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Sample records for polar lander mars

  1. The Boeing Delta II rocket with Mars Polar Lander aboard lifts off at Pad 17B, CCAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    Amid clouds of exhaust, a Boeing Delta II expendable launch vehicle with NASA's Mars Polar Lander clears Launch Complex 17B, Cape Canaveral Air Station, after launch at 3:21:10 p.m. EST. The lander is a solar-powered spacecraft designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south polar cap, which consists of carbon dioxide ice. The lander will study the polar water cycle, frosts, water vapor, condensates and dust in the Martian atmosphere. It is equipped with a robotic arm to dig beneath the layered terrain at the polar cap. In addition, Deep Space 2 microprobes, developed by NASA's New Millennium Program, are installed on the lander's cruise stage. After crashing into the planet's surface, they will conduct two days of soil and water experiments up to 1 meter (3 feet) below the Martian surface, testing new technologies for future planetary descent probes. The lander is the second spacecraft to be launched in a pair of Mars Surveyor '98 missions. The first is the Mars Climate Orbiter, which was launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Launch Complex 17A on Dec. 11, 1998.

  2. After tower rollback, the Boeing Delta II rocket with Mars Polar Lander aboard is ready for liftoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    After launch tower rollback, the Boeing Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Mars Polar lander awaits liftoff, scheduled for 3:21 p.m. EST, at Launch Complex 17B, Cape Canaveral Air Station. The lander is a solar-powered spacecraft designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere. It is the second spacecraft to be launched in a pair of Mars Surveyor '98 missions.

  3. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

    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...... FMI (the Finnish Meteorological Institute), DLR (the German Space Agency), and other research institutes. According to current plans, the NetLander Mission will be launched in 2005 by means of an Ariane V launch, together with the Mars Sample Return mission. The landers will be separated from...... the spacecraft and targeted to their locations on the Martian surface several days prior to the spacecraft's arrival at Mars. The landing system employs parachutes and airbags. During the baseline mission of one Martian year, the network payloads will conduct simultaneous seismological, atmospheric, magnetic...

  4. 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.

  5. The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Mars Solar Balloon Lander, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Microscopes for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    One part of the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer instrument for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is a pair of telescopes with a special wheel (on the right in this photograph) for presenting samples to be inspected with the microscopes. A horizontally mounted optical microscope (on the left in this photograph) and an atomic force microscope will examine soil particles and possibly ice particles. The shapes and the size distributions of soil particles may tell scientists about environmental conditions the material has experienced. Tumbling rounds the edges. Repeated wetting and freezing causes cracking. Clay minerals formed during long exposure to water have distinctive, platy particles shapes.

  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. Navigation Strategy for the Mars 2001 Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mase, Robert A.; Spencer, David A.; Smith, John C.; Braun, Robert D.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor Program (MSP) is an ongoing series of missions designed to robotically study, map and search for signs of life on the planet Mars. The MSP 2001 project will advance the effort by sending an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the red planet in the 2001 opportunity. Each vehicle will carry a science payload that will Investigate the Martian environment on both a global and on a local scale. Although this mission will not directly search for signs of life, or cache samples to be returned to Earth, it will demonstrate certain enabling technologies that will be utilized by the future Mars Sample Return missions. One technology that is needed for the Sample Return mission is the capability to place a vehicle on the surface within several kilometers of the targeted landing site. The MSP'01 Lander will take the first major step towards this type of precision landing at Mars. Significant reduction of the landed footprint will be achieved through two technology advances. The first, and most dramatic, is hypersonic aeromaneuvering; the second is improved approach navigation. As a result, the guided entry will produce in a footprint that is only tens of kilometers, which is an order of magnitude improvement over the Pathfinder and Mars Polar Lander ballistic entries. This reduction will significantly enhance scientific return by enabling the potential selection of otherwise unreachable landing sites with unique geologic interest and public appeal. A landed footprint reduction from hundreds to tens of kilometers is also a milestone on the path towards human exploration of Mars, where the desire is to place multiple vehicles within several hundred meters of the planned landing site. Hypersonic aeromaneuvering is an extension of the atmospheric flight goals of the previous landed missions, Pathfinder and Mars Polar Lander (MPL), that utilizes aerodynamic lift and an autonomous guidance algorithm while in the upper atmosphere. The onboard guidance algorithm will

  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. Seismic investigations - The Viking Mars Lander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.; Kovach, R. L.; Latham, G.; Press, F.; Nafi Toksoz, M.; Sutton, G.

    1972-01-01

    A lightweight three-component short period seismometer has been developed for preliminary seismic investigations of Mars. Because of weight and data-rate constraints the Viking seismic experiment is far from optimal but it should, at a minimum, provide information about the microseismic level and an upper bound on the seismicity of the planet. If Mars is tectonically active a start can be made on the problem of the internal structure, dynamics, and composition of the planet. A good distribution of modest sized Marsquakes will make it possible to determine if Mars has a core. The size of the core is related to the conditions of planetary formation.

  14. South Polar Region of Mars: Topography and Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, P. M.; Moore, J. M.

    1999-01-01

    The polar layered deposits of Mars represent potentially important volatile reservoirs and tracers for the planet's geologically recent climate history. Unlike the north polar cap, the uppermost surface of the bright residual south polar deposit is probably composed of carbon dioxide ice. It is unknown whether this ice extends through the entire thickness of the deposit. The Mars Polar Lander (MPL), launched in January 1999, is due to arrive in December 1999 to search for water and carbon dioxide on layered deposits near the south pole (SP) of Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. 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

  16. Future Plans for MetNet Lander Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Guerrero, H.; Vázquez, L.

    2012-04-01

    For the next decade several Mars landing missions and the construction of major installations on the Martian surface are planned. To be able to bring separate large landing units safely to the surface in sufficiently close vicinity to one another, the knowledge of the Martian weather patterns, especially dust and wind, is important. The Finnish - Russian - Spanish low-mass meteorological stations are designed to provide the necessary observation data network which can provide the in-situ observations for model verification and weather forecasts. As the requirements for a transfer vehicle are not very extensive, the MetNet Landers (MNLs) [1] could be launched with any mission going to Mars. This could be a piggy-bag solution to a Martian orbiter from ESA, NASA, Russia or China or an add-on to a planned larger Martian Lander like ExoMars. Also a dedicated launch with several units from LEO is under discussion. The data link implementation uses the UHF-band with Proximity-1 protocol as other current and future Mars lander missions which makes any Mars-orbiting satellite a potential candidate for a data relay to Earth. Currently negotiations for possible opportunities with the European and the Chinese space agencies are ongoing aiming at a launch window in the 2015/16 time frame. In case of favorable results the details will be presented at the EGU. During 2011 the Mars MetNet Precursor Mission (MMPM) has completed all flight qualifications for Lander system and payload. At least two units will be ready for launch in the 2013/14 launch window or beyond. With an entry mass of 22.2kg per unit and 4kg payload allocation the MNL(s) can be easily deployed from a wide range of transfer vehicles. The simple structure allows the manufacturing of further units on short notice and to reasonable prices. The autonomous operations concept makes the implementation of complex commanding options unnecessary while offering a flexible adaptation to different operational scenarios. This

  17. 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

  18. Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    In the frame of the international cooperation for Mars exploration, a set of 4 NetLanders developed by an European consortium is expected to land on the planet during the forthcoming years. Among other instruments, the geophysical package of each lander will include a magnetometer. The different...

  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. Surface Lander Missions to Mars: Support via Analysis of the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, James R.; Bridger, Alison F.C.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1997-01-01

    We have characterized the near-surface martian wind environment as calculated with a set of numerical simulations carried out with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (Mars GCM). These wind environments are intended to offer future spacecraft missions to the martian surface a data base from which to choose those locations which meet the mission's criteria for minimal near surface winds to enable a successful landing. We also became involved in the development and testing of the wind sensor which is currently onboard the Mars-bound Pathfinder lander. We began this effort with a comparison of Mars GCM produced winds with those measured by the Viking landers during their descent through the martian atmosphere and their surface wind measurements during the 3+ martian year lifetime of the mission. Unexpected technical difficulties in implementing the sophisticated Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) scheme of Haberle et al. (1993) within the Mars GCM precluded our carrying out this investigation with the desired improvement to the model's treatment of the PBL. Thus, our results from this effort are not as conclusive as we had anticipated. As it turns out, similar difficulties have been experienced by other Mars modelling groups in attempting to implement very similar PBL routines into their GCMs (Mars General Circulation Model Intercomparison Workshop, held at Oxford University, United Kingdom, July 22-24, 1996; organized by J. Murphy, J. Hollingsworth, M. Joshi). These problems, which arise due to the nature of the time stepping in each of the models, are near to being resolved at the present. The model discussions which follow herein are based upon results using the existing, less sophisticated PBL routine. We fully anticipate implementing the tools we have developed in the present effort to investigate GCM results with the new PBL scheme implemented, and thereafter producing the technical document detailing results from the analysis tools developed during this

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. Mars Surveyor '98 Landers MVACS Robotic Arm Control System Design Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert G.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes the control system design concepts for the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Robotic Arm which supports the scientific investigations to be conducted as part of the Mars Surveyor '98 Lander project. Solutions are presented to some of the problems encountered in this demanding space application with its tight constraints on mass, power, volume, and computing resources. Problems addressed include 4-DOF forward and inverse kinematics, trajectory planning to minimize potential impact damage, joint drive train protection, Lander tilt prevention, hardware fault monitoring, and collision avoidance.

  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. Low Cost Mars Sample Return Utilizing Dragon Lander

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — 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...

  8. 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".

  9. 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

  10. Thermal Analysis of a Small-RPS Concept for the Mars NetLander Network Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Emis, Nickolas

    2005-02-01

    The NetLander Network mission concept was designed with up to 10 small landers to perform environmental monitoring on the surface of Mars over a long duty cycle. Each lander would utilize a small Radioisotope Power System (RPS) to generate about 20 to 25 We of electric power. Each small-RPS would use a single General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) module to generate about 250 Wt of thermal power (BOL), which must be dissipated throughout all phases of the mission. This paper describes a custom concept for a small-RPS, specifically suited for the NetLander, and discusses an analysis of the thermal environment for five phases of the mission. On Earth and on Mars the small-RPS would operate in planetary atmospheres and the waste heat would be removed through a passive radiator. During the cruise phase, including the launch, a fluid loop would provide active cooling to the radiator of the small-RPS and would reject the excess heat through an external radiator. For the entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase the lander would accumulate the excess heat, while building up thermal inertia inside. This analysis provides an initial step towards developing an end-to-end systems approach to better understand the operation of a small-RPS, and to account for the relevant operating phases and environments encountered during a mission.

  11. Inorganic chemical investigation by X-ray fluorescence analysis - The Viking Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

    The inorganic chemical investigation experiment added in August 1972 to the Viking Lander scientific package uses an energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in which four sealed, gas-filled proportional counters detect X-rays emitted from samples of the Martian surface materials irradiated by X-rays from radioisotope sources (Fe-55 and Cd-109). The instrument is inside the Lander body, and samples are to be delivered to it by the Viking Lander Surface Sampler. Instrument design is described along with details of the data processing and analysis procedures. The results of the investigation will characterize the surface materials of Mars as to elemental composition with accuracies ranging from a few tens of parts per million (at the trace-element level) to a few per cent (for major elements) depending on the element in question.

  12. Progress of the Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology Experiment (DART) for the Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Phillip; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Wilt, David; Krasowski, Michael; Greer, Lawrence; Baraona, Cosmo; Scheiman, David

    2005-01-01

    Dust deposition could be a significant problem for photovoltaic array operation for long duration missions on the surface of Mars. Measurements made by Pathfinder showed 0.3 percent loss of solar array performance per day due to dust obscuration. We have designed an experiment package, "DART", which is part of the Mars ISPP Precursor (MIP) package, to fly on the Mars-2001 Surveyor Lander. This mission, to launch in April 2001, will arrive on Mars in January 2002. The DART experiment is designed to quantify dust deposition from the Mars atmosphere, measure the properties of settled dust, measure the effect of dust deposition on array performance, and test several methods of clearing dust from solar cells.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Progress of the Mars Array Technology Experiment (MATE) on the 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiman, David A.; Baraona, Cosmo; Wilt, Dave; Jenkins, Phil; Krasowski, Michael; Greer, Lawrence; Lekki, John; Spina, Daniel; Landis, Geoff

    2005-01-01

    NASA is planning missions to Mars every two years until 2010, these missions will rely on solar power. Sunlight on the surface of Mars is altered by airborne dust and fluctuates from day to day. The MATE flight experiment was designed to evaluate solar cell performance and will fly on the Mars 2001 surveyor Lander as part of the Mars In-Situ Propellant Production Precursor (MIP) package. MATE will measure several solar cell technologies and characterize the Martian environment's solar power. This will be done by measuring full IV curvers on solar cells, direct and global insolation, temperature, and spectral content. The lander is scheduled to launch in April 2001 and arrive on Mars in January of 2002. The site location has not been identified but will be near the equator, is a powered landing, and is baselined for 90 sols. The intent of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the MATE experiment and progress to date. The MATE Development Unit (DU) hardware has been built and has completed testing, work is beginning in the Qualification Unit which will start testing later this year, Flight Hardware is to be delivered next spring.

  17. Progress of the Mars Array Technology Experiment (MATE) on the '01 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiman, D. A.; Baraona, C. R.; Jenkins, P.; Wilt, D.; Krasowski, M.; Greer, L.; Lekki, J.; Spina, D.

    1999-01-01

    Future missions to Mars will rely heavily on solar power from the sun, various solar cell types and structures must be evaluated to find the optimum. Sunlight on the surface of Mars is altered by air-borne dust that fluctuates in density from day to day. The dust affects both the intensity and spectral content of the sunlight. The MATE flight experiment was designed for this purpose and will fly on the Mars 2001 Surveyor Lander as part of the Mars In-Situ Propellant Production Precursor (MIP) package. MATE will measure the performance of several solar cell technologies and characterize the Martian environment in terms of solar power. This will be done by measuring full IV curves on solar cells, direct and global insolation, temperature, and spectral content. The Lander is is scheduled to launch in April 2001 and arrive on Mars in January of 2002. The site location has not been identified but will be near the equator and last from 100 to 300 days. The intent of this of this paper is to describe and update the progress on MATE. MATE has four main objectives for its mission to Mars. First is to measure the performance of solar cells daily on the surface of Mars, this will determine the day to day fluctuations in sunlight and temperature and provide a nominal power output. Second, in addition to measuring solar cell performance, it will allow for an intercomparison of different solar cell technologies. Third, It will study the long term effects of dust on the solar cells. Fourth and last, it will characterize the mars environment as viewed by the solar cell, measuring spectrum, insolation, and temperature. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  18. NetLander: The Seismic Exploration of the Interior of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.; Lognonné, P.; Giardini, D.

    2001-05-01

    Despite 30 years of intensive observations of Mars, the structure of its interior is still largely unknown. Gravity field modeling, measurements of rotational parameters, and geochemical analyses of Mars meteorites have served to bound possible models, but have produced few unambiguous results. In order to make a significant leap in our understanding of the interior of Mars, a seismic investigation is required. This has been one of the motivations for the development of the NetLander mission to Mars to be launched in 2007. This mission consists of a set of four small, low-mass landers, each of which will carry, among other instruments, an ultra-broad-band seismometer system which will operate on the surface for at least one Martian year. Despite severe constraints on mass, volume and power, the seismometers will have a sensitivity comparable to the best terrestrial seismometers (4-5 orders of magnitude better than the Viking instrument) over a wide frequency band, from DC to 50 Hz. The lander itself is designed to allow direct coupling of the seismometer to the ground, while providing protection from the wind and temperature extremes. This global seismic network will record the full range of seismic and gravity signals, from the body waves, surface waves and free oscillations generated by quakes induced by tectonics (driven by the thermoelastic contraction of the lithosphere and convective stresses), to meteoroid impacts and possible volcanic tremors, to the continuous excitation of planetary normal modes (by turbulence in the atmosphere) and tidal perturbations induced by Phobos. The comprehensive analysis of these seismic signals will enable us to determine the seismicity of the planet and the present-day meteoroid flux, and to constrain the thickness of the Martian crust, the composition and structure of Mars' mantle, including its phase transitions, as well as the state and size of the Martian core.

  19. System Analysis Applied to Autonomy: Application to Human-Rated Lunar/Mars Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Larry A.

    2006-01-01

    System analysis is an essential technical discipline for the modern design of spacecraft and their associated missions. Specifically, system analysis is a powerful aid in identifying and prioritizing the required technologies needed for mission and/or vehicle development efforts. Maturation of intelligent systems technologies, and their incorporation into spacecraft systems, are dictating the development of new analysis tools, and incorporation of such tools into existing system analysis methodologies, in order to fully capture the trade-offs of autonomy on vehicle and mission success. A "system analysis of autonomy" methodology will be outlined and applied to a set of notional human-rated lunar/Mars lander missions toward answering these questions: 1. what is the optimum level of vehicle autonomy and intelligence required? and 2. what are the specific attributes of an autonomous system implementation essential for a given surface lander mission/application in order to maximize mission success? Future human-rated lunar/Mars landers, though nominally under the control of their crew, will, nonetheless, be highly automated systems. These automated systems will range from mission/flight control functions, to vehicle health monitoring and prognostication, to life-support and other "housekeeping" functions. The optimum degree of autonomy afforded to these spacecraft systems/functions has profound implications from an exploration system architecture standpoint.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. MPF LANDER MARS IMAGER FOR MARS PATHFINDER 2 EDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Mars Pathfinder bounced down and rolled to a stop on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997. It landed in an ancient floodplain in the Ares Vallis region of Chryse...

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Control Surface and Afterbody Experimental Aeroheating for a Proposed Mars Smart Lander Aeroshell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liechty, Derek S.; Hollis, Brian R.; Edquist, Karl T.

    2002-01-01

    Several configurations, having a Viking aeroshell heritage and providing lift-to-drag required for precision landing, have been considered for a proposed Mars Smart Lander. An experimental aeroheating investigation of two configurations, one having a blended tab and the other a blended shelf control surface, has been conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 20-Inch Mach 6 Air Tunnel to assess heating levels on these control surfaces and their effects on afterbody heating. The proposed Mars Smart Lander concept is to be attached through its aeroshell to the main spacecraft bus, thereby producing cavities in the forebody heat shield upon separation prior to entry into the Martian atmosphere. The effects these cavities will have on the heating levels experienced by the control surface and the afterbody were also examined. The effects of Reynolds number, angle-of-attack, and cavity location on aeroheating levels and distributions were determined and are presented. At the highest angle-of-attack, blended tab heating was increased due to transitional reattachment of the separated shear layer. The placement of cavities downstream of the control surface greatly influenced aeroheating levels and distributions. Forebody heat shield cavities had no effect on afterbody heating and the presence of control surfaces decreased leeward afterbody heating slightly.

  7. What causes Mars' annular polar vortices?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.; Guzewich, S. D.

    2017-01-01

    A distinctive feature of the Martian atmosphere is that the winter polar vortices exhibit annuli of high potential vorticity (PV) with a local minimum near the pole. These annuli are seen in observations, reanalyses, and free-running general circulation model simulations of Mars, but are not generally a feature of Earth's polar vortices, where there is a monotonic increase in magnitude of PV with latitude. The creation and maintenance of the annular polar vortices on Mars are not well understood. Here we use simulations with a Martian general circulation model to the show that annular vortices are related to another distinctive, and possibly unique in the solar system, feature of the Martian atmosphere: the condensation of the predominant atmospheric gas species (CO2) in polar winter regions. The latent heat associated with CO2 condensation leads to destruction of PV in the polar lower atmosphere, inducing the formation of an annular PV structure.

  8. Inorganic chemical investigation by x-ray fluorescence analysis: The Viking Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toulmin, P.; Baird, A.K.; Clark, B. C.; Keil, Klaus; Rose, H.J.

    1973-01-01

    The inorganic chemical investigation added in August 1972 to the Viking Lander scientific package will utilize an energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in which four sealed, gas-filled proportional counters will detect X-rays emitted from samples of the Martian surface materials irradiated by X-rays from radioisotope sources (55Fe and 109Cd). The output of the proportional counters will be subjected to pulse-height analysis by an on-board step-scanning single-channel analyzer with adjustable counting periods. The data will be returned to Earth, via the Viking Orbiter relay system, and the spectra constructed, calibrated, and interpreted here. The instrument is inside the Lander body, and samples are to be delivered to it by the Viking Lander Surface Sampler. Calibration standards are an integral part of the instrument. The results of the investigation will characterize the surface materials of Mars as to elemental composition with accuracies ranging from a few tens of parts per million (at the trace-element level) to a few percent (for major elements) depending on the element in question. Elements of atomic number 11 or less are determined only as a group, though useful estimates of their individual abundances maybe achieved by indirect means. The expected radiation environment will not seriously hamper the measurements. Based on the results, inferences can be drawn regarding (1) the surface mineralogy and lithology; (2) the nature of weathering processes, past and present, and the question of equilibrium between the atmosphere and the surface; and (3) the extent and type of differentiation that the planet has undergone. The Inorganic Chemical Investigation supports and is supported by most other Viking Science investigations. ?? 1973.

  9. Microrover Nanokhod enhancing the scientific output of the ExoMars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinkner, Sabine; Bernhardt, Bodo; Henkel, Hartmut; Rodionov, Daniel; Klingelhoefer, Goestar

    The Nanokhod rover is a small and mobile exploration platform carrying out in-situ exploration by transporting and operating scientific instruments to interesting samples beyond the landing point. The microrover has a volume of 160x65x250mm (3) it weighs 3.2kg including a payload mass of 1kg and it has a peak power of 5W. The scientific model payload of the rover is a Geochemistry Instrument Package Facility (GIPF), which analyses the chemical and mineralogical composition of planetary surfaces. It consists of: An Alpha-Particle-Xray-spectrometer, a Mößbauer spectrometer and a miniature imaging system. The amount of science which can be performed within the operating range of the lander is limited since there are only few reachable, scientific interesting objects. By travelling to new sites with the aid of a microrover, the additional reach enhances the mission output and provides a significant increase in scientific return. The implementation of the Nanokhod rover on the ExoMars Lander increases its operating range by a radius of several meters, requiring only a minor mass impact of few kilograms. The Nanokhod rover is a tethered vehicle based on a Russian concept. It stays connected to the Lander via thin cables throughout the mission. This connection is used for power supply to the rover as well as the transmission of commands and scientific data. This solution minimises the communication unit and eliminates the power subsystems on the rover side, saving valuable mass and thus improving the payload to system mass ratio. By removing the power storage subsystem on the rover side, the mobile system provides a high thermal robustness and allows the system to easily survive Martian nights. The locomotion of the rover is provided by tracks. This is the optimised locomotion method on a soft and sandy surface for such a small, low-mass system, allowing even to negotiate steep slopes. The tracks enable a large contact surface of the vehicle, thus reducing its contact

  10. 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

  11. Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    possible contributions of magnetic measurements onboard the NetLander stations are presented. Intrinsic planetary field and remanent magnetisation investigations by means of magnetometers onboard a network of landers are first considered, and the information that can be thus derived on the Martian core...

  12. Near-term lander experiments for growing plants on Mars: requirements for information on chemical and physical properties of Mars regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Newsom, Horton E.; Ferl, Robert J.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2002-01-01

    In order to support humans for long-duration missions to Mars, bioregenerative Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems have been proposed that would use higher plants as the primary candidates for photosynthesis. Hydroponic technologies have been suggested as the primary method of plant production in ALS systems, but the use of Mars regolith as a plant growth medium may have several advantages over hydroponic systems. The advantages for using Mars regolith include the likely bioavailability of plant-essential ions, mechanical support for plants, and easy access of the material once on the surface. We propose that plant biology experiments must be included in near-term Mars lander missions in order to begin defining the optimum approach for growing plants on Mars. Second, we discuss a range of soil chemistry and soil physics tests that must be conducted prior to, or in concert with, a plant biology experiment in order to properly interpret the results of plant growth studies in Mars regolith. The recommended chemical tests include measurements on soil pH, electrical conductivity and soluble salts, redox potential, bioavailability of essential plant nutrients, and bioavailability of phytotoxic elements. In addition, a future plant growth experiment should include procedures for determining the buffering and leaching requirements of Mars regolith prior to planting. Soil physical tests useful for plant biology studies in Mars regolith include bulk density, particle size distribution, porosity, water retention, and hydraulic conductivity.

  13. Robotic Arm and Rover Actuator Systems for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, L.; Brawn, D.; Noon, D.

    1999-01-01

    Missions such as the Sojourner Rover, the Robotic Arm for Mars Polar Lander, and the 2003 Mars Rover, Athena, use numerous actuators that must operate reliably in extreme environments for long periods of time.

  14. 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.

  15. Mars at Ls 53o: North Polar Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    30 May 2006 This picture is a composite of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images acquired at Ls 53o during a previous Mars year. This month, Mars looks similar, as Ls 53o occurred in mid-May 2006. The picture shows the north polar region of Mars. Over the course of the month, additional faces of Mars as it appears at this time of year are being posted for MOC Picture of the Day. Ls, solar longitude, is a measure of the time of year on Mars. Mars travels 360o around the Sun in 1 Mars year. The year begins at Ls 0o, the start of northern spring and southern autumn. Season: Northern Winter/Southern Summer

  16. Seasonal erosion and restoration of Mars' northern polar dunes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, C J; Bourke, M; Bridges, N T; Byrne, S; Colon, C; Diniega, S; Dundas, C; Herkenhoff, K; McEwen, A; Mellon, M; Portyankina, G; Thomas, N

    2011-02-04

    Despite radically different environmental conditions, terrestrial and martian dunes bear a strong resemblance, indicating that the basic processes of saltation and grainfall (sand avalanching down the dune slipface) operate on both worlds. Here, we show that martian dunes are subject to an additional modification process not found on Earth: springtime sublimation of Mars' CO(2) seasonal polar caps. Numerous dunes in Mars' north polar region have experienced morphological changes within a Mars year, detected in images acquired by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Dunes show new alcoves, gullies, and dune apron extension. This is followed by remobilization of the fresh deposits by the wind, forming ripples and erasing gullies. The widespread nature of these rapid changes, and the pristine appearance of most dunes in the area, implicates active sand transport in the vast polar erg in Mars' current climate.

  17. MPF LANDER MARS IMP STEREO-DERIVED 3D POSITIONS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This volume contains data from the Imager for Mars Pathfinder 3D Position data set.The data set consists of tables of three-dimensional spatial coordinates of each...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

  20. Seismic Coupling of Short-Period Wind Noise Through Mars' Regolith for NASA's InSight Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teanby, N. A.; Stevanović, J.; Wookey, J.; Murdoch, N.; Hurley, J.; Myhill, R.; Bowles, N. E.; Calcutt, S. B.; Pike, W. T.

    2017-10-01

    NASA's InSight lander will deploy a tripod-mounted seismometer package onto the surface of Mars in late 2018. Mars is expected to have lower seismic activity than the Earth, so minimisation of environmental seismic noise will be critical for maximising observations of seismicity and scientific return from the mission. Therefore, the seismometers will be protected by a Wind and Thermal Shield (WTS), also mounted on a tripod. Nevertheless, wind impinging on the WTS will cause vibration noise, which will be transmitted to the seismometers through the regolith (soil). Here we use a 1:1-scale model of the seismometer and WTS, combined with field testing at two analogue sites in Iceland, to determine the transfer coefficient between the two tripods and quantify the proportion of WTS vibration noise transmitted through the regolith to the seismometers. The analogue sites had median grain sizes in the range 0.3-1.0 mm, surface densities of 1.3-1.8 g cm^{-3}, and an effective regolith Young's modulus of 2.5^{+1.9}_{-1.4} MPa. At a seismic frequency of 5 Hz the measured transfer coefficients had values of 0.02-0.04 for the vertical component and 0.01-0.02 for the horizontal component. These values are 3-6 times lower than predicted by elastic theory and imply that at short periods the regolith displays significant anelastic behaviour. This will result in reduced short-period wind noise and increased signal-to-noise. We predict the noise induced by turbulent aerodynamic lift on the WTS at 5 Hz to be ˜2×10^{-10} ms^{-2} Hz^{-1/2} with a factor of 10 uncertainty. This is at least an order of magnitude lower than the InSight short-period seismometer noise floor of 10^{-8} ms^{-2} Hz^{-1/2}.

  1. A Computational Intelligence (CI) Approach to the Precision Mars Lander Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birge, Brian; Walberg, Gerald

    2002-01-01

    A Mars precision landing requires a landed footprint of no more than 100 meters. Obstacles to reducing the landed footprint include trajectory dispersions due to initial atmospheric entry conditions such as entry angle, parachute deployment height, environment parameters such as wind, atmospheric density, parachute deployment dynamics, unavoidable injection error or propagated error from launch, etc. Computational Intelligence (CI) techniques such as Artificial Neural Nets and Particle Swarm Optimization have been shown to have great success with other control problems. The research period extended previous work on investigating applicability of the computational intelligent approaches. The focus of this investigation was on Particle Swarm Optimization and basic Neural Net architectures. The research investigating these issues was performed for the grant cycle from 5/15/01 to 5/15/02. Matlab 5.1 and 6.0 along with NASA's POST were the primary computational tools.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The State and Future of Mars Polar Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, Stephen M.; Crisp, David; Fisher, David A.; Herkenhoff, Ken E.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.; Thomas, Peter C.; Wynn-Williams, David D.; Zurek, Richard W.; Barnes, Jeffrey R.; Bills, Bruce G.

    2000-01-01

    As the planet's principal cold traps, the martian polar regions have accumulated extensive mantles of ice and dust that cover individual areas of approx. 10(exp 6)sq km and total as much as 3-4 km thick. From the scarcity of superposed craters on their surface, these layered deposits are thought to he comparatively young-preserving a record of the seasonal and climatic cycling of atmospheric CO2, H2O, and dust over the past approx. 10(exp 5)-10(exp 8) years. For this reason, the martian polar deposits may serve as a Rosetta Stone for understanding the geologic and climatic history of the planet-documenting variations in insolation (due to quasiperiodic oscillations in the planet's obliquity and orbital elements), volatile mass balance, atmospheric composition, dust storm activity, volcanic eruptions, large impacts, catastrophic floods, solar luminosity, supernovae, and perhaps even a record of microbial life. Beyond their scientific value, the polar regions may soon prove important for another reason-providing a valuable and accessible reservoir of water to support the long-term human exploration of Mars. In this paper we assess the current state of Mars polar research, identify the key questions that motivate the exploration of the polar regions, discuss the extent to which current missions will address these questions, and speculate about what additional capabilities and investigations may be required to address the issues that remain outstanding.

  5. The State and Future of Mars Polar Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, S.M.; Crisp, D.; Fisher, D.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Smrekar, S.E.; Thomas, P.C.; Wynn-Williams, D. D.; Zurek, R.W.; Barnes, J.R.; Bills, B.G.; Blake, E.W.; Calvin, W.M.; Cameron, J.M.; Carr, M.H.; Christensen, P.R.; Clark, B. C.; Clow, G.D.; Cutts, J.A.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Durham, W.B.; Fanale, F.P.; Farmer, J.D.; Forget, F.; Gotto-Azuma, K.; Grard, R.; Haberle, R.M.; Harrison, W.; Harvey, R.; Howard, A.D.; Ingersoll, A.P.; James, P.B.; Kargel, J.S.; Kieffer, H.H.; Larsen, J.; Lepper, K.; Malin, M.C.; McCleese, D.J.; Murray, B.; Nye, J.F.; Paige, D.A.; Platt, S.R.; Plaut, J.J.; Reeh, N.; Rice, J.W.; Smith, D.E.; Stoker, C.R.; Tanaka, K.L.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Thorsteinsson, T.; Wood, S.E.; Zent, A.; Zuber, M.T.; Zwally, H.J.

    2000-01-01

    As the planet's principal cold traps, the martian polar regions have accumulated extensive mantles of ice and dust that cover individual areas of ???106 km2 and total as much as 3-4 km thick. From the scarcity of superposed craters on their surface, these layered deposits are thought to be comparatively young - preserving a record of the seasonal and climatic cycling of atmospheric CO2, H2O, and dust over the past ???105-108 years. For this reason, the martian polar deposits may serve as a Rosetta Stone for understanding the geologic and climatic history of the planet - documenting variations in insolation (due to quasiperiodic oscillations in the planet's obliquity and orbital elements), volatile mass balance, atmospheric composition, dust storm activity, volcanic eruptions, large impacts, catastrophic floods, solar luminosity, supernovae, and perhaps even a record of microbial life. Beyond their scientific value, the polar regions may soon prove important for another reason - providing a valuable and accessible reservoir of water to support the long-term human exploration of Mars. In this paper we assess the current state of Mars polar research, identify the key questions that motivate the exploration of the polar regions, discuss the extent to which current missions will address these questions, and speculate about what additional capabilities and investigations may be required to address the issues that remain outstanding. ?? 2000 Academic Press.

  6. Workshop on the Polar Regions of Mars: Geology, Glaciology, and Climate History, part 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, S. M. (Editor); Howard, A. D. (Editor); Paterson, W. S. B. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    Papers and abstract of papers presented at the workshop are presented. Some representative titles are as follows: Glaciation in Elysium; Orbital, rotational, and climatic interactions; Water on Mars; Rheology of water-silicate mixtures at low temperatures; Evolution of the Martian atmosphere (the role of polar caps); Is CO2 ice permanent; Dust transport into Martian polar latitudes; Mars observer radio science (MORS) observations in polar regions; and Wind transport near the poles of Mars (timescales of changes in deposition and erosion).

  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 Water Ice and Carbon Dioxide Seasonal Polar Caps: GCM Modeling and Comparison with Mars Express Omega Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F.; Levrard, B.; Montmessin, F.; Schmitt, B.; Doute, S.; Langevin, Y.; Bibring, J. P.

    2005-01-01

    To better understand the behavior of the Mars CO2 ice seasonal polar caps, and in particular interpret the the Mars Express Omega observations of the recession of the northern seasonal cap, we present some simulations of the Martian Climate/CO2 cycle/ water cycle as modeled by the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique (LMD) global climate model.

  9. An ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Isaac B.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Holt, John W.; Phillips, Roger J.

    2016-05-01

    Layered ice deposits at the poles of Mars record a detailed history of accumulation and erosion related to climate processes. Radar investigations measure these layers and provide evidence for climate changes such as ice advance and retreat. We present a detailed analysis of observational data showing that ~87,000 cubic kilometers of ice have accumulated at the poles since the end of the last ice age ~370,000 years ago; this volume is equivalent to a global layer of ~60 centimeters. The majority of the material accumulated at the north pole. These results provide both a means to understand the accumulation history of the polar deposits as related to orbital Milankovitch cycles and constraints for better determination of Mars’ past and future climates.

  10. Developing a Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure for Evaluating Landing Sites and Performing Surface Operations for the Mars 2020 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fergason, R. L.; Laura, J.; Hare, T. M.; Otero, R.; Edgar, L. A.

    2017-12-01

    A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is a robust framework for data and data products, metadata, data access mechanisms, standards, policy, and a user community that helps to define and standardize the data necessary to meet some specified goal. The primary objective of an SDI is to improve communication, to enhance data access, and to aid in identifying gaps in knowledge. We are developing an SDI that describes the foundational data sets and accuracy requirements to evaluate landing site safety, facilitate the successful operation of Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN), and assist in the operation of the rover once it has successfully landed on Mars. Thru current development efforts, an implicit SDI exists for the Mars 2020 mission. An explicit SDI will allow us to identify any potential gaps in knowledge, facilitate communication between the different institutions involved in landing site evaluation and TRN development, and help ensure a smooth transition from landing to surface operations. This SDI is currently relevant to the Mars 2020 rover mission, but can also serve as a means to document current requirements for foundational data products and standards for future landed missions to Mars and other planetary bodies. To generate a Mars 2020-specific SDI, we must first document and rationalize data set and accuracy requirements for evaluating landing sites, performing surface operations, and inventorying Mars 2020 mission needs in terms of an SDI framework. This step will allow us to 1) evaluate and define what is needed for the acquisition of data and the generation and validation of data products, 2) articulate the accuracy and co-registration requirements, and 3) identify needs for data access (and eventual archiving). This SDI document will serve as a means to communicate the existing foundational products, standards that were followed in producing these products, and where and how these products can be accessed by the planetary community. This SDI will also

  11. Introduction to the fifth Mars Polar Science special issue: key questions, needed observations, and recommended investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, Stephen M.; Yoshikawa, Kenji; Byrne, Shane; Durham, William; Fisher, David; Forget, Francois; Hecht, Michael; Smith, Peter; Tamppari, Leslie; Titus, Timothy; Zurek, Richard

    2013-01-01

    The Fifth International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration – which was held from September 12–16, 2011, at the Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska – is the latest in a continuing series of meetings that are intended to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas between planetary and terrestrial scientists interested in Mars polar and climate research (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/polar2011/polar20113rd.html). The conference was sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA’s Mars Program Office, University of Alaska Fairbanks, International Association of Cryospheric Sciences and the Centre for Research in Earth and Space Sciences at York University.

  12. Long range transport of fine grained sediments on Mars: Atmospheric dust loading, as inferred from Viking Lander imaging data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, J. B.; Colburn, D. S.

    1984-01-01

    During the first Viking year, two global dust storms occurred and they contributed about 90% of the dust suspended in the Martian atmosphere on a global average, over the course of this year. The remainder was due to the cumulative effect of local dust storms. When globally distributed, the amount of suspended dust introduced into the atmosphere this Martian year was about 5x10(-3) g/sq cm. This mass loading was derived from the incremental optical depths measured over this year and estimates of the mean size of the dust particles (2.5 microns). During the second Martian year, global dust storms were far more muted than during the first year. No near perihelion dust storm occurred, and a somewhat weaker dust storm may have occurred near the start of the spring season in the Southern Hemisphere, at about the same time that the first global dust storm of the first year occurred. Thus, the dust loading derived for the first Martian year may be somewhat higher than the average over many Martian years, a conclusion that appears to be supported by preliminary studies of Martian years beyond the second Viking year on Mars.

  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. Geology and insolation-driven climatic history of Amazonian north polar materials on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L

    2005-10-13

    Mariner 9 and Viking spacecraft images revealed that the polar regions of Mars, like those of Earth, record the planet's climate history. However, fundamental uncertainties regarding the materials, features, ages and processes constituting the geologic record remained. Recently acquired Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data and Mars Orbiter Camera high-resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and moderately high-resolution Thermal Emission Imaging System visible images from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft permit more comprehensive geologic and climatic analyses. Here I map and show the history of geologic materials and features in the north polar region that span the Amazonian period (approximately 3.0 Gyr ago to present). Erosion and redeposition of putative circumpolar mud volcano deposits (formed by eruption of liquefied, fine-grained material) led to the formation of an Early Amazonian polar plateau consisting of dark layered materials. Crater ejecta superposed on pedestals indicate that a thin mantle was present during most of the Amazonian, suggesting generally higher obliquity and insolation conditions at the poles than at present. Brighter polar layered deposits rest unconformably on the dark layers and formed mainly during lower obliquity over the past 4-5 Myr (ref. 20). Finally, the uppermost layers post-date the latest downtrend in obliquity <20,000 years ago.

  15. Geology and insolation-driven climatic history of Amazonian north polar materials on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K.L.

    2005-01-01

    Mariner 9 and Viking spacecraft images revealed that the polar regions of Mars, like those of Earth, record the planet's climate history. However, fundamental uncertainties regarding the materials, features, ages and processes constituting the geologic record remained. Recently acquired Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data and Mars Orbiter Camera high-resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and moderately high-resolution Thermal Emission Imaging System visible images from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft permit more comprehensive geologic and climatic analyses. Here I map and show the history of geologic materials and features in the north polar region that span the Amazonian period (???3.0 Gyr ago to present). Erosion and redeposition of putative circumpolar mud volcano deposits (formed by eruption of liquefied, fine-grained material) led to the formation of an Early Amazonian polar plateau consisting of dark layered materials. Crater ejecta superposed on pedestals indicate that a thin mantle was present during most of the Amazonian, suggesting generally higher obliquity and insolation conditions at the poles than at present. Brighter polar layered deposits rest unconformably on the dark layers and formed mainly during lower obliquity over the past 4-5 Myr (ref. 20). Finally, the uppermost layers post-date the latest downtrend in obliquity <20,000 years ago. ?? 2005 Nature Publishing Group.

  16. Airbursts as a viable source of seismic and acoustic energy for the 2016 InSight geophysical lander mission to Mars: analysis using terrestrial analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jennifer; Wookey, James; Teanby, Nick

    2014-05-01

    The explosion of a bolide as a terminal airburst, before impact into a planetary surface, is a well-documented source of both seismic and acoustic energy[1]. Here we aim to define some diagnostic properties of a recorded airburst time-series and determine detectability criteria for such events for a single station seismo-acoustic station on the Martian surface. In 2016 NASA will launch the InSight geophysical monitoring system. This lander will carry in its SEIS payload two 3-component seismic instruments - the Short Period (SP) and Very Broadband (VBB) seismometers, as well as a micro-barometer for measurement of atmospheric pressure fluctuations. The SEIS and MB packages aboard InSight could potentially be used together for seismo-acoustic detection of impact or airburst events. In past studies, this technique has been used to analyse and model the Washington State Bolide[2] and, more recently, the Chelyabinsk fireball in 2013[3]. Using a multi-station array, it is possible to estimate total kinetic energy of a bolide, its line-of-sight direction and the approximate time of its terminal burst[4]. However, with only a single station, as would be the case on Mars, more creative methods must be employed to extract information from the event. We explore the diagnostic waveform properties of an airburst, including various arrivals from the event. We also show how dominant frequency changes with distance from the event, altitude and yield. Several terrestrial events are analysed, including the 2013 Chelyabinsk fireball. We present theoretical calculations of the likely proportion of bolide terminal bursts on Mars relative to impacts, based on differences in the structure and composition of the Martian atmosphere. We go on to predict the seismic arrivals that may be observed by InSight from the coupling of the acoustic blast into the Martian crust. It is hoped that these diagnostic tools will be useful to identify and quantify bolide terminal bursts on Mars over the

  17. 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

  18. Possible recent and ancient glacial ice flow in the south polar region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, J. S.

    Martian polar science began almost as soon as small telescopes were trained on the planet. The seasonal expansion and contraction of the polar caps and their high albedoes led most astronomers to think that water ice is the dominant constituent. In 1911 Lowell perceived a bluish band around the retreating edge of the polar caps, and interpreted it as water from melting polar ice and seasonal snow. An alternative idea in his time was that the polar caps consist of frozen carbonic acid. Lowell rejected the carbonic acid hypothesis on account of his blue band. He also pointed out that carbonic acid would sublimate rather than melt at confining pressures near and below one bar, hence, carbonic acid could not account for the blue band. In comparing Lowell's theories with today's knowledge, it is recognized that (1) sublimation is mainly responsible for the growth and contraction of Mars' polar caps, (2) carbon dioxide is a major component of the southern polar cap, and (3) Lowell's blue band was probably seasonal dust and/or clouds. Geomorphic evidence that glacial ice and glacial melt waters once flowed over broad areas of the southern polar region. Two aspects of the south polar region suggest possible glacial processes during two distinct eras in Mars' history.

  19. South polar permanent CO2 ice cap presentation in the Global Mars Multiscale Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazel-Rastgar, Farahnaz

    2018-02-01

    The atmospheric influence caused by the Martian permanent south CO2 ice cap is examined to improve the Global Mars Multiscale Model (GM3) to see if it can significantly improve the representation of south polar meteorology. However, the seasonal carbon dioxide ice in the polar regions is presented in the surface ice simulation by the Global Mars Multiscale Model but the model does not produce a permanent south CO2 ice cap, and the physics code must modify to capture the realistic physical such as ice process detail; probably makes a bias in terms of total CO2 ice and meteorological processes in the model aside from ice formation. The permanent south CO2 ice cap in the model can significantly improve the representation of south polar meteorology for example in predicted surface temperatures, surface pressures, horizontal and zonal winds over the south cap and possible initiation of dust storms at south polar region during the southern summer period.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. The polar layered deposits on Mars: Inference from thermal inertia modeling and geologic studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herkenhoff, K. E.

    1992-01-01

    It is widely believed that the Martian polar layered deposits record climate variations over at least the last 10 to 100 m.y., but the details of the processes involved and their relative roles in layer formation and evolution remain obscure. Weathering of the Martian layered deposits by sublimation of water ice can account for the thermal inertias, water vapor abundances, and geologic relationships observed in the Martian polar regions. The nonvolatile components of the layered deposits appears to consist mainly of bright red dust, with small amounts of dark dust. Dark dust, perhaps similar to the magnetic material found at the Viking Lander sites, may preferentially form filamentary residue particles upon weathering of the deposits. Once eroded, these particles may saltate to form the dark dunes found in both polar regions. This scenario for the origin and evolution of the dark material within the polar layered deposits is consistent with the available imaging and thermal data. Further experimental measurements of the thermophysical properties of magnetite and maghemite under Martian conditions are needed to better test this hypothesis.

  3. Preliminary design of a universal Martian lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Timothy L.; Gaskin, David E.; Adkins, Sean; Gunawan, Mary; Johnson, Raquel; Macdonnell, David; Parlock, Andrew; Sarick, John; Bodwell, Charles; Hashimoto, Kouichi

    In the next 25 years, mankind will be undertaking yet another giant leap forward in the exploration of the solar system: a manned mission to Mars. This journey will provide important information on the composition and history of both Mars and the Solar System. A manned mission will also provide the opportunity to study how humans can adapt to long term space flight conditions and the Martian environment. As part of the NASA/USRA program, nineteen West Virginia University students conducted a preliminary design of a manned Universal Martian Lander (UML). The UML's design will provide a 'universal' platform, consisting of four modules for living and laboratory experiments and a liquid-fuel propelled Manned Ascent Return Vehicle (MARV). The distinguishing feature of the UML is the 'universal' design of the modules which can be connected to form a network of laboratories and living quarters for future missions thereby reducing development and production costs. The WVU design considers descent to Mars from polar orbit, a six month surface stay, and ascent for rendezvous. The design begins with an unmanned UML landing at Elysium Mons followed by the manned UML landing nearby. During the six month surface stay, the eight modules will be assembled to form a Martian base where scientific experiments will be performed. The mission will also incorporate hydroponic plant growth into a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) for water recycling, food production, and to counteract psychological effects of living on Mars. In situ fuel production for the MARV will be produced from gases in the Martian atmosphere. Following surface operations, the eight member crew will use the MARV to return to the Martian Transfer Vehicle (MTV) for the journey home to Earth.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Design of an unmanned Martian polar exploration system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Curt; Chitwood, Denny; Demann, Brian; Ducheny, Jordan; Hampton, Richard; Kuhns, Jesse; Mercer, Amy; Newman, Shawn; Patrick, Chris; Polakowski, Tony

    1994-01-01

    The design of an unmanned Martian polar exploration system is presented. The system elements include subsystems for transportation of material from earth to Mars, study of the Martian north pole, power generation, and communications. Early next century, three Atlas 2AS launch vehicles will be used to insert three Earth-Mars transfer vehicles, or buses, into a low-energy transfer orbit. Capture at Mars will be accomplished by aerobraking into a circular orbit. Each bus contains four landers and a communications satellite. Six of the twelve total landers will be deployed at 60 deg intervals along 80 deg N, and the remaining six landers at 5 deg intervals along 30 deg E from 65 deg N to 90 deg N by a combination of retrorockets and parachutes. The three communications satellites will be deployed at altitudes of 500 km in circular polar orbits that are 120 deg out of phase. These placements maximize the polar coverage of the science and communications subsystems. Each lander contains scientific equipment, two microrovers, power supplies, communications equipment, and a science computer. The lander scientific equipment includes a microweather station, seismometer, thermal probe, x-ray spectrometer, camera, and sounding rockets. One rover, designed for short-range (less than 2 km) excursions from the lander, includes a mass spectrometer for mineral analysis, an auger/borescope system for depth profiling, a deployable thermal probe, and charge coupled device cameras for terrain visualization/navigation. The second rover, designed for longer-range (2-5 km) excursions from the lander, includes radar sounding/mapping equipment, a seismometer, and laser ranging devices. Power for all subsystems is supplied by a combination of solar cells, Ni-H batteries, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators. Communications are sequenced from rovers, sounding rockets, and remote sensors to the lander, then to the satellites, through the Deep Space Network to and from earth.

  7. 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.

  8. Transport-driven formation of a polar ozone layer on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montmessin, Franck; Lefèvre, Franck

    2013-11-01

    Since the seasonal and spatial distribution of ozone on Mars was detected by the ultraviolet spectrometer onboard the spacecraft Mariner 7, our understanding has evolved considerably thanks to parallel efforts in observations and modelling. At low-to-mid latitudes, martian ozone is distributed vertically in two main layers, a near-surface layer and a layer at an altitude between 30 and 60km (ref. ). Here we report evidence from the SPICAM UV spectrometer onboard the Mars Express orbiter for the existence of a previously overlooked ozone layer that emerges in the southern polar night at 40-60km in altitude, with no counterpart observed at the north pole. Comparisons with global climate simulations for Mars indicate that this layer forms as a result of the large-scale transport of oxygen-rich air from sunlit latitudes to the poles, where the oxygen atoms recombine to form ozone during the polar night. However, transport-driven ozone formation is counteracted in our simulations by the destruction of ozone by reactions with hydrogen radicals, whose concentrations vary seasonally on Mars, reflecting seasonal variations of water vapour. We conclude that the observed dichotomy between the ozone layers of the two poles, with a significantly richer layer in the southern hemisphere, can be explained by the interplay of these mechanisms.

  9. The 1997 Spring Regression of the Martian South Polar Cap: Mars Orbiter Camera Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, P.B.; Cantor, B.A.; Malin, M.C.; Edgett, K.; Carr, M.H.; Danielson, G.E.; Ingersoll, A.P.; Davies, M.E.; Hartmann, W.K.; McEwen, A.S.; Soderblom, L.A.; Thomas, P.C.; Veverka, J.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter cameras (MOC) on Mars Global Surveyor observed the south polar cap of Mars during its spring recession in 1997. The images acquired by the wide angle cameras reveal a pattern of recession that is qualitatively similar to that observed by Viking in 1977 but that does differ in at least two respects. The 1977 recession in the 0o to 120o longitude sector was accelerated relative to the 1997 observations after LS = 240o; the Mountains of Mitchel also detached from the main cap earlier in 1997. Comparison of the MOC images with Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data shows that the Mountains of Mitchel feature is controlled by local topography. Relatively dark, low albedo regions well within the boundaries of the seasonal cap were observed to have red-to-violet ratios that characterize them as frost units rather than unfrosted or partially frosted ground; this suggests the possibility of regions covered by CO2 frost having different grain sizes.

  10. Perennial water ice identified in the south polar cap of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Langevin, Yves; Poulet, François; Gendrin, Aline; Gondet, Brigitte; Berthé, Michel; Soufflot, Alain; Drossart, Pierre; Combes, Michel; Bellucci, Giancarlo; Moroz, Vassili; Mangold, Nicolas; Schmitt, Bernard

    2004-04-08

    The inventory of water and carbon dioxide reservoirs on Mars are important clues for understanding the geological, climatic and potentially exobiological evolution of the planet. From the early mapping observation of the permanent ice caps on the martian poles, the northern cap was believed to be mainly composed of water ice, whereas the southern cap was thought to be constituted of carbon dioxide ice. However, recent missions (NASA missions Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey) have revealed surface structures, altimetry profiles, underlying buried hydrogen, and temperatures of the south polar regions that are thermodynamically consistent with a mixture of surface water ice and carbon dioxide. Here we present the first direct identification and mapping of both carbon dioxide and water ice in the martian high southern latitudes, at a resolution of 2 km, during the local summer, when the extent of the polar ice is at its minimum. We observe that this south polar cap contains perennial water ice in extended areas: as a small admixture to carbon dioxide in the bright regions; associated with dust, without carbon dioxide, at the edges of this bright cap; and, unexpectedly, in large areas tens of kilometres away from the bright cap.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Why do sand furrow distributions vary in the North Polar latitudes on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Mary; McGaley-Towle, Zoe

    2014-05-01

    Sand dunes on Mars display geomorphic evidence of an active and dynamic sediment flux. Barchan dunes migrate, ripples move and the slipface morphology changes annually. Aeolian sediment transport is seasonally constrained and linked to cryogenic processes. Sand furrows are geomorphic features that are eroded into the surface of dunes. They form during sublimation of the seasonal carbon dioxide deposit which moves gas and sand through vents in the ice (cryo-venting) (Bourke, 2013). They are visible on the surface of dunes using the highest resolution images available for Mars. Previous work has noted that the distribution of furrows varies spatially both on individual dunes and at different Polar locations. Here we report on the preliminary findings of a mapping project that seeks to confirm this previous qualitative observation. In addition, we aim to explain the observed spatial and temporal variation in sand furrows on North Polar dunes. Ten polar sites that reflect a latitudinal range of 9.5º are being analysed. The HiRISE images were acquired between 16/2/2012 and 31/05/2012, over a period of 105 Earth days or 102 Sols. We have completed mapping of 1711 sand furrows in an 84 km2 area of sand dunes, i.e. at four of the ten sites. The data confirm that there is variability in the distribution of sand furrows in the Polar Region. While data from all ten sites will be required to fully test the assertion of a latitudinal control, it is worth noting that the two most northerly sites have a significantly higher density of furrows compared to the two lower latitude sites. As the seasonal ice thickness is known to increases pole-ward on Mars, our data suggest that effective furrow formation may be linked to ice deposit thickness. In particular, it suggests that a threshold in ice thickness must be crossed in order for effective cryo-venting to occur. Bourke, M.C., 2013. Sand Furrows: A new surface feature on Martian dunes, EGU, EGU2013-11859, Vienna.

  16. Internal stratigraphy of the South Polar Layered Deposits, Mars from SHARAD data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitten, J. L.; Campbell, B. A.

    2017-12-01

    The South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD) are one of the largest deposits of water ice on Mars, composed of alternating layers of ice and dust. The accumulation of the layers is driven by orbital forcings (e.g., obliquity) and both the cadence and structure of these layers preserve a record of the past martian climate. Image of very limited exposed layering suggest several distinct sequences, demarcated by erosional hiatuses, with a gently domical shape. Here we use the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) sounder dataset to investigate the internal stratigraphy of the SPLD in order to further constrain the south polar climate record. We identify four distinct units based in part on their degree of vertical sharpness (focus) in the SHARAD data: (1) upper focused layer packets, (2) focused layer packets, (3) blurred layer packets, and (4) reflection free zones (RFZs). A diffuse echo pattern related to uncertain aspects of composition or layer roughness is termed fog. The upper focused layer packets are concentrated in the area between 270° to 90°E, close to the residual polar cap. The focused and blurred layer packets cover a large portion of the SPLD and are subdivided into two different units, those with an average reflecting-interface brightness and those with substantially brighter reflectors. The brighter radar reflectors have a coherent spatial distribution and only comprise a small portion of the entire unit. The diffuse echoes are separated into a fog that is present throughout the entire vertical column of the SPLD and a fog that begins at the surface and traverses only the uppermost layers. Depending on the geometry of individual SHARAD tracks, reflectors can be traced for hundreds of kilometers, but the fog obscures much of the internal layering, and is related to the focusing distortion that prevents individual reflectors from being traced across the entire SPLD. We identify a major deviation from a gently domical SPLD shape in a 200 km dome. Its presence suggests

  17. Three Dimensional Structure of the Mars North Polar Basal Unit from MARSIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frigeri, A.; Orosei, R.; Cartacci, M.; Cicchetti, A.; Mitri, G.; Giuppi, S.; Noschese, R.; Picardi, G.; Plaut, J.

    2012-04-01

    Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) is an orbital subsurface sounder aboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft . It transmits a low-frequency radar pulse that is capable of penetrating below the surface, and is reflected by subsurface dielectric discontinuities. MARSIS has been used to probe both the south and the north polar caps of Mars, revealing their thickness and structure. We report on the results of a campaign of observations of the north polar ice cap of Mars that took place between May and December 2011 in uniquely favorable conditions and produced data of unprecedented quality. The focus of this work is the so-called Basal Unit, a dark, ice-rich, complexely layered geologic unit lying stratigraphically between the polar layered deposits and the Vastitas Borealis Formation, and extending beneath most of Planum Boreum and Olympia Planitia. The objective of this work is the to study the full three dimensional structure of the Northern Polar Deposit and in particular of the Basal Unit (BU). It was recently found that the BU consists of two markedly different units, called the Rupes Tenuis unit and the Planum Boreum cavi unit. The Rupes Tenuis unit appears to be older, horizontally layered, and lacking erosional contacts. It has been thus interpreted as the result of precipitation and cold-trapping of dust-laden volatiles. The Planum Boreum cavi unit displays cross-bedding, indicating dune accumulation. Bright layers within it are interpreted as being made of ice-cemented dust, while dark layers should consist of weathered basalt fines. It seems likely that, in places, the Planum Boreum cavi unit rests directly on the Vastitas Borealis, without the Rupes Tenuis unit in between. Because the two units in the BU have formed much earlier than the north polar layered deposits, and at some interval from each other, they bear evidence of past climatic conditions that were very different from present, so that they "could potentially be a

  18. Goldstone/VLA 3.5cm Mars Radar Observations - "Stealths" and South Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Bryan; Chizek, M. R.; Slade, M. A.; Haldemann, A. F.; Muhleman, D. O.; Mao, T. F.

    2006-09-01

    The opposition of Mars in 2003 provided a fantastic opportunity to use the combined Goldstone/VLA radar to probe the surface with the highest resolution ever obtained on Mars with that instrument (as good as 70 km). Observations were made on August 11, 19, 28, and September 8. Details of data reduction and analysis of the radar echoes from the volcanic regions of the planet are presented in a companion paper in these proceedings (Chizek et al.). We will present results related to "Stealth" (and other radar-dark regions of the planet, including the Argyre and Hellas Planitiae, and a region to the west of the Elysium Mons caldera), and the south polar residual and seasonal ice caps. The size, shape, and reflectivity characteristics of Stealth and "mega-Stealth" (Edgett et al. 1997) are reaffirmed, with a better viewing geometry of the western extent of the feature than had been obtained previously. It had been speculated previously that Hellas Planitia should also be radar dark - this is confirmed by our imaging, though the reflectivity is not as low as for Stealth. We find a new radar dark area to the west of Elysium Mons, which is likely an ash fall from that volcano (similar to the relationship between Stealth and the Tharsis volcanoes). The south polar residual ice cap is a very bright reflector, as seen previously, but we now also see a very bright reflection from the seasonal cap, not seen previously. The cap is not uniformly bright, however, and the extent of the bright reflection does not correspond to that expected from the retreat of the cap as measured either from albedo or thermal emission characteristics. The NRAO is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  19. The Effect of CO2 Ice Cap Sublimation on Mars Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batterson, Courtney

    2016-01-01

    Sublimation of the polar CO2 ice caps on Mars is an ongoing phenomenon that may be contributing to secular climate change on Mars. The transfer of CO2 between the surface and atmosphere via sublimation and deposition may alter atmospheric mass such that net atmospheric mass is increasing despite seasonal variations in CO2 transfer. My study builds on previous studies by Kahre and Haberle that analyze and compare data from the Phoenix and Viking Landers 1 and 2 to determine whether secular climate change is happening on Mars. In this project, I use two years worth of temperature, pressure, and elevation data from the MSL Curiosity rover to create a program that allows for successful comparison of Curiosity pressure data to Viking Lander pressure data so a conclusion can be drawn regarding whether CO2 ice cap sublimation is causing a net increase in atmospheric mass and is thus contributing to secular climate change on Mars.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Mars Global Surveyor Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    High resolution images that help scientists fine tune the landing site for NASA's Mars Surveyor lander mission are shown. These images reveal a smooth surface in the southern cratered highlands near the Nepenthes Mensae.

  3. MARS PATHFINDER RADIO TRACKING

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) Radio Science (RS) data archive contains both raw radio tracking data collected during the surface lifetime of the MPF Lander and results...

  4. 3D Modeling of South Polar Layered Deposits on Mars with SHARAD radar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kofman, W.; Grima, C.; Mouginot, J.; Herique, A.; Seu, R.; Biccari, D.; Orosei, R.

    2007-08-01

    The SHAllow RADar (SHARAD) is a subsurface sounding instrument aboard the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. The routine science observations started in November 2006 has already provided a huge amount of data promising an unprecedented insight into the Martian subsurface. The main SHARAD scientific objectives are to map the underground distribution of water over the planet as well as to seek buried geological structures in order to understand the formation of the superficial Martian landscape. SHARAD is working at a 20 MHz central frequency with a 10 MHz bandwidth. The operating parameters allow a 10 m vertical free space resolution and a penetration depth in the range of 0.1 to 1 km. Horizontally, the cross-track and along-track foot print range are respectively 3-7 km and 0.3-1 km. Assuming a low impurities water ice the depth range of the radar should be 1 km with about 7 m of theoretical vertical resolution. This makes possible to sound the internal polar caps structures like never before. We report some observations made in Planum Australe over a 36.000 km2 area. 24 orbits crossing it have been selected. Each shows clear radar echoes with linear shape reaching the radar later than the surface echo. After comparison with simulations able to highlight any potential clutter signals, they have been interpreted as being polar layers. From this set of data a 3D modeling of the subsurface layering was undertaken. We show the results and discuss the method employed. A comparison between the layers behaviour determined in this study, the MOLA topography and the basal mapping made by MARSIS recently, allows initiating geomorphologic discussions.

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. Assessing Zones of Low Radar Reflectivity Across the South Polar Cap of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, N. E.; Smith, I. B.; Whitten, J. L.; Campbell, B. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Shallow Radar (SHARAD) revealed near-surface zones of low radar reflectivity (reflection-free zones, RFZs) in many areas of Planum Australe (Phillips et al., 2011, Science 332). The most poleward, RFZ3, corresponds geographically to geologic unit AA3 (Tanaka et al., 2007, 7th Int'l Mars Conf. abs. 3276) that exhibits sublimation features. Geometric considerations demonstrated that RFZ3 consists of three distinct layers of CO2 ice, preserved from earlier periods of atmospheric collapse (Bierson et al., 2016, GRL 43). However, the nature of other RFZs at lower latitudes remains undetermined, with none of the SHARAD observations examined to date providing definitive geometric constraints on their composition. While CO2-ice composition has not been ruled out, these RFZs differ in important ways from RFZ3. Surface imagery in the vicinity of the outlying RFZs does not generally exhibit sublimation features similar to those seen in AA3, SHARAD reflectivity exhibits a lower contrast with surrounding materials relative to RFZ3, and there are no indications of distinct layering within the outlying RFZs as there are in RFZ3. In addition, climate modeling of atmospheric collapse episodes (Wood et al., 2016, LPSC abs. 3074) suggests that CO2 accumulation is highly concentrated at the highest latitudes. An alternative explanation for the outlying RFZs is that they consist of nearly pure water ice deposited during times when atmospheric dust was nearly absent. Such conditions may occur coeval with eras of CO2 accumulation at the higher latitudes. To test these possibilities, we are working to constrain the composition of the outlying RFZs, using the recently produced 3-D SHARAD data volume that encompasses the entire Martian south polar ice cap (Foss et al., 2017, The Leading Edge, 36). Work is ongoing, but we expect that the geometric corrections and improvements to the overall signal-to-noise ratio provided by the 3-D radar imaging processing may

  8. Lunar lander conceptual design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stecklein, J. M.; Petro, A. J.; Stump, W. R.; Adorjan, A. S.; Chambers, T. V.; Donofrio, M.; Hirasaki, J. K.; Morris, O. G.; Nudd, G.; Rawlings, R. P.

    1992-01-01

    This paper is a first look at the problems of building a lunar lander to support a small lunar surface base. A series of trade studies was performed to define the lander. The initial trades concerned choosing number of stages, payload mass, parking orbit altitude, and propellant type. Other important trades and issues included plane change capability, propellant loading and maintenance location, and reusability considerations. Given a rough baseline, the systems were then reviewed. A conceptual design was then produced. The process was carried through only one iteration. Many more iterations are needed. A transportation system using reusable, aerobraked orbital transfer vehicles (OTV's) is assumed. These OTV's are assumed to be based and maintained at a low Earth orbit (LEO) space station, optimized for transportation functions. Single- and two-stage OTV stacks are considered. The OTV's make the translunar injection (TLI), lunar orbit insertion (LOI), and trans-Earth injection (TEI) burns, as well as midcourse and perigee raise maneuvers.

  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. Reconciling the MOLA, TES, and Neutron Observations of the North Polar CO2 Mass Budget on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Mattingly, B.; Titus, T. N.

    2003-01-01

    There are now three independent observations of the CO2 polar cap mass budget of Mars' north polar cap. The first is based elevation changes detected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). The second is based on MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) broadband observations of the solar and infrared radiation fields at the top of the atmosphere. The third is based on neutron counts measured by the neutron spectrometer (NS) on Odyssey. The TES data are based on an energy balance. The net radiative loss (gain) in a column is balanced by latent heating due condensation (sublimation) of CO2. In calculating the mass budget, the other main energy sources, atmospheric heat transport and subsurface conduction, were neglected. At the pole, atmospheric heat transport is indeed a small term. However, subsurface heat conduction can be significant because at the North Pole water ice, which has a high thermal conductivity compared to bare soil, is a dominant component of the subsurface. Thus, heat conducted down into the ice during summer will slowly bleed back out during fall and winter reducing the amount of CO2 that condenses on the pole. We have taken a first cut at quantifying this effect by fitting a curve to Paige's estimates of the conducted energy flux in his analysis of Viking IRTM data.

  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. Connecting Robots and Humans in Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Louis

    2000-07-01

    Mars exploration is a very special public interest. It's preeminence in the national space policy calling for "sustained robotic presence on the surface," international space policy (witness the now aborted international plan for sample return, and also aborted Russian "national Mars program") and the media attention to Mars exploration are two manifestations of that interest. Among a large segment of the public there is an implicit (mis)understanding that we are sending humans to Mars. Even among those who know that isn't already a national or international policy, many think it is the next human exploration goal. At the same time the resources for Mars exploration in the U.S. and other country's space programs are a very small part of space budgets. Very little is being applied to direct preparations for human flight. This was true before the 1999 mission losses in the United States, and it is more true today. The author's thesis is that the public interest and the space program response to Mars exploration are inconsistent. This inconsistency probably results from an explicit space policy contradiction: Mars exploration is popular because of the implicit pull of Mars as the target for human exploration, but no synergy is permitted between the human and robotic programs to carry out the program. It is not permitted because of narrow, political thinking. In this paper we try to lay out the case for overcoming that thinking, even while not committing to any premature political initiative. This paper sets out a rationale for Mars exploration and uses it to then define recommended elements of the programs: missions, science objectives, technology. That consideration is broader than the immediate issue of recovering from the failures of Mars Climate OrbIter, Mars Polar Lander and the Deep Space 2 microprobes in late 1999. But we cannot ignore those failures. They are causing a slow down Mars exploration. Not only were the three missions lost, with their planned

  13. NASA's Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara A.

    2012-01-01

    Since early 2005, NASA's Robotic Lunar Lander Development (RLLD) office at NASA MSFC, in partnership with the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), has developed mission concepts and preformed risk-reduction activities to address planetary science and exploration objectives uniquely met with landed missions. The RLLD team developed several concepts for lunar human-exploration precursor missions to demonstrate precision landing and in-situ resource utilization, a multi-node lunar geophysical network mission, either as a stand-alone mission, or as part of the International Lunar Network (ILN), a Lunar Polar Volatiles Explorer and a Mercury lander mission for the Planetary Science decadal survey, and an asteroid rendezvous and landing mission for the Exploration Precursor Robotics Mission (xPRM) office. The RLLD team has conducted an extensive number of risk-reduction activities in areas common to all lander concepts, including thruster testing, propulsion thermal control demonstration, composite deck design and fabrication, and landing leg stability and vibration. In parallel, the team has developed two robotic lander testbeds providing closed-loop, autonomous hover and descent activities for integration and testing of flight-like components and algorithms. A compressed-air test article had its first flight in September 2009 and completed over 150 successful flights. This small test article (107 kg dry/146 kg wet) uses a central throttleable thruster to offset gravity, plus 3 descent thrusters (37lbf ea) and 6 attitude-control thrusters (12lbf ea) to emulate the flight system with pulsed operation over approximately 10s of flight time. The test article uses carbon composite honeycomb decks, custom avionics (COTS components assembled in-house), and custom flight and ground software. A larger (206 kg dry/322 kg wet), hydrogen peroxide-propelled vehicle began flight tests in spring 2011 and fly over 30 successful flights to a maximum altitude of 30m. The monoprop testbed

  14. Digibaro pressure instrument onboard the Phoenix Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Lander petal & Twin Peaks - 3D

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Many prominent rocks near the Sagan Memorial Station are featured in this image, taken in stereo by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on Sol 3. 3D glasses are necessary to identify surface detail. The two hills in the distance, approximately one to two kilometers away, have been dubbed the 'Twin Peaks' and are of great interest to Pathfinder scientists as objects of future study. The white areas on the left hill, called the 'Ski Run' by scientists, may have been formed by hydrologic processes. A lander petal, airbag, and the rear ramp are at the lower area of the image.The image was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) after its deployment on Sol 3. Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The IMP was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  19. Mars Telecommunications Orbiter Ka-band system design and operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, Gary; Komarek, Tomas; Diehl, Roger; Shambayati, Shervin; Breidenthal, Julian; Lopez, Saturnino; Jordan, Frank

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Mars Telecommunications Orbiter (MTO) will relay broadband communications from landers, rovers and spacecraft in the vicinity of Mars to Earth. This paper describes the MTO communications system and how the MTO Ka-band system will be operated.

  20. Mars Mission Surface Operation Simulation Testing of Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, M. C.; Bugga, R.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Chin, K. B.; Davies, E. D.; Surampudi, S.

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of this program are to 1) Assess viability of using lithium-ion technology for future NASA applications, with emphasis upon Mars landers and rovers which will operate on the planetary surface; 2) Support the JPL 2003 Mars Exploration Rover program to assist in the delivery and testing of a 8 AHr Lithium-Ion battery (Lithion/Yardney) which will power the rover; 3) Demonstrate applicability of using lithium-ion technologyfor future Mars applications: Mars 09 Science Laboratory (Smart Lander) and Future Mars Surface Operations (General). Mission simulation testing was carried out for cells and batteries on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander and the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover.

  1. Extensive MRO CRISM Observations of 1.27 micron O2 Airglow in Mars Polar Night and Their Comparison to MRO MCS Temperature Profiles and LMD GCM Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, R. Todd; Sandor, Brad J.; Wolff, Michael J.; Smith, Michael Doyle; Lefevre, Franck; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Forget, Francois; Murchie, Scott L.; Seelos, Frank P.; Seelos, Kim D.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The Martian polar night distribution of 1.27 micron (0-0) band emission from O2 singlet delta [O2(1Delta(sub g))] is determined from an extensive set of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectral Mapping (CRISM) limb scans observed over a wide range of Mars seasons, high latitudes, local times, and longitudes between 2009 and 2011. This polar nightglow reflects meridional transport and winter polar descent of atomic oxygen produced from CO2 photodissociation. A distinct peak in 1.27 micron nightglow appears prominently over 70-90NS latitudes at 40-60 km altitudes, as retrieved for over 100 vertical profiles of O2(1Delta(sub g)) 1.27 micron volume emission rates (VER). We also present the first detection of much (x80+/-20) weaker 1.58 micron (0-1) band emission from Mars O2(1Delta(sub g)). Co-located polar night CRISM O2(1Delta(sub g)) and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) (McCleese et al., 2008) temperature profiles are compared to the same profiles as simulated by the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) general circulation/photochemical model (e.g., Lefèvre et al., 2004). Both standard and interactive aerosol LMD simulations (Madeleine et al., 2011a) underproduce CRISM O2(1Delta(sub g)) total emission rates by 40%, due to inadequate transport of atomic oxygen to the winter polar emission regions. Incorporation of interactive cloud radiative forcing on the global circulation leads to distinct but insufficient improvements in modeled polar O2(1Delta(sub g)) and temperatures. The observed and modeled anti-correlations between temperatures and 1.27 mm band VER reflect the temperature dependence of the rate coefficient for O2(1Delta(sub g)) formation, as provided in Roble (1995).

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Dragon Deep Drilling Platform for Mars Exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Space X Dragon capsule is a potential Mars lander that can land a significant payload on that planet. We studied a mission concept exploiting this new...

  5. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 4 SCRDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Calibrated or converted engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  6. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 3 ENGRDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Calibrated or converted engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  7. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 2 SCEDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Raw, uncalibrated engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  8. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 4 EGHRDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Calibrated or converted engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  9. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 2 ENGEDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Raw, uncalibrated engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  10. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 4 EGSRDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Calibrated or converted engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  11. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 2 EGAEDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Raw, uncalibrated engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  12. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 2 MSGEDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Raw, uncalibrated engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  13. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 2 LEDEDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Raw, uncalibrated engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  14. PHX MARS THERMAL EVOLVED GAS ANALYZER 2 EGHEDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Raw, uncalibrated engineering, housekeeping and scientific data collected from the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) aboard the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. MARS PATHFINDER CRUISE STAGE PREPARED FOR MISSION IN SAEF-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    One of the four major elements of the Mars Pathfinder continues preflight preparations in KSC's Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2). The cruise stage -- shown here mounted inside a support assembly -- will carry the Mars Pathfinder lander on a direct trajectory to Mars. The Pathfinder lander, encased in a protective aeroshell, still must be attached to the cruise stage. The fourth major element of the Mars Pathfinder is the small rover that will be located inside the lander. After a six to seven month journey the Mars Pathfinder lander will descend directly to the Martian surface without first going into orbit around the planet. Launch of the Mars Pathfinder is set for Dec. 2 aboard a Delta II expendable launch vehicle.

  2. Mars-GRAM 2010: Additions and Resulting Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justh, Hilary L.; Burns, K. Lee

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM) is an engineering-level atmospheric model widely used for diverse mission applications. Mars-GRAM has been utilized during previous aerobraking operations in the atmosphere of Mars. Mars-GRAM has also been used in the prediction and validation of Mars Pathfinder hypersonic aerodynamics, the aerothermodynamic and entry dynamics studies for Mars Polar Lander, the landing site selection process for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the Mars Aerocapture System Study (MASS) as well as the Aerocapture Technology Assessment Group (TAG). Most recently, Mars-GRAM 2010 was used to develop the onboard atmospheric density estimator that is part of the Autonomous Aerobraking Development Plan. The most recent release of Mars-GRAM 2010 contains several changes including an update to Fortran 90/95 and the addition of adjustment factors. Following the completion of a comparison analysis between Mars-GRAM, Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), as well as Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) aerobraking density data, adjustment factors were added to Mars-GRAM 2010 that alter the input data from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) and the University of Michigan Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM) for the mapping year 0 user-controlled dust case. The addition of adjustment factors resolved the issue of previous versions of Mars-GRAM being less than realistic when used for sensitivity studies for mapping year 0 and large optical depth values, such as tau equal to 3. Mars-GRAM was evaluated at locations and times of TES limb observations and adjustment factors were determined. For altitudes above 80 km and below 135 km, Mars-GRAM (MTGCM) densities were compared to aerobraking densities measured by Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to determine the adjustment

  3. Small Lunar Lander - A Near Term Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soppa, Uwe; Kyr, Peter; Bolz, Joerg; Bischof, Bernd

    In preparation of the Ministerial Conference in November 2008, the European Space Agency is currently developing a roadmap leading to the capability to sustain long term planetary exploration missions and manned missions to Moon and Mars. Embedded in the cornerstone missions of today's European planetary exploration program, which are marked by the two robotic Exo-Mars and Mars Sample Return missions, ESA has defined a Small Lunar Landing Mission serving as a precursor mission allowing to validate key enabling technologies for planetary exploration, while providing a scientific platform to Lunar exploration at the same time. In reply for the call for missions fitting into the mission time frame ranging from 2014 through 2016, EADS Astrium has proposed a Lunar Lander which can be launched by a Soyuz Fregat, combined with a programmatic planning with the goal being ready to fly within the given time. In the meantime, a European lunar exploration program has gained momentum such that the goals of the proposed mission have been expanded towards the preparation of technologies required for the logistics of lunar exploration including transportation to the Moon and back, building and supporting large scale outposts up to permanently manned bases. These key functions are the capability of autonomous, soft and precision landing, the Rendez-Vous in lunar orbit, plus the provision of surface mobility for science and logistic operations. The paper will first present the concept of the proposed Lunar Landing mission, describe the technical design and programmatic planning, and put it into context of the Mars Sample Return mission. The spacecraft shall be launched into the GTO by a Soyuz Fregat from the Kourou Space Center, and travel to the Moon from there on direct, 5 days transfer trajectory. The spacecraft is a single stage lander with the capability to autonomously perform all operations from launcher separation down to the lunar surface. A lunar rover shall provide

  4. Use of the Mars Atmosphere To Improve Performance of Supersonic Retropropulsion

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Landers and rovers have been critical for the exploration of Mars. While past missions have been successful, we are reaching the extent of what we can land on Mars...

  5. 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.

  6. Mars Exploration Rover parachute decelerator system program review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witkowski, A.; Bruno, R.

    2003-01-01

    In the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission, NASA returns to the red planet, following the extremely successful Mars Pathfinder in 1997. The mission will send two lander-rovers to the surface of Mars with separate launches in May and June, 2003. This paper describes the Parachute Decelerator System for the entry vehicle.

  7. 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.

  8. Mars Obliquity Cycle Illustration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The tilt of Mars' spin axis (obliquity) varies cyclically over hundreds of thousands of years, and affects the sunlight falling on the poles. Because the landing site of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is so near the north pole, higher sun and warmer temperatures during high obliquity lead to warmer, more humid surface environments, and perhaps thicker, more liquid-like films of water in soil. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mars Ascent Vehicle Design for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polsgrove, Tara; Thomas, Dan; Sutherlin, Steven; Stephens, Walter; Rucker, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    In NASA's evolvable Mars campaign, transportation architectures for human missions to Mars rely on a combination of solar electric propulsion and chemical propulsion systems. Minimizing the Mars ascent vehicle (MAV) mass is critical in reducing the overall lander mass and also eases the requirements placed on the transportation stages. This paper presents the results of a conceptual design study to obtain a minimal MAV configuration, including subsystem designs and mass summaries.

  11. Seismic Coupling of Short-Period Wind Noise Through Mars’ Regolith for NASA’s InSight Lander

    OpenAIRE

    Teanby, N. A.; Stevanović, J.; Wookey, J.; Murdoch, Naomi; Hurley, J.; Myhill, R.; Bowles, N. E.; Calcutt, S. B.; Pike, William T.

    2017-01-01

    NASA’s InSight lander will deploy a tripod-mounted seismometer package onto the surface of Mars in late 2018. Mars is expected to have lower seismic activity than the Earth, so minimisation of environmental seismic noise will be critical for maximising observations of seismicity and scientific return from the mission. Therefore, the seismometers will be protected by a Wind and Thermal Shield (WTS), also mounted on a tripod. Nevertheless, wind impinging on the WTS will cause vibration noise, w...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Stabilization of atmospheric pressure and seasonal variations of polar caps in the model of chemically inhomogeneous atmosphere of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aleshin, V.I.

    1985-01-01

    It is shownthat in the model Martian atmosphere, consisting of pure carbon dioxide, the pressure falls to 1 mBar, due to gradual freezing of CO 2 . A small admixture of noncondensing gases alters the situation considerably. The mean atmospheric pressure is thereby stabilized at the level close to 6 mBar. At the end of the winter, a snow bank is formed at the edge of the polar cap. The temperature near the poles in winter falls down to 120 K. As a result of the condensation of carbon dioxide, in polar regions enrichment of the air by noncondensing components occurs

  15. Current status of MELOS1 Mars exploration planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Takehiko; Imamura, Takeshi; Ishihara, Yoshiaki; Yamagishi, Akihiko; Okada, Tatsuaki; Kubota, Takashi; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Fujita, Kazuhisa; Oyama, Akira

    2012-07-01

    MELOS (an acronym of Mars Exploration with Lander-Orbiter Synergy) is Japan's new and ambitious plan for a series of Mars exploration missions. The ultimate goal of the MELOS series missions is to understand the solid planet, the surface processes, the atmosphere, and its surrounding plasma environment as one integrated system. This, of course, requires multiple missions of orbiters and landers, equipped with various instruments. The first of the MELOS series, MELOS1, is currently under planning. The mission consists of two elements: an orbiter and an entry-descent-landing (EDL) demonstrator. The scientific objective of the orbiter is the spatial and temporal variability of Martian dust, which have significant effect on the Martian climate through a variety of processes, such as heating of atmosphere by absorption of the sunlight, etc. To continuously monitor the evolution of dust storms, the orbit (near equatorial, as opposed to polar orbits in most missions) is so designed (1) that enables the orbiter nearly in synchronization with the planet's rotation when it is around the apocenter, and (2) that the apocenter's local time is always maintained near the noon. The instruments on board MELOS1 include the imaging polarimeter (visible wavelengths), the thermal-infrared camera, the sub-mm sounder, plus the ultra-stable oscillator for the radio occultation science. The EDL demonstrator will primarily perform experiments of engineering aspects, while a small portion of its payload will be available for scientific experiments. Current proposals include the interior-structure study, the astro-biological experiments, and the surface-geology study. The selection will take place in this year and the MELOS1 mission will be proposed for the launch around 2020. We welcome inputs from the world Mars science community and/or contributed instruments that require and benefit from MELOS1's unique orbit.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Midlatitude weather systems on Mars: Is there a hemispheric asymmetry?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J. R.

    1992-01-01

    The Viking Lander meteorology observations confirmed that midlatitude weather systems are present in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars during the autumn, winter, and early spring. These systems have properties consistent with a development through baroclinic instability of the wintertime zonal-mean circulation. It is known that the weather systems must be of importance for the zonal-mean circulation by virtue of their heat and momentum transports. Observations show that they are associated with dust raising, and they must be involved in the transport of dust; the weather systems almost certainly must act to produce significant water transports as well. Recent simulations with the ARC Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) show that the heat transports by the weather system (and by the zonal-mean circulation) during northern winter can be very substantial: large enough to significantly reduce the CO2 condensation at polar latitudes. This could be largely responsible for the observed early spring halt in the north polar cap recession and for the presence of westerly winds near the cap edge during this season.

  19. Mars Surveyor '98 MVACS Robotic Arm Control System Design Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert G.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes the control system design concepts for the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Robotic Arm which supports the scientific investigations to be conducted as part of the Mars Surveyor '98 Lander project. Novel solutions are presented to some of the unique problems encountered in this demanding space application with its tight constraints on mass, power, volume, and computing power.

  20. Analysis and interpretation of Viking inorganic chemistry data (Mars data analysis program)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1982-01-01

    Soil samples gathered by the Viking Lander from the surface of Mars were analyzed. The Martian fines were lower in aluminum, iron, sulfur, and chlorine than typical terrestrial continental soils or lunar mare fines. Sample variabilities were as great within a few meters as between lander locations (4500 km apart) implying the existence of a universal Martian regolith component of constant average composition.

  1. Moon Express: Lander Capabilities and Initial Payload and Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spudis, P.; Richards, R.; Burns, J. O.

    2013-12-01

    Moon Express Inc. is developing a common lander design to support the commercial delivery of a wide variety of possible payloads to the lunar surface. Significant recent progress has been made on lander design and configuration and a straw man mission concept has been designed to return significant new scientific and resource utilization data from the first mission. The Moon Express lander is derived from designs tested at NASA Ames Research Center over the past decade. The MX-1 version is designed to deliver 26 kg of payload to the lunar surface, with no global restrictions on landing site. The MX-2 lander can carry a payload of 400 kg and can deliver an upper stage (designed for missions that require Earth-return, such as sample retrieval) or a robotic rover. The Moon Express lander is powered by a specially designed engine capable of being operated in either monoprop or biprop mode. The concept for the first mission is a visit to a regional pyroclastic deposit on the lunar near side. We have focused on the Rima Bode dark mantle deposits (east of crater Copernicus, around 13 N, 4 W). These deposits are mature, having been exposed to solar wind for at least 3 Ga, and have high Ti content, suggesting high concentrations of implanted hydrogen. Smooth areas near the vent suggest that the ash beds are several tens of meters thick. The projected payload includes an imaging system to document the geological setting of the landing area, an APX instrument to provide major element composition of the regolith and a neutron spectrometer to measure the bulk hydrogen composition of the regolith at the landing site. Additionally, inclusion of a next generation laser retroreflector would markedly improve measurements of lunar librations and thus, constrain the dimensions of both the liquid and solid inner cores of the Moon, as well as provide tests of General Relativity. Conops are simple, with measurements of the surface composition commencing immediately upon landing. APX

  2. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 RANGE OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  3. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 ROUGHNESS OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  4. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 MOSAIC OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  5. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 ANAGLYPH OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  6. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 3 RADIOMETRIC SCI V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Science RDR data...

  7. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 NORMAL OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  8. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 3 RADIOMETRIC OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  9. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 4 LINEARIZED OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  10. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 2 EDR VERSION 1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations EDR...

  11. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 XYZ OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  12. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 DISPARITY OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  13. PHOENIX MARS ROBOTIC ARM CAMERA 5 REACHABILITY OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This RAC Imaging Operations RDR...

  14. VL1/VL2 MARS LCS DERIVED ATMOSPHERIC OPTICAL DEPTH V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Viking Lander camera images of the Sun were used to compute total normal atmospheric optical depth at the two landing sites over a period of about 900 Mars days. The...

  15. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 5 INCID OVER FLX SCI V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Science RDR...

  16. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 5 NORMAL OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations RDR...

  17. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 3 RADIOMETRIC SCI V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Science RDR...

  18. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 4 LINEARIZED OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations RDR...

  19. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 5 DISPARITY OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations RDR...

  20. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 5 XYZ OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations RDR...

  1. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 5 ROUGHNESS OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations RDR...

  2. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 2 EDR VERSION 1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations EDR...

  3. PHOENIX MARS SURFACE STEREO IMAGER 5 REACHABILITY OPS V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) experiment on the Mars Phoenix Lander consists of one instrument component plus command electronics. This SSI Imaging Operations RDR...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Comparison of Mars Atmospheric Density Estimates from Models to Measurements from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justh, Hilary L.; Justus, C. G.

    2009-01-01

    A recent study (Desai, 2008) has shown that the actual landing sites of Mars Pathfinder, the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) and the Phoenix Mars Lander have been further downrange than predicted by models prior to landing Desai's reconstruction of their entries into the Martian atmosphere showed that the models consistently predicted higher densities than those found upon entry, descent and landing. Desai's results have raised a question as to whether there is a systemic problem within Mars atmospheric models. Proposal is to compare Mars atmospheric density estimates from Mars atmospheric models to measurements made by Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). Comparison study requires the completion of several tasks that would result in a greater understanding of reasons behind the discrepancy found during recent landings on Mars and possible solutions to this problem.

  7. Stratospheric Flight of Three Mars Surface Instrument Prototypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, T. L.; Neidholdt, E.; Banfield, D. J.; Kokorowski, M.; Kobie, B.; Diaz, E.; Gordon, S.; Doan, D.; Salami, M.

    2012-12-01

    The Analog Site Testbed for Readiness Advancement (ASTRA) is a high-altitude balloon platform for the testing of Mars surface instrument systems. In September 2012 three prototype instruments, a mass spectrometer and two anemometers, were taken to the 6 mbar pressure level of Earth's stratosphere (~34.5 km) above New Mexico to demonstrate their current capabilities and identify the critical path-to-flight steps for future advancement. Each of the instrument systems deployed on ASTRA were rated at TRL 4 at the start of the project. Through laboratory development, environmental testing, and the ASTRA balloon flight, each has advanced to an overall system TRL of 5, with specific subsystems reaching TRL 6. The results from the Rapid Acquisition Mass Spectrometer (RAMS), the Hot-Wire Anemometer (HWA), and the Single-Axis Sonic Anemometer (SASA) from the mid-September flight are presented, with focus given to both scientific results of the terrestrial atmospheric investigations, and the engineering and technical performance of the individual instrument systems and the balloon platform. The RAMS instrument has unique ion-imaging optics which permit the acquisition of a complete mass spectrum in a single CCD frame (~50 ms minimum). This allows RAMS to see rapid fluctuations in atmospheric constituents (necessary for the study of, for instance, vapor fluxes to and from the Mars surface) and has potential applications for laser ablation mass spectroscopy. The HWA is the latest generation of hot-wire anemometer, with heritage from the Mars Pathfinder MET instrument, and the ATMIS sensors developed for the Mars Polar Lander and the NetLander project. In addition to wind speed, a thermocouple cage around the hot filament detects heat plume direction, thus permitting 2-D wind vectors to be established. The SASA is a proof-of-capability device for an eventual three-axis sonic anemometer design. Developed under PIDDP funding by Dr. Don Banfield of Cornell (thus a contributed

  8. Mars sample return mission architectures utilizing low thrust propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derz, Uwe; Seboldt, Wolfgang

    2012-08-01

    The Mars sample return mission is a flagship mission within ESA's Aurora program and envisioned to take place in the timeframe of 2020-2025. Previous studies developed a mission architecture consisting of two elements, an orbiter and a lander, each utilizing chemical propulsion and a heavy launcher like Ariane 5 ECA. The lander transports an ascent vehicle to the surface of Mars. The orbiter performs a separate impulsive transfer to Mars, conducts a rendezvous in Mars orbit with the sample container, delivered by the ascent vehicle, and returns the samples back to Earth in a small Earth entry capsule. Because the launch of the heavy orbiter by Ariane 5 ECA makes an Earth swing by mandatory for the trans-Mars injection, its total mission time amounts to about 1460 days. The present study takes a fresh look at the subject and conducts a more general mission and system analysis of the space transportation elements including electric propulsion for the transfer. Therefore, detailed spacecraft models for orbiters, landers and ascent vehicles are developed. Based on that, trajectory calculations and optimizations of interplanetary transfers, Mars entries, descents and landings as well as Mars ascents are carried out. The results of the system analysis identified electric propulsion for the orbiter as most beneficial in terms of launch mass, leading to a reduction of launch vehicle requirements and enabling a launch by a Soyuz-Fregat into GTO. Such a sample return mission could be conducted within 1150-1250 days. Concerning the lander, a separate launch in combination with electric propulsion leads to a significant reduction of launch vehicle requirements, but also requires a large number of engines and correspondingly a large power system. Therefore, a lander performing a separate chemical transfer could possibly be more advantageous. Alternatively, a second possible mission architecture has been developed, requiring only one heavy launch vehicle (e.g., Proton). In that

  9. Wind shelter development for broadband seismic observation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Y.; Araya, A.; Kurita, K.; Hori, T.; Hirobe, T.; Kobayashi, N.; Shiraishi, H.; Nonaka, S.; Fukuda, W.; Kakuma, H.; Ishihara, Y.

    2011-10-01

    Japan Mars Exploration project (Mars Exploration with Lander-Orbiter Synergy) is now under consideration and it includes seismic observation. Our plan is to install broadband and high sensitivity seismometer. I will report our development of broadband seismic observations on Mars, especially focusing on the performance test by using wind tunnel and numerical simulations to evaluate and reduce effects of surface wind on the seismometer.

  10. Bacterial growth tolerance to concentrations of chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Soudi, Amer F.; Farhat, Omar; Chen, Fei; Clark, Benton C.; Schneegurt, Mark A.

    2017-07-01

    The Phoenix lander at Mars polar cap found appreciable levels of (per)chlorate salts, a mixture of perchlorate and chlorate salts of Ca, Fe, Mg and Na at levels of ~0.6% in regolith. These salts are highly hygroscopic and can form saturated brines through deliquescence, likely producing aqueous solutions with very low freezing points on Mars. To support planetary protection efforts, we have measured bacterial growth tolerance to (per)chlorate salts. Existing bacterial isolates from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma (NaCl-rich) and Hot Lake in Washington (MgSO4-rich) were tested in high concentrations of Mg, K and Na salts of chlorate and perchlorate. Strong growth was observed with nearly all of these salinotolerant isolates at 1% (~0.1 M) (per)chlorate salts, similar to concentrations observed in bulk soils on Mars. Growth in perchlorate salts was observed at concentrations of at least 10% (~1.0 M). Greater tolerance was observed for chlorate salts, where growth was observed to 2.75 M (>25%). Tolerance to K salts was greatest, followed by Mg salts and then Na salts. Tolerances varied among isolates, even among those within the same phylogenetic clade. Tolerant bacteria included genera that also are found in spacecraft assembly facilities. Substantial microbial tolerance to (per)chlorate salts is a concern for planetary protection since tolerant microbes contaminating spacecraft would have a greater chance for survival and proliferation, despite the harsh chemical conditions found near the surface of Mars.

  11. Seismology on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.; Miller, W. F.; Latham, G. V.; Nakamura, Y.; Toksoz, M. N.; Dainty, A. M.; Duennebier, F. K.; Lazarewicz, A. R.; Kovach, R. L.; Knight, T. C. D.

    1977-01-01

    High-quality data (uncontaminated by lander or wind noise) obtained with a three-axis short-period seismometer operating on Mars in the Utopia Planitia region are analyzed. No large events have been detected during the first five months of operation covered in the present paper. This indicates that Mars is less seismically active than the earth. Winds, and therefore a seismic background, began to intrude into the nighttime hours, starting with sol 119 (sol is a Martian day). The seismic background correlates well with wind velocity, and is proportional to the square of the wind velocity, as is appropriate for turbulent flow. A local seismic event of a magnitude of 3 and a distance of 110 km was detected on sol 80. It is interpreted as a natural seismic event.

  12. 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. 

  13. 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

  14. Mars at Ls 357o

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    31 January 2006 This picture is a composite of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images acquired at Ls 357o during a previous Mars year. This month, Mars looks similar, as Ls 357o occurred in mid-January 2006. The picture shows the south polar region of Mars. Over the course of the month, additional faces of Mars as it appears at this time of year are being posted for MOC Picture of the Day. Ls, solar longitude, is a measure of the time of year on Mars. Mars travels 360o around the Sun in 1 Mars year. The year begins at Ls 0o, the start of northern spring and southern autumn. Season: Northern Winter/Southern Summer

  15. Mars at Ls 324o

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    29 November 2005 This picture is a composite of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images acquired at Ls 324o during a previous Mars year. This month, Mars looks similar, as Ls 324o occurred in mid-November 2005. The picture shows the south polar region of Mars. Over the course of the month, additional faces of Mars as it appears at this time of year are being posted for MOC Picture of the Day. Ls, solar longitude, is a measure of the time of year on Mars. Mars travels 360o around the Sun in 1 Mars year. The year begins at Ls 0o, the start of northern spring and southern autumn. Season: Northern Winter/Southern Summer

  16. 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

  17. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Characterization of Mars' seasonal caps using neutron spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prettyman, T.H.; Feldman, W.C.; Titus, T.N.

    2009-01-01

    Mars' seasonal caps are characterized during Mars years 26 and 27 (April 2002 to January 2006) using data acquired by the 2001 Mars Odyssey Neutron Spectrometer. Time-dependent maps of the column abundance of seasonal CO 2 surface ice poleward of 60?? latitude in both hemispheres are determined from spatially deconvolved, epithermal neutron counting data. Sources of systematic error are analyzed, including spatial blurring by the spectrometer's broad footprint and the seasonal variations in the abundance of noncondensable gas at high southern latitudes, which are found to be consistent with results reported by Sprague et al. (2004, 2007). Corrections for spatial blurring are found to be important during the recession, when the column abundance of seasonal CO2 ice has the largest latitude gradient. The measured distribution and inventory of seasonal CO2 ice is compared to simulations by a general circulation model (GCM) calibrated using Viking lander pressure data, cap edge functions determined by thermal emission spectroscopy, and other nuclear spectroscopy data sets. On the basis of the amount of CO2 cycled through the caps during years 26 and 27, the gross polar energy balance has not changed significantly since Viking. The distribution of seasonal CO2 ice is longitudinally asymmetric: in the north, deposition rates of CO2 ice are elevated in Acidalia, which is exposed to katabatic winds from Chasma Borealis; in the south, CO2 deposition is highest near the residual cap. During southern recession, CO 2 ice is present longer than calculated by the GCM, which has implications for the local polar energy balance. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  20. 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.

  1. Multispectral Imaging from Mars PATHFINDER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrand, William H.; Bell, James F., III; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Bishop, Janice L.; Morris, Richard V.

    2007-01-01

    The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was a mast-mounted instrument on the Mars Pathfinder lander which landed on Mars Ares Vallis floodplain on July 4, 1997. During the 83 sols of Mars Pathfinders landed operations, the IMP collected over 16,600 images. Multispectral images were collected using twelve narrowband filters at wavelengths between 400 and 1000 nm in the visible and near infrared (VNIR) range. The IMP provided VNIR spectra of the materials surrounding the lander including rocks, bright soils, dark soils, and atmospheric observations. During the primary mission, only a single primary rock spectral class, Gray Rock, was recognized; since then, Black Rock, has been identified. The Black Rock spectra have a stronger absorption at longer wavelengths than do Gray Rock spectra. A number of coated rocks have also been described, the Red and Maroon Rock classes, and perhaps indurated soils in the form of the Pink Rock class. A number of different soil types were also recognized with the primary ones being Bright Red Drift, Dark Soil, Brown Soil, and Disturbed Soil. Examination of spectral parameter plots indicated two trends which were interpreted as representing alteration products formed in at least two different environmental epochs of the Ares Vallis area. Subsequent analysis of the data and comparison with terrestrial analogs have supported the interpretation that the rock coatings provide evidence of earlier martian environments. However, the presence of relatively uncoated examples of the Gray and Black rock classes indicate that relatively unweathered materials can persist on the martian surface.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Electromagnetic braking for Mars spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, A. C.

    1986-01-01

    Aerobraking concepts are being studied to improve performance and cost effectiveness of propulsion systems for Mars landers and Mars interplanetary spacecraft. Access to megawatt power levels (nuclear power coupled to high-storage inductive or capacitive devices) on a manned Mars interplanetary spacecraft may make feasible electromagnetic braking and lift modulation techniques which were previously impractical. Using pulsed microwave and magnetic field technology, potential plasmadynamic braking and hydromagnetic lift modulation techniques have been identified. Entry corridor modulation to reduce loads and heating, to reduce vertical descent rates, and to expand horizontal and lateral landing ranges are possible benefits. In-depth studies are needed to identify specific design concepts for feasibility assessments. Standing wave/plasma sheath interaction techniques appear to be promising. The techniques may require some tailoring of spacecraft external structures and materials. In addition, rapid response guidance and control systems may require the use of structurally embedded sensors coupled to expert systems or to artificial intelligence systems.

  7. Circular Polarization of Light By Planet Mercury and Enantiomorphism of Its Surface Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meierhenrich, U. J.; Thiemann, W. H.-P.; Barbier, B.; Brack, A.; Nahon, L.; Alcaraz, C.; Wolstencroft, R.

    Different mechanisms for the generation of circular polarization on 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 Bepi- Colombo, we propose to investigate this phenomenon using a concept which includes two instruments. The first instrument is a high-resolution optical polarimeter,[1,2] ca- pable 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. [1] C. Alcaraz, R. Thissen, M. Compin, A. Jolly, M. Drescher, L. Nahon: First po- larization measurements of Ophelie: a versatile polarization VUV undulator at Super- Aco. SPIE 3773 (1999), 250-261. [2] C. Alcaraz, J.L. Marlats, D. Nether, B. Pilette, L. Nahon: A dedicated precise polarimeter for measurement of VUV versatile photon polarizations, Applied Optics, manuscript under preparation.

  8. Dark Polar Dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    20 January 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, acquired during northern summer in December 2004, shows dark, windblown sand dunes in the north polar region of Mars. A vast sea of sand dunes nearly surrounds the north polar cap. These landforms are located near 80.3oN, 144.1oW. Light-toned features in the image are exposures of the substrate that underlies the dune field. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.

  9. 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.

  10. The 'Mission to Mars' Case Study, Galbraith's Star Model and other Relevant Organization Theory, Critically Evaluate the Reorganization of the Mars Programme that Resulted from the Introduction of the 'Faster, Better, Cheaper' Approach at NASA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felisa Córdova G.

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the 1990s, NASA implemented a programme named "Faster, Better, Cheaper," (FBC which involved essential changes to the way in which the organization used to be established. It was a huge organizational and transformational effort that required delivering dramatic advances in robustness, flexibility, and efficiency. Nevertheless in 1999, the failures of two consecutive Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander missions brought to a stop of the FBC programme. We critically analyze and evaluate NASA's reorganization across of two models of organization theory such as the Diamond and Star, which show that FBC style needed a super-high-tech, a high level of complexity and novelty, and a time-critical pace. In addition, the majority of the missions' failures were also because of the short schedule, limited budget, and a deficient coordination of the processes management particularly in learning.

  11. Mars 1994/1996: The French navigation tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonneau, Frederic; Bernard, Jacques; Delobette, Damien

    1993-01-01

    In the fall of 1994, Russia will launch a spacecraft to Mars. France is involved in many scientific experiments which are onboard the spacecraft, as PI or CI. Some days before the Mars orbit insertion maneuver, two small stations and two penetrators will be injected into an entry trajectory. They will carry out for at least six months in situ analysis on the Martian surface. Two years later, a second spacecraft will be launched. It will carry the French balloon and a small rover. The scientific data of these landers will be relayed to earth via the spacecraft. However, during the first 20 days of their mission, Mars Observer will be used. To this end, a Mars balloon relay will be used, which will receive the data from the landers and store them into the memory of the Mars Observer camera. The spacecraft will also be used to localize the landers with the help of relative one-way Doppler measurements. An international cooperative is set up for this process, including JPS, Russian ballistic centers (Babakine, Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow Flight Control Center), and CNES Toulouse. Another task dedicated to the space mathematics division of CNES is to support the French scientists to prepare their telecommands and to analyze their telemetry. This second part is integrated into the French ground segment created for the Mars 94/96 mission. This paper describes the method used in CNES for the localization process, the support provided to the scientists, and the links for the data exchange.

  12. 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.

  13. Scientific rationale and requirements for a global seismic network on Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Solomon, Sean C.; Anderson, Don L.; Banerdt, W. Bruce; Butler, Rhett G.; Davis, Paul M.; Duennebier, Frederick K.; Nakamura, Yosio; Okal, Emile A.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

    Little is known of the internal structure or composition of Mars or the present rates and characteristics of tectonic activity and meteoroid impacts. The scientific tool best suited to address these issues is seismology. While a simple seismic experiment was included on the two Viking landers, one of the instruments did not operate and the experiment was severely limited by the location of the sensor high on the lander, the low sensitivity of the instrument, and the limited data rate alloc...

  14. 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

  15. Prototyping Tensegrity Lander Systems for Icy Terrain (Year 2)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Demonstrate that a tensegrity lander is a low-cost and revolutionary landing concept for exploring icy terrain where landing forces, payload protection and mobility...

  16. SAEVe: A Long Duration Small Sat Class Venus Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremic, T.; Ghail, R.; Gilmore, M.; Kiefer, W.; Limaye, S.; Hunter, G.; Tolbert, C.; Pauken, M.; Wilson, C.

    2017-11-01

    SAEVe is a small Venus lander concept selected for further study by the PSDS3 call. SAEVe is an innovative approach to achieving Venus surface science by exploiting recent developments in high temperature electronics and unique operations scheme.

  17. Advanced Composite Thrust Chambers for the Altair Lunar Lander Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrusters are being considered for the Ascent Module main engine of the Altair Lunar Lander. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium...

  18. 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,...

  19. Thermal Insulator for a Venus Lander, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A lander on the surface of Venus is heated by the 460 C surface temperature, which, even with the best current designs using passive insulation, cause its...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Opportunity to sample something different: The dark, unweathered, mafic sands of Cerberus and the Pathfinder 1997 Mars landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Singer, Robert B.; Geissler, P. E.

    1994-01-01

    A very important surface component, typically described as 'dark gray material', was not seen at the Viking lander sites, but is common to all low-albedo regions on Mars. Dark material probably includes unaltered mafic volcanic and/or crustal rock and soil not coated by dust, weathering rinds, or varnish. A Pathfinder landing in Cerberus (9 deg N - 16 deg N, 194 deg W - 215 deg W) will guarantee examination of materials that are distinctly different from the two Viking lander sites. In situ study of dark material will provide vital ground truth for orbiter-based observations like those anticipated from Mars '94/'96 and Mars Global Surveyor.

  4. 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.

  5. Mars Relay Spacecraft: A Low-Cost Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    SvitekT, .; King, J.; Fulton, R.; McOmber, R.; Hastrup, R.; Miller, A.

    1995-01-01

    The next phase of Mars exploration will utilize numerous globally distributed small low-cost devices including landers penetrators microrovers and balloons. Direct-to-Earth communications links if required for these landers will drive the lander design for two reasons: a) mass and complexity needed for a steerable high-gain antenna and b) power requirements for a high-power amplifier (i.e. solar panel and battery mass). Total mass of the direct link hardware for several recent small-lander designs exceeded the mass of the scientific payload. Alternatively if communications are via a Mars-orbiting relay spacecraft resource requirements for the local UHF communication link are comparatively trivial: a simple whip antenna and less than 1 watt power. Clearly using a Mars relay spacecraft (MRS) is the preferred option if the MRS mission can be accomplished in an affordable and robust way. Our paper describes a point design for such a mission launched in the s001 or 2003 opportunity.

  6. 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.)

  7. Fusion-Enabled Pluto Orbiter and Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Stephanie

    2017-01-01

    The Pluto orbiter mission proposed here is credible and exciting. The benefits to this and all outer-planet and interstellar-probe missions are difficult to overstate. The enabling technology, Direct Fusion Drive, is a unique fusion engine concept based on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) fusion reactor under development at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The truly game-changing levels of thrust and power in a modestly sized package could integrate with our current launch infrastructure while radically expanding the science capability of these missions. During this Phase I effort, we made great strides in modeling the engine efficiency, thrust, and specific impulse and analyzing feasible trajectories. Based on 2D fluid modeling of the fusion reactors outer stratum, its scrape-off-layer (SOL), we estimate achieving 2.5 to 5 N of thrust for each megawatt of fusion power, reaching a specific impulse, Isp, of about 10,000 s. Supporting this model are particle-in-cell calculations of energy transfer from the fusion products to the SOL electrons. Subsequently, this energy is transferred to the ions as they expand through the magnetic nozzle and beyond. Our point solution for the Pluto mission now delivers 1000 kg of payload to Pluto orbit in 3.75 years using 7.5 N constant thrust. This could potentially be achieved with a single 1 MW engine. The departure spiral from Earth orbit and insertion spiral to Pluto orbit require only a small portion of the total delta-V. Departing from low Earth orbit reduces mission cost while increasing available mission mass. The payload includes a lander, which utilizes a standard green propellant engine for the landing sequence. The lander has about 4 square meters of solar panels mounted on a gimbal that allows it to track the orbiter, which beams 30 to 50 kW of power using a 1080 nm laser. Optical communication provides dramatically high data rates back to Earth. Our mass modeling investigations revealed that if

  8. A mesoscale model study of atmospheric circulations for the northern hemisphere summer on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Daniel, Jr.

    The Penn-State/NCAR MM5 mesoscale model was adapted for mesoscale simulations of the Martian atmosphere (the OSU MMM5). The NASA Ames Mars GCM provides initial and boundary conditions. High-resolution maps for albedo, thermal inertia and topography were developed from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) data; these baseline maps are processed to appropriate resolutions for use in the GCM and the mesoscale model. The OSU MMM5 is validated in Chapter 2 by comparing with surface meteorology observed at the Viking Lander 1 (VL1) and Mars Pathfinder (MPF) landing sites. How the diurnal cycle of surface pressure (the surface pressure tide) is affected by boundaries, domain/nest choices and the resolution of surface properties (topography, albedo and thermal inertia) is examined. Chapter 2 additionally shows the influence of regional slope flows in the diurnal surface pressure cycle for certain locations on Mars. Building on the methods of Chapter 2, Chapter 3 describes the northern midsummer polar circulation and the circulations (both large and small scale) that influence it. Improvements to the model for these studies include: the topographical gradient is now considered when computing surface insolation, and the thermal inertia maps and model initialization are improved for high latitudes; this yields a realistic simulation of surface temperatures for the North Pole Residual Cap (NPRC) and the surrounding region. The midsummer polar circulation is vigorous, with abundant and dynamically important transient eddies. The preferred locations of transients varies significantly during this study, between L s = 120 and L s = 150. At L s = 120 transient circulations are seen primarily along the NPRC margin, consistently producing strong flow over the residual cap (~15 m/s). By L s = 135, transient eddies form a "storm track" between the northern slopes of Tharsis and the NPRC. By L s = 150, the circulation is becoming strong and winter-like. These transient eddies may be important in

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. Imaging experiment: The Viking Mars orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, M.H.; Baum, W.A.; Briggs, G.A.; Masursky, H.; Wise, D.W.; Montgomery, D.R.

    1972-01-01

    The general objectives of the Imaging Experiment on the Viking Orbiter are to aid the selection of Viking Lander sites, to map and monitor the chosen sites during lander operations, to aid in the selection of future landing sites, and to extend our knowledge of the planet. The imaging system consists of two identical vidicon cameras each attached to a 1026 mm T/8 telescope giving approximately 1?? square field of view. From an altitude of 1500 km the picture elements will be approximately 24m apart. The vidicon is coupled with an image intensifier which provides increased sensitivity and permits electronic shuttering and image motion compensation. A vidicon readout time of 2.24 sec enables pictures to be taken in rapid sequence for contiguous coverage at high resolution. The camera differs from those previously flown to Mars by providing contiguous coverage at high resolution on a single orbital pass, by having sufficient sensitivity to use narrow band color filters at maximum resolution, and by having response in the ultraviolet. These capabilities will be utelized to supplement lander observations and to extend our knowledge particularly of volcanic, erosional, and atmospheric phenomena on Mars. ?? 1972.

  15. 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

  16. Mars Global Surveyor Approach Image

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This image is the first view of Mars taken by the Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter Camera (MOC). It was acquired the afternoon of July 2, 1997 when the MGS spacecraft was 17.2 million kilometers (10.7 million miles) and 72 days from encounter. At this distance, the MOC's resolution is about 64 km per picture element, and the 6800 km (4200 mile) diameter planet is 105 pixels across. The observation was designed to show the Mars Pathfinder landing site at 19.4 N, 33.1 W approximately 48 hours prior to landing. The image shows the north polar cap of Mars at the top of the image, the dark feature Acidalia Planitia in the center with the brighter Chryse plain immediately beneath it, and the highland areas along the Martian equator including the canyons of the Valles Marineris (which are bright in this image owing to atmospheric dust). The dark features Terra Meridiani and Terra Sabaea can be seen at the 4 o`clock position, and the south polar hood (atmospheric fog and hazes) can be seen at the bottom of the image. Launched on November 7, 1996, Mars Global Surveyor will enter Mars orbit on Thursday, September 11 shortly after 6:00 PM PDT. After Mars Orbit Insertion, the spacecraft will use atmospheric drag to reduce the size of its orbit, achieving a circular orbit only 400 km (248 mi) above the surface in early March 1998, when mapping operations will begin.The Mars Global Surveyor is operated by the Mars Surveyor Operations Project managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA. The Mars Orbiter Camera is a duplicate of one of the six instruments originally developed for the Mars Observer mission. It was built and is operated under contract to JPL by an industry/university team led by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA.

  17. In-Situ Environmental Measurements Needed for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisp, D.; Wilson, G. R.; Murphy, J. R.; Banfield, D.; Barnes, J. R.; Farrell, W. M.; Haberle, R. M.; Magalhaes, J.; Paige, D. A.; Tillman, J. E.

    2000-01-01

    Existing measurements and modeling studies indicate that the climate and general circulation of the thin, predominately CO2 Martian atmosphere are characterized by large-amplitude variations with a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Remote sensing observations from Earth-based telescopes and the Mariner 9, Viking, Phobos, and Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) orbiters show that the prevailing climate includes large-scale seasonal variations in surface and atmospheric temperatures (140 to 300 K), dust optical depth (0.15 to 1), and water vapor (10 to 100 precipitable microns). These observations also provided the first evidence for episodic regional and global dust storms that produce even larger perturbations in the atmospheric thermal structure and general circulation. In-situ measurements by the Viking and Mars Pathfinder Landers reinforced these conclusions, documenting changes in the atmospheric pressure on diurnal (5%) and seasonal (>20%) time scales, as well as large diurnal variations in the near-surface temperature (40 to 70 K), wind velocity (0 to 35 m/s), and dust optical depth (0.3 to 6). These in-situ measurements also reveal phenomena with temporal and spatial scales that cannot be resolved from orbit, including rapid changes in near-surface temperatures (+/- 10 K in 10 seconds), large near-surface vertical temperature gradients (+/- 15 K/meter), diurnally-varying slope winds, and dust devils . Modeling studies indicate that these changes are forced primarily by diurnal and seasonal variations in solar insolation, but they also include contributions from atmospheric thermal tides, baroclinic waves (fronts), Kelvin waves, slope winds, and monsoonal flows from the polar caps.

  18. Technology development for long-lived Venus landers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekonomov, 1.; Korablev, O.; Zasova, L.

    2007-08-01

    Simultaneously with many successful lander missions on Venus in 1972-1985 Soviet Union began develop long-lived lander on surface of Venus. The basic problem were extreme conditions on a surface: P=10MPa, T=500 C . Then operations have been stopped and have renewed in 2006 already in new Russia. Mission "VENERA (VENUS) - D" is included into the Federal space program of Russia on 2006 - 2015 with launch in 2016. To this date Russia alone can't create a reliable electronics for 500 C, but we have got examples GaN electronics for 350 C. Cooling technology with boiling water is offered for interior devices of lander at pressure 10 MPa and temperature 310 C. As the power source of an electronics we use high-temperature galvanic cells on the base of Li4Si [LiCl, KCl, LiF] FeS2 which are released in Russia as reserve power sources. They are capable to work directly on a surface of Venus without any thermal protection. At lander two kinds of vacuum technology can be used: 1) in multilayer (MLI ) thermal blanket for lander, 2) in electro-vacuum devices, for example transmitter . For creation and maintenance of vacuum at temperature 400-500 C: chemical gas absorbers ( getter materials ) are used, they actively absorb both carbon dioxide and nitrogen .

  19. Lunar Lander Structural Design Studies at NASA Langley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, K. Chauncey; Antol, Jeffrey; Watson, Judith J.; Flick, John J.; Saucillo, Rudolph J.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; North, David D.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is currently developing mission architectures, vehicle concepts and flight hardware to support the planned human return to the Moon. During Phase II of the 2006 Lunar Lander Preparatory Study, a team from the Langley Research Center was tasked with developing and refining two proposed Lander concepts. The Descent-Assisted, Split Habitat Lander concept uses a disposable braking stage to perform the lunar orbit insertion maneuver and most of the descent from lunar orbit to the surface. The second concept, the Cargo Star Horizontal Lander, carries ascent loads along its longitudinal axis, and is then rotated in flight so that its main engines (mounted perpendicular to the vehicle longitudinal axis) are correctly oriented for lunar orbit insertion and a horizontal landing. Both Landers have separate crew transport volumes and habitats for surface operations, and allow placement of large cargo elements very close to the lunar surface. As part of this study, lightweight, efficient structural configurations for these spacecraft were proposed and evaluated. Vehicle structural configurations were first developed, and preliminary structural sizing was then performed using finite element-based methods. Results of selected structural design and trade studies performed during this activity are presented and discussed.

  20. Seismic exploration for water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Thornton

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Accuracy Analysis of Lunar Lander Terminal Guidance Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. K. Li

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Design of a hydrophone for an Ocean World lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Heather D.; Duncan, Andrew G.

    2017-10-01

    For this presentation we describe the science return, and design of a microphone on- board a Europa lander mission. In addition to the E/PO benefit of a hydrophone to listen to the Europa Ocean, a microphone also provides scientific data on the properties of the subsurface ocean.A hydrophone is a small light-weight instrument that could be used to achieve two of the three Europa Lander mission anticipated science goals of: 1) Asses the habitability (particularly through quantitative compositional measurements of Europa via in situ techniques uniquely available to a landed mission. And 2) Characterize surface properties at the scale of the lander to support future exploration, including the local geologic context.Acoustic properties of the ocean would lead to a better understanding of the water density, currents, seafloor topography and other physical properties of the ocean as well as lead to an understanding of the salinity of the ocean. Sound from water movement (tidal movement, currents, subsurface out-gassing, ocean homogeneity (clines), sub-surface morphology, and biological sounds.The engineering design of the hydrophone instrument will be designed to fit within a portion of the resource allocation of the current best estimates of the Europa lander payload (26.6 Kg, 24,900 cm3, 2,500 W-hrs and 2700 Mbits). The hydrophone package will be designed to ensure planetary protection is maintained and will function under the cur- rent Europa lander mission operations scenario of a two-year cruise phase, and 30-day surface operational phase on Europa.Although the microphone could be used on the surface, it is designed to be lowered into the subsurface ocean. As such, planetary protection (forward contamination) is a primary challenge for a subsurface microphone/ camera. The preliminary design is based on the Navy COTS optical microphone.Reference: Pappalardo, R. T., et al. "Science potential from a Europa lander." Astrobiology 13.8 (2013): 740-773.

  4. Mars in Situ Resource Utilization Technology Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony C.; Santago-Maldonado, Edgardo

    2012-01-01

    We have examined the technologies required to enable Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) because our understanding of Mars resources has changed significantly in the last five years as a result of recent robotic missions to the red planet. Two major developments, (1) confirmation of the presence of near-surface water in the form of ice in very large amounts at high latitudes by the Phoenix Lander and (2) the likely existence of water at lower latitudes in the form of hydrates or ice in the top one meter of the regolith, have the potential to change ISRU technology selection. A brief technology assessment was performed for the most promising Mars atmospheric gas processing techniques: Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS) and Methanation (aka Sabatier), as well as an overview of soil processing technology to extract water from Martian soil.

  5. Planet-wide sand motion on mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N.T.; Bourke, M.C.; Geissler, P.E.; Banks, M.E.; Colon, C.; Diniega, S.; Golombek, M.P.; Hansen, C.J.; Mattson, S.; McEwen, A.S.; Mellon, M.T.; Stantzos, N.; Thomson, B.J.

    2012-01-01

    Prior to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data, images of Mars showed no direct evidence for dune and ripple motion. This was consistent with climate models and lander measurements indicating that winds of sufficient intensity to mobilize sand were rare in the low-density atmosphere. We show that many sand ripples and dunes across Mars exhibit movement of as much as a few meters per year, demonstrating that Martian sand migrates under current conditions in diverse areas of the planet. Most motion is probably driven by wind gusts that are not resolved in global circulation models. A past climate with a thicker atmosphere is only required to move large ripples that contain coarse grains. ?? 2012 Geological Society of America.

  6. Jovian Tour Design for Orbiter and Lander Missions to Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagnola, Stefano; Buffington, Brent B.; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.

    2013-01-01

    Europa is one of the most interesting targets for solar system exploration, as its ocean of liquid water could harbor life. Following the recommendation of the Planetary Decadal Survey, NASA commissioned a study for a flyby mission, an orbiter mission, and a lander mission. This paper presents the moon tours for the lander and orbiter concepts. The total delta v and radiation dose would be reduced by exploiting multi-body dynamics and avoiding phasing loops in the Ganymede-to- Europa transfer. Tour 11-O3, 12-L1 and 12-L4 are presented in details and their performaces compared to other tours from previous Europa mission studies.

  7. Life Sciences Investigations for ESA's First Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, J. D.; Angerer, O.; Durante, M.; Linnarson, D.; Pike, W. T.

    2010-12-01

    Preparing for future human exploration of the Moon and beyond is an interdisciplinary exercise, requiring new technologies and the pooling of knowledge and expertise from many scientific areas. The European Space Agency is working to develop a Lunar Lander, as a precursor to future human exploration activities. The mission will demonstrate new technologies and perform important preparatory investigations. In the biological sciences the two major areas requiring investigation in advance of human exploration are radiation and its effects on human physiology and the potential toxicity of lunar dust. This paper summarises the issues associated with these areas and the investigations planned for the Lunar Lander to address them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 of defining the meteorological phenomena during the storm period, determining those associated with storm and dust arrival, and evaluating the 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 Viking Lander 1 were accompanied by significant increases in wind speed and pressure. No such changes were observed at Viking Lander 2. It is possible that surface material could have been raised locally at Viking Lander 1. Throughout the period except for the time following the second dust storm the synoptic picture at Viking Lander 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Independent Mars spacecraft precise orbit determination software development and its applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Jianguo; Yang, Xuan; Ye, Mao; Li, Fei; Jin, Weitong; Barriot, Jean-Pierre

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, we present an independent software for Mars spacecraft precise orbit determination and gravity field recovery we call the Mars Gravity Recovery and Analysis Software (MAGREAS), which is aimed to analyze tracking data from the Chinese Mars exploration mission and similar NASA and ESA Mars-related projects. The design structure, module distribution, and functions of the software are described in this manuscript. A detailed cross validation with the mature precise orbit determination platform Geodyn-II was done. Additionally, we use MAGREAS to process the MEX orbital tracking data with two-way and three-way tracking modes separately. Measurement residuals and the difference from the reconstructed ephemeris provided by Royal Observatory of Belgium indicate that our software is reliable. In addition to describe of our software and validate with Geodyn-II, we give a simulation case close to Chinese Mars exploration mission to indicate the application of our software. We present a simulation of a four-way tracking mode between Earth tracking station, Mars orbiter, and Mars lander to validate the effectiveness of our MAGREAS-based approach for Mars orbiter determination and lander positioning. Experimental results show that our proposed tracking mode significantly improves positioning accuracy. This work will provide a reference for the design of the Chinese Mars exploration mission as well as for the processing of Chinese Mars mission orbital tracking data.

  13. Performance evaluation of a quasi-microscope for planetary landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burcher, E. E.; Huck, F. O.; Wall, S. D.; Woehrle, S. B.

    1977-01-01

    Spatial resolutions achieved with cameras on lunar and planetary landers have been limited to about 1 mm, whereas microscopes of the type proposed for such landers could have obtained resolutions of about 1 um but were never accepted because of their complexity and weight. The quasi-microscope evaluated in this paper could provide intermediate resolutions of about 10 um with relatively simple optics that would augment a camera, such as the Viking lander camera, without imposing special design requirements on the camera of limiting its field of view of the terrain. Images of natural particulate samples taken in black and white and in color show that grain size, shape, and texture are made visible for unconsolidated materials in a 50- to 500-um size range. Such information may provide broad outlines of planetary surface mineralogy and allow inferences to be made of grain origin and evolution. The mineralogical descriptions of single grains would be aided by the reflectance spectra that could, for example, be estimated from the six-channel multispectral data of the Viking lander camera.

  14. Lunar Sample Return Missions Using a Tele-Robotic Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downes, H.; Crawford, I. A.; Alexander, L.

    2018-02-01

    Deep Space Gateway would allow tele-robotic landers and rovers to access regions of the Moon which have not been previously sampled. Scientific questions, e.g., the nature and duration of volcanic activity and the composition of the mantle/lower crust, could be addressed.

  15. Quantitative studies of the Martian south polar region using spacecraft images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herkenhoff, K.E.

    1989-01-01

    Mariner 9 images were processed for comparison with nearly simultaneous infrared spectra of the south polar cap of Mars. Combined analysis of these observations indicates that the southern residual cap was covered by carbon dioxide frost throughout the summer of 1971-72. Five color/albedo units have been recognized and mapped in the southern layered deposits on Mars. Shadow brightnesses were measured and modeled in order to correct for the effects of atmospheric scattering and quantify the albedo and color of the surface. The layered deposits appear to be mantled by red dust, except where eolian stripping has exposed the darker, less red underlying bedrock. Frost and bare ground are mixed below the resolution of the images in many areas, some of which appear to be younger than the surrounding layered terrain. The available observational data suggest that the layered deposits are composed of bright dust, water ice, and a small amount of dark material. Weathering of the layered deposits by sublimation of water ice can account for the data presented here and previous observations of the north polar deposits. The non-volatile component of the layered deposits appears to consist mainly of bright red dust, with small amounts of dark dust or sand. Dark dust, perhaps similar to the magnetic material found at the Viking Lander sites, may preferentially form filamentary residue particle upon weathering of the deposits. Once eroded, these particles may saltate to form the dark dunes found in both polar regions. Eventual destruction of the particle could allow recycling of the dark dust into the layered deposits via atmospheric suspension

  16. Integrated Surface Power Strategy for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study team evaluated surface power needs for a conceptual crewed 500-day Mars mission. This study had four goals: 1. Determine estimated surface power needed to support the reference mission; 2. Explore alternatives to minimize landed power system mass; 3. Explore alternatives to minimize Mars Lander power self-sufficiency burden; and 4. Explore alternatives to minimize power system handling and surface transportation mass. The study team concluded that Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) oxygen propellant production drives the overall surface power needed for the reference mission. Switching to multiple, small Kilopower fission systems can potentially save four to eight metric tons of landed mass, as compared to a single, large Fission Surface Power (FSP) concept. Breaking the power system up into modular packages creates new operational opportunities, with benefits ranging from reduced lander self-sufficiency for power, to extending the exploration distance from a single landing site. Although a large FSP trades well for operational complexity, a modular approach potentially allows Program Managers more flexibility to absorb late mission changes with less schedule or mass risk, better supports small precursor missions, and allows a program to slowly build up mission capability over time. A number of Kilopower disadvantages-and mitigation strategies-were also explored.

  17. 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

  18. H2O frost point detection on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J. A.; Sharman, R. D.

    1981-01-01

    The Viking Mars landers contain meteorological instrumentation to measure wind, temperature, and pressure but not atmospheric water content. The landings occurred during local summer, and it was observed that the nocturnal temperature decrease at sensor height (1.6 m) did not exhibit a uniform behavior at either site. It was expected that the rate of decrease would gradually slow, leveling off near sunrise. Instead, a leveling occurred several hours earlier. Temperature subsequently began a more rapid decrease which slowed by sunrise. This suggested that the temperature sensors may be detecting the frost point of water vapor. Analysis of alternative hypotheses demonstrates that none of these are viable candidates. The frost point interpretation is consistent with other lander and orbiter observations, with terrestrial experience, and with modeling of Mars' atmospheric behavior. It thus appears that the meteorology experiment can help provide a basis toward understanding the distribution and dynamics of Martian water vapor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  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. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Mars at Ls 137o

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    13 November 2006 These images capture what Mars typically looks like in mid-afternoon at Ls 137o. In other words, with the exception of occasional differences in weather and polar frost patterns, this is what the red planet looks like this month (November 2006). Six views are shown, including the two polar regions. These are composites of 24-26 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global mapping images acquired at red and blue wavelengths. The 'hole' over the south pole is an area where no images were obtained, because this polar region is enveloped in wintertime darkness. Presently, it is summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Ls, solar longitude, is a measure of the time of year on Mars. Mars travels 360o around the Sun in 1 Mars year. The year begins at Ls 0o, the start of northern spring and southern autumn. Northern summer/southern winter begins at Ls 90o, northern autumn/southern spring start at Ls 180o, and northern winter/southern summer begin at Ls 270o. Ls 137o occurs in the middle of this month (November 2006). The pictures show how Mars appeared to the MOC wide angle cameras at a previous Ls 137o in March 2001. The six views are centered on the Tharsis region (upper left), Acidalia and Mare Eyrthraeum (upper right), Syrtis Major and Hellas (middle left), Elysium and Mare Cimmeria (middle right), the north pole (lower left), and the south pole (lower right).

  8. Mars at Ls 121o

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    1 October 2006 These images capture what Mars typically looks like in mid-afternoon at L s 121o. In other words, with the exception of occasional differences in weather and polar frost patterns, this is what the red planet looks like this month (October 2006). Six views are shown, including the two polar regions. These are composites of 24-26 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global mapping images acquired at red and blue wavelengths. The 'hole' over the south pole is an area where no images were obtained, because this polar region is enveloped in wintertime darkness. Presently, it is summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Ls, solar longitude, a measure of the time of year on Mars. Mars travels 360o around the Sun in 1 Mars year. The year begins at Ls 0o, the start of northern spring and southern autumn. Northern summer/southern winter begins at Ls 90o, northern autumn/southern spring start at Ls 180o, and northern winter/southern summer begin at Ls 270o. Ls 121o occurs in the middle of this month (October 2006). The pictures show how Mars appeared to the MOC wide angle cameras at a previous Ls 121o in February 2001. The six views are centered on the Tharsis region (upper left), Acidalia and Mare Eyrthraeum (upper right), Syrtis Major and Hellas (middle left), Elysium and Mare Cimmeria (middle right), the north pole (lower left), and the south pole (lower right).

  9. 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.

  10. Aeroassisted-vehicle design studies for a manned Mars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menees, Gene P.

    1987-01-01

    An aerobrake design accounting for all of the important flow phenomenology which are characteristic of aerobraking vehicles is proposed as the mission baseline. Flight regimes and aerothermal environments for both Mars and earth entry are calculated using advanced methods to account for real-gas, thermochemical, relaxation effects. The results are correlated with thermal-protection and structural requirements and mission performance capability. The importance of nonequilibrium radiative heating for earth aerocapture is demonstrated. It is suggested that two aerobrakes of different sizes will produce optimal performance for the three phases of the mission (i.e., one aerobrake for Mars aerocapture and descent of the surface lander and another for earth return).

  11. 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.

  12. Mars, earth, and ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cordell, B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Possible mechanisms to explain the global ice covering of Mars, and previous ice ages on the earth, are considered. Evidence for the Milankovitch effect is found in the close correspondence of earth's past climate with its orbital variations, as recorded principally in ocean sediments, and the role of CO 2 is discussed. Mars' range of obliquity, 10 times that of the earth, and orbital eccentricity, fluctuating over a range 2 1/2 times that of the earth, could produce an important climate-driving cycle. Mathematical models of the Martian surface and atmosphere based on Viking data suggest that escaped CO 2 could create a surface pressure of 1-3 bars. Other factors such as the effect of continental drift, the increased brightness of the sun, and planetary reversals of magnetic field polarity are discussed, and the questions of where Martian water and CO 2 have gone are considered

  13. Eifel field operation campaign supporting Moon Mars and NEO exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    As follow-up on the 2009 Eifel field campaign new field tests with our ExoGeoLab lander were conducted in November 2015 and February 2016. The two phase campaign was used to test the usability of a mock-up lander as test bench for experiments and its remote control in a Moon, Mars analogue environment. In a real mission such a lander could be used in a robotic or manned mission as scientific tool for scientists on Earth to do preliminary study on in-situ collected rocks. This could be useful for example for a sample return mission where scientists on Earth can determine if sample is interesting enough for a more detailed study. The prototype lander is one of the components of the ExoGeoLab project from ESA and ILEWG. Several student projects have prepared the lander for a geological field campaign in lunar and Martian analogue terrain. The lander can be divided in three sections which are used to store several components of the lander. The lower compartment can be used to store a rover or used as laboratory. The middle compartment is used for the lander computer(s), spectrometers and the associated cables. The top plate is used for a telescope which in our case is used to observe the environment around the lander and to guide astronauts during their EVA. As closest volcanic are there is chosen to do the Eifel area, Germany. Several stages of volcanism from Devon till Quaternary resulted in a variation of rocks which is analogue to volcanic rocks from Moon, Mars and other near Earth objects. Several topics we would like to test were pre-defined. Functional tests and demo were performed at European astronaut centre prior to the campaign. The latest updates with respect to the remote control were tested. The pressurised transport vehicle was equipped as remote base for (scientific) support during the campaign. The new instrument set-up were tested and some spectra were measured on collected rocks. The telescope was used to study the environment around the lander

  14. 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.

  15. An Assessment of the Issues and Concerns Associated with the Analysis of Ice-bearing Samples by the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, D. W.; Miller, S. L.; Bada, J. L.; Bearman, G. H.; Black, P. B.; Bruno, R. J.; Carsey, F. D.; Conrad, P. G.; Daly, M.; Fisher, D.

    2003-01-01

    In early 2003, the Mars Icy Sample Team (MIST) was formed to address several questions related to the acquisition and analysis of ice-bearing samples on the surface of Mars by a robotic mission. These questions were specifically framed in the context of planning for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) lander, but the answers will also also have value in planning other future landed investigations.

  16. Rosetta Lander - Philae: activities after hibernation and landing preparations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulamec, Stephan; Biele, Jens; Sierks, Holger; Blazquez, Alejandro; Cozzoni, Barbara; Fantinati, Cinzia; Gaudon, Philippe; Geurts, Koen; Jurado, Eric; Paetz, Brigitte.; Maibaum, Michael

    Rosetta is a Cornerstone Mission of the ESA Horizon 2000 programme. It is going to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a ten year cruise and will study both its nucleus and coma with an orbiting spacecraft as well as with a Lander, Philae. Aboard Philae, a payload consisting of ten scientific instruments will perform in-situ studies of the cometary material. Rosetta and Philae have been in hibernation until January 20, 2014. After the successful wakeup they will undergo a post hibernation commissioning. The orbiter instruments (like e.g. the OSIRIS cameras) are to characterize the target comet to allow landing site selection and the definition of a separation, descent and landing (SDL) strategy for the Lander. By August 2014 our currently very poor knowledge of the characteristics of the nucleus of the comet will have increased dramatically. The paper will report on the latest updates in Separation-Descent-Landing (SDL) planning. Landing is foreseen for November 2014 at a heliocentric distance of 3 AU. Philae will be separated from the mother spacecraft from a dedicated delivery trajectory. It then descends ballistically to the surface of the comet, stabilized with an internal flywheel. At touch-down anchoring harpoons will be fired and a damping mechanism within the landing gear will provide the lander from re-bouncing. The paper will give an overview of the Philae system, the operational activities after hibernation and the latest status on the preparations for landing.

  17. Polarization Optics

    OpenAIRE

    Fressengeas, Nicolas

    2010-01-01

    The physics of polarization optics *Polarized light propagation *Partially polarized light; DEA; After a brief introduction to polarization optics, this lecture reviews the basic formalisms for dealing with it: Jones Calculus for totally polarized light and Stokes parameters associated to Mueller Calculus for partially polarized light.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. The Naiades: A Mars Scout Proposal for Electromagnetic and Seismic Exploration for Groundwater on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, R. E.

    2002-09-01

    Detection of subsurface, liquid water is an overarching objective of the Mars Exploration Program (MEP) because of its impacts on life, climate, geology, and preparation for human exploration. Although planned orbital radars seek to map subsurface water, methods with more robust depth-penetration, discrimination, and characterization capabilities are necessary to "ground truth" any results from such radars. Low-frequency electromagnetic (EM) methods exploit induction rather than wave propagation and are sensitive to electrical conductivity rather than dielectric constant. Saline martian groundwater will be a near-ideal EM target, especially as the overburden is likely very dry. The Naiades Mars Scout - named for the Greek mythological nymphs of springs, rivers, lakes, and fountains - comprise twin Landers directed to a high-priority region for groundwater investigation. Broadband measurements of natural EM fields will be used to perform passive soundings. If natural sources are weak, active soundings will be performed using a small transmitter. The two Landers are positioned within several tens of kilometers of each other so that coherence techniques can improve data quality; useful data can, however, be acquired by a single Lander. Additional mission objectives include detection of ground ice, characterization of natural EM fields, measurement of electrical properties, constraints on planetary heat flow, measurement of crustal magnetism, characterization of seismicity, seismic imaging of the interior, and assessment of landing-site geomorphology. A short-period seismometer and a wide-angle camera complete the payload to achieve these objectives. The Naiades mission strongly resonates with the main "Follow the Water" theme of the MEP, but in ways that are not currently within the its scope or that of international partners. The combination of established terrestrial methods for groundwater exploration, robust flight systems, and cost effectiveness proposed for the

  1. MetNet Precursor - Network Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Arri-Matti

    2010-05-01

    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 first MetNet vehicle, MetNet Precursor, slated for launch in 2011. The MetNet development work started already in 2001. The actual practical Precursor Mission development work started in January 2009 with participation from various space research institutes and agencies. The scientific rationale and goals as well as key mission solutions will be discussed. 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 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. Time-resolved in situ Martian meteorological measurements acquired by the Viking, Mars Pathfinder and Phoenix landers and remote sensing observations by the Mariner 9, Viking, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and the Mars Express orbiters have provided the basis for our current understanding of the behavior of weather and climate on Mars. However, the available amount of data is still scarce and a wealth of additional in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes to address microscale and mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns and climatological cycles requires simultaneous in situ atmospheric observations. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Mission Design Overview for Mars 2003/2005 Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wayne J.; DAmario, Louis A.; Roncoli, Ralph B.; Smith, John C.

    2000-01-01

    In May 2003, a new and exciting chapter in Mars exploration will begin with the launch of the first of three spacecraft that will collectively contribute toward the goal of delivering samples from the Red Planet to Earth. This mission is called Mars Sample Return (MSR) and will utilize both the 2003 and 2005 launch opportunities with an expected sample return in October 2008. NASA and CNES are major partners in this mission. The baseline mission mode selected for MSR is Mars orbit rendezvous (MOR), analogous in concept to the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) mode used for Apollo in the 1960s. Specifically, MSR will employ two NASA-provided landers of nearly identical design and one CNES-provided orbiter carrying a NASA payload of rendezvous sensors, orbital capture mechanisms, and an Earth entry vehicle (EEV). The high-level concept is that the landers will launch surface samples into Mars orbit, and the orbiter will retrieve the samples in orbit and then carry them back to Earth. The first element to depart for Mars will be one of the two landers. Currently, it is proposed that an intermediate class launch vehicle, such as the Boeing Delta 3 or Lockheed Martin Atlas 3A, will launch this 1800-kg lander from Cape Canaveral during the May 2003 opportunity. The lander will utilize a Type-1 transfer trajectory with an arrival at Mars in mid-December 2003. Landing will be aided by precision approach navigation and a guided hypersonic entry to achieve a touchdown accuracy of 10 km or better. Although the exact landing site has not yet been determined, it is estimated that lander resource constraints will limit the site to between 15 degrees north and south latitudes. Following touchdown, the lander will deploy a six-wheeled, 60-kg rover carrying an extensive suite of instruments designed to aid in the analysis of the local terrain and collection of core samples from selected rocks. The surface mission is currently designed around a concept called the surface traverse. Each

  6. NASAs Evolvable Mars Campaign: Mars Moons Robotic Precursor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gernhardt, Michael L.; Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Abell, Paul A.; Love, Stanley G.; Lee, David E.; Chappell, Steven P.; Howe, A. Scott; Friedensen, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Human exploration missions to the moons of Mars are being considered within NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) as an intermediate step for eventual human exploration and pioneering of the surface of Mars. A range of mission architectures is being evaluated in which human crews would explore one or both moons for as little as 14 days or for as long as 500 days with a variety of orbital and surface habitation and mobility options being considered. Relatively little is known about the orbital, surface, or subsurface characteristics of either moon. This makes them interesting but challenging destinations for human exploration missions during which crewmembers must be able to effectively conduct scientific exploration without being exposed to undue risks due to radiation, dust, micrometeoroids, or other hazards. A robotic precursor mission to one or both moons will be required to provide data necessary for the design and operation of subsequent human systems and for the identification and prioritization of scientific exploration objectives. This paper identifies and discusses considerations for the design of such a precursor mission based on current human mission architectures. Objectives of a Mars' moon precursor in support of human missions are expected to include: 1) identifying hazards on the surface and the orbital environment at up to 50-km distant retrograde orbits; 2) collecting data on physical characteristics for planning of detailed human proximity and surface operations; 3) performing remote sensing and in situ science investigations to refine and focus future human scientific activities; and 4) prospecting for in situ resource utilization. These precursor objectives can be met through a combination or remote sensing (orbital) and in-situ (surface) measurements. Analysis of spacecraft downlink signals using radio science techniques would measure the moon's mass, mass distribution, and gravity field, which will be necessary to enable trajectory planning

  7. Radioscience and seismic measurements for the INSIGHT mission about interior of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, Véronique; Asmar, Sami; Folkner, William; Lognonné, Philippe; Banerdt, Bruce; Smrekar, Suzanne; Rivoldini, Attilio; Christensen, Ulrich; Giardini, Domenico; Pike, Tom; Clinton, John; Garcia, Raphael; Johnson, Catherine; Kobayashi, Naoki; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mimoun, David; Mocquet, Antoine; Panning, Mark; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee

    2015-04-01

    We shall use the X-band radio link of the future 2016 InSIGHT (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) lander on the surface of Mars with the objective to better determine the rotation and interior structure of Mars. This X-band radio link consists in two-way Doppler measurements from a direct radio-link between the Martian lander and deep space tracking stations on the Earth. On the basis of these measurements, it will be possible to monitor the lander position relative to the Earth and in turn to improve the determination of the Mars' orientation and rotation parameters (MOP), i.e. the rotation rate variations (or Length of Days LOD), the precession rate and the nutations of the rotation axis. As these MOP parameters are related to the interior of the planet, we further discuss the expected improvement in our knowledge of Mars' interior in synergy with the seismic data, which include the tidal data. We will show in particular how to determine the state, size, and composition of the Martian core. These parameters are very important for understanding the evolution of Mars.

  8. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Martian atmospheric gases are a very important resource for surface missions on the red planet. However, their utilization for the production of hydrocarbons,...

  9. Optomechanical design of 10 modular cameras for the Mars exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Virginia G.; Karlmann, Paul; Hagerott, Edward C.; Scherr, Lawrence M.

    2002-09-01

    The 2003 mission to Mars includes two Rovers, which will land on the Martian surface. Each Rover carries 9 cameras of 4 different designs. In addition, one similar camera is mounted to each lander assembly to monitor the descent and provide information for firing the control jets during landing. This paper will discuss the mechanical systems design of the cameras, including fabrication tolerances of the lenses, thermal issues, radiation shielding, planetary protection, detector mounting, electronics, the modularity achieved, and how the 10 different locations were accommodated on the very tight real estate of the Rovers and Landers.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haingja Seo

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Mars Observer camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, M. C.; Danielson, G. E.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Masursky, H.; Veverka, J.; Ravine, M. A.; Soulanille, T. A.

    1992-01-01

    The Mars Observer camera (MOC) is a three-component system (one narrow-angle and two wide-angle cameras) designed to take high spatial resolution pictures of the surface of Mars and to obtain lower spatial resolution, synoptic coverage of the planet's surface and atmosphere. The cameras are based on the 'push broom' technique; that is, they do not take 'frames' but rather build pictures, one line at a time, as the spacecraft moves around the planet in its orbit. MOC is primarily a telescope for taking extremely high resolution pictures of selected locations on Mars. Using the narrow-angle camera, areas ranging from 2.8 km x 2.8 km to 2.8 km x 25.2 km (depending on available internal digital buffer memory) can be photographed at about 1.4 m/pixel. Additionally, lower-resolution pictures (to a lowest resolution of about 11 m/pixel) can be acquired by pixel averaging; these images can be much longer, ranging up to 2.8 x 500 km at 11 m/pixel. High-resolution data will be used to study sediments and sedimentary processes, polar processes and deposits, volcanism, and other geologic/geomorphic processes.

  14. 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.

  15. Altair Lunar Lander Development Status: Enabling Human Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurini, Kathleen C.; Connolly, John F.

    2009-01-01

    As a critical part of the NASA Constellation Program lunar transportation architecture, the Altair lunar lander will return humans to the moon and enable a sustained program of lunar exploration. The Altair is to deliver up to four crew to the surface of the moon and return them to low lunar orbit at the completion of their mission. Altair will also be used to deliver large cargo elements to the lunar surface, enabling the buildup of an outpost. The Altair Project initialized its design using a minimum functionality approach that identified critical functionality required to meet a minimum set of Altair requirements. The Altair team then performed several analysis cycles using risk-informed design to selectively add back components and functionality to increase the vehicles safety and reliability. The analysis cycle results were captured in a reference Altair design. This design was reviewed at the Constellation Lunar Capabilities Concept Review, a Mission Concept Review, where key driving requirements were confirmed and the Altair Project was given authorization to begin Phase A project formulation. A key objective of Phase A is to revisit the Altair vehicle configuration, to better optimize it to complete its broad range of crew and cargo delivery missions. Industry was invited to partner with NASA early in the design to provide their insights regarding Altair configuration and key engineering challenges. A blended NASA-industry team will continue to refine the lander configuration and mature the vehicle design over the next few years. This paper will update the international community on the status of the Altair Project as it addresses the challenges of project formulation, including optimizing a vehicle configuration based on the work of the NASA Altair Project team, industry inputs and the plans going forward in designing the Altair lunar lander.

  16. 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)

  17. MECA symposium on Mars: Evolution of its climate and atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, V.; Carr, M.; Fanale, F.; Greeley, R.; Haberle, R.; Leovy, C.; Maxwell, T.

    1987-01-01

    The geological, atmospheric, and climatic history of Mars is explored in reviews and reports of recent observational and interpretive investigations. Topics addressed include evidence for a warm wet climate on early Mars, volatiles on Earth and on Mars, CO 2 adsorption on palagonite and its implications for Martian regolith partitioning, and the effect of spatial resolution on interpretations of Martian subsurface volatiles. Consideration is given to high resolution observations of rampart craters, ring furrows in highland terrains, the interannual variability of the south polar cap, telescopic observations of the north polar cap and circumpolar clouds, and dynamical modeling of a planetary wave polar warming mechanism

  18. Antarctic Dry Valleys and indigenous weathering in Mars meteorites: Implications for water and life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wentworth, Susan J.; Gibson, Everett K.; Velbel, Michael A.; McKay, David S.

    2005-04-01

    The Dry Valleys of Antarctica are an excellent analog of the environment at the surface of Mars. Soil formation histories involving slow processes of sublimation and migration of water-soluble ions in polar desert environments are characteristic of both Mars and the Dry Valleys. At the present time, the environment in the Dry Valleys is probably the most similar to that in the mid-latitudes on Mars although similar conditions may be found in areas of the polar regions during their respective Mars summers. It is thought that Mars is currently in an interglacial period, and that subsurface water ice is sublimating poleward. Because the Mars sublimation zones seem to be the most similar to the Antarctic Dry Valleys, the Dry Valleys-type Mars climate is migrating towards the poles. Mars has likely undergone drastic obliquity changes, which means that the Dry Valleys analog to Mars may be valid for large parts of Mars, including the polar regions, at different times in geologic history. Dry Valleys soils contain traces of silicate alteration products and secondary salts much like those found in Mars meteorites. A martian origin for some of the meteorite secondary phases has been verified previously; it can be based on the presence of shock effects and other features which could not have formed after the rocks were ejected from Mars, or demonstrable modification of a feature by the passage of the meteorite through Earth's atmosphere (proving the feature to be pre-terrestrial). The martian weathering products provide critical information for deciphering the near-surface history of Mars. Definite martian secondary phases include Ca-carbonate, Ca-sulfate, and Mg-sulfate. These salts are also found in soils from the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Results of earlier Wright Valley work are consistent with what is now known about Mars based on meteorite and orbital data. Results from recent and current Mars missions support this inference. Aqueous processes are active even in

  19. Human Missions to Mars Orbit, Phobos, and Mars Surface Using 100-kWe-Class Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Humphrey W.; Woolley, Ryan C.; Strange, Nathan J.; Baker, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) tugs in the 100-kWe range, may be utilized to preposition cargo in the Mars system to enable more affordable human missions to Phobos and to the surface of Mars. The SEP tug, a high heritage follow-on to the 50-kWe SEP spacecraft proposed for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), would have the same structure, tankage, electric propulsion components, and avionics as the ARRM version, But with double the number of solar arrays, Hall thrusters, and power processor units (PPUs) and would be accommodated within the same launch envelope defined for ARRM. As a feasibility study, a 950-day human mission to Phobos using a conjunction class trajectory, such as the 2033 opportunity, was developed using two 100-kWe SEP vehicles to preposition a habitat at Phobos and propulsion stages in high Mars orbit (HMO). An architecture concept for a crewed Mars surface lander mission was also developed as a reference to build on the Phobos mission architecture, adding a lander element that could be delivered using chemical propulsion and aerocapture.

  20. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

    1999-01-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Reconstruction of the flight and attitude of Rosetta's lander Philae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinisch, Philip; Auster, Hans-Ulrich; Plettemeier, Dirk; Kofman, Wlodek; Herique, Alain; Statz, Christoph; Hahnel, Ronny; Rogez, Yves; Richter, Ingo; Hilchenbach, Martin; Jurado, Eric; Garmier, Romain; Martin, Thierry; Finke, Felix; Güttler, Carsten; Sierks, Holger; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz

    2017-11-01

    Since Rosetta's lander Philae touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014, many tools have been applied to reconstruct Philae's flight path and attitude between separation, the touchdowns, collision and the final landing at Abydos. In addition to images from the cameras onboard both orbiter and lander (;OSIRIS;, ;CIVA; and ;ROLIS;), radio tracking results, solar array and radio data link housekeeping data, one of the major sources for timing and attitude information were two point magnetic field measurements by the magnetometers ;ROMAP; and ;RPC-MAG; aboard Philae and Rosetta. In this study all the different results are combined to determine in further detail what happened to Philae during its travel above the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In addition to a description of the descent dynamics and the attitude during rebound, the approximate coordinates for the collision at 16:20 UTC with the rim of the Hatmehit crater and the second touchdown are estimated. It is also shown, that Philae did not change attitude between the end of the first-science sequence and September 2, 2016.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  7. Robotic Arm Camera on Mars, with Lights Off

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This approximate color image is a view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) as seen by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager (SSI). This image was taken on the afternoon of the 116th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (September 22, 2008). The RAC is about 8 centimeters (3 inches) tall. The SSI took images of the RAC to test both the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and cover function. Individual images were taken in three SSI filters that correspond to the red, green, and blue LEDs one at a time. This yields proper coloring when imaging Phoenix's surrounding Martian environment. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  8. Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization Technology Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago-Maldonado, Edgardo; Muscatello, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    We have examined the technologies required to enable Mars Tn-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) because our understanding of Mars resources has changed significantly in the last five years as a result of recent robotic missions to the red planet [1-4]. Two major developments, (1) confirmation of the presence of near-surface water in the form of ice in very large amounts at high latitudes by the Phoenix Lander and (2) the likely existence of water at lower latitudes in the form of hydrates or ice in the top one meter of the regolith, have the potential to change ISRU technology selection. A brief technology assessment was performed for the most promising Mars atmospheric gas processing techniques: Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS) and Methanation (aka Sabatier), as well as an overview of soil.processing technology to extract water from Martian soil.

  9. Systems Engineering and Technology Considerations of a Mars Ascent Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Anita; Kennett, Andrew; Pauken, Mike; Trinidad, Mark; Zabrensky, Ed

    2012-01-01

    A Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) systems engineering study is underway to define the driving requirements, system architecture, major risks, and required technology developments to support the launch of a rock core sample to a specified delivery orbit for later retrieval and return to Earth. The proposed MAV would essentially be a small-scale launch vehicle, the first of its kind to be launched autonomously from another planet. The MAV would be a flight element of the proposed Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign architecture, which currently assumes a 2018 launch of the sample caching mission and a 2024 (Earth) launch date of the MAV and lander, with arrival on Mars in 2025. After 9 months on the surface the MAV would be erected and launched to a specified delivery orbit. In the delivery orbit it would release its payload, a 5 kg sphere containing the rock core sample. An orbiter would rendezvous and capture the payload, returning it to Earth a year later.

  10. 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.

  11. Absolute far-field displacements from the 28 June 1992 Landers earthquake sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blewitt, Geoffrey; Heflin, Michael B.; Hurst, Kenneth J.; Jefferson, David C.; Webb, Frank H.; Zumberge, James F.

    1993-01-01

    Displacements observed for the Landers earthquake indicate that the depth of the bottom of the rupture is shallower towards the northern end. Displacements were dominantly symmetric and the rupture extended farther south on the Johnson Valley fault than has been mapped on the basis of surface ground offsets. The combined geodetic moment for the Landers and Big Bear earthquakes agrees well with teleseismic estimates.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. A First Look at Carbon and Oxygen Stable Isotope Measurements of Martian Atmospheric C02 by the Phoenix Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niles, P.B.; Ming, D.W.; Boynton, W.V.; Hamara, D.; Hoffman, J.H.

    2009-01-01

    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. The isotopic composition of the martian atmosphere has been measured using a number of different methods (Table 1), however a precise value (isotope fractionations under martian surface conditions. The Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) instrument on the Mars Phoenix Lander included a magnetic sector mass spectrometer (EGA) which had the goal of measuring the isotopic composition of martian atmospheric CO2 to within 0.5%. The mass spectrometer is a miniature magnetic sector instrument intended to measure both the martian atmosphere as well as gases evolved from heating martian soils. Ions produced in the ion source are drawn out by a high voltage and focused by a magnetic field onto a set of collector slits. Four specific trajectories are selected to cover the mass ranges, 0.7 - 4, 7 - 35, 14 - 70, and 28 - 140 Da. Using four channels reduces the magnitude of the mass scan and provides simultaneous coverage of the mass ranges. Channel electron multiplier (CEM) detectors that operate in the pulse counting mode detect the ion beams.

  15. 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.

    1999-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. Hurry along please, for the Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-06-01

    at sharply defined wavelengths. PFS will also monitor temperature changes on the surface, and investigate the seasonal frost on Mars. To provide minerological information about the surface of Mars is the job of the mapping spectrometer OMEGA, supervised by the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale at Orsay near Paris. It will observe the gases and dust in the atmosphere too, but the main aim of OMEGA is to use visible and infrared signatures to distinguish materials on the surface -- silicates, hydrated minerals, oxides and carbonates, organic frosts and ices. Confirming Europe's chance to make a distinctive and original contribution to the study of Mars is a unique German instrument, the High Resolution Stereo Camera. It will provide unprecedented images in stereo and colour, showing details of the surface down to 12-15 metres, across huge areas. Its images will enable scientists to re-evaluate the the history of Mars and its volcanic and water-eroded features, as well as giving clearer impressions of dust storms, frost and other weather-related events. The principal investigator for the stereo camera is at the Institut für Planetenerkundung in Berlin. A valuable addition to the science of Mars Express requires no special onboard equipment. The Radio Science Experiment, masterminded at the University of Cologne, will use the radio communications link between the spacecraft and the Earth to probe the martian atmosphere. Effects of the martian surface on radio signals reflected from it will give fresh clues to the surface composition, and the radio science observations will help to refine the measurements of heights and effects of gravity, made with the stereo camera. Family resemblances between the experiments on Mars Express and those selected for the Rosetta mission to Comet Wirtanen show a coherence in ESA's approach to the science of the Solar System. Rosetta is due to fly a few months before Mars Express. The lander option In addition to the seven excellent

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Planning of Lander Science Observations after ROSETTA Deep Space Hibernation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthelemy, Maud; Ulamec, Stephan; Gaudon, Philippe; Biele, Jens; Pätz, Brigitte; Ashman, Mike

    2014-05-01

    After 10 years of its interplanetary journey, Rosetta has woken up from hibernation to meet Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet in the second term of 2014. The Rosetta spacecraft is composed of an Orbiter and a Lander part. The spacecraft will deliver the Lander, named Philae, to land on the surface of the comet in November 2014. During the Cruise Phase, the Lander, attached to the Orbiter, participated in several commissioning and payload checkout observations. In April 2014, after almost 3 years of hibernation, the Lander and the Orbiter will enter a commissioning phase to check the health of all instruments. Then, from May to November, Prelanding science activities can be planned, although the priority will go to those observations that help to select the landing site. The Lander project has, in much the same way as the Orbiter, its own ground segment: the Rosetta Lander Ground Segment (RLGS). The RLGS is composed of the Science Operations and Navigation Center - SONC - at CNES in Toulouse and the Lander Control Center - LCC - at DLR in Cologne. There are 10 instruments on board of Philae trying to conduct science observations during the life of the Lander. As the comet travels closer to the sun the temperature will eventually become too hot for Philae. The Orbiter, however, is planned to operate for much longer, until end of 2015, passing perihelion. Each of the 10 instruments is represented by a principal investigator. The Lander project also has Lead Scientists, who make sure that the science objectives of the Lander are fulfilled and are on hand to solve any eventual conflicts in this regard. To plan their observations, the Lander team listed their science objectives and ranked them. From these objectives, Specific On-Comet Operation Plan (SOCOP) documents are written by LCC describing the proposed observations. Then, at SONC, the MOST (Mission Operation Scheduling Tool) is used to generate a science experiment plan. This plan is confirmed by the PIs and the Lead

  1. Mars water vapor, near-surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J. A.; Sharman, R. D.; Lucich, R. D.

    1982-01-01

    In a previous paper we concluded that the temperature sensors aboard the Viking landers (VL-1 and VL-2) were detecting the water vapor frost point. Analysis of one Mars year of data at both lander sites substantiates this conclusion. At VL-1 it is found that the water vapor mixing ratio is constant with height through the bulk of the atmosphere, most of the time. Exceptions are during the onset phases of the two major dust storms when temporary enhancement of near-surface vapor occurs (the same phenomenon is observed at VL-2), and some depletion of near-surface vapor during the decay phase of the first storm, possibly the second storm as well. The former suggests near-surface, northward transport of water vapor with the storms. The latter suggests adsorption of vapor on dust particles followed by surface deposition. At VL-2, severe near-surface depletion of water vapor occurs during northern autumn and winter. The residual vapor is in equilibrium with the surface condensate observed at the site during this period, indicating that the source region for the condensate must be aloft with downward transport by dust fall-out. Since the near-surface water vapor mixing ratio and concentration at VL-1 generally parallels the column abundance over VL-1 obtained by the orbiters, this suggests that VL-1 can be used to give a measure of column abundance for as long as the temperature sensors remain operational.

  2. Marli: Mars Lidar for Global Wind Profiles and Aerosol Profiles from Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abshire, J. B.; Guzewich, S. D.; Smith, M. D.; Riris, H.; Sun, X.; Gentry, B. M.; Yu, A.; Allan, G. R.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Analysis Group's Next Orbiter Science Analysis Group (NEXSAG) has recently identified atmospheric wind measurements as one of 5 top compelling science objectives for a future Mars orbiter. To date, only isolated lander observations of martian winds exist. Winds are the key variable to understand atmospheric transport and answer fundamental questions about the three primary cycles of the martian climate: CO2, H2O, and dust. However, the direct lack of observations and imprecise and indirect inferences from temperature observations leave many basic questions about the atmospheric circulation unanswered. In addition to addressing high priority science questions, direct wind observations from orbit would help validate 3D general circulation models (GCMs) while also providing key input to atmospheric reanalyses. The dust and CO2 cycles on Mars are partially coupled and their influences on the atmospheric circulation modify the global wind field. Dust absorbs solar infrared radiation and its variable spatial distribution forces changes in the atmospheric temperature and wind fields. Thus it is important to simultaneously measure the height-resolved wind and dust profiles. MARLI provides a unique capability to observe these variables continuously, day and night, from orbit.

  3. 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.

  4. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

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

  5. The geologic development of Mars: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mutch, T.A.; Saunders, R.S.

    1976-01-01

    The planet Mars has been the subject of a continuing program of exploration with the flyby missions of 1964 and 1969, the orbiter of 1971, and the present Viking Project with both orbiters and landers. The overall view of Mars has changed from Earthlike in the prespacecraft era to Moonlike following the flyby missions and finally to a planet with intermediate characteristics. There are many impact craters as on the Moon, but tectonic and volcanic features resembling structures on Earth are also present. However, there is a lack of evidence for the compressional deformation associated with terrestrial plate tectonics and continental drift. The current analyses indicate that Mars has a differentiated interior with a crust and mantle and perhaps a core. Whatever the nature of interior processes, whether overall mantle expansion, plumes, or full scale convection, the effects at the surface have been predominantly vertical with formation of broad regions of uplift and depression. One of the results is hemispheric asymmetry with cratered terrain in the south and younger uncratered plains in the north. (Auth.)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Can We Power Future Mars Missions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Sturm, Erick J., II; Woolley, Ryan C.; Jordan, James F.

    2006-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration identified the exploration of Mars as one of the key pathways. In response, NASAs Mars Program Office is developing a detailed mission lineup for the next decade that would lead to future explorations. Mission architectures for the next decade include both orbiters and landers. Existing power technologies, which could include solar panels, batteries, radioisotope power systems, and in the future fission power, could support these missions. Second and third decade explorations could target human precursor and human in-situ missions, building on increasingly complex architectures. Some of these could use potential feed forward from earlier Constellation missions to the Moon, discussed in the ESAS study. From a potential Mars Sample Return mission to human missions the complexity of the architectures increases, and with it the delivered mass and power requirements also amplify. The delivered mass at Mars mostly depends on the launch vehicle, while the landed mass might be further limited by EDL technologies, including the aeroshell, parachutes, landing platform, and pinpoint landing. The resulting in-situ mass could be further divided into payload elements and suitable supporting power systems. These power systems can range from tens of watts to multi-kilowatts, influenced by mission type, mission configuration, landing location, mission duration, and season. Regardless, the power system design should match the power needs of these surface assets within a given architecture. Consequently, in this paper we will identify potential needs and bounds of delivered mass and architecture dependent power requirements to surface assets that would enable future in-situ exploration of Mars.

  9. Multispectral and stereo imaging on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levinthal, E. C.; Huck, F. O.

    1976-01-01

    Relevant aspects of the design and function of the two-window Viking Landing Camera system are described, with particular reference to some results of its operation on Mars during the Viking mission. A major feature of the system is that the optical tunnel between the lens and the photosensor array contains a multiaperture baffle designed to reduce veiling glare and to attenuate radio frequency interference from the lander antennas. The principle of operation of the contour mode is described. The accuracy is limited by the stereo base, resolution of camera picture elements, and geometric calibration. To help determine the desirability as well as the safety of possible sample sites, use is made of both radiometric and photogrammetric information for each picture element to combine high-resolution pictures with low-resolution color pictures of the same area. Explanatory photographs supplement the text.

  10. Clays on Mars: Review of chemical and mineralogical evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banin, Amos; Gooding, James L.

    1991-01-01

    Mafic igneous bedrock is inferred for Mars, based on spectrophotometric evidence for pyroxene (principally in optically dark areas of the globe) and the pyroxenite-peridotite petrology of shergottite nakhlite chassignite (SNC) meteorites. Visible and infrared spectra of reddish-brown surface fines (which dominate Martian bright areas) indicate ferric iron and compare favorably (though not uniquely) with spectra of palagonitic soils. Laboratory studies of SNC's and Viking Lander results support a model for Martian soil based on chemical weathering of mafic rocks to produce layer structured silicates (clay minerals), salts, and iron oxides.

  11. Estimates of seismic activity in the Cerberus Fossae region of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, J.; Teanby, N. A.; Wookey, J.

    2013-01-01

    The 2016 NASA InSight lander is the first planetary mission designed to study the deep interior of Mars. InSight's Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) package will quantify global and regional seismic activity and determine parameters like core properties, mantle composition, and Martian lithospheric thickness. An improved understanding of the location, magnitude, and frequency of potential seismic sources is essential for optimization of instrument design, sampling strategy, and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Dexterous robotic sampling for Mars in-situ science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenker, Paul S.; Baumgartner, Eric T.; Lee, Sukhan; Aghazarian, H.; Garrett, M. S.; Lindemann, R. A.; Brown, D. K.; Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Lih, Shyh Shiuh; Joffe, Benjamin; Kim, S. S.; Hoffman, B. H.; Huntsberger, Terrance L.

    1997-09-01

    Robotic exploration of the Martian surface will provide important scientific data on planetary climate, life history, and geologic resources. In particular, robotic arms will assist in the detailed visual inspection, instrumented analysis, extraction, and earth return of soil and rock samples. To this end, we are developing new robotic manipulation concepts for use on landers and rovers, wherein mass, volume, power and the ambient Mars environment are significant design constraints. Our earlier work led to MarsArmI, a 2.2 meter, 3-dof hybrid metal/composite, dc-motor actuated arm operating under coordinated joint-space control; NASA's Mars Surveyor '98 mission utilizes this design concept. More recently, we have conceived and implmented new, all- composite, very light robot arms: MarsArmII, a 4.0 kilogram, 2.3 meter arm for lander operations, and MicroArm-1 and MicroArm-2, two smaller 1.0+ kilogram, .7 meter rover arms for mobile sample acquisition and Mars sample return processing. Features of these arms include our creation of new 3D machined composites for critical load-bearing parts; actuation by high-torque density ultrasonic motors; and, visually-designated inverse kinematics positioning with contact force adaptation under a novel task-level, dexterous controls paradigm. Our demonstrated results include robotic trenching, sample grasp-manipulation-and-transfer, and fresh rock surface exposure-probing via the science operator's 'point-and-shoot' visual task designation in a stereo workspace. Sensor-referenced control capabilities include real-time adaptation to positioning error and environmental uncertainties (e.g., variable soil resistance and impediments), and the synthesis of power optimal trajectories for free space manipulation.

  15. MMPM - Mission implementation of Mars MetNet Precursor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.

    2009-04-01

    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 key technical aspects and solutions of the mission will be discussed. 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. This 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.

  16. Soil mineralogy and chemistry on Mars - Possible clues from salts and clays in SNC meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooding, James L.

    1992-01-01

    If the shergottite, nakhlite, and chassignite (SNC) meteorites' parent planet is Mars, then the aqueous precipitates found in them imply that oxidizing, water-based solutions may have been chemically active on that planet over the past 200-1300 million yrs. It is suggested that the mixture of aqueous precipitates found in the SNCs furnish a self-consistent model for the bulk elemental composition of surface sediments at the Viking Lander sites. Further mineralogical and stable-isotope studies of the secondary minerals may establish the limits for biological activity over the last 1300 million years of Mars' water-based chemistry.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Investigation of bioinspired gecko fibers to improve adhesion of HeartLander surgical robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortora, Giuseppe; Glass, Paul; Wood, Nathan; Aksak, Burak; Menciassi, Arianna; Sitti, Metin; Riviere, Cameron

    2012-01-01

    HeartLander is a medical robot proposed for minimally invasive epicardial intervention on the beating heart. To date, all prototypes have used suction to gain traction on the epicardium. Gecko-foot-inspired micro-fibers have been proposed for repeatable adhesion to surfaces. In this paper, a method for improving the traction of HeartLander on biological tissue is presented. The method involves integration of gecko-inspired fibrillar adhesives on the inner surfaces of the suction chambers of HeartLander. Experiments have been carried out on muscle tissue ex vivo assessing the traction performance of the modified HeartLander with bio-inspired adhesive. The adhesive fibers are found to improve traction on muscle tissue by 57.3 %.

  20. Thermal Management System for Long-Lived Venus Landers, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Long-lived Venus landers require power and cooling. Heat from the roughly 64 General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules must be delivered to the convertor with...

  1. Development of a Lightweight Mobility System for a Passive Tensegrity Lander

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We will provide actuation for JPL’s light-weight and robust passive tensegrity lander, and develop simplified actuation based on either traction motors or...

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Hubble's Sharpest View Of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The sharpest view of Mars ever taken from Earth was obtained by the recently refurbished NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This stunning portrait was taken with the HST Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 (WFPC2) on March 10, 1997, just before Mars opposition, when the red planet made one of its closest passes to the Earth (about 60 million miles or 100 million km).At this distance, a single picture element (pixel) in WFPC2's Planetary Camera spans 13 miles (22 km) on the Martian surface.The Martian north pole is at the top (near the center of the bright polar cap) and East is to the right. The center of the disk is at about 23 degrees north latitude, and the central longitude is near 305 degrees.This view of Mars was taken on the last day of Martian spring in the northern hemisphere (just before summer solstice). It clearly shows familiar bright and dark markings known to astronomers for more than a century. The annual north polar carbon dioxide frost (dry ice) cap is rapidly sublimating (evaporating from solid to gas), revealing the much smaller permanent water ice cap, along with a few nearby detached regions of surface frost. The receding polar cap also reveals the dark, circular sea of sand dunes that surrounds the north pole (Olympia Planitia).Other prominent features in this hemisphere include Syrtis Major Planitia, the large dark feature seen just below the center of the disk. The giant impact basin Hellas (near the bottom of the disk) is shrouded in bright water ice clouds. Water ice clouds also cover several great volcanos in the Elysium region near the eastern edge of the planet (right). A diffuse water ice haze covers much of the Martian equatorial region as well.The WFPC2 was used to monitor dust storm activity to support the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter Missions, which are currently en route to Mars. Airborne dust is most easily seen in WFPC2's red and near-infrared images. Hubble's 'weather report' from these images in invaluable for

  6. Proximity Link Design and Performance Options for a Mars Areostationary Relay Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Charles D.; Bell, David J.; Biswas, Abhijit; Cheung, Kar-Ming; Lock, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    Current and near-term Mars relay telecommunications services are provided by a set of NASA and ESA Mars science orbiters equipped with UHF relay communication payloads employing operationally simple low-gain antennas. These have been extremely successful in supporting a series of landed Mars mission, greatly increasing data return relative to direct-to-Earth lander links. Yet their relay services are fundamentally constrained by the short contact times available from the selected science orbits. Future Mars areostationary orbiters, flying in circular, equatorial, 1- sol orbits, offer the potential for continuous coverage of Mars landers and rovers, radically changing the relay support paradigm. Achieving high rates on the longer slant ranges to areostationary altitude will require steered, high-gain links. Both RF and optical options exist for achieving data rates in excess of 100 Mb/s. Several point designs offer a measure of potential user burden, in terms of mass, volume, power, and pointing requirements for user relay payloads, as a function of desired proximity link performance.

  7. 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

  8. Solar vs. Fission Surface Power for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Oleson, Steve; George, Pat; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Fincannon, James; Bogner, Amee; Jones, Robert E.; Turnbull, Elizabeth; Martini, Michael C.; Gyekenyesi, John Z.; hide

    2016-01-01

    A multi-discipline team of experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed Mars surface power system point design solutions for two conceptual missions. The primary goal of this study was to compare the relative merits of solar- versus fission-powered versions of each surface mission. First, the team compared three different solar power options against a fission power system concept for a sub-scale, uncrewed demonstration mission. The 4.5 meter (m) diameter pathfinder lander's primary mission would be to demonstrate Mars entry, descent, and landing techniques. Once on the Martian surface, the lander's In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) payload would demonstrate liquid oxygen propellant production using atmospheric resources. For the purpose of this exercise, location was assumed to be at the Martian equator. The three solar concepts considered included a system that only operated during daylight hours (at roughly half the daily propellant production rate of a round-the-clock fission design), a battery-augmented system that operated through the night (matching the fission concept's propellant production rate), and a system that operated only during daylight, but at a higher rate (again, matching the fission concept's propellant production rate). Including 30% mass growth allowance, total payload masses for the three solar concepts ranged from 1,116 to 2,396 kg, versus the 2,686 kg fission power scheme. However, solar power masses are expected to approach or exceed the fission payload mass at landing sites further from the equator, making landing site selection a key driver in the final power system decision. The team also noted that detailed reliability analysis should be performed on daytime-only solar power schemes to assess potential issues with frequent ISRU system on/off cycling. Next, the team developed a solar-powered point design solution for a conceptual four-crew, 500-day surface mission consisting of up to four landers per

  9. 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

  10. The Mars Surveyor '01 Rover and Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert G.; Nguyen, Tam T.; Kim, Won S.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander will carry with it both a Robotic Arm and Rover to support various science and technology experiments. The Marie Curie Rover, the twin sister to Sojourner Truth, is expected to explore the surface of Mars in early 2002. Scientific investigations to determine the elemental composition of surface rocks and soil using the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will be conducted along with several technology experiments including the Mars Experiment on Electrostatic Charging (MEEC) and the Wheel Abrasion Experiment (WAE). The Rover will follow uplinked operational sequences each day, but will be capable of autonomous reactions to the unpredictable features of the Martian environment. The Mars Surveyor 2001 Robotic Arm will perform rover deployment, and support various positioning, digging, and sample acquiring functions for MECA (Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment) and Mossbauer Spectrometer experiments. The Robotic Arm will also collect its own sensor data for engineering data analysis. The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) mounted on the forearm of the Robotic Arm will capture various images with a wide range of focal length adjustment during scientific experiments and rover deployment

  11. 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.

  12. Precision Subsampling System for Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Paulsen, G.; Mellerowicz, B.; ten Kate, I. L.; Conrad, P.; Corrigan, C. M.; Li, X.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to analyze heterogeneous rock samples at fine spatial scales would represent a powerful addition to our planetary in situ analytical toolbox. This is particularly true for Mars, where the signatures of past environments and, potentially, habitability are preserved in chemical and morphological variations across sedimentary layers and among mineral pr.ases in a given rock specimen. On Earth, microbial life often associates with surfaces at the interface of chemical nutrients, and ultimately retains sub-millimeter to millimeter-scale layer confinement in fossilization. On Mars, and possibly other bodies, trace chemical markers (elemental, organic/molecular, isotopic, chiral, etc.) and fine-scale morphological markers (e.g., micro-fossils) may he too subtle, degraded, or ambiguous to be detected, using miniaturized instrumentation, without some concentration or isolation. This is because (i) instrument sensitivity may not be high enough to detect trace markers in bulk averages; and (ii) instrument slectiviry may not be sufficient to distinguish such markers from interfering/counteracting signals from the bulk. Moreover from a fundamental chemostratigraphic perspective there would be a great benefit to assessing specific chemical and stable isotopic gradients, over millimeter-to-centimeter scales and beyond, with higher precision than currently possible in situ. We have developed a precision subsampling system (PSS) that addresses this need while remaining relatively flexible to a variety of instruments that may take advantage of the capability on future missions. The PSS is relevant to a number of possible lander/rover missions, especially Mars Sample Return. Our specific PSS prototype is undergoing testing under Mars ambient conditions, on a variety of natural analog rocks and rock drill cores, using a set of complementary flight-compatible measurement techniques. The system is available for testing with other contact instruments that may benefit from

  13. Mars Analogue Field Research and Sample Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    2016-07-01

    We describe results from the data analysis from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns 2009 to 2016) in the Utah desert and in other extreme environments (Iceland, Eifel, La Reunion) relevant to habitability and astrobiology in Mars environments, and in order to help in the interpretation of Mars missions measurements from orbit (MEX, MRO) or from the surface (MER, MSL). We discuss results relevant to the scientific study of the habitability factors influenced by the properties of dust, organics, water history and the diagnostics and characterisation of microbial life. We also discuss perspectives for the preparation of future lander and sample return missions. We deployed at Mars Desert Research station, Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques including sample collection, context imaging from remote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geochemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. We find high 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. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples. We compare campaign results from 2009-2013 campaigns in Utah and other sites to new measurements concerning: the comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life.

  14. 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

  15. Surficial geology of Mars: A study in support of a penetrator mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spudis, P.; Greeley, R.

    1976-01-01

    Physiographic and surficial cover information were combined into unified surficial geology maps (30 quadrangles and 1 synoptic map). The surface of Mars is heterogeneous and is modified by wind, water, volcanism, tectonism, mass wasting and other processes. Surficial mapping identifies areas modified by these processes on a regional basis. Viking I mission results indicate that, at least in the landing site area, the surficial mapping based on Mariner data is fairly accurate. This area was mapped as a lightly cratered plain with thin or discontinuous eolian sediment. Analysis of lander images indicates that this interpretation is very close to actual surface conditions. These initial results do not imply that all surficial units are mapped correctly, but they do increase confidence in estimates based on photogeologic interpretations of orbital pictures.

  16. Polarization, political

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wojcieszak, M.; Mazzoleni, G.; Barnhurst, K.G.; Ikeda, K.; Maia, R.C.M.; Wessler, H.

    2015-01-01

    Polarization has been studied in three different forms: on a social, group, and individual level. This entry first focuses on the undisputed phenomenon of elite polarization (i.e., increasing adherence of policy positions among the elites) and also outlines different approaches to assessing mass

  17. 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...

  18. Mars-GRAM 2010: Improving the Precision of Mars-GRAM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justh, H. L.; Justus, C. G.; Ramey, H. S.

    2011-01-01

    It has been discovered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) site selection process that the Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM) when used for sensitivity studies for Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) MapYear=0 and large optical depth values, such as tau=3, is less than realistic. Mars-GRAM's perturbation modeling capability is commonly used, in a Monte-Carlo mode, to perform high fidelity engineering end-to-end simulations for entry, descent, and landing (EDL). Mars-GRAM 2005 has been validated against Radio Science data, and both nadir and limb data from TES. Traditional Mars-GRAM options for representing the mean atmosphere along entry corridors include: (1) TES mapping year 0, with user-controlled dust optical depth and Mars-GRAM data interpolated from NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) results driven by selected values of globally-uniform dust optical depth, or (2) TES mapping years 1 and 2, with Mars-GRAM data coming from MGCM results driven by observed TES dust optical depth. From the surface to 80 km altitude, Mars-GRAM is based on NASA Ames MGCM. Above 80 km, Mars-GRAM is based on the University of Michigan Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM). MGCM results that were used for Mars-GRAM with MapYear=0 were from a MGCM run with a fixed value of tau=3 for the entire year at all locations. This choice of data has led to discrepancies that have become apparent during recent sensitivity studies for MapYear=0 and large optical depths. Unrealistic energy absorption by time-invariant atmospheric dust leads to an unrealistic thermal energy balance on the polar caps. The outcome is an inaccurate cycle of condensation/sublimation of the polar caps and, as a consequence, an inaccurate cycle of total atmospheric mass and global-average surface pressure. Under an assumption of unchanged temperature profile and hydrostatic equilibrium, a given percentage change in surface pressure would produce a corresponding percentage

  19. First THEMIS Image of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This thermal infrared image was acquired by Mars Odyssey's thermal emission imaging system on October 30, 2001, as the spacecraft orbited Mars on its ninth revolution around the planet. The image was taken as part of the calibration and testing process of the camera system.This image shows the temperature of Mars in one of the 10 thermal infrared filters. The spacecraft was approximately 22,000 kilometers (about 13,600 miles) above the planet looking down toward the south pole of Mars when this image was acquired.It is late spring in the martian southern hemisphere. The extremely cold, circular feature shown in blue is the martian south polar carbon dioxide ice cap at a temperature of about -120 oC (-184 o F). The cap is more than 900 kilometers (540 miles) in diameter at this time and will continue to shrink as summer progresses. Clouds of cooler air blowing off the cap can be seen in orange extending across the image to the left of the cap. The cold region in the lower right portion of the image shows the nighttime temperatures of Mars, demonstrating the 'night-vision' capability of the camera system to observe Mars even when the surface is in darkness. The warmest regions occur near local noontime. The ring of mountains surrounding the 900-kilometer (540-mile) diameter impact basin Argyre can be seen in the early afternoon in the upper portion of the image. The thin blue crescent along the upper limb of the planet is the martian atmosphere.This image covers a length of over 6,500 kilometers (3,900 miles) spanning the planet from limb to limb, with a resolution of approximately 5.5 kilometers per pixel (3.4 miles per pixel), or picture elements, at the point directly beneath the spacecraft. The Odyssey's infrared camera is planned to have a resolution of 100 meters per pixel (about 300 feet per pixel) from its mapping orbit.JPL manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The thermal emission imaging system was

  20. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Polar Bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are hunted throughout most of their range. In addition to hunting polar bears of the Beaufort Sea region are exposed to mineral and petroleum extraction and related human activities such as shipping road-building, and seismic testing (Stirling 1990).Little was known at the start of this project about how polar bears move about in their environment, and although it was understood that many bears travel across political borders, the boundaries of populations had not been delineated (Amstrup 1986, Amstrup et al. 1986, Amstrup and DeMaster 1988, Garner et al. 1994, Amstrup 1995, Amstrup et al. 1995, Amstrup 2000).As human populations increase and demands for polar bears and other arctic resources escalate, managers must know the sizes and distributions of the polar bear populations. Resource managers also need reliable estimates of breeding rates, reproductive intervals, litter sizes, and survival of young and adults.Our objectives for this research were 1) to determine the seasonal and annual movements of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, 2) to define the boundaries of the population(s) using this region, 3) to determine the size and status of the Beaufort Sea polar bear population, and 4) to establish reproduction and survival rates (Amstrup 2000).

  3. 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.

  4. Mars and How to Observe It

    CERN Document Server

    Grego, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Mars has long been a favorite subject for astronomers, both amateur and professional. Known as the Red Planet because of its distinct color, it shines brightly in the skies when it is closest to the Earth every two years. Exciting to view through a telescope, this most Earth-like of planets transforms into a real world showing phases, brilliant polar ice caps, seasonal changes in its dusty desert markings, and atmospheric phenomena. Mars and How to Observe It takes readers on a planet-wide tour of the Red Planet and explains how a variety of dynamic forces has shaped it through the ages. This book explains how amateur astronomers can view Mars successfully to create accurate observational drawings and secure high-resolution CCD images of the planet. Peter Grego is an accomplished author, an experienced amateur astronomer who has been actively observing Mars for over 30 years. Using the latest imagery and data from Mars probes and rovers, Mars and How to Observe It presents an up-to-date guide on our current u...

  5. Reorientation Histories of Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, J. T.; Matsuyama, I.

    2017-09-01

    The spins of planets are not constant with time. Impacts, volcanos, and other large geologic features can reorient planets (a process known as true polar wander). True polar wander can have important implications for the climate, volatiles, and tectonics of planets and moons. However, despite its importance, it has been difficult to study true polar wander for objects beyond the Earth. Here we present the results of the first comprehensive, data-driven investigation into the true polar wander histories of Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We find that Mercury and the Moon have both reoriented in response to large impacts, while the spins of Mars and Venus are more strongly affected by volcanism. Venus, in particular, has been subject to some very dramatic episodes of true polar wander in the past.

  6. Mars - Water Ice Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

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

  10. Oxychlorine Species on Mars: The Gale Crater Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Sutter, B.; Morris, R. V.; Clark, B. C.; Mahaffy, P. H.; Wray, J. J.; Fairen, A. G.; Gellert, R.; Yen, A. S.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Comparing data from the Alpha- Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments on MSL reveals a strong linear correlation between chlorine and oxygen, further demonstrating the presence of oxychlorine species in Gale Crater and, very likely, globally on Mars. Perchlorate was first discovered on Mars by the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) instrument on the Phoenix lander in 2008. Current hypotheses suggest that the formation of oxychlorine species such as perchlorate or chlorate is a global process and that these species should be globally distributed on Mars [e.g. 2-4]. To date, the SAM and Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instruments on MSL have analyzed one scooped sample of aeolian material (Rocknest [RN]), and four drilled samples (John Klein [JK], Cumberland [CB], Windjana [WJ], and Confidence Hills [CH]). The APXS instrument has also investigated the same or very similar samples. Although not definitively identified, oxychlorine species have been proposed to explain releases of O2, HCl, and chlorinated hydrocarbon species detected by evolved gas analysis (EGA) with the SAM instrument. We report a strong linear correlation between wt. % Cl detected by APXS and moles O2 detected by SAM during pyrolysis, indicating the presence of oxychlorine species in Gale Crater.

  11. Solar Versus Fission Surface Power for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Oleson, Steve; George, Pat; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Fincannon, James; Bogner, Amee; Jones, Robert E.; Turnbull, Elizabeth; McNatt, Jeremiah; Martini, Michael C.; hide

    2016-01-01

    A multi-discipline team of experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed Mars surface power system point design solutions for two conceptual missions to Mars using In-situ resource utilization (ISRU). The primary goal of this study was to compare the relative merits of solar- versus fission-powered versions of each surface mission. First, the team compared three different solar-power options against a fission power system concept for a sub-scale, uncrewed demonstration mission. This “pathfinder” design utilized a 4.5 meter diameter lander. Its primary mission would be to demonstrate Mars entry, descent, and landing techniques. Once on the Martian surface, the lander’s ISRU payload would demonstrate liquid oxygen propellant production from atmospheric resources. For the purpose of this exercise, location was assumed to be at the Martian equator. The three solar concepts considered included a system that only operated during daylight hours (at roughly half the daily propellant production rate of a round-the-clock fission design), a battery-augmented system that operated through the night (matching the fission concept’s propellant production rate), and a system that operated only during daylight, but at a higher rate (again, matching the fission concept’s propellant production rate). Including 30% mass growth allowance, total payload masses for the three solar concepts ranged from 1,128 to 2,425 kg, versus the 2,751 kg fission power scheme. However, solar power masses increase as landing sites are selected further from the equator, making landing site selection a key driver in the final power system decision. The team also noted that detailed reliability analysis should be performed on daytime-only solar power schemes to assess potential issues with frequent ISRU system on/off cycling.

  12. 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.

  13. Acousto-Optic Imaging Spectrometers for Mars Surface Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenar, D. A.; Blaney, D. L.

    2000-01-01

    NASA's long term plan for Mars sample collection and return requires a highly streamlined approach for spectrally characterizing a landing site, documenting the mineralogical make-up of the site and guiding the collections of samples which represent the diversity of the site. Ideally, image data should be acquired at hundreds of VIS and IR wavelengths, in order to separately distinguish numerous anticipated species, using principal component analysis and linear unmixing. Cameras with bore-sighted point spectrometers can acquire spectra of isolated scene elements, but it requires 10(exp 2) to 10(exp 2) successive motions and precise relative pointing knowledge in order to create a single data cube which qualifies as a spectral map. These and other competing science objectives have to be accomplished within very short lander/rover operational lifetime (a few sols). True, 2-D imaging spectroscopy greatly speeds up the data acquisition process, since the spectra of all pixels in the scene are collected at once. This task can be accomplished with cameras that use electronically tunable acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTFs) as the optical tuning element. AOTFs made from TeO2 are now a mature technology, and operate at wavelengths from near-UV to about 5 microns. Because of incremental improvements in the last few years, present generation devices are rugged, radiation-hard and operate at temperatures down to at least 150K so they can be safely integrated into the ambient temperature optics of in-situ instruments such as planetary or small-body landers. They have been used for ground-based astronomy, and were also baselined for the ST-4 Champollion IR comet lander experiment (CIRCLE), prior to cancellation of the ST-4 mission last year. AIMS (for Acousto-optic Imaging spectrometer), is a prototype lander instrument which is being built at GSFC with support by the NASA OSS Advanced Technologies and Mission Studies, Mars Instrument Definition and Development Program (MIDP

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Design and Sizing of the Air Revitalization System for Altair Lunar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allada, Rama Kumar

    2009-01-01

    Designing closed-loop Air Revitalization Systems (ARS) for human spaceflight applications requires a delicate balance between designing for system robustness while minimizing system power and mass requirements. This presentation will discuss the design of the ARS for the Altair Lunar Lander. The presentation will illustrate how dynamic simulations, using Aspen Custom Modeler, were used to develop a system configuration with the ability to control atmospheric conditions under a wide variety of circumstances while minimizing system mass/volume and the impact on overall power requirements for the Lander architecture.

  17. 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

  18. Cryogenic Fluid Management Technology for Moon and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Nutational constraints on the interior structure of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivoldini, A.; Deproost, M. H.; Baland, R. M.; Van Hoolst, T.; Yseboodt, M.; Le Maistre, S.; Péters, M. J.; Dehant, V. M. A.

    2017-12-01

    Knowledge about the rotation of Mars provides insight about its global scale atmosphere dynamics and interior structure. In particular, inferences about the core of Mars can be made by observing its nutation as foreseen by the forthcoming RISE and LaRa experiments on InSight and ExoMars. Nutation can be resonantly amplified if the planet's core is liquid and the amplification depends on the core's polar moment of inertia, figure, and capacity to deform. By combining measured nutation amplitudes with the already well known polar moment of inertia and tidal Love number the size of the core and its material properties can be determined more precisely than from the latter quantities alone. Additionally, the polar moment of the mantle can then be determined from which its composition and thermal state be constrained. Here, we first reconsider the study of the nutations of a rigidly rotating Mars. Then, we use models of Mars' interior structure that agree with its moment of inertia, tidal Love number, and global dissipation to predict the nutations of the real Mars. Our models have been constructed from depth-dependent material properties and use recent thermoelastic and melting properties of plausible core constituents. For each model we determine nutation amplitudes and assess what constraints on the interior structure of the core can be expected from RISE and LaRa.

  20. 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

  1. MSFC Robotic Lunar Lander Testbed and Current Status of the International Lunar Network (ILN) Anchor Nodes Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara; Bassler, Julie; Harris, Danny; Morse, Brian; Reed, Cheryl; Kirby, Karen; Eng, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    The lunar lander robotic exploration testbed at Marshall Spaceflight Center provides a test environment for robotic lander test articles, components and algorithms to reduce the risk on the airless body designs during lunar landing. Also included is a chart comparing the two different types of Anchor nodes for the International Lunar Network (ILN): Solar/Battery and the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope generator (ARSG.)

  2. A Mars orbital laser altimeter for rover trafficability: Instrument concept and science potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.; Zuber, M. T.

    1988-01-01

    Limited information on the types of geologic hazards (boulders, troughs, craters etc.) that will affect rover trafficability on Mars are available for the two Viking Lander sites, and there are no prospects for increasing this knowledge base in the near future. None of the instrument payloads on the upcoming Mars Observer or Soviet PHOBOS missions can directly measure surface obstacles on the scales of concern for rover safety (a few meters). Candidate instruments for the Soviet Mars 92 orbiter/balloon/rover mission such as balloon-borne stereo imaging, rover panoramic imaging, and orbital synthetic aperature imaging (SAR) are under discussion, but data from this mission may not be available for target areas of interest for the U.S. Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission. In an effort to determine how to directly measure the topography of surface obstacles that could affect rover trafficability on Mars, we are studying how to design a laser altimeter with extremely high spatial and vertical resolution that would be suitable for a future Mars Orbiter spacecraft (MRSR precursor or MRSR orbiter). This report discusses some of the design issues associated with such an instrument, gives examples of laser altimeter data collected for Mars analog terrains on Earth, and outlines the scientific potential of data that could be obtained with the system.

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehant, Veronique; Banerdt, Bruce; Lognonné, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    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......, 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Calibration and Performance of the Stirred Flux Chamber from the Benthic Lander Elinor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    GLUD, RN; GUNDERSEN, JK; REVSBECH, NP

    1995-01-01

    Flow velocities and O-2 microgradients were measured by use of minithermistors and O-2 microelectrodes inside a laboratory model of the chamber from the benthic lander, Elinor. The sensors were introduced from below through small holes in the chamber bottom and penetrated up through the sediment....

  7. Political polarization

    OpenAIRE

    Dixit, Avinash K.; Weibull, Jörgen W.

    2007-01-01

    Failures of government policies often provoke opposite reactions from citizens; some call for a reversal of the policy, whereas others favor its continuation in stronger form. We offer an explanation of such polarization, based on a natural bimodality of preferences in political and economic contexts and consistent with Bayesian rationality.

  8. Political polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Avinash K; Weibull, Jörgen W

    2007-05-01

    Failures of government policies often provoke opposite reactions from citizens; some call for a reversal of the policy, whereas others favor its continuation in stronger form. We offer an explanation of such polarization, based on a natural bimodality of preferences in political and economic contexts and consistent with Bayesian rationality.

  9. 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

  10. Three Dimensional Situational Awareness Sensor to Assist Descent and Landing of the Mars Lander Spacecraft, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In order to address NASA's needs identified in the RFP, TetraVue proposes the use of a unique, non GPS and non-observer position dependent 3D sensor system to...

  11. 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)

  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. 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

  14. The First Ultraviolet Linear Spectropolarimetry of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, M. J.; Fox, G. K.; Code, A. D.; Anderson, C. M.; Babler, B. L.; Bjorkman, K. S.; Edgar, R. J.; Johnson, J. J.; Lupie, O. L.; Meade, M. R.; Sanders, W. T.; Weitenbeck, A. J.; Zellner, N. E.; Harold, J.; Schulte-Ladbeck, R. E.; Clayton, G. C.

    1995-05-01

    We have obtained the first ultraviolet linear spectropolarimetry of Mars using the Wisconsin Ultraviolet PhotoPolarimetry Experiment (WUPPE), which flew on the Astro-2 shuttle mission. Mars was observed on March 12, 1995 at a phase angle of 21 degrees. A ground-based support observation was taken within 24 hours at the Pine Bluff Observatory (PBO), providing a total spectral coverage of 2000 - 10,000 Angstroms. The ultraviolet polarization increases almost linearly with decreasing wavelength. The polarization reaches a maximicrons of 5% at 2000 Angstroms. An empirical fit to the UV data predict zero polarization at about 4600 Angstroms. This is clearly seen in the PBO data, as is a position angle rotation of 90 degrees -- as would be expected at this phase angle if the dominant polarization source were switching from atmospheric to surface-based. We will present an analysis of the WUPPE+PBO polarimetry, examining several possible mechanisms. Our efforts will involve the characterizing the state of the Martian atmosphere at the time of the WUPPE observations using recent WFPC2 and FOS data (courtesy of Phil James, University of Toledo). WUPPE is supported by NASA contract NAS5-26777

  15. 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.

  16. Liturgical calendar for Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Karocki

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This article presents problems related to creating liturgical calendar for Mars colonists, assumed to land on Mars (accordingly to Mars One Project in year 2024. It consist of five parts: why to colonize space; brief history of Earth calendar; deep correlation of liturgical calendar (e.g. fests with astronomical events; last two parts present idea of civil Martian calendar and list difficulties related to extraterrestrial liturgical calendar.

  17. 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…

  18. Digital cartography of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batson, R. M.

    1987-01-01

    A medium-resolution Digital Image Model (DIM) of Mars is being compiled. A DIM is a mosaic of radiometrically corrected, photometrically modelled spacecraft images displaying accurate reflectance properties at uniform resolution, and geometrically tied to the best available control. The Mars medium-resolution DIM contains approximately 4700 Viking Orbiter image frames that were used to compile the recently completed 1:2,000,000-scale controlled photomosaic series of Mars. This DIM provides a planimetric control base to which all other Mars maps will be registered. A similar control base of topographic elevations (Digital Terrain Model, or DTM) is also being compiled. These products are scheduled for completion in 1989.

  19. Mars geologic mapping program: Review and highlights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David H.

    1991-06-01

    The Mars Geologic Mapping (MGM) Program was introduced by NASA in 1987 as a new initiative in the Planetary Geology and Geophysics (PGG) Program. The overall purpose of the program is to support research on topical science problems that address specific questions. Among the objectives of the project are: (1) to produce highly detailed geologic maps that will greatly increase the knowledge of the materials and processes that have contributed to the evolutionary history of Mars; (2) to define areas of special interest for possible future investigation by planned missions (Mars Observer, Mars Sample Return); and (3) to maintain the interest of the planetary community in the development of new concepts and the re-evaluation of Martian geology as new data in usable form become available. Some interesting highlights of the geologic mapping indicate that multiple flood episodes occurred at different times during the Hesperian Period in both Kasei and Maja Valles. Studies of small channels in the Memnonia, Mangala, and Tharsis regions show that fluvial events appear to have occurred during the Amazonian Period at equatorial latitudes. Flood waters occurred during the Amazonian Period at equatorial latitudes. Flood waters from Mangala Valles may have seeped into surficial materials with the subsequent development of numerous sapping channels and debris flows; this suggests that the ancient highland terrain consists of relatively unconsolidated materials. Multiple layers were observed for the first time in the ridged plains lava flows covering large areas of Lunae Planum; some wrinkle ridges in this area are associated with grabens and collapse volcanic units at Hadriaca and Tyrrhena Paterae indicates that the units may have been emplaced by gravity-driven pyroclastic flows. Unlike the north polar layered deposits, those in the south polar region show no angular unconformities or evidence of faulting and folding. Water ice in the south polar layered deposits may be protected

  20. Design and Analysis of Map Relative Localization for Access to Hazardous Landing Sites on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Andrew E.; Aaron, Seth; Cheng, Yang; Montgomery, James; Trawny, Nikolas; Tweddle, Brent; Vaughan, Geoffrey; Zheng, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Human and robotic planetary lander missions require accurate surface relative position knowledge to land near science targets or next to pre-deployed assets. In the absence of GPS, accurate position estimates can be obtained by automatically matching sensor data collected during descent to an on-board map. The Lander Vision System (LVS) that is being developed for Mars landing applications generates landmark matches in descent imagery and combines these with inertial data to estimate vehicle position, velocity and attitude. This paper describes recent LVS design work focused on making the map relative localization algorithms robust to challenging environmental conditions like bland terrain, appearance differences between the map and image and initial input state errors. Improved results are shown using data from a recent LVS field test campaign. This paper also fills a gap in analysis to date by assessing the performance of the LVS with data sets containing significant vertical motion including a complete data set from the Mars Science Laboratory mission, a Mars landing simulation, and field test data taken over multiple altitudes above the same scene. Accurate and robust performance is achieved for all data sets indicating that vertical motion does not play a significant role in position estimation performance.

  1. Critical issues in connection with human missions to Mars: protection of and from the Martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G.; Facius, R.; Reitz, G.; Rettberg, P.; Baumstark-Khan, C.; Gerzer, R.

    2003-01-01

    Human missions to Mars are planned to happen within this century. Activities associated therewith will interact with the environment of Mars in two reciprocal ways: (i) the mission needs to be protected from the natural environmental elements that can be harmful to human health, the equipment or to their operations; (ii) the specific natural environment of Mars should be protected so that it retains its value for scientific and other purposes. The following environmental elements need to be considered in order to protect humans and the equipment on the planetary surface: (i) cosmic ionizing radiation, (ii) solar particle events; (iii) solar ultraviolet radiation; (iv) reduced gravity; (v) thin atmosphere; (vi) extremes in temperatures and their fluctuations; and (vii) surface dust. In order to protect the planetary environment, the requirements for planetary protection as adopted by COSPAR for lander missions need to be revised in view of human presence on the planet. Landers carrying equipment for exobiological investigations require special consideration to reduce contamination by terrestrial microorganisms and organic matter to the greatest feasible extent. Records of human activities on the planet's surface should be maintained in sufficient detail that future scientific experimenters can determine whether environmental modifications have resulted from explorations. c2002 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Critical issues in connection with human missions to Mars: protection of and from the Martian environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G; Facius, R; Reitz, G; Rettberg, P; Baumstark-Khan, C; Gerzer, R

    2003-01-01

    Human missions to Mars are planned to happen within this century. Activities associated therewith will interact with the environment of Mars in two reciprocal ways: (i) the mission needs to be protected from the natural environmental elements that can be harmful to human health, the equipment or to their operations; (ii) the specific natural environment of Mars should be protected so that it retains its value for scientific and other purposes. The following environmental elements need to be considered in order to protect humans and the equipment on the planetary surface: (i) cosmic ionizing radiation, (ii) solar particle events; (iii) solar ultraviolet radiation; (iv) reduced gravity; (v) thin atmosphere; (vi) extremes in temperatures and their fluctuations; and (vii) surface dust. In order to protect the planetary environment, the requirements for planetary protection as adopted by COSPAR for lander missions need to be revised in view of human presence on the planet. Landers carrying equipment for exobiological investigations require special consideration to reduce contamination by terrestrial microorganisms and organic matter to the greatest feasible extent. Records of human activities on the planet's surface should be maintained in sufficient detail that future scientific experimenters can determine whether environmental modifications have resulted from explorations. c2002 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Robotic Arm Camera on Mars with Lights On

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image is a composite view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) with its lights on, as seen by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager (SSI). This image combines images taken on the afternoon of Phoenix's 116th Martian day, or sol (September 22, 2008). The RAC is about 8 centimeters (3 inches) tall. The SSI took images of the RAC to test both the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and cover function. Individual images were taken in three SSI filters that correspond to the red, green, and blue LEDs one at a time. When combined, it appears that all three sets of LEDs are on at the same time. This composite image is not true color. The streaks of color extending from the LEDs are an artifact from saturated exposure. 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. Atmospheric Processing Module for Mars Propellant Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony C.

    2014-01-01

    The multi-NASA center Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllectorPrOcessor for Lander Operations (MARCO POLO) project was established to build and demonstrate a methaneoxygen propellant production system in a Mars analog environment. Work at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Applied Chemistry Laboratory is focused on the Atmospheric Processing Module (APM). The purpose of the APM is to freeze carbon dioxide from a simulated Martian atmosphere containing the minor components nitrogen, argon, carbon monoxide, and water vapor at Martian pressures (8 torr) by using dual cryocoolers with alternating cycles of freezing and sublimation. The resulting pressurized CO(sub 2) is fed to a methanation subsystem where it is catalytically combined with hydrogen in a Sabatier reactor supplied by the Johnson Space Center (JSC) to make methane and water vapor. We first used a simplified once-through setup and later employed a H(sub 2)CO(sub 2) recycling system to improve process efficiency. This presentation and paper will cover (1) the design and selection of major hardware items, such as the cryocoolers, pumps, tanks, chillers, and membrane separators, (2) the determination of the optimal cold head design and flow rates needed to meet the collection requirement of 88 g CO(sub 2) hr for 14 hr, (3) the testing of the CO(sub 2) freezer subsystem, and (4) the integration and testing of the two subsystems to verify the desired production rate of 31.7 g CH(sub 4) hr and 71.3 g H(sub 2)O hr along with verification of their purity. The resulting 2.22 kg of CH(sub 2)O(sub 2) propellant per 14 hr day (including O(sub 2) from electrolysis of water recovered from regolith, which also supplies the H(sub 2) for methanation) is of the scale needed for a Mars Sample Return mission. In addition, the significance of the project to NASAs new Mars exploration plans will be discussed.

  6. Useful Radar Data for Mars 2001 Landing Site Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haldemann, A. F. C.; Slade, M. A.; Jurgens, R. F.

    1998-01-01

    Radar data, of both Doppler-only and delay-Doppler varieties, played a useful role in the landing site certification process for Mars Pathfinder. Radar provides information on the elevation of the planetary surface, on its radar reflectivity and on the surface roughness. The elevation is important for proper entry, descent and landing, as is the reflectivity if a radar altimeter is to be used on the lander. Both the reflectivity and the surface roughness can measure the rockiness of the surface, important for a safe landing, as well as for rover trafficability. The spatial resolution of this Earth-based remote sensing technique is around 10 km in longitude by some 150 km in latitude. In the case of Pathfinder the regionally averaged properties were confirmed by ground truth at the landing site in Ares Vallis. The landing site assessment for Pathfinder relied principally on data from the 1995 Mars opposition when sub-Earth latitudes on Mars ranged from 16 to 22 degrees north. Data from earlier oppositions (1992-93, 1990, 1988-89) are available and cover latitudes from 25 south to 25 north at various longitudes. The available data will be presented at the symposium. The data are of varying quality, although ranging data is available for about 20 radar tracks per opposition, reflectivity and roughness analyses may not always be possible. Some older data are also available (1982, 1980) with range-only information.

  7. Nuclear Planetology: Especially Concerning the Moon and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Kyeong Ja; Hasebe, Nobuyuki

    2012-01-01

    To approach basic scientific questions on the origin and evolution of planetary bodies such as planets, their satellites and asteroids, one needs data on their chemical composition. The measurements of gamma-rays, X-rays and neutrons emitted from their surface materials provide information on abundances of major elements and naturally radioactive gamma-ray emitters. Neutron spectroscopy can provide sensitive maps of hydrogen- and carbon-containing compounds, even if buried, and can uniquely identify layers of carbon-dioxide frost. Nuclear spectroscopy, as a means of compositional analysis, has been applied via orbital and lander spacecraft to extraterrestrial planetary bodies: the Moon, Venus, Mars, Mercury and asteroids. The knowledge of their chemical abundances, especially concerning the Moon and Mars, has greatly increased in recent years. This paper describes the principle of nuclear spectroscopy, nuclear planetary instruments carried on planetary missions so far, and the nature of observational results and findings of the Moon and Mars, recently obtained by nuclear spectroscopy. (invited reviews)

  8. Human Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Architectures Study Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polsgrove, Tara T.; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Landing humans on Mars will require entry, descent and landing (EDL) capability beyond the current state of the art. Nearly twenty times more delivered payload and an order of magnitude improvement in precision landing capability will be necessary. Several EDL technologies capable of meeting the human class payload delivery requirements are being considered. The EDL technologies considered include low lift-to-drag vehicles like Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIAD), Adaptable Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT), and mid range lift-to-drag vehicles like rigid aeroshell configurations. To better assess EDL technology options and sensitivities to future human mission design variations, a series of design studies has been conducted. The design studies incorporate EDL technologies with conceptual payload arrangements defined by the Evolvable Mars Campaign to evaluate the integrated system with higher fidelity than have been performed to date. This paper describes the results of the design studies for a lander design using the HIAD, ADEPT and rigid shell entry technologies and includes system and subsystem design details including mass and power estimates. This paper will review the point design for three entry configurations capable of delivering a 20 t human class payload to the surface of Mars.

  9. Nuclear Power System Evolution: MARS Robotics Outposts to Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.

    2002-01-01

    NASA has been studying various architectures to explore Mars encompassing sample return; robotic outpost with extended range exploration and possibly leading to eventual human exploration missions. The more demanding missions with longer-range mobility, enhanced surface operations, high rate communications, propellant production, deep drilling at multiple sites, etc., will require larger and more robust power systems beyond the current capability of today's multi-hundred watt space nuclear power systems. The relatively low power levels of the current suite of Mars' missions are met by photovoltaic solar arrays. As the desire for continuous day and night operations, high latitude exploration and extended mission lifetimes increase, the power system designs will also have to change to meet these increased science demands. While future mission planning continues and requirements continue to evolve, one can assess several power system technologies to satisfy both mobile and stationary applications. Certain technologies tend to optimize at different power levels and lifetimes. While current landers require 100's of watts, a human mission could require 100's of kilowatts. The harsh environment of Mars (dust storms, temperature cycling, CO2 atmosphere, dust settling, wind, low atmospheric pressure, etc.) will also pose some significant design challenges to overcome. This paper will discuss the challenges facing solar, isotope and nuclear power systems.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Immersive Environment Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, John R.; Hartman, Frank

    2000-01-01

    JPL's charter includes the unmanned exploration of the Solar System. One of the tools for exploring other planets is the rover as exemplified by Sojourner on the Mars Pathfinder mission. The light speed turnaround time between Earth and the outer planets precludes the use of teleoperated rovers so autonomous operations are built in to the current and upcoming generation devices. As the level of autonomy increases, the mode of operations shifts from low-level specification of activities to a higher-level specification of goals. To support this higher-level activity, it is necessary to provide the operator with an effective understanding of the in-situ environment and also the tools needed to specify the higher-level goals. Immersive environments provide the needed sense of presence to achieve this goal. Use of immersive environments at JPL has two main thrusts that will be discussed in this talk. One is the generation of 3D models of the in-situ environment, in particular the merging of models from different sensors, different modes (orbital, descent, and lander), and even different missions. The other is the use of various tools to visualize the environment within which the rover will be operating to maximize the understanding by the operator. A suite of tools is under development which provide an integrated view into the environment while providing a variety of modes of visualization. This allows the operator to smoothly switch from one mode to another depending on the information and presentation desired.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. A Water Rich Mars Surface Mission Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Andrews, Alida; Joosten, B. Kent; Watts, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    In an on-going effort to make human Mars missions more affordable and sustainable, NASA continues to investigate the innovative leveraging of technological advances in conjunction with the use of accessible Martian resources directly applicable to these missions. One of the resources with the broadest utility for human missions is water. Many past studies of human Mars missions assumed a complete lack of water derivable from local sources. However, recent advances in our understanding of the Martian environment provides growing evidence that Mars may be more "water rich" than previously suspected. This is based on data indicating that substantial quantities of water are mixed with surface regolith, bound in minerals located at or near the surface, and buried in large glacier-like forms. This paper describes an assessment of what could be done in a "water rich" human Mars mission scenario. A description of what is meant by "water rich" in this context is provided, including a quantification of the water that would be used by crews in this scenario. The different types of potential feedstock that could be used to generate these quantities of water are described, drawing on the most recently available assessments of data being returned from Mars. This paper specifically focuses on sources that appear to be buried quantities of water ice. (An assessment of other potential feedstock materials is documented in another paper.) Technologies and processes currently used in terrestrial Polar Regions are reviewed. One process with a long history of use on Earth and with potential application on Mars - the Rodriguez Well - is described and results of an analysis simulating the performance of such a well on Mars are presented. These results indicate that a Rodriguez Well capable of producing the quantities of water identified for a "water rich" human mission are within the capabilities assumed to be available on the Martian surface, as envisioned in other comparable Evolvable

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Earth Analog Seismic Deployment for InSight's Mars seismic installation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kedar, S.; Bradford, S. C.; Clayton, R. W.; Davis, P. M.; Ervin, J.; Kawamura, T.; Lognonne, P. H.; Lorenz, R. D.; Mimoun, D.; Murdoch, N.; Roberson, T.; Stubailo, I.; Van Buren, D.

    2014-12-01

    InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. InSight's main experiment is the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), which will robotically place a broadband seismometer provided by the French Space Agency (CNES) on the Martian surface. SEIS will operate on the surface for a full Mars year. Installing and operating a seismometer on Mars imposes constraints rarely considered in terrestrial seismic installations. The InSight project has therefore conducted a terrestrial analog field deployment exercise to better understand and prepare for the distinctive challenges that placing a broadband seismometer in a Mars-like configuration and environment would pose. The exercise was conducted in two phases at NASA's Goldstone facility in the Southern California Mojave desert. In the first phase we have installed a surface geophysical station including a broadband seismometer, a microbarometer, anemometer, and thermal sensors in a configuration resembling the InSight's geophysical station. The site was located in an exposed location with rough surface and subsurface terrain. It was in close proximity to Goldstone permanent seismic station (GSC) that provided a ground-truth measurement. In the second phase, the installation was moved to a dry lakebed where the geophysical conditions mimic the expected geophysical environment of InSight's target landing site on Mars. We will present a summary of lessons learned so far from our analog deployment exercise. The data analysis emphasizes several aspects of key importance to the InSight mission: (1) Exploring strategies to mitigate environmental noise sources; (2) Recognizing noise sources that might be introduced by the InSight lander (solar panel flutter); (3) Identifying weak geophysical signals with low SNR above the environmental noise; (4) Using non tectonic

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  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. Flight Testing of Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems on the Mighty Eagle Robotic Lander Testbed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, Mike; Rickman, Doug; Chavers, Greg; Adam, Jason; Becker, Chris; Eliser, Joshua; Gunter, Dan; Kennedy, Logan; O'Leary, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    During 2011 a series of progressively more challenging flight tests of the Mighty Eagle autonomous terrestrial lander testbed were conducted primarily to validate the GNC system for a proposed lunar lander. With the successful completion of this GNC validation objective the opportunity existed to utilize the Mighty Eagle as a flying testbed for a variety of technologies. In 2012 an Autonomous Rendezvous and Capture (AR&C) algorithm was implemented in flight software and demonstrated in a series of flight tests. In 2012 a hazard avoidance system was developed and flight tested on the Mighty Eagle. Additionally, GNC algorithms from Moon Express and a MEMs IMU were tested in 2012. All of the testing described herein was above and beyond the original charter for the Mighty Eagle. In addition to being an excellent testbed for a wide variety of systems the Mighty Eagle also provided a great learning opportunity for many engineers and technicians to work a flight program.

  8. Towards a general scenario for spring sublimation of volatiles in the South Polar Regions of Mars: insights from MRO high-resolution observations by HiRISE and CRISM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pommerol, Antoine; Portyankina, Ganna; Thomas, Nicolas; Aye, Klaus-Michael; Vincendon, Mathieu; Langevin, Yves

    The sublimation of the seasonal deposits of volatiles during Martian spring results in strong temporal variations of the appearance of the southern Polar Regions terrains. The intense dust and CO2 jet-like activity [1] is the most spectacular manifestation of these processes. The high spatial resolution capabilities of the MRO instruments now offer the possibility of new analyses at an unprecedented level of detail. Results from the analyses of HiRISE images as well as complementary work on the physical modeling of the involved processes have recently been published [2,3,4]. We are now completing this work by extending the number of regions of interest and by including CRISM spectral information in our analyses. We have derived the temporal evolution of albedo during spring in ten different areas from the HiRISE and CRISM datasets. In addition, the evolution of the strengths of the CO2-and H2O-ice spectral features are extracted from the CRISM observations. The color imaging capabilities of HiRISE were extensively used to discriminate the different terrains. Composite color images built from spectra measured by CRISM in the visible spectral range provide the ideal context for the HiRISE images. Together, our observations allow us to propose a plausible scenario for the progressive subli-mation of the volatiles deposits that involves a succession of three steps characterized by the predominance of different processes. This updates and enhances the previous work of [5]. First, an intense and early episode of jet activity results in the deposition of large dust fans accom-panied by the condensation of fined grained CO2 frost. In an apparent contradiction with the "Kieffer model" [5], we do not observe the spectral signature of the hypothetical clean slab of CO2-ice at that time. The clean ice is hidden by a quasi-homogeneous layer that is highly contaminated by mineral dust, as already revealed by the OMEGA instrument [6]. We propose a hypothesis to bypass this

  9. Cubic spline reflectance estimates using the Viking lander camera multispectral data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, S. K.; Huck, F. O.

    1976-01-01

    A technique was formulated for constructing spectral reflectance estimates from multispectral data obtained with the Viking lander cameras. The output of each channel was expressed as a linear function of the unknown spectral reflectance producing a set of linear equations which were used to determine the coefficients in a representation of the spectral reflectance estimate as a natural cubic spline. The technique was used to produce spectral reflectance estimates for a variety of actual and hypothetical spectral reflectances.

  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 Philae/Rosetta Lander at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - First Result, on overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bibring, J. P.; Boehnhardt, H.

    2014-12-01

    The Philae lander onboard ESA Rosetta mission is planned to land November 11, 2014 on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Before and during landing, descent, touch-down, then the days and weeks thereafter, campaigns of scientific measurements will be performed, involving the 10 instruments onboard, i.e. APXS, CIVA, CONSERT, COSAC, MUPUS, PTOLEMY, ROLIS, ROMAP, SD2 and SESAME. An overview of these activities will be provided and the first results from the Philae instruments presented and discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Probing Mars’ atmosphere with ExoMars Mars Climate Sounder

    OpenAIRE

    Irwin, Patrick G. J.; Calcutt, S. B.; Read, P. L.; Bowles, N. E.; Lewis, S.

    2011-01-01

    The 2016 Mars Trace Gas Mission will carry with it the ExoMars Mars Climate Sounder instrument, a development of the very successful Mars Climate Sounder instrument already in orbit about Mars on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. EMCS will continue the monitoring of Mars global temperature/pressure/aerosol field, and will also be able to measure the vertical profile of water vapour across the planet from 0 – 50 km. Key components of EMCS will be provided by Oxford, Reading and Ca...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. CO2 snow depth and subsurface water-ice abundance in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrofanov, I G; Zuber, M T; Litvak, M L; Boynton, W V; Smith, D E; Drake, D; Hamara, D; Kozyrev, A S; Sanin, A B; Shinohara, C; Saunders, R S; Tretyakov, V

    2003-06-27

    Observations of seasonal variations of neutron flux from the high-energy neutron detector (HEND) on Mars Odyssey combined with direct measurements of the thickness of condensed carbon dioxide by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on Mars Global Surveyor show a latitudinal dependence of northern winter deposition of carbon dioxide. The observations are also consistent with a shallow substrate consisting of a layer with water ice overlain by a layer of drier soil. The lower ice-rich layer contains between 50 and 75 weight % water, indicating that the shallow subsurface at northern polar latitudes on Mars is even more water rich than that in the south.

  20. 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. .

  1. Mars Observer's costly solitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travis, John

    1993-09-01

    An evaluation is presented of the ramifications of the loss of contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft in August, 1993; the Observer constituted the first NASA mission to Mars in 17 years. It is noted that most, if not all of the scientists involved with the mission will have to find alternative employment within 6 months. The loss of the Observer will leave major questions concerning the geologic history of Mars, and its turbulent atmospheric circulation, unanswered. A detailed account of the discovery of the loss of communications, the unsuccessful steps taken to rectify the problem, and the financial losses incurred through the failure of the mission, are also given.

  2. 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.

  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. 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,...

  5. Mars' Inner Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This figure shows a cross-section of the planet Mars revealing an inner, high density core buried deep within the interior. Dipole magnetic field lines are drawn in blue, showing the global scale magnetic field that one associates with dynamo generation in the core. Mars must have one day had such a field, but today it is not evident. Perhaps the energy source that powered the early dynamo has shut down. The differentiation of the planet interior - heavy elements like iron sinking towards the center of the planet - can provide energy as can the formation of a solid core from the liquid.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. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  6. 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...

  7. Mars' core and magnetism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, D J

    2001-07-12

    The detection of strongly magnetized ancient crust on Mars is one of the most surprising outcomes of recent Mars exploration, and provides important insight about the history and nature of the martian core. The iron-rich core probably formed during the hot accretion of Mars approximately 4.5 billion years ago and subsequently cooled at a rate dictated by the overlying mantle. A core dynamo operated much like Earth's current dynamo, but was probably limited in duration to several hundred million years. The early demise of the dynamo could have arisen through a change in the cooling rate of the mantle, or even a switch in convective style that led to mantle heating. Presently, Mars probably has a liquid, conductive outer core and might have a solid inner core like Earth.

  8. Mars Rover Photos API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This API is designed to collect image data gathered by NASA's Curiosity, Opportunity, and Spirit rovers on Mars and make it more easily available to other...

  9. Mars Environment Sensor Materials

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The project vision is to enable sensors and other components to be durable to the unique low Mars orbital environment so that science and pathfinder data can be...

  10. Strategies and Technologies for In Situ Mineralogical Investigations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J. R.; Bratton, C.; Koppel, L.; Hecht, M.; Metzger, E.

    1999-01-01

    Surface landers on Mars (Viking and Pathfinder) have not revealed satisfying answers to the mineralogy and lithology of the planet's surface. In part, this results from their prime directives: Viking focused on exobiology, Pathfinder focused on technology demonstration. The analytical instruments on board the landers made admirable attempts to extract the mineralogy and geology of Mars, as did countless modeling efforts after the missions. Here we suggest a framework for elucidating martian, or any other planetary geology, through an approach that defines (a) type of information required, (b) explorational strategy harmonious with acquisition of these data, (c) interpretation approach to the data, (d) compatible mission architecture, (e) instrumentation for interrogating rocks and soil. (a) Data required: The composition of a planet is ordered at scales ranging from molecules to minerals to rocks, and from geological units to provinces to planetary-scale systems. The largest ordering that in situ compositional instruments can attempt to interrogate is rock type "aggregate" information. This is what the geologist attempts to identify first. From this, mineralogy can be either directly seen or inferred. From mineralogy can be determined elemental abundances and perhaps the state of the compounds as being crystalline or amorphous. Knowledge of rock type and mineralogy is critical for elucidating geologic process. Mars landers acquired extremely valuable elemental data, but attempted to move from elements to aggregates, but this can only be done by making many assumptions and sometimes giant leaps of faith. Data we believe essential are elements, minerals, degree of ordering of compounds, and the aggregate or rock type that these materials compose. (b) Explorational strategy: A lander should function as a surrogate geologist. Of the total landscape, a geologist sees much, but gives detailed attention to an infinitesimally small amount of what is seen. To acquire

  11. 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.

  12. Discovery concepts for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Russell, C. T.; Brace, L. H.; Nagy, A. F.; Jakosky, B. M.; Barth, C. A.; Waite, J. H.

    1992-01-01

    Two focused Mars missions that would fit within the guidelines for the proposed Discovery line are discussed. The first mission would deal with the issue of the escape of the atmosphere (Mars') to space. A complete understanding of this topic is crucial to deciphering the evolution of the atmosphere, climate change, and volatile inventories. The second mission concerns the investigation of remanent magnetization of the crust and its relationship to the ionosphere and the atmosphere.

  13. Mitigation of the impact of terrestrial contamination on organic measurements from the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Kate, Inge L; Canham, John S; Conrad, Pamela G; Errigo, Therese; Katz, Ira; Mahaffy, Paul R

    2008-06-01

    The objective of the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which is planned to follow the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix lander to the surface of Mars, is to explore and assess quantitatively a site on Mars as a potential habitat for present or past life. Specific goals include an assessment of the past or present biological potential of the target environment and a characterization of its geology and geochemistry. Included in the 10 investigations of the MSL rover is the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite, which is designed to obtain trace organic measurements, measure water and other volatiles, and measure several light isotopes with experiment sequences designed for both atmospheric and solid-phase samples. SAM integrates a gas chromatograph, a mass spectrometer, and a tunable laser spectrometer supported by sample manipulation tools both within and external to the suite. The sub-part-per-billion sensitivity of the suite for trace species, particularly organic molecules, along with a mobile platform that will contain many kilograms of organic materials, presents a considerable challenge due to the potential for terrestrial contamination to mask the signal of martian organics. We describe the effort presently underway to understand and mitigate, wherever possible within the resource constraints of the mission, terrestrial contamination in MSL and SAM measurements.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Present-day heat flow and seismicity of Mars as predicted from convective thermal evolution models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plesa, A.-C.; Tosi, N.; Knapmeyer, M.; Grott, M.; Breuer, D.; Golombek, M.; Wieczorek, M.; Spohn, T.

    2017-09-01

    The InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Discovery class mission, to be launched in 2018, will perform a comprehensive geophysical investigation of Mars using a seismometer and a heat flow probe as well as precision tracking. The seismic and heat flow data are ultimately important to constrain the present-day interior structure and heat budget of the planet, and, in turn, offer constraints on its thermal and chemical evolution. As the InSight lander will perform its measurements at a single location, in the Elysium Planitia region, numerical simulations of the dynamics of the interior can greatly help to interpret the data in a global context. In this study we present 3D numerical thermal evolution models of Mars and focus on the present-day state. Furthermore, we compare our results with available estimates of elastic lithosphere thickness and seismicity.

  19. 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.

  20. Precessing deuteron polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sitnik, I.M.; Volkov, V.I.; Kirillov, D.A.; Piskunov, N.M.; Plis, Yu.A.

    2002-01-01

    The feasibility of the acceleration in the Nuclotron of deuterons polarized in the horizontal plane is considered. This horizontal polarization is named precessing polarization. The effects of the main magnetic field and synchrotron oscillations are included. The precessing polarization is supposed to be used in studying the polarization parameters of the elastic dp back-scattering and other experiments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Mars Communication Constellation For Human Exploration and Network Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, Francesco; Lavagna, Michèle; Simonetto, Andrea

    , or alternatively to carry a network of small rovers (as for the NetLander mission, proposed by CNES but now cancelled (3)). (1) H.Hemmati, K.E.Wilson, M.Sue, et al., Comparative Study of Optical and Radio-Frequency Communication Systems for a Mars Mission, Proceedings of SPIE - Volume 2699, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VIII, G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor, pp. 146-164 (1996). (2) F.I.Khatri D.M.Boroson, D.V.Murphy, and J.Sharma, Link Analysis of Mars-Earth Optical Communications System, Proceedings of SPIE - Volume 5338, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVI, G. S. Mecherle, Cynthia Y. Young, John S. Stryjewski, Editors, pp. 143-150 (2004). (3) O. Marsal, A. M. Harri, P. Lognonń, F. Rocard, J. -L. Counil, NetLander: The First e Scientific Lander Network On The Surface Of Mars, 2000

  4. 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.

  5. Polare maskuliniteter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marit Anne Hauan

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper my aim is to read and understand the journal of Gerrit de Veer from the last journey of William Barents to the Arctic Regions in 1596 and the journal of captain Junge on his hunting trip from Tromsø to Svalbard in 1834.It is nearly 240 years between this to voyages. The first journal is known as the earliest report from the arctic era. Gerrit de Veer adds instructive copper engravings to his text and give us insight in the crews meeting with this new land. Captain Junges journal is found together with his dead crew in a house in a fjord nearby Ny-Ålesund and has no drawings, but word. Both of these journals may be read as sources of the knowledge and understanding of the polar region. They might also unveil the ideas of how to deal with and survive under the challenges that is given. In addition one can ask if the sources can tell us more about how men describe their challenges. Can the way they expressed themselves in the journals give us an understanding of masculinity? And not least help us to create good questions of the change in the ideas of masculinities which is said to follow the change in understanding of the wilderness.

  6. 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.

  7. A low-cost approach to the exploration of Mars through a robotic technology demonstrator mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellery, Alex; Richter, Lutz; Parnell, John; Baker, Adam

    2006-10-01

    We present a proposed robotic mission to Mars—Vanguard—for the Aurora Arrow programme which combines an extensive technology demonstrator with a high scientific return. The novel aspect of this technology demonstrator is the demonstration of “water mining” capabilities for in situ resource utilisation (ISRU) in conjunction with high-value astrobiological investigation within a low-mass lander package of 70 kg. The basic architecture comprises a small lander, a micro-rover and a number of ground-penetrating moles. This basic architecture offers the possibility of testing a wide variety of generic technologies associated with space systems and planetary exploration. The architecture provides for the demonstration of specific technologies associated with planetary surface exploration, and with the Aurora programme specifically. Technology demonstration of ISRU will be a necessary precursor to any future human mission to Mars. Furthermore, its modest mass overhead allows the re-use of the already built Mars Express bus, making it a very low-cost option.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The Mars Plasma Environment

    CERN Document Server

    Russell, C. T

    2007-01-01

    Mars sits very exposed to the solar wind and, because it is a small planet, has but a weak hold on its atmosphere. The solar wind therefore plays an important role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere. Over the last four decades a series of European missions, first from the Soviet Union and more recently from the European Space Agency, together with a single investigation from the U.S., the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, have added immeasurably to our understanding of the interplay between the solar wind and Mars atmosphere. Most recently the measurements of the plasma and fast neutral populations, conducted on the Mars Express spacecraft by the ASPERA-3 instrument have been acquired and analyzed. Their presentation to the public, most notably at the workshop "The Solar Wind Interaction and Atmosphere Evolution of Mars" held in Kiruna in early 2006, was the inspiration for this series of articles. However participation in the Kiruna conference was not a selection criterion for this volume. The papers ...

  11. Transient stress-coupling between the 1992 Landers and 1999 Hector Mine, California, earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterlark, Timothy; Wang, H.F.

    2002-01-01

    A three-dimensional finite-element model (FEM) of the Mojave block region in southern California is constructed to investigate transient stress-coupling between the 1992 Landers and 1999 Hector Mine earthquakes. The FEM simulates a poroelastic upper-crust layer coupled to a viscoelastic lower-crust layer, which is decoupled from the upper mantle. FEM predictions of the transient mechanical behavior of the crust are constrained by global positioning system (GPS) data, interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) images, fluid-pressure data from water wells, and the dislocation source of the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake. Two time-dependent parameters, hydraulic diffusivity of the upper crust and viscosity of the lower crust, are calibrated to 10–2 m2·sec–1 and 5 × 1018 Pa·sec respectively. The hydraulic diffusivity is relatively insensitive to heterogeneous fault-zone permeability specifications and fluid-flow boundary conditions along the elastic free-surface at the top of the problem domain. The calibrated FEM is used to predict the evolution of Coulomb stress during the interval separating the 1992 Landers and 1999 Hector Mine earthquakes. The predicted change in Coulomb stress near the hypocenter of the Hector Mine earthquake increases from 0.02 to 0.05 MPa during the 7-yr interval separating the two events. This increase is primarily attributed to the recovery of decreased excess fluid pressure from the 1992 Landers coseismic (undrained) strain field. Coulomb stress predictions are insensitive to small variations of fault-plane dip and hypocentral depth estimations of the Hector Mine rupture.

  12. Korean Lunar Lander - Concept Study for Landing-Site Selection for Lunar Resource Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyeong Ja; Wöhler, Christian; Hyeok Ju, Gwang; Lee, Seung-Ryeol; Rodriguez, Alexis P.; Berezhnoy, Alexey A.; van Gasselt, Stephan; Grumpe, Arne; Aymaz, Rabab

    2016-06-01

    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 analyses. By considering given

  13. 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

  14. Fate of Earth Microbes on Mars: UV Radiation Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles

    2000-01-01

    A radiative transfer model is used to quantitatively investigate aspects of the martian ultraviolet radiation environment. Biological action spectra for DNA inactivation are used to estimate biologically effective irradiances for the martian surface under cloudless skies. Although the present-day martian UV flux is similar to early earth and thus may not be a limitation to life in the evolutionary context, it is a constraint to an unadapted biota and will rapidly kill spacecraft-borne microbes not covered by a martian dust layer. Here calculations for loss of microbial viability on the Pathfinder and Polar lander spacecraft are presented and the effects of martian dust on loss of viability are discussed. Details of the radiative transfer model are presented.

  15. Fate of Earth Microbes on Mars -- UV Radiation Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles

    2000-01-01

    A radiative transfer model is used to quantitatively investigate aspects of the martian ultraviolet radiation environment. Biological action spectra for DNA inactivation are used to estimate biologically effective irradiances for the martian surface under cloudless skies. Although the present-day martian UV flux is similar to early earth and thus may not be a limitation to life in the evolutionary context, it is a constraint to an unadapted biota and will rapidly kill spacecraft-borne microbes not covered by a martian dust layer. Here calculations for loss of microbial viability on the Pathfinder and Polar lander spacecraft are presented and the effects of martian dust on loss of viability are discussed. Details of the radiative transfer model are presented.

  16. 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.

  17. The direct simulation of acoustics on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanford, Amanda D; Long, Lyle N

    2009-02-01

    With the recent success of the Huygens lander on Titan, a moon of Saturn, there has been renewed interest in further exploring the acoustic environments of the other planets in the solar system. The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is used here for modeling sound propagation in the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and Titan at a variety of altitudes above the surface. DSMC is a particle method that describes gas dynamics through direct physical modeling of particle motions and collisions. The validity of DSMC for the entire range of Knudsen numbers (Kn), where Kn is defined as the mean free path divided by the wavelength, allows for the exploration of sound propagation in planetary environments for all values of Kn. DSMC results at a variety of altitudes on Earth, Mars, and Titan including the details of nonlinearity, absorption, dispersion, and molecular relaxation in gas mixtures are given for a wide range of Kn showing agreement with various continuum theories at low Kn and deviation from continuum theory at high Kn. Despite large computation time and memory requirements, DSMC is the method best suited to study high altitude effects or where continuum theory is not valid.

  18. 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.

  19. History and anatomy of subsurface ice on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorghofer, Norbert; Forget, Francois

    2012-08-01

    Ice buried beneath a thin layer of soil has been revealed by neutron spectroscopy and explored by the Phoenix Mars Lander. It has also been exposed by recent impacts. This subsurface ice is thought to lose and gain volume in response to orbital variations (Milankovitch cycles). We use a powerful numerical model to follow the growth and retreat of near-surface ice as a result of regolith-atmosphere exchange continuously over millions of years. If a thick layer of almost pure ice has been deposited recently, it has not yet reached equilibrium with the atmospheric water vapor and may still remain as far equatorward as 43°N, where ice has been revealed by recent impacts. A potentially observable consequence is present-day humidity output from the still retreating ice. We also demonstrate that in a sublimation environment, subsurface pore ice can accumulate in two ways. The first mode, widely known, is the progressive filling of pores by ice over a range of depths. The second mode occurs on top of an already impermeable ice layer; subsequent ice accumulates in the form of pasted on horizontal layers such that beneath the ice table, the pores are completely full with ice. Most or all of the pore ice on Mars today may be of the second type. At the Phoenix landing site, where such a layer is also expected to exist above an underlying ice sheet, it may be extremely thin, due to exceptionally small variations in ice stability over time.

  20. 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

  1. VIS/NIR reflectance and fluorescence spectrometric studies of minerals, water, organics and biomarkers in MoonMars analogue samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vos, Heleen; Foing, Bernard; Kołodziejczyk, Agata; Vago, Jorge; Harasymczuk, Matt

    2017-04-01

    This study focuses on the detection and characterisation of elements, minerals, volatiles and organics using reflectance spectrometry. The goal is to create a calibration method to enable the use of spectrometers on analogue Moon/Mars missions and on a lander. For this study we use measurements that are done in the VIS and NIR spectrum, as well as fluorescence using different spectrometers. The first part of the study consists of measurements that are performed in a laboratory to create a calibration method. Different rock samples and soils are analysed and the reflectance and absorption of minerals, water, organics and biomarkers are measured. Also the influence of the grain size, light source and surroundings is being determined. An experiment on the reflectance spectra of plant growth in different soils is also done to determine the possibilities of detecting the presence of chlorophyll and other biomarkers, and to diagnose the growth and health of a plant. This analysis can result in a monitoring method for a Moon greenhouse, but also for general surface analysis. Using VIS and NIR spectrometry has a couple of advantages, one being the fact that measurements require no sample preparation, and also the small size of the spectrometer makes it an easy tool for different analyses on board space missions. However, VIS and NIR spectroscopy have detection limits which makes only certain characteristics detectable. Besides laboratory measurements, the different spectroscopy methods are tested during a field campaign in the Eifel, Germany. During this campaign we can determine the functionality of the spectrometer in the field and on a lander and the problems that can rise when a spectrometer is controlled from a distant or by a person who is not trained in using spectroscopy. These laboratory and field measurements can help in the scientific preparation for instruments on ExoMars rover, future MoonMars lander missions and for the MoonVillage.

  2. 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

  3. Updating our understanding of "Special Regions" on Mars: The second MEPAG Special Regions Science Analysis Group (SR-SAG2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J. D.; Beaty, D. W.; Jones, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    A committee of the Mars Exploration Planning and Analysis Group (MEPAG) has reviewed and updated the description of Special Regions on Mars, defined in the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy as places where Earth organisms might replicate (the basis of this study), or that have a high potential for the existence of extant martian life forms (not the basis of this study). The review and update was conducted by an international team, drawn from both the biological science and Mars exploration communities, to understand when and where Special Regions could, and likely do, occur. The study applied recently available data about Mars environments and about Earth organisms, building on a previous analysis of Mars Special Regions (2006) undertaken by a similar team. Since then, a large new body of highly relevant data has been generated from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched 2005), Phoenix (2007), and from Mars Express and the twin MER landers (all 2003). Additional results were also gleaned from the Mars Science Laboratory (2011). In addition to Mars data, there is a considerable body of new data regarding the known environmental limits to life on Earth—including the potential for terrestrial microbial life to survive and replicate under martian environmental conditions. The analysis of Mars Special Regions included: 1. An extensive analysis of both new and previously unavailable data regarding the environmental limits of life on Earth, including both experimental results and environmental observations; 2. An examination of extensive post-2006 observational data sets, including high spacial and temporal resolution data from orbit and new data from landed spacecraft; 3. New models of Mars relevant to natural environmental variation in water activity and temperature; 4. Review and reconsideration of the current parameters used to define Special Regions; and 5. Updated maps and descriptions of the Mars environments that are recommended for treatment as "uncertain

  4. Magnetic storms on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    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...... 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...... field disturbance at Mars is solar wind dynamic pressure variations associated with the eccentricity of the martian orbit around the Sun....

  5. 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.

  6. Diurnal Albedo Variations of the Martian North Polar Water Ice Cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troy, R. F.; Bass, D.

    2002-01-01

    Presentation of findings regarding diurnal variations in the north polar water ice cap of Mars as part of a larger study of the interannual and seasonal variations of the Martian north polar water ice cap. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  7. Meteorites on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, G. J.; Mckay, D. S.

    1988-01-01

    Four types of meteoritic material should be found on Mars: (1) micrometeorites, many of which will survive atmospheric entry unmelted, which should fall relatively uniformly over the planet's surface, (2) ablation products from larger meteorites which ablate, break up and burn up in the Mars atmosphere, (3) debris from large, crater forming objects, which, by analogy to terrestrial and lunar impact events, will be concentrated in the crater ejecta blankets (except for rare, large events, such as the proposed C-T event on earth, which can distribute debris on a planetary scale), and (4) debris from the early, intense bombardment, which, in many areas of the planet, may now be incorporated into rocks by geologic processes subsequent to the intense bombardment era. To estimate the extent of meteoritic addition to indigenous Martian material, the meteoritic flux on Mars must be known. It is estimated that the overall flux is twice that for the Moon and 1.33 that for Earth. For small particles, whose orbital evolution is dominated by Poynting Robertson drag, the flux at Mars can be estimated from the Earth flux. The smaller Martian gravitational enhancement as well as the decrease in the spatial density of interplanetary dust with increasing heliocentric distance should reduce the flux of small particles at Mars to about 0.33 times the flux at Earth. Because of the smaller planetary cross-section the total infalling mass at Mars is then estimated to be 0.09 time the infalling mass in the micrometeorite size range at Earth.

  8. The geology of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutch, T. A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Head, J. W., III; Jones, K. L.; Saunders, R. S.

    1976-01-01

    The book constitutes a topographic/geologic atlas of Mars compiled on the basis of data from the various Mariner missions. A large number of maps has been included which systematically describe the character and distribution of the principal landforms: craters, channels, volcanoes, and faults; also related properties such as albedo, elevation, and wind streaks. Pictures of all the important topographic features have been included. The discussion of the material is carried out with a minimum of technical detail, and Mars is examined within a context of interplanetary comparisons.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. The surface of Mars: Morphology and process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aharonson, Oded

    The goal of this work is a quantitative description of the morphology of the surface of Mars, in order to constrain the nature of processes acting during the ancient past through today. Emphasis is placed on linking geometric properties to physical mechanisms. Surface smoothness on Mars is distinctive in the vast northern hemisphere plains. Amazonis Planitia is remarkable in its smoothness, exhibiting an rms variation in topography of building tectonics and volcanics. The shallower long-wavelength portion of the lowlands' topographic power spectrum relative to the highlands' can be accounted for by a simple model of sedimentation such as might be expected at an ocean's floor, but the addition of another process such as cratering is necessary to explain the spectral slope in short wavelengths. Large drainage systems on Mars have geomorphic characteristics that are inconsistent with prolonged erosion by surface runoff. We find the topography has not evolved to an expected equilibrium terrain form, even in areas where runoff incision has been previously interpreted. We demonstrate that features known as slope streaks form exclusively in regions of low thermal inertia, steep slopes, and incredibly, only where daily peak temperatures exceed 275 K during the martian year. The results suggest that at least small amounts of water may be currently present and undergo phase transitions. We detect subtle changes of the polar surface height during the course of seasonal cycles. Using altimetric crossover residuals, we show that while zonally averaged data captures the global behavior of CO 2 exchange, there is a strong dependence of the pattern on longitude. Decomposition of the signal into harmonics in time shows the amplitudes are correlated with the polar cap deposits. (Copies available exclusively from MIT Libraries, Rm. 14-0551, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. Ph. 617-253-5668; Fax 617-253-1690.)

  12. The Naiades: A Mars Scout Proposal for Electromagnetic and Seismic Groundwater Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    Detection of subsurface, liquid water is an overarching objective of the Mars Exploration Program (MEP) because of its impacts on life, climate, geology, and preparation for human exploration. Although planned orbital radars seek to map subsurface water, methods with more robust depth-penetration, discrimination, and characterization capabilities are necessary to "ground truth" any results from such radars. Low-frequency electromagnetic (EM) methods exploit induction rather than wave propagation and are sensitive to electrical conductivity rather than dielectric constant. Groundwater on Mars will likely be saline and therefore will present a near-ideal EM target, especially beneath very dry overburden. The Naiades Mars Scout - named for the Greek mythological nymphs of springs, rivers, lakes, and fountains - comprise twin Landers directed to a high-priority region for groundwater investigation. Broadband measurements of natural EM fields will be used for passive magnetotelluric, wave-tilt, and geomagnetic-depth soundings. Active, time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) soundings will supplement natural sources (lightning?) above ~1 Hz. The two Landers are positioned within several tens of kilometers of each other so that remote references can improve natural-source data quality; useful results can, however, be acquired by a single Lander. The expected depth of exploration of the TDEM is several hundred meters or more, sufficient to determine whether putative groundwater near "gullies" is still extant. Low-frequency natural signals from the solar wind, ionosphere, and possibly crustal magnetospheres will enable passive soundings to 10 km or greater, sufficient to detect and characterize deep, stable groundwater. Additional mission objectives include detection of ground ice, characterization of natural EM fields, measurement of electrical properties of the atmosphere, dust, soil, and interior, constraints on planetary heat flow (from the thickness of the cryosphere

  13. The astronomical theory of climatic change on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, O. B.; Pollack, J. B.; Ward, W.; Burns, J. A.; Bilski, K.

    1980-01-01

    The response of Martian climate to changes in solar energy deposition caused by variations of the Martian orbit and obliquity is examined. A systematic study is presented of the seasonal cycles of carbon dioxide, water, and dust to provide a complete picture of the climate for various orbital configurations. A new theory for the formation of the polar laminae is developed on the basis of this systematic examination. For the present orbital configuration and climate of Mars, it is shown that regolith damping of the seasonal CO2 cycle is unlikely; the mean atmospheric pressure is probably in equilibrium with the regolith; the low albedo of the north H2O polar cap can be explained by an admixture of 85% ice and 15% dust; and the albedo of the polar caps and the polar heat budget are very sensitive to small variations in dust deposition.

  14. Phoenix - the First Mars Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Barry; Shotwell, Robert

    2008-01-01

    As the first of the new Mars Scouts missions, the Phoenix project was selected by NASA in August of 2003. Four years later, almost to the day, Phoenix was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station and successfully injected into an interplanetary trajectory on its way to Mars. This paper will highlight some of the key changes since the 2006 IEEE paper of the same name, as well as activities, challenges and problems encountered on the way to the launch pad. Phoenix Follows the water responding directly to the recently published data from Dr. William Boynton, PI (and Phoenix co-I) of the Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS). GRS data indicate extremely large quantities of water ice (up to 50% by mass) within the upper 50 cm of the northern polar regolith. Phoenix will land within the north polar region at 68.2 N, 233.4 W identified by GRS to harbor near surface water ice and provide in-situ confirmation of this extraordinary find. Our mission will investigate water in all its phases, and will investigate the history of water as evidenced in the soil characteristics that will be carefully examined by the powerful suite of onboard instrumentation. Access to the critical subsurface region expected to contain this information is made possible by a third generation robotic arm capable of excavating the expected Martian regolith to a depth of 1m. Phoenix has four primary science objectives: 1) Determine the polar climate and weather, interaction with the surface, and composition of the lower atmosphere around 70 N for at least 90 sols focusing on water, ice, dust, noble gases, and CO2. Determine the atmospheric characteristics during descent through the atmosphere. 2) Characterize the geomorphology and active processes shaping the northern plains and the physical properties of the near surface regolith focusing on the role of water. 3) Determine the aqueous mineralogy and chemistry as well as the adsorbed gases and organic content of the regolith. Verify the Odyssey

  15. neoPASCAL: A Cubesat-based approach to validate Mars GCMs using a network of landed sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John; Podmore, Hugh; Lee, Regina S. K.; Haberle, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Beginning in the 1990s, concepts for a network of 15-20 small (12.8 kg) landers to measure surface pressure across Mars were proposed (Merrihew et al., 1996). Such distributed measurements were seen as particularly valuable as they held the promise of validating Mars Global Circulation Models (GCMs), for which the diurnal and seasonal variations in surface pressure may be diagnostically related to atmospheric parameters (Haberle et al., 1996). MicroMET, later renamed PASCAL, was a Discovery contender, however, the total mass required for the 20 landers and a support orbiter presented a challenge compared to the delivered science.In the 20 years since this concept originated, miniaturization of spacecraft systems, sensors and components has made substantial progress. Several small planetary science spacecraft based on the CubeSat design approach will launch in the next few years. Yet, only one meteorological station (REMS) currently operates on the surface of Mars. Meanwhile, the output from atmospheric models have become ever more critical for understanding key Martian geological processes including volatile transport, identifying the extent and persistence of surface brines, understanding the sources and sinks of methane and investigating the past climate of Mars, to name only a few areas.As such, it is time to reconsider the PASCAL concept. We find that modern equipment opens up payload space in the original 12.8 kg entry-vehicles from 23 g to nearly 1 kg, sufficient for adding small imagers, spectrometers and other additional or alternate payloads to examine atmosphere and surface over a wide geographic range of settings. If, instead, we seek the minimum solution for spacecraft mass, we find that a pressure-sensing vehicle would mass < 250 g at entry making these spacecraft appealing secondary payloads for future Mars 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. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ip Wing-Huen; Yan Jun; Li Chun-Lai; Ouyang Zi-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions

  19. 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.

  20. 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.