate the multipole polarizabilities of ions when subject to various fields. We have also developed methods of calculating the nonlinear hyperpolarizability, and showed that it can be used to explain light scattering experiments. This paper elaborates on this polarization theory

  18. Polarization experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halzen, F.

    1977-02-01

    In a theoretical review of polarization experiments two important points are emphasized: (a) their versatility and their relevance to a large variety of aspects of hadron physics (tests of basic symmetries; a probe of strong interaction dynamics; a tool for hadron spectroscopy); (b) the wealth of experimental data on polarization parameters in pp and np scattering in the Regge language and in the diffraction language. (author)

  19. Polarization measurement for internal polarized gaseous targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye Zhenyu; Ye Yunxiu; Lv Haijiang; Mao Yajun

    2004-01-01

    The authors present an introduction to internal polarized gaseous targets, polarization method, polarization measurement method and procedure. To get the total nuclear polarization of hydrogen atoms (including the polarization of the recombined hydrogen molecules) in the target cell, authors have measured the parameters relating to atomic polarization and polarized hydrogen atoms and molecules. The total polarization of the target during our measurement is P T =0.853 ± 0.036. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chela-Flores, J.

    2007-05-01

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

  2. North Polar Cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] This week we will be looking at five examples of laminar wind flow on the north polar cap. On Earth, gravity-driven south polar cap winds are termed 'catabatic' winds. Catabatic winds begin over the smooth expanse of the cap interior due to temperature differences between the atmosphere and the surface. Once begun, the winds sweep outward along the surface of the polar cap toward the sea. As the polar surface slopes down toward sealevel, the wind speeds increase. Catabatic wind speeds in the Antartic can reach several hundreds of miles per hour. In the images of the Martian north polar cap we can see these same type of winds. Notice the streamers of dust moving downslope over the darker trough sides, these streamers show the laminar flow regime coming off the cap. Within the trough we see turbulent clouds of dust, kicked up at the trough base as the winds slow down and enter a chaotic flow regime. The horizontal lines in these images are due to framelet overlap and lighting conditions over the bright polar cap. Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 86.5, Longitude 64.5 East (295.5 West). 40 meter/pixel resolution. Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2017-12-01

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

  5. The overprotection of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    Planetary protection policies aim to guard Solar System bodies from biological contamination from spacecraft. Costly efforts to sterilize Mars spacecraft need to be re-evaluated, as they are unnecessarily inhibiting a more ambitious agenda to search for extant life on Mars.

  6. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. Microscope on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at Meridiani Planum, Mars by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's microscopic imager (circular device in center), located on its instrument deployment device, or 'arm.' The image was acquired on the ninth martian day or sol of the rover's mission.

  8. Mars Sample Handling Functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Mattingly, R. L.

    2018-04-01

    The final leg of a Mars Sample Return campaign would be an entity that we have referred to as Mars Returned Sample Handling (MRSH.) This talk will address our current view of the functional requirements on MRSH, focused on the Sample Receiving Facility (SRF).

  9. IJslandse inzichten op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vet, S.

    2013-01-01

    Vulkaanuitbarstingen onder gletsjers, zoals de vliegverkeer-verlammende uitbarsting van de vulkaan Eyjafjallajökull in IJsland in 2010, lijken in veel opzichten op vulkaanuitbarstingen die ooit op Mars voorkwamen. Dankzij de landschappelijke gelijkenissen tussen onze aarde en Mars is het mogelijk om

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Sources of polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.

    1983-01-01

    Various sources of polarized neutrons are reviewed. Monoenergetic source produced with unpolarized or polarized beams, white sources of polarized neutrons, production by transmissions through polarized hydrogen targets and polarized thermal neutronsare discussed, with appropriate applications included. (U.K.)

  12. Ice on Mars Utopia Planitia Again

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

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

  13. First Sample Delivery to Mars Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Effects of the Phoenix Lander descent thruster plume on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plemmons, D. H.; Mehta, M.; Clark, B. C.; Kounaves, S. P.; Peach, L. L.; Renno, N. O.; Tamppari, L.; Young, S. M. M.

    2008-08-01

    The exhaust plume of Phoenix's hydrazine monopropellant pulsed descent thrusters will impact the surface of Mars during its descent and landing phase in the northern polar region. Experimental and computational studies have been performed to characterize the chemical compounds in the thruster exhausts. No undecomposed hydrazine is observed above the instrument detection limit of 0.2%. Forty-five percent ammonia is measured in the exhaust at steady state. Water vapor is observed at a level of 0.25%, consistent with fuel purity analysis results. Moreover, the dynamic interactions of the thruster plumes with the ground have been studied. Large pressure overshoots are produced at the ground during the ramp-up and ramp-down phases of the duty cycle of Phoenix's pulsed engines. These pressure overshoots are superimposed on the 10 Hz quasi-steady ground pressure perturbations with amplitude of about 5 kPa (at touchdown altitude) and have a maximum amplitude of about 20-40 kPa. A theoretical explanation for the physics that causes these pressure perturbations is briefly described in this article. The potential for soil erosion and uplifting at the landing site is also discussed. The objectives of the research described in this article are to provide empirical and theoretical data for the Phoenix Science Team to mitigate any potential problem. The data will also be used to ensure proper interpretation of the results from on-board scientific instrumentation when Martian soil samples are analyzed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-29

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

  20. The GEM-Mars general circulation model for Mars: Description and evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neary, L.; Daerden, F.

    2018-01-01

    GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1Δg)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. The Surface of Mars: A Post-Viking View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1983-01-01

    Highlights current information on the martian surface. Topics include a planetary overview (atmosphere, dust storms, water vapor/ice, soil analysis) and surface features (craters, volcanoes, canyons/channels, polar regions, wind-related features). Similarities/differences between Mars and Earth are also discussed. (JN)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

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

  4. SGTR assessment using MARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raines, J.C.; Dawson, S.M.; Deitke, B.; Henry, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    During the course of a plant accident, a consistent understanding of the plant response is vital to support an accident manager's decision making process. One tool that can provide assistance to the plant staff in assessing conditions in the plant during accident conditions is the MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) software. During an accident, MARS utilizes the on-line data from the plant instrumentation to initialize the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) code. Once initialized, MARS tracks and characterizes the plant behavior through the use of integrated logic modules. These logic modules provide the user with important information about the status of systems and the possible cause of the accident. The MARS logic modules evaluate relevant available plant instrumentation and the observations of the operating staff using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy logic is applied to provide a transition between areas where one is absolutely sure that a situation has not occurred to a condition where one is absolutely certain that a situation has occurred. One example of the use of logic modules in MARS is illustrated by that used to assess if a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) event has occurred. Each piece of relevant plant data is evaluated to determine if it is consistent with the symptoms of a SGTR. Each of the evaluations for the individual plant instruments and the operating staff observations are assembled to determine an overall confidence which characterizes the likelihood that a SGTR is occurring. Additional MARS logic modules are used to determine confidence levels for other types of accident events. The conclusions arrived at by each individual logic module are expressed as confidence levels. The logic module confidence levels can be graphically displayed using the MARS Graphical Users Interface (GUI), to indicate the confidence level MARS has assessed for each accident type. The GUI shows the identification of the possible accident types, but is not limited

  5. Vibration and Acoustic Testing for Mars Micromission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Dennis L.; Scharton, Terry D.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Opportunity's Surroundings on Sol 1818 (Polar)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the images combined into this full-circle view of the rover's surroundings during the 1,818th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's surface mission (March 5, 2009). South is at the center; north at both ends. This view is presented as a polar projection with geometric seam correction. North is at the top. The rover had driven 80.3 meters (263 feet) southward earlier on that sol. Tracks from the drive recede northward in this view. The terrain in this portion of Mars' Meridiani Planum region includes dark-toned sand ripples and lighter-toned bedrock.

  8. Polarization study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nurushev, S.B.

    1989-01-01

    Brief review is presented of the high energy polarization study including experimental data and the theoretical descriptions. The mostimportant proposals at the biggest accelerators and the crucial technical developments are also listed which may become a main-line of spin physics. 35 refs.; 10 figs.; 4 tabs

  9. Polar Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    These three images were taken on three different orbits over the north polar cap in April 1999. Each shows a different part of the same ice-free trough. The left and right images are separated by a distance of more than 100 kilometers (62 miles). Note the similar layers in each image.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Telescopic observations - Visual, photographic, polarimetric. [of planet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Leonard J.; James, Philip B.; Dollfus, Audouin; Iwasaki, Kyosuke; Beish, Jeffrey D.

    1992-01-01

    The paper divides the high points of telescopic observations of Mars into three time periods: historical, missions support (recent), and present. Particular attention is given to visual and photographic observations, with brief discussions of spectroscopic and polarization studies. Major topics of Martian phenomena included are albedo features, polar caps, dust storms, and white clouds. The interannual variability of the recessions of seasonal polar caps has been compared to dust storm activity, but this relationship remains uncertain. Only a very limited number of canals can be related to markings on the Viking images. The remainder are argued to be optical illusions created by observers pushing their perceived resolution beyond practical limits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. The Mars Climate Database (MCD version 5.3)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  16. A radar-echo model for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, T.W.; Moore, H.J.

    1990-01-01

    Researchers developed a radar-echo model for Mars based on 12.6 cm continuous wave radio transmissions backscattered from the planet. The model broadly matches the variations in depolarized and polarized total radar cross sections with longitude observed by Goldstone in 1986 along 7 degrees S. and yields echo spectra that are generally similiar to the observed spectra. Radar map units in the model include an extensive cratered uplands unit with weak depolarized echo cross sections, average thermal inertias, moderate normal refelectivities, and moderate rms slopes; the volcanic units of Tharsis, Elysium, and Amazonis regions with strong depolarized echo cross sections, low thermal inertia, low normal reflectivities, and large rms slopes; and the northern planes units with moderate to strong depolarized echo cross sections, moderate to very high thermal inertias, moderate to large normal reflectivities, and moderate rms slopes. The relevance of the model to the interpretation of radar echoes from Mars is discussed

  17. On to Mars! chronicles of Martian simulations

    CERN Document Server

    PLETSER, Vladimir

    2018-01-01

    This book introduces the Martian simulations, one installed on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic, well within the polar circle, and two in the desert of Utah, several hundreds of kilometers South of Salt Lake City. The book is based on the diaries during the simulations, held by Vladimir Pletser, a physicist-engineer, who was selected to attend these simulations. It relates the details of everyday life in these Martian habitats and of the scientific and exploratory work conducted in these extreme environments in preparation for future manned missions to Mars. Through the real experiences described in the book, readers will find space explorations and living on Mars more tangible. .

  18. Mars Internal Structure: Seismic Predictions for Core Phase Arrivals in Anticipation of the InSight Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, R. C.; Banerdt, W. B.; Lognonne, P. H.; Hempel, S.; Panning, M. P.; Schmerr, N. C.; Garcia, R.; Shiro, B.; Gudkova, T.

    2016-12-01

    We present a methodology to constrain the seismic structure of the Martian core in preparation for the return of data from the InSight mission. Expected amplitudes for marsquakes assuming a medium seismicity model support the likely observation of core reflections of P and S energy for events with magnitude greater than MW 4.5. For the mission duration, we would expect to record on the order of 10 events of at least this magnitude. Our method predicts the ray density of core reflected (PcP, ScS) and transmitted (PKP, SKS) phases for various core sizes with core-mantle boundary depths between 1650 and 2100 km. Ray density is defined as the fraction of rays in a small source-receiver interval normalized by the total number of rays over a great circle slice through the planet. The ray density of a given phase is scaled by predicted amplitudes calculated considering attenuation, geometric spreading and reflection/transmission coefficients at discontinuities along the ray path. Maximum PcP/ScS amplitudes are expected at epicentral distances of 40-100 degrees. Thus, if present, strong seismicity in the Hellas and Tharsis region may facilitate core detection. For events with MW above 4.5, ScS and SKS signals are expected to lie above the lander noise, but PcP and PKP signals may barely be visible. The resolution of these phases can be improved by applying stacking techniques to account for expected background noise, scattering, and interfering seismic phases. These techniques were successfully applied to Apollo seismograms to infer the radial structure of the lunar core. Even if source depth and location have large uncertainties during a single-station mission to Mars, different phases can be distinguished by their slownesses. Prior to the summation of the traces of individual events, signals are aligned to a reference phase, e.g. the PcP onset assuming various core radii. A maximum in signal coherency corresponds to the best fitting core radius. In the case of lunar

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Gilbert V; Straat, Patricia Ann

    2016-10-01

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

  20. Mars Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA’s Mars Exploration Program (MEP) calls for a series of highly ambitious missions over the next decade and beyond. The overall goals of the MEP must be...

  1. Mars Electric Reusable Flyer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — One of the main issues with a Mars flight vehicle concept that can be reused and cover long distances for maximum surface data gathering is its ability to take off,...

  2. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

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

  3. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. MARS software package status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azhgirej, I.L.; Talanov, V.V.

    2000-01-01

    The MARS software package is intended for simulating the nuclear-electromagnetic cascades and the secondary neutrons and muons transport in the heterogeneous medium of arbitrary complexity in the magnetic fields presence. The inclusive approach to describing the particle production in the nuclear and electromagnetic interactions and by the unstable particles decay is realized in the package. The MARS software package was actively applied for solving various radiation physical problems [ru

  6. Status of MARS Code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N.V. Mokhov

    2003-04-09

    Status and recent developments of the MARS 14 Monte Carlo code system for simulation of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades in shielding, accelerator and detector components in the energy range from a fraction of an electronvolt up to 100 TeV are described. these include physics models both in strong and electromagnetic interaction sectors, variance reduction techniques, residual dose, geometry, tracking, histograming. MAD-MARS Beam Line Build and Graphical-User Interface.

  7. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  8. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roll, R.

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    rises into the spinning air, giving the appearance of a tornado-like column that moves across the landscape. As the column of air moves, its ability to pick up dust varies--sometimes they hold a lot of dust and are nearly opaque; sometimes you cannot even see them. Dust-devils rarely last long, since their very motion changes the conditions that allowed them to form in the first place.Mars Pathfinder detected the passage of several dust devils during its 83 days of operation on Mars in 1997. Mariner 9 and the Viking landers and orbiters of the 1970s also found evidence that dust devils occur on Mars; indeed, some Viking Orbiter images actually show dust devil clouds. MOC image 26403 is the latest entry in the body of evidence for the work of wind in the modern martian environment. The MOC Science Team is continuing to study these and other streaks caused by wind interacting with the martian surface.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  20. Timing of oceans on Mars from shoreline deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citron, Robert I.; Manga, Michael; Hemingway, Douglas J.

    2018-03-01

    Widespread evidence points to the existence of an ancient Martian ocean. Most compelling are the putative ancient shorelines in the northern plains. However, these shorelines fail to follow an equipotential surface, and this has been used to challenge the notion that they formed via an early ocean and hence to question the existence of such an ocean. The shorelines’ deviation from a constant elevation can be explained by true polar wander occurring after the formation of Tharsis, a volcanic province that dominates the gravity and topography of Mars. However, surface loading from the oceans can drive polar wander only if Tharsis formed far from the equator, and most evidence indicates that Tharsis formed near the equator, meaning that there is no current explanation for the shorelines’ deviation from an equipotential that is consistent with our geophysical understanding of Mars. Here we show that variations in shoreline topography can be explained by deformation caused by the emplacement of Tharsis. We find that the shorelines must have formed before and during the emplacement of Tharsis, instead of afterwards, as previously assumed. Our results imply that oceans on Mars formed early, concurrent with the valley networks, and point to a close relationship between the evolution of oceans on Mars and the initiation and decline of Tharsis volcanism, with broad implications for the geology, hydrological cycle and climate of early Mars.

  1. Timing of oceans on Mars from shoreline deformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citron, Robert I; Manga, Michael; Hemingway, Douglas J

    2018-03-29

    Widespread evidence points to the existence of an ancient Martian ocean. Most compelling are the putative ancient shorelines in the northern plains. However, these shorelines fail to follow an equipotential surface, and this has been used to challenge the notion that they formed via an early ocean and hence to question the existence of such an ocean. The shorelines' deviation from a constant elevation can be explained by true polar wander occurring after the formation of Tharsis, a volcanic province that dominates the gravity and topography of Mars. However, surface loading from the oceans can drive polar wander only if Tharsis formed far from the equator, and most evidence indicates that Tharsis formed near the equator, meaning that there is no current explanation for the shorelines' deviation from an equipotential that is consistent with our geophysical understanding of Mars. Here we show that variations in shoreline topography can be explained by deformation caused by the emplacement of Tharsis. We find that the shorelines must have formed before and during the emplacement of Tharsis, instead of afterwards, as previously assumed. Our results imply that oceans on Mars formed early, concurrent with the valley networks, and point to a close relationship between the evolution of oceans on Mars and the initiation and decline of Tharsis volcanism, with broad implications for the geology, hydrological cycle and climate of early Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paton, Mark

    2017-07-01

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

  3. Guidelines for 2008 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2008-01-01

    Full details of the Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS) are available via the HR Department’s homepage or directly on the Department’s MARS web page: https://cern.ch/hr-dept/ https://cern.ch/hr-eguide/mars/mars.asp You will find on these pages: MARS procedures including the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; Regulations with links to the scheme’s statutory basis; Frequently Asked Questions; Useful documents with links to relevant documentation; e.g. mandate of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC); Related links and contacts. HR Department Tel. 73566

  4. Mars: Periglacial Morphology and Implications for Future Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Schurmeier, Lauren; McKay, Christopher; Davila, Alfonso; Stoker, Carol; Marinova, Margarita; Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    At the Mars Phoenix landing site and in much of the Martian northern plains, there is ice-cemented ground beneath a layer of dry permafrost. Unlike most permafrost on Earth, though, this ice is not liquid at any time of year. However, in past epochs at higher obliquity the surface conditions during summer may have resulted in warmer conditions and possible melting. This situation indicates that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be a candidate for the most recently habitable place on Mars as near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity approximately 5 Myr ago. The high elevation Dry Valleys of Antarctica provide the best analog on Earth of Martian ground ice. These locations are the only places on Earth where ice-cemented ground is found beneath dry permafrost. The Dry Valleys are a hyper-arid polar desert environment and in locations above 1500 m elevation, such as University Valley, air temperatures do not exceed 0 C. Thus, similarly to Mars, liquid water is largely absent here and instead the hydrologic cycle is dominated by frozen ice and vapor phase processes such as sublimation. These conditions make the high elevation Dry Valleys a key Mars analog location where periglacial processes and geomorphic features can be studied in situ. This talk will focus on studies of University Valley as a Mars analog for periglacial morphology and ice stability. We will review a landing site selection study encompassing this information gleaned from the Antarctic terrestrial analog studies plus Mars spacecraft data analysis to identify candidate landing sites for a future mission to search for life on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The Viking mission search for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  8. Strategic Polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalai, Adam; Kalai, Ehud

    2001-08-01

    In joint decision making, similarly minded people may take opposite positions. Consider the example of a marriage in which one spouse gives generously to charity while the other donates nothing. Such "polarization" may misrepresent what is, in actuality, a small discrepancy in preferences. It may be that the donating spouse would like to see 10% of their combined income go to charity each year, while the apparently frugal spouse would like to see 8% donated. A simple game-theoretic analysis suggests that the spouses will end up donating 10% and 0%, respectively. By generalizing this argument to a larger class of games, we provide strategic justification for polarization in many situations such as debates, shared living accommodations, and disciplining children. In some of these examples, an arbitrarily small disagreement in preferences leads to an arbitrarily large loss in utility for all participants. Such small disagreements may also destabilize what, from game-theoretic point of view, is a very stable equilibrium. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  9. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. An improved gravity model for Mars: Goddard Mars Model-1 (GMM-1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. E.; Lerch, F. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Zuber, M. T.; Patel, G. B.; Fricke, S. K.; Lemoine, F. G.

    1993-01-01

    Doppler tracking data of three orbiting spacecraft have been reanalyzed to develop a new gravitational field model for the planet Mars, GMM-1 (Goddard Mars Model-1). This model employs nearly all available data, consisting of approximately 1100 days of S-bank tracking data collected by NASA's Deep Space Network from the Mariner 9, and Viking 1 and Viking 2 spacecraft, in seven different orbits, between 1971 and 1979. GMM-1 is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 50, which corresponds to a half-wavelength spatial resolution of 200-300 km where the data permit. GMM-1 represents satellite orbits with considerably better accuracy than previous Mars gravity models and shows greater resolution of identifiable geological structures. The notable improvement in GMM-1 over previous models is a consequence of several factors: improved computational capabilities, the use of optimum weighting and least-squares collocation solution techniques which stabilized the behavior of the solution at high degree and order, and the use of longer satellite arcs than employed in previous solutions that were made possible by improved force and measurement models. The inclusion of X-band tracking data from the 379-km altitude, near-polar orbiting Mars Observer spacecraft should provide a significant improvement over GMM-1, particularly at high latitudes where current data poorly resolves the gravitational signature of the planet.

  11. Remanent magnetism at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, S. A.; Ness, N. F.

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that a strong case can be made for an intrinsic magnetic field of dynamo origin for Mars earlier in its history. The typical equatorial magnetic field intensity would have been equal to about 0.01-0.1 gauss. The earlier dynamo activity is no longer extant, but a significant remanent magnetic field may exist. A highly non-dipole magnetic field could result from the remanent magnetization of the surface. Remanent magnetization may thus play an important role in the Mars solar wind interactions, in contrast to Venus with its surface temperatures above the Curie point. The anomalous characteristics of Mars'solar wind interaction compared to that of Venus may be explicable on this basis.

  12. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  13. ExoHab Pilot Project & Field Tests for Moon-Mars Human Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    We studied concepts for a minimal Moon-Mars habitat, in focussing on the system aspects and coordinating every different part as part an evolving architecture. We validated experimentally the Habitat and Laboratory ExoHab concept constraints during EuroGeoMars campaign in Utah desert research station (from 24 Jan. to 28 Feb. 2009) and EuroMoonMars/DOMMEX campaigns in Nov 2009 and February-April 2010. We discuss from the ILEWG ExoHab concept studies and field simulations the specifics of human exploration, with focus on habitability and human performance. In the ExoHab pilot concept project (supported by ILEWG, ESA NASA), we justify the case for a scientific and exploration outpost allowing experiments, sample analysis in laboratory (relevant to the origin and evolution of planets and life, geophysical and geo-chemical studies, astrobiology and life sciences, observation sciences, technology demonstration, resource utilisation, human exploration and settlement). In this modular concept, we consider various infra structure elements: core habitat, Extra Vehicular activity (EVA), crew mobility, energy supply, recycling module, communication, green house and food production, operations. We review some studies space agencies' architecture proposals, with landers, orbiters, rovers, habitats, surface operations and protocols. We focus on the easiest and the soonest way in settling a minimal base immediately operational in scientific experimentation and exploration, but not immediately autonomous. Through a modular concept, this outpost will be possibly evolved into a long duration or permanent base. We will analyse the possibilities of settling such a minimal base by means of the current and near term propulsion technology, as a full Ariane 5 ME carrying 1.7 T of gross payload to the surface of the Moon (Integrated Exploration Study, ESA ESTEC [1,2]). The low solar rays incidence may permit having ice in deep craters, which will be beneficial for the evolution of the

  14. Mars Gashopper Airplane, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Gas Hopper Airplane, or "gashopper" is a novel concept for propulsion of a robust Mars flight and surface exploration vehicle that utilizes indigenous CO2...

  15. The stratigraphy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    1986-01-01

    A global stratigraphy of Mars was developed from a global geologic map series derived from Viking images; the stratigraphy is composed of three maps. A new chronostratigraphic classification system which consists of lower, middle, and upper Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian systems is described. The crater-density boundaries of the chronostratigraphic units and the absolute ages of the Martian epochs aer estimated. The relative ages of major geologic units and featues are calculated and analyzed. The geologic history of Mars is summarized on the maps in terms of epochs.

  16. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

    On Earth, lakes provide favorable environments for the development of life and its preservation as fossils. They are extremely sensitive to climate fluctuations and to conditions within their watersheds. As such, lakes are unique markers of the impact of environmental changes. Past and current missions have now demonstrated that water once flowed at the surface of Mars early in its history. Evidence of ancient ponding has been uncovered at scales ranging from a few kilometers to possibly that of the Arctic ocean. Whether life existed on Mars is still unknown; upcoming missions may find critic

  17. Polarized secondary radioactive beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaika, N.I.

    1992-01-01

    Three methods of polarized radioactive nuclei beam production: a) a method nuclear interaction of the non-polarized or polarized charged projectiles with target nuclei; b) a method of polarization of stopped reaction radioactive products in a special polarized ion source with than following acceleration; c) a polarization of radioactive nuclei circulating in a storage ring are considered. Possible life times of the radioactive ions for these methods are determined. General schemes of the polarization method realizations and depolarization problems are discussed

  18. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  19. Polar crane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makosinski, S.

    1981-01-01

    In many applications polar cranes have to be repeatedly positioned with high accuracy. A guidance system is disclosed which has two pairs of guides. Each guide consists of two rollers carried by a sheave rotatable mounted on the crane bridge, the rollers being locatable one on each side of a guideway, e.g. the circular track on which the bridge runs. The pairs of guides are interconnected by respective rope loops which pass around and are locked to the respective pairs of sheaves in such a manner that movement of one guide results in equal movement of the other guide in a sense to maintain the repeatability of positioning of the centre of the bridge. A hydraulically-linked guide system is also described. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. J. Kim

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  3. Mars at war

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

    Whether the climate of early Mars was warm and wet or cold and dry remains unclear, but the debate is overheated. With a growing toolbox and increasing data to tackle the open questions, progress is possible if there is openness to bridging the divide.

  4. Watersporen op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Jansen, B.

    2005-01-01

    SAMENVATTING De discussie over het voorkomen van water op Mars, in vaste of vloeibare vorm, nu en in het verleden, is nog steeds in volle gang. Dat geldt ook voor het effect van mogelijk aanwezig water op de landschapsontwikkeling van de Rode Planeet. Met het vrijkomen van steeds meer nieuwe

  5. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Best-selling author and Secret Space Program researcher Bara brings us this lavishly illustrated volume on alien structures on Mars. Was there once a vast, technologically advanced civilization on Mars, and did it leave evidence of its existence behind for humans to find eons later? Did these advanced extraterrestrial visitors vanish in a solar system wide cataclysm of their own making, only to make their way to Earth and start anew? Was Mars once as lush and green as the Earth, and teeming with life? Did Mars once orbit a missing member of the solar system, a "Super Earth” that vanished in a disaster that devastated life on Earth and Venus and left us only the asteroid belt as evidence of its once grand existence? Did the survivors of this catastrophe leave monuments and temples behind, arranged in a mathematical precision designed to teach us the Secret of a new physics that could lift us back to the stars? Does the planet have an automated defense shield that swallows up robotic probes if they wander int...

  6. Mars Mission Specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Bill; Ogden, Kate; Walker, Becky; Bledsoe, Leslie; Hardage, Lauren

    2018-01-01

    For the last several years, the authors have implemented an integrated Mars Colony project for their third-grade classes. Students explored several considerations related to colonizing and inhabiting a new world, including food sources, types of citizens, transportation, and housing design. Nearly everything about the project was open-ended, full…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Viking Lander imaging investigation: Picture catalog of primary mission experiment data record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, R. B.

    1978-01-01

    All the images returned by the two Viking Landers during the primary phase of the Viking Mission are presented. Listings of supplemental information which described the conditions under which the images were acquired are included together with skyline drawings which show where the images are positioned in the field of view of the cameras. Subsets of the images are listed in a variety of sequences to aid in locating images of interest. The format and organization of the digital magnetic tape storage of the images are described. The mission and the camera system are briefly described.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G.

    2018-05-01

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

  11. Mars Surface Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John

    2002-01-01

    Planetary exploration by astronauts will require extended periods of habitation on a planet's surface, under the influence of environmental factors that are different from those of Earth and the spacecraft that delivered the crew to the planet. Human exploration of Mars, a possible near-term planetary objective, can be considered a challenging scenario. Mission scenarios currently under consideration call for surface habitation periods of from 1 to 18 months on even the earliest expeditions. Methods: Environmental issues associated with Mars exploration have been investigated by NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) as part of the Bioastronautics Critical Path Roadmap Project (see http ://criticalpath.jsc.nasa.gov). Results: Arrival on Mars will immediately expose the crew to gravity only 38% of that at Earth's surface in possibly the first prolonged exposure to gravity other than the 1G of Earth's surface and the zero G of weightless space flight, with yet unknown effects on crew physiology. The radiation at Mars' surface is not well documented, although the planet's bulk and even its thin atmosphere may moderate the influx of galactic cosmic radiation and energetic protons from solar flares. Secondary radiation from activated components of the soil must also be considered. Ultrafine and larger respirable and nonrespirable particles in Martian dust introduced into the habitat after surface excursions may induce pulmonary inflammation exacerbated by the additive reactive and oxidizing nature of the dust. Stringent decontamination cannot eliminate mechanical and corrosive effects of the dust on pressure suits and exposed machinery. The biohazard potential of putative indigenous Martian microorganisms may be assessed by comparison with analog environments on Earth. Even in their absence, human microorganisms, if not properly controlled, can be a threat to the crew's health. Conclusions: Mars' surface offers a substantial challenge to the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-25

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

  14. Water on Mars - Volatile history and resource availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.

    1990-01-01

    An attempt is made to define the available deposits of water in the near-surface region of Mars which will be available to human exploration missions. The Martian seasonal water cycle is reviewed, and geochemical and geological constraints on the availability of water are examined. It is concluded that the only sure source of water in amounts significant as a resource are in the polar ice deposits.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Huang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devolites, Jennifer L.; Olansen, Jon B.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Nuclear polarization and neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glaettli, H.

    1985-01-01

    Different possibilities for the use of polarized nuclei in thermal neutron scattering on condensed matter are reviewed. Highly polarized nuclei are the starting point for studying dipolar magnetic order. Systematic measurement of spin-dependent scattering lengths is possible on samples with polarized nuclei. Highly polarized hydrogen should help to unravel complicated structures in chemistry and biology. The use of polarized proton targets as an energy-independent neutron polarizer in the thermal and epithermal region should be considered afresh. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. EquiMar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The politics of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Harrison H.

    1986-01-01

    A discussion is presented comparing past and present major accomplishments of the U.S. and the Soviet Union in space. It concludes that the Soviets are presently well ahead of the U.S. in several specific aspects of space accomplishment and speculates that the Soviet strategy is directed towards sending a man to the vicinity of Mars by the end of this century. A major successful multinational space endeavor, INTELSAT, is reviewed and it is suggested that the manned exploration of Mars offers a unique opportunity for another such major international cooperative effort. The current attitude of U.S. leadership and the general public is assessed as uniformed or ambivalent about the perceived threat of Soviet dominance in space.

  6. Fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.

    1989-01-01

    Three major problems beset paleontologists searching for morphological evidence of life on early Earth: selecting a prospective site; finding biogenic structures; and distinguishing biogenic from abiogenic structures. The same problems arise on Mars. Terrestrial experience suggests that, with the techniques that can be employed remotely, ancient springs, including hot springs, are more prospective than lake deposits. If, on the other hand, the search is for chemical evidence, the strategy can be very different, and lake deposits are attractive targets. Lakes and springs frequenly occur in close proximity, and therefore a strategy that combines the two would seem to maximize the chance of success. The strategy for a search for stromatolite on Mars is discussed.

  7. Magnetic storms on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    and typical time profile of such periods is investigated and compared to solar wind measurements at Earth. Typical durations of the events are 20–40h, and there is a tendency for large events to last longer, but a large spread in duration and intensity are found. The large and medium intensity events at Mars......Based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer we examine periods of significantly enhanced magnetic disturbances in the martian space environment. Using almost seven years of observations during the maximum and early declining phase of the previous solar cycle the occurrence pattern...... are found to occur predominantly in association with interplanetary sector boundaries, with solar wind dynamic pressure enhancements being the most likely interplanetary driver. In addition it is found that, on time scales of months to several years, the dominant cause of global variability of the magnetic...

  8. Artificial structures on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Flandern, T.

    2002-05-01

    Approximately 70,000 images of the surface of Mars at a resolution of up to 1.4 meters per pixel, taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, are now in public archives. Approximately 1% of those images show features that can be broadly described as `special shapes', `tracks, trails, and possible vegetation', `spots, stripes, and tubes', `artistic imagery', and `patterns and symbols'. Rather than optical illusions and tricks of light and shadow, most of these have the character that, if photographed on Earth, no one would doubt that they were the products of large biology and intelligence. In a few cases, relationships, context, and fulfillment of a priori predictions provide objective evidence of artificiality that is exempt from the influence of experimenter biases. Only controlled test results can be trusted because biases are strong and operate both for and against artificiality.

  9. Volcano-ice interactions on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, C.C.

    1979-01-01

    Central volcanic eruptions beneath terrestrial glaciers have built steep-sided, flat-topped mountains composed of pillow lava, glassy tuff, capping flows, and cones of basalt. Subglacial fissure eruptions produced ridges of similar compostion. In some places the products from a number of subglacial vents have combined to form widespread deposits. The morphologies of these subglacial volcanoes are distinctive enough to allow their recognition at the resolutions characteristic of Viking orbiter imagery. Analogs to terrestrial subglacial volcanoes have been identified on the northern plains and near the south polar cap of Mars. The polar feature provides probable evidence of volcanic eruptions beneath polar ice. A mixed unit of rock and ice is postulated to have overlain portions of the northern plains, with eruptions into this ground ice having produced mountains and ridges analogous to those in Iceland. Subsequent breakdown of this unit due to ice melting revealed the volcanic features. Estimated heights of these landforms indicate that the ice-rich unit once ranged from approximately 100 to 1200 m thick

  10. Neutron polarization in polarized 3He targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friar, J.L.; Gibson, B.F.; Payne, G.L.; Bernstein, A.M.; Chupp, T.E.

    1990-01-01

    Simple formulas for the neutron and proton polarizations in polarized 3 He targets are derived assuming (1) quasielastic final states; (2) no final-state interactions; (3) no meson-exchange currents; (4) large momentum transfers; (5) factorizability of 3 He SU(4) response-function components. Numerical results from a wide variety of bound-state solutions of the Faddeev equations are presented. It is found that this simple model predicts the polarization of neutrons in a fully polarized 3 He target to be 87%, while protons should have a slight residual polarization of -2.7%. Numerical studies show that this model works very well for quasielastic electron scattering

  11. Can you play cricket on Mars? and other scientific questions answered

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Sir Patrick

    2011-01-01

    All those nagging questions you have about the universe are answered here, like 'Is there a dark side to the moon? What happens when a comet hits the sun? Do the Martian canals have any water in them? Is the moon hot inside? What would happen if the sun were to collide with a black hole? Mars has polar ice caps: could polar bears live on Mars? if I could go back to the time of the dinosaurs, would the sky look the same as it does today?' and many more.

  12. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alston, Christie; Hancock, Sean; Laub, Joshua; Perry, Christopher; Ash, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Mars sample return mission will be completed using natural Martian resources for the majority of its operations. The system uses the following technologies: In-Situ Propellant Production (ISPP), a methane-oxygen propelled Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a carbon dioxide powered hopper, and a hydrogen fueled balloon system (large balloons and small weather balloons). The ISPP system will produce the hydrogen, methane, and oxygen using a Sabatier reactor. a water electrolysis cell, water extracted from the Martian surface, and carbon dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere. Indigenous hydrogen will fuel the balloon systems and locally-derived methane and oxygen will fuel the MAV for the return of a 50 kg sample to Earth. The ISPP system will have a production cycle of 800 days and the estimated overall mission length is 1355 days from Earth departure to return to low Earth orbit. Combining these advanced technologies will enable the proposed sample return mission to be executed with reduced initial launch mass and thus be more cost efficient. The successful completion of this mission will serve as the next step in the advancement of Mars exploration technology.

  13. Rock pushing and sampling under rocks on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  14. The Physics, Biology, and Environmental Ethics of Making Mars Habitable

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Marinova, Margarita M.

    2001-03-01

    The considerable evidence that Mars once had a wetter, more clement, environment motivates the search for past or present life on that planet. This evidence also suggests the possibility of restoring habitable conditions on Mars. While the total amounts of the key molecules - carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen - needed for creating a biosphere on Mars are unknown, estimates suggest that there may be enough in the subsurface. Super greenhouse gases, in particular, perfluorocarbons, are currently the most effective and practical way to warm Mars and thicken its atmosphere so that liquid water is stable on the surface. This process could take ~100 years. If enough carbon dioxide is frozen in the South Polar Cap and absorbed in the regolith, the resulting thick and warm carbon dioxide atmosphere could support many types of microorganisms, plants, and invertebrates. If a planet-wide martian biosphere converted carbon dioxide into oxygen with an average efficiency equal to that for Earth's biosphere, it would take >100,000 years to create Earth-like oxygen levels. Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.

  15. The physics, biology, and environmental ethics of making mars habitable

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.; Marinova, M. M.

    2001-01-01

    The considerable evidence that Mars once had a wetter, more clement, environment motivates the search for past or present life on that planet. This evidence also suggests the possibility of restoring habitable conditions on Mars. While the total amounts of the key molecules--carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen--needed for creating a biosphere on Mars are unknown, estimates suggest that there may be enough in the subsurface. Super greenhouse gases, in particular, perfluorocarbons, are currently the most effective and practical way to warm Mars and thicken its atmosphere so that liquid water is stable on the surface. This process could take approximately 100 years. If enough carbon dioxide is frozen in the South Polar Cap and absorbed in the regolith, the resulting thick and warm carbon dioxide atmosphere could support many types of microorganisms, plants, and invertebrates. If a planet-wide martian biosphere converted carbon dioxide into oxygen with an average efficiency equal to that for Earth's biosphere, it would take > 100,000 years to create Earth-like oxygen levels. Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.

  16. Mars Mapping Technology Brings Main Street to Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Red Planet has long held a particular hold on the human psyche. From the Roman god of war to Orson Welles infamous Halloween broadcast, our nearest planetary neighbor has been viewed with curiosity, suspicion, and awe. Pictures of Mars from 1965 to the present reveal familiar landscapes while also challenging our perceptions and revising our understanding of the processes at work in planets. Frequent discoveries have forced significant revisions to previous theories. Although Mars shares many familiar features with Earth, such as mountains, plains, valleys, and polar ice, the conditions on Mars can vary wildly from those with which we are familiar. The apparently cold, rocky, and dusty wasteland seen through the eyes of spacecraft and Martian probes hints at a dynamic past of volcanic activity, cataclysmic meteors, and raging waters. New discoveries continue to revise our view of our next-door neighbor, and further exploration is now paving the way for a human sortie to the fourth stone from the Sun. NASA s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration, utilizes wide-angle stereo cameras mounted on NASA s twin robot geologists, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs), launched in 2003. The rovers, named "Spirit" and "Opportunity," celebrated 4 Earth years of exploration on January 3, 2008, and have sent back a wealth of information on the terrain and composition of the Martian surface. Their marathon performance has far outlasted the intended 90 days of operation, and the two intrepid explorers promise more images and data.

  17. Mars Aqueous Processing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Mark; Wilson, Cherie; Carrera, Stacy; Rose, Heather; Muscatello, Anthony; Kilgore, James; Zubrin, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The goal of the Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is to establish a flexible process that generates multiple products that are useful for human habitation. Selectively extracting useful components into an aqueous solution, and then sequentially recovering individual constituents, can obtain a suite of refined or semi-refined products. Similarities in the bulk composition (although not necessarily of the mineralogy) of Martian and Lunar soils potentially make MAPS widely applicable. Similar process steps can be conducted on both Mars and Lunar soils while tailoring the reaction extents and recoveries to the specifics of each location. The MAPS closed-loop process selectively extracts, and then recovers, constituents from soils using acids and bases. The emphasis on Mars involves the production of useful materials such as iron, silica, alumina, magnesia, and concrete with recovery of oxygen as a byproduct. On the Moon, similar chemistry is applied with emphasis on oxygen production. This innovation has been demonstrated to produce high-grade materials, such as metallic iron, aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, and calcium oxide, from lunar and Martian soil simulants. Most of the target products exhibited purities of 80 to 90 percent or more, allowing direct use for many potential applications. Up to one-fourth of the feed soil mass was converted to metal, metal oxide, and oxygen products. The soil residue contained elevated silica content, allowing for potential additional refining and extraction for recovery of materials needed for photovoltaic, semiconductor, and glass applications. A high-grade iron oxide concentrate derived from lunar soil simulant was used to produce a metallic iron component using a novel, combined hydrogen reduction/metal sintering technique. The part was subsequently machined and found to be structurally sound. The behavior of the lunar-simulant-derived iron product was very similar to that produced using the same methods on a Michigan iron

  18. The dynamics in the upper atmospheres of Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Jared M.

    2008-06-01

    This thesis explores the dynamics of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. At Mars, the coupled Mars General Circulation Model - Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MGCM-MTGCM) is employed to investigate the phenomenon known as Mars winter polar warming. At Titan, a new theoretical model, the Titan Global Ionosphere - Thermosphere Model (T-GITM), is developed, based upon previous work by Ridley et al. [2006]. Using this new model, three separate numerical studies quantify the impacts of solar cycle, seasons, and lower boundary zonal winds on the Titan thermosphere structure and dynamics. At Mars, this thesis investigates thermospheric winter polar warming through three major studies: (1) a systematic analysis of vertical dust mixing in the lower atmosphere and its impact upon the dynamics of the lower thermosphere (100-130 km), (2) an interannual investigation utilizing three years of lower atmosphere infrared (IR) dust optical depth data acquired by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on board Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and finally (3) a brief study of the MTGCM's response to variations in upward propagating waves and tides from the lower atmosphere. Ultimately, this investigation suggests that an interhemispheric summer-to-winter Hadley circulation, originating in the lower atmosphere and extending into the upper atmosphere, is responsible for thermospheric winter polar warming [ Bell etal. , 2007]. A major branch of this thesis builds upon the previous work of Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000], Müller-Wodarg et al. [2003], M7uuml;ller-Wodarg et al. [2006], and Yelle et al. [2006] as it attempts to explain the structures in Titan's upper atmosphere, between 500-1500 km. Building also upon the recent development of GITM by Ridley et al. [2006], this thesis presents a new theoretical framework, T-GITM. This model is then employed to conduct a series of numerical experiments to quantify the impacts of the solar cycle, the season, and the

  19. Electrical power systems for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giudici, Robert J.

    1986-01-01

    Electrical power system options for Mars Manned Modules and Mars Surface Bases were evaluated for both near-term and advanced performance potential. The power system options investigated for the Mission Modules include photovoltaics, solar thermal, nuclear reactor, and isotope power systems. Options discussed for Mars Bases include the above options with the addition of a brief discussion of open loop energy conversion of Mars resources, including utilization of wind, subsurface thermal gradients, and super oxides. Electrical power requirements for Mission Modules were estimated for three basic approaches: as a function of crew size; as a function of electric propulsion; and as a function of transmission of power from an orbiter to the surface of Mars via laser or radio frequency. Mars Base power requirements were assumed to be determined by production facilities that make resources available for follow-on missions leading to the establishment of a permanently manned Base. Requirements include the production of buffer gas and propellant production plants.

  20. Guidelines for 2007 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2007-01-01

    Following the introduction of the new Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS), full details of the scheme are now available via the HR Department's homepage or directly on the Department's MARS web page: in English: http://humanresources.web.cern.ch/HumanResources/internal/personnel/pmd/cr/MARS.asp or French: http://humanresources.web.cern.ch/humanresources/internal/personnel/pmd/cr/mars_fr.asp You will find on this page: 'Introduction to MARS' with detailed information presented in Frequently Asked Questions; these include the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; 'Regulations' with links to the scheme's statutory documents; 'Procedures and Forms' and 'Useful Information' with links to all the relevant documentation; these include the mandates of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC) and the Technical Engineers and Administrative Careers Committee (TEACC). HR Department Tel. 73566

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Polarized electron sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prepost, R.

    1994-01-01

    The fundamentals of polarized electron sources are described with particular application to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The SLAC polarized electron source is based on the principle of polarized photoemission from Gallium Arsenide. Recent developments using epitaxially grown, strained Gallium Arsenide cathodes have made it possible to obtain electron polarization significantly in excess of the conventional 50% polarization limit. The basic principles for Gallium and Arsenide polarized photoemitters are reviewed, and the extension of the basic technique to strained cathode structures is described. Results from laboratory measurements of strained photocathodes as well as operational results from the SLAC polarized source are presented

  4. Polarized electron sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prepost, R. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    1994-12-01

    The fundamentals of polarized electron sources are described with particular application to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The SLAC polarized electron source is based on the principle of polarized photoemission from Gallium Arsenide. Recent developments using epitaxially grown, strained Gallium Arsenide cathodes have made it possible to obtain electron polarization significantly in excess of the conventional 50% polarization limit. The basic principles for Gallium and Arsenide polarized photoemitters are reviewed, and the extension of the basic technique to strained cathode structures is described. Results from laboratory measurements of strained photocathodes as well as operational results from the SLAC polarized source are presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  6. Polarized neutron spectrometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abov, Yu.G.; Novitskij, V.V.; Alfimenkov, V.P.; Galinskij, E.M.; Mareev, Yu.D.; Pikel'ner, L.B.; Chernikov, A.N.; Lason', L.; Tsulaya, V.M.; Tsulaya, M.I.

    2000-01-01

    The polarized neutron spectrometer, intended for studying the interaction of polarized neutrons with nuclei and condensed media in the area of energies from thermal up to several electron-volt, is developed at the IBR-2 reactor (JINR, Dubna). Diffraction on the Co(92%)-Fe(8%) magnetized monocrystals is used for the neutron polarization and polarization analysis. The neutron polarization within the whole energy range equals ∼ 95% [ru

  7. Opportunity's Surroundings on Sol 1798 (Polar)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the images combined into this 180-degree view of the rover's surroundings during the 1,798th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's surface mission (Feb. 13, 2009). North is on top. This view is presented as a polar projection with geometric seam correction. The rover had driven 111 meters (364 feet) southward on the preceding sol. Tracks from that drive recede northward in this view. For scale, the distance between the parallel wheel tracks is about 1 meter (about 40 inches). The terrain in this portion of Mars' Meridiani Planum region includes dark-toned sand ripples and lighter-toned bedrock.

  8. Opportunity's Surroundings After Sol 1820 Drive (Polar)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the images combined into this full-circle view of the rover's surroundings during the 1,820th to 1,822nd Martian days, or sols, of Opportunity's surface mission (March 7 to 9, 2009). This view is presented as a polar projection with geometric seam correction. North is at the top. The rover had driven 20.6 meters toward the northwest on Sol 1820 before beginning to take the frames in this view. Tracks from that drive recede southwestward. For scale, the distance between the parallel wheel tracks is about 1 meter (about 40 inches). The terrain in this portion of Mars' Meridiani Planum region includes dark-toned sand ripples and small exposures of lighter-toned bedrock.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Adam O.; Hull, Patrick V.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  12. Mars At Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    These NASA Hubble Space Telescope views provide the most detailed complete global coverage of the red planet Mars ever seen from Earth. The pictures were taken on February 25, 1995, when Mars was at a distance of 65 million miles (103 million km).To the surprise of researchers, Mars is cloudier than seen in previous years. This means the planet is cooler and drier, because water vapor in the atmosphere freezes out to form ice-crystal clouds. Hubble resolves Martian surface features with a level of detail only exceeded by planetary probes, such as impact craters and other features as small as 30 miles (50 kilometers) across.[Tharsis region] - A crescent-shaped cloud just right of center identifies the immense shield volcano Olympus Mons, which is 340 miles (550 km) across at its base. Warm afternoon air pushed up over the summit forms ice-crystal clouds downwind from the volcano. Farther to the east (right) a line of clouds forms over a row of three extinct volcanoes which are from north to south: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons. It's part of an unusual, recurring 'W'-shaped cloud formation that once mystified earlier ground-based observers.[Valles Marineris region] - The 16 mile-high volcano Ascraeus Mons pokes through the cloud deck along the western (left) limb of the planet. Other interesting geologic features include (lower left) Valles Marineris, an immense rift valley the length of the continental United States. Near the image center lies the Chryse basin made up of cratered and chaotic terrain. The oval-looking Argyre impact basin (bottom) appears white due to clouds or frost.[Syrtis Major region] - The dark 'shark fin' feature left of center is Syrtis Major. Below it the giant impact basin Hellas. Clouds cover several great volcanos in the Elysium region near the eastern (right) limb. As clearly seen in the Hubble images, past dust storms in Mars' southern hemisphere have scoured the plains of fine light dust and transported the dust northward. This

  13. Mars Thermal Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This image shows the global thermal inertia of the Martian surface as measured by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor. The data were acquired during the first 5000 orbits of the MGS mapping mission. The pattern of inertia variations observed by TES agrees well with the thermal inertia maps made by the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper experiment, but the TES data shown here are at significantly higher spatial resolution (15 km versus 60 km).The TES instrument was built by Santa Barbara Remote Sensing and is operated by Philip R. Christensen, of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

  14. The seasonal cycle of water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.

    1985-01-01

    A review of the behavior of water in the Mars atmosphere and subsurface is appropriate now that data from the Mariner and Viking spacecraft have been analyzed and discussed for several years following completion of those missions. Observations and analyses pertinent to the seasonal cycle of water vapor in the atmosphere of Mars are reviewed, with attention toward transport of water and the seasonal exchange of water between the atmosphere and various non-atmospheric reservoirs. Possible seasonally-accessible sources and sinks for water include water ice on or within the seasonal and residual polar caps; surface or subsurface ice in the high-latitude regions of the planet; adsorbed or chemically-bound water within the near-surface regolith; or surface or subsurface liquid water. The stability of water within each of these reservoirs is discussed, as are the mechanisms for driving exchange of the water with the atmosphere and the timescales for exchange. Specific conclusions are reached about the distribution of water and the viability of each mechanism as a seasonal reservoir. Discussion is also included of the behavior of water on longer timescales, driven by the variations in solar forcing due to the quasi-periodic variations of the orbital obliquity. Finally, specific suggestions are made for future observations from spacecraft which would further define or constrain the seasonal cycle of water.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Polarized targets and beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, W.

    1985-01-01

    First the experimental situation of the single-pion photoproduction and the photodisintegration of the deuteron is briefly discussed. Then a description of the Bonn polarization facilities is given. The point of main effort is put on the polarized target which plays a vital role in the program. A facility for photon induced double polarization experiments at ELSA will be presented in section 4. Properties of a tensor polarized deuteron target are discussed in section 5. The development in the field of polarized targets, especially on new target materials, enables a new generation of polarized target experiments with (polarized) electrons. Some comments on the use of a polarized target in combination with electron beams will be discussed in section 6. Electron deuteron scattering from a tensor polarized deuteron target is considered and compared with other experimental possibilities. (orig./HSI)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  1. 'Endurance' Courtesy of Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to capture this false-color image of the interior of 'Endurance Crater' on the rover's 188th martian day (Aug. 4, 2004). The image data were relayed to Earth by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. The image was generated from separate frames using the cameras 750-, 530- and 480-nanometer filters.

  2. Mars oxygen production system design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Charles E.; Pillow, Linda K.; Perkinson, Robert C.; Brownlie, R. P.; Chwalowski, P.; Carmona, M. F.; Coopersmith, J. P.; Goff, J. C.; Harvey, L. L.; Kovacs, L. A.

    1989-01-01

    The design and construction phase is summarized of the Mars oxygen demonstration project. The basic hardware required to produce oxygen from simulated Mars atmosphere was assembled and tested. Some design problems still remain with the sample collection and storage system. In addition, design and development of computer compatible data acquisition and control instrumentation is ongoing.

  3. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  4. Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  5. Tectonic evolution of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wise, D.U.; Golombek, M.P.; McGill, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    Any model for the tectonic evolution of Mars must account for two major crustal elements: the Tharsis bulge and the topographically low and lightly crated northern third of the planet. Ages determined by crater density indicate that both of these elements came into existence very early in Martian history, a conclusion that holds no matter which of the current crater density versus age curves is used. The size of these two major crustal elements and their sequential development suggest that both may be related to a global-scale internal process. It is proposed that the resurfacing of the northern third of Mars is related to subcrustal erosion and isostatic foundering during the life of a first-order convection cell. With the demise of the cell, denser segregations of metallic materials began to coalesce as a gravitatively unstable layer which finally overturned to form the core. In the overturn, lighter crustal materials was shifted laterally and underplated beneath Tharsis to cause rapid and permanent isostatic rise. This was followed by a long-lived thermal phase produced by the hot underplate and by the gravitative energy of core formation slowly making its way to the surface to produce the Tharsis volcanics

  6. Safety during MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    2015-01-01

    It is MARS(1) time again! All employed members of the CERN personnel are currently undergoing the annual MARS evaluations.   This is also a good occasion for supervisors and their supervisees to fill in or update the OHS-0-0-3 form(2) “Identification of occupational hazards”. Filling in the OHS-0-0-3 form is an opportunity to assess any safety issues related to the supervisee's activities.  Each of us should, together with our supervisor, regularly identify and assess the hazards we may be exposed to in the course of our professional activities and reflect on how to control and mitigate them. When filling in the OHS form for the first time, it is important to determine any potential hazards as well as the corresponding preventive measures, in particular training and protective equipment. When updating the form, please review the available information to ensure that it still corresponds to the current activities. The form should be updated w...

  7. Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Large-Scale Traveling Weather Systems in Mars Southern Extratropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Kahre, Melinda A.

    2017-01-01

    Between late fall and early spring, Mars' middle- and high-latitude atmosphere supports strong mean equator-to-pole temperature contrasts and an accompanying mean westerly polar vortex. Observations from both the MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and the MRO Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) indicate that a mean baroclinicity-barotropicity supports intense, large-scale eastward traveling weather systems (i.e., transient synoptic-period waves). Such extratropical weather disturbances are critical components of the global circulation as they serve as agents in the transport of heat and momentum, and generalized scalar/tracer quantities (e.g., atmospheric dust, water-vapor and ice clouds). The character of such traveling extratropical synoptic disturbances in Mars' southern hemisphere during late winter through early spring is investigated using a moderately high-resolution Mars global climate model (Mars GCM). This Mars GCM imposes interactively-lifted and radiatively-active dust based on a threshold value of the surface stress. The model exhibits a reasonable "dust cycle" (i.e., globally averaged, a dustier atmosphere during southern spring and summer occurs). Compared to the northern-hemisphere counterparts, the southern synoptic-period weather disturbances and accompanying frontal waves have smaller meridional and zonal scales, and are far less intense. Influences of the zonally asymmetric (i.e., east-west varying) topography on southern large-scale weather are investigated, in addition to large-scale up-slope/down-slope flows and the diurnal cycle. A southern storm zone in late winter and early spring presents in the western hemisphere via orographic influences from the Tharsis highlands, and the Argyre and Hellas impact basins. Geographically localized transient-wave activity diagnostics are constructed that illuminate dynamical differences amongst the simulations and these are presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-05-01

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

  13. An independent assessment of the technical feasibility of the Mars One mission plan - Updated analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do, Sydney; Owens, Andrew; Ho, Koki; Schreiner, Samuel; de Weck, Olivier

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Scattering with polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schweizer, J.

    2007-01-01

    In the history of neutron scattering, it was shown very soon that the use of polarized neutron beams brings much more information than usual scattering with unpolarized neutrons. We shall develop here the different scattering methods that imply polarized neutrons: 1) polarized beams without polarization analysis, the flipping ratio method; 2) polarized beams with a uniaxial polarization analysis; 3) polarized beams with a spherical polarization analysis. For all these scattering methods, we shall give examples of the physical problems which can been solved by these methods, particularly in the field of magnetism: investigation of complex magnetic structures, investigation of spin or magnetization densities in metals, insulators and molecular compounds, separation of magnetic and nuclear scattering, investigation of magnetic properties of liquids and amorphous materials and even, for non magnetic material, separation between coherent and incoherent scattering. (author)

  15. Polarized Light Corridor Demonstrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, G. R.

    1990-01-01

    Eleven demonstrations of light polarization are presented. Each includes a brief description of the apparatus and the effect demonstrated. Illustrated are strain patterns, reflection, scattering, the Faraday Effect, interference, double refraction, the polarizing microscope, and optical activity. (CW)

  16. Magnetic field of mars from data of simultaneous measurements in the planet's magnetosphere and in the solar wind

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolginov, S.S.; Shkol'nikova, S.I.; Zhuzgov, L.N.

    1985-01-01

    This paper examines the parameters of the magnetic dipole of Mars according to measurements by the Mars-2 probe on February 23-24, 1972. In all components there were observed fields of marked intensity in the components; however, at the second pass of the pericenter no field of marked intensity was observed. The passage through zero and change of polarity of the radial component Y /sub m/ of the field was also revealed in the magnetogram. The results of simultaneous measurements of interplanetary magnetic fields near Mars on its day and night sides and data on the dynamic pressure of the solar wind (IMP-6) are compared. The existence of a Martian magnetic field with a magnetic moment that is an effective obstacle to the solar wind is demonstrated. It is estimated that, with the width of the polar cap of Mars ca 45 degrees, the magnetic tail of the Martian magnetosphere can reach as far as 90R /sub M/