WorldWideScience

Sample records for regolith

  1. Construction with Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.

    2017-01-01

    CLASS node of SSERVI at FSI, The Technology and Future of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU): ACapstone Graduate Seminar Orlando, FL. This seminar will discuss the use of regolith and robotics in extra terrestrialconstruction.

  2. Volatiles in the Martian regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, B.C.; Baird, A.K.

    1979-01-01

    An inventory of released volatiles on Mars has been derived based upon Viking measurements of atmospheric and surface chemical composition, and upon the inferred mineralogy of a ubiquitous regolith, assumed to average 200m in depth. This model is consistent with the relative abundances of volatiles (except for S) on the Earth's surface, but implies one-fifteenth of the volatile release of Earth if starting materials were comparable. All constituents are accommodated as chemical components of, or absorbed phases on, regolith materials--without the necessity of invoking unobservable deposits of carbonates, nitrates, or permafrost ice

  3. Lunar Regolith Particle Shape Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiekhaefer, Rebecca; Hardy, Sandra; Rickman, Douglas; Edmunson, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Future engineering of structures and equipment on the lunar surface requires significant understanding of particle characteristics of the lunar regolith. Nearly all sediment characteristics are influenced by particle shape; therefore a method of quantifying particle shape is useful both in lunar and terrestrial applications. We have created a method to quantify particle shape, specifically for lunar regolith, using image processing. Photomicrographs of thin sections of lunar core material were obtained under reflected light. Three photomicrographs were analyzed using ImageJ and MATLAB. From the image analysis measurements for area, perimeter, Feret diameter, orthogonal Feret diameter, Heywood factor, aspect ratio, sieve diameter, and sieve number were recorded. Probability distribution functions were created from the measurements of Heywood factor and aspect ratio.

  4. SSERVI Analog Regolith Simulant Testbed Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minafra, J.; Schmidt, G. K.

    2016-12-01

    SSERVI's goals include supporting planetary researchers within NASA, other government agencies; private sector and hardware developers; competitors in focused prize design competitions; and academic sector researchers. The SSERVI Analog Regolith Simulant Testbed provides opportunities for research scientists and engineers to study the effects of regolith analog testbed research in the planetary exploration field. This capability is essential to help to understand the basic effects of continued long-term exposure to a simulated analog test environment. The current facility houses approximately eight tons of JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant in a test bin consisting of a 4 meter by 4 meter area. SSERVI provides a bridge between several groups, joining together researchers from: 1) scientific and exploration communities, 2) multiple disciplines across a wide range of planetary sciences, and 3) domestic and international communities and partnerships. This testbed provides a means of consolidating the tasks of acquisition, storage and safety mitigation in handling large quantities of regolith simulant Facility hardware and environment testing scenarios include, but are not limited to the following; Lunar surface mobility, Dust exposure and mitigation, Regolith handling and excavation, Solar-like illumination, Lunar surface compaction profile, Lofted dust, Mechanical properties of lunar regolith, and Surface features (i.e. grades and rocks) Numerous benefits vary from easy access to a controlled analog regolith simulant testbed, and planetary exploration activities at NASA Research Park, to academia and expanded commercial opportunities in California's Silicon Valley, as well as public outreach and education opportunities.

  5. Additive Construction using Basalt Regolith Fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Sibille, Laurent; Hintze, Paul E.; Lippitt, Thomas C.; Mantovani, James G.; Nugent, Matthew W.; Townsend, Ivan I.

    2014-01-01

    Planetary surfaces are often covered in regolith (crushed rock), whose geologic origin is largely basalt. The lunar surface is made of small-particulate regolith and areas of boulders located in the vicinity of craters. Regolith composition also varies with location, reflecting the local bedrock geology and the nature and efficiency of the micrometeorite-impact processes. In the lowland mare areas (suitable for habitation), the regolith is composed of small granules (20 - 100 microns average size) of mare basalt and volcanic glass. Impacting micrometeorites may cause local melting, and the formation of larger glassy particles, and this regolith may contain 10-80% glass. Studies of lunar regolith are traditionally conducted with lunar regolith simulant (reconstructed soil with compositions patterned after the lunar samples returned by Apollo). The NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Granular Mechanics & Regolith Operations (GMRO) lab has identified a low fidelity but economical geo-technical simulant designated as Black Point-1 (BP-1). It was found at the site of the Arizona Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) analog field test site at the Black Point lava flow in adjacent basalt quarry spoil mounds. This paper summarizes activities at KSC regarding the utilization of BP-1 basalt regolith and comparative work with lunar basalt simulant JSC-1A as a building material for robotic additive construction of large structures. In an effort to reduce the import or in-situ fabrication of binder additives, we focused this work on in-situ processing of regolith for construction in a single-step process after its excavation. High-temperature melting of regolith involves techniques used in glassmaking and casting (with melts of lower density and higher viscosity than those of metals), producing basaltic glass with high durability and low abrasive wear. Most Lunar simulants melt at temperatures above 1100 C, although melt processing of terrestrial regolith at 1500 C is not

  6. Mars Regolith Water Extractor, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Regolith Water Extractor (MRWE) is a system for acquiring water from the Martian soil. In the MRWE, a stream of CO2 is heated by solar energy or waste heat...

  7. Decameter-Scale Regolith Textures on Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreslavsky, M. A.; Zharkova, A. Yu.; Head, J. W.

    2018-05-01

    Like on the Moon, regolith gardening smooths the surface. Small craters are in equilibrium. “Elephant hide“ typical on the lunar slopes is infrequent on Mercury. Finely Textured Slope Patches have no analog on the Moon.

  8. Exploring Regolith Depth and Cycling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, C.; Needham, D. H.; Watters, W. A.; Hundal, C.

    2017-12-01

    Regolith or loose sediment is ubiquitous on the surface of Mars, but our understanding of how this fragmental layer forms and evolves with time is limited. In particular, how regolith thickness varies spatially on Mars is not well known. A common perspective is to start from the canonical model for lunar regolith, which is not unreasonable, given that both Mars and the Moon are heavily cratered surfaces. However, this lunar-like paradigm is not supported by observations of Mars from recent missions. On Mars, bedrock exposures are more common and bedrock is generally closer to the surface than on the Moon, and the processes modifying the regolith differ substantially on the two bodies. Moreover, boulders on the Moon have much shorter lifetimes than on Mars, so boulders are much less common on the lunar surface. The sediment transport processes infilling craters differs dramatically on these two bodies as well. On Mars, fine-grained sediment is efficiently transported (advectively) by wind and trapped in craters rapidly after they form. Lateral transport of lunar regolith is comparatively inefficient and dominated by slow impact-driven (diffusive) transport of regolith. The goal of this contribution is to discuss observational constraints on Mars' regolith depth, and to place observations into a model for Mars landform evolution and regolith cycle. Our operating hypothesis is that the inter-crater surface on Mars is comparatively starved of fine-grained sediment (compared to the Moon), because transport and trapping of fines in craters out-competes physical weathering. Moreover, thick sedimentary bodies on Mars often get (weakly) cemented and lithified due to interactions with fluids, even in the most recent, Amazonian epoch. This is consistent with what is observed at the MER and MSL landing sites and what is known from the SNC meteorites.

  9. SSERVI Analog Regolith Simulant Testbed Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minafra, Joseph; Schmidt, Gregory; Bailey, Brad; Gibbs, Kristina

    2016-10-01

    The Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley was founded in 2013 to act as a virtual institute that provides interdisciplinary research centered on the goals of its supporting directorates: NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).Primary research goals of the Institute revolve around the integration of science and exploration to gain knowledge required for the future of human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit. SSERVI intends to leverage existing JSC1A regolith simulant resources into the creation of a regolith simulant testbed facility. The purpose of this testbed concept is to provide the planetary exploration community with a readily available capability to test hardware and conduct research in a large simulant environment.SSERVI's goals include supporting planetary researchers within NASA, other government agencies; private sector and hardware developers; competitors in focused prize design competitions; and academic sector researchers.SSERVI provides opportunities for research scientists and engineers to study the effects of regolith analog testbed research in the planetary exploration field. This capability is essential to help to understand the basic effects of continued long-term exposure to a simulated analog test environment.The current facility houses approximately eight tons of JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant in a test bin consisting of a 4 meter by 4 meter area, including dust mitigation and safety oversight.Facility hardware and environment testing scenarios could include, Lunar surface mobility, Dust exposure and mitigation, Regolith handling and excavation, Solar-like illumination, Lunar surface compaction profile, Lofted dust, Mechanical properties of lunar regolith, Surface features (i.e. grades and rocks)Numerous benefits vary from easy access to a controlled analog regolith simulant testbed, and

  10. Low Force Penetration of Icy Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantovani, J. G.; Galloway, G. M.; Zacny, K.

    2016-01-01

    A percussive cone penetrometer measures the strength of granular material by using percussion to deliver mechanical energy into the material. A percussive cone penetrometer was used in this study to penetrate a regolith ice mixture by breaking up ice and decompacting the regolith. As compared to a static cone penetrometer, percussion allows low reaction forces to push a penetrometer probe tip more easily into dry regolith in a low gravity environment from a planetary surface rover or a landed spacecraft. A percussive cone penetrates icy regolith at ice concentrations that a static cone cannot penetrate. In this study, the percussive penetrator was able to penetrate material under 65 N of down-force which could not be penetrated using a static cone under full body weight. This paper discusses using a percussive cone penetrometer to discern changes in the concentration of water-ice in a mixture of lunar regolith simulant and ice to a depth of one meter. The rate of penetration was found to be a function of the ice content and was not significantly affected by the down-force. The test results demonstrate that this method may be ideal for a small platform in a reduced gravity environment. However, there are some cases where the system may not be able to penetrate the icy regolith, and there is some risk of the probe tip becoming stuck so that it cannot be retracted. It is also shown that a percussive cone penetrometer could be used to prospect for water ice in regolith at concentrations as high as 8 by weight.

  11. Advanced Additive Manufacturing Feedstock from Molten Regolith Electrolysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Demonstrate the feasibility of Molten Regolith Electrolysis (MRE) Reactor start by initiating resistive-heating of the regolith past its melting point using...

  12. Luna 24 regolith breccias: A possible source of the fine size material of the Luna 24 regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, O. D.; Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    The regolith breccias from the Luna 24 core were analyzed. The Luna 24 regolith is a mixture of fine and coarse grain materials. The comparable analysis of the grain size distributions, the modal and chemical compositions of the breccias, and the regolith from the same levels show that the friable slightly litificated breccia with a friable fine grain matrix may be a source of fine grain material of the Luna 24 present day regolith.

  13. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  14. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  15. Analysis of Water Extraction From Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, U.; Balasubramaniam, R.; Gokoglu, S.

    2012-01-01

    Distribution of water concentration on the Moon is currently an area of active research. Recent studies suggest the presence of ice particles, and perhaps even ice blocks and ice-cemented regolith on the Moon. Thermal extraction of the in-situ water is an attractive means of sa tisfying water requirements for a lunar mission. In this paper, a model is presented to analyze the processes occurring during the heat-up of icy regolith and extraction of the evolved water vapor. The wet regolith is assumed to be present in an initially evacuated and sealed cell which is subsequently heated. The first step of the analysis invol ves calculating the gradual increase of vapor pressure in the closed cell as the temperature is raised. Then, in the second step, the cell is evacuated to low pressure (e.g., vacuum), allowing the water vapor to leave the cell and be captured. The parameters affecting water vap or pressure build-up and evacuation for the purpose of extracting water from lunar regolith are discussed in the paper. Some comparisons wi th available experimental measurements are also made.

  16. Detecting Volatiles Deep in the Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotts, A.; Heggy, E.; Ciarletti, V.; Colaprete, A.; Moghaddam, M.; Siegler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    There is increasing theoretical and empirical evidence, from the Apollo era and after, of volatiles deep in the lunar interior, in the crust and deeper, both hydrogen-rich and otherwise. This comes in the form of fire fountain samples from Apollo 15 and Apollo 17, of hydrated minerals excavated by impacts which reach the base of the lunar crust e.g., crater Bullialdus, of hydration of apatite and other minerals, as well as predictions of a water-concentrated layer along with the KREEP material at the base of the lunar crust. We discuss how the presence of these volatiles might be directly explored. In particular water vapor molecules percolating to the surface through lunar regolith might be expected to stick and freeze into the regolith, at depths of several meters depending on the regolith temperature profile, porosity and particle size distribution, quantities that are not well known beyond two meters depth. To explore these depths in the regolith we use and propose several modes of penetrating radar. We will present results using the SELENE/Kaguya's Lunar Sounding RADAR (LSR) to probe the bulk volatile dielectric and loss structure properties of the regolith in various locations, both within permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) and without, and within neutron suppression regions (NSRs) as traced by epithermal neutrons and without. We also propose installation of ground penetrating RADAR (GPR) on a roving lunar platform that should be able to probe between 0.2 and 1.6 GHz, which will provide a probe of the entire depth of the lunar regolith as well as a high-resolution (about 4 cm FWHM) probe of the upper meter or two of the lunar soil, where other probes of volatiles such as epithermal neutron absorption or drilling might be employed. We discuss predictions for what kinds of volatile density profiles might be distinguished in this way, and whether these will be detected from orbit as NSRs, whether these must be restricted to PSRs, and how these might appear in

  17. BRDF of Salt Pan Regolith Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiev, Georgi T.; Gatebe, Charles K.; Butler, James J.; King, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    Laboratory Bi-directional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) measurements of salt pan regolith samples are presented in this study in an effort to understand the role of spatial and spectral variability of the natural biome. The samples were obtained from Etosha Pan, Namibia (19.20 deg S, 15.93 deg E, alt. 1100 m). It is shown how the BRDF depends on the measurement geometry - incident and scatter angles and on the sample particle sizes. As a demonstration of the application of the results, airborne BRDF measurements acquires with NASA's Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) over the same general site where the regolith samples were collected are compared with the laboratory results. Good agreement between laboratory measured and field measured BRDF is reported.

  18. [Possibility of exacerbation of allergy by lunar regolith].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horie, Masanori; Kambara, Tatsunori; Kuroda, Etsushi; Miki, Takeo; Honma, Yoshiyuki; Aoki, Shigeru; Morimoto, Yasuo

    2012-09-01

    Japan, U.S.A. and other foreign space agencies have plans for the construction of a lunar base and long-term stay of astronauts on the moon. The surface of the moon is covered by a thick layer of soil that includes fine particles called "lunar regolith", which is formed by meteorite impact and space weathering. Risk assessment of particulate matter on the moon is important for astronauts working in microgravity on the moon. However, there are few investigations about the biological influences of lunar regolith. Especially, there is no investigation about allergic activity to lunar regolith. The main chemical components of lunar regolith are SiO2, Al2O3, CaO, FeO, etc. Of particular interest, approximately 50% of lunar regolith consists of SiO2. There is a report that the astronauts felt hay fever-like symptoms from the inhalation of the lunar regolith. Yellow sand, whose chemical components are similar to lunar regolith, enhances allergenic reactions, suggesting the possibility that lunar regolith has an adjuvant-like activity. Although intraperitoneal administration of lunar regolith with ovalbumin to mouse did not show enhancement of allergenic reactions, further evaluation of lunar regolith's potential to exacerbate the effects of allergies is essential for development of the moon.

  19. RASSOR - Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Tracy R.; Mueller, Rob

    2015-01-01

    The Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) is a lightweight excavator for mining in reduced gravity. RASSOR addresses the need for a lightweight (robot that is able to overcome excavation reaction forces while operating in reduced gravity environments such as the moon or Mars. A nominal mission would send RASSOR to the moon to operate for five years delivering regolith feedstock to a separate chemical plant, which extracts oxygen from the regolith using H2 reduction methods. RASSOR would make 35 trips of 20 kg loads every 24 hours. With four RASSORs operating at one time, the mission would achieve 10 tonnes of oxygen per year (8 t for rocket propellant and 2 t for life support). Accessing craters in space environments may be extremely hard and harsh due to volatile resources - survival is challenging. New technologies and methods are required. RASSOR is a product of KSC Swamp Works which establishes rapid, innovative and cost effective exploration mission solutions by leveraging partnerships across NASA, industry and academia.

  20. Instrumented Moles for Planetary Subsurface Regolith Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L. O.; Coste, P. A.; Grzesik, A.; Knollenberg, J.; Magnani, P.; Nadalini, R.; Re, E.; Romstedt, J.; Sohl, F.; Spohn, T.

    2006-12-01

    Soil-like materials, or regolith, on solar system objects provide a record of physical and/or chemical weathering processes on the object in question and as such possess significant scientific relevance for study by landed planetary missions. In the case of Mars, a complex interplay has been at work between impact gardening, aeolian as well as possibly fluvial processes. This resulted in regolith that is texturally as well as compositionally layered as hinted at by results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions which are capable of accessing shallow subsurface soils by wheel trenching. Significant subsurface soil access on Mars, i.e. to depths of a meter or more, remains to be accomplished on future missions. This has been one of the objectives of the unsuccessful Beagle 2 landed element of the ESA Mars Express mission having been equipped with the Planetary Underground Tool (PLUTO) subsurface soil sampling Mole system capable of self-penetration into regolith due to an internal electro-mechanical hammering mechanism. This lightweight device of less than 900 g mass was designed to repeatedly obtain and deliver to the lander regolith samples from depths down to 2 m which would have been analysed for organic matter and, specifically, organic carbon from potential extinct microbial activity. With funding from the ESA technology programme, an evolved Mole system - the Instrumented Mole System (IMS) - has now been developed to a readiness level of TRL 6. The IMS is to serve as a carrier for in situ instruments for measurements in planetary subsurface soils. This could complement or even eliminate the need to recover samples to the surface. The Engineering Model hardware having been developed within this effort is designed for accommodating a geophysical instrument package (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, HP3) that would be capable of measuring regolith physical properties and planetary heat flow. The chosen design encompasses a two-body Mole

  1. Enhanced Mesh-Free Simulation of Regolith Flow, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA needs simulation tools capable of predicting the behavior of regolith in proposed excavation, transport, and handling or sample acquisition systems. For...

  2. Distribution of Amino Acids in Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsila, J. E.; Callahan, M. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Noble, S. K.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most eagerly studied questions upon initial return of lunar samples was whether significant amounts of organic compounds, including amino acids, were present. Analyses during the 1970s produced only tentative and inconclusive identifications of indigenous amino acids. Those analyses were hampered by analytical difficulties including relative insensitivity to certain compounds, the inability to separate chiral enantiomers, and the lack of compound-specific isotopic measurements, which made it impossible to determine whether the detected amino acids were indigenous to the lunar samples or the results of contamination. Numerous advances have been made in instrumentation and methodology for amino acid characterization in extraterrestrial samples in the intervening years, yet the origin of amino acids in lunar regolith samples has been revisited only once for a single lunar sample, (3) and remains unclear. Here, we present initial data from the analyses of amino acid abundances in 12 lunar regolith samples. We discuss these abundances in the context of four potential amino acid sources: (1) terrestrial biological contamination; (2) contamination from lunar module (LM) exhaust; (3) derivation from solar windimplanted precursors; and (4) exogenous delivery from meteorites.

  3. Radiation Shielding of Lunar Regolith/Polyethylene Composites and Lunar Regolith/Water Mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Quincy F.; Gersey, Brad; Wilkins, Richard; Zhou, Jianren

    2011-01-01

    Space radiation is a complex mixed field of ionizing radiation that can pose hazardous risks to sophisticated electronics and humans. Mission planning for lunar exploration and long duration habitat construction will face tremendous challenges of shielding against various types of space radiation in an attempt to minimize the detrimental effects it may have on materials, electronics, and humans. In late 2009, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) discovered that water content in lunar regolith found in certain areas on the moon can be up to 5.6 +/-2.8 weight percent (wt%) [A. Colaprete, et. al., Science, Vol. 330, 463 (2010). ]. In this work, shielding studies were performed utilizing ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and aluminum, both being standard space shielding materials, simulated lunar regolith/ polyethylene composites, and simulated lunar regolith mixed with UHMWPE particles and water. Based on the LCROSS findings, radiation shielding experiments were conducted to test for shielding efficiency of regolith/UHMWPE/water mixtures with various percentages of water to compare relative shielding characteristics of these materials. One set of radiation studies were performed using the proton synchrotron at the Loma Linda Medical University where high energy protons similar to those found on the surface of the moon can be generated. A similar experimental protocol was also used at a high energy spalation neutron source at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE). These experiments studied the shielding efficiency against secondary neutrons, another major component of space radiation field. In both the proton and neutron studies, shielding efficiency was determined by utilizing a tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC) behind various thicknesses of shielding composite panels or mixture materials. Preliminary results from these studies indicated that adding 2 wt% water to regolith particles could increase shielding of

  4. 2007 Lunar Regolith Simulant Workshop Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLemore, Carole A.; Fikes, John C.; Howell, Joe T.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) vision has as a cornerstone, the establishment of an Outpost on the Moon. This Lunar Outpost will eventually provide the necessary planning, technology development, and training for a manned mission to Mars in the future. As part of the overall activity, NASA is conducting Earth-based research and advancing technologies to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 maturity under the Exploration Technology Development Program that will be incorporated into the Constellation Project as well as other projects. All aspects of the Lunar environment, including the Lunar regolith and its properties, are important in understanding the long-term impacts to hardware, scientific instruments, and humans prior to returning to the Moon and living on the Moon. With the goal of reducing risk to humans and hardware and increasing mission success on the Lunar surface, it is vital that terrestrial investigations including both development and verification testing have access to Lunar-like environments. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is supporting this endeavor by developing, characterizing, and producing Lunar simulants in addition to analyzing existing simulants for appropriate applications. A Lunar Regolith Simulant Workshop was conducted by MSFC in Huntsville, Alabama, in October 2007. The purpose of the Workshop was to bring together simulant developers, simulant users, and program and project managers from ETDP and Constellation with the goals of understanding users' simulant needs and their applications. A status of current simulant developments such as the JSC-1A (Mare Type Simulant) and the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Lunar Highlands-Type Pilot Simulant (NU-LHT-1 M) was provided. The method for evaluating simulants, performed via Figures of Merit (FoMs) algorithms, was presented and a demonstration was provided. The four FoM properties currently being assessed are: size, shape, density, and composition. Some of the

  5. Thermal Properties of Lunar Regolith Simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Kenneth; Ray, Chandra; Rickman, Doug

    2010-01-01

    Various high temperature chemical processes have been developed to extract oxygen and metals from lunar regolith. These processes are tested using terrestrial analogues of the regolith. But all practical terrestrial analogs contain H2O and/or OH-, the presence of which has substantial impact on important system behaviors. We have undertaken studies of lunar regolith simulants to determine the limits of the simulants to validate key components for human survivability during sustained presence on the moon. Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) yields information on phase transitions and melting temperatures. Themo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) with mass spectrometric (MS) determination of evolved gas species yields chemical information on various oxygenated volatiles (water, carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and phosphorus oxides) and their evolution temperature profiles. The DTA and TGAMS studies included JSC-1A fine, NU-LHT-2M and its proposed feed stocks: anorthosite; dunite; HQ (high quality) glass and the norite from which HQ glass is produced. Fig 1 is a data profile for anorthosite. The DTA (Fig 1a) indicates exothermic transitions at 355 and 490 C and endothermic transitions at 970 and 1235 C. Below the 355 C transition, water (Molecular Weight, MW, 18 in Fig 1c) is lost accounting for approximately 0.1% mass loss due to water removal (Fig 1b). Just above 490 C a second type of water is lost, presumably bound in lattices of secondary minerals. Between 490 and the 970 transition other volatile oxides are lost including those of hydrogen (third water type), carbon (MW = 44), sulfur (MW = 64 and 80), nitrogen (MW 30 and 46) and possibly phosphorus (MW = 79, 95 or 142). Peaks at MW = 35 and 19 may be attributable to loss of chlorine and fluorine respectively. Negative peaks in the NO (MW = 30) and oxygen (MW = 32) MS profiles may indicate the production of NO2 (MW = 46). Because so many compounds are volatilized in this temperature range quantification of

  6. The Nature of C Asteroid Regolith from Meteorite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M.; Mikouchi, T.; Hagiya, K.; Ohsumi, K.; Komatsu, M.; Jenniskens, P.; Le, L.; Yin, Q.-Z; Kebukawa, Y.; Fries, M.

    2013-01-01

    Regolith from C (and related) asteroid bodies are a focus of the current missions Dawn at Ceres, Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. An asteroid as large as Ceres is expected to be covered by a mature regolith, and as Hayabusa demonstrated, flat and therefore engineeringly-safe ponded deposits will probably be the sampling sites for both Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. Here we examine what we have learned about the mineralogy of fine-grained asteroid regolith from recent meteorite studies and the examination of the samples harvested from asteroid Itokawa by Hayabusa.

  7. 3D Additive Construction with Regolith for Surface Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary surface exploration on Asteroids, the Moon, Mars and Martian Moons will require the stabilization of loose, fine, dusty regolith to avoid the effects of...

  8. Borehole depth and regolith aquifer hydraulic characteristics of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    EJIRO

    composition tend to exhibit similar hydraulic characteristics. But the poor performance of ... mum borehole depth in the regolith aquifer for the area and also reveals that ..... most important end products of chemical weathering of rocks of granitic ...

  9. High Fidelity Regolith Simulation Tool for ISRU Applications, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has serious unmet needs for simulation tools capable of predicting the behavior of lunar regolith in proposed excavation, transport and handling systems....

  10. Vibrational Locomotion Enabling Subsurface Exploration of Unconsolidated Regolith

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Proposed effort is to use vibration to propel a small, self-contained device through unconsolidated (loose, granular) material, such as regolith. Small scale robotic...

  11. 3D Additive Construction with Regolith for Surface Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.

    2014-01-01

    Planetary surface exploration on Asteroids, the Moon, Mars and Martian Moons will require the stabilization of loose, fine, dusty regolith to avoid the effects of vertical lander rocket plume impingement, to keep abrasive and harmful dust from getting lofted and for dust free operations. In addition, the same regolith stabilization process can be used for 3 Dimensional ( 3D) printing, additive construction techniques by repeating the 2D stabilization in many vertical layers. This will allow in-situ construction with regolith so that materials will not have to be transported from Earth. Recent work in the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Surface Systems Office (NE-S) Swamp Works and at the University of Southern California (USC) under two NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) awards have shown promising results with regolith (crushed basalt rock) materials for in-situ heat shields, bricks, landing/launch pads, berms, roads, and other structures that could be fabricated using regolith that is sintered or mixed with a polymer binder. The technical goals and objectives of this project are to prove the feasibility of 3D printing additive construction using planetary regolith simulants and to show that they have structural integrity and practical applications in space exploration.

  12. Designing the Lunar Regolith Excavation Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Christopher

    2009-01-01

    The project assigned this summer involves designing a lunar regolith mining robotics competition. This process involves consulting several assets available at the Kennedy Space Center. The process involves several steps. The first step is to determine the requirements for the competition. Once these requirements are determined, the dimensions of the playing field are drawn up, first by hand, and then using computer models. After these drawings are tentatively decided upon, the cost of materials must be determined, so as to fit within the allotted budget for the project. The materials are to then be ordered, assembled, broken down, and stored throughout the duration of the competition. We must also design the advertisements and logos for the competition. This is to market and publicize the competition to college level teams. We must also determine the rules for the competition so as to have uniform requirements for all teams. Once these processes are completed, the competition can be finalized and publicized for the public. The contributing parties are Greg Galloway, Robert Mueller, Susan Sawyer, Gloria Murphy, Julia Nething, and Cassandra Liles.

  13. The extent of lunar regolith mixing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishiizumi, K.; Imamura, M.; Kohl, C.P.; Murrell, M.T.; Arnold, J.R.; Russ, G.P. III

    1979-01-01

    The activity of solar cosmic-ray-produced 53 Mn has been measured as a function of depth in the upper 100 g/cm 2 (approximately 55 cm) of lunar cores 60009-60010 and 12025-12028. Additional samples which supplement earlier work were analyzed from the Apollo 15 and 16 drill stems. These data, taken in conjunction with previously published results and the 22 Na and 26 Al data of the Battelle Northwest group, indicate that in at least three of the four cases studied the regolith has been measureably disturbed within the last 10 m.y. In one case gardening to > 19 g/cm 2 is required. Activities measured in the uppermost 2 g/cm 2 indicate frequent mixing within this depth range. No undisturbed profiles were observed nor were any major discontinuities observed in the profiles. The Monte Carlo gardening model of Arnold has been used to derive profiles for the gardened moon-wide average of 53 Mn and 26 Al as a function of depth. The 53 Mn and 26 Al experimental results are compared with these theoretical predictions. Agreement is good in several respects, but the calculated depth of disturbance appears to be too low. (Auth.)

  14. A simulated regolith medium for multi-wavelength studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkman, O.; Muinonen, K.; Parviainen, H.; Näränen, J.

    2012-04-01

    Effects arising from the small-scale surface structure are significant in remote studies of regolith surfaces on atmosphereless solar system bodies, such as the Moon, Mercury and the asteroids. The important properties determining these effects are the porosity of the regolith and the roughness of the interface between the bulk material and empty space. We concentrate on the regolith effects in visible light photometry and X-ray spectrometry. The fluorescent X-ray spectrum induced by solar X-rays contains information about the elemental abundances of the surface material, while the photometry can be used to constrain surface properties such as porosity. We have developed a computer model simulating a regolith medium consisting of spherical particles with variable size distribution and properties. The bulk properties of the medium, such as porosity and surface roughness, can be varied. The model can then be used in ray-tracing simulations of the regolith effects in both visible light scattering and X-ray fluorescence. In photometric studies the scattering law of the constituent particles can be chosen to take into account scattering phenomena such as coherent backscattering. In the X-ray simulations, we can choose the elemental abundances of the material and the spectrum of the incident X-ray radiation. The ray-tracing simulations then allow us to determine the characteristics of the emitted radiation in different observational geometries. We present results from various studies which have been based on our regolith model. The model has been used to simulate the regolith effects on X-ray fluorescence spectra under specific situations. These can be compared to laboratory measurements. The visible light simulations have been applied in a study of the shadowing effects in photometry. The model was also used in a study of lunar photometry from SMART-1/AMIE data. Applications in the analysis of X-ray spectrometry from the BepiColombo MIXS/SIXS instruments are planned. An

  15. Calibrating the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS)

    OpenAIRE

    McIntosh, Missy; Hong, Jaesub; Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes the onboard calibration process of REXIS (the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer), an instrument on OSIRIS-REx. OSIRIS-REx, scheduled to be launched in 2016, is a planetary mission intending to return a regolith sample from a near Earth asteroid called Bennu. REXIS, a student-led collaboration between Harvard and MIT, is a soft X-ray (0.5-7.5 keV) coded-aperture telescope with four X-ray CCDs and a gold coated stainless steel mask. REXIS will measure the surface elementa...

  16. Characterising and modelling regolith stratigraphy using multiple geophysical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, M.; Cremasco, D.; Fotheringham, T.; Hatch, M. A.; Triantifillis, J.; Wilford, J.

    2013-12-01

    Regolith is the weathered, typically mineral-rich layer from fresh bedrock to land surface. It encompasses soil (A, E and B horizons) that has undergone pedogenesis. Below is the weathered C horizon that retains at least some of the original rocky fabric and structure. At the base of this is the lower regolith boundary of continuous hard bedrock (the R horizon). Regolith may be absent, e.g. at rocky outcrops, or may be many 10's of metres deep. Comparatively little is known about regolith, and critical questions remain regarding composition and characteristics - especially deeper where the challenge of collecting reliable data increases with depth. In Australia research is underway to characterise and map regolith using consistent methods at scales ranging from local (e.g. hillslope) to continental scales. These efforts are driven by many research needs, including Critical Zone modelling and simulation. Pilot research in South Australia using digitally-based environmental correlation techniques modelled the depth to bedrock to 9 m for an upland area of 128 000 ha. One finding was the inability to reliably model local scale depth variations over horizontal distances of 2 - 3 m and vertical distances of 1 - 2 m. The need to better characterise variations in regolith to strengthen models at these fine scales was discussed. Addressing this need, we describe high intensity, ground-based multi-sensor geophysical profiling of three hillslope transects in different regolith-landscape settings to characterise fine resolution (i.e. a number of frequencies; multiple frequency, multiple coil electromagnetic induction; and high resolution resistivity. These were accompanied by georeferenced, closely spaced deep cores to 9 m - or to core refusal. The intact cores were sub-sampled to standard depths and analysed for regolith properties to compile core datasets consisting of: water content; texture; electrical conductivity; and weathered state. After preprocessing (filtering, geo

  17. Transmission Electron Microscopy of Itokawa Regolith Grains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Lindsay P.; Berger, E. L.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: In a remarkable engineering achievement, the JAXA space agency successfully recovered the Hayabusa space-craft in June 2010, following a non-optimal encounter and sur-face sampling mission to asteroid 25143 Itokawa. These are the first direct samples ever obtained and returned from the surface of an asteroid. The Hayabusa samples thus present a special op-portunity to directly investigate the evolution of asteroidal sur-faces, from the development of the regolith to the study of the effects of space weathering. Here we report on our preliminary TEM measurements on two Itokawa samples. Methods: We were allocated particles RA-QD02-0125 and RA-QD02-0211. Both particles were embedded in low viscosity epoxy and thin sections were prepared using ultramicrotomy. High resolution images and electron diffraction data were ob-tained using a JEOL 2500SE 200 kV field-emission scanning-transmission electron microscope. Quantitative maps and anal-yses were obtained using a Thermo thin-window energy-dispersive x-ray (EDX) spectrometer. Results: Both particles are olivine-rich (Fo70) with µm-sized inclusions of FeS and have microstructurally complex rims. Par-ticle RA-QD02-0125 is rounded and has numerous sub-µm grains attached to its surface including FeS, albite, olivine, and rare melt droplets. Solar flare tracks have not been observed, but the particle is surrounded by a continuous 50 nm thick, stuctur-ally disordered rim that is compositionally similar to the core of the grain. One of the surface adhering grains is pyrrhotite show-ing a S-depleted rim (8-10 nm thick) with nanophase Fe metal grains (<5 nm) decorating the outermost surface. The pyrrhotite displays a complex superstructure in its core that is absent in the S-depleted rim. Particle RA-QD02-0211 contains solar flare particle tracks (2x109 cm-2) and shows a structurally disordered rim 100 nm thick. The track density corresponds to a surface exposure of 103-104 years based on the track production rate

  18. Moessbauer mineralogy on the Moon: The lunar regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, Richard V.; Klingelhoefer, Goestar; Korotev, Randy L.; Shelfer, Tad D.

    1998-01-01

    A first-order requirement for spacecraft missions that land on solid planetary objects is instrumentation for mineralogical analyses. For purposes of providing diagnostic information about naturally-occurring materials, the element iron is particularly important because it is abundant and multivalent. Knowledge of the oxidation state of iron and its distribution among iron-bearing mineralogies tightly constrains the types of materials present and provides information about formation and modification (weathering) processes. Because Moessbauer spectroscopy is sensitive to both the valence of iron and its local chemical environment, the technique is unique in providing information about both the relative abundance of iron-bearing phases and oxidation state of the iron. The Moessbauer mineralogy of lunar regolith samples (primarily soils from the Apollo 16 and 17 missions to the Moon) were measured in the laboratory to demonstrate the strength of the technique for in-situ mineralogical exploration of the Moon. The regolith samples were modeled as mixtures of five iron-bearing phases: olivine, pyroxene, glass, ilmenite, and metal. Based on differences in relative proportions of iron associated with these phases, volcanic-ash regolith can be distinguished from impact-derived regolith, impact-derived soils of different geologic affinity (e.g., highlands and maria) can be distinguished on the basis of their constituent minerals, and soil maturity can be estimated. The total resonant absorption area of the Moessbauer spectrum can be used to estimate total FeO concentrations

  19. Three-Dimensional (3D) Additive Construction: Printing with Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsoras, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    Three dimensional (3D) printing is a new and booming topic in many realms of research and engineering technology. When it comes to space science and aerospace engineering, it can be useful in numerous ways. As humans travel deeper into space and farther from Earth, sending large quantities of needed supplies from Earth for a mission becomes astronomically expensive and less plausible. In order to reach further to new places, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), a project that pushes for technologies to use materials already present in the destination's environment, is necessary. By using materials already available in space such as regolith from the Moon, Mars, or an asteroid's surface, fewer materials need to be brought into space on a launched vehicle. This allows a vehicle to be filled with more necessary supplies for a deep space mission that may not be found in space, like food and fuel. This project's main objective was to develop a 3D printer that uses regolith to "print" large structures, such as a dome, to be used as a heat shield upon a vehicle's reentry into the atmosphere or even a habitat. 3D printing is a growing technology that uses many different methods to mix, heat, and mold a material into a specific shape. In order to heat the regolith enough to stick together into a solid shape, it must be sintered at each layer of material that is laid. Sintering is a process that heats and compresses a powdered material until it fuses into a solid, which requires a lot of energy input. As an alternative, a polymer can be mixed with the regolith before or as it is sent to the 3D printer head to be placed in the specific shape. The addition of the polymer, which melts and binds at much lower temperatures than sintering temperatures, greatly decreases the required heating temperature and energy input. The main task of the project was to identify a functional material for the printer. The first step was to find a miscible. polymer/solvent solution. This solution

  20. The Lunar Regolith as a Recorder of Cosmic History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Bonnie; McKay, D.; Riofrio, L.

    2012-01-01

    The Moon can be considered a giant tape recorder containing the history of the solar system and Universe. The lunar regolith (soil) has recorded the early history of the Moon, Earth, the solar system and Universe. A major goal of future lunar exploration should be to find and play back existing fragments of that tape . By reading the lunar tape, we can uncover a record of planetary bombardment, as well as solar and stellar variability. The Moon can tell us much about our place in the Universe. The lunar regolith has likely recorded the original meteoritic bombardment of Earth and Moon, a violent cataclysm that may have peaked around 4 Gyr, and the less intense bombardment occurring since that time. This impact history is preserved on the Moon as regolith layers, ejecta layers, impact melt rocks, and ancient impact breccias. The impact history of the Earth and Moon possibly had profound effects on the origin and development of life. Decrease in meteor bombardment allowed life to develop on Earth. Life may have developed first on another body, such as Mars, then arrived via meteorite on Earth. The solar system may have experienced bursts of severe radiation from the Sun, other stars, or from unknown sources. The lunar regolith has recorded this radiation history in the form of implanted solar wind, solar flare materials and radiation damage. Lunar soil can be found sandwiched between layers of basalt or pyroclastic deposits. This filling constitutes a buried time capsule that is likely to contain well-preserved ancient regolith. Study of such samples will show us how the solar system has evolved and changed over time. The lunar tape recorder can provide detailed information on specific portions of solar and stellar variability. Data from the Moon also offers clues as to whether so-called fundamental constants have changed over time.

  1. Workshop on past and present solar radiation: the record in meteoritic and lunar regolith material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pepin, R.O.; Mckay, D.S.

    1986-01-01

    The principal question addressed in the workshop was the extent to which asteroidal and lunar regoliths have collected and preserved, in meteoritic regolith breccias and in lunar soils and regolith breccias, a record of the flux, energy, and compositional history of the solar wind and solar flares. Six central discussion topics were identified. They are: (1)Trapped solar wind and flare gases, tracks, and micrometeorite pits in regolith components; (2)Comparison between lunar regolith breccias, meteoritic regolith breccias, and the lunar soil; (3)The special role of regolith breccias and the challenge of dating their times of compaction; (4)Implications of the data for the flux and compositional history of solar particle emission, composition, and physical mechanisms in the solar source regions, and the composition of the early nebula; (5)How and to what extent have records of incident radiation been altered in various types of grains; (6) Future research directions

  2. [Evaluation of Cellular Effects Caused by Lunar Regolith Simulant Including Fine Particles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horie, Masanori; Miki, Takeo; Honma, Yoshiyuki; Aoki, Shigeru; Morimoto, Yasuo

    2015-06-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced a plan to establish a manned colony on the surface of the moon, and our country, Japan, has declared its participation. The surface of the moon is covered with soil called lunar regolith, which includes fine particles. It is possible that humans will inhale lunar regolith if it is brought into the spaceship. Therefore, an evaluation of the pulmonary effects caused by lunar regolith is important for exploration of the moon. In the present study, we examine the cellular effects of lunar regolith simulant, whose components are similar to those of lunar regolith. We focused on the chemical component and particle size in particular. The regolith simulant was fractionated to lunar regolith simulant such as cell membrane damage, induction of oxidative stress and proinflammatory effect.

  3. Unravelling regolith material types using Mg/Al and K/Al plot to support field regolith identification in the savannah regions of NW Ghana, West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arhin, Emmanuel; Zango, Saeed M.

    2015-12-01

    The XRF analytical method was used to measure the weight % of the major oxides in regolith samples. The metal weight % of Mg, K and Al were calculated from their oxides and were normalised relative to immobile Al calculated from its oxide. The plot of Mg/Al and K/Al identified the regolith of the study area to consist of 137 transported clays, 4 ferruginous sediments or ferricrete, 2 lateritic duricrust and 4 saprolites. Surface regolith that had undergone secondary transformation and shows compositional overlaps were 4 transported clays with Fe-oxide impregnation may be referred to as nodular laterite and 5 ferruginous saprolites. The variable regolith materials features identified from the 154 samples enabled the characterisation and identification of the different sample materials because an overprint of bedrock geochemistry is reflected in the regolith. Plot of Mg/Al and K/Al highlighted the compositional variability of the regolith samples and refute the notion of the homogeneity of all the sampled materials in the area. The study thus recognized Mg/Al versus K/Al plots to be used in supporting field identification of regolith mapping units particularly in complex regolith terrains of savannah regions of Ghana and in similar areas where geochemical exploration surveys are being carried out under cover.

  4. Mineralogical and chemical properties of the lunar regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, David S.; Ming, Douglas W.

    1989-01-01

    The composition of lunar regolith and its attendant properties are discussed. Tables are provided listing lunar minerals, the abundance of plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, and ilmenite in lunar materials, typical compositions of common lunar minerals, and cumulative grain-size distribution for a large number of lunar soils. Also provided are charts on the chemistry of breccias, the chemistry of lunar glass, and the comparative chemistry of surface soils for the Apollo sites. Lunar agglutinates, constructional particles made of lithic, mineral, and glass fragments welded together by a glassy matrix containing extremely fine-grained metallic iron and formed by micrometeoric impacts at the lunar surface, are discussed. Crystalline, igneous rock fragments, breccias, and lunar glass are examined. Volatiles implanted in lunar materials and regolith maturity are also addressed.

  5. Investigation of element distributions in Luna-16 regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsov, R. A.; Lure, B. G.; Minevich, V. Ia.; Stiuf, V. I.; Pankratov, V. B.

    1981-03-01

    The concentrations of 32 elements in fractions of different grain sizes in the samples of the lunar regolith brought back by Luna-16 are determined by means of neutron activation analysis. Four groups of elements are distinguished on the basis of the variations of their concentration with grain size, and concentration variations of the various elements with sample depth are also noted. Chemical leaching of the samples combined with neutron activation also reveals differences in element concentrations in the water soluble, metallic, sulphide, phosphate, rare mineral and rock phases of the samples. In particular, the rare earth elements are observed to be depleted in the regolith with respect to chondritic values, and to be concentrated in the phase extracted with 14 M HNO3.

  6. Distribution and Origin of Amino Acids in Lunar Regolith Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsila, J. E.; Callahan, M. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; McLain, H. L.; Noble, S. K.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    2015-01-01

    The existence of organic compounds on the lunar surface has been a question of interest from the Apollo era to the present. Investigations of amino acids immediately after collection of lunar samples yielded inconclusive identifications, in part due to analytical limitations including insensitivity to certain compounds, an inability to separate enantiomers, and lack of compound-specific isotopic measurements. It was not possible to determine if the detected amino acids were indigenous to the lunar samples or the result of terrestrial contamination. Recently, we presented initial data from the analysis of amino acid abundances in 12 lunar regolith samples and discussed those results in the context of four potential amino acid sources [5]. Here, we expand on our previous work, focusing on amino acid abundances and distributions in seven regolith samples and presenting the first compound-specific carbon isotopic ratios measured for amino acids in a lunar sample.

  7. Grain-Scale Supercharging and Breakdown on Airless Regoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, M. I.; Farrell, W. M.; Hartzell, C.M.; Wang, X.; Horanyi, M.; Hurley, D. M.; Hibbitts, K.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions of the solar wind and emitted photoelectrons with airless bodies have been studied extensively. However, the details of how charged particles interact with the regolith at the scale of a single grain have remained largely uncharacterized. Recent efforts have focused upon determining total surface charge under photoemission and solar wind bombardment and the associated electric field and potential. In this work, theory and simulations are used to show that grain-grain charge differences can exceed classical sheath predictions by several orders of magnitude, sometimes reaching dielectric breakdown levels. Temperature-dependent electrical conductivity works against supercharging by allowing current to leak through individual grains; the balance between internal conduction and surface charging controls the maximum possible grain-to-grain electric field. Understanding the finer details of regolith grain charging, conductive equilibrium, and dielectric breakdown will improve future numerical studies of space weathering and dust levitation on airless bodies.

  8. Regolith transport in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putkonen, J.; Rosales, M.; Turpen, N.; Morgan, D.; Balco, G.; Donaldson, M.

    2007-01-01

    The stability of ground surface and preservation of landforms that record past events and environments is of great importance as the geologic and climatic history is evaluated in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Currently little is known about the regolith transport that tends to eradicate and confound this record and regolith transport is itself an environmental indicator. Based on analyses of repeat photographs, soil traps, and pebble transport distances, it was found that there is a large spatial variation in topographic diffusivities at least in the annual basis and that counter intuitively the highest topographic diffusivities are found in the alpine valleys that are located farther inland from the coast where the lowest topographic diffusivities were recorded. An average topographic diffusivity for the Dry Valleys was determined to be 10M-5–10-4 m2

  9. Low Temperature Regolith Bricks for In-Situ Structural Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Kevin; Sakthivel, Tamil S.; Mantovani, James; Seal, Sudipta

    2016-01-01

    Current technology for producing in-situ structural materials on future missions to Mars or the moon relies heavily on energy-intensive sintering processes to produce solid bricks from regolith. This process requires heating the material up to temperatures in excess of 1000 C and results in solid regolith pieces with compressive strengths in the range of 14000 to 28000 psi, but are heavily dependent on the porosity of the final material and are brittle. This method is currently preferred over a low temperature cementation process to prevent consumption of precious water and other non-renewable materials. A high strength structural material with low energy requirements is still needed for future colonization of other planets. To fulfill these requirements, a nano-functionalization process has been developed to produce structural bricks from regolith simulant and shows promising mechanical strength results. Functionalization of granular silicate particles into alkoxides using a simple low temperature chemical process produces a high surface area zeolite particles that are held together via inter-particle oxygen bonding. Addition of water in the resulting zeolite particles produces a sol-gel reaction called "inorganic polymerization" which gives a strong solid material after a curing process at 60 C. The aqueous solution by-product of the reaction is currently being investigated for its reusability; an essential component of any ISRU technology. For this study, two batches of regolith bricks are synthesized from JSC-1A; the first batch from fresh solvents and chemicals, the second batch made from the water solution by-product of the first batch. This is done to determine the feasibility of recycling necessary components of the synthesis process, mainly water. Characterization including BET surface area, SEM, and EDS has been done on the regolith bricks as well as the constituent particles,. The specific surface area of 17.53 sq m/g (average) of the granular regolith

  10. Electrical stress and strain in lunar regolith simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Richard, D.; Davis, S.

    2011-11-01

    Experiments to entrain dust with electrostatic and fluid-dynamic forces result in particulate clouds of aggregates rather than individual dust grains. This is explained within the framework of Griffith-flaw theory regarding the comminution/breakage of weak solids. Physical and electrical inhomogeneities in powders are equivalent to microcracks in solids insofar as they facilitate failure at stress risers. Electrical charging of powders induces bulk sample stresses similar to mechanical stresses experienced by strong solids, depending on the nature of the charging. A powder mass therefore "breaks" into clumps rather than separating into individual dust particles. This contrasts with the expectation that electrical forces on the Moon will eject a submicron population of dust from the regolith into the exosphere. A lunar regolith will contain physical and electrostatic inhomogeneities similar to those in most charged powders.

  11. Telerobotic Perception During Asteroid and Mars Regolith Operations Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaddis, Steven; Zeitlin, Nancy (Compiler); Mueller, Robert (Compiler)

    2015-01-01

    Current space telerobotic systems are constrained to only operating in bright light and dust-free conditions. This project will study the effects of difficult lighting and dust conditions on telerobotic perception systems to better assess and refine regolith operations on other neighboring celestial bodies. In partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Caterpillar, Inc., optical, LiDAR and RADAR sensing equipment will be used in performing the study. This project will create a known dust environment in the Swamp Works Granular Mechanics & Regolith Operations (GMRO) Laboratory regolith test bin to characterize the behavior of the sensing equipment in various calibrated lighting and dust conditions. It will also identify potential methods for mitigating the impacts of these undesirable conditions on the performance of the sensing equipment. Enhancing the capability of telerobotic perception systems will help improve life on earth for those working in dangerous, dusty mining conditions, as well as help advance the same technologies used for safer self-driving automobiles in various lighting and weather conditions. It will also prove to be a critical skill needed for advancing robotic and human exploration throughout our solar system, for activities such as mining on an asteroid or pioneering the first colony on Mars.

  12. Differential rates of feldspar weathering in granitic regoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, A.F.; Bullen, T.D.; Schulz, M.S.; Blum, A.E.; Huntington, T.G.; Peters, N.E.

    2001-01-01

    Differential rates of plagioclase and K-feldspar weathering commonly observed in bedrock and soil environments are examined in terms of chemical kinetic and solubility controls and hydrologic permeability. For the Panola regolith, in the Georgia Piedmont Province of southeastern United States, petrographic observations, coupled with elemental balances and 87Sr/86Sr ratios, indicate that plagioclase is being converted to kaolinite at depths > 6 m in the granitic bedrock. K-feldspar remains pristine in the bedrock but subsequently weathers to kaolinite at the overlying saprolite. In contrast, both plagioclase and K-feldspar remain stable in granitic bedrocks elsewhere in Piedmont Province, such as Davis Run, Virginia, where feldspars weather concurrently in an overlying thick saprolite sequence. Kinetic rate constants, mineral surface areas, and secondary hydraulic conductivities are fitted to feldspar losses with depth in the Panola and Davis Run regoliths using a time-depth computer spreadsheet model. The primary hydraulic conductivities, describing the rates of meteoric water penetration into the pristine granites, are assumed to be equal to the propagation rates of weathering fronts, which, based on cosmogenic isotope dating, are 7 m/106 yr for the Panola regolith and 4 m/106 yr for the Davis Run regolith. Best fits in the calculations indicate that the kinetic rate constants for plagioclase in both regoliths are factors of two to three times faster than K-feldspar, which is in agreement with experimental findings. However, the range for plagioclase and K-feldspar rates (kr = 1.5 x 10-17 to 2.8 x 10-16 mol m-2 s-1) is three to four orders of magnitude lower than for that for experimental feldspar dissolution rates and are among the slowest yet recorded for natural feldspar weathering. Such slow rates are attributed to the relatively old geomorphic ages of the Panola and Davis Run regoliths, implying that mineral surface reactivity decreases significantly with

  13. Evolution of Shock Melt Compositions in Lunar Regoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, A. M.; Christoffersen, R.; Keller, L. P.; Berger, E. L.; Noble, S. K.

    2016-01-01

    Space weathering processes - driven primarily by solar wind ion and micrometeorite bombardment, are constantly changing the surface regoliths of airless bodies, such as the Moon. It is essential to study lunar soils in order to fully under-stand the processes of space weathering, and how they alter the optical reflectance spectral properties of the lunar surface relative to bedrock. Lunar agglutinates are aggregates of regolith grains fused together in a glassy matrix of shock melt produced during micrometeorite impacts into the lunar regolith. The formation of the shock melt component in agglutinates involves reduction of Fe in the target material to generate nm-scale spherules of metallic Fe (nanophase Fe0 or npFe0). The ratio of elemental Fe, in the form of npFe0, to FeO in a given bulk soil indicates its maturity, which increases with length of surface exposure as well as being typically higher in the finer-size fraction of soils. The melting and mixing process in agglutinate formation remain poorly understood. This includes incomplete knowledge regarding how the homogeneity and overall compositional trends of the agglutinate glass portions (agglutinitic glass) evolve with maturity. The aim of this study is to use sub-micrometer scale X-ray compositional mapping and image analysis to quantify the chemical homogeneity of agglutinitic glass, correlate its homogeneity to its parent soil maturity, and identify the principal chemical components contributing to the shock melt composition variations. An additional focus is to see if agglutinitic glass contains anomalously high Fe sub-micron scale compositional domains similar to those recently reported in glassy patina coatings on lunar rocks.

  14. The Strata-l Experiment on Microgravity Regolith Segregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Abell, P.; Brisset, J.; Britt, D.; Colwell, J.; Durda, D.; Dove, A.; Graham, L.; Hartzell, C.; John, K.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Strata-1 experiment studies the segregation of small-body regolith through long-duration exposure of simulant materials to the microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS). Many asteroids feature low bulk densities, which implies high values of porosity and a mechanical structure composed of loosely bound particles, (i.e. the "rubble pile" model), a prime example of a granular medium. Even the higher-density, mechanically coherent asteroids feature a significant surface layer of loose regolith. These bodies will evolve in response to very small perturbations such as micrometeoroid impacts, planetary flybys, and the YORP effect. A detailed understanding of asteroid mechanical evolution is needed in order to predict the surface characteristics of as-of-yet unvisited bodies, to understand the larger context of samples from sample return missions, and to mitigate risks for both manned and unmanned missions to asteroidal bodies. Due to observation of rocky regions on asteorids such as Eros and Itokawa, it has been hypothesized that grain size distribution with depth on an asteroid may be inhomogeneous: specifically, that large boulders have been mobilized to the surface. In terrestrial environments, this size-dependent sorting to the surface of the sample is called the Brazil Nut Effect. The microgravity and acceleration environment on the ISS is similar that of a small asteroid. Thus, Strata-1 investigates size segregation of regolith in an environment analogous to that of small bodies. Strata-1 consists of four regolith simulants in evacuated tubes, as shown in Figure 1 (Top and Middle). The simulants are (1) a crushed and sieved ordinary chondrite meteorite to simulate an asteroidal surface, (2) a carbonaceous chondrite simulant with a mixture of fine and course particles, and two simplified silicate glass simulants; (3) one with angular and (4) another with spherical particles. These materials were chosen to span a range of granular

  15. Production of Oxygen from Lunar Regolith by Molten Oxide Electrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreri, Peter A.

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes the use of the molten oxide electrolysis (MOE) process for the extraction of oxygen for life support and propellant, and silicon and metallic elements for use in fabrication on the Moon. The Moon is rich in mineral resources, but it is almost devoid of chemical reducing agents, therefore, molten oxide electrolysis is ideal for extraction, since the electron is the only practical reducing agent. MOE has several advantages over other extraction methods. First, electrolytic processing offers uncommon versatility in its insensitivity to feedstock composition. Secondly, oxide melts boast the twin key attributes of highest solubilizing capacity for regolith and lowest volatility of any candidate electrolytes. The former is critical in ensuring high productivity since cell current is limited by reactant solubility, while the latter simplifies cell design by obviating the need for a gas-tight reactor to contain evaporation losses as would be the case with a gas or liquid phase fluoride reagent operating at such high temperatures. Alternatively, MOE requires no import of consumable reagents (e.g. fluorine and carbon) as other processes do, and does not rely on interfacing multiple processes to obtain refined products. Electrolytic processing has the advantage of selectivity of reaction in the presence of a multi-component feed. Products from lunar regolith can be extracted in sequence according to the stabilities of their oxides as expressed by the values of the free energy of oxide formation (e.g. chromium, manganese, Fe, Si, Ti, Al, magnesium, and calcium). Previous work has demonstrated the viability of producing Fe and oxygen from oxide mixtures similar in composition to lunar regolith by molten oxide electrolysis (electrowinning), also called magma electrolysis having shown electrolytic extraction of Si from regolith simulant. This paper describes recent advances in demonstrating the MOE process by a joint project with participation by NASA KSC and

  16. Rock fragment distributions and regolith evolution in the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan D. Phillips; Ken Luckow; Daniel A. Marion; Kristin R. Adams

    2005-01-01

    Rock fragments in the regolith are a persistent property that reflects the combined influences of geologic controls, erosion, deposition, bioturbation, and weathering. The distribution of rock fragments in regoliths of the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas, shows that sandstone fragments are common in all layers, even if sandstone is absent in parent material. Shale and...

  17. Measuring the Shock Stage of Asteroid Regolith Grains by Electron Back-Scattered Diffraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, Michael; Martinez, James; Sitzman, Scott; Mikouchi, Takashi; Hagiya, Kenji; Ohsumi, Kazumasa; Terada, Yasuko; Yagi, Naoto; Komatsu, Mutsumi; Ozawa, Hikaru; hide

    2018-01-01

    We have been analyzing Itokawa samples in order to definitively establish the degree of shock experienced by the regolith of asteroid Itokawa, and to devise a bridge between shock determinations by standard light optical petrography, crystal structures as determined by electron and X-ray diffraction. These techniques would then be available for samples returned from other asteroid regoliths.

  18. A drilling tool design and in situ identification of planetary regolith mechanical parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiwei; Jiang, Shengyuan; Ji, Jie; Tang, Dewei

    2018-05-01

    The physical and mechanical properties as well as the heat flux of regolith are critical evidence in the study of planetary origin and evolution. Moreover, the mechanical properties of planetary regolith have great value for guiding future human planetary activities. For planetary subsurface exploration, an inchworm boring robot (IBR) has been proposed to penetrate the regolith, and the mechanical properties of the regolith are expected to be simultaneously investigated during the penetration process using the drilling tool on the IBR. This paper provides a preliminary study of an in situ method for measuring planetary regolith mechanical parameters using a drilling tool on a test bed. A conical-screw drilling tool was designed, and its drilling load characteristics were experimentally analyzed. Based on the drilling tool-regolith interaction model, two identification methods for determining the planetary regolith bearing and shearing parameters are proposed. The bearing and shearing parameters of lunar regolith simulant were successfully determined according to the pressure-sinkage tests and shear tests conducted on the test bed. The effects of the operating parameters on the identification results were also analyzed. The results indicate a feasible scheme for future planetary subsurface exploration.

  19. Water and Regolith Shielding for Surface Reactor Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poston, David I.; Ade, Brian J.; Sadasivan, Pratap; Leichliter, Katrina J.; Dixon, David D.

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates potential shielding options for surface power fission reactors. The majority of work is focused on a lunar shield that uses a combination of water in stainless-steel cans and lunar regolith. The major advantage of a water-based shield is that development, testing, and deployment should be relatively inexpensive. This shielding approach is used for three surface reactor concepts: (1) a moderated spectrum, NaK cooled, Hastalloy/UZrH reactor, (2) a fast-spectrum, NaK-cooled, SS/UO2 reactor, and (3) a fast-spectrum, K-heat-pipe-cooled, SS/UO2 reactor. For this study, each of these reactors is coupled to a 25-kWt Stirling power system, designed for 5 year life. The shields are designed to limit the dose both to the Stirling alternators and potential astronauts on the surface. The general configuration used is to bury the reactor, but several other options exist as well. Dose calculations are presented as a function of distance from reactor, depth of buried hole, water boron concentration (if any), and regolith repacked density.

  20. Water and Regolith Shielding for Surface Reactor Missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poston, David I.; Sadasivan, Pratap; Dixon, David D.; Ade, Brian J.; Leichliter, Katrina J.

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates potential shielding options for surface power fission reactors. The majority of work is focused on a lunar shield that uses a combination of water in stainless-steel cans and lunar regolith. The major advantage of a water-based shield is that development, testing, and deployment should be relatively inexpensive. This shielding approach is used for three surface reactor concepts: (1) a moderated spectrum, NaK cooled, Hastalloy/UZrH reactor, (2) a fast-spectrum, NaK-cooled, SS/UO2 reactor, and (3) a fast-spectrum, K-heat-pipe-cooled, SS/UO2 reactor. For this study, each of these reactors is coupled to a 25-kWt Stirling power system, designed for 5 year life. The shields are designed to limit the dose both to the Stirling alternators and potential astronauts on the surface. The general configuration used is to bury the reactor, but several other options exist as well. Dose calculations are presented as a function of distance from reactor, depth of buried hole, water boron concentration (if any), and regolith repacked density

  1. The Origin of Amino Acids in Lunar Regolith Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie E.; Callahan, Michael P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Glavin, Daniel P.; McLain, Hannah L.; Noble, Sarah K.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed the amino acid content of seven lunar regolith samples returned by the Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions and stored under NASA curation since collection using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection and time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Consistent with results from initial analyses shortly after collection in the 1970s, we observed amino acids at low concentrations in all of the curated samples, ranging from 0.2 parts-per-billion (ppb) to 42.7 ppb in hot-water extracts and 14.5 ppb to 651.1 ppb in 6M HCl acid-vapor-hydrolyzed, hot-water extracts. Amino acids identified in the Apollo soil extracts include glycine, D- and L-alanine, D- and L-aspartic acid, D- and L-glutamic acid, D- and L-serine, L-threonine, and L-valine, all of which had previously been detected in lunar samples, as well as several compounds not previously identified in lunar regoliths: -aminoisobutyric acid (AIB), D-and L-amino-n-butyric acid (-ABA), DL-amino-n-butyric acid, -amino-n-butyric acid, -alanine, and -amino-n-caproic acid. We observed an excess of the L enantiomer in most of the detected proteinogenic amino acids, but racemic alanine and racemic -ABA were present in some samples.

  2. Regolith Formation Rates and Evolution from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayne, P. O.; Ghent, R. R.; Bandfield, J. L.; Vasavada, A. R.; Williams, J. P.; Siegler, M. A.; Lucey, P. G.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Elder, C. M.; Paige, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Fragmentation and overturn of lunar surface materials produces a layer of regolith, which increases in thickness through time. Experiments on the lunar surface during the Apollo era, combined with remote sensing, found that the upper 10's of cm of regolith exhibit a rapid increase in density and thermal conductivity with depth. This is interpreted to be the signature of impact gardening, which operates most rapidly in the uppermost layers. Gravity data from the GRAIL mission showed that impacts have also extensively fractured the deeper crust. The breakdown and mixing of crustal materials is therefore a central process to lunar evolution and must be understood in order to interpret compositional information from remote sensing and sample analysis. Recently, thermal infrared data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Diviner radiometer were used to provide the first remote observational constraints on the rate of ejecta breakdown around craters L., Campbell, B. A., Allen, C. C., Carter, L. M., & Paige, D. A. (2014). Constraints on the recent rate of lunar ejecta breakdown and implications for crater ages. Geology, 42(12), 1059-1062.

  3. Magnetic Sorting of the Regolith on the Moon: Lunar Swirls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieters, C. M.; Garrick-Bethell, I.; Hemingway, D.

    2014-12-01

    All of the mysterious albedo features on the Moon called "lunar swirls" are associated with magnetic anomalies, but not all magnetic anomalies are associated with lunar swirls [1]. It is often hypothesized that the albedo markings are tied to immature regolith on the surface, perhaps due to magnetic shielding of the solar wind and prevention of normal space weathering of the soil. Although interaction of the solar wind with the surface at swirls is indeed affected by the local magnetic field [2], this does not appear to result in immature soils on the surface. Calibrated spectra from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper [M3] (in image format) demonstrate that the high albedo markings for swirls are simply not consistent with immature regolith as is now understood from detailed analyses of lunar samples [eg 3]. However, M3 data show that the high albedo features of swirls are distinct and quite different from normal soils (in both the highlands and the mare). They allexhibit a flatter continuum across the near-infrared, but the actual band strength of ferrous minerals shows little (if any) deviation [4]. Recent analyses of magnetic field direction at swirls [5] mimic the observed albedo patterns (horizontal surface fields in bright areas, vertical surface fields in dark lanes). When coupled with the optical properties of magnetic separates of lunar soils [6] and our knowledge that the magnetic component of the soil results from space weathering [3,6], we propose a new and very simple explanation for these enigmatic albedo markings: the lunar swirls result from magnetic sorting of a well developed regolith. With time, normal gardening of the soil over a magnetic anomaly causes some of the dark magnetic component of the soil to be gradually removed from regions (high albedo areas) and accumulated in others (dark lanes). We are modeling predicted sorting rates using realistic rates of dust production. If this mechanism is tenable, only the origin of these magnetic anomalies

  4. Stratification in the lunar regolith - a preliminary view

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duke, M.B.; Nagle, J.S.

    1975-01-01

    Although the knowledge of lunar regolith stratification is incomplete, several categories of thick and thin strata have been identified. Relatively thick units average 2 to 3 cm in thickness, and appear surficially to be massive. On more detailed examination, these units can be uniformly fine-grained, can show internal trends, or can show internal variations which apparently are random. Other thick units contain soil clasts apparently reworked from underlying units. Thin laminae average approximately 1 mm in thickness; lenticular distribution and composition of some thin laminae indicates they are fillets shed from adjacent rock fragments. Other dark, fine-grained, well-sorted thin laminae appear to be surficial zones, reworked by micrometeorites. Interpretations of stratigraphic succession can be strengthened by the occurrence of characteristic coarse rock fragments and the orientation of large spatter agglutinates, which are commonly found in their original depositional orientation. (Auth.)

  5. Mechanical properties of lunar regolith and lunar soil simulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Steven W.

    1989-01-01

    Through the Surveyor 3 and 7, and Apollo 11-17 missions a knowledge of the mechanical properties of Lunar regolith were gained. These properties, including material cohesion, friction, in-situ density, grain-size distribution and shape, and porosity, were determined by indirect means of trenching, penetration, and vane shear testing. Several of these properties were shown to be significantly different from those of terrestrial soils, such as an interlocking cohesion and tensile strength formed in the absence of moisture and particle cementation. To characterize the strength and deformation properties of Lunar regolith experiments have been conducted on a lunar soil simulant at various initial densities, fabric arrangements, and composition. These experiments included conventional triaxial compression and extension, direct tension, and combined tension-shear. Experiments have been conducted at low levels of effective confining stress. External conditions such as membrane induced confining stresses, end platten friction and material self weight have been shown to have a dramatic effect on the strength properties at low levels of confining stress. The solution has been to treat these external conditions and the specimen as a full-fledged boundary value problem rather than the idealized elemental cube of mechanics. Centrifuge modeling allows for the study of Lunar soil-structure interaction problems. In recent years centrifuge modeling has become an important tool for modeling processes that are dominated by gravity and for verifying analysis procedures and studying deformation and failure modes. Centrifuge modeling is well established for terrestrial enginering and applies equally as well to Lunar engineering. A brief review of the experiments is presented in graphic and outline form.

  6. Benefit of Lunar Regolith on Reflector Mass Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatton, Steven A.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2007-01-01

    The 2004 NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of mankind to the moon by no later than 2020, in preparation for an adventure to Mars and beyond. An envisioned lunar outpost will provide living quarters for initially 5- 10 astronauts for up to 2 weeks, and latter for science experiments, and recovery of mineral and indigenous resources for the day-to-day operation and production of propellant. These activities would require electrical and thermal powers in the order of 10's - 100's of kilowatts 24/7. Potential power options include photovoltaic, requiring massive batteries or fuel cells for energy storage during the long nights on the moon, and nuclear reactor power systems, which are much more compact and operate independent of the sun. This paper examines the benefit of using the lunar regolith as a supplemental neutron reflector on decreasing the launch mass of the Sectored Compact Reactor (SCoRe-S), developed at the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. In addition to providing at least $2.00 of hot-clean excess reactivity at the beginning of life, various SCoRe-S concepts investigated in this paper are at least $1.00 sub-critical when shutdown, and when the bare reactor cores are submerged in wet sand and flooded with seawater, following a launch abort accident. Design calculations performed using MCNP5 confirmed that using lunar regolith as supplementary reflector reduces the launch mass of the SCoRe-S cores by ∼ 34% - 35%, or 150 - 200 kg, while satisfying the above reactivity requirements

  7. PROGRA2 experiment: new results for dust clouds and regoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renard, J.-B.; Hadamcik, E.; Worms, J.-C.; Levasseur-Regourd, A.-C.; Daugeron, D.

    With the CNES-sponsored PROGRA2 facility, linear polarization of scattered light is performed on various types of dust clouds in microgravity during parabolic flights onboard the CNES- and ESA-sponsored A300 Zéro-G aircraft. Clouds of fluffy aggregates are also studied on the ground when lifted by an air-draught. The effect of the physical properties of the particles, such as the grains size and size distribution, the real part of the refractive index, and the structure is currently being studied. The size distribution of the agglomerates is measured in the field of view from the polarized component images. The large number of phase curves already obtained in the various conditions of measurements, in order to build a database (about 160 curves) allows us to better connect the physical properties with the observed polarization of the dust in the clouds. The aim is to compare these curves with those obtained in the solar system by remote-sensing and in-situ techniques for interplanetary dust, cometary coma, and solid particles in planetary atmospheres (Renard et al., 2003). Measurements on layers of particles (i.e. on the ground) are then compared with remote measurements on asteroidal regoliths and planetary surfaces. New phase curves will be presented and discussed i.e. for quartz samples, crystals, fluffy mixtures of alumina and silica, and a high porosity ``regolith'' analogue made of micron-sized silica spheres. This work will contribute to the choice of the samples to be studied with the IMPACT/ICAPS instrument onboard the ISS. J.-B. Renard, E. Hadamcik, T. Lemaire, J.-C. Worms and A.-C. Levasseur-Regourd (2003). Polarization imaging of dust cloud particles: improvement and applications of the PROGRA2 instrument, ASR 31, 12, 2511-2518.

  8. Depth and stratigraphy of regolith. Site descriptive modelling SDM-Site Laxemar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nyman, Helena; Sohlenius, Gustav; Stroemgren, Maarten; Brydsten, Lars

    2008-06-01

    At the Laxemar-Simpevarp site, numerical and descriptive modelling are performed both for the deep bedrock and for the surface systems. The surface geology and regolith depth are important parameters for e.g. hydrogeological and geochemical modelling and for the over all understanding of the area. Regolith refers to all the unconsolidated deposits overlying the bedrock. The regolith depth model (RDM) presented here visualizes the stratigraphical distribution of the regolith as well as the elevation of the bedrock surface. The model covers 280 km 2 including both terrestrial and marine areas. In the model the stratigraphy is represented by six layers (Z1-Z6) that corresponds to different types of regolith. The model is geometric and the properties of the layers are assigned by the user according to the purpose. The GeoModel program, which is an ArcGIS extension, was used for modelling the regolith depths. A detailed topographical Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a map of Quaternary deposits were used as input to the model. Altogether 319 boreholes and 440 other stratigraphical observations were also used. Furthermore a large number of depth data interpreted from geophysical investigations were used; refraction seismic measurements from 51 profiles, 11,000 observation points from resistivity measurements and almost 140,000 points from seismic and sediment echo sounding data. The results from the refraction seismic and resistivity measurements give information about the total regolith depths, whereas most other data also give information about the stratigraphy of the regolith. Some of the used observations did not reach the bedrock surface. They do, however, describe the minimum regolith depth at each location and were therefore used where the regolith depth would have been thinner without using the observation point. A large proportion of the modelled area has a low data density and the area was therefore divided into nine domains. These domains were defined based

  9. Depth and stratigraphy of regolith. Site descriptive modelling SDM-Site Laxemar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nyman, Helena (SWECO Position, Stockholm (Sweden)); Sohlenius, Gustav (Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Uppsala (Sweden)); Stroemgren, Maarten; Brydsten, Lars (Umeaa Univ., Umeaa (Sweden))

    2008-06-15

    At the Laxemar-Simpevarp site, numerical and descriptive modelling are performed both for the deep bedrock and for the surface systems. The surface geology and regolith depth are important parameters for e.g. hydrogeological and geochemical modelling and for the over all understanding of the area. Regolith refers to all the unconsolidated deposits overlying the bedrock. The regolith depth model (RDM) presented here visualizes the stratigraphical distribution of the regolith as well as the elevation of the bedrock surface. The model covers 280 km2 including both terrestrial and marine areas. In the model the stratigraphy is represented by six layers (Z1-Z6) that corresponds to different types of regolith. The model is geometric and the properties of the layers are assigned by the user according to the purpose. The GeoModel program, which is an ArcGIS extension, was used for modelling the regolith depths. A detailed topographical Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a map of Quaternary deposits were used as input to the model. Altogether 319 boreholes and 440 other stratigraphical observations were also used. Furthermore a large number of depth data interpreted from geophysical investigations were used; refraction seismic measurements from 51 profiles, 11,000 observation points from resistivity measurements and almost 140,000 points from seismic and sediment echo sounding data. The results from the refraction seismic and resistivity measurements give information about the total regolith depths, whereas most other data also give information about the stratigraphy of the regolith. Some of the used observations did not reach the bedrock surface. They do, however, describe the minimum regolith depth at each location and were therefore used where the regolith depth would have been thinner without using the observation point. A large proportion of the modelled area has a low data density and the area was therefore divided into nine domains. These domains were defined based on

  10. Echo simulation of lunar penetrating radar: based on a model of inhomogeneous multilayer lunar regolith structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dai Shun; Su Yan; Xiao Yuan; Feng Jian-Qing; Xing Shu-Guo; Ding Chun-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) based on the time domain Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technique onboard China's Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover, has the goal of investigating the lunar subsurface structure and detecting the depth of lunar regolith. An inhomogeneous multi-layer microwave transfer inverse-model is established. The dielectric constant of the lunar regolith, the velocity of propagation, the reflection, refraction and transmission at interfaces, and the resolution are discussed. The model is further used to numerically simulate and analyze temporal variations in the echo obtained from the LPR attached on CE-3's rover, to reveal the location and structure of lunar regolith. The thickness of the lunar regolith is calculated by a comparison between the simulated radar B-scan images based on the model and the detected result taken from the CE-3 lunar mission. The potential scientific return from LPR echoes taken from the landing region is also discussed

  11. 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...

  12. Echo simulation of lunar penetrating radar: based on a model of inhomogeneous multilayer lunar regolith structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Shun; Su, Yan; Xiao, Yuan; Feng, Jian-Qing; Xing, Shu-Guo; Ding, Chun-Yu

    2014-12-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) based on the time domain Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technique onboard China's Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover, has the goal of investigating the lunar subsurface structure and detecting the depth of lunar regolith. An inhomogeneous multi-layer microwave transfer inverse-model is established. The dielectric constant of the lunar regolith, the velocity of propagation, the reflection, refraction and transmission at interfaces, and the resolution are discussed. The model is further used to numerically simulate and analyze temporal variations in the echo obtained from the LPR attached on CE-3's rover, to reveal the location and structure of lunar regolith. The thickness of the lunar regolith is calculated by a comparison between the simulated radar B-scan images based on the model and the detected result taken from the CE-3 lunar mission. The potential scientific return from LPR echoes taken from the landing region is also discussed.

  13. High Fidelity Multi-Scale Regolith Simulation Tool for ISRU, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has serious unmet needs for simulation tools capable of predicting the behavior of lunar regolith in proposed excavation, transport and handling systems....

  14. Solid-Solid Vacuum Regolith Heat-Exchanger for Oxygen Production, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR Phase-1 project will demonstrate the feasibility of using a novel coaxial counterflow solid-solid heat exchanger to recover heat energy from spent regolith...

  15. CNT-Based Smart Electrostatic Filters for Capturing Nanoparticulate Lunar Regolith, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The abrasive, reactive, and ubiquitous nature of lunar regolith created significant and serious problems during the Apollo moon missions. In this Phase I, Agave...

  16. Electrostatic Separation of Lunar Regolith for Size Beneficiation Using Same-Material Tribocharging

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The success of future long-term manned lunar missions depends on the development of certain key technologies. One such technology, the utilization of lunar regolith...

  17. The Strata-1 Regolith Dynamics Experiment: Class 1E Science on ISS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Marc; Graham, Lee; John, Kristen

    2016-01-01

    The Strata-1 experiment studies the evolution of small body regolith through long-duration exposure of simulant materials to the microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS). This study will record segregation and mechanical dynamics of regolith simulants in a microgravity and vibration environment similar to that experienced by regolith on small Solar System bodies. Strata-1 will help us understand regolith dynamics and will inform design and procedures for landing and setting anchors, safely sampling and moving material on asteroidal surfaces, processing large volumes of material for in situ resource utilization (ISRU) purposes, and, in general, predicting the behavior of large and small particles on disturbed asteroid surfaces. This experiment is providing new insights into small body surface evolution.

  18. DIHeDRAL: Downhole Regolith Interrogation with Helium-Assisted Drill and LIBS, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future landed robotic missions to the lunar poles will seek to characterize the properties of subsurface regolith. Current instruments for such in-situ analysis,...

  19. DIHeDRAL: Downhole Regolith Interrogation with Helium-Assisted DRill And LIBS, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future landed robotic missions to the lunar poles will seek to characterize the properties of subsurface regolith. Current instruments for such in-situ analysis,...

  20. Using Combustion Synthesis to Reinforce Berms and Other Regolith Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriquez, Gary

    2013-01-01

    The Moonraker Excavator and other tools under development for use on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids will be employed to construct a number of civil engineering projects and to mine the soil. Mounds of loose soil will be subject to the local transport mechanisms plus artificial mechanisms such as blast effects from landers and erosion from surface vehicles. Some of these structures will require some permanence, with a minimum of maintenance and upkeep. Combustion Synthesis (CS) is a family of processes and techniques whereby chemistry is used to transform materials, often creating flame in a hard vacuum. CS can be used to stabilize civil engineering works such as berms, habitat shielding, ramps, pads, roadways, and the like. The method is to unroll thin sheets of CS fabric between layers of regolith and then fire the fabric, creating a continuous sheet of crusty material to be interposed among layers of loose regolith. The combination of low-energy processes, ISRU (in situ resource utilization) excavator, and CS fabrics, seems compelling as a general method for establishing structures of some permanence and utility, especially in the role of robotic missions as precursors to manned exploration and settlement. In robotic precursory missions, excavator/ mobility ensembles mine the Lunar surface, erect constructions of soil, and dispense sheets of CS fabrics that are covered with layers of soil, fired, and then again covered with layers of soil, iterating until the desired dimensions and forms are achieved. At the base of each berm, for example, is a shallow trench lined with CS fabric, fired and filled, mounded, and then covered and fired, iteratively to provide a footing against lateral shear. A larger trench is host to a habitat module, backfilled, covered with fabric, covered with soil, and fired. Covering the applied CS fabric with layers of soil before firing allows the resulting matrix to incorporate soil both above and below the fabric ply into the fused layer

  1. The analysis of water in the Martian regolith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D M; Tice, A R

    1979-12-01

    One of the scientific objectives of the Viking Mission to Mars was to accomplish an analysis of water in the Martian regolith. The analytical scheme originally envisioned was severely compromised in the latter stages of the Lander instrument package design. Nevertheless, a crude soil water analysis was accomplished. Samples from each of the two widely separated sites yielded roughly 1 to 3% water by weight when heated successively to several temperatures up to 500 degrees C. A significant portion of this water was released in the 200 degrees to 350 degrees C interval indicating the presence of mineral hydrates of relatively low thermal stability, a finding in keeping with the low temperatures generally prevailing on Mars. The presence of a duricrust at one of the Lander sites is taken as possible evidence for the presence of hygroscopic minerals on Mars. The demonstrated presence of atmospheric water vapor and thermodynamic calculations lead to the belief that adsorbed water could provide a relatively favorable environment for endolithic organisms on Mars similar to types recently discovered in the dry antarctic deserts.

  2. RESOLVE (Regolith & Environmental Science Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Ray; Coan, Mary; Captain, Janine; Cryderman, Kate; Quinn, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    The RESOLVE Project is a lunar prospecting mission whose primary goal is to characterize water and other volatiles in lunar regolith. The Lunar Advanced Volatiles Analysis (LAVA) subsystem is comprised of a fluid subsystem that transports flow to the gas chromatograph - mass spectrometer (GC-MS) instruments that characterize volatiles and the Water Droplet Demonstration (WDD) that will capture and display water condensation in the gas stream. The LAVA Engineering Test Unit (ETU) is undergoing risk reduction testing this summer and fall within a vacuum chamber to understand and characterize component and integrated system performance. Testing of line heaters, printed circuit heaters, pressure transducers, temperature sensors, regulators, and valves in atmospheric and vacuum environments was done. Test procedures were developed to guide experimental tests and test reports to analyze and draw conclusions from the data. In addition, knowledge and experience was gained with preparing a vacuum chamber with fluid and electrical connections. Further testing will include integrated testing of the fluid subsystem with the gas supply system, near-infrared spectrometer for the Surge Tank (NIRST), WDD, Sample Delivery System, and GC-MS in the vacuum chamber. Since LAVA is a scientific subsystem, the near infrared spectrometer and GC-MS instruments will be tested during the ETU testing phase.

  3. Spatial Patterns between Regolith Thickness and Forest Productivity in the Southern Sierra CZO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrell, R. M.; Ferrell, D. F.; Hartsough, P. C.; O'Geen, T. T.

    2015-12-01

    Soil in conjunction with underlying weathered bedrock make up what is referred to as regolith, which can be thought of as the substrate that actively contributes water and nutrients to above ground biomass. As a result, regolith thickness is an important regulating factor of forest health and drought tolerance in the Sierra Nevada. Our project examined the relationships between landscape position, regolith thickness, and tree productivity within a sub watershed of the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. We hypothesized that tree productivity will increase with increasing regolith thickness. Data was collected in the summer of 2015 at sixty-five sites within a 522-ha watershed averaging 1180m in elevation with a MAP of 80cm and a MAT of 11C. Sites were randomly selected from a grid and then stratified in the field to capture representative samples from different landscape positions. Regolith was sampled using a hand auger with attachable extensions. At each site we augered to hard bedrock or a maximum depth of 7.56 m, which ever was shallower. Biomass measurements were made for all conifer species (DBH>20cm) within a 10m radius of the primary auger hole. Tree age was measured from a representative tree for all species in the plots. Preliminary findings suggest that there is a weak correlation between landscape position/slope and regolith thickness, likely due to differences in lithology. It also appears that terrain shape can result in conflicting outcomes: 1. It can focus water to promote physical and chemical weathering and thick regolith; or, 2. water focusing can result in landscape scouring, removing soil and weathered bedrock to create shallow regolith. Productivity appears to be a function of regolith thickness, effective precipitation and landscape position. Water collecting areas in the lower watershed are shallow to bedrock, but typically receive high amounts of effective precipitation resulting in greater tree productivity. Moreover, thick regolith

  4. Field Testing of a Pneumatic Regolith Feed System During a 2010 ISRU Field Campaign on Mauna Kea, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craft, Jack; Zacny, Kris; Chu, Philip; Wilson, Jack; Santoro, Chris; Carlson, Lee; Maksymuk, Michael; Townsend, Ivan I.; Mueller, Robert P.; Mantovani, James G.

    2010-01-01

    Lunar In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) consists of a number of tasks starting with mining of lunar regolith, followed by the transfer of regolith to an oxygen extraction reactor and finally processing the regolith and storing of extracted oxygen. The transfer of regolith from the regolith hopper at the ground level to an oxygen extraction reactor many feet above the surface could be accomplished in different ways, including using a mechanical auger, bucket ladder system or a pneumatic system. The latter system is commonly used on earth when moving granular materials since it offers high reliability and simplicity of operation. In this paper, we describe a pneumatic regolith feed system, delivering feedstock to a Carbothermal reactor and lessons learned from deploying the system during the 2010 ISRU field campaign on the Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

  5. Experimental Determination of in Situ Utilization of Lunar Regolith for Thermal Energy Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Scott W.

    1993-01-01

    A Lunar Thermal Energy from Regolith (LUTHER) experiment has been designed and fabricated at the NASA Lewis Research Center to determine the feasibility of using lunar soil as thermal energy storage media. The experimental apparatus includes an alumina ceramic canister (25.4 cm diameter by 45.7 cm length) which contains simulated lunar regolith, a heater (either radiative or conductive), 9 heat shields, a heat transfer cold jacket, and 19 type B platinum rhodium thermocouples. The simulated lunar regolith is a basalt, mined and processed by the University of Minnesota, that closely resembles the lunar basalt returned to earth by the Apollo missions. The experiment will test the effects of vacuum, particle size, and density on the thermophysical properties of the regolith. The properties include melt temperature (range), specific heat, thermal conductivity, and latent heat of storage. Two separate tests, using two different heaters, will be performed to study the effect of heating the system using radiative and conductive heat transfer. The physical characteristics of the melt pattern, material compatibility of the molten regolith, and the volatile gas emission will be investigated by heating a portion of the lunar regolith to its melting temperature (1435 K) in a 10(exp -4) pascal vacuum chamber, equipped with a gas spectrum analyzer. A finite differencing SINDA model was developed at NASA Lewis Research Center to predict the performance of the LUTHER experiment. The analytical results of the code will be compared with the experimental data generated by the LUTHER experiment. The code will predict the effects of vacuum, particle size, and density has on the heat transfer to the simulated regolith.

  6. Developing a Material Response Model of Biopolymer-Stabilized Regolith to Predict Micrometeorite Damage of ISRU Habitat Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed space technology research aims to investigate the micrometeorite impact performance of Regolith Biocomposite (RBC), an innovative in-situ material...

  7. Iron signatures in Planetary Regoliths: The Moon as Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, L. A.; Clark, P. E.; Basu, A.

    1998-09-01

    We consider the distribution of iron in the lunar crust by combining two complementary remote sensing techniques, Apollo Gamma-ray (AGR) spectroscopy and Clementine reflectance spectroscopy (CRS). Both maps were compared in areas of overlap controlled by Apollo 15 and 16 ground tracks. The CRS map was scaled to the same lower spatial resolution (200 km) as AGR using the same color map in a mercator projection. Both AGR and CRS maps show bimodal distributions of iron abundance and have large scale similarities, but there are quantitative and significant differences. Maria account for the high iron peak and highlands, the low iron peak. CSR-derived Fe has a greater overall range, very narrow modal peaks and greater separation between high and low modes compared to AGR Fe values. If both techniques measure total iron in the regolith then both approaches should agree, their residuals should be zero. After failure to explain the differences in a systematic manner, we recalibrated the CSR iron map to the iron abundance in the pyroxene component of Apollo landing site soils, an approach consistent with crystal field theory and the algorithm used to produce the CSR map. The difference between total iron measured by AGR and iron in pyroxene now measured by CSR gives a map of the non-pyroxene iron component of the lunar crust and its distribution. We now see a correlation with lunar morphology and an anti-correlation with age of mare basins and their iron abundance, the younger basins having a higher component of non-pyroxene iron than the older ones. These results can be checked with Lunar Prospector data on other areas of the Moon. Combining remote sensing data sets has promise for determining the distribution of iron in different oxidation states on Eros with data from the NEAR mission.

  8. Lunar regolith stratigraphy analysis based on the simulation of lunar penetrating radar signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Jialong; Xu, Yi; Zhang, Xiaoping; Tang, Zesheng

    2017-11-01

    The thickness of lunar regolith is an important index of evaluating the quantity of lunar resources such as 3He and relative geologic ages. Lunar penetrating radar (LPR) experiment of Chang'E-3 mission provided an opportunity of in situ lunar subsurface structure measurement in the northern mare imbrium area. However, prior work on analyzing LPR data obtained quite different conclusions of lunar regolith structure mainly because of the missing of clear interface reflectors in radar image. In this paper, we utilized finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method and three models of regolith structures with different rock density, number of layers, shapes of interfaces, and etc. to simulate the LPR signals for the interpretation of radar image. The simulation results demonstrate that the scattering signals caused by numerous buried rocks in the regolith can mask the horizontal reflectors, and the die-out of radar echo does not indicate the bottom of lunar regolith layer and data processing such as migration method could recover some of the subsurface information but also result in fake signals. Based on analysis of simulation results, we conclude that LPR results uncover the subsurface layered structure containing the rework zone with multiple ejecta blankets of small crater, the ejecta blanket of Chang'E-3 crater, and the transition zone and estimate the thickness of the detected layer is about 3.25 m.

  9. Assessing the elements mobility through the regolith and their potential as tracers for hydrological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moragues-Quiroga, Cristina; Hissler, Christophe; Chabaux, François; Legout, Arnaud; Stille, Peter

    2017-04-01

    Regoliths encompass different materials from the fresh bedrock to the top of the organic horizons. The regolith is a major component of the critical zone where fluxes of water, energy, solutes and matter occur. Therefore, its bio-physico-chemical properties drastically impact the water that percolates and/or stores in its different parts (organic and mineral soil horizons, and weathered and fractured bedrock). In order to better understand the critical zone functioning, we propose to assess the interaction between chemical elements from the regolith matrix and water during drainage infiltration. For this, we focus firstly on the potential mobility of different groups of major and trace elements according to a leaching experiment made on 10 different layers of a 7.5 m depth slate regolith, which covers a large part of the Rhenish Massif. Secondly, we carried out Sr-Nd-Pb-U-Th isotope analyses for 5 of these samples in both the untreated and leached samples. Given the specific chemical and mineralogical composition of each sampled material, our approach enables to trace the origin of major and trace elements and eventually assess their mobility. The results deliver valuable information on exchange processes at the water-mineral interface in the different zones of the regolith, which could improve the selection of tracers for the study of hydrological processes.

  10. The rate of dielectric breakdown weathering of lunar regolith in permanently shadowed regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, A. P.; Stubbs, T. J.; Wilson, J. K.; Schwadron, N. A.; Spence, H. E.

    2017-02-01

    Large solar energetic particle events may cause dielectric breakdown in the upper 1 mm of regolith in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). We estimate how the resulting breakdown weathering compares to meteoroid impact weathering. Although the SEP event rates measured by the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) are too low for breakdown to have significantly affected the regolith over the duration of the LRO mission, regolith gardened by meteoroid impacts has been exposed to SEPs for ∼106 yr. Therefore, we estimate that breakdown weathering's production rate of vapor and melt in the coldest PSRs is up to 1.8 - 3.5 ×10-7 kg m-2 yr-1 , which is comparable to that produced by meteoroid impacts. Thus, in PSRs, up to 10-25% of the regolith may have been melted or vaporized by dielectric breakdown. Breakdown weathering could also be consistent with observations of the increased porosity ("fairy castles") of PSR regolith. We also show that it is conceivable that breakdown-weathered material is present in Apollo soil samples. Consequently, breakdown weathering could be an important process within PSRs, and it warrants further investigation.

  11. Regolith stratigraphy at the Chang'E-3 landing site as seen by lunar penetrating radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fa, Wenzhe; Zhu, Meng-Hua; Liu, Tiantian; Plescia, Jeffrey B.

    2015-12-01

    The Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar (LPR) observations at 500 MHz reveal four major stratigraphic zones from the surface to a depth of ~20 m along the survey line: a layered reworked zone (<1 m), an ejecta layer (~2-6 m), a paleoregolith layer (~4-11 m), and the underlying mare basalts. The reworked zone has two to five distinct layers and consists of surface regolith. The paleoregolith buried by the ejecta from a 500 m crater is relatively homogenous and contains only a few rocks. Population of buried rocks increases with depth to ~2 m at first, and then decreases with depth, representing a balance between initial deposition of the ejecta and later turnover of the regolith. Combining with the surface age, the LPR observations indicate a mean accumulation rate of about 5-10 m/Gyr for the surface regolith, which is at least 4-8 times larger than previous estimation.

  12. Sputtering of Lunar Regolith Simulant by Protons and Multicharged Heavy Ions at Solar Wind Energies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, Fred W.; Harris, Peter R.; Taylor, C.N.; Meyer, Harry M. III; Barghouty, N.; Adams, J. Jr.

    2011-01-01

    We report preliminary results on sputtering of a lunar regolith simulant at room temperature by singly and multiply charged solar wind ions using quadrupole and time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry approaches. Sputtering of the lunar regolith by solar-wind heavy ions may be an important particle source that contributes to the composition of the lunar exosphere, and is a possible mechanism for lunar surface ageing and compositional modification. The measurements were performed in order to assess the relative sputtering efficiency of protons, which are the dominant constituent of the solar wind, and less abundant heavier multicharged solar wind constituents, which have higher physical sputtering yields than same-velocity protons, and whose sputtering yields may be further enhanced due to potential sputtering. Two different target preparation approaches using JSC-1A AGGL lunar regolith simulant are described and compared using SEM and XPS surface analysis.

  13. Benefits of Mars ISRU Regolith Water Processing: A Case Study for the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie; Paz, Aaron; Mueller, Robert

    2016-01-01

    ISRU of Mars resources was baselined in 2009 Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0, but only for Oxygen production using atmospheric CO2. The Methane (LCH4) needed for ascent propulsion of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) would need to be brought from Earth. However: Extracting water from the Martian Regolith enables the production of both Oxygen and Methane from Mars resources: Water resources could also be used for other applications including: Life support, radiation shielding, plant growth, etc. Water extraction was not baselined in DRA5.0 due to perceived difficulties and complexity in processing regolith. The NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) requested studies to look at the quantitative benefits and trades of using Mars water ISRUPhase 1: Examined architecture scenarios for regolith water retrieval. Completed October 2015. Phase 2: Deep dive of one architecture concept to look at end-to-end system size, mass, power of a LCH4/LO2 ISRU production system

  14. University of Central Florida / Deep Space Industries Asteroid Regolith Simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, Daniel; Covey, Steven D.; Schultz, Cody

    2017-10-01

    Introduction: The University of Central Florida (UCF), in partnership with Deep Space Industries (DSI) are working under a NASA Phase 2 SBIR contract to develop and produce a family of asteroid regolith simulants for use in research, engineering, and mission operations testing. We base simulant formulas on the mineralogy, particle size, and physical characteristics of CI, CR, CM, C2, CV, and L-Chondrite meteorites. The advantage in simulating meteorites is that the vast majority of meteoritic materials are common rock forming minerals that are available in commercial quantities. While formulas are guided by the meteorites our approach is one of constrained maximization under the limitations of safety, cost, source materials, and ease of handling. In all cases our goal is to deliver a safe, high fidelity analog at moderate cost.Source Materials, Safety, and Biohazards: A critical factor in any useful simulant is to minimize handling risks for biohazards or toxicity. All the terrestrial materials proposed for these simulants were reviewed for potential toxicity. Of particular interest is the organic component of volatile rich carbonaceous chondrites which contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which are known carcinogens and mutagens. Our research suggests that we can maintain rough chemical fidelity by substituting much safer sub-bituminous coal as our organic analog. A second safety consideration is the choice of serpentine group materials. While most serpentine polymorphs are quite safe we avoid fibrous chrysotile because of its asbestos content. Terrestrial materials identified as inputs for our simulants are common rock forming minerals that are available in commercial quantities. These include olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase feldspar, smectite, serpentine, saponite, pyrite, and magnetite in amounts that are appropriate for each type. For CI's and CR’s, their olivines tend to be Fo100 which is rare on Earth. We have substituted Fo90 olivine

  15. Particle Shape Characterization of Lunar Regolith using Reflected Light Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarty, C. B.; Garcia, G. C.; Rickman, D.

    2014-12-01

    Automated identification of particles in lunar thin sections is necessary for practical measurement of particle shape, void characterization, and quantitative characterization of sediment fabric. This may be done using image analysis, but several aspects of the lunar regolith make such automations difficult. For example, many of the particles are shattered; others are aggregates of smaller particles. Sieve sizes of the particles span 5 orders of magnitude. The physical thickness of a thin section, at a nominal 30 microns, is large compared to the size of many of the particles. Image acquisition modes, such as SEM and reflected light, while superior to transmitted light, still have significant ambiguity as to the volume being sampled. It is also desirable to have a technique that is inexpensive, not resource intensive, and analytically robust. To this end, we have developed an image acquisition and processing protocol that identifies and delineates resolvable particles on the front surface of a lunar thin section using a petrographic microscope in reflected light. For a polished thin section, a grid is defined covering the entire thin section. The grid defines discrete images taken with 20% overlap, minimizing the number of particles that intersect image boundaries. In reflected light mode, two images are acquired at each grid location, with a closed aperture diaphragm. One image, A, is focused precisely on the front surface of the thin section. The second image, B, is made after the stage is brought toward the objective lens just slightly. A bright fringe line, analogous to a Becke line, appears inside all transparent particles at the front surface of the section in the second image. The added light in the bright line corresponds to a deficit around the particles. Particle identification is done using ImageJ and uses multiple steps. A hybrid 5x5 median filter is used to make images Af and Bf. This primarily removes very small particles just below the front surface

  16. DEM Solutions Develops Answers to Modeling Lunar Dust and Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Carol Anne; Calle, Carlos; LaRoche, Richard D.

    2010-01-01

    With the proposed return to the Moon, scientists like NASA-KSC's Dr. Calle are concerned for a number of reasons. We will be staying longer on the planet's surface, future missions may include dust-raising activities, such as excavation and handling of lunar soil and rock, and we will be sending robotic instruments to do much of the work for us. Understanding more about the chemical and physical properties of lunar dust, how dust particles interact with each other and with equipment surfaces and the role of static electricity build-up on dust particles in the low-humidity lunar environment is imperative to the development of technologies for removing and preventing dust accumulation, and successfully handling lunar regolith. Dr. Calle is currently working on the problems of the electrostatic phenomena of granular and bulk materials as they apply to planetary surfaces, particularly to those of Mars and the Moon, and is heavily involved in developing instrumentation for future planetary missions. With this end in view, the NASA Kennedy Space Center's Innovative Partnerships Program Office partnered with OEM Solutions, Inc. OEM Solutions is a global leader in particle dynamics simulation software, providing custom solutions for use in tackling tough design and process problems related to bulk solids handling. Customers in industries such as pharmaceutical, chemical, mineral, and materials processing as well as oil and gas production, agricultural and construction, and geo-technical engineering use OEM Solutions' EDEM(TradeMark) software to improve the design and operation of their equipment while reducing development costs, time-to-market and operational risk. EDEM is the world's first general-purpose computer-aided engineering (CAE) tool to use state-of-the-art discrete element modeling technology for the simulation and analysis of particle handling and manufacturing operations. With EDEM you'can quickly and easily create a parameterized model of your granular solids

  17. Mars Gardens in the University - Red Thumbs: Growing Vegetables in Martian regolith simulant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, Edward Francis

    2018-01-01

    Over the next few decades NASA and private enterprise missions plan to send manned missions to Mars with the ultimate aim to establish a permanent human presence on this planet. For a self-sustaining colony on Mars it will be necessary to provide food by growing plants in sheltered greenhouses on the Martian surface. As part of an undergraduate student project in Astrobiology at Villanova University, experiments are being carried out, testing how various plants grow in Martian regolith. A wide sample of plants are being grown and tested in Mars regolith simulant commercially available from The Martian Garden (TheMartian Garden.com). This Mars regolith simulant is based on Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) developed by NASA and JPL for the Mars Phoenix mission. The MMS is based on the Mojave Saddleback basalt similar that used by JPL/NASA. Additional reagents were added to this iron rich basalt to bring the chemical content close to actual Mars regolith. The MMS used is an approximately 90% similar to regolith found on the surface of Mars - excluding poisonous perchlorates commonly found on actual Mars surface.The students have selected various vegetables and herbs to grow and test. These include carrots, spinach, dandelions, kale, soy beans, peas, onions, garlic and of course potatoes and sweet potatoes. Plants were tested in various growing conditions, using different fertilizers, and varying light conditions and compared with identical “control plants” grown in Earth soil / humus. The results of the project will be discussed from an education view point as well as from usefulness for fundamental research.We thank The Martian Garden for providing Martian regolith simulant at education discounted prices.

  18. Evolution and Transport of Water in the Upper Regolith of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, T. L.; Aharonson, O.; Schorghofer, N.; Hecht, M. H.; Bridges, N. T.; Green, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Long standing theoretical predictions [1-3], as well as recent spacecraft observations [4] indicate that large quantities of ice is present in the high latitudes upper decimeters to meters of the Martian regolith. At shallower depths and warmer locations small amounts of H2O, either adsorbed or free, may be present transiently. An understanding of the evolution of water based on theoretical and experimental considerations of the processes operating at the Martian environment is required. In particular, the porosity, diffusivity, and permeability of soils and their effect on water vapor transport under Mars-like conditions have been estimated, but experimental validation of such models is lacking. Goal: Three related mechanisms may affect water transport in the upper Martian regolith. 1) diffusion along a concentration gradient under isobaric conditions, 2) diffusion along a thermal gradient, which may give rise to a concentration gradient as ice sublimes or molecules desorb from the regolith, and 3) hydraulic flow, or mass motion in response to a pressure gradient. Our combined theoretical and experimental investigation seeks to disentangle these mechanisms and determine which process(es) are dominant in the upper regolith over various timescales. A detailed one-dimensional model of the upper regolith is being created which incorporates water adsorption/ desorption, condensation, porosity, diffusivity, and permeability effects. Certain factors such as diffusivity are difficult to determine theoretically due to the wide range of intrinsic grain properties such as particle sizes, shapes, packing densities, and emergent properties such as tortuosity. An experiment is being designed which will allow us to more accurately determine diffusivity, permeability, and water desorption isotherms for regolith simulants.

  19. Modeling the Expected Performance of the REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS)

    OpenAIRE

    Inamdar, Niraj K.; Binzel, Richard P.; Hong, Jae Sub; Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Masterson, Rebecca A.

    2014-01-01

    OSIRIS-REx is the third spacecraft in the NASA New Frontiers Program and is planned for launch in 2016. OSIRIS-REx will orbit the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, characterize it, and return a sample of the asteroid's regolith back to Earth. The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is an instrument on OSIRIS-REx designed and built by students at MIT and Harvard. The purpose of REXIS is to collect and image sun-induced fluorescent X-rays emitted by Bennu, thereby providing spectrosco...

  20. The Nature of C Asteroid Regolith Revealed from the Jbilet Winselwan CM Chondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, Michael; Mikouchi, Takashi; Hagiya, Kenji; Ohsumi, Kazumasa; Komatsu, Mutsumi; Chan, Queenie H. S.; Le, Loan; Kring, David; Cato, Michael; Fagan, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    C-class asteroids frequently exhibit reflectance spectra consistent with thermally metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrites, or a mixture of phyllosilicate-rich material along with regions where they are absent. One particularly important example appears to be asteroid 162173 Ryugu, the target of the Hayabusa 2 mission, although most spectra of Ryugu are featureless, suggesting a heterogeneous regolith. Here we explore an alternative cause of dehydration of regolith of C-class asteroids - impact shock melting. Impact shock melting has been proposed to ex-plain some mineralogical characteristics of CB chondrites, but has rarely been considered a major process for hydrous carbonaceous chondrites.

  1. Evolution of Regolith Feed Systems for Lunar ISRU 02 Production Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Townsend, Ivan I., III; Mantovani, James G.; Metzger, Philip T.

    2010-01-01

    The In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project of the NASA Constellation Program, Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) has been engaged in the design and testing of various Lunar ISRU O2 production plant prototypes that can extract chemically bound oxygen from the minerals in the lunar regolith. This work demands that lunar regolith (or simulants) shall be introduced into the O2 production plant from a holding bin or hopper and subsequently expelled from the ISRU O2 production plant for disposal. This sub-system is called the Regolith Feed System (RFS) which exists in a variety of configurations depending on the O2 production plant oxygen being used (e.g. Hydrogen Reduction, Carbothermal, Molten Oxide Electrolysis). Each configuration may use a different technology and in addition it is desirable to have heat recuperation from the spent hot regolith as an integral part of the RFS. This paper addresses the various RFS and heat recuperation technologies and system configurations that have been developed under the NASA ISRU project since 2007. In addition current design solutions and lessons learned from reduced gravity flight testing will be discussed.

  2. RESOLVE: Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Jacqueline; Baird, Scott; Colaprete, Anthony; Larson, William; Sanders, Gerald; Picard, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Regolith & Environment Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) is an internationally developed payload that is intended to prospect for resources on other planetary bodies. RESOLVE is a miniature drilling and chemistry plant packaged onto a medium-sized rover to collect and analyze soil for volatile components such as water or hydrogen that could be used in human exploration efforts.

  3. Optical Extinction Measurements of Dust Density in the GMRO Regolith Test Bin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, J.; Mantovani, J.; Mueller, R.; Nugent, M.; Nick, A.; Schuler, J.; Townsend, I.

    2016-01-01

    A regolith simulant test bin was constructed and completed in the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Lab in 2013. This Planetary Regolith Test Bed (PRTB) is a 64 sq m x 1 m deep test bin, is housed in a climate-controlled facility, and contains 120 MT of lunar-regolith simulant, called Black Point-1 or BP-1, from Black Point, AZ. One of the current uses of the test bin is to study the effects of difficult lighting and dust conditions on Telerobotic Perception Systems to better assess and refine regolith operations for asteroid, Mars and polar lunar missions. Low illumination and low angle of incidence lighting pose significant problems to computer vision and human perception. Levitated dust on Asteroids interferes with imaging and degrades depth perception. Dust Storms on Mars pose a significant problem. Due to these factors, the likely performance of telerobotics is poorly understood for future missions. Current space telerobotic systems are only operated in bright lighting and dust-free conditions. This technology development testing will identify: (1) the impact of degraded lighting and environmental dust on computer vision and operator perception, (2) potential methods and procedures for mitigating these impacts, (3) requirements for telerobotic perception systems for asteroid capture, Mars dust storms and lunar regolith ISRU missions. In order to solve some of the Telerobotic Perception system problems, a plume erosion sensor (PES) was developed in the Lunar Regolith Simulant Bin (LRSB), containing 2 MT of JSC-1a lunar simulant. PES is simply a laser and digital camera with a white target. Two modes of operation have been investigated: (1) single laser spot - the brightness of the spot is dependent on the optical extinction due to dust and is thus an indirect measure of particle number density, and (2) side-scatter - the camera images the laser from the side, showing beam entrance into the dust cloud and the boundary between dust and void. Both

  4. Preliminary Broadband Measurements of Dielectric Permittivity of Planetary Regolith Analog Materials Using a Coaxial Airline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, A.; Tsai, C. A.; Ghent, R. R.; Daly, M. G.

    2014-12-01

    When considering radar observations of airless bodies containing regolith, the radar backscatter coefficient is dependent upon the complex dielectric permittivity of the regolith materials. In many current applications of imaging radar data, uncertainty in the dielectric permittivity precludes quantitative estimates of such important parameters as regolith thickness and depth to buried features (e.g., lava flows on the Aristarchus Plateau on the Moon and the flows that surround the Quetzalpetlatl Corona on Venus). For asteroids, radar is an important tool for detecting and characterizing regoliths. Many previous measurements of the real and/or complex parts of the dielectric permittivity have been made, particularly for the Moon (on both Apollo samples and regolith analogues). However, no studies to date have systematically explored the relationship between permittivity and the various mineralogical components such as presence of FeO and TiO2. For lunar materials, the presence of the mineral ilmenite (FeTiO3), which contains equal portions FeO and TiO2, is thought to be the dominant factor controlling the loss tangent (tanδ, the ratio of the imaginary and real components of the dielectric permittivity). Ilmenite, however, is not the only mineral to contain iron in the lunar soil and our understanding of the effect of iron on the loss tangent is insufficient. Beyond the Moon, little is known about the effects on permittivity of carbonaceous materials. This is particularly relevant for missions to asteroids, such as the OSIRIS-REx mission to (101955) Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid whose regolith composition is largely unknown. Here we present preliminary broadband (300 Mhz to 14 GHz) measurements on materials intended as planetary regolith analogs. Our ultimate goal is to establish a database of the effects of a wide range mineralogical components on dielectric permittivity, in support of the OSIRIS REx mission and ongoing Earth-based radar investigation of the Moon

  5. Parameters and structure of lunar regolith in Chang'E-3 landing area from lunar penetrating radar (LPR) data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zehua; Fang, Guangyou; Ji, Yicai; Gao, Yunze; Wu, Chao; Zhang, Xiaojuan

    2017-01-01

    Chang'E-3 (CE-3) landed in the northwest Mare Imbrium, a region that has not been explored before. Yutu rover that released by CE-3 lander carried the first lunar surface penetrating radar (LPR) for exploring lunar regolith thickness and subsurface shallow geological structures. In this paper, based on the LPR data and the Panoramic Camera (PC) data, we first calculate the lunar surface regolith parameters in CE-3 landing area including its permittivity, density, conductivity and FeO + TiO2 content. LPR data provides a higher spatial resolution and more accuracy for the lunar regolith parameters comparing to other remote sensing techniques, such as orbit radar sounder and microwave sensing or earth-based powerful radar. We also derived the regolith thickness and its weathered rate with much better accuracy in the landing area. The results indicate that the regolith growth rate is much faster than previous estimation, the regolith parameters are not uniform even in such a small study area and the thickness and growth rate of lunar regolith here are different from other areas in Mare Imbrium. We infer that the main reason should be geological deformation that caused by multiple impacts of meteorites in different sizes.

  6. REE enrichment in granite-derived regolith deposits of the southeast United States: Prospective source rocks and accumulation processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Nora K.; Ayuso, Robert A.; Simandl, G.J.; Neetz, M.

    2015-01-01

    The Southeastern United States contains numerous anorogenic, or A-type, granites, which constitute promising source rocks for REE-enriched ion adsorption clay deposits due to their inherently high concentrations of REE. These granites have undergone a long history of chemical weathering, resulting in thick granite-derived regoliths, akin to those of South China, which supply virtually all heavy REE and Y, and a significant portion of light REE to global markets. Detailed comparisons of granite regolith profiles formed on the Stewartsville and Striped Rock plutons, and the Robertson River batholith (Virginia) indicate that REE are mobile and can attain grades comparable to those of deposits currently mined in China. A REE-enriched parent, either A-type or I-type (highly fractionated igneous type) granite, is thought to be critical for generating the high concentrations of REE in regolith profiles. One prominent feature we recognize in many granites and mineralized regoliths is the tetrad behaviour displayed in REE chondrite-normalized patterns. Tetrad patterns in granite and regolith result from processes that promote the redistribution, enrichment, and fractionation of REE, such as late- to post- magmatic alteration of granite and silicate hydrolysis in the regolith. Thus, REE patterns showing tetrad effects may be a key for discriminating highly prospective source rocks and regoliths with potential for REE ion adsorption clay deposits.

  7. Regolith thickness over Sinus Iridum: Results from morphology and size-frequency distribution of small impact craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fa, Wenzhe; Liu, Tiantian; Zhu, Meng-Hua; Haruyama, Junichi

    2014-08-01

    High-resolution optical images returned from recent lunar missions provide a new chance for estimation of lunar regolith thickness using morphology and the size-frequency distribution of small impact craters. In this study, regolith thickness over the Sinus Iridum region is estimated using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) images. A revised relationship between crater geometry and regolith thickness is proposed based on old experimental data that takes into considering the effect of the illumination angle of the images. In total, 227 high-resolution LROC NAC images are used, and 378,556 impact craters with diameters from 4.2 to 249.8 m are counted, and their morphologies are identified. Our results show that 50% of the Sinus Iridum region has a regolith thickness between 5.1 and 10.7 m, and the mean and median regolith thicknesses are 8.5 and 8.0 m, respectively. There are substantial regional variations in the regolith thickness, with its median value varying from 2.6 to 12.0 m for most regions. Local variations of regolith thickness are found to be correlated with the lunar surface age: the older the surface, the greater the thickness. In addition, sporadically distributed impact ejecta and crater rays are associated with relatively larger regolith thickness, which might result from excavation and transport of materials during the formation of the secondaries of Copernican-aged craters. Our estimated regolith thickness can help with future analysis of Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar echoes and studies of the subsurface stratigraphic structure of the Moon.

  8. Multi-Use Solar Thermal System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith [7227-570], Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop an innovative solar thermal system for oxygen production from lunar regolith. In this system solar radiation is collected by the concentrator...

  9. Regolith thickness at the Chang'E-3 landing site from the Lunar Penetrating Radar and impact craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fa, W.; Zhu, M.-H.; Liu, T.

    2015-10-01

    The Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar (LPR) observations reveal a newly formed regolith layer (<1 m), an ejecta layer (~2-6 m), and a palaeoregolith layer (~4-9 m) from the surface to a depth of ~ 20 m. The thicknesses of the newly formed regolith layer and the palaeoregolith layer are consistent with the estimations based on the excavation depth and morphology of small fresh craters.

  10. Some consequences of a liquid water saturated regolith in early Martian history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, A. O.; Hargraves, R. B.

    1978-01-01

    Flooding of low-lying areas of the Martian regolith may have occurred early in the planet's history when a comparatively dense primitive atmosphere existed. If this model is valid, the following are some pedogenic and mineralogical consequences to be expected. Fluctuation of the water table in response to any seasonal or longer term causes would have resulted in precipitation of ferric oxyhydroxides with the development of a vesicular duricrust (or hardpan). Disruption of such a crust by scarp undercutting or frost heaving accompanied by wind deflation of fines could account for the boulders visible on Utopia Planitia in the vicinity of the second Viking lander site. Laboratory and field evidence on earth suggests that under weakly oxidizing conditions lepidocrocite (rather than goethite) would have preferentially formed in the Martian regolith from the weathering of ferrous silicates, accompanied by montmorillonite, nontronite, and cronstedtite. Maghemite may have formed as a low-temperature dehydrate of lepidocrocite or directly from ferrous precursors.

  11. Comparison of Direct Solar Energy to Resistance Heating for Carbothermal Reduction of Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony C.; Gustafson, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    A comparison of two methods of delivering thermal energy to regolith for the carbo thermal reduction process has been performed. The comparison concludes that electrical resistance heating is superior to direct solar energy via solar concentrators for the following reasons: (1) the resistance heating method can process approximately 12 times as much regolith using the same amount of thermal energy as the direct solar energy method because of superior thermal insulation; (2) the resistance heating method is more adaptable to nearer-term robotic exploration precursor missions because it does not require a solar concentrator system; (3) crucible-based methods are more easily adapted to separation of iron metal and glass by-products than direct solar energy because the melt can be poured directly after processing instead of being remelted; and (4) even with projected improvements in the mass of solar concentrators, projected photovoltaic system masses are expected to be even lower.

  12. Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) Phase 2 and Smart Autonomous Sand-Swimming Excavator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandy, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) Phase 2 is an excavation robot for mining regolith on a planet like Mars. The robot is programmed using the Robotic Operating System (ROS) and it also uses a physical simulation program called Gazebo. This internship focused on various functions of the program in order to make it a more professional and efficient robot. During the internship another project called the Smart Autonomous Sand-Swimming Excavator was worked on. This is a robot that is designed to dig through sand and extract sample material. The intern worked on programming the Sand-Swimming robot, and designing the electrical system to power and control the robot.

  13. Extraction and Capture of Water from Martian Regolith Experimental Proof-of-Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane; Kleinhenz, Julie; Bauman, Steve; Johnson, Kyle

    2016-01-01

    Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0:Lists in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) as enabling for robust human Mars missionsLO2LCH4 ascent propulsion 25,000 kg oxygen from atmosphere for ascent and life support Atmospheric based ISRU processes less operationally complex than surface based limited concept evaluation to date and Mars surface water property and distribution uncertainty would not allow [Mars soil water processing] to be base lined at this time Limited Concept Evaluation to Date Lunar regolith O2 extraction processing experience Lunar regolith is fluidized and heated to high temperatures with H2 to produce H2O from iron-bearing minerals Mars similarity concept: Soil placed in fluidized bed reactor Heated to moderate temperatures Inert gas flow used to fluidize the bed and help with water desorption Challenges: High-temperature dusty seals Working gas requires downstream separation and recycling to reduce consumables loss Batch process heating thermally inefficient.

  14. Regolith-geology mapping with support vector machine: A case study over weathered Ni-bearing peridotites, New Caledonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boissieu, Florian; Sevin, Brice; Cudahy, Thomas; Mangeas, Morgan; Chevrel, Stéphane; Ong, Cindy; Rodger, Andrew; Maurizot, Pierre; Laukamp, Carsten; Lau, Ian; Touraivane, Touraivane; Cluzel, Dominique; Despinoy, Marc

    2018-02-01

    Accurate maps of Earth's geology, especially its regolith, are required for managing the sustainable exploration and development of mineral resources. This paper shows how airborne imaging hyperspectral data collected over weathered peridotite rocks in vegetated, mountainous terrane in New Caledonia were processed using a combination of methods to generate a regolith-geology map that could be used for more efficiently targeting Ni exploration. The image processing combined two usual methods, which are spectral feature extraction and support vector machine (SVM). This rationale being the spectral features extraction can rapidly reduce data complexity by both targeting only the diagnostic mineral absorptions and masking those pixels complicated by vegetation, cloud and deep shade. SVM is a supervised classification method able to generate an optimal non-linear classifier with these features that generalises well even with limited training data. Key minerals targeted are serpentine, which is considered as an indicator for hydrolysed peridotitic rock, and iron oxy-hydroxides (hematite and goethite), which are considered as diagnostic of laterite development. The final classified regolith map was assessed against interpreted regolith field sites, which yielded approximately 70% similarity for all unit types, as well as against a regolith-geology map interpreted using traditional datasets (not hyperspectral imagery). Importantly, the hyperspectral derived mineral map provided much greater detail enabling a more precise understanding of the regolith-geological architecture where there are exposed soils and rocks.

  15. Dielectric properties estimation of the lunar regolith at CE-3 landing site using lunar penetrating radar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jianqing; Su, Yan; Ding, Chunyu; Xing, Shuguo; Dai, Shun; Zou, Yongliao

    2017-03-01

    The second channel (CH2) of the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) carried on the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) Yutu Rover was used to determine the thickness and structure of the lunar regolith. Accurately revealing the true structure beneath the surface requires knowledge of the dielectric permittivity of the regolith, which allows one to properly apply migration to the radar image. In contrast to simple assumptions in previous studies, this paper takes account of heterogeneity of the regolith and derives regolith's permittivity distribution laterally and vertically by a method widely used in data processing of terrestrial Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). We find that regolith permittivity at the landing site increases with depth more quickly than previously recognized. At a depth of ∼2.5-3 m, the dielectric constant reaches the value of solid basalt. The radar image was migrated on the basis of the permittivity profile. We do not find any continuous distinct layers or an apparent regolith/rock interface in the migrated radargram, which implies that this area is covered by relatively young, poorly layered deposits.

  16. Assessing extraterrestrial regolith material simulants for in-situ resource utilization based 3D printing

    OpenAIRE

    Goulas, A; Binner, JGP; Harris, RA; Friel, RJ

    2017-01-01

    This research paper investigates the suitability of ceramic multi-component materials, which are found on the Martian and Lunar surfaces, for 3D printing (aka Additive Manufacturing) of solid structures. 3D printing is a promising solution as part of the cutting edge field of future in situ space manufacturing applications. 3D printing of physical assets from simulated Martian and Lunar regolith was successfully performed during this work by utilising laser-based powder bed fusion equipment. ...

  17. Potential Use of In Situ Material Composites such as Regolith/Polyethylene for Shielding Space Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theriot, Corey A.; Gersey, Buddy; Bacon, Eugene; Johnson, Quincy; Zhang, Ye; Norman, Jullian; Foley, Ijette; Wilkins, Rick; Zhou, Jianren; Wu, Honglu

    2010-01-01

    NASA has an extensive program for studying materials and methods for the shielding of astronauts to reduce the effects of space radiation when on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars, especially in the use of in situ materials native to the destination reducing the expense of materials transport. The most studied material from the Moon is Lunar regolith and has been shown to be as efficient as aluminum for shielding purposes (1). The addition of hydrogenous materials such as polyethylene should increase shielding effectiveness and provide mechanical properties necessary of structural materials (2). The neutron radiation shielding effectiveness of polyethylene/regolith stimulant (JSC-1A) composites were studied using confluent human fibroblast cell cultures exposed to a beam of high-energy spallation neutrons at the 30deg-left beam line (ICE house) at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. At this angle, the radiation spectrum mimics the energy spectrum of secondary neutrons generated in the upper atmosphere and encountered when aboard spacecraft and high-altitude aircraft. Cell samples were exposed in series either directly to the neutron beam, within a habitat created using regolith composite blocks, or behind 25 g/sq cm of loose regolith bulk material. In another experiment, cells were also exposed in series directly to the neutron beam in T-25 flasks completely filled with either media or water up to a depth of 20 cm to test shielding effectiveness versus depth and investigate the possible influence of secondary particle generation. All samples were sent directly back to JSC for sub-culturing and micronucleus analysis. This presentation is of work performed in collaboration with the NASA sponsored Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE) at Prairie View A&M.

  18. Size-dependent Measurements of the Scattering Properties of Planetary Regolith Analogs: A Challenge to Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatek, J. L.; Hapke, B. W.; Nelson, R. M.; Hale, A. S.; Smythe, W. D.

    2003-01-01

    The nature of the scattering of light is thought to be well understood when the medium is made up of independent scatterers that are much larger than the wavelength of that light. This is not the case when the size of the scattering objects is similar to or smaller than the wavelength or the scatterers are not independent. In an attempt to examine the applicability of independent particle scattering models, to planetary regoliths, a dataset of experimental results were compared with theoretical predictions.

  19. Apollo 14 regolith breccias - Different glass populations and their potential for charting space time variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delano, John W.

    1988-01-01

    Apollo 14 regolith breccias (14313, 14307, 14301, 14049, 14047) have been found to have different populations of nonagglutinitic, mare-derived glasses. These variations appear to not only reflect different source regoliths but also different closure ages for these breccias. Based upon these different glass populations, 14301 is inferred to have a closure age sometime during the epoch of mare volcanism. All of the other four breccias were formed after the termination of mare volcanism with a possible age sequence from old to young of the following: 14307, 14313, 14049, 14047. Due to the relative simplicity of acquiring high-quality chemical data on large numbers of glasses by electron microprobe, mare glass populations allow: (1) classification of regolith breccias with respect to provenance and (2) estimation of their relative and absolute closure ages. The determination of (Ar-40)-(Ar-39) ages on individual glass spherules within breccias using the laser probe should in the future prove to be a promising extension of the present study.

  20. Strata-1: An International Space Station Experiment into Fundamental Regolith Processes in Microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Abell, P.; Brisset, J.; Britt, D.; Colwell, J.; Durda, D.; Dove, A.; Graham, L.; Hartzell, C.; John, K.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Strata-1 experiment will study the evolution of asteroidal regolith through long-duration exposure of simulant materials to the microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS). Many asteroids feature low bulk densities, which implies high values of porosity and a mechanical structure composed of loosely bound particles, (i.e. the "rubble pile" model), a prime example of a granular medium. Even the higher-density, mechanically coherent asteroids feature a significant surface layer of loose regolith. These bodies are subjected to a variety of forces and will evolve in response to very small perturbations such as micrometeoroid impacts, planetary flybys, and the YORP effect. Our understanding of this dynamical evolution and the inter-particle forces involved would benefit from long-term observations of granular materials exposed to small vibrations in microgravity. A detailed understanding of asteroid mechanical evolution is needed in order to predict the surface characteristics of as-of-yet unvisited bodies, to understand the larger context of samples collected by missions such as OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa 1 and 2, and to mitigate risks for both manned and unmanned missions to asteroidal bodies. Understanding regolith dynamics will inform designs of how to land and set anchors, safely sample/move material on asteroidal surfaces, process large volumes of material for in situ resource utilization (ISRU) purposes, and, in general, predict behavior of large and small particles on disturbed asteroid surfaces.

  1. Performance analysis of a lunar based solar thermal power system with regolith thermal storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Xiaochen; Ma, Rong; Wang, Chao; Yao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    The manned deep-space exploration is a hot topic of the current space activities. The continuous supply of thermal and electrical energy for the scientific equipment and human beings is a crucial issue for the lunar outposts. Since the night lasts for periods of about 350 h at most locations on the lunar surface, massive energy storage is required for continuous energy supply during the lengthy lunar night and the in-situ resource utilization is demanded. A lunar based solar thermal power system with regolith thermal storage is presented in this paper. The performance analysis is carried out by the finite-time thermodynamics to take into account major irreversible losses. The influences of some key design parameters are analyzed for system optimization. The analytical results shows that the lunar based solar thermal power system with regolith thermal storage can meet the requirement of the continuous energy supply for lunar outposts. - Highlights: • A lunar based solar thermal power system with regolith thermal storage is presented. • The performance analysis is carried out by the finite-time thermodynamics. • The influences of some key design parameters are analyzed.

  2. Effects of topographic data quality on estimates of shallow slope stability using different regolith depth models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baum, Rex L.

    2017-01-01

    Thickness of colluvium or regolith overlying bedrock or other consolidated materials is a major factor in determining stability of unconsolidated earth materials on steep slopes. Many efforts to model spatially distributed slope stability, for example to assess susceptibility to shallow landslides, have relied on estimates of constant thickness, constant depth, or simple models of thickness (or depth) based on slope and other topographic variables. Assumptions of constant depth or thickness rarely give satisfactory results. Geomorphologists have devised a number of different models to represent the spatial variability of regolith depth and applied them to various settings. I have applied some of these models that can be implemented numerically to different study areas with different types of terrain and tested the results against available depth measurements and landslide inventories. The areas include crystalline rocks of the Colorado Front Range, and gently dipping sedimentary rocks of the Oregon Coast Range. Model performance varies with model, terrain type, and with quality of the input topographic data. Steps in contour-derived 10-m digital elevation models (DEMs) introduce significant errors into the predicted distribution of regolith and landslides. Scan lines, facets, and other artifacts further degrade DEMs and model predictions. Resampling to a lower grid-cell resolution can mitigate effects of facets in lidar DEMs of areas where dense forest severely limits ground returns. Due to its higher accuracy and ability to penetrate vegetation, lidar-derived topography produces more realistic distributions of cover and potential landslides than conventional photogrammetrically derived topographic data.

  3. The Role of Planetary Dust and Regolith Mechanics in Technology Developments at NASA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2011-01-01

    One of NASA's long term goals continues to be the exploration of other planets and orbital bodies in our solar system. Our sustained presence through the installation of stations or bases on these planetary surfaces will depend on developing properly designed habitation modules, mobility systems and supporting infrastructure. NASA Glenn Research Center is involved in several technology developments in support of this overarching goal. Two key developments are in the area of advanced filtration and excavation systems. The first addresses the issues posed by the accumulation of particulate matter over long duration missions and the intrusion of planetary dust into spacecraft and habitat pressurized cabins. The latter supports the operation and infrastructure of insitu resource utilization (ISRU) processes to derive consumables and construction materials from the planetary regolith. These two developments require a basic understanding of the lunar regolith at the micro (particle) to macro (bulk) level. Investigation of the relevant properties of the lunar regolith and characterization of the standard simulant materials used in. testing were important first steps in these developments. The fundamentals and operational concepts of these technologies as well as descriptions of new NASA facilities, including the Particulate Filtration Testing and the NASA Excavation and Traction Testing facilities, and their capabilities for testing and advancing these technologies will be presented. The test data also serves to validate and anchor computational simulation models.

  4. Electrostatic Beneficiation of Lunar Regolith: Applications in In-Situ Resource Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigwell, Steve; Captain, James; Weis, Kyle; Quinn, Jacqueline

    2011-01-01

    Upon returning to the moon, or further a field such as Mars, presents enormous challenges in sustaining life for extended periods of time far beyond the few days the astronauts experienced on the moon during the Apollo missions. A stay on Mars is envisioned to last several months, and it would be cost prohibitive to take all the requirements for such a stay from earth. Therefore, future exploration missions will be required to be self-sufficient and utilize the resources available at the mission site to sustain human occupation. Such an exercise is currently the focus of intense research at NASA under the In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) program. As well as oxygen and water necessary for human life, resources for providing building materials for habitats, radiation protection, and landing/launch pads are required. All these materials can be provided by the regolith present on the surface as it contains sufficient minerals and metals oxides to meet the requirements. However, before processing, it would be cost effective if the regolith could be enriched in the mineral(s) of interest. This can be achieved by electrostatic beneficiation in which tribocharged mineral particles are separated out and the feedstock enriched or depleted as required. The results of electrostatic beneficiation of lunar simulants and actual Apollo regolith, in lunar high vacuum are reported in which various degrees of efficient particle separation and mineral enrichment up to a few hundred percent were achieved.

  5. Modeling the expected performance of the REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inamdar, Niraj K.; Binzel, Richard P.; Hong, Jae Sub; Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Masterson, Rebecca A.

    2014-09-01

    OSIRIS-REx is the third spacecraft in the NASA New Frontiers Program and is planned for launch in 2016. OSIRIS-REx will orbit the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, characterize it, and return a sample of the asteroid's regolith back to Earth. The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is an instrument on OSIRIS-REx designed and built by students at MIT and Harvard. The purpose of REXIS is to collect and image sun-induced fluorescent X-rays emitted by Bennu, thereby providing spectroscopic information related to the elemental makeup of the asteroid regolith and the distribution of features over its surface. Telescopic reflectance spectra suggest a CI or CM chondrite analog meteorite class for Bennu, where this primitive nature strongly motivates its study. A number of factors, however, will influence the generation, measurement, and interpretation of the X-ray spectra measured by REXIS. These include: the compositional nature and heterogeneity of Bennu, the time-variable solar state, X-ray detector characteristics, and geometric parameters for the observations. In this paper, we will explore how these variables influence the precision to which REXIS can measure Bennu's surface composition. By modeling the aforementioned factors, we place bounds on the expected performance of REXIS and its ability to ultimately place Bennu in an analog meteorite class.

  6. Robust and Elastic Lunar and Martian Structures from 3D-Printed Regolith Inks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakus, Adam E.; Koube, Katie D.; Geisendorfer, Nicholas R.; Shah, Ramille N.

    2017-03-01

    Here, we present a comprehensive approach for creating robust, elastic, designer Lunar and Martian regolith simulant (LRS and MRS, respectively) architectures using ambient condition, extrusion-based 3D-printing of regolith simulant inks. The LRS and MRS powders are characterized by distinct, highly inhomogeneous morphologies and sizes, where LRS powder particles are highly irregular and jagged and MRS powder particles are rough, but primarily rounded. The inks are synthesized via simple mixing of evaporant, surfactant, and plasticizer solvents, polylactic-co-glycolic acid (30% by solids volume), and regolith simulant powders (70% by solids volume). Both LRS and MRS inks exhibit similar rheological and 3D-printing characteristics, and can be 3D-printed at linear deposition rates of 1-150 mm/s using 300 μm to 1.4 cm-diameter nozzles. The resulting LRS and MRS 3D-printed materials exhibit similar, but distinct internal and external microstructures and material porosity (~20-40%). These microstructures contribute to the rubber-like quasi-static and cyclic mechanical properties of both materials, with young’s moduli ranging from 1.8 to 13.2 MPa and extension to failure exceeding 250% over a range of strain rates (10-1-102 min-1). Finally, we discuss the potential for LRS and MRS ink components to be reclaimed and recycled, as well as be synthesized in resource-limited, extraterrestrial environments.

  7. Extraction of Water from Martian Regolith Simulant via Open Reactor Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trunek, Andrew J.; Linne, Diane L.; Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Bauman, Steven W.

    2018-01-01

    To demonstrate proof of concept water extraction from simulated Martian regolith, an open reactor design is presented along with experimental results. The open reactor concept avoids sealing surfaces and complex moving parts. In an abrasive environment like the Martian surface, those reactor elements would be difficult to maintain and present a high probability of failure. A general lunar geotechnical simulant was modified by adding borax decahydrate (Na2B4O7·10H2O) (BDH) to mimic the 3 percent water content of hydrated salts in near surface soils on Mars. A rotating bucket wheel excavated the regolith from a source bin and deposited the material onto an inclined copper tray, which was fitted with heaters and a simple vibration system. The combination of vibration, tilt angle and heat was used to separate and expose as much regolith surface area as possible to liberate the water contained in the hydrated minerals, thereby increasing the efficiency of the system. The experiment was conducted in a vacuum system capable of maintaining a Martian like atmosphere. Evolved water vapor was directed to a condensing system using the ambient atmosphere as a sweep gas. The water vapor was condensed and measured. Processed simulant was captured in a collection bin and weighed in real time. The efficiency of the system was determined by comparing pre- and post-processing soil mass along with the volume of water captured.

  8. LUNAR OUTGASSING, TRANSIENT PHENOMENA, AND THE RETURN TO THE MOON. II. PREDICTIONS AND TESTS FOR OUTGASSING/REGOLITH INTERACTIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crotts, Arlin P. S.; Hummels, Cameron

    2009-01-01

    We follow Paper I with predictions of how gas leaking through the lunar surface could influence the regolith, as might be observed via optical transient lunar phenomena (TLPs) and related effects. We touch on several processes, but concentrate on low and high flow rate extremes, which are perhaps the most likely. We model explosive outgassing for the smallest gas overpressure at the regolith base that releases the regolith plug above it. This disturbance's timescale and affected area are consistent with observed TLPs; we also discuss other effects. For slow flow, escape through the regolith is prolonged by low diffusivity. Water, found recently in deep magma samples, is unique among candidate volatiles, capable of freezing between the regolith base and surface, especially near the lunar poles. For major outgassing sites, we consider the possible accumulation of water ice. Over geological time, ice accumulation can evolve downward through the regolith. Depending on gases additional to water, regolith diffusivity might be suppressed chemically, blocking seepage and forcing the ice zone to expand to larger areas, up to km 2 scales, again, particularly at high latitudes. We propose an empirical path forward, wherein current and forthcoming technologies provide controlled, sensitive probes of outgassing. The optical transient/outgassing connection, addressed via Earth-based remote sensing, suggests imaging and/or spectroscopy, but aspects of lunar outgassing might be more covert, as indicated above. TLPs betray some outgassing, but does outgassing necessarily produce TLPs? We also suggest more intrusive techniques from radar to in situ probes. Understanding lunar volatiles seems promising in terms of resource exploitation for human exploration of the Moon and beyond, and offers interesting scientific goals in its own right. Many of these approaches should be practiced in a pristine lunar atmosphere, before significant confusing signals likely to be produced upon humans

  9. Description of regolith at Laxemar-Simpevarp. Site descriptive modelling SDM-Site Laxemar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sohlenius, Gustav; Hedenstroem, Anna

    2008-11-01

    This report compiles all known available information regarding the regolith in the Laxemar-Simpevarp regional model area. Regolith refers to the loose deposits overlying the bedrock. In the Laxemar-Simpevarp area, all known regolith was deposited during the Quaternary period and is consequently often referred to as Quaternary deposits (QD). In the terrestrial areas the uppermost part of the regolith, which has been affected by climate and vegetation, is referred to as soil. The geographical and stratigraphical distributions of the regolith have been used to construct a model showing the distribution of regolith depths in the whole model area. The stratigraphical units shown in the regolith depth and stratigraphy model have been characterised with respect to physical and chemical properties. Most of the data used for that characterisation have been obtained from the site investigation but some data were taken from the literature. All QD in the Laxemar area have most probably been deposited during or after the latest deglaciation. The ice sheet in the area moved from the north-west during the latest ice age. The Baltic Sea completely covered the investigated area after the latest deglaciation c 12,000 BC. Land uplift was fastest during the first few thousand years following the deglaciation and has subsequently decreased to the present value of 1 mm/year. Older QD have been eroded in areas exposed to waves and currents and the material has later been redeposited. Fine-grained sediments have been deposited on the floor of bays and in other sheltered positions. Peat has accumulated in many of the wetlands situated in topographically low positions. The groundwater table in many of the former wetlands has been artificially lowered to obtain land for forestry and agriculture, which has caused the peat to partly or completely oxidise. As land uplift proceeds, some new areas are being subjected to erosion at the same time as other new areas are becoming lakes and sheltered

  10. Description of regolith at Laxemar-Simpevarp. Site descriptive modelling SDM-Site Laxemar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sohlenius, Gustav; Hedenstroem, Anna (Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Uppsala (Sweden))

    2008-11-15

    This report compiles all known available information regarding the regolith in the Laxemar-Simpevarp regional model area. Regolith refers to the loose deposits overlying the bedrock. In the Laxemar-Simpevarp area, all known regolith was deposited during the Quaternary period and is consequently often referred to as Quaternary deposits (QD). In the terrestrial areas the uppermost part of the regolith, which has been affected by climate and vegetation, is referred to as soil. The geographical and stratigraphical distributions of the regolith have been used to construct a model showing the distribution of regolith depths in the whole model area. The stratigraphical units shown in the regolith depth and stratigraphy model have been characterised with respect to physical and chemical properties. Most of the data used for that characterisation have been obtained from the site investigation but some data were taken from the literature. All QD in the Laxemar area have most probably been deposited during or after the latest deglaciation. The ice sheet in the area moved from the north-west during the latest ice age. The Baltic Sea completely covered the investigated area after the latest deglaciation c 12,000 BC. Land uplift was fastest during the first few thousand years following the deglaciation and has subsequently decreased to the present value of 1 mm/year. Older QD have been eroded in areas exposed to waves and currents and the material has later been redeposited. Fine-grained sediments have been deposited on the floor of bays and in other sheltered positions. Peat has accumulated in many of the wetlands situated in topographically low positions. The groundwater table in many of the former wetlands has been artificially lowered to obtain land for forestry and agriculture, which has caused the peat to partly or completely oxidise. As land uplift proceeds, some new areas are being subjected to erosion at the same time as other new areas are becoming lakes and sheltered

  11. Apollo 16 regolith breccias and soils - Recorders of exotic component addition to the Descartes region of the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, S. B.; Papike, J. J.; Laul, J. C.; Hughes, S. S.; Schmitt, R. A.

    1988-01-01

    Using the subdivision of Apollo 16 regolith breccias into ancient (about 4 Gyr) and younger samples (McKay et al., 1986), with the present-day soils as a third sample, a petrologic and chemical determination of regolith evolution and exotic component addition at the A-16 site was performed. The modal petrologies and mineral and chemical compositions of the regolith breccias in the region are presented. It is shown that the early regolith was composed of fragments of plutonic rocks, impact melt rocks, and minerals and impact glasses. It is found that KREEP lithologies and impact melts formed early in lunar history. The mare components, mainly orange high-TiO2 glass and green low-TiO2 glass, were added to the site after formation of the ancient breccias and prior to the formation of young breccias. The major change in the regolith since the formation of the young breccias is an increase in maturity represented by the formation of fused soil particles with prolonged exposure to micrometeorite impacts.

  12. Regolith Derived Heat Shield for Planetary Body Entry and Descent System with In Situ Fabrication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogue, Michael D.; Meuller, Robert P.; Sibille, Laurent; Hintze, Paul E.; Rasky, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    This NIAC project investigated an innovative approach to provide heat shield protection to spacecraft after launch and prior to each EDL thus potentially realizing significant launch mass savings. Heat shields fabricated in situ can provide a thermal-protection system for spacecraft that routinely enter a planetary atmosphere. By fabricating the heat shield with space resources from materials available on moons and asteroids, it is possible to avoid launching the heat-shield mass from Earth. Regolith has extremely good insulating properties and the silicates it contains can be used in the fabrication and molding of thermal-protection materials. Such in situ developed heat shields have been suggested before by Lewis. Prior research efforts have shown that regolith properties can be compatible with very-high temperature resistance. Our project team is highly experienced in regolith processing and thermal protection systems (TPS). Routine access to space and return from any planetary surface requires dealing with heat loads experienced by the spacecraft during reentry. Our team addresses some of the key issues with the EDL of human-scale missions through a highly innovative investigation of heat shields that can be fabricated in space by using local resources on asteroids and moons. Most space missions are one-way trips, dedicated to placing an asset in space for economical or scientific gain. However, for human missions, a very-reliable heat-shield system is necessary to protect the crew from the intense heat experienced at very high entry velocities of approximately 11 km/s at approximately Mach 33 (Apollo). For a human mission to Mars, the return problem is even more difficult, with predicted velocities of up to 14 km/s, at approximately Mach 42 at the Earth-atmosphere entry. In addition to human return, it is very likely that future space-travel architecture will include returning cargo to the Earth, either for scientific purposes or for commercial reasons

  13. Data processing of the active neutron experiment DAN for a Martian regolith investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanin, A.B., E-mail: sanin@mx.iki.rssi.ru [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); Mitrofanov, I.G.; Litvak, M.L.; Lisov, D.I. [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); Starr, R. [Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (United States); Boynton, W. [University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Behar, A.; DeFlores, L. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Fedosov, F.; Golovin, D. [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); Hardgrove, C. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Harshman, K. [University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Jun, I. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Kozyrev, A.S. [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); Kuzmin, R.O. [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); Vernadsky Institute for Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Moscow (Russian Federation); Malakhov, A. [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); Milliken, R. [Brown University, Providence, RI (United States); Mischna, M. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Moersch, J. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Mokrousov, M.I. [Space Research Institute (IKI), RAS, Moscow (Russian Federation); and others

    2015-07-21

    Searching for water in the soil of Gale Crater is one of the primary tasks for the NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover named Curiosity. The primary task of the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) experiment on board the rover is to investigate and qualitatively characterize the presence of water along the rover’s traverse across Gale Crater. The water depth distribution may be found from measurements of neutrons generated by the Pulsing Neutron Generator (PNG) included in the DAN instrument, scattered by the regolith and returned back to the detectors. This paper provides a description of the data processing of such measurements and data products of DAN investigation.

  14. Measurements of Regolith Simulant Thermal Conductivity Under Asteroid and Mars Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, A. J.; Christensen, P. R.

    2017-12-01

    Laboratory measurements have been necessary to interpret thermal data of planetary surfaces for decades. We present a novel radiometric laboratory method to determine temperature-dependent thermal conductivity of complex regolith simulants under rough to high vacuum and across a wide range of temperatures. This method relies on radiometric temperature measurements instead of contact measurements, eliminating the need to disturb the sample with thermal probes. We intend to determine the conductivity of grains that are up to 2 cm in diameter and to parameterize the effects of angularity, sorting, layering, composition, and eventually cementation. We present the experimental data and model results for a suite of samples that were selected to isolate and address regolith physical parameters that affect bulk conductivity. Spherical glass beads of various sizes were used to measure the effect of size frequency distribution. Spherical beads of polypropylene and well-rounded quartz sand have respectively lower and higher solid phase thermal conductivities than the glass beads and thus provide the opportunity to test the sensitivity of bulk conductivity to differences in solid phase conductivity. Gas pressure in our asteroid experimental chambers is held at 10^-6 torr, which is sufficient to negate gas thermal conduction in even our coarsest of samples. On Mars, the atmospheric pressure is such that the mean free path of the gas molecules is comparable to the pore size for many regolith particulates. Thus, subtle variations in pore size and/or atmospheric pressure can produce large changes in bulk regolith conductivity. For each sample measured in our martian environmental chamber, we repeat thermal measurement runs at multiple pressures to observe this behavior. Finally, we present conductivity measurements of angular basaltic simulant that is physically analogous to sand and gravel that may be present on Bennu. This simulant was used for OSIRIS-REx TAGSAM Sample Return

  15. Population characteristics of submicrometer-sized craters on regolith particles from asteroid Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Toru; Hasegawa, S.; Nakao, S.; Sakai, M.; Yurimoto, H.

    2018-03-01

    We investigated impact crater structures on regolith particles from asteroid Itokawa using scanning electron microscopy. We observed the surfaces of 51 Itokawa particles, ranging from 15 μm to 240 μm in size. Craters with average diameters ranging from 10 nm to 2.8 μm were identified on 13 Itokawa particles larger than 80 μm. We examined the abundance, spatial distribution, and morphology of approximately 900 craters on six Itokawa particles. Craters with sizes in excess of 200 nm are widely dispersed, with spatial densities from 2.6 μm2 to 4.5 μm2; a fraction of the craters was locally concentrated with a density of 0.1 μm2. The fractal dimension of the cumulative crater diameters ranges from 1.3 to 2.3. Craters of several tens of nanometers in diameter exhibit pit and surrounding rim structures. Craters of more than 100 nm in diameter commonly have melted residue at their bottom. These morphologies are similar to those of submicrometer-sized craters on lunar regolith. We estimated the impactor flux on Itokawa regolith-forming craters, assuming that the craters were accumulated during direct exposure to the space environment for 102 to 104 yr. The range of impactor flux onto Itokawa particles is estimated to be at least one order of magnitude higher than the interplanetary dust flux and comparable to the secondary impact flux on the Moon. This indicates that secondary ejecta impacts are probably the dominant cratering process in the submicrometer range on Itokawa regolith particles, as well as on the lunar surface. We demonstrate that secondary submicrometer craters can be produced anywhere in centimeter- to meter-sized depressions on Itokawa's surface through primary interplanetary dust impacts. If the surface unevenness on centimeter to meter scales is a significant factor determining the abundance of submicrometer secondary cratering, the secondary impact flux could be independent of the overall shapes or sizes of celestial bodies, and the secondary

  16. Distribution, movement, and evolution of the volatile elements in the lunar regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibson, E.K. Jr.

    1975-01-01

    The abundances and distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in lunar soils are reviewed. Carbon and nitrogen have a predominantly extra-lunar origin in lunar soils and breccias, while sulfur is mostly indigeneous to the Moon. The lunar processes which effect the movement, distribution, and evolution of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, along with the volatile alkali elements sodium, potassium, and rubidium during regolith processes are discussed. Possible mechanisms which may result in the addition to or loss from the Moon of these volatile elements are considered. (Auth.)

  17. Distribution, movement, and evolution of the volatile elements in the lunar regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    The abundances and distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in lunar soils are reviewed. Carbon and nitrogen have a predominantly extra-lunar origin in lunar soils and breccias, while sulfur is mostly indigeneous to the moon. The lunar processes which effect the movement, distribution, and evolution of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, along with the volatile alkali elements sodium, potassium, and rubidium during regolith processes are discussed. Possible mechanisms which may result in the addition to or loss from the moon of these volatile elements are considered.

  18. Comets, volcanism, the salt-rich regolith, and cycling of volatiles on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, B.C.

    1987-01-01

    The composition of the Martian surface and its evolution are examined, reviewing the results of recent theoretical models and composition estimates based on Viking-lander analyses. The data are compiled in tables and characterized in detail, and a high degree of variation among the predictions is noted. The discussion centers on the possible roles of comets (as sources of volatiles), the salt-rich regolith (as an important water sink), and volcanic activity (interfering with volatile-recycling processes and eventually producing a volatile-depleted surface layer). 45 references

  19. Joule-Heated Molten Regolith Electrolysis Reactor Concepts for Oxygen and Metals Production on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Dominques, Jesus A.

    2012-01-01

    The maturation of Molten Regolith Electrolysis (MRE) as a viable technology for oxygen and metals production on explored planets relies on the realization of the self-heating mode for the reactor. Joule heat generated during regolith electrolysis creates thermal energy that should be able to maintain the molten phase (similar to electrolytic Hall-Heroult process for aluminum production). Self-heating via Joule heating offers many advantages: (1) The regolith itself is the crucible material, it protects the vessel walls (2) Simplifies the engineering of the reactor (3) Reduces power consumption (no external heating) (4) Extends the longevity of the reactor. Predictive modeling is a tool chosen to perform dimensional analysis of a self-heating reactor: (1) Multiphysics modeling (COMSOL) was selected for Joule heat generation and heat transfer (2) Objective is to identify critical dimensions for first reactor prototype.

  20. Triassic regolithization: A major stage of pre-enrichment in the formation of unconformity related deposits in Southern France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitt, J.M.; Clement, J.Y.

    1989-01-01

    The formation of unconformity related uranium deposits in Canada and Australia is currently thought to have involved some stage of preconcentration within the Proterozoic regolith. Uranium deposits in the southern Massif central (France) are spatially linked to the Mesozoic unconformity. Under this unconformity, rocks of the Hercynian basement as well as Permo-Carboniferous sediments show a regolithic alteration dating back to the Late Permian to Late Triassic period. On the elevated parts of the Triassic landscape, 30 to 50 m deep weathering profiles are preserved. Three main zones can be distinguished: a lower pink coloured zone, showing partly albitized and chloritized rocks: a middle bleached zone with neogenic clays; and an upper reddish zone with Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides. Towards the Triassic basin, much deeper (200-300 m) alteration profiles are observed on Permo-Carboniferous sediments. The two upper regolithic zones are present, but the lower albitized one is very developed with two subzones: analcite/albite at the top, and K-feldspar/albite at the bottom. Geochemical data show that potassium is fixed in the uppermost horizons of the regolith, whereas sodium is transported towards the lower horizons and basin areas and fixed in analcite/albite zones. Uranium, vanadium, copper and less mobile elements such as titanium and zirconium are strongly leached from the weathering profiles in elevated parts of the landscape but are enriched in basin zones of albitization up to 5-15 times. Thus, solutions generated from the weathering profiles have brought about a major redistribution of uranium in the Triassic landscape. The remarkable applanation and tectonic stability of the area as well as a subarid climate seem to have favoured this 'regolithization' process. In southern France, geochemical differentiation during the Triassic has thus given rise to important uranium pre-enrichment, and the regolith is a major control for later uranium deposits. (author). 16 refs, 8

  1. The composition and evolution of an Oligocene regolith on top of the Sesia–Lanzo Zone (Western Alps)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapferer, Notburga; Mercolli, Ivan; Berger, Alfons

    2011-01-01

    An Oligocene paleosurface (regolith) lies on top of the high-pressure metamorphic rocks of the Sesia–Lanzo Zone near Biella, NW Italy. Only the saprock, the lowermost part in a regolith profile, is preserved. No evidence for any paleosoil can be observed. Field observations indicate that the rego...... with this sequence of subaerial rocks being very close to the intrusion depth of the Valle del Cervo Pluton at the time of its emplacement (4–7 km; Zanoni et al., in Rend Online SGI Note Brevi 1: 199–202, 2008; Zanoni et al., in Int Geol Rev 52: 1244–1267, 2010 and references therein)....

  2. Fate of individual sewage disposal system wastewater within regolith in mountainous terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dano, Kathleen; Poeter, Eileen; Thyne, Geoff

    2008-06-01

    In order to improve understanding of the fate of septic tank or individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) effluent in regolith overlying fractured-rock aquifers, effluent from an ISDS in such a setting was tracked via geophysical, hydrological, and geochemical methods. Under typical precipitation conditions, the effluent entered the fractured bedrock within 5 m of the boundary of the constructed infiltration area. During a period of unusually high spring recharge, the plume migrated between 50 and 100 m within the regolith before infiltrating the fractured bedrock. The chemical signature of the effluent is similar to that required to account for the decline in water quality, suggesting a causative relationship (as estimated from mass-balance models of the surface-water chemistry near the mouth of the basin). The elevated salt content of the effluent during periods of high natural recharge to the infiltration area correlates with elevated salt concentrations in surface and groundwater at the basin scale, suggesting that some of the effluent salt load may be stored in the unsaturated zone during dry periods and flushed during periods of elevated natural recharge.

  3. The Dust Management Project: Characterizing Lunar Environments and Dust, Developing Regolith Mitigation Technology and Simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyatt, Mark J.; Straka, Sharon A.

    2010-01-01

    A return to the Moon to extend human presence, pursue scientific activities, use the Moon to prepare for future human missions to Mars, and expand Earth?s economic sphere, will require investment in developing new technologies and capabilities to achieve affordable and sustainable human exploration. From the operational experience gained and lessons learned during the Apollo missions, conducting long-term operations in the lunar environment will be a particular challenge, given the difficulties presented by the unique physical properties and other characteristics of lunar regolith, including dust. The Apollo missions and other lunar explorations have identified significant lunar dust-related problems that will challenge future mission success. Comprised of regolith particles ranging in size from tens of nanometers to microns, lunar dust is a manifestation of the complex interaction of the lunar soil with multiple mechanical, electrical, and gravitational effects. The environmental and anthropogenic factors effecting the perturbation, transport, and deposition of lunar dust must be studied in order to mitigate it?s potentially harmful effects on exploration systems and human explorers. The Dust Management Project (DMP) is tasked with the evaluation of lunar dust effects, assessment of the resulting risks, and development of mitigation and management strategies and technologies related to Exploration Systems architectures. To this end, the DMP supports the overall goal of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) of addressing the relevant high priority technology needs of multiple elements within the Constellation Program (CxP) and sister ETDP projects. Project scope, plans, and accomplishments will be presented.

  4. Performance of ground-penetrating radar on granitic regoliths with different mineral composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breiner, J.M.; Doolittle, James A.; Horton, Radley M.; Graham, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    Although ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is extensively used to characterize the regolith, few studies have addressed the effects of chemical and mineralogical compositions of soils and bedrock on its performance. This investigation evaluated the performance of GPR on two different granitic regoliths of somewhat different mineralogical composition in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California. Radar records collected at a site where soils are Alfisols were more depth restricted than the radar record obtained at a site where soils are Entisols. Although the Alfisols contain an argillic horizon, and the Entisols have no such horizon of clay accumulation, the main impact on GPR effectiveness is related to mineralogy. The bedrock at the Alfisol site, which contains more mafic minerals (5% hornblende and 20% biotite), is more attenuating to GPR than the bedrock at the Entisol site, where mafic mineral content is less (<1% hornblende and 10% biotite). Thus, a relatively minor variation in bedrock mineralogy, specifically the increased biotite content, severely restricts the performance of GPR. Copyright ?? 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

  5. Sintering of micro-trusses created by extrusion-3D-printing of lunar regolith inks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Shannon L.; Jakus, Adam E.; Koube, Katie D.; Ibeh, Amaka J.; Geisendorfer, Nicholas R.; Shah, Ramille N.; Dunand, David C.

    2018-02-01

    The development of in situ fabrication methods for the infrastructure required to support human life on the Moon is necessary due to the prohibitive cost of transporting large quantities of materials from the Earth. Cellular structures, consisting of a regular network (truss) of micro-struts with ∼500 μm diameters, suitable for bricks, blocks, panels, and other load-bearing structural elements for habitats and other infrastructure are created by direct-extrusion 3D-printing of liquid inks containing JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant powders, followed by sintering. The effects of sintering time, temperature, and atmosphere (air or hydrogen) on the microstructures, mechanical properties, and magnetic properties of the sintered lunar regolith micro-trusses are investigated. The air-sintered micro-trusses have higher relative densities, linear shrinkages, and peak compressive strengths, due to the improved sintering of the struts within the micro-trusses achieved by a liquid or glassy phase. Whereas the hydrogen-sintered micro-trusses show no liquid-phase sintering or glassy phase, they contain metallic iron 0.1-2 μm particles from the reduction of ilmenite, which allows them to be lifted with magnets.

  6. Application of airborne gamma-ray spectrometry in soil/regolith mapping and applied geomorphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilford, J.R.; Bierwirth, P.N.; Craig, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    Gamma-ray spectrometric surveys are an important source of information for soil, regolith and geomorphological studies, as demonstrated by the interpretation of airborne surveys in Western Australia, central New South Wales and north Queensland. Gamma-rays emitted from the ground surface relate to the primary mineralogy and geochemistry of the bedrock, and the secondary weathered materials. Weathering modifies the distribution and concentration of radioelements from the original bedrock source. Once the radioelement response of bedrock and weathered materials is understood, the gamma-ray data can provide information on geomorphic processes and soil/regolith properties, including their mineralogy, texture, chemistry and style of weathering. This information can contribute significantly to an understanding of the weathering and geomorphic history of a region and, therefore, has the potential to be used in developing more effective land-management strategies and refining geochemical models in support of mineral exploration. Gamma-ray imagery is enhanced when combined with Landsat TM bands and digital elevation models (DEM). This synergy enables geochemical information derived from the gamma-ray data to be interpreted within a geomorphic framework. Draping gamma-ray images over DEMs as 3D landscape perspective views aids interpretation and allows the interpreter to visualise complex relationships between the gamma-ray response and landform features. 44 refs.,1 tab., 11 figs

  7. A coupled regolith-lake development model applied to the Forsmark site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brydsten, Lars; Stroemgren, Maarten (Umeaa Univ., Umeaa (Sweden))

    2010-11-15

    The Quaternary geology at the Forsmark site has been characterized using both a map of Quaternary deposits and a regolith depth model (RDM) that show the stratigraphy and thickness of different deposits. Regolith refers to all the unconsolidated deposits overlying the bedrock. The surface geology and regolith depth are important parameters for hydrogeological and geochemical modelling and for the overall understanding of the area. The safety assessment analysis should focus on processes involved during a period of 120,000 years, which includes a full glacial cycle; however, the investigations within the site description model do not cover the temporal change of the regolith, a limitation that does not fulfil the requirements for the safety assessment. To this end, this study constructs a model that can predict the surface geology, stratigraphy, and thickness of different strata at any time during a glacial cycle and applies this model to the Forsmark site. The Weichselian ice sheet covered the study area until around 9500 BC. The deglaciation revealed a marine landscape with bedrock, till and glacial clay. For the safety assessment, the most important unconsolidated strata are clay or silt: these small grains can bind nuclear elements more easily than coarser sediment particles. Thick layers of clay can be found where post-glacial clay settled on top of glacial clay, especially where the middle-aged erosion of postglacial clay is missing and where there is an uninterrupted sequence of accumulation of finegrained particles. Such areas could be found in deep marine basins that later become lakes when raised into a supra-marine position. The coupled regolith-lake development model (RLDM) predicts the course of events described above during an interglacial, especially the dynamics of the clay and silt particles. The RLDM is divided into two modules: a marine module that predicts the sediment dynamics caused by wind waves and a lake module that predicts the lake infill

  8. A coupled regolith-lake development model applied to the Forsmark site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brydsten, Lars; Stroemgren, Maarten

    2010-11-01

    The Quaternary geology at the Forsmark site has been characterized using both a map of Quaternary deposits and a regolith depth model (RDM) that show the stratigraphy and thickness of different deposits. Regolith refers to all the unconsolidated deposits overlying the bedrock. The surface geology and regolith depth are important parameters for hydrogeological and geochemical modelling and for the overall understanding of the area. The safety assessment analysis should focus on processes involved during a period of 120,000 years, which includes a full glacial cycle; however, the investigations within the site description model do not cover the temporal change of the regolith, a limitation that does not fulfil the requirements for the safety assessment. To this end, this study constructs a model that can predict the surface geology, stratigraphy, and thickness of different strata at any time during a glacial cycle and applies this model to the Forsmark site. The Weichselian ice sheet covered the study area until around 9500 BC. The deglaciation revealed a marine landscape with bedrock, till and glacial clay. For the safety assessment, the most important unconsolidated strata are clay or silt: these small grains can bind nuclear elements more easily than coarser sediment particles. Thick layers of clay can be found where post-glacial clay settled on top of glacial clay, especially where the middle-aged erosion of postglacial clay is missing and where there is an uninterrupted sequence of accumulation of finegrained particles. Such areas could be found in deep marine basins that later become lakes when raised into a supra-marine position. The coupled regolith-lake development model (RLDM) predicts the course of events described above during an interglacial, especially the dynamics of the clay and silt particles. The RLDM is divided into two modules: a marine module that predicts the sediment dynamics caused by wind waves and a lake module that predicts the lake infill

  9. Cosmogenic nuclide depth-profiles and geochemical analysis of mountain regolith aimed at quantifying rates of glacial and periglacial erosion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jane Lund; Egholm, David Lundbek; Knudsen, Mads Faurschou

    Clay minerals such as kaolinite and gibbsite in mountain regolith in present-day cold environments are often, without further age-constraint, interpreted as products of weathering in a warmer climate (e.g. Rea, 1996; Strømsøe, 2011). This reasoning has, in turn, been used to infer long residence...

  10. Numerical Simulations of the Lunar Penetrating Radar and Investigations of the Geological Structures of the Lunar Regolith Layer at the Chang’E 3 Landing Site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunyu Ding

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the process of lunar exploration, and specifically when studying lunar surface structure and thickness, the established lunar regolith model is usually a uniform and ideal structural model, which is not well-suited to describe the real structure of the lunar regolith layer. The present study aims to explain the geological structural information contained in the channel 2 LPR (lunar penetrating radar data. In this paper, the random medium theory and Apollo drilling core data are used to construct a modeling method based on discrete heterogeneous random media, and the simulation data are processed and collected by the electromagnetic numerical method FDTD (finite-difference time domain. When comparing the LPR data with the simulated data, the heterogeneous random medium model is more consistent with the actual distribution of the media in the lunar regolith layer. It is indicated that the interior structure of the lunar regolith layer at the landing site is not a pure lunar regolith medium but rather a regolith-rock mixture, with rocks of different sizes and shapes. Finally, several reasons are given to explain the formation of the geological structures of the lunar regolith layer at the Chang’E 3 landing site, as well as the possible geological stratification structure.

  11. Design and Test of a Deployable Radiation Cover for the REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carte, David B.; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Jones, Michael P.; Masterson, Rebecca A.

    2014-01-01

    The REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) instrument contains a one-time deployable radiation cover that is opened using a shape memory alloy actuator (a "Frangibolt") from TiNi Aerospace and two torsion springs. The door will be held closed by the bolt for several years in cold storage during travel to the target asteroid, Bennu, and it is imperative to gain confidence that the door will open at predicted operational temperatures. This paper briefly covers the main design features of the radiation cover and measures taken to mitigate risks to cover deployment. As the chosen FD04 model Frangibolt actuator has minimal flight heritage, the main focus of this paper is the testing, results and conclusions with the FD04 while discussing key lessons learned with respect to the use of the FD04 actuator in this application.

  12. Modelling of the dose-rate variations with depth in the Martian regolith using GEANT4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morthekai, P.; Jain, M.; Dartnell, L.; Murray, A.S.; Botter-Jensen, L.; Desorgher, L.

    2007-01-01

    The environmental radiation field at the Martian surface consists mainly of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and charged particles ejected during the Solar Particle Events (SPE). Interactions between these radiation fluxes and the regolith result in a complex radiation field that varies both as a function of depth and time and can only be quantified using radiation transport models. We first describe here the main issues and constraints in deriving Martian dose rates. Preliminary results, obtained using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation tool kit, suggest the surface dose rate is ∼63 mGy a -1 during quiet periods in solar activity. The accuracy of the model predictions has been tested by comparison with published observations of cosmic ray dose-rate variation in the Earth's atmosphere

  13. Radar-Enabled Recovery of the Sutters Mill Meteorite, a Carbonaceous Chondrite Regolith Breccia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, Petrus M.; Fries, Marc D.; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Zolensky, Michael E.; Krot, Alexander N.; Sandford, Scott A.; Sears, Derek; Beauford, Robert; Ebel, Denton S.; Friedrich, Jon M.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Doppler weather radar imaging enabled the rapid recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite after a rare 4-kiloton of TNT-equivalent asteroid impact over the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. The recovered meteorites survived a record high-speed entry of 28.6 kilometers per second from an orbit close to that of Jupiter-family comets (Tisserand's parameter = 2.8 +/- 0.3). Sutter's Mill is a regolith breccia composed of CM (Mighei)-type carbonaceous chondrite and highly reduced xenolithic materials. It exhibits considerable diversity of mineralogy, petrography, and isotope and organic chemistry, resulting from a complex formation history of the parent body surface. That diversity is quickly masked by alteration once in the terrestrial environment but will need to be considered when samples returned by missions to C-class asteroids are interpreted.

  14. Direct Electrolysis of Molten Lunar Regolith for the Production of Oxygen and Metals on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirk, Aislinn H. C.; Sadoway, Donald R.; Sibille, Laurent

    2010-01-01

    When considering the construction of a lunar base, the high cost ($ 100,000 a kilogram) of transporting materials to the surface of the moon is a significant barrier. Therefore in-situ resource utilization will be a key component of any lunar mission. Oxygen gas is a key resource, abundant on earth and absent on the moon. If oxygen could be produced on the moon, this provides a dual benefit. Not only does it no longer need to be transported to the surface for breathing purposes; it can also be used as a fuel oxidizer to support transportation of crew and other materials more cheaply between the surface of the moon, and lower earth orbit (approximately $20,000/kg). To this end a stable, robust (lightly manned) system is required to produce oxygen from lunar resources. Herein, we investigate the feasibility of producing oxygen, which makes up almost half of the weight of the moon by direct electrolysis of the molten lunar regolith thus achieving the generation of usable oxygen gas while producing primarily iron and silicon at the cathode from the tightly bound oxides. The silicate mixture (with compositions and mechanical properties corresponding to that of lunar regolith) is melted at temperatures near 1600 C. With an inert anode and suitable cathode, direct electrolysis (no supporting electrolyte) of the molten silicate is carried out, resulting in production of molten metallic products at the cathode and oxygen gas at the anode. The effect of anode material, sweep rate, and electrolyte composition on the electrochemical behavior was investigated and implications for scale-up are considered. The activity and stability of the candidate anode materials as well as the effect of the electrolyte composition were determined. Additionally, ex-situ capture and analysis of the anode gas to calculate the current efficiency under different voltages, currents and melt chemistries was carried out.

  15. Solar Flare Track Exposure Ages in Regolith Particles: A Calibration for Transmission Electron Microscope Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Eve L.; Keller, Lindsay P.

    2015-01-01

    Mineral grains in lunar and asteroidal regolith samples provide a unique record of their interaction with the space environment. Space weathering effects result from multiple processes including: exposure to the solar wind, which results in ion damage and implantation effects that are preserved in the rims of grains (typically the outermost 100 nm); cosmic ray and solar flare activity, which result in track formation; and impact processes that result in the accumulation of vapor-deposited elements, impact melts and adhering grains on particle surfaces. Determining the rate at which these effects accumulate in the grains during their space exposure is critical to studies of the surface evolution of airless bodies. Solar flare energetic particles (mainly Fe-group nuclei) have a penetration depth of a few millimeters and leave a trail of ionization damage in insulating materials that is readily observable by transmission electron microscope (TEM) imaging. The density of solar flare particle tracks is used to infer the length of time an object was at or near the regolith surface (i.e., its exposure age). Track measurements by TEM methods are routine, yet track production rate calibrations have only been determined using chemical etching techniques [e.g., 1, and references therein]. We used focused ion beam-scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) sample preparation techniques combined with TEM imaging to determine the track density/exposure age relations for lunar rock 64455. The 64455 sample was used earlier by [2] to determine a track production rate by chemical etching of tracks in anorthite. Here, we show that combined FIB/TEM techniques provide a more accurate determination of a track production rate and also allow us to extend the calibration to solar flare tracks in olivine.

  16. Resistance of Terrestrial Microbial Communities to Impack of Physical Conditinos of Subsurface Layers of Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheptsov, V. S.; Vorobyova, E. A.

    2017-05-01

    Currently, astrobiology is focused on Mars as one of the most perspective objects in the Solar System to search for microbial life. It was assumed that the putative biosphere of Mars could be cryopreserved and had been stored for billions of years in anabiotic state like microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic permafrost deposits have been preserved till now for millions of years. In this case microbial cells should be not able to repair the damages or these processes have to be significantly depressed, and the main factor causing cell's death should be ionizing radiation. In a series of experiments we simulated the effects of combination of physical factors known as characteristics of the Martian regolith (and close to the space environment) on the natural microbial communities inhabiting xerophytic harsh habitats with extreme temperature conditions: polar permafrost and desert soils. The aim of the study was to examine the cumulative effect of factors (gamma radiation, low temperature, low pressure) to assess the possibility of metabolic reactions, and to find limits of the viability of natural microbial communities after exposure to the given conditions. It was found that microbial biomarkers could be reliably detected in soil samples after radiation dose accumulation up to 1 MGy (not further investigated) in combination with exposure to low temperature and low pressure. Resistance to extremely high doses of radiation in simulated conditions proves that if there was an Earth-like biosphere on the early Mars microorganisms could survive in the surface or subsurface layers of the Martian regolith for more than tens of millions of years after climate change. The study gives also some new grounds for the approval of transfer of viable microorganisms in space.

  17. Geographic information system datasets of regolith-thickness data, regolith-thickness contours, raster-based regolith thickness, and aquifer-test and specific-capacity data for the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin, Weld, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, L. Rick

    2010-01-01

    These datasets were compiled in support of U.S. Geological Survey Scientific-Investigations Report 2010-5082-Hydrogeology and Steady-State Numerical Simulation of Groundwater Flow in the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin, Weld, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties, Colorado. The datasets were developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Lost Creek Ground Water Management District and the Colorado Geological Survey. The four datasets are described as follows and methods used to develop the datasets are further described in Scientific-Investigations Report 2010-5082: (1) ds507_regolith_data: This point dataset contains geologic information concerning regolith (unconsolidated sediment) thickness and top-of-bedrock altitude at selected well and test-hole locations in and near the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin, Weld, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties, Colorado. Data were compiled from published reports, consultant reports, and from lithologic logs of wells and test holes on file with the U.S. Geological Survey Colorado Water Science Center and the Colorado Division of Water Resources. (2) ds507_regthick_contours: This dataset consists of contours showing generalized lines of equal regolith thickness overlying bedrock in the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin, Weld, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties, Colorado. Regolith thickness was contoured manually on the basis of information provided in the dataset ds507_regolith_data. (3) ds507_regthick_grid: This dataset consists of raster-based generalized thickness of regolith overlying bedrock in the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin, Weld, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties, Colorado. Regolith thickness in this dataset was derived from contours presented in the dataset ds507_regthick_contours. (4) ds507_welltest_data: This point dataset contains estimates of aquifer transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity at selected well locations in the Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin, Weld, Adams, and

  18. Mineralogical sources of groundwater fluoride in Archaen bedrock/regolith aquifers: Mass balances from southern India and north-central Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.M. Hallett

    2015-09-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: An estimate of weathering duration for the in situ regolith in Andhra Pradesh, 250–380 Ka, is close to a previous estimate for southern India. Partial or total destruction of the primary F-bearing bedrock minerals and consistent depletion of F in the remnant minerals result in a much reduced total F content in the regolith. Leaching experiments and field relationships, however, indicate a greater potential for F mobilisation to groundwater from the regolith than the bedrock. Schemes for managed aquifer recharge should beware the risk of mobilising additional F to groundwater.

  19. The properties of the lunar regolith at Chang'e-3 landing site: A study based on LPR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, J.; Su, Y.; Xing, S.; Ding, C.; Li, C.

    2015-12-01

    In situ sampling from surface is difficult in the exploration of planets and sometimes radar sensing is a better choice. The properties of the surface material such as permittivity, density and depth can be obtained by a surface penetrating radar. The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) landed in the northern Mare Imbrium and a Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) is carried on the Yutu rover to detect the shallow structure of the lunar crust and the properties of the lunar regolith, which will give us a close look at the lunar subsurface. We process the radar data in a way which consist two steps: the regular preprocessing step and migration step. The preprocessing part includes zero time correction, de-wow, gain compensation, DC removal, geometric positioning. Then we combine all radar data obtained at the time the rover was moving, and use FIR filter to reduce the noise in the radar image with a pass band frequency range 200MHz-600MHz. A normal radar image is obtained after the preprocessing step. Using a nonlinear least squares fitting method, we fit the most hyperbolas in the radar image which are caused by the buried objects or rocks in the regolith and estimate the EM wave propagation velocity and the permittivity of the regolith. For there is a fixed mathematical relationship between dielectric constant and density, the density profile of the lunar regolith is also calculated. It seems that the permittivity and density at the landing site is larger than we thought before. Finally with a model of variable velocities, we apply the Kirchhoff migration method widely used in the seismology to transform the the unfocused space-time LPR image to a focused one showing the object's (most are stones) true location and size. From the migrated image, we find that the regolith depth in the landing site is smaller than previous study and the stone content rises rapidly with depth. Our study suggests that the landing site is a young region and the reworked history of the surface is short, which is

  20. Regolith properties under trees and the biomechanical effects caused by tree root systems as recognized by electrical resistivity tomography (ERT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlik, Łukasz; Kasprzak, Marek

    2018-01-01

    Following previous findings regarding the influence of vascular plants (mainly trees) on weathering, soil production and hillslope stability, in this study, we attempted to test a hypothesis regarding significant impacts of tree root systems on soil and regolith properties. Different types of impacts from tree root system (direct and indirect) are commonly gathered under the key term of "biomechanical effects". To add to the discussion of the biomechanical effects of trees, we used a non-invasive geophysical method, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), to investigate the profiles of four different configurations at three study sites within the Polish section of the Outer Western Carpathians. At each site, one long profile (up to 189 m) of a large section of a hillslope and three short profiles (up to 19.5 m), that is, microsites occupied by trees or their remnants, were made. Short profiles included the tree root zone of a healthy large tree, the tree stump of a decaying tree and the pit-and-mound topography formed after a tree uprooting. The resistivity of regolith and bedrock presented on the long profiles and in comparison with the short profiles through the microsites it can be seen how tree roots impact soil and regolith properties and add to the complexity of the whole soil/regolith profile. Trees change soil and regolith properties directly through root channels and moisture migration and indirectly through the uprooting of trees and the formation of pit-and-mound topography. Within tree stump microsites, the impact of tree root systems, evaluated by a resistivity model, was smaller compared to microsites with living trees or those with pit-and-mound topography but was still visible even several decades after the trees were windbroken or cut down. The ERT method is highly useful for quick evaluation of the impact of tree root systems on soils and regolith. This method, in contrast to traditional soil analyses, offers a continuous dataset for the entire

  1. The Vacuum-Compacted Regolith Gripping Mechanism and Unmanned Flights via Quad-Rotors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Rollin L.

    2014-01-01

    During the course of the Kennedy Space Center Summer Internship, two main experiments were performed: The Vacuum-Compacted Regolith Gripping Mechanism and Unmanned Flights via Quad-copters. The objectives of the Vacuum-Compacted Regolith Gripping Mechanism, often abbreviated as the Granular Gripper, are to exhibit Space Technology, such as a soft robotic hand, lift different apparatuses used to excavate regolith, and conserve energy while executing its intended task. The project is being conducted to test how much weight the Granular Gripper can hold. With the use of an Animatronic Robotic Hand, Arduino Uno, and other components, the system was calibrated before actually conducting the intended weight test. The maximum weight each finger could hold with the servos running, in the order of pinky, ring, middle, and index fingers, are as follows: 1.340N, 1.456 N, 0.9579 N, and 1.358 N. Using the small vacuum pump system, the maximum weight each finger could hold, in the same order, was: 4.076 N, 6.159 N, 5.454 N, and 4.052 N. The maximum torques on each of the fingers when the servos were running, in the same respective order, was: 0.0777 Nm, 0.0533 Nm, 0.0648 Nm, and 0.0532 Nm. The maximum torques on the individual fingers, when the small vacuum pump was in effect, in the same order as above, was: 0.2318 Nm, 0.3032 Nm, 0.2741 Nm, and 0.1618 Nm. In testing all the fingers with the servos running, the total weight was 5.112 N and the maximum torque on the all the fingers was 0.2515 Nm. However, when the small vacuum pump system was used, the total weight was 19.741 N and the maximum torque on the all the fingers was 0.9713 Nm. The conclusion that was drawn stated that using the small vacuum pump system proved nearly 4 times more effective when testing how much weigh the hand could hold. The resistance provided by the compacted sand in the glove allowed more weight to be held by the hand and glove. Also, when the servos turned off and the hand still retaining its

  2. Numerical Simulations of the Lunar Penetrating Radar and Investigations of the Geological Structures of the Lunar Regolith Layer at the Chang’E 3 Landing Site

    OpenAIRE

    Ding, Chunyu; Su, Yan; Xing, Shuguo; Dai, Shun; Xiao, Yuan; Feng, Jianqing; Liu, Danqing; Li, Chunlai

    2017-01-01

    In the process of lunar exploration, and specifically when studying lunar surface structure and thickness, the established lunar regolith model is usually a uniform and ideal structural model, which is not well-suited to describe the real structure of the lunar regolith layer. The present study aims to explain the geological structural information contained in the channel 2 LPR (lunar penetrating radar) data. In this paper, the random medium theory and Apollo drilling core data are used to co...

  3. Experimental Measurements of Heat Transfer through a Lunar Regolith Simulant in a Vibro-Fluidized Reactor Oven

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayagam, Vedha; Berger, Gordon M.; Sacksteder, Kurt R.; Paz, Aaron

    2012-01-01

    Extraction of mission consumable resources such as water and oxygen from the planetary environment provides valuable reduction in launch-mass and potentially extends the mission duration. Processing of lunar regolith for resource extraction necessarily involves heating and chemical reaction of solid material with processing gases. Vibrofluidization is known to produce effective mixing and control of flow within granular media. In this study we present experimental results for vibrofluidized heat transfer in lunar regolith simulants (JSC-1 and JSC-1A) heated up to 900 C. The results show that the simulant bed height has a significant influence on the vibration induced flow field and heat transfer rates. A taller bed height leads to a two-cell circulation pattern whereas a single-cell circulation was observed for a shorter height. Lessons learned from these test results should provide insight into efficient design of future robotic missions involving In-Situ Resource Utilization.

  4. Combustion Joining of Regolith Tiles for In-Situ Fabrication of Launch/Landing Pads on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Robert E.; Shafirovich, Evgeny; Mantovani, James G.

    2017-01-01

    To mitigate dust problems during launch/landing operations in lunar and Mars missions, it is desired to build solid pads on the surface. Recently, strong tiles have been fabricated from lunar regolith simulants using high-temperature sintering. The present work investigates combustion joining of these tiles through the use of exothermic intermetallic reactions. Specifically, nickel/aluminum (1:1 mole ratio) mixture was placed in a gap between the tiles sintered from JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant. Upon ignition by a laser, a self-sustained propagation of the combustion front over the mixture occurred. Joining was improved with increasing the tile thickness from 6.3 mm to 12.7 mm. The temperatures sufficient for melting the glass phase of JSC-1A were recorded for 12.7-mm tiles, which explains the observed better joining.

  5. Joule-Heated Molten Regolith Electrolysis Reactor Concepts for Oxygen and Metals Production on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Dominguez, Jesus A.

    2012-01-01

    The technology of direct electrolysis of molten lunar regolith to produce oxygen and molten metal alloys has progressed greatly in the last few years. The development of long-lasting inert anodes and cathode designs as well as techniques for the removal of molten products from the reactor has been demonstrated. The containment of chemically aggressive oxide and metal melts is very difficult at the operating temperatures ca. 1600 C. Containing the molten oxides in a regolith shell can solve this technical issue and can be achieved by designing a Joule-heated (sometimes called 'self-heating') reactor in which the electrolytic currents generate enough Joule heat to create a molten bath. Solutions obtained by multiphysics modeling allow the identification of the critical dimensions of concept reactors.

  6. Laboratory simulations of planetary surfaces: Understanding regolith physical properties from remote photopolarimetric observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Robert M.; Boryta, Mark D.; Hapke, Bruce W.; Manatt, Kenneth S.; Shkuratov, Yuriy; Psarev, V.; Vandervoort, Kurt; Kroner, Desire; Nebedum, Adaze; Vides, Christina L.; Quiñones, John

    2018-03-01

    We present reflectance and polarization phase curve measurements of highly reflective planetary regolith analogues having physical characteristics expected on atmosphereless solar system bodies (ASSBs) such as a eucritic asteroids or icy satellites. We used a goniometric photopolarimeter (GPP) of novel design to study thirteen well-sorted particle size fractions of aluminum oxide (Al2O3). The sample suite included particle sizes larger than, approximately equal to, and smaller than the wavelength of the incident monochromatic radiation (λ = 635 nm). The observed phase angle, α, was 0.056 o ∼95%). The incident radiation has a very high probability of being multiply scattered before being backscattered toward the incident direction or ultimately absorbed. The five smallest particle sizes exhibited extremely high void space (> ∼95%). The reflectance phase curves for all particle size fractions show a pronounced non-linear reflectance increase with decreasing phase angle at α∼ ∼1 we detect no polarization. This polarization behavior is distinct from that observed in low albedo solar system objects such as the Moon and asteroids and for absorbing materials in the laboratory. We suggest this behavior arises because photons that are backscattered have a high probability of having interacted with two or more particles, thus giving rise to the CB process. These results may explain the unusual negative polarization behavior observed near small phase angles reported for several decades on highly reflective ASSBs such as the asteroids 44 Nysa, 64 Angelina and the Galilean satellites Io, Europa and Ganymede. Our results suggest these ASSB regoliths scatter electromagnetic radiation as if they were extremely fine grained with void space > ∼95%, and grain sizes of the order geo-engineering, particularly to suggestions that earth's radiation balance can be modified by injecting Al2O3 particulates into the stratosphere thereby offsetting the effect of anthropogenic

  7. From Lunar Regolith to Fabricated Parts: Technology Developments and the Utilization of Moon Dirt

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLemore, C. A.; Fikes, J. C.; McCarley, K. S.; Good, J. E.; Gilley, S. D.; Kennedy, J. P.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Space Exploration Policy has as a cornerstone the establishment of an outpost on the moon. This lunar outpost wil1 eventually provide the necessary planning, technology development, testbed, and training for manned missions in the future beyond the Moon. As part of the overall activity, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is investigating how the in situ resources can be utilized to improve mission success by reducing up-mass, improving safety, reducing risk, and bringing down costs for the overall mission. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), along with other NASA centers, is supporting this endeavor by exploring how lunar regolith can be mined for uses such as construction, life support, propulsion, power, and fabrication. An infrastructure capable of fabrication and nondestructive evaluation will be needed to support habitat structure development and maintenance, tools and mechanical parts fabrication, as well as repair and replacement of space-mission hardware such as life-support items, vehicle components, and crew systems, This infrastructure will utilize the technologies being developed under the In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) element, which is working in conjunction with the technologies being developed under the In Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) element, to live off the land. The ISFR Element supports the Space Exploration Initiative by reducing downtime due to failed components; decreasing risk to crew by recovering quickly from degraded operation of equipment; improving system functionality with advanced geometry capabilities; and enhancing mission safety by reducing assembly part counts of original designs where possible. This paper addresses the need and plan for understanding the properties of the lunar regolith to determine the applicability of using this material in a fabrication process. This effort includes the development of high fidelity simulants that will be used in fabrication processes on the ground to

  8. Exploring Fingerprints of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Synthetic Martian Regolith Materials as the Sole Energy Sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Kölbl

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The biology of metal transforming microorganisms is of a fundamental and applied importance for our understanding of past and present biogeochemical processes on Earth and in the Universe. The extreme thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula is a metal mobilizing archaeon, which thrives in hot acid environments (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0 and utilizes energy from the oxidation of reduced metal inorganic sources. These characteristics of M. sedula make it an ideal organism to further our knowledge of the biogeochemical processes of possible life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Exploring the viability and metal extraction capacity of M. sedula living on and interacting with synthetic extraterrestrial minerals, we show that M. sedula utilizes metals trapped in the Martian regolith simulants (JSC Mars 1A; P-MRS; S-MRS; MRS07/52 as the sole energy sources. The obtained set of microbiological and mineralogical data suggests that M. sedula actively colonizes synthetic Martian regolith materials and releases free soluble metals. The surface of bioprocessed Martian regolith simulants is analyzed for specific mineralogical fingerprints left upon M. sedula growth. The obtained results provide insights of biomining of extraterrestrial material as well as of the detection of biosignatures implementing in life search missions.

  9. Improved Discrimination of Volcanic Complexes, Tectonic Features, and Regolith Properties in Mare Serenitatis from Earth-Based Radar Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Hawke, B. Ray; Morgan, Gareth A.; Carter, Lynn M.; Campbell, Donald B.; Nolan, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Radar images at 70 cm wavelength show 4-5 dB variations in backscatter strength within regions of relatively uniform spectral reflectance properties in central and northern Mare Serenitatis, delineating features suggesting lava flow margins, channels, and superposition relationships. These backscatter differences are much less pronounced at 12.6 cm wavelength, consistent with a large component of the 70 cm echo arising from the rough or blocky transition zone between the mare regolith and the intact bedrock. Such deep probing is possible because the ilmenite content, which modulates microwave losses, of central Mare Serenitatis is generally low (2-3% by weight). Modeling of the radar returns from a buried interface shows that an average regolith thickness of 10m could lead to the observed shifts in 70 cm echo power with a change in TiO2 content from 2% to 3%. This thickness is consistent with estimates of regolith depth (10-15m) based on the smallest diameter for which fresh craters have obvious blocky ejecta. The 70 cm backscatter differences provide a view of mare flow-unit boundaries, channels, and lobes unseen by other remote sensing methods. A localized pyroclastic deposit associated with Rima Calippus is identified based on its low radar echo strength. Radar mapping also improves delineation of units for crater age dating and highlights a 250 km long, east-west trending feature in northern Mare Serenitatis that we suggest is a large graben flooded by late-stage mare flows.

  10. Exploring Fingerprints of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Synthetic Martian Regolith Materials as the Sole Energy Sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kölbl, Denise; Pignitter, Marc; Somoza, Veronika; Schimak, Mario P; Strbak, Oliver; Blazevic, Amir; Milojevic, Tetyana

    2017-01-01

    The biology of metal transforming microorganisms is of a fundamental and applied importance for our understanding of past and present biogeochemical processes on Earth and in the Universe. The extreme thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula is a metal mobilizing archaeon, which thrives in hot acid environments (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0) and utilizes energy from the oxidation of reduced metal inorganic sources. These characteristics of M. sedula make it an ideal organism to further our knowledge of the biogeochemical processes of possible life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Exploring the viability and metal extraction capacity of M. sedula living on and interacting with synthetic extraterrestrial minerals, we show that M. sedula utilizes metals trapped in the Martian regolith simulants (JSC Mars 1A; P-MRS; S-MRS; MRS07/52) as the sole energy sources. The obtained set of microbiological and mineralogical data suggests that M. sedula actively colonizes synthetic Martian regolith materials and releases free soluble metals. The surface of bioprocessed Martian regolith simulants is analyzed for specific mineralogical fingerprints left upon M. sedula growth. The obtained results provide insights of biomining of extraterrestrial material as well as of the detection of biosignatures implementing in life search missions.

  11. Site Specific Ground Response Analysis for Quantifying Site Amplification at A Regolith Site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bambang Setiawan

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available DOI: 10.17014/ijog.4.3.159-167A numerical model has demonstrated that it can simulate reasonably well earthquake motions at the ground level during a seismic event. The most widely used model is an equivalent linear approach. The equivalent linear model was used to compute the free-field response of Adelaide regolith during the 1997 Burra earthquake. The aim of this study is to quantify the amplification at the investigated site. The model computed the ground response of horizontally layered soil deposits subjected to transient and vertically propagating shear waves through a one-dimensional-soil column. Each soil layer was assumed to be homogeneous, visco-elastic, and infinite in the horizontal extent. The results of this study were compared to other studies and forward computation of the geotechnical dynamic parameters of the investigated site. The amplification triggered by the 1997 Burra seismic event was deduced. This study reveals the amplification factor up to 3.6 at the studied site.

  12. Reactivity Studies of Inconel 625 with Sodium, and Lunar Regolith Stimulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, Donald; Salvail, Pat; Reid, Bob; Colebaugh, James; Easterling, Greg

    2008-01-01

    In the event of the need for nuclear power in exploration, high flux heat pipes will be needed for heat transfer from space nuclear reactors to various energy conversion devices, and to safely dissipate excess heat. Successful habitation will necessitate continuous operation of alkali metal filled heat pipes for 10 or-more years in a hostile environment with little maintenance. They must be chemical and creep resistant in the high vacuum of space (lunar), and they must operate reliably in low gravity conditions with intermittent high radiation fluxes. One candidate material for the heat pipe shell, namely Inconel 625, has been tested to determine its compatibility with liquid sodium. Any reactivity could manifest itself as a problem over the long time periods anticipated. In addition, possible reactions with the lunar regolith will take place, as will evaporation of selected elements at the external surfaces of the heat pipes, and so there is a need for extensive long-term testing under simulated lunar conditions.

  13. Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) Aboard the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, R. A.; Chodas, M.; Bayley, L.; Allen, B.; Hong, J.; Biswas, P.; McMenamin, C.; Stout, K.; Bokhour, E.; Bralower, H.; Carte, D.; Chen, S.; Jones, M.; Kissel, S.; Schmidt, F.; Smith, M.; Sondecker, G.; Lim, L. F.; Lauretta, D. S.; Grindlay, J. E.; Binzel, R. P.

    2018-02-01

    The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is the student collaboration experiment proposed and built by an MIT-Harvard team, launched aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. REXIS complements the scientific investigations of other OSIRIS-REx instruments by determining the relative abundances of key elements present on the asteroid's surface by measuring the X-ray fluorescence spectrum (stimulated by the natural solar X-ray flux) over the range of energies 0.5 to 7 keV. REXIS consists of two components: a main imaging spectrometer with a coded aperture mask and a separate solar X-ray monitor to account for the Sun's variability. In addition to element abundance ratios (relative to Si) pinpointing the asteroid's most likely meteorite association, REXIS also maps elemental abundance variability across the asteroid's surface using the asteroid's rotation as well as the spacecraft's orbital motion. Image reconstruction at the highest resolution is facilitated by the coded aperture mask. Through this operation, REXIS will be the first application of X-ray coded aperture imaging to planetary surface mapping, making this student-built instrument a pathfinder toward future planetary exploration. To date, 60 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been involved with the REXIS project, with the hands-on experience translating to a dozen Master's and Ph.D. theses and other student publications.

  14. Growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant after exposure to vacuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Mayumi; Sato, Seigo; Ohmori, Masayuki; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation on Mars is one of our challenges in this century. The growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant (MRS) was studied with two species of terrestrial cyanobacteria, Nostoc, and one species of other cyanobacterium, Synechosystis. Their vacuum tolerances was examined in order to judge feasibility of the use of cyanobacteria to creat habitable environment on a distant planet. The viability of cyanobacteria tested was evaluated by the microscopic observation after staining by FDA (fluorescein diacetate). A part of them were also re-incubated again in a liquid culture medium, and viability and the chlorophyll production were examined in detail. Nostoc was found to grow for over 140 days with their having normal function of chlorophyll synthesis on the MRS. After the exposure to high vacuum environment (10-5 Pa) for a year, Nostoc sp. started growth. Chlorophyll was produced after this vacuum exposure as well. The A'MED (Arai's Mars Ecosystem Dome, A'MED) is designed to install on Mars for conducting agricultural production in it. We performed the fundamental experiment with MRS. These results show a possibility that cyanobacteria could adapt to MRS, and grow under the low pressure environment expected on Mars.

  15. Metamorphism of cosmic dust: Processing from circumstellar outflows to the cometary regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nuth, J.A. III.

    1989-01-01

    Metamorphism of refractory particles continues in the interstellar medium (ISM) where the driving forces are sputtering by cosmic ray particles, annealing by high energy photons, and grain destruction in supernova generated shocks. Studies of the depletion of the elements from the gas phase of the interstellar medium tell us that if grain destruction occurs with high efficiency in the ISM, then there must be some mechanism by which grains can be formed in the ISM. Most grains in a cloud which collapses to form a star will be destroyed; many of the surviving grains will be severely processed. Grains in the outermost regions of the nebula may survive relatively unchanged by thermal processing or hydration. It is these grains which one hopes to find in comets. However, only those grains encased in ice at low temperature can be considered pristine since a considerable degree of hydrous alteration might occur in a cometary regolith if the comet enters the inner solar system. The physical, chemical and isotopic properties of a refractory grain at each stage of its life cycle will be discussed

  16. REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) Aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, JaeSub; Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan E.; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W; Bautz, Mark W.; Kissel, Steven E; Villasenor, Jesus Noel; Oprescu, Antonia

    2014-06-01

    The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is a student-led instrument being designed, built, and operated as a collaborative effort involving MIT and Harvard. It is a part of NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, which is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of the primitive carbonaceous chondrite-like asteroid 101955 Bennu in 2019. REXIS will determine spatial variations in elemental composition of Bennu's surface through solar-induced X-ray fluorescence. REXIS consists of four X-ray CCDs in the detector plane and an X-ray mask. It is the first coded-aperture X-ray telescope in a planetary mission, which combines the benefit of high X-ray throughput of wide-field collimation with imaging capability of a coded-mask, enabling detection of elemental surface distributions at approximately 50-200 m scales. We present an overview of the REXIS instrument and the expected performance.

  17. Asteroid (16) Psyche: Evidence for a silicate regolith from spitzer space telescope spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landsman, Zoe A.; Emery, Joshua P.; Campins, Humberto; Hanuš, Josef; Lim, Lucy F.; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2018-04-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche is a unique, metal-rich object belonging to the "M" taxonomic class. It may be a remnant protoplanet that has been stripped of most silicates by a hit-and-run collision. Because Psyche offers insight into the planetary formation process, it is the target of NASA's Psyche mission, set to launch in 2023. In order to constrain Psyche's surface properties, we have carried out a mid-infrared (5-14 μm) spectroscopic study using data collected with the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Spectrograph. Our study includes two observations covering different rotational phases. Using thermophysical modeling, we find that Psyche's surface is smooth and likely has a thermal inertia Γ = 5-25 J/m2/K/s1/2 and bolometric emissivity ɛ = 0.9, although a scenario with ɛ = 0.7 and thermal inertia up to 95 J/m2/K/s1/2 is possible if Psyche is somewhat larger than previously determined. The smooth surface is consistent with the presence of a metallic bedrock, which would be more ductile than silicate bedrock, and thus may not readily form boulders upon impact events. From comparisons with laboratory spectra of silicate and meteorite powders, Psyche's 7-14 μm emissivity spectrum is consistent with the presence of fine-grained (Psyche's surface. We conclude that Psyche is likely covered in a fine silicate regolith, which may also contain iron grains, overlying an iron-rich bedrock.

  18. A direct observation the asteroid's structure from deep interior to regolith: why and how do it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herique, A.; Kofman, W. W.

    2013-12-01

    The internal structure of asteroids is still poorly known and has never been measured directly. Our knowledge is relying entirely on inferences from remote sensing observations of the surface, and theoretical modeling. Is the body a monolithic piece of rock or a rubble-pile, an aggregate of boulders held together by gravity and how much porosity it contains, both in the form of micro-scale or macro-scale porosity? What is the typical size of the constituent blocs? Are these blocs homogeneous or heterogeneous? Is the body a defunct or dormant comet and such MBC can become active? The body is covered by a regolith from whose properties remains largely unknown in term of depth, size distribution and spatial variation. Is resulting from fine particles re-accretion or from thermal fracturing? What are its coherent forces? How to model is thermal conductivity while this parameter is so important to estimate Yarkowsky and Yorp effects? Knowing asteroid deep interior and regolith structure is a key point for a better understanding of the asteroid accretion and dynamical evolution. There is no way to determine this from ground-based observation. Radar operating from a spacecraft is the only technique capable of achieving this science objective of characterizing the internal structure and heterogeneity from submetric to global scale for the science benefit as well as for the planetary defence and human exploration. The deep interior structure tomography requires low-frequency radar to penetrate throughout the complete body. The radar wave propagation delay and the received power are related to the complex dielectric permittivity (i.e to the composition and microporosity) and the small scale heterogeneities (scattering losses) while the spatial variation of the signal and the multiple paths provide information on the presence of heterogeneities (variations in composition or porosity), layers, ice lens. A partial coverage will provide "cuts" of the body when a dense coverage

  19. Formation of regolith-collapse sinkholes in southern Illinois: Interpretation and identification of associated buried cavities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panno, S.V.; Wiebel, C.P.; Heigold, P.C.; Reed, P.C.

    1994-01-01

    Three regolith-collapse sinkholes formed near the Dongola Unit School and the Pentecostal Church in the southern Illinois village of Dongola (Union County) during the spring of 1993. The sinkholes appeared over a three-month period that coincided with development of a new municipal well. The new well was drilled through clay-rich, valley-fill sediment into karstified limestone bedrock. The piezometric surface of the limestone aquifer is above land surface, indicating the presence of an upward hydraulic gradient in the valley and that the valley fill is acting as a confining unit. Pumping during development of the well lowered the piezometric surface of the limestone aquifer to an elevation below the base of the valley fill. It is hypothesized that drainage of water from the sediments, the resulting loss of hydrostatic pressure and buoyant force in overlying sediments, increased intergranular pressure, and the initiation of groundwater flow toward the well resulted in rapid sediment transport, subsurface erosion, and collapse of the valley-fill sediment. The sinkholes follow an approximately east-west alignment, which is consistent with one of the two dominant alignments of passages of nearby joint-controlled caves. A constant electrode-separation resistivity survey of the school playground was conducted to locate areas that might contain incipient sinkholes. The survey revealed a positive resistivity anomaly trending N75E in the southern part of the study area. The anomaly is linear, between 5 and 10 m wide, and its trend either intersects or is immediately adjacent to the three sinkholes. The anomaly is interpreted to be a series of pumping-induced cavities in the valley-fill sediments that formed over a preexisting crevice in the karstified bedrock limestone. ?? 1994 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Influence of geology, regolith and soil on fluid flow pathways in an upland catchment in central NSW, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Tony

    2014-05-01

    Influence of geology, regolith and soil on fluid flow pathways in an upland catchment in central NSW, Australia. Tony Bernardi and Leah Moore Dryland Salinity Hazard Mitigation Program (DSHMP), University of Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA The diversity of salt expression in central NSW has defied classification because salt expression, mobilisation and transport is highly variable and is typically site specific. Hydrological models are extensively used to simulate possible outcomes for a range of land use changes to mitigate the mobilisation and transport of salt into the streams or across the land surface. The ability of these models to mimic reality can be variable thereby reducing the confidence in the models outputs and uptake of strategic management changes by the community. This study focuses on a 250 ha semi-arid sub-catchment of Little River catchment in central west NSW in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. We propose that an understanding the structure of the landforms and configuration of rock, regolith and soil materials at the study site influences fluid flow pathways in the landscape and can be related to observed variations in the chemical composition and salinity of surface and aquifer water. Preliminary geological mapping of the site identified the dominant rock type as a pink and grey dacite and in localised mid-slope areas, a coarsely crystalline biotite-phyric granodiorite. Samples were taken at regular intervals from natural exposures in eroded stream banks and in excavations made during the installation of neutron moisture meter tubes. In order to establish mineral weathering pathways, samples were taken from the relatively unweathered core to the outer weathered 'onion skins' of corestones on both substrates, and then up through the regolith profile, including the soil zone, to the land surface. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was conducted on the rock and soil/saprock samples. Electromagnetic induction (EMI

  1. Instrument for Solvent Extraction and Analysis (ISEE) of Organics from Regolith Simulant Using Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Chromatography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Carolina; Hintze, Paul E.

    2017-01-01

    ISEE is an instrument with the potential to perform extractions from regolith found on the surface of asteroids and planets, followed by characterization and quantitation of the extracts using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and chromatography (SFC). SFE is a developed technique proven to extract a wide range of organic compounds. SFC is similar to High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) but has the advantage of performing chiral separations without needing to derivatize the chiral compounds. CO2 will be the solvent for both stages as it is readily available in the Mars atmosphere. ISEE will capture CO2 from the environment, and use it for SFE and SFC. If successful, this would allow ISEE to perform analysis of organic compounds without using consumables. This paper will present results on a preliminary, proof-of-principle effort to use SFE and SFC to extract and analyze lunar regolith simulant spiked with organic compounds representing a range of organics that ISEE would expect to characterize. An optimization of variables for the extraction of the organics from the spiked regolith was successfully developed, using 138 bar pressure and 40 C temperature. The extraction flow rate was optimized at 2% SLPM with 30% methanol modifier. The extractions were successful with a value of 77.3+/- 0.9% of organics extracted. However, the recovery of organics after the extraction was very low with only 48.5+/-14.2%. Moreover, three columns were selected to analyze multiple samples at a time; two of them are Viridis HSS C18 SB and Torus DIOL, and the third column, specific for chiral separations, has not yet been selected yet.

  2. The Evolution of Porosity During Weathering of Serpentinite and the Creation of Thin Regolith in the Appalachian Piedmont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcon, V.; Gu, X.; Brantley, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    Life on Earth relies on the breakdown of impermeable bedrock into porous weathered rock to release nutrients and open pathways for gases and fluids to move through the subsurface. Serpentinites, though rare, are found across the globe and often have thin soils. Few studies have evaluated how porosity, a first order control on weathering, evolves from unweathered serpentinite bedrock to the soil. In this study, we evaluated weathering of serpentinites from bedrock to soil along a ridgetop in Nottingham Park, PA. A suite of geochemical analyses were used to determine chemical and physical changes during weathering. We used neutron scattering to measure pores 2nm to 20 microns in size (referred to here as nanoporosity). As this serpentinite weathers, small pores ( 1nm in diameter) are occluded and total nanoporosity and pore connectivity decrease throughout the weathered rock. Specifically, total nanoporosity decreases from 10% in the unweathered parent material to 5% in the weathered rock. However, in the upper meter of the profile, total nanoporosity increases as Fe, Mg, Mn, Si, Ni, Cr, and V are depleted. Additionally, bulk density and strain calculations suggest total volume expansion throughout the weathered rock followed by volume collapse in the upper 0.5m of the profile. We propose that low temperature reactions alter olivine in the parent material to serpentine minerals at the parent-weathered rock interface, resulting in a volume expansion and the loss of nanopores 1-100nm in size in this weathered rock zone. Volume expansion has long been reported to occur during low temperature serpentinization. We also infer that this loss of porosity limits the infiltration of reactive meteoric fluids into the deeper rock material and restricts the depth of regolith development. Following low temperature serpentinization, serpentine minerals (e.g. antigorite and lizardite) dissolve higher in the weathered rock. Because serpentinite rocks lack a non-reactive mineral such

  3. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for OSIRIS-REx: Identifying Regional Elemental Enrichment on Asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Hong, Jaesub; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W.; Bautz, Marshall W.; Kissel, Steven E.; Villasenor, Joel; Oprescu, Miruna; Induni, Nicholas

    2013-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission was selected under the NASA New Frontiers program and is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2019. 101955 Bennu (previously 1999 RQ36) is an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid originally discovered by the LINEAR project in 1999 which has since been classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) was proposed jointly by MIT an...

  4. Insights into the Martian Regolith from Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison R.; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Tartese, Romain

    2015-01-01

    Everything we know about sedimentary processes on Mars is gleaned from remote sensing observations. Here we report insights from meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, which is a water-rich martian regolith breccia that hosts both igneous and sedimentary clasts. The sedimentary clasts in NWA 7034 are poorly-sorted clastic siltstones that we refer to as protobreccia clasts. These protobreccia clasts record aqueous alteration process that occurred prior to breccia formation. The aqueous alteration appears to have occurred at relatively low Eh, high pH conditions based on the co-precipitation of pyrite and magnetite, and the concomitant loss of SiO2 from the system. To determine the origin of the NWA 7034 breccia, we examined the textures and grain-shape characteristics of NWA 7034 clasts. The shapes of the clasts are consistent with rock fragmentation in the absence of transport. Coupled with the clast size distribution, we interpret the protolith of NWA 7034 to have been deposited by atmospheric rainout resulting from pyroclastic eruptions and/or asteroid impacts. Cross-cutting and inclusion relationships and U-Pb data from zircon, baddelleyite, and apatite indicate NWA 7034 lithification occurred at 1.4-1.5 Ga, during a short-lived hydrothermal event at 600-700 C that was texturally imprinted upon the submicron groundmass. The hydrothermal event caused Pb-loss from apatite and U-rich metamict zircons, and it caused partial transformation of pyrite to submicron mixtures of magnetite and maghemite, indicating the fluid had higher Eh than the fluid that caused pyrite-magnetite precipitation in the protobreccia clasts. NWA 7034 also hosts ancient 4.4 Ga crustal materials in the form of baddelleyites and zircons, providing up to a 2.9 Ga record of martian geologic history. This work demonstrates the incredible value of sedimentary basins as scientific targets for Mars sample return missions, but it also highlights the importance of targeting samples that have not been

  5. Chandrayaan-2 dual-frequency SAR: Further investigation into lunar water and regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putrevu, Deepak; Das, Anup; Vachhani, J. G.; Trivedi, Sanjay; Misra, Tapan

    2016-01-01

    The Space Applications Centre (SAC), one of the major centers of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), is developing a high resolution, dual-frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar as a science payload on Chandrayaan-2, ISRO's second moon mission. With this instrument, ISRO aims to further the ongoing studies of the data from S-band MiniSAR onboard Chandrayaan-1 (India) and the MiniRF of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA). The SAR instrument has been configured to operate with both L- and S-bands, sharing a common antenna. The S-band SAR will provide continuity to the MiniSAR data, whereas L-band is expected to provide deeper penetration of the lunar regolith. The system will have a selectable slant-range resolution from 2 m to 75 m, along with standalone (L or S) and simultaneous (L and S) modes of imaging. Various features of the instrument like hybrid and full-polarimetry, a wide range of imaging incidence angles (∼10° to ∼35°) and the high spatial resolution will greatly enhance our understanding of surface properties especially in the polar regions of the Moon. The system will also help in resolving some of the ambiguities in interpreting high values of Circular Polarization Ratio (CPR) observed in MiniSAR data. The added information from full-polarimetric data will allow greater confidence in the results derived particularly in detecting the presence (and estimating the quantity) of water-ice in the polar craters. Being a planetary mission, the L&S-band SAR for Chandrayaan-2 faced stringent limits on mass, power and data rate (15 kg, 100 W and 160 Mbps respectively), irrespective of any of the planned modes of operation. This necessitated large-scale miniaturization, extensive use of on-board processing, and devices and techniques to conserve power. This paper discusses the scientific objectives which drive the requirement of a lunar SAR mission and presents the configuration of the instrument, along with a description of a number of features of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Thermal design and performance of the REgolith x-ray imaging spectrometer (REXIS) instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Kevin D.; Masterson, Rebecca A.

    2014-08-01

    The REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) instrument is a student collaboration instrument on the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission scheduled for launch in September 2016. The REXIS science mission is to characterize the elemental abundances of the asteroid Bennu on a global scale and to search for regions of enhanced elemental abundance. The thermal design of the REXIS instrument is challenging due to both the science requirements and the thermal environment in which it will operate. The REXIS instrument consists of two assemblies: the spectrometer and the solar X-ray monitor (SXM). The spectrometer houses a 2x2 array of back illuminated CCDs that are protected from the radiation environment by a one-time deployable cover and a collimator assembly with coded aperture mask. Cooling the CCDs during operation is the driving thermal design challenge on the spectrometer. The CCDs operate in the vicinity of the electronics box, but a 130 °C thermal gradient is required between the two components to cool the CCDs to -60 °C in order to reduce noise and obtain science data. This large thermal gradient is achieved passively through the use of a copper thermal strap, a large radiator facing deep space, and a two-stage thermal isolation layer between the electronics box and the DAM. The SXM is mechanically mounted to the sun-facing side of the spacecraft separately from the spectrometer and characterizes the highly variable solar X-ray spectrum to properly interpret the data from the asteroid. The driving thermal design challenge on the SXM is cooling the silicon drift detector (SDD) to below -30 °C when operating. A two-stage thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is located directly beneath the detector to provide active cooling, and spacecraft MLI blankets cover all of the SXM except the detector aperture to radiatively decouple the SXM from the flight thermal environment. This paper describes the REXIS thermal system requirements, thermal design, and analyses, with

  8. Performance of Regolith Feed Systems for Analog Field Tests of In-Situ Resource Utilization Oxygen Production Plants in Mauna Kea, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Ivan I.; Mueller, Robert P.; Mantovani, James G.; Zacny, Kris A.; Craft, Jack

    2010-01-01

    This paper focuses on practical aspects of mechanical auger and pneumatic regolith conveying system feeding In-Situ Resource Utilization Oxygen production plants. The subsystems of these feedstock delivery systems include an enclosed auger device, pneumatic venturi educator, jet-lift regolith transfer, innovative electro-cyclone gas-particle separation/filtration systems, and compressors capable of dealing with hot hydrogen and/or methane gas re-circulating in the system. Lessons learned from terrestrial laboratory, reduced gravity and field testing on Mauna Kea Volcano in Hawaii during NASA lunar analog field tests will be discussed and practical design tips will be presented.

  9. Mg-Sulfate Salts as Possible Water Reservoirs in Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Carey, J. W.; Feldman, W. C.

    2003-12-01

    analysis of this amorphous solid shows that it contains ˜26% H2O (compared with 47% in crystalline hexahydrite), and its observed macroscopic expansion behavior suggests that it can reversibly hydrate and dehydrate. Although neither epsomite nor hexahydrite is likely to be stable near the surface of Mars, their amorphous derivatives or crystalline forms of the lower hydrates might be present (preliminary thermogravimetric data indicate that kieserite is likely to be stable). However, the limited rehydration of structurally degraded hexahydrite indicates that unrealistically large amounts ( ˜50%) would be required in the upper meter of regolith to account for the higher water contents ( ˜13%) suggested for some martian equatorial regions; even larger amounts of kieserite ( ˜100%) would be required. A more important role for sulfates may be in the formation of a low-permeability salt crust that could restrict dewatering of underlying soil horizons.

  10. Quantitative EPMA of Nano-Phase Iron-Silicides in Apollo 16 Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopon, P.; Fournelle, J.; Valley, J. W.; Pinard, P. T.; Sobol, P.; Horn, W.; Spicuzza, M.; Llovet, X.; Richter, S.

    2013-12-01

    Until recently, quantitative EPMA of phases under a few microns in size has been extremely difficult. In order to achieve analytical volumes to analyze sub-micron features, accelerating voltages between 5 and 8 keV need to be used. At these voltages the normally used K X-ray transitions (of higher Z elements) are no longer excited, and we must rely of outer shell transitions (L and M). These outer shell transitions are difficult to use for quantitative EPMA because they are strongly affected by different bonding environments, the error associated with their mass attenuation coefficients (MAC), and their proximity to absorption edges. These problems are especially prevalent for the transition metals, because of the unfilled M5 electron shell where the Lα transition originates. Previous studies have tried to overcome these limitations by using standards that almost exactly matched their unknowns. This, however, is cumbersome and requires accurate knowledge of the composition of your sample beforehand, as well as an exorbitant number of well characterized standards. Using a 5 keV electron beam and utilizing non-standard X-ray transitions (Ll) for the transition metals, we are able to conduct accurate quantitative analyses of phases down to ~300nm. The Ll transition in the transition metals behaves more like a core-state transition, and unlike the Lα/β lines, is unaffected by bonding effects and does not lie near an absorption edge. This allows for quantitative analysis using standards do not have to exactly match the unknown. In our case pure metal standards were used for all elements except phosphorus. We present here data on iron-silicides in two Apollo 16 regolith grains. These plagioclase grains (A6-7 and A6-8) were collected between North and South Ray Craters, in the lunar highlands, and thus are associated with one or more large impact events. We report the presence of carbon, nickel, and phosphorus (in order of abundance) in these iron-silicide phases

  11. Experimental Investigation of InSight HP3 Mole Interaction with Martian Regolith Simulant. Quasi-Static and Dynamic Penetration Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Jason P.; Hudson, Troy L.; Andrade, José E.

    2017-10-01

    The InSight mission launches in 2018 to characterize several geophysical quantities on Mars, including the heat flow from the planetary interior. This quantity will be calculated by utilizing measurements of the thermal conductivity and the thermal gradient down to 5 meters below the Martian surface. One of the components of InSight is the Mole, which hammers into the Martian regolith to facilitate these thermal property measurements. In this paper, we experimentally investigated the effect of the Mole's penetrating action on regolith compaction and mechanical properties. Quasi-static and dynamic experiments were run with a 2D model of the 3D cylindrical mole. Force resistance data was captured with load cells. Deformation information was captured in images and analyzed using Digitial Image Correlation (DIC). Additionally, we used existing approximations of Martian regolith thermal conductivity to estimate the change in the surrounding granular material's thermal conductivity due to the Mole's penetration. We found that the Mole has the potential to cause a high degree of densification, especially if the initial granular material is relatively loose. The effect on the thermal conductivity from this densification was found to be relatively small in first-order calculations though more complete thermal models incorporating this densification should be a subject of further investigation. The results obtained provide an initial estimate of the Mole's impact on Martian regolith thermal properties.

  12. Multiphysics Modeling for Dimensional Analysis of a Self-Heated Molten Regolith Electrolysis Reactor for Oxygen and Metals Production on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, Jesus A.; Sibille, Laurent

    2010-01-01

    The technology of direct electrolysis of molten lunar regolith to produce oxygen and molten metal alloys has progressed greatly in the last few years. The development of long-lasting inert anodes and cathode designs as well as techniques for the removal of molten products from the reactor has been demonstrated. The containment of chemically aggressive oxide and metal melts is very difficult at the operating temperatures ca 1600 C. Containing the molten oxides in a regolith shell can solve this technical issue and can be achieved by designing a self-heating reactor in which the electrolytic currents generate enough Joule heat to create a molten bath. In a first phase, a thermal analysis model was built to study the formation of a melt of lunar basaltic regolith irradiated by a focused solar beam This mode of heating was selected because it relies on radiative heat transfer, which is the dominant mode of transfer of energy in melts at 1600 C. Knowing and setting the Gaussian-type heat flux from the concentrated solar beam and the phase and temperature dependent thermal properties, the model predicts the dimensions and temperature profile of the melt. A validation of the model is presented in this paper through the experimental formation of a spherical cap melt realized by others. The Orbitec/PSI experimental setup uses an 3.6-cm diameter concentrated solar beam to create a hemispheric melt in a bed of lunar regolith simulant contained in a large pot. Upon cooling, the dimensions of the vitrified melt are measured to validate the thermal model. In a second phase, the model is augmented by multiphysics components to compute the passage of electrical currents between electrodes inserted in the molten regolith. The current through the melt generates Joule heating due to the high resistivity of the medium and this energy is transferred into the melt by conduction, convection and primarily by radiation. The model faces challenges in two major areas, the change of phase as

  13. A PIXE/PIGE study of lateritic gold mineralization from the regolith of the Mystery Zone, Mt Percy, Western Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, X.; Van Moort, J.C.

    1998-01-01

    PIXE/PIGE have been utilized extensively in the search for gold and volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposits, using rock powders from relatively fresh rock. The present study uses regolith samples, from which weathering products (oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, sulphates and clay) have been removed by sequential treatment with aqua regia and sulphuric acid. The samples come from the Mystery Zone, Mt Percy, Kalgoorlie, comprising both mineralized and barren samples. The acid insoluble residue consist essentially of quartz with minor sericite. The PlXE/PIGE data from the acid insoluble residue shows that the geochemical character of W, Al, K, Ca, V, Ga, Rb, Rb/K and Rb/Al could correctly define the location of underlying mineralization at depth. The ratio of Ti/Zr remained relatively constant in different geological units and can be used to distinguish lithologies. (authors)

  14. A PIXE/PIGE study of lateritic gold mineralization from the regolith of the Mystery Zone, Mt Percy, Western Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, X.; Van Moort, J.C. [Tasmania Univ., Sandy Bay, TAS (Australia). Dept. of Geology

    1998-06-01

    PIXE/PIGE have been utilized extensively in the search for gold and volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposits, using rock powders from relatively fresh rock. The present study uses regolith samples, from which weathering products (oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, sulphates and clay) have been removed by sequential treatment with aqua regia and sulphuric acid. The samples come from the Mystery Zone, Mt Percy, Kalgoorlie, comprising both mineralized and barren samples. The acid insoluble residue consist essentially of quartz with minor sericite. The PlXE/PIGE data from the acid insoluble residue shows that the geochemical character of W, Al, K, Ca, V, Ga, Rb, Rb/K and Rb/Al could correctly define the location of underlying mineralization at depth. The ratio of Ti/Zr remained relatively constant in different geological units and can be used to distinguish lithologies. (authors). Extended abstract. 5 refs.

  15. Leak Rate Performance of Silicone Elastomer O-Rings Contaminated with JSC-1A Lunar Regolith Simulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oravec, Heather Ann; Daniels, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

    Contamination of spacecraft components with planetary and foreign object debris is a growing concern. Face seals separating the spacecraft cabin from the debris filled environment are particularly susceptible; if the seal becomes contaminated there is potential for decreased performance, mission failure, or catastrophe. In this study, silicone elastomer O-rings were contaminated with JSC- 1A lunar regolith and their leak rate performance was evaluated. The leak rate values of contaminated O-rings at four levels of seal compression were compared to those of as-received, uncontaminated, O-rings. The results showed a drastic increase in leak rate after contamination. JSC-1A contaminated O-rings lead to immeasurably high leak rate values for all levels of compression except complete closure. Additionally, a mechanical method of simulant removal was examined. In general, this method returned the leak rate to as-received values.

  16. Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Martínez-Frías

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm.Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiationof basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance asa function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify theabsorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Marssurface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance inthe near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolithat deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.

  17. Kinetic and Potential Sputtering Enhancements of Lunar Regolith Erosion: The Contribution of the Heavy Multicharged (Minority) Solar Wind Constituents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, F. W.; Barghouty, A. F.

    2012-01-01

    We report preliminary results for H+, Ar+1, Ar+6 and Ar+9 ion sputtering of JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant at solar wind velocities, obtain ed at the ORNL Multicharged Ion Research Facility using quadrupole ma ss spectrometry. The multi-charged Ar ions were used as proxies for i ntermediate mass solar wind multicharged ions. Prior to the Ar beam e xposures, the sample was exposed to high fluence H+ irradiation to si mulate H-loading due to the dominant solar wind constituent. A x80 en hancement of oxygen sputtering by Ar+ over same velocity H+ was measu red and an additional x2 increase for Ar+9 over same velocity Ar+ was demonstrated, giving clear evidence of the importance of potential s puttering by multicharged ions. This enhancement was observed to pers ist to the maximum fluences investigated (approx 10(exp 16)/sq cm). As discussed in a companion abstract by N. Barghouty, such persistent s puttering enhancement has significant implications on weathering and aging of lunar regolith. In addition, XPS measurements showed strong evidence of Fe reduction for those target areas that had been exposed to high fluence Ar+ and Ar+8 beams. Preferential oxidation of the Fe -reduced beam-exposed regions during transfer to the XPS system led t o enhanced O concentrations in those regions as well. On the basis of these very promising preliminary results, a NASA-LASER project on mo re extensive measurements was recently selected for funding. The prop osal expands the collaboration with NASA-MSFC for the simulation effort, and adds a new collaboration with NASA-GSFC for lunar mission-rele vant measurements.

  18. Potential of Probing the Lunar Regolith using Rover-Mounted Ground Penetrating Radar: Moses Lake Dune Field Analog Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horz, F.; Heggy, E.; Fong, T.; Kring, D.; Deans, M.; Anglade, A.; Mahiouz, K.; Bualat, M.; Lee, P.; Bluethmann, W.

    2009-01-01

    Probing radars have been widely recognized by the science community to be an efficient tool to explore lunar subsurface providing a unique capability to address several scientific and operational issues. A wideband (200 to 1200 MHz) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) mounted on a surface rover can provide high vertical resolution and probing depth from few tens of centimeters to few tens of meters depending on the sounding frequency and the ground conductivity. This in term can provide a better understand regolith thickness, elemental iron concentration (including ilmenite), volatile presence, structural anomalies and fracturing. All those objectives are of important significance for understanding the local geology and potential sustainable resources for future landing sites in particular exploring the thickness, structural heterogeneity and potential volatiles presence in the lunar regolith. While the operation and data collection of GPR is a straightforward case for most terrestrial surveys, it is a challenging task for remote planetary study especially on robotic platforms due to the complexity of remote operation in rough terrains and the data collection constrains imposed by the mechanical motion of the rover and limitation in data transfer. Nevertheless, Rover mounted GPR can be of great support to perform systematic subsurface surveys for a given landing site as it can provide scientific and operational support in exploring subsurface resources and sample collections which can increase the efficiency of the EVA activities for potential human crews as part of the NASA Constellation Program. In this study we attempt to explore the operational challenges and their impact on the EVA scientific return for operating a rover mounted GPR in support of potential human activity on the moon. In this first field study, we mainly focused on the ability of GPR to support subsurface sample collection and explore shallow subsurface volatiles.

  19. Ion-adsorption REEs in regolith of the Liberty Hill pluton, South Carolina, USA: An effect of hydrothermal alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bern, Carleton R.; Yesavage, Tiffany; Foley, Nora K.

    2017-01-01

    Ion-adsorbed rare earth element (REE) deposits supply the majority of world heavy REE production and substantial light REE production, but relatively little is known of their occurrence outside Southeast Asia. We examined the distribution and forms of REEs on a North American pluton located in the highly weathered and slowly eroding South Carolina Piedmont. The Hercynian Liberty Hill pluton experiences a modern climate that includes ~ 1500 mm annual rainfall and a mean annual temperature of 17 °C. The pluton is medium- to coarse-grained biotite-amphibole granite with minor biotite granite facies. REE-bearing phases are diverse and include monazite, zircon, titanite, allanite, apatite and bastnäsite. Weathered profiles were sampled up to 7 m-deep across the ~ 400 km2 pluton. In one profile, ion-adsorbed REEs plus yttrium (REE + Y) ranged up to 581 mg/kg and accounted for up to 77% of total REE + Y in saprolite. In other profiles, ion-adsorbed REE + Y ranged 12–194 mg/kg and only accounted for 3–37% of totals. The profile most enriched in ion-adsorbed REEs was located along the mapped boundary of two granite facies and contained trioctahedral smectite in the saprolite, evidence suggestive of hydrothermal alteration of biotite at that location. Post-emplacement deuteric alteration can generate easily weathered REE phases, particularly fluorocarbonates. In the case of Liberty Hill, hydrothermal alteration may have converted less soluble to more soluble REE minerals. Additionally, regolith P content was inversely correlated with the fraction ion-adsorbed REEs, and weathering related secondary REE-phosphates were found in some regolith profiles. Both patterns illustrate how low P content aids in the accumulation of ion-adsorbed REEs. The localized occurrence at Liberty Hill sheds light on conditions and processes that generate ion-adsorbed REEs.

  20. The Moon as a recorder of organic evolution in the early solar system: a lunar regolith analog study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthewman, Richard; Court, Richard W; Crawford, Ian A; Jones, Adrian P; Joy, Katherine H; Sephton, Mark A

    2015-02-01

    The organic record of Earth older than ∼3.8 Ga has been effectively erased. Some insight is provided to us by meteorites as well as remote and direct observations of asteroids and comets left over from the formation of the Solar System. These primitive objects provide a record of early chemical evolution and a sample of material that has been delivered to Earth's surface throughout the past 4.5 billion years. Yet an effective chronicle of organic evolution on all Solar System objects, including that on planetary surfaces, is more difficult to find. Fortunately, early Earth would not have been the only recipient of organic matter-containing objects in the early Solar System. For example, a recently proposed model suggests the possibility that volatiles, including organic material, remain archived in buried paleoregolith deposits intercalated with lava flows on the Moon. Where asteroids and comets allow the study of processes before planet formation, the lunar record could extend that chronicle to early biological evolution on the planets. In this study, we use selected free and polymeric organic materials to assess the hypothesis that organic matter can survive the effects of heating in the lunar regolith by overlying lava flows. Results indicate that the presence of lunar regolith simulant appears to promote polymerization and, therefore, preservation of organic matter. Once polymerized, the mineral-hosted newly formed organic network is relatively protected from further thermal degradation. Our findings reveal the thermal conditions under which preservation of organic matter on the Moon is viable.

  1. Sulfate Deposition in Regolith Exposed in Trenches on the Plains Between the Spirit Landing Site and Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Alian; Haskin, L. A.; Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Crumpler, L.; Gellert, R.; Hurowitz, J.; Schroeder, C.; Tosca, N.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2005-01-01

    During its exploration within Gusev crater between sol 01 and sol 158, the Spirit rover dug three trenches (Fig. 1) to expose the subsurface regolith [1, 2, 9]. Laguna trench (approx. 6 cm deep, approx.203 m from the rim of Bonneville crater) was dug in Laguna Hollow at the boundary of the impact ejecta from Bonneville crater and the surrounding plains. The Big Hole trench (approx. 6-7 cm deep) and The Boroughs trench (approx. 11 cm deep) were dug in the plains between the Bonneville crater and the Columbia Hills (approx.556 m and approx.1698 m from the rim of Bonneville crater respectively). The top, wall and floor regolith of the three trenches were investigated using the entire set of Athena scientific instruments [10].

  2. Measurements in Vacuum of the Complex Permittivity of Planetary Regolith Analog Materials in Support of the OSIRIS-REx Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, A.; Hickson, D. C.; Cunje, A.; Tsai, C. A.; Ghent, R. R.; Daly, M. G.

    2017-12-01

    In preparation for the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission, ground based radar data have been used to help characterize the carbonaceous asteroid (101955) Bennu as well as to produce a 3-D shape model. Radar data have also been used to derive the near-surface bulk density of the asteroid, a key engineering factor for sample acquisition and return. The relationship between radar albedo and bulk density of the nearsurface depends on the relative permittivity of the material, in this case regolith. The relative permittivity is complex such that ɛ r = ɛ r' + i ɛ r'', where ɛ r' is the dielectric constant and ɛ r'' is the loss factor. Laboratory permittivity measurements have been made in the past on a myriad of samples including Earth materials, lunar Apollo and analog samples, Mars soil analog samples, some meteorites, and cometary analog samples in support of the Rosetta mission. These measurements have been made in different frequency bands and in various conditions; however, no measurements to date have systematically explored the effect of changes in mineralogy on the complex permittivity, and particularly the loss tangent (tanδ , the ratio of ɛ r'' to ɛ r'). The loss tangent controls the absorption of the signal by the material. Continuing our investigation of the effects of mineralogy on these properties, we will present for the first time results of complex permittivity measurements of the UCF/DSI-CI-2 CI asteroid regolith simulant produced by Deep Space Industries Inc. The simulant is mineralogically similar to the CI meteorite Orgueil. CI meteorites are the most spectrally similar meteorites to (101955) Bennu. Since the simulant has been provided to us un-mixed, several sub-samples will be created containing different amounts of carbon, thus allowing us to systematically investigate the effects of carbon content on the permittivity. In order to remove moisture from our samples, powders are baked at 250°C for 48hrs prior to being loaded into a coaxial

  3. An Investigation of the Mechanical Properties of Some Martian Regolith Simulants with Respect to the Surface Properties at the InSight Mission Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delage, Pierre; Karakostas, Foivos; Dhemaied, Amine; Belmokhtar, Malik; Lognonné, Philippe; Golombek, Matt; De Laure, Emmanuel; Hurst, Ken; Dupla, Jean-Claude; Kedar, Sharon; Cui, Yu Jun; Banerdt, Bruce

    2017-10-01

    In support of the InSight mission in which two instruments (the SEIS seismometer and the HP3 heat flow probe) will interact directly with the regolith on the surface of Mars, a series of mechanical tests were conducted on three different regolith simulants to better understand the observations of the physical and mechanical parameters that will be derived from InSight. The mechanical data obtained were also compared to data on terrestrial sands. The density of the regolith strongly influences its mechanical properties, as determined from the data on terrestrial sands. The elastoplastic compression volume changes were investigated through oedometer tests that also provided estimates of possible changes in density with depth. The results of direct shear tests provided values of friction angles that were compared with that of a terrestrial sand, and an extrapolation to lower density provided a friction angle compatible with that estimated from previous observations on the surface of Mars. The importance of the contracting/dilating shear volume changes of sands on the dynamic penetration of the mole was determined, with penetration facilitated by the ˜1.3 Mg/m3 density estimated at the landing site. Seismic velocities, measured by means of piezoelectric bender elements in triaxial specimens submitted to various isotropic confining stresses, show the importance of the confining stress, with lesser influence of density changes under compression. A power law relation of velocity as a function of confining stress with an exponent of 0.3 was identified from the tests, allowing an estimate of the surface seismic velocity of 150 m/s. The effect on the seismic velocity of a 10% proportion of rock in the regolith was also studied. These data will be compared with in situ data measured by InSight after landing.

  4. Influence of Martian regolith analogs on the activity and growth of methanogenic archaea, with special regard to long-term desiccation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janosch eSchirmack

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Methanogenic archaea have been studied as model organisms for possible life on Mars for several reasons: they can grow lithoautotrophically by using hydrogen and carbon dioxide as energy and carbon sources, respectively; they are anaerobes; and they evolved at a time when conditions on early Earth are believed to have looked similar to those of early Mars. As Mars is currently dry and cold and as water might be available only at certain time intervals, any organism living on this planet would need to cope with desiccation. On Earth there are several regions with low water availability as well, e.g. permafrost environments, desert soils and salt pans. Here, we present the results of a set of experiments investigating the influence of different Martian regolith analogs on the metabolic activity and growth of three methanogenic strains exposed to culture conditions as well as long-term desiccation. In most cases, concentrations below 1 %wt of regolith in the media resulted in an increase of methane production rates, whereas higher concentrations decreased the rates, thus prolonging the lag phase. Further experiments showed that methanogenic archaea are capable of producing methane when incubated on a water-saturated sedimentary matrix of regolith lacking nutrients. Survival of methanogens under these conditions was analyzed with a 400 day desiccation experiment in the presence of regolith analogs. All tested strains of methanogens survived the desiccation period as it was determined through reincubation on fresh medium and via qPCR following propidium monoazide treatment to identify viable cells. The survival of long-term desiccation and the ability of active metabolism on water-saturated MRAs strengthens the possibility of methanogenic archaea or physiologically similar organisms to exist in environmental niches on Mars. The best results were achieved in presence of a phyllosilicate, which provides insights of possible positive effects in habitats

  5. A combined model of heat and mass transfer for the in situ extraction of volatile water from lunar regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, P.

    2018-05-01

    Chemical analysis of lunar soil samples often involves thermal processing to extract their volatile constituents, such as loosely adsorbed water. For the characterization of volatiles and their bonding mechanisms it is important to determine their desorption temperature. However, due to the low thermal diffusivity of lunar regolith, it might be difficult to reach a uniform heat distribution in a sample that is larger than only a few particles. Furthermore, the mass transport through such a sample is restricted, which might lead to a significant delay between actual desorption and measurable outgassing of volatiles from the sample. The entire volatiles extraction process depends on the dynamically changing heat and mass transfer within the sample, and is influenced by physical parameters such as porosity, tortuosity, gas density, temperature and pressure. To correctly interpret measurements of the extracted volatiles, it is important to understand the interaction between heat transfer, sorption, and gas transfer through the sample. The present paper discusses the molecular kinetics and mechanisms that are involved in the thermal extraction process and presents a combined parametrical computation model to simulate this process. The influence of water content on the gas diffusivity and thermal diffusivity is discussed and the issue of possible resorption of desorbed molecules within the sample is addressed. Based on the multi-physical computation model, a case study for the ProSPA instrument for in situ analysis of lunar volatiles is presented, which predicts relevant dynamic process parameters, such as gas pressure and process duration.

  6. Simultaneous measurement of temperature and emissivity of lunar regolith simulant using dual-channel millimeter-wave radiometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCloy, J S; Sundaram, S K; Matyas, J; Woskov, P P

    2011-05-01

    Millimeter wave (MMW) radiometry can be used for simultaneous measurement of emissivity and temperature of materials under extreme environments (high temperature, pressure, and corrosive environments). The state-of-the-art dual channel MMW passive radiometer with active interferometric capabilities at 137 GHz described here allows for radiometric measurements of sample temperature and emissivity up to at least 1600 °C with simultaneous measurement of sample surface dynamics. These capabilities have been used to demonstrate dynamic measurement of melting of powders of simulated lunar regolith and static measurement of emissivity of solid samples. The paper presents the theoretical background and basis for the dual-receiver system, describes the hardware in detail, and demonstrates the data analysis. Post-experiment analysis of emissivity versus temperature allows further extraction from the radiometric data of millimeter wave viewing beam coupling factors, which provide corroboratory evidence to the interferometric data of the process dynamics observed. These results show the promise of the MMW system for extracting quantitative and qualitative process parameters for industrial processes and access to real-time dynamics of materials behavior in extreme environments.

  7. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for OSIRIS-REx: identifying regional elemental enrichment on asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Hong, Jaesub; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W.; Bautz, Marshall W.; Kissel, Steven E.; Villasenor, Joel; Oprescu, Miruna; Induni, Nicholas

    2013-09-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission was selected under the NASA New Frontiers program and is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2019. 101955 Bennu (previously 1999 RQ36) is an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid originally discovered by the LINEAR project in 1999 which has since been classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) was proposed jointly by MIT and Harvard and was subsequently accepted as a student led instrument for the determination of the elemental composition of the asteroid's surface as well as the surface distribution of select elements through solar induced X-ray fluorescence. REXIS consists of a detector plane that contains 4 X-ray CCDs integrated into a wide field coded aperture telescope with a focal length of 20 em for the detection of regions with enhanced abundance in key elements at 50 m scales. Elemental surface distributions of approximately 50-200 m scales can be detected using the instrument as a simple collimator. An overview of the observation strategy of the REXIS instrument and expected performance are presented here.

  8. Engineering design of the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) instrument: an OSIRIS-REx student collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michael; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew J.; Masterson, Rebecca A.

    2014-07-01

    OSIRIS-REx is a NASA New Frontiers mission scheduled for launch in 2016 that will travel to the asteroid Bennu and return a pristine sample of the asteroid to Earth. The REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is a student collaboration instrument on-board the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. REXIS is a NASA risk Class D instrument, and its design and development is largely student led. The engineering team consists of MIT graduate and undergraduate students and staff at the MIT Space Systems Laboratory. The primary goal of REXIS is the education of science and engineering students through participation in the development of light hardware. In light, REXIS will contribute to the mission by providing an elemental abundance map of the asteroid and by characterizing Bennu among the known meteorite groups. REXIS is sensitive to X-rays between 0.5 and 7 keV, and uses coded aperture imaging to map the distribution of iron with 50 m spatial resolution. This paper describes the science goals, concept of operations, and overall engineering design of the REXIS instrument. Each subsystem of the instrument is addressed with a high-level description of the design. Critical design elements such as the Thermal Isolation Layer (TIL), radiation cover, coded-aperture mask, and Detector Assembly Mount (DAM) are discussed in further detail.

  9. Nature of parent rocks, mineralization styles and ore genesis of regolith-hosted REE deposits in South China: An integrated genetic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan Hei Martin; Zhao, Wen Winston; Zhou, Mei-Fu

    2017-10-01

    Regolith-hosted rare earth element (REE) deposits, also called ion-adsorption or weathered crust elution-deposited REE deposits are distributed over Jiangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces in South China. In general, these deposits can be categorized into the HREE-dominated type, for example the famous Zudong deposit in southern Jiangxi province and the LREE-dominated type, such as the Heling and Dingnan deposits in southern Jiangxi province. Most of these deposits form from weathering of biotite and muscovite granites, syenites, monzogranites, granodiorites, granite porphyries, and rhyolitic tuffs. The parent rocks are generally peraluminous, siliceous, alkaline and contain a variety of REE-bearing minerals. Mostly, REE patterns of regolith are inherited from the parent rocks, and therefore, characteristics of the parent rocks impose a significant control on the ore formation. Data compilation shows that autometasomatism during the latest stage of granite crystallization is likely essential in forming the HREE-enriched granites, whereas LREE-enriched granites could form through magmatic differentiation. These deposits are normally two- to three-fold, but could be up to ten-fold enrichment in REE compared to the parent granites, where the maximum enrichment usually occurs from the lower B to the upper C horizon. Ce shows different behavior with the other REEs. Strongly positive Ce anomalies commonly occur at the upper part of weathering profiles, likely due to oxidation of Ce3+ to Ce4+ and removal of Ce from soil solutions through precipitation of cerianite. Vertical pH and redox gradients in weathering crusts facilitate dissolution of REE-bearing minerals at shallow level and fixation of REE at depth through either adsorption on clay minerals or precipitation of secondary minerals. At the same time, mass removal of major elements plays an important role in concentrating REE in regolith. Combination of mass removal and eluviation

  10. Understanding Regolith Physical Properties of Atmosphereless Solar System Bodies Based on Remote Sensing Photopolarimetric Observations: Evidence for Europa's Porous Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, R. M.; Boryta, M. D.; Hapke, B. W.; Manatt, K. S.; Shkuratov, Y.; Psarev, V.; Vandervoort, K.; Kroner, D. O.; Nebedum, A.; Vides, C.; Quinones, J.

    2017-12-01

    We studied the polarization and reflective properties of a suite of planetary regolith analogues with physical characteristics that might be expected to be found on a high albedo atmosphereless solar system body (ASSB). The angular scattering properties of thirteen well-sorted particle size fractions of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) were measured in the laboratory with a goniometric photopolarimeter (GPP) of unique design. Our results provide insight in support of efforts to understand the unusual reflectance and negative polarization behavior observed near small phase angles that has been reported over several decades on highly reflective ASSBs such as the asteroids 44 Nysa, 64 Angelina (Harris et al., 1989) and the Galilean satellites Io, Europa and Ganymede (Rosenbush et al., 1997; Mishchenko et al., 2006). Our measurements are consistent with the hypothesis that the surfaces of these ASSBs effectively scatter electromagnetic radiation as if they were extremely fine grained with void space > 95%, and grain sizes of the order landing on Europa's surface would require wheel or footpads that would protect it from settling deeply into the surface. These results also have relevance to the field of terrestrial geo-engineering particularly to proposals for modifying Earth's radiation balance by injecting high albedo Al2O3 particulates into Earth's atmosphere for the purpose of Solar Radiation Management by reflecting sunlight back into space hence, offsetting the global warming effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide(Teller et al., 1997). This work partially supported by the Cassini Saturn Orbiter Progrem Harris et al., 1989 . Icarus 81, 365-374. Mishchenko et al., 2006 Applied Optics, 45, 4459-4463. Rosenbush et al, 1997, Astrophys. J. 487, 402-414. Teller et al., 1997. UCRL-JC-128715.

  11. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  12. Nickel distribution and isotopic fractionation in a Brazilian lateritic regolith: Coupling Ni isotopes and Ni K-edge XANES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratié, G.; Garnier, J.; Calmels, D.; Vantelon, D.; Guimarães, E.; Monvoisin, G.; Nouet, J.; Ponzevera, E.; Quantin, C.

    2018-06-01

    Ultramafic (UM) rocks are known to be nickel (Ni) rich and to weather quickly, which makes them a good candidate to look at the Ni isotope systematics during weathering processes at the Earth's surface. The present study aims at identifying the Ni solid speciation and discussing the weathering processes that produce Ni isotope fractionation in two deep laterite profiles under tropical conditions (Barro Alto, Goiás State, Brazil). While phyllosilicates and to a lower extent goethite are the main Ni-bearing phases in the saprolitic part of the profile, iron (Fe) oxides dominate the Ni budget in the lateritic unit. Nickel isotopic composition (δ60Ni values) has been measured in each unit of the regolith, i.e., rock, saprock, saprolite and laterite (n = 52). δ60Ni varies widely within the two laterite profiles, from -0.10 ± 0.05‰ to 1.43 ± 0.05‰, showing that significant Ni isotope fractionation occurs during the weathering of UM rocks. Overall, our results show that during weathering, the solid phase is depleted in heavy Ni isotopes due to the preferential sorption and incorporation of light Ni isotopes into Fe oxides; the same mechanisms likely apply to the incorporation of Ni into phyllosilicates (type 2:1). However, an isotopically heavy Ni pool is observed in the solid phase at the bottom of the saprolitic unit. This feature can be explained by two hypotheses that are not mutually exclusive: (i) a depletion in light Ni isotopes during the first stage of weathering due to the preferential dissolution of light Ni-containing minerals, and (ii) the sorption or incorporation of isotopically heavy Ni carried by percolating waters (groundwater samples have δ60Ni of 2.20 and 2.27‰), that were enriched in heavy Ni isotopes due to successive weathering processes in the overlying soil and laterite units.

  13. Physical weathering and regolith behaviour in a high erosion rate badland area at the Pyrenees: research design and first results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regües, D.

    1993-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies on badland areas in the Vallcebre basin (High Llobregat suggested that the erosion rates are controlled by weathering rate of mudrocks. The present work was started to characterize the physical weathering processes and rates in relationship with thermal and moisture conditions.
    The method used consists of the continuous monitoring of regolith temperatures at different conditions of aspect, depth and lithology (color, and the periodical sampling of regolith moisture and bulk density, the last taken as an indicator of the weathering status. Besides this quantitative information, the changes of the surface of the regolith have been monitored with the help of photographic techniques, using a especially designed tripod. To complete the field observations, a laboratory experiment is being performed, analyzing the volumetric changes suffered by undisturbed rock samples subject to thermal and moisture oscillations.
    The results obtained emphasize the role of frost action, especially during wet conditions. Aspect and lithologic differences introduce significant nuances in thermal regime and volumetric changes respectively.

    [es] Estudios anteriores en zonas acarcavadas de la cuenca de Vallcebre (Alto Llobregat sugieren que las tasas de erosión están limitadas por la meteorización de las rocas arcillosas que las constituyen. El presente trabajo ha sido planteado para caracterizar y evaluar los procesos de meteorización física en relación con los regímenes térmico e hídrico.
    El método empleado consiste en la monitorización continua de temperaturas del aire y del regolito en diversas condiciones de profundidad, exposición y litología (color, así como el muestreo periódico de humedad y densidad aparente, considerada ésta última como indicadora del grado de meteorización. Además de esta información cuantitativa, se ha realizado un seguimiento de los cambios en la micromorfología superficial, mediante

  14. Cryoseism Vibrational Movement and Sorting of Detritus of Mars' Regolith Bedforms (E.G., ~ Streaks, Gullies): a New, Dry, Midsummer Antarctic Analogue Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, A. B.

    2015-12-01

    "SNAP!, CRACK!, POP!" The sounds reverberated across newly shaded permafrost of unusual talus aprons (Ford & Andersen, 1967; J. Geol., 75, 722-732) of interior Antarctica (lats. >84°S; Thiel, Pensacola mtns.), coming from ice cracking under tensile failure (cryoseisms). Apron regoliths show conspicuously reversed downslope particle-size sorting and downslope-oriented lineations (debris-cleared tracts; stone stripes) formed by vibrational movement of detritus by midsummer, diurnal cracking of ice. Moving laterally by vibrations away from cracks, with downslope component by gravity, finer detritus becomes concentrated downslope from coarser debris of initial cliff fall — winnowed, as if on a gigantic vibrating shaking table. Slopes outside shade zones remain free of cracking. Diurnal midday shading of solar-warmed, debris-mantled permafrost- and glacier-surface ice at low ambient midsummer temperatures produces high strain-loading rates that exceed tensile toughness of inhomogeneous, polycrystalline ice containing zones of older but sealed cracks. This dry, mechanical, cryoseism mechanism is here proposed also for now waterless Mars and other icy Solar System bodies. Regolith features of Mars' cryosphere may appear different from anrarctic analogues owing to likely operation over tens if not hundreds of millions of years longer than on Earth. The strain distributions in tensile failure of ice better explain a common spacing uniformity of many martian linear features than others' proposed origins, and for some "active" streaks and gully channels, TARS, RSL and dune-slipface channels, as well as for dune orthogonality, diurnal moonquakes and asteroid-regolith detrital sorting (e.g., "rubble-pile" 25143-Itokawa). Because periodic shade from topography (canyons, craters, etc.) is needed, the mechanism is not expected on flattish terrains where more normal annual cooling rates produce the common polygonal tensile fracturing of ice

  15. Solar Wind Implantation into Lunar Regolith II: Monte Carlo Simulations of Hydrogen Retention in a Surface with Defects and the Hydrogen (H, H2) Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, O. J.; Farrell, W. M.; Killen, R. M.; Hurley, D. M.

    2018-01-01

    Recently, the near-infrared observations of the OH veneer on the lunar surface by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) have been refined to constrain the OH content to 500-750 parts per million (ppm). The observations indicate diurnal variations in OH up to 200 ppm possibly linked to warmer surface temperatures at low latitude. We examine the M3 observations using a statistical mechanics approach to model the diffusion of implanted H in the lunar regolith. We present results from Monte Carlo simulations of the diffusion of implanted solar wind H atoms and the subsequently derived H and H2 exospheres.

  16. Improved Data Reduction Algorithm for the Needle Probe Method Applied to In-Situ Thermal Conductivity Measurements of Lunar and Planetary Regoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagihara, S.; Hedlund, M.; Zacny, K.; Taylor, P. T.

    2013-01-01

    The needle probe method (also known as the' hot wire' or 'line heat source' method) is widely used for in-situ thermal conductivity measurements on soils and marine sediments on the earth. Variants of this method have also been used (or planned) for measuring regolith on the surfaces of extra-terrestrial bodies (e.g., the Moon, Mars, and comets). In the near-vacuum condition on the lunar and planetary surfaces, the measurement method used on the earth cannot be simply duplicated, because thermal conductivity of the regolith can be approximately 2 orders of magnitude lower. In addition, the planetary probes have much greater diameters, due to engineering requirements associated with the robotic deployment on extra-terrestrial bodies. All of these factors contribute to the planetary probes requiring much longer time of measurement, several tens of (if not over a hundred) hours, while a conventional terrestrial needle probe needs only 1 to 2 minutes. The long measurement time complicates the surface operation logistics of the lander. It also negatively affects accuracy of the thermal conductivity measurement, because the cumulative heat loss along the probe is no longer negligible. The present study improves the data reduction algorithm of the needle probe method by shortening the measurement time on planetary surfaces by an order of magnitude. The main difference between the new scheme and the conventional one is that the former uses the exact mathematical solution to the thermal model on which the needle probe measurement theory is based, while the latter uses an approximate solution that is valid only for large times. The present study demonstrates the benefit of the new data reduction technique by applying it to data from a series of needle probe experiments carried out in a vacuum chamber on JSC-1A lunar regolith stimulant. The use of the exact solution has some disadvantage, however, in requiring three additional parameters, but two of them (the diameter and the

  17. Modeling the reflectance of the lunar regolith by a new method combining Monte Carlo Ray tracing and Hapke's model with application to Chang'E-1 IIM data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Un-Hong; Wu, Yunzhao; Wong, Hon-Cheng; Liang, Yanyan; Tang, Zesheng

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we model the reflectance of the lunar regolith by a new method combining Monte Carlo ray tracing and Hapke's model. The existing modeling methods exploit either a radiative transfer model or a geometric optical model. However, the measured data from an Interference Imaging spectrometer (IIM) on an orbiter were affected not only by the composition of minerals but also by the environmental factors. These factors cannot be well addressed by a single model alone. Our method implemented Monte Carlo ray tracing for simulating the large-scale effects such as the reflection of topography of the lunar soil and Hapke's model for calculating the reflection intensity of the internal scattering effects of particles of the lunar soil. Therefore, both the large-scale and microscale effects are considered in our method, providing a more accurate modeling of the reflectance of the lunar regolith. Simulation results using the Lunar Soil Characterization Consortium (LSCC) data and Chang'E-1 elevation map show that our method is effective and useful. We have also applied our method to Chang'E-1 IIM data for removing the influence of lunar topography to the reflectance of the lunar soil and to generate more realistic visualizations of the lunar surface.

  18. Aqueous extracts of a Mars analogue regolith that mimics the Phoenix landing site do not inhibit spore germination or growth of model spacecraft contaminants Bacillus subtilis 168 and Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Wayne L.; McCoy, Lashelle E.; Kerney, Krystal R.; Ming, Douglas W.; Golden, D. C.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2012-08-01

    Because Mars is a primary target for life detection and habitability assessment missions, its exploration is also by necessity a Planetary Protection issue. The recent finding of significant levels of perchlorate (ClO4-) in regolith sampled from the Phoenix landing site raises the question of its potential biotoxicity to putative indigenous martian life, microbial forward contaminants from Earth, or future human visitors. To address this issue, an analogue regolith was constructed based on regolith chemistry data from the Phoenix landing site. A Mars Aqueous Regolith Extract (MARE) was prepared from the Phoenix analogue regolith and analyzed by ion chromatography. The MARE contained (mg/L) the cations Na+ (1411 ± 181), Mg2+ (1051 ± 160), Ca2+ (832 ± 125), and K+ (261 ± 29), and the anions SO42-(5911±993), ClO4-(5316±1767), Cl(171±25) and F- (2.0 ± 0.4). Nitrogen-containing species NO3-(773±113) and NO2-(6.9±2.3) were also present as a result of regolith preparation procedures, but their relevance to Mars is at present unknown. The MARE was tested for potential toxic effects on two model spacecraft contaminants, the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus subtilis strain 168 and Bacillus pumilus strain SAFR-032. In B. subtilis, spore germination and initial vegetative growth (up to ˜5 h) was not inhibited in a rich complex medium prepared with the MARE, but growth after 5 h was significantly suppressed in medium prepared using the MARE. Both B. subtilis and B. pumilus exhibited significantly higher rates of spore germination and growth in the MARE vs. DW with no additions (likely due to endogenous spore nutrients), but germination and growth was further stimulated by addition of glucose and a combination of buffered inorganic salts (K2HPO4, KH2PO4, (NH4)2SO4, and MgSO4). The data indicate that the aqueous environment in the regolith from the Phoenix landing site containing high levels of perchlorate does not pose a significant barrier to growth of putative

  19. Chemical characteristics of surface systems in the Forsmark area. Visualisation and statistical evaluation of data from surface water, precipitation, shallow groundwater, and regolith

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-02-15

    The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste management Co (SKB) initiated site investigations for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel at two different sites in Sweden, Forsmark and Oskarshamn, in 2002. This report evaluates the results from chemical investigations of the surface system in the Forsmark area during the period November 2002 - March 2005. The evaluation includes data from surface waters (lakes, streams and the sea), precipitation, shallow groundwater and regolith (till, soil, peat, sediments and biota) in the area. Results from surface waters are not presented in this report since these were treated in a recently published report. The main focus of the study is to visualize the vast amount of data collected hitherto in the site investigations, and to give a chemical characterisation of the investigated media at the site. The results will be used to support the site descriptive models, which in turn are used for safety assessment studies and for the environmental impact assessment. The data used consist of water chemical composition in lakes, streams, coastal sites, and in precipitation, predominantly sampled on a monthly basis, and in groundwater from soil tubes and wells, sampled up to four times per year. Moreover, regolith data includes information on the chemical composition of till, soil, sediment and vegetation samples from the area. The characterisations include all measured chemical parameters, i.e. major and minor constituents, trace elements, nutrients, isotopes and radio nuclides, as well as field measured parameters. The evaluation of data from each medium has been divided into the following parts: Characterisation of individual sampling sites, and comparisons within and among sampling sites as well as comparisons with local, regional and national reference data; Analysis of time trends and seasonal variation (for shallow groundwater); Exploration of relationships among the various chemical parameters. For all investigated parameters, the

  20. Chemical characteristics of surface systems in the Forsmark area. Visualisation and statistical evaluation of data from shallow groundwater, precipitation, and regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Troejbom, Mats; Soederbaeck, Bjoern

    2006-02-01

    The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste management Co (SKB) initiated site investigations for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel at two different sites in Sweden, Forsmark and Oskarshamn, in 2002. This report evaluates the results from chemical investigations of the surface system in the Forsmark area during the period November 2002 - March 2005. The evaluation includes data from surface waters (lakes, streams and the sea), precipitation, shallow groundwater and regolith (till, soil, peat, sediments and biota) in the area. Results from surface waters are not presented in this report since these were treated in a recently published report. The main focus of the study is to visualize the vast amount of data collected hitherto in the site investigations, and to give a chemical characterisation of the investigated media at the site. The results will be used to support the site descriptive models, which in turn are used for safety assessment studies and for the environmental impact assessment. The data used consist of water chemical composition in lakes, streams, coastal sites, and in precipitation, predominantly sampled on a monthly basis, and in groundwater from soil tubes and wells, sampled up to four times per year. Moreover, regolith data includes information on the chemical composition of till, soil, sediment and vegetation samples from the area. The characterisations include all measured chemical parameters, i.e. major and minor constituents, trace elements, nutrients, isotopes and radio nuclides, as well as field measured parameters. The evaluation of data from each medium has been divided into the following parts: Characterisation of individual sampling sites, and comparisons within and among sampling sites as well as comparisons with local, regional and national reference data; Analysis of time trends and seasonal variation (for shallow groundwater); Exploration of relationships among the various chemical parameters. For all investigated parameters, the

  1. Chemical characteristics of surface systems in the Simpevarp area. Visualisation and statistical evaluation of data from surface water, precipitation, shallow groundwater, and regolith

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-01-15

    The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste management Co (SKB) initiated site investigations for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel at two different sites in Sweden, Forsmark and Oskarshamn, in 2002. This report evaluates the results from chemical investigations of the surface system in the Simpevarp area in Oskarshamn, i.e. both the Laxemar subarea and the Simpevarp subarea, during the period Nov 2002 - Mar 2005. The evaluation includes data from surface waters (lakes, streams and the sea), precipitation, shallow groundwater and regolith (till, soil, peat, sediments and biota) in the area. The main focus of the study is to visualize the vast amount of data collected hitherto in the site investigations, and to give a chemical characterisation of the investigated media at the site. The results will be used to support the site descriptive models, which in turn are used for safety assessment studies and for the environmental impact assessment. The data used consist of water chemical composition in lakes, streams and coastal sites, and in precipitation, predominantly sampled on a monthly basis, and in groundwater from soil tubes and wells. Moreover, regolith data includes information on the chemical composition of till, soil, sediment and vegetation samples from the area. The characterisations include all measured chemical parameters, i.e. major and minor constituents, trace elements, nutrients, isotopes and radio nuclides, as well as field measured parameters. The evaluation of data from each medium has been divided into the following parts: Characterisation of individual sampling sites, and comparisons within and among sampling sites as well as comparisons with local, regional and national reference data. Analysis of time trends and seasonal variation (for surface waters). Exploration of relationships among the various chemical parameters. For all investigated parameters, the report presents selected statistics for each sampling site, as well as for available reference

  2. Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE): Lunar Advanced Volatile Analysis (LAVA) Capillary Fluid Dynamic Restriction Effects on Gas Chromatography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Marianne; Quinn, Jacqueline; Captain, Janine; Santiago-Bond, Josephine; Starr, Stanley

    2015-01-01

    The Resource Prospector (RP) mission with the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) payload aims to show the presence of water in lunar regolith, and establish a proving ground for NASAs mission to Mars. One of the analysis is performed by the Lunar Advanced Volatiles Analysis (LAVA) subsystem, which consists of a fluid network that facilitates the transport of volatile samples to a gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer (GC-MS) instrument. The understanding of fluid dynamics directed from the GC to the MS is important due to the influence of flow rates and pressures that affect the accuracy of and prevent the damage to the overall GC-MS instrument. The micro-scale capillary fluid network within the GC alone has various lengths and inner-diameters; therefore, determination of pressure differentials and flow rates are difficult to model computationally, with additional complexity from the vacuum conditions in space and lack of a lunar atmosphere. A series of tests were performed on an experimental set-up of the system where the inner diameters of the GC transfer line connecting to the MS were varied. The effect on chromatography readings were also studied by applying these lines onto a GC instrument. It was found that a smaller inner diameter transfer line resulted in a lower flow rate, as well as a lower pressure differential across the thermal conductivity detector (TCD) unit of the GC and a negligible pressure drop across the mock-up capillary column. The chromatography was affected with longer retention times and broader peak integrations. It was concluded that a 0.050 mm inner diameter line still proved most suitable for the systems flow rate preferences. In addition, it was evident that this small transfer line portrayed some expense to GC signal characteristics and the wait time for steady-state operation.

  3. Performance Testing of Molten Regolith Electrolysis with Transfer of Molten Material for the Production of Oxygen and Metals on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Sadoway, Donald; Tripathy, Prabhat; Standish, Evan; Sirk, Aislinn; Melendez, Orlando; Stefanescu, Doru

    2010-01-01

    Previously, we have demonstrated the production of oxygen by electrolysis of molten regolith simulants at temperatures near 1600 C. Using an inert anode and suitable cathode, direct electrolysis (no supporting electrolyte) of the molten silicate is carried out, resulting in the production of molten metallic products at the cathode and oxygen gas at the anode. Initial direct measurements of current efficiency have confirmed that the process offer potential advantages of high oxygen production rates in a smaller footprint facility landed on the moon, with a minimum of consumables brought from Earth. We now report the results of a scale-up effort toward the goal of achieving production rates equivalent to 1 metric ton O2/year, a benchmark established for the support of a lunar base. We previously reported on the electrochemical behavior of the molten electrolyte as dependent on anode material, sweep rate and electrolyte composition in batches of 20-200g and at currents of less than 0.5 A. In this paper, we present the results of experiments performed at currents up to 10 Amperes) and in larger volumes of regolith simulant (500 g - 1 kg) for longer durations of electrolysis. The technical development of critical design components is described, including: inert anodes capable of passing continuous currents of several Amperes, container materials selection, direct gas analysis capability to determine the gas components co-evolving with oxygen. To allow a continuous process, a system has been designed and tested to enable the withdrawal of cathodically-reduced molten metals and spent molten oxide electrolyte. The performance of the withdrawal system is presented and critiqued. The design of the electrolytic cell and the configuration of the furnace were supported by modeling the thermal environment of the system in an effort to realize a balance between external heating and internal joule heating. We will discuss the impact these simulations and experimental findings have

  4. Chemical characteristics of surface systems in the Simpevarp area. Visualisation and statistical evaluation of data from surface water, precipitation, shallow groundwater, and regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Troejbom, Mats; Soederbaeck, Bjoern

    2006-01-01

    The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste management Co (SKB) initiated site investigations for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel at two different sites in Sweden, Forsmark and Oskarshamn, in 2002. This report evaluates the results from chemical investigations of the surface system in the Simpevarp area in Oskarshamn, i.e. both the Laxemar subarea and the Simpevarp subarea, during the period Nov 2002 - Mar 2005. The evaluation includes data from surface waters (lakes, streams and the sea), precipitation, shallow groundwater and regolith (till, soil, peat, sediments and biota) in the area. The main focus of the study is to visualize the vast amount of data collected hitherto in the site investigations, and to give a chemical characterisation of the investigated media at the site. The results will be used to support the site descriptive models, which in turn are used for safety assessment studies and for the environmental impact assessment. The data used consist of water chemical composition in lakes, streams and coastal sites, and in precipitation, predominantly sampled on a monthly basis, and in groundwater from soil tubes and wells. Moreover, regolith data includes information on the chemical composition of till, soil, sediment and vegetation samples from the area. The characterisations include all measured chemical parameters, i.e. major and minor constituents, trace elements, nutrients, isotopes and radio nuclides, as well as field measured parameters. The evaluation of data from each medium has been divided into the following parts: Characterisation of individual sampling sites, and comparisons within and among sampling sites as well as comparisons with local, regional and national reference data. Analysis of time trends and seasonal variation (for surface waters). Exploration of relationships among the various chemical parameters. For all investigated parameters, the report presents selected statistics for each sampling site, as well as for available reference

  5. Subsurface Halophilic Microbial Communities in the Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert: An Analog for Possible Subsurface Life in Regolith on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, A.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Rainey, F. T.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.

    2003-12-01

    The Atacama Desert in its driest portion provides an interesting analog for possible past or present life in the Martian regolith. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama, surface soils are virtually abiotic, with no plants and "near sterile" concentrations of heterotrophic bacteria (i.e., exceedingly low densities of approximately 100 colony forming units per gram soil). The dearth of microbial life at the surface is likely maintained through extremely low water availability, low organic content and the highly oxidizing nature of the soil. In marked contrast to the surface, however, extremely halophilic microorganisms exist in salt layers 1.2-1.5m below the surface. Mineralogical analyses indicate the layers are predominantly halite (70% NaCl) but also contain sodium nitrate (5% NaNO3). Culturing and polar lipid analyses suggest the halophiles are archaeal Halobacterium-like motile rods. Microclimate monitoring at 1m indicates a soil relative humidity of 20% which is stable year-round even during decadal rain events such as that experienced in July 2002. This suggests the layers are isolated from even significant moisture influxes at the surface. Although further research is necessary, important parallels exist between this Earthly desert analog and the possible existence and detection of subsurface life on Mars despite harsh abiotic conditions at the surface.

  6. Distribution and evolution of Zn, Cd, and Pb in Apollo 16 regolith samples and the average U-Pb ages of the parent rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirlin, E. H.; Housley, R. M.

    1982-01-01

    The concentration of surface (low temperature site) and interior (high temperature site) Cd, Zn, and Pb in 13 Apollo 16 highland fines samples, pristine rock 65325, and mare fines sample 75081 were analyzed directly from the thermal release profiles obtained by flameless atomic absorption technique (FLAA). Cd and Zn in pristine ferroan anothosite 65325, anorthositic grains of the most mature fines 65701, and basaltic rock fragments of mare fines 75081 were almost all surface Cd and Zn indicating that most volatiles were deposited on the surfaces of vugs, vesicles and microcracks during the initial cooling process. A considerable amount of interior Cd and Zn was observed in agglutinates. This result suggests that high temperature site interior volatiles originate from entrapment during the lunar maturation processes. Interior Cd found in the most mature fines sample 65701 was only about 15% of the total Cd in the sample. Interior Pb present in Apollo 16 fines samples went up to 60%. From our Cd studies we can assume that this interior Pb in highland fines samples is largely due to the radiogenic decay which occurred after the redistribution of the volatiles took place. We obtained an average age of 4.0 b.y. for the parent rocks of Apollo 16 highland regolith from our interior Pb analyses.

  7. Analysis and Testing of Load Characteristics for Rotary-Percussive Drilling of Lunar Rock Simulant with a Lunar Regolith Coring Bit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Li

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on an optimized lunar regolith coring bit (LRCB configuration, the load characteristics of rotary-percussive drilling of lunar rock simulant in a laboratory environment are analyzed to determine the effects of the drilling parameters (the rotational velocity, the penetration rate, and the percussion frequency on the drilling load. The process of rotary drilling into lunar rock using an LRCB is modeled as an interaction between an elemental blade and the rock. The rock’s fracture mechanism during different stages of the percussive mechanism is analyzed to create a load forecasting model for the cutting and percussive fracturing of rock using an elemental blade. Finally, a model of the load on the LRCB is obtained from the analytic equation for the bit’s cutting blade distribution; experimental verification of the rotary-impact load characteristics for lunar rock simulant with different parameters is performed. The results show that the penetrations per revolution (PPR are the primary parameter influencing the drilling load. When the PPR are fixed, increasing the percussion frequency reduces the drilling load on the rock. Additionally, the variation pattern of the drilling load of the bit is in agreement with that predicted by the theoretical model. This provides a research basis for subsequent optimization of the drilling procedure and online recognition of the drilling process.

  8. Laser Induced Fluorescence Imaging: Searching for Organics from the Dry Valleys of Queen Maud Land Antarctica to the Regolith and Ices of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, M. C.; Sattler, B.; Muller, J.-P.; Fisk, M.; Cousins, C.; Dartnell, L.

    2009-04-01

    Laser induced fluorescence imaging using excitation in ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths has been proposed as a nondestructive astrobiological rapid survey tool to search for amino and nucleic acids [1], microbial life [2], and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) deep in the Mars regolith [3, 4]. However, the technique is easily adapted to search for complex biomolecular targets using longer wavelength sources [5]. Of particular interest is the ability of excitation at 532 nm to detect photosynthetic pigments in cyanobacteria-dominated microbial communities populating the ice of alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic lakes, glaciers, and ice sheets [6-8]. During the months of November and December 2008 we tested the technique as part of an extended international, interdisciplinary field campaign in the Dry Valleys of Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. In this paper we review our recent laboratory experiments on the use of UV excitation for detection of PAHs doped on Mars analogue soils [9] and chasmo- and epilithic lichen communities within basaltic Iceland lavas. We present for the first time the results of our field experiments conducted during the Tawani 2008 International Antarctic Expedition for in situ detection and quantification of photosynthetic biomass in the ice caps of annual and perennially ice-covered Antarctic lakes. We discuss the advantages of using a nondestructive rapid survey photonic tools such as laser induced fluorescence imaging that can be easily implemented from lander, rover, airborne, or orbital platforms. The techniques presented can be utilized to monitor the microbial potential of large, critical ecosystems on Earth, or to facilitate the remote or manned search for organics and photosynthetic life on any terrestrial planet. References 1. Storrie-Lombardi, M.C., Hug, W.F., McDonald, G.D., Tsapin, A.I., and Nealson, K.H. 2001. Hollow cathode ion lasers for deep ultraviolet Raman spectroscopy and fluorescence imaging

  9. Lunar Regolith Stabilization for Excavation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Establishing human presence outside the protective cover of earth's atmosphere is a challenge. On earth, the atmosphere does not only present breathing gas, it also...

  10. Fabrication of Regolith-Derived Radiation Shield

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Mars and asteroids have little or no atmosphere, and do not possess a magnetosphere that can protect humans, mechanisms and electronics from damaging Galactic Cosmic...

  11. Improved Lunar and Martian Regolith Simulant Production, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's new exploration initiative created immediate need for materials science and technology research to enable safe human travel and work on future lunar or...

  12. Novel Instrumentation for Lunar Regolith Oxygen Production Facilities, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In this SBIR effort, Los Gatos Research (LGR) proposes to develop, test and deploy three novel compact, rugged and easy-to-use multi-gas analysis instruments, based...

  13. Phobos Environment Model and Regolith Simulant for MMX Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, H.; Niihara, T.; Wada, K.; Ogawa, K.; Baresi, N.; Abell, Paul A.; Asphaug, E.; Britt, D.; Dodbiba, G.; Fujita, T.; hide

    2018-01-01

    Phobos and Deimos, the two moons of Mars, are considered to be scientifically important and potential human mission's target. Martian Moons eXplorer (MMX) is the JAXA's mission to explore Phobos (and/or Deimos), which is scheduled to be launched in 2024. The main spacecraft of MMX will perform in-situ observations of both Phobos and Deimos, land on one of them (most likely, Phobos), and bring samples back to Earth. Small landing modules may be included in the mission as for the Hayabusa-2 mission. The designs of both the landing and sampling devices depend largely on the surface conditions of the target body and on how this surface reacts to an external action in the low gravity conditions of the target. Thus, the Landing Operation Working Team (LOWT) of MMX, which is composed of both scientists and engineers, is studying Phobos' surface based on previous observations and theoretical/experimental considerations. Though engineering motivation initiated this activity, the results will be extremely useful for scientific purposes.

  14. Regolith history from cosmic-ray-produced isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fireman, E.L.

    1974-04-01

    A statistical model is given for soil development relating meteoroid impacts on the moon to cosmic-ray-produced isotopes in the soil. By means of this model, the average lunar mass loss rate during the past 14 aeons is determined to be 170 g/sq cm aeon and the soil mixing rate to be approximately 200 cm/aeon from the gadolinium isotope data for the Apollo 15 and 16 drill stems. The isotope data also restrict the time variation of the meteoroid flux during the past 14 aeons. (U.S.)

  15. In-Situ Resource Utilization: Water Extraction from Regolith

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Several technologies are being evaluated to extract water from a variety of water-bearing extraterrestrial soils, including near-surface granular and hard hydrated...

  16. Astrobiological Aspects of Radiation Chemistry in Europa's Icy Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, R. W.; Hand, K. P.

    2006-05-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa, with its likely subsurface ocean and young, active surface, is a promising habitat for life. Europa orbits in the heart of Jupiter's powerful magnetosphere and suffers intense energetic particle bombardment, producing both positive and negative aspects for astrobiology at Europa. Ionizing radiation can produce oxidants that could support a radiation-driven ecology as proposed by Chyba. On the other hand, biomolecular evidence for life that may be upwelled to the surface is rapidly altered by irradiation, complicating astrobiological searches for evidence of life. We present an overview of laboratory work performed at JPL and elsewhere and observational results related to these two aspects. The oxidants hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen are known to exist on Europa and the radiolytic production of these species has been studied in the laboratory for both electron and ion irradiation. Laboratory- measured equilibrium concentrations of H2O2, where production and destruction rates are equal, are in general agreement with the observed 0.1% molar abundance on Europa. The shape of Europa's peroxide band is consistent with the line shapes observed in radiolysis and with H2O2 dispersed in water ice rather than occurring as H2O2 aggregates. Surprisingly, molecular oxygen may be even more abundant on Europa even though O2 is extremely volatile ande would be expected to escape from the ice surface. Radiolysis can produce molecular oxygen and appears to simultaneously alter the ice matrix, trapping the O2. Other species observed on Europa are CO2 and SO2, and laboratory radiolysis of these species in H2O ice produces carbonic and sulfuric acid, respectively. We are studying the radiolytic degradation of biomarkers in ice at Europa temperatures by studying both simple organics and more complex biomolecules, including microorganisms. Hydrocarbon radiolysis yields carbon dioxide and methane, which can escape the system and results in loss of carbon. In addition, polymerization produces brown, high-molecular weight residues with complex mass spectra. Radiolysis of microorganisms shows the loss of amine, amide, methyl, and methylene groups, and production of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitriles, and isocyanates. Work is continuing to establish useful biosignatures that may persist in the complex mass spectra of irradiated microorganisms.

  17. Allochthonous Addition of Meteoritic Organics to the Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S.; Ross, D. K.; Le, L.; Rahman, Z.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; Gonzalez, C.

    2013-01-01

    Preparation of lunar samples 74220,861 was discussed in detail in [3, 4]. Our analysis sequence was as follows: optical microscopy, UV fluorescence imaging, -Raman, FESEM-EDX imaging and mapping, FETEMEDX imaging and mapping of a Focused Ion Beam (FIB) extracted section, and NanoSIMs analysis. We observed fluffytextured C-rich regions of interest (ROI) on three different volcanic glass beads. Each ROI was several m2 in size and fluoresced when exposed to UV. Using FESEM/EDX, the largest ROI measured 36 m and was located on an edge of a plateau located on the uppermost surface of the bead. The ROI was covered on one edge by a siliceous filament emanating from the plateau surface indicating it was attached to the bead while on the Moon. EDX mapping of the ROI shows it is composed primarily of heterogeneously distributed C. Embedded with the carbonaceous phase are localized concentrations of Si, Fe, Al and Ti indicating the presence of glass and/or minerals grains. -Raman showed strong D- and G-bands and their associated second order bands; intensity and location of these bands indicates the carbonaceous matter is structurally disorganized. A TEM thin section was extracted from the surface of a glass bead using FIB microscopy. High resolution TEM imaging and selected area electron diffraction demonstrate the carbonaceous layer to be amorphous; it lacked any long or short range order characteristic of micro- or nanocrystalline graphite. Additionally TEM imaging also revealed the presence of submicron mineral grains, typically < 50 nm in size, dispersed within the carbonaceous layer. NanoSIMs data will be presented and discussed at the meeting. Given the noted similarities between the carbonaceous matter present on 74220 glass beads and meteoritic kerogen, we suggest the allochthonous addition of meteoritic organics as the most probable source for the C-rich ROIs.

  18. Electrostatic Power Generation from Negatively Charged, Simulated Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sang H.; King, Glen C.; Kim, Hyun-Jung; Park, Yeonjoon

    2010-01-01

    Research was conducted to develop an electrostatic power generator for future lunar missions that facilitate the utilization of lunar resources. The lunar surface is known to be negatively charged from the constant bombardment of electrons and protons from the solar wind. The resulting negative electrostatic charge on the dust particles, in the lunar vacuum, causes them to repel each other minimizing the potential. The result is a layer of suspended dust about one meter above the lunar surface. This phenomenon was observed by both Clementine and Surveyor spacecrafts. During the Apollo 17 lunar landing, the charged dust was a major hindrance, as it was attracted to the astronauts' spacesuits, equipment, and the lunar buggies. The dust accumulated on the spacesuits caused reduced visibility for the astronauts, and was unavoidably transported inside the spacecraft where it caused breathing irritation [1]. In the lunar vacuum, the maximum charge on the particles can be extremely high. An article in the journal "Nature", titled "Moon too static for astronauts?" (Feb 2, 2007) estimates that the lunar surface is charged with up to several thousand volts [2]. The electrostatic power generator was devised to alleviate the hazardous effects of negatively charged lunar soil by neutralizing the charged particles through capacitive coupling and thereby simultaneously harnessing power through electric charging [3]. The amount of power generated or collected is dependent on the areal coverage of the device and hovering speed over the lunar soil surface. A thin-film array of capacitors can be continuously charged and sequentially discharged using a time-differentiated trigger discharge process to produce a pulse train of discharge for DC mode output. By controlling the pulse interval, the DC mode power can be modulated for powering devices and equipment. In conjunction with a power storage system, the electrostatic power generator can be a power source for a lunar rover or other systems. The negatively charged lunar soil would also be neutralized mitigating some of the adverse effects resulting from lunar dust.

  19. Improved Lunar and Martian Regolith Simulant Production, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The technical objective of the Phase II project is to provide a more complete investigation of the long-term needs of the simulant community based on the updated...

  20. Mass Production of Mature Lunar Regolith Simulant, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — As NASA prepares for future exploration activities on the Moon, there is a growing need to develop higher fidelity lunar soil simulants that can accurately reproduce...

  1. Telerobotic Perception during Asteroid and Mars Regolith Operations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Current space telerobotic systems are constrained to only operating in bright light and dust-free conditions. This project will study the effects of difficult...

  2. Light-scattering evolution from particles to regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Videen, Gorden; Muinonen, Karri

    2015-01-01

    The radiative-transfer coherent-backscattering (RT–CB) model is unique among light-scattering methodologies as it can be used to calculate accurate light-scattering properties of sparsely populated particle volumes with sizes ranging from subwavelength to infinity. We use the RT–CB model to examine the evolution of light-scattering properties as a volume of particles increases from wavelength-sized to several hundreds of wavelengths. We examine the evolution of light-scattering intensity phase function and polarization, as well as linear and circular polarization ratios. We confirm the expected trends for backscattering features to shift to smaller phase angles as the volume increases. In addition, we also see the amplitude of these features increases to some maximum for volumes having size parameters kR∼100, before decaying to less than half this amplitude as their volumes approach infinity. - Highlights: • We use the RT–CB method to examine how gross light-scattering properties evolve as particle size increases. • The transition from a wavelength-sized particle to a large particle is not monotonic. • Backscattering properties associated with the CB mechanism appear to have a peak value before decaying asymptotically

  3. Estimation of the soil strength parameters in Tertiary volcanic regolith

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    3Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas, Learned Hall,. 1530 W ... of the most important elements of geotechnical .... of a small quantity of organic materials. .... has led many applications in diverse areas such.

  4. Voxel Advanced Digital-manufacturing for Earth & Regolith in Space

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A voxel is a discrete three-dimensional (3D) element of material that is used to construct a larger 3D object. It is the 3D equivalent of a pixel. This project will...

  5. Using the Viking biology experimental results to obtain chemical information about Martian regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumb, Robert C.

    1992-01-01

    Although initially formulated as biology experiments, most of the results produced by the Viking Labeled Release (LR), Gas Exchange (GEX), and Pyrolytic Release (PR) experiments have been reproduced by chemical means. The experiments do not need more study as 'biological' phenomena, but they do deserve much more careful consideration from a chemical viewpoint. They are the only 'wet-chemical' experiments that scientists have performed on another planet, but they have not found very general use as sources of scientific information. There is a large set of potentially useful chemical observations, e.g., the three resolvable and precisely measured kinetic components of the release of C-14-labeled gases, the thermal sensitivity and magnitudes of the oxidation reaction(s) of the LR experiments, the kinetics and magnitude of the O2 and CO2 release of the GEX experiments, the thermal sensitivity of the GEX results, the differences between the thermal sensitivity of the GEX and the thermal sensitivity of the LR responses, and the kinetics and magnitudes of the LR successive injection reabsorption effect. It should be possible to test many chemical aspects of hypothetical martian phenomena in experiments using the biology experimental configurations and derive much valuable information by comparisons with the Viking observations.

  6. Extraction of Volatiles from Regolith or Soil on Mars, the Moon, and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane; Kleinhenz, Julie; Trunek, Andrew; Hoffman, Stephen; Collins, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems ISRU Technology Project is evaluating concepts to extract water from all resource types Near-term objectives: Produce high-fidelity mass, power, and volume estimates for mining and processing systems Identify critical challenges for development focus Begin demonstration of component and subsystem technologies in relevant environment Several processor types: Closed processors either partially or completely sealed during processing Open air processors operates at Mars ambient conditions In-situ processors Extract product directly without excavation of raw resource Design features Elimination of sweep gas reduces dust particles in water condensate Pressure maintained by height of soil in hopper Model developed to evaluate key design parameters Geometry: conveyor diameter, screw diameter, shaft diameter, flight spacing and pitch Operational: screw speed vs. screw length (residence time) Thermal: Heat flux, heat transfer to soil Testing to demonstrate feasibility and performance Agglomeration, clogging Pressure rise forced flow to condenser.

  7. Heat Pipe Solar Receiver for Oxygen Production of Lunar Regolith, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Researchers have determined that lunar soil contains approximately 43% oxygen in the lunar soil oxides, which could be extracted to provide breathable oxygen for...

  8. Extraction and Capture of Water from Martian Regolith Experimental Proof-of-Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Bauman, Steven W.; Johnson, Kyle A.

    2016-01-01

    A novel concept for extraction of water from the Mars soil in a real-time, open-air process was demonstrated in a Mars environment chamber. The concept breadboard uses radiative heating to bake off water from exposed soil contained in a bin. An enclosure, intended to mimic the bottom of a rover, covers the bin. A fan continuously blows the Mars atmospheric gases through the enclosure to collect the evolved water while a tiller was used to churn up moist subsurface soil. These initial tests verified concept feasibility. The sweep gas generated by commercially available muffin fans at 7 Torr was sufficient to transfer water vapor into a condenser flow loop. The radiative heating, while non-optimized, heated the soil surface to 60 C to generate water vapor. A rototiller working through the soil bin brought sufficient amounts of new moist soil to the heated surface to show an increase in rate of water extraction.

  9. Ultra-trace analysis of Hg in alkaline lavas and regolith from James Ross Island

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Coufalík, Pavel; Zvěřina, O.; Krmíček, Lukáš; Pokorný, R.; Komárek, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 3 (2015), s. 281-290 ISSN 0954-1020 Institutional support: RVO:68081715 ; RVO:67985831 Keywords : basaltic volcanite * fractionation * mercury * polar region * weathered material Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 1.336, year: 2015

  10. ARACMO: Advanced Regolith Anchoring for Cable-assisted Mobility, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — To enable future robotic exploration systems to have greater mobility capabilities on difficult terrain such as craters, cliffs, gullies, and skylights, Tethers...

  11. The role of orbital forcing, carbon dioxide and regolith in 100 kyr glacial cycles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ganopolski

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The origin of the 100 kyr cyclicity, which dominates ice volume variations and other climate records over the past million years, remains debatable. Here, using a comprehensive Earth system model of intermediate complexity, we demonstrate that both strong 100 kyr periodicity in the ice volume variations and the timing of glacial terminations during past 800 kyr can be successfully simulated as direct, strongly nonlinear responses of the climate-cryosphere system to orbital forcing alone, if the atmospheric CO2 concentration stays below its typical interglacial value. The existence of long glacial cycles is primarily attributed to the North American ice sheet and requires the presence of a large continental area with exposed rocks. We show that the sharp, 100 kyr peak in the power spectrum of ice volume results from the long glacial cycles being synchronized with the Earth's orbital eccentricity. Although 100 kyr cyclicity can be simulated with a constant CO2 concentration, temporal variability in the CO2 concentration plays an important role in the amplification of the 100 kyr cycles.

  12. Estimates of Sputter Yields of Solar-Wind Heavy Ions of Lunar Regolith Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barghouty, Abdulmasser F.; Adams, James H., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    At energies of approximately 1 keV/amu, solar-wind protons and heavy ions interact with the lunar surface materials via a number of microscopic interactions that include sputtering. Solar-wind induced sputtering is a main mechanism by which the composition of the topmost layers of the lunar surface can change, dynamically and preferentially. This work concentrates on sputtering induced by solar-wind heavy ions. Sputtering associated with slow (speeds the electrons speed in its first Bohr orbit) and highly charged ions are known to include both kinetic and potential sputtering. Potential sputtering enjoys some unique characteristics that makes it of special interest to lunar science and exploration. Unlike the yield from kinetic sputtering where simulation and approximation schemes exist, the yield from potential sputtering is not as easy to estimate. This work will present a preliminary numerical scheme designed to estimate potential sputtering yields from reactions relevant to this aspect of solar-wind lunar-surface coupling.

  13. Characterizing the effects of regolith surface roughness on photoemission from surfaces in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, A.; Horanyi, M.; Wang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Surfaces of airless bodies and spacecraft in space are exposed to a variety of charging environments. A balance of currents due to plasma bombardment, photoemission, electron and ion emission and collection, and secondary electron emission determines the surface's charge. Photoelectron emission is the dominant charging process on sunlit surfaces in the inner solar system due to the intense solar UV radiation. This can result in a net positive surface potential, with a cloud of photoelectrons immediately above the surface, called the photoelectron sheath. Conversely, the unlit side of the body will charge negatively due the collection of the fast-moving solar wind electrons. The interaction of charged dust grains with these positively and negatively charged surfaces, and within the photoelectron and plasma sheaths may explain the occurrence of dust lofting, levitation and transport above the lunar surface. The surface potential of exposed objects is also dependent on the material properties of their surfaces. Composition and particle size primarily affect the quantum efficiency of photoelectron generation; however, surface roughness can also control the charging process. In order to characterize these effects, we have conducted laboratory experiments to examine the role of surface roughness in generating photoelectrons in dedicated laboratory experiments using solid and dusty surfaces of the same composition (CeO2), and initial comparisons with JSC-1 lunar simulant. Using Langmuir probe measurements, we explore the measured potentials above insulating surfaces exposed to UV and an electric field, and we show that the photoemission current from a dusty surface is largely reduced due to its higher surface roughness, which causes a significant fraction of the emitted photoelectrons to be re-absorbed within the surface. We will discuss these results in context of similar situations on planetary surfaces.

  14. Regolith irradiation stratigraphy at the Apollo 16 and 17 landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozaz, G.

    1978-01-01

    Additional fossil track measurements in the Apollo 17 deep drill stem, as well as detailed track studies in section 3 of the Apollo 16 deep drill core are reported. Although the upper part of the Apollo 17 core seems to have accreted rapidly, no evidence for a rapid accretion of the lower part, as postulated by some authors, is found. Despite the apparent inhomogeneity of section 60003, its track record is unexpectedly homogeneous; all levels are heavily irradiated and emplacement of big slabs of material is not favored.

  15. Geochemical stratigraphy of two regolith cores from the Central Highlands of the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korotev, R. L.

    1991-01-01

    High-resolution concentration profiles are presented for 20-22 chemical elements in the under 1-mm grain-size fractions of 60001-7 and 60009/10. Emphasis is placed on the stratigraphic features of the cores, and the fresh results are compared with those of previous petrographic and geochemical studies. For elements associated with major mineral phases, the variations in concentration in both cores exceed that observed in some 40 samples of surface and trench soils. Most of the variation in lithophile element concentrations at depths of 18 to 21 cm results from the mixing of two components - oil that is relatively mafic and rich in incompatible trace elements (ITEs), and coarse-grained anorthosite. The linearity of mixing lines on two-element concentration plots argues that the relative abundances of these various subcomponents are sufficiently uniform from sample to sample and from region to region in the core that the mixture behaves effectively as a single component. Soils at depths of 52-55 cm exhibit very low concentrations of ITEs.

  16. Thermogravimetric and x-ray diffraction analyses of Luna-24 regolith samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deshpande, V.V.; Dharwadkar, S.R.; Jakkal, V.S.

    1979-01-01

    Two samples of Luna-24 were analysed by X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric (TG) techniques. The sample 24123.12 shows a weight loss of nearly 0.85 percent between 23O-440deg C and followed by 1.16 percent weight gain from 500 to 800deg C. The sample 23190.13 showed only a weight gain of about 1.5 percent from 5O0deg C to 900deg C. X-ray diffraction analyses show the presence of olivine, plagioclase, pigeonite, enstatite, and native iron in both the virgin samples. The heated samples, however, show that only the native iron got oxidized to iron oxide. The other constituents remain unaltered. (auth.)

  17. Long-range terrain characterization for productive regolith excavation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed research will develop long-range terrain characterization technologies for autonomous excavation in planetary environments. This work will develop a...

  18. Gas Phase Pressure Effects on the Apparent Thermal Conductivity of JSC-1A Lunar Regolith Simulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zeng-Guang; Kleinhenz, Julie E.

    2011-01-01

    Gas phase pressure effects on the apparent thermal conductivity of a JSC-1A/air mixture have been experimentally investigated under steady state thermal conditions from 10 kPa to 100 kPa. The result showed that apparent thermal conductivity of the JSC-1A/air mixture decreased when pressure was lowered to 80 kPa. At 10 kPa, the conductivity decreased to 0.145 W/m/degree C, which is significantly lower than 0.196 W/m/degree C at 100 kPa. This finding is consistent with the results of previous researchers. The reduction of the apparent thermal conductivity at low pressures is ascribed to the Knudsen effect. Since the characteristic length of the void space in bulk JSC-1A varies over a wide range, both the Knudsen regime and continuum regime can coexist in the pore space. The volume ratio of the two regimes varies with pressure. Thus, as gas pressure decreases, the gas volume controlled by Knudsen regime increases. Under Knudsen regime the resistance to the heat flow is higher than that in the continuum regime, resulting in the observed pressure dependency of the apparent thermal conductivity.

  19. 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...

  20. Exploration of the Moon with Remote Sensing, Ground-Penetrating Radar, and the Regolith-Evolved Gas Analyzer (REGA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, B. L.; Hoffman, J. H.; Allen, Carlton C.; McKay, David S.

    1998-01-01

    There are two important reasons to explore the Moon. First, we would like to know more about the Moon itself: its history, its geology, its chemistry, and its diversity. Second, we would like to apply this knowledge to a useful purpose. namely finding and using lunar resources. As a result of the recent Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions, we now have global data on the regional surface mineralogy of the Moon, and we have good reason to believe that water exists in the lunar polar regions. However, there is still very little information about the subsurface. If we wish to go to the lunar polar regions to extract water, or if we wish to go anywhere else on the Moon and extract (or learn) anything at all, we need information in three dimensions an understanding of what lies below the surface, both shallow and deep. The terrestrial mining industry provides an example of the logical steps that lead to an understanding of where resources are located and their economic significance. Surface maps are examined to determine likely locations for detailed study. Geochemical soil sample surveys, using broad or narrow grid patterns, are then used to gather additional data. Next, a detailed surface map is developed for a selected area, along with an interpretation of the subsurface structure that would give rise to the observed features. After that, further sampling and geophysical exploration are used to validate and refine the original interpretation, as well as to make further exploration/ mining decisions. Integrating remotely sensed, geophysical, and sample datasets gives the maximum likelihood of a correct interpretation of the subsurface geology and surface morphology. Apollo-era geophysical and automated sampling experiments sought to look beyond the upper few microns of the lunar surface. These experiments, including ground-penetrating radar and spectrometry, proved the usefulness of these methods for determining the best sites for lunar bases and lunar mining operations.

  1. Broadband permittivity measurements on porous planetary regoliths simulants, in relation with the Rosetta mission to 67P/C-G

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouet, Yann; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal; Encrenaz, Pierre; Sabouroux, Pierre; Heggy, Essam; Kofman, Wlodek; Thomas, Nick

    2015-04-01

    The Rosetta mission has successfully rendezvous comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (hereafter 67P) last year and landed Philae module on its nucleus on 12 November it 2014. Among instruments onboard Rosetta, MIRO [1], composed of two radiometers, with receivers at 190 GHz and 563 GHz (center-band), is dedicated to the measurements of the subsurface and surface brightness temperatures. These values depend on the complex relative permittivity (hereafter permittivity) with ɛ' and ɛ'' the real and imaginary parts. The permittivity of the material depends on frequency, bulk density/porosity, composition and temperature [2]. Considering the very low bulk density of 67P nucleus (about 450 kg.m-3 [3]) and the suspected presence of a dust mantle in many areas of the nucleus [4], investigations on the permittivity of porous granular samples are needed to support the interpretation of MIRO data, as well as of other microwave experiments onboard Rosetta, e.g. CONSERT [5], a bistatic penetrating radar working at 90 MHz. We have developed a programme of permittivity measurements on porous granular samples over a frequency range from 50 MHz to 190 GHz under laboratory conditions (e.g. [6] and [7]). We present new results obtained on JSC-1A lunar soil simulant and ashes from Etna. The samples were split into several sub-samples with different size ranges covering a few to 500 μm. Bulk densities of the sub-samples were carefully measured and found to be in the 800-1400 kg.m-3 range. Sub-samples were also dried and volumetric moisture content was found to be below 0.6%. From 50 MHz to 6 GHz and at 190 GHz, the permittivity has been determined, respectively with a coaxial cell and with a quasi-optical bench mounted in transmission, both connected to a vector network analyzer. The results demonstrate the dispersive behaviours of ɛ' between 50 MHz and 190 GHz. Values of ɛ' remain within the 3.9-2.6 range for all sub-samples. At CONSERT frequency, ɛ'' is within the 0.01-0.09 range for all sub-samples. The single-relaxation Debye model fits relatively well the global behaviour of ɛ' over the frequency range, thus validating the experimental setups and measurements obtained. Furthermore, results confirm that ɛ' decreases quasi-linearly with the decreasing bulk density at any frequency, as expected by the mixing formulae. Taking into account possible temperature variations within 67P nucleus [8] and the linear decrease of the permittivity with the temperature, as measured by [9] on JSC-1A sample, these results indicate that, on the near-surface of 67P covered by a free-ice dust mantle at the frequencies of MIRO and CONSERT, ɛ' is likely to be in the 1.1-1.8 range and ɛ'' is likely to be below 0.05. [1]Gulkis et al. (2007) SSR, 128, 561. [2]Ulaby. and Long D. (2014) Univ. Michigan Press. [3]Sierks et al. (2015), in prep. [4]Thomas et al. (2015), in prep. [5]Kofman et al. (2007) SSR, 128, 413. [6]Brouet (2013), PhD Thesis, Univ. P. & M. Curie. [7]Brouet et al. (2014) PSS, 103, 143. [8]De Sanctis et al. (2005), A&A, 444, 605. [9]Calla & Rathore (2012), ASR, 50, 1607

  2. A Breccia of Ureilitic and C2 Carbonaceous Chondrite Materials from Almahata Sitta: Implications for the Regolith of Urelitic Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, C. A.; Fioretti, A. M.; Zolensky, M.; Fries, M.; Shaddad, M.; Kohl, I.; Young, E.; Jenniskens, P.

    2017-01-01

    The Almahata Sitta (AhS) polymict ureilite is the first meteorite to originate from a spectrally classified asteroid (2008 TC3) [1-3], and provides an unprecedented opportunity to correlate properties of meteorites with those of their parent asteroid. AhS is also unique because its fragments comprise a wide variety of meteorite types. Of approximately140 stones studied to-date, 70% are ureilites (carbon-rich ultramafic achondrites) and 30% are various types of chondrites [4,5]. None of these show contacts between ureilitic and chondritic lithologies. It has been inferred that 2008 TC3 was loosely aggregated, so that it disintegrated in the atmosphere and only its most coherent clasts fell as individual stones [1,3,5]. Understanding the structure and composition of this asteroid is critical for missions to sample asteroid surfaces. We are studying [6] the University of Khartoum collection of AhS [3] to test hypotheses for the nature of 2008 TC3. We describe a sample that consists of both ureilitic and chondritic materials.

  3. Kinetic and Potential Sputtering of Lunar Regolith: The Contribution of the Heavy Highly Charged (Minority) Solar Wind Ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, F. W.; Barghouty, A. F.

    2012-01-01

    Solar wind sputtering of the lunar surface helps determine the composition of the lunar exosphere and contributes to surface weathering. To date, only the effects of the two dominant solar wind constituents, H+ and He+, have been considered. The heavier, less abundant solar wind constituents have much larger sputtering yields because they have greater mass (kinetic sputtering) and they are highly charged (potential sputtering) Their contribution to total sputtering can therefore be orders of magnitude larger than their relative abundances would suggest

  4. Multi-Use Solar Thermal System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith [7227-060], Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) and Orbital Technologies Corporation (Orbitec), proposes to...

  5. Geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of REE in granite-derived regolith: a model for the Southeast United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Nora K.; Bern, Carleton R.; Ayuso, Robert A.; Hubbard, Bernard E.; Shah, Anjana K.

    2015-01-01

    Rare earth element (REE) ion-adsorption clay deposits are of global economic importance because they currently supply a significant portion of the world’s annual production of both light (LREE) and heavy REE (HREE). There is considerable ambiguity regarding the origin of

  6. Carbon monoxide as a metabolic energy source for extremely halophilic microbes: implications for microbial activity in Mars regolith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Gary M

    2015-04-07

    Carbon monoxide occurs at relatively high concentrations (≥800 parts per million) in Mars' atmosphere, where it represents a potentially significant energy source that could fuel metabolism by a localized putative surface or near-surface microbiota. However, the plausibility of CO oxidation under conditions relevant for Mars in its past or at present has not been evaluated. Results from diverse terrestrial brines and saline soils provide the first documentation, to our knowledge, of active CO uptake at water potentials (-41 MPa to -117 MPa) that might occur in putative brines at recurrent slope lineae (RSL) on Mars. Results from two extremely halophilic isolates complement the field observations. Halorubrum str. BV1, isolated from the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah (to our knowledge, the first documented extremely halophilic CO-oxidizing member of the Euryarchaeota), consumed CO in a salt-saturated medium with a water potential of -39.6 MPa; activity was reduced by only 28% relative to activity at its optimum water potential of -11 MPa. A proteobacterial isolate from hypersaline Mono Lake, California, Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii MLHE-1, also oxidized CO at low water potentials (-19 MPa), at temperatures within ranges reported for RSL, and under oxic, suboxic (0.2% oxygen), and anoxic conditions (oxygen-free with nitrate). MLHE-1 was unaffected by magnesium perchlorate or low atmospheric pressure (10 mbar). These results collectively establish the potential for microbial CO oxidation under conditions that might obtain at local scales (e.g., RSL) on contemporary Mars and at larger spatial scales earlier in Mars' history.

  7. Record of solar and galactic radiations in the ancient lunar regolith and their implications for the early history of the sun and moon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crozaz, G; Poupeau, G; Walker, R M; Zinner, E; Morrison, D A [Washington Univ., St. Louis, Mo. (USA)

    1977-03-31

    A variety of techniques are available for studying past variations of solar wind, solar flares, galactic cosmic rays, and micrometeorites. Lunar rock results which average over the recent past (approximately 10 Ma) indicate no major changes in any of these components. At longer times, recent data suggest secular changes in the /sup 15/N//sup 14/N ratio in the solar wind, possibly due to enhanced solar flare activity. With the deployment of new techniques, it now appears possible to measure solar wind, solar flare, and micro-meteorite records in individual grains removed from different layers of lunar cores. Such grains have been exposed for brief intervals of time (10/sup 3/ to 10/sup 4/ a) for times extending at least 10/sup 9/ a in the past. Lunar and meteoritic breccias are promising candidates for extending the record back still further, perhaps close to the beginning of the solar system.

  8. Regolith formation rate from U-series nuclides: Implications from the study of a spheroidal weathering profile in the Rio Icacos watershed (Puerto Rico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabaux, F.; Blaes, E.; Stille, P.; di Chiara Roupert, R.; Pelt, E.; Dosseto, A.; Ma, L.; Buss, H. L.; Brantley, S. L.

    2013-01-01

    A 2 m-thick spheroidal weathering profile, developed on a quartz diorite in the Rio Icacos watershed (Luquillo Mountains, eastern Puerto Rico), was analyzed for major and trace element concentrations, Sr and Nd isotopic ratios and U-series nuclides (238U-234U-230Th-226Ra). In this profile a 40 cm thick soil horizon is overlying a 150 cm thick saprolite which is separated from the basal corestone by a ˜40 cm thick rindlet zone. The Sr and Nd isotopic variations along the whole profile imply that, in addition to geochemical fractionations associated to water-rock interactions, the geochemical budget of the profile is influenced by a significant accretion of atmospheric dusts. The mineralogical and geochemical variations along the profile also confirm that the weathering front does not progress continuously from the top to the base of the profile. The upper part of the profile is probably associated with a different weathering system (lateral weathering of upper corestones) than the lower part, which consists of the basal corestone, the associated rindlet system and the saprolite in contact with these rindlets. Consequently, the determination of weathering rates from 238U-234U-230Th-226Ra disequilibrium in a series of samples collected along a vertical depth profile can only be attempted for samples collected in the lower part of the profile, i.e. the rindlet zone and the lower saprolite. Similar propagation rates were derived for the rindlet system and the saprolite by using classical models involving loss and gain processes for all nuclides to interpret the variation of U-series nuclides in the rindlet-saprolite subsystem. The consistency of these weathering rates with average weathering and erosion rates derived via other methods for the whole watershed provides a new and independent argument that, in the Rio Icacos watershed, the weathering system has reached a geomorphologic steady-state. Our study also indicates that even in environments with differential weathering, such as observed for the Puerto Rico site, the radioactive disequilibrium between the nuclides of a single radioactive series (here 238U-234U-230Th-226Ra) can still be interpreted in terms of a simplified scenario of congruent weathering. Incidentally, the U-Th-Ra disequilibrium in the corestone samples confirms that the outermost part of the corestone is already weathered.

  9. Simulating Regolith Excavation, Entrainment, Dispersal and Visibility Impairment due to Rocket Plume-Surface Interaction via a Hybrid Continuum-Rarefied Flow Solver

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — With NASA planning to redirect an asteroid and possible future missions to the Moon or Martian satellites, the effects of thruster plume impingement on the surfaces...

  10. SaLEM (v1.0 – the Soil and Landscape Evolution Model (SaLEM for simulation of regolith depth in periglacial environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bock

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We propose the implementation of the Soil and Landscape Evolution Model (SaLEM for the spatiotemporal investigation of soil parent material evolution following a lithologically differentiated approach. Relevant parts of the established Geomorphic/Orogenic Landscape Evolution Model (GOLEM have been adapted for an operational Geographical Information System (GIS tool within the open-source software framework System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA, thus taking advantage of SAGA's capabilities for geomorphometric analyses. The model is driven by palaeoclimatic data (temperature, precipitation representative of periglacial areas in northern Germany over the last 50 000 years. The initial conditions have been determined for a test site by a digital terrain model and a geological model. Weathering, erosion and transport functions are calibrated using extrinsic (climatic and intrinsic (lithologic parameter data. First results indicate that our differentiated SaLEM approach shows some evidence for the spatiotemporal prediction of important soil parental material properties (particularly its depth. Future research will focus on the validation of the results against field data, and the influence of discrete events (mass movements, floods on soil parent material formation has to be evaluated.

  11. The record of solar and galactic radiations in the ancient lunar regolith and their implications for the early history of the sun and moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crozaz, G.; Poupeau, G.; Walker, R.M.; Zinner, E.; Morrison, D.A.

    1977-01-01

    A variety of techniques are available for studying past variations of solar wind, solar flares, galactic cosmic rays, and micrometeorites. Lunar rock results which average over the recent past (approximately 10 Ma) indicate no major changes in any of these components. At longer times, recent data suggest secular changes in the 15 N/ 14 N ratio in the solar wind, possibly due to enhanced solar flare activity. With the deployment of new techniques, it now appears possible to measure solar wind, solar flare, and micro-meteorite records in individual grains removed from different layers of lunar cores. Such grains have been exposed for brief intervals of time (10 3 to 10 4 a) for times extending at least 10 9 a in the past. Lunar and meteoritic breccias are promising candidates for extending the record back still further, perhaps close to the beginning of the solar system. (author)

  12. Discovery of moganite in a lunar meteorite as a trace of H2O ice in the Moon’s regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seto, Yusuke; Miyake, Akira; Sekine, Toshimori; Tomeoka, Kazushige; Matsumoto, Megumi; Kobayashi, Takamichi

    2018-01-01

    Moganite, a monoclinic SiO2 phase, has been discovered in a lunar meteorite. Silica micrograins occur as nanocrystalline aggregates of mostly moganite and occasionally coesite and stishovite in the KREEP (high potassium, rare-earth element, and phosphorus)–like gabbroic-basaltic breccia NWA 2727, although these grains are seemingly absent in other lunar meteorites. We interpret the origin of these grains as follows: alkaline water delivery to the Moon via carbonaceous chondrite collisions, fluid capture during impact-induced brecciation, moganite precipitation from the captured H2O at pH 9.5 to 10.5 and 363 to 399 K on the sunlit surface, and meteorite launch from the Moon caused by an impact at 8 to 22 GPa and >673 K. On the subsurface, this captured H2O may still remain as ice at estimated bulk content of >0.6 weight %. This indicates the possibility of the presence of abundant available water resources underneath local sites of the host bodies within the Procellarum KREEP and South Pole Aitken terranes. PMID:29732406

  13. Regolith Properties of Asteroid 21 Lutetia Constrained by Combined Data Sets of the MIRO and VIRTIS Instruments During the Rosetta Spacecraft Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keihm, S.; Tosi, F.; Kamp, L.; Capaccioni, F.; Grassi, D.; Gulkis, S.; Coradini, A.

    2011-01-01

    During the July 10, 2010 flyby of Asteroid 21 Lutetia by the Rosetta spacecraft, maps of surface and subsurface temperatures were derived from the VIRTIS and MIRO instruments respectively. Both data sets indicated a porous surface layer with an extremely low, lunar-like thermal inertia. However, comparisons of the VIRTIS-measured and MIRO-modelled surface temperatures revealed offsets of 10- 30 K, indicative of self-heating or "beaming" effects that were not taken into account in the MIRO thermal modeling. Inclusion of a model of hemispherical craters at all scales 1 cm and larger, covering 50% of the surface, removes most of the offsets in the VIRTIS, MIRO surface temperature determinations.

  14. Rates and time scales of clay-mineral formation by weathering in saprolitic regoliths of the southern Appalachians from geochemical mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason R. Price; Michael A. Velbel; Lina C. Patino

    2005-01-01

    Rates of clay formation in three watersheds located at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, western North Carolina, have been determined from solute flux-based mass balance methods. A system of mass balance equations with enough equations and unknowns to allow calculation of secondary mineral formation rates as well as the more commonly determined primary-...

  15. SaLEM (v1.0) - the Soil and Landscape Evolution Model (SaLEM) for simulation of regolith depth in periglacial environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Michael; Conrad, Olaf; Günther, Andreas; Gehrt, Ernst; Baritz, Rainer; Böhner, Jürgen

    2018-04-01

    We propose the implementation of the Soil and Landscape Evolution Model (SaLEM) for the spatiotemporal investigation of soil parent material evolution following a lithologically differentiated approach. Relevant parts of the established Geomorphic/Orogenic Landscape Evolution Model (GOLEM) have been adapted for an operational Geographical Information System (GIS) tool within the open-source software framework System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA), thus taking advantage of SAGA's capabilities for geomorphometric analyses. The model is driven by palaeoclimatic data (temperature, precipitation) representative of periglacial areas in northern Germany over the last 50 000 years. The initial conditions have been determined for a test site by a digital terrain model and a geological model. Weathering, erosion and transport functions are calibrated using extrinsic (climatic) and intrinsic (lithologic) parameter data. First results indicate that our differentiated SaLEM approach shows some evidence for the spatiotemporal prediction of important soil parental material properties (particularly its depth). Future research will focus on the validation of the results against field data, and the influence of discrete events (mass movements, floods) on soil parent material formation has to be evaluated.

  16. High Surface Iridium Anodes for Molten Oxide Electrolysis, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Processing of lunar regolith into oxygen for habitat and propulsion is needed to support future space missions. Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith...

  17. Implications of Geology for Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickman, Doug

    2009-01-01

    The surface of the Moon is covered in regolith, which is NOT soil! The regolith is shattered igneous rock plus glass. The particles are unsorted, unweathered and not abraided. Modeling of the regolith at the level of individual particles will be very problematic. Modeling of the regolith, if successful for one area, will be successful for most other areas if variation in particle size is addressed.

  18. Effects of Mars Regolith Analogs, UVC radiation, Temperature, Pressure, and pH on the Growth and Survivability of Methanogenic Archaea and Stable Carbon Isotope Fractionation: Implications for Surface and Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Navita

    Mars is one of the suitable bodies in our solar system that can accommodate extraterrestrial life. The detection of plumes of methane in the Martian atmosphere, geochemical evidence, indication of flow of intermittent liquid water on the Martian surface, and geomorphologies of Mars have bolstered the plausibility of finding extant or evidence of extinct life on its surface and/or subsurface. However, contemporary Mars has been considered as an inhospitable planet for several reasons, such as low atmospheric surface pressure, low surface temperature, and intense DNA damaging radiation. Despite the hostile conditions of Mars, a few strains of methanogenic archaea have shown survivability in limited surface and subsurface conditions of Mars. Methanogens, which are chemolithoautotrophic non-photosynthetic anaerobic archaea, have been considered ideal models for possible Martian life forms for a long time. The search for biosignatures in the Martian atmosphere and possibility of life on the Martian surface under UVC radiation and deep subsurface under high pressure, temperature, and various pHs are the motivations of this research. Analogous to Earth, Martian atmospheric methane could be biological in origin. Chapter 1 provides relevant information about Mars' habitability, methane on Mars, and different strains of methanogens used in this study. Chapter 2 describes the interpretation of the carbon isotopic data of biogenic methane produced by methanogens grown on various Mars analogs and the results provide clues to determine ambiguous sources of methane on Mars. Chapter 3 illustrates the sensitivity of hydrated and desiccated cultures of halophilic and non-halophilic methanogens to DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiations, and the results imply that UVC radiation may not be an enormous constraint for methanogenic life forms on the surface of Mars. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 discuss the data for the survivability, growth, and morphology of methanogens in presumed deep subsurface physicochemical conditions such as temperature, pressure, hydrogen concentration, and pH of Mars. Finally, chapter 7 provides conclusions, limitations of the experiments, and future perspective of the work. Overall, the quantitative measurements obtained in the various sections of this novel work provide insights to atmospheric biosignatures and survivability of methanogenic organisms on the surface and subsurface of Mars.

  19. In Situ Analysis of Martian Regolith with the SAM Experiment During the First Mars Year of the MSL Mission: Identification of Organic Molecules by Gas Chromatography from Laboratory Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, M.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; Glavin, D. P.; Freissinet, C.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Francois, P.; Coscia, D.; Bonnet, J. Y.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover, is specifically designed for in situ molecular and isotopic analyses of martian surface materials and atmosphere. It contributes to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) missions primary scientific goal to characterize the potential past, present or future habitability of Mars. In all of the analyses of solid samples delivered to SAM so far, chlorinated organic compounds have been detected above instrument background levels and identified by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) (Freissinet et al., 2015; Glavin et al., 2013). While some of these may originate from reactions between oxychlorines and terrestrial organic carbon present in the instrument background (Glavin et al., 2013), others have been demonstrated to originate from indigenous organic carbon present in samples (Freissinet et al., 2015). We present here laboratory calibrations that focused on the analyses performed with the MXT-CLP GC column (SAM GC-5 channel) used for nearly all of the GC-MS analyses of the martian soil samples carried out with SAM to date. Complementary to the mass spectrometric data, gas chromatography allows us to separate and identify the species analyzable in a nominal SAM-GC run time of about 21 min. To characterize the analytical capabilities of this channel within the SAM Flight Model (FM) operating conditions on Mars, and their implications on the detection of organic matter, it is required to perform laboratory experimental tests and calibrations on spare model components. This work assesses the SAM flight GC-5 column efficiency, confirms the identification of the molecules based on their retention time, and enables a better understanding of the behavior of the SAM injection trap (IT) and its release of organic molecules. This work will enable further optimization of the SAM-GC runs for additional samples to be analyzed during the MSL mission.

  20. Going Steady: Using multiple isotopes to test the steady-state assumption at the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, N.; Kirby, E.; Ma, L.; Bierman, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Regolith-mantled hillslopes are ubiquitous features of most temperate landscapes, and their morphology reflects the climatically, biologically, and tectonically mediated interplay between regolith production and downslope transport. Despite intensive research, few studies have quantified both of these mass fluxes in the same field site. Here, we exploit two isotopic systems to quantify regolith production and transport within the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHO), in central Pennsylvania. We present an analysis of 131 meteoric 10Be measurements from regolith and bedrock to quantify rates of regolith transport, and compare these data with previously determined regolith production rates, measured using uranium-series isotopes. Regolith flux inferred from meteoric 10Be varies linearly with topographic gradient (determined from high-resolution LiDAR-based topography) along the upper portions of hillslopes in and adjacent to SSHO. However, regolith flux appears to depend on the product of gradient and regolith depth where regolith is thick, near the base of hillslopes. Meteoric 10Be inventories along 4 ridgetops within and adjacent to the SSHO indicate regolith residence times ranging from ~ 9 - 15 ky, similar to residence times inferred from U-series isotopes (6.7 × 3 ky - 15 × 8 ky). Similarly, the downslope flux of regolith (~ 500 - 1,000 m2/My) nearly balances production (850 × 22 m2/My - 960 × 530 m2/My). The combination of our results with U-series derived regolith production rates implies that regolith production and erosion rates along ridgecrests in the SSHO may be approaching steady state conditions over the Holocene.

  1. Root transcriptome remodeling of Arabidopsis in response to high levels of magnesium sulfate

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Martian regolith (unconsolidated surface material) is a potential medium for plant growth in bioregenerative life support systems during manned missions on Mars....

  2. Subsurface Access, Characterization, Acquisition, Transport, Storage and Delivery in Microgravity, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project will develop geotechnical measurements, sample extraction and transport equipment for subsurface regolith on NEOs, asteroids, moons and planets,...

  3. System of extraction of volatiles from soil using microwave processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethridge, Edwin C. (Inventor); Kaukler, William F. (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    A device for the extraction and collection of volatiles from soil or planetary regolith. The device utilizes core drilled holes to gain access to underlying volatiles below the surface. Microwave energy beamed into the holes penetrates through the soil or regolith to heat it, and thereby produces vapor by sublimation. The device confines and transports volatiles to a cold trap for collection.

  4. Lunar Oxygen Production and Metals Extraction Using Ionic Liquids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marone, Matthew; Paley, Mark Steven; Donovan, David N.; Karr, Laurel J.

    2009-01-01

    Initial results indicate that ionic liquids are promising media for the extraction of oxygen from lunar regolith. IL acid systems can solubilize regolith and produce water with high efficiency. IL electrolytes are effective for water electrolysis, and the spent IL acid media are capable of regeneration.

  5. Blockfields in Reinheimen Nationalpark, Norway – Neogene weathering remnants or Quaternary periglacial origin?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jane Lund; Egholm, David Lundbek; Knudsen, Mads Faurschou

    from five pit profiles dug through regolith mantle on the easternmost summits of Reinheimen Nationalpark in Norway. The study area only shows sporadic signs of glacial erosion, and could be classified as a relict non-glacial surface. We aim to use the residence time of regolith in this area to infer...

  6. Distribution of Quercus agrifolia mycorrhizae deep within weathered bedrock: a potential mechanism for transport of stored water

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Bornyasz; R. Graham; M. Allen

    2002-01-01

    In southwestern California, Quercus agrifolia distribution closely matches regions of granitic regolith. High annual evapotranspiration demand and inherent shallow soil conditions lead to a dependence on a deep rooting system and an ability to access water from deep within the regolith. Most of the plant available water in weathered granitic rock is...

  7. Lunabotics Mining: Evolution of ARTEMIS PRIME

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertke, Sarah; Gries, Christine; Huff, Amanda; Logan, Brittany; Oliver, Kaitlin; Rigney, Erica; Tyree, Whitney; Young, Maegan

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of Amassing Regolith with Topper Engineers eMploying Innovative Solutions (ARTEMIS) in a competition to develop robotic lunar mining capabilities. The goal of the competition was to design, build and operate a remotely controlled device that is capable of excavating, transporting and discharging lunar regolith simulant in a lunar environment over a 13 minute period.

  8. Preliminary analysis of the regolithic clay covers from the region of Alfenas, Minas Gerais, Brazil, aiming to evaluate its use in the traditional ceramic industry; Analise preliminar das coberturas regoliticas argilosas da regiao de Alfenas, Minas Gerais, Brasil, visando sua utilizacao na industria de ceramica vermelha

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaspar, Junior, L A; Varajao, A F.D.C. [Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP), MG (Brazil). Escola de Minas. Dept. de Geologia; Moreno, M M.T. [Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rio Claro, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Petrologia e Metalogenia

    2009-07-01

    The region of Alfenas, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, is predominantly constituted of Pre-Cambrian rocks with well developed alteration profiles in association with colluvial and alluvial sediments. No study to date has examined in detail its potential use in the ceramic industry. The scarce knowledge of its mineralogical and technological properties limits its value and consequently its industrial use. Until now, these clay materials have been used in a rudimental manner, in small scale in the fabrication of red tiles. The present study aimed at analyzing these clays mineralogically (X-ray diffraction), chemically (major and minor elements by X-ray fluorescence and organic carbon analysis) and technologically (pressing granulometric distribution; mechanical resistance; water absorption, apparent porosity; linear firing shrinkage; color of firing and others) in order to better understand the raw material and develop adequate technological applications. The best results of ceramic properties were the samples with higher organic content (more plastic clays) and higher values of Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} (kaolinite and gibbsite) and Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3} as well lower SiO{sub 2} content and finer grain size which contribute to a better sintering. (author)

  9. To the problem about the origin of lunar maria and continents (Moessbauer investigations)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malysheva, T. V.

    1977-01-01

    A comparative study of Mossbauer spectra of regolith returned by the Luna 16 and Luna 20 spacecraft is presented. The Mossbauer spectra of the mare regolith differs significantly for all fractions from the spectra for the same fractions of continental regolith. The total quantity of iron is 1.85 times greater in the mare regolith. There is 2.4 times less olivine in the mare region than in the continental region. The pyroxene component of the mare regolith is less homogeneous in composition (contains more augite and glass) and is present in larger quantities. Ilmenite was found only in the mare regolith. In the continental region, the predominant titanium-containing phase is ulvospinel. The mare regolith contains more metallic iron, which is more finely dispersed and contains less nickel. Troilite is found in the maria region. Based on these differences, it is concluded that the formation of continental rocks occurred at an earlier stage of crystallization from the melt and at higher temperatures and higher partial pressures of oxygen. The mare basalts crystallized from a more reduced magma, apparently in a later process.

  10. Ceramics for Molten Materials Containment, Transfer and Handling on the Lunar Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Standish, Evan; Stefanescu, Doru M.; Curreri, Peter A.

    2009-01-01

    As part of a project on Molten Materials Transfer and Handling on the Lunar Surface, molten materials containment samples of various ceramics were tested to determine their performance in contact with a melt of lunar regolith simulant. The test temperature was 1600 C with contact times ranging from 0 to 12 hours. Regolith simulant was pressed into cylinders with the approximate dimensions of 1.25 dia x 1.25cm height and then melted on ceramic substrates. The regolith-ceramic interface was examined after processing to determine the melt/ceramic interaction. It was found that the molten regolith wetted all oxide ceramics tested extremely well which resulted in chemical reaction between the materials in each case. Alumina substrates were identified which withstood contact at the operating temperature of a molten regolith electrolysis cell (1600 C) for eight hours with little interaction or deformation. This represents an improvement over alumina grades currently in use and will provide a lifetime adequate for electrolysis experiments lasting 24 hours or more. Two types of non-oxide ceramics were also tested. It was found that they interacted to a limited degree with the melt resulting in little corrosion. These ceramics, Sic and BN, were not wetted as well as the oxides by the melt, and so remain possible materials for molten regolith handling. Tests wing longer holding periods and larger volumes of regolith are necessary to determine the ultimate performance of the tested ceramics.

  11. Zinnia Germination and Lunar Soil Amendment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reese, Laura

    2017-01-01

    Germination testing was performed to determine the best method for germinating zinnias. This method will be used to attempt to germinate the zinnia seeds produced in space. It was found that seed shape may be critically important in determining whether a seed will germinate or not. The ability of compost and worm castings to remediate lunar regolith simulant for plant growth was tested. It was found that neither treatment effectively improves plant growth in lunar regolith simulant. A potential method of improving lunar regolith simulant by mixing it with arcillite was discovered.

  12. Cohesion of Mm- to Cm-Sized Asteroid Simulant Grains: An Experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisset, Julie; Colwell, Joshua E.; Dove, Adrienne; Jarmak, Stephanie; Anderson, Seamus

    2017-10-01

    The regolith covering the surfaces of asteroids and planetary satellites is very different from terrestrial soil particles and subject to environmental conditions very different from what is found on Earth. The loose, unconsolidated granular material has angular-shaped grains and a broad size distribution. On small and airless bodies (Earth surface gravity, the cohesion behavior of the regolith grains will dictate the asteroid’s surface morphology and its response to impact or spacecraft contact.Previous laboratory experiments on low-velocity impacts into regolith simulant with grain sizes landing missions to small bodies such as asteroids or Martian moons.

  13. Mars - CO2 adsorption and capillary condensation on clays: Significance for volatile storage and atmospheric history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanale, F. P.; Cannon, W. A.

    1979-01-01

    Results on the adsorbate-adsorbent system CO2-nontronite are reported at 230, 196, and 158 deg K, covering the range of subsurface regolith temperature on Mars. A three-part regolith-atmosphere-cap model reveals that cold nontronite, and expanding clays in general, are far better but far more complex CO2 adsorbers than cold pulverized basalt. In addition, the layered terrain, and possibly the adjacent debris mantle, contains about 2% or more by mass of atmosphere-exchangeable CO2 and the total regolith inventory of available adsorbed CO2 is estimated to be 400 g/ sq cm.

  14. Lunar In-Situ Volatile Extraction, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A method of extracting volatile resources from the Lunar regolith is proposed to reduce the launch mass and cost of bringing such resources from the Earth to enable...

  15. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to these seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought fro earth should be less than 1000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  16. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to those seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought from earth should be less than 1,000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  17. Dryland salinity management in the semi-arid Western Cape (South Africa)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Bugan, Richard DH

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available hydrological modelling has been identified as a potential management tool. The success of any mitigation strategy is however dependant on the comprehension and quantification of catchment salinity fluxes. The salt storage (in the regolith and underlying shales...

  18. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  19. SASSI: Subsystems for Automated Subsurface Sampling Instruments, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future robotic planetary exploration missions will benefit greatly from the ability to capture rock and/or regolith core samples that deliver the stratigraphy of the...

  20. Human Estimation of Slope, Distance, and Height of Terrain in Simulated Lunar Conditions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Oravetz, Christopher

    2009-01-01

    .... These unique lunar conditions are expected to affect human perception: the lack of an atmosphere, the non-Lambertian regolith reflectance properties, the lack of familiar objects, and the physiological effects of reduced gravity...

  1. Joint analysis of Rayleigh-wave dispersion and HVSR of lunar seismic data from the Apollo 14 and 16 sites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dal Moro, Giancarlo

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 254, JUL 1 (2015), s. 338-349 ISSN 0019-1035 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : moon * Regoliths * geophysics * surface- wave Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.383, year: 2015

  2. DAWN GRAND MAP CERES SMOOTHED HYDROGEN MAP V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A smoothed, global map of the concentration of hydrogen within the regolith of asteroid 1 Ceres on two-degree equal-angle pixels is provided. Hydrogen concentrations...

  3. DAWN GRAND MAP CERES HYDROGEN MAP V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A global map of the concentration of hydrogen within the regolith of asteroid 1 Ceres on twenty-degree quasi-equal-area pixels is provided. Hydrogen concentrations...

  4. DAWN GRAND MAP VESTA HYDROGEN ABUNDANCE V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A global map of the abundance of hydrogen in micrograms/g within the regolith of asteroid 4 Vesta is provided for two-degree equal-angle pixels. Hydrogen abundances...

  5. High Surface Area Iridium Anodes and Melt Containers for Molten Oxide Electrolysis, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith is the most attractive method of oxygen production on the lunar surface, because no additional chemical reagents...

  6. Advanced Carbothermal Electric Reactor, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC proposes to develop the Advanced Carbothermal Electric (ACE) reactor to efficiently extract oxygen from lunar regolith. Unlike state-of-the-art carbothermal...

  7. Constant Volume Combustion Engine for Planetary Ascent Vehicles, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Sample Return mission is being planned to return samples of Martian rock, regolith, and atmosphere to Earth for scientific analysis. The Martian sample size...

  8. X-Ray Diffraction and Fluorescence Instrument for Mineralogical Analysis at the Lunar Surface, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop LUNA, a compact and lightweight X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) / X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument for mineralogical analysis of regolith, rock...

  9. Sample Return in Preparation for Human Mission on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, P.

    2018-04-01

    Returned samples of martian regolith will help the science community make an informed decision in choosing the final human landing site and develop a better human mission plan to meet science criteria and IRSU and civil engineering criteria.

  10. Advanced Granular System Modeling, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Spaceports of the future will utilize new granular materials in unique applications including insulation for cryogenic tanks and Lunar regolith processing for usable...

  11. Production of Lunar Oxygen Through Vacuum Pyrolysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Matchett, John

    2006-01-01

    .... The vacuum pyrolysis method of oxygen production from lunar regolith presents a viable option for in situ propellant production because of its simple operation involving limited resources from earth...

  12. Modular Distributed Concentrator for Solar Furnace, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This research proposes to develop the technology needed to implement a solar-fired regolith processing system at a lunar outpost that achieves low mass, high...

  13. The Future Lunar Flora Colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, E. G.; Guven, U. G.

    2017-10-01

    A constructional design for the primary establishment for a lunar colony using the micrometeorite rich soil is proposed. It highlights the potential of lunar regolith combined with Earth technology for water and oxygen for human outposts on the Moon.

  14. Physical Mechanism of Comet (and Asteroid) Outbursts: The Movie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    2015-07-01

    A film made during impact experiments at NASA Ames illustrates a mechanism in which regolith can become gas charged and then erupt to create outbursts as observed on comets (and "asteroids" such as 2060 Chiron).

  15. X-Ray Diffraction and Fluorescence Instrument for Mineralogical Analysis at the Lunar Surface, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop a compact and lightweight X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) / X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument for analysis of mineralogical composition of regolith,...

  16. Low-Gravity Mimicking Simulants and Evaluation of Simulant Flow, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project will provide a new method for testing flow/no-flow conditions and other gravity-driven flow behavior of Lunar or planetary regolith under reduced...

  17. Impact-Actuated Digging Tool for Lunar Excavation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Honeybee Robotics proposes to develop a vacuum compatible, impact-actuated digging tool for the excavation of frozen and compacted regolith on the lunar surface and...

  18. ISRU-Based Robotic Construction Technologies for Lunar and Martian Infrastructures

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This study hopes to examine how to robotically pour regolith-based concrete on the Moon or Mars. The study team is adapting its current, Earth based technologies...

  19. Assessing the Feasibility of Using Co-electrolysis to Concurrently Convert Carbon Dioxide and Water into Methane and Oxygen for Propellant and Life Support on Mars

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — By using co-electrolysis with task-specific ionic liquids (TSILs), water from Martian regolith and carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere may be simultaneously...

  20. Efficient, High Power Density Hydrocarbon-Fueled Solid Oxide Stack System, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes to develop and demonstrate an innovative high power density design for direct internal reforming of regolith off-gases...

  1. Efficient, high power density hydrocarbon-fueled solid oxide stack system, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes to develop and demonstrate an innovative high power density design for direct internal reforming of regolith off-gases...

  2. A Transmission Electron Microscope Investigation of Space Weathering Effects in Hayabusa Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Lindsay P.; Berger, Eve L.

    2014-01-01

    The Hayabusa mission to asteroid 25143 Itokawa successfully returned the first direct samples of the regolith from the surface of an asteroid. The Hayabusa samples thus present a special opportunity to directly investigate the evolution of asteroidal surfaces, from the development of the regolith to the study of the more complex effects of space weathering. Here we describe the mineralogy, microstructure and composition of three Hayabusa mission particles using transmission electron microscope (TEM) techniques

  3. SOIL FORMATION BY ECOLOGICAL FACTORS: CRITICAL REVIEW

    OpenAIRE

    Saeed Zeraat Kar; Aydin Berenjian

    2013-01-01

    Regolith is the term we give parent material that has been weathered. The regolith consists of weathered bedrock near the surface including the soil layer. In the Iranian soil layer we will find: decayed parent materials, decaying plant material, decaying animal matter (manure) along with vegetation. Results of the present study show us that methods stimulating natural fertility in Iran includes composting-adds humus layer, drip irrigation-balances illuviation and eluviation in arid regions, ...

  4. Evaluating the effect of lithology on porosity development in ridgetops in the Appalachian Piedmont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcon, V.; Gu, X.; Fisher, B.; Brantley, S. L.

    2016-12-01

    Together, chemical and physical processes transform fresh bedrock into friable weathered material. Even in systems where lithology, tectonic history, and climatic history are all known, it is challenging to predict the depth of weathering because the mechanisms that control the rate of regolith formation are not understood. In the Appalachian Piedmont, where rates of regolith formation and erosion are thought to be in a rough steady state, the depth of weathering varies with lithology. The Piedmont provides a controlled natural environment to isolate the effects of lithology on weathering processes so we can start to understand the mechanisms that initiate and drive weathering. Weathering is deepest over feldspathic rocks (schist/granite) with regolith 20-30m thick and thinnest over mafic and ultramafic rocks (diabase/serpentinite) with regolith serpentinization reactions and lost from collapse during weathering. Serpentinite consists of easily weathered hydrous minerals with little quartz. Comparatively, rocks with more quartz (e.g. schist) have a supportive skeleton as the rock weathers. This quartz skeleton could prevent the collapse of pores and result in isovolumetric weathering. Non-isovolumetric weathering limits infiltration of reactive fluids deeper into the rock, minimizing regolith formation in serpentinite due to its lack of a quartz skeleton. Given this, fracture toughness may be an important parameter to consider in terms of predicting regolith thickness.

  5. A granulometry and secondary mineral fingerprint of chemical weathering in periglacial landscapes and its application to blockfield origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodfellow, Bradley W.

    2012-12-01

    A review of published literature was undertaken to determine if there was a fingerprint of chemical weathering in regoliths subjected to periglacial conditions during their formation. If present, this fingerprint would be applied to the question of when blockfields in periglacial landscapes were initiated. These blocky diamicts are usually considered to represent remnants of regoliths that were chemically weathered under a warm, Neogene climate and therefore indicate surfaces that have undergone only a few metres to a few 10s of metres of erosion during the Quaternary. Based on a comparison of clay and silt abundances and secondary mineral assemblages from blockfields, other regoliths in periglacial settings, and regoliths from non-periglacial settings, a fingerprint of chemical weathering in periglacial landscapes was identified. A mobile regolith origin under, at least seasonal, periglacial conditions is indicated where clay(%) ≤ 0.5*silt(%) + 8 across a sample batch. This contrasts with a mobile regolith origin under non-periglacial conditions, which is indicated where clay(%) ≥ 0.5*silt(%) - 6 across a sample batch with clay(%) ≥ 0.5*silt(%) + 8 in at least one sample. A range of secondary minerals, which frequently includes interstratified minerals and indicates high local variability in leaching conditions, is also commonly present in regoliths exposed to periglacial conditions during their formation. Clay/silt ratios display a threshold response to temperature, related to the freezing point of water, but there is little response to precipitation or regolith residence time. Lithology controls clay and silt abundances, which increase from felsic, through intermediate, to mafic compositions, but does not control clay/silt ratios. Use of a sedigraph or Coulter Counter to determine regolith granulometry systematically indicates lower clay abundances and intra-site variability than use of a pipette or hydrometer. In contrast to clay/silt ratios, secondary

  6. Archway for Radiation and Micrometeorite Occurrence Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giersch, Louis R.

    2012-01-01

    The environmental conditions of the Moon require mitigation if a long-term human presence is to be achieved for extended periods of time. Radiation, micrometeoroid impacts, high-velocity debris, and thermal cycling represent threats to crew, equipment, and facilities. For decades, local regolith has been suggested as a candidate material to use in the construction of protective barriers. A thickness of roughly 3m is sufficient protection from both direct and secondary radiation from cosmic rays and solar protons; this thickness is sufficient to reduce radiation exposure even during solar flares. NASA has previously identified a need for innovations that will support lunar habitats using lightweight structures because the reduction of structural mass translates directly into additional up and down mass capability that would facilitate additional logistics capacity and increased science return for all mission phases. The development of non-pressurized primary structures that have synergy with the development of pressurized structures is also of interest. The use of indigenous or in situ materials is also a well-known and active area of research that could drastically improve the practicality of human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. The Archway for Radiation and Micrometeorite Occurrence Resistance (ARMOR) concept is a new, multifunctional structure that acts as radiation shielding and micrometeorite impact shielding for long-duration lunar surface protection of humans and equipment. ARMOR uses a combination of native regolith and a deployed membrane jacket to yield a multifunctional structure. ARMOR is a robust and modular system that can be autonomously assembled on-site prior to the first human surface arrival. The system provides protection by holding a sufficiently thick (3 m) archshaped shell of local regolith around a central cavity. The regolith is held in shape by an arch-shaped jacket made of strong but deployable material. No regolith processing is

  7. Rayleigh Wave Ellipticity Modeling and Inversion for Shallow Structure at the Proposed InSight Landing Site in Elysium Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Golombek, Matthew P.; Ohrnberger, Matthias

    2017-10-01

    The SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) instrument onboard the InSight mission will be the first seismometer directly deployed on the surface of Mars. From studies on the Earth and the Moon, it is well known that site amplification in low-velocity sediments on top of more competent rocks has a strong influence on seismic signals, but can also be used to constrain the subsurface structure. Here we simulate ambient vibration wavefields in a model of the shallow sub-surface at the InSight landing site in Elysium Planitia and demonstrate how the high-frequency Rayleigh wave ellipticity can be extracted from these data and inverted for shallow structure. We find that, depending on model parameters, higher mode ellipticity information can be extracted from single-station data, which significantly reduces uncertainties in inversion. Though the data are most sensitive to properties of the upper-most layer and show a strong trade-off between layer depth and velocity, it is possible to estimate the velocity and thickness of the sub-regolith layer by using reasonable constraints on regolith properties. Model parameters are best constrained if either higher mode data can be used or additional constraints on regolith properties from seismic analysis of the hammer strokes of InSight's heat flow probe HP3 are available. In addition, the Rayleigh wave ellipticity can distinguish between models with a constant regolith velocity and models with a velocity increase in the regolith, information which is difficult to obtain otherwise.

  8. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  9. Dust Interactions on Small Solar System Bodies and Technology Considerations for Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobrick, Ryan,; Hoffman, Jeffrey; Pavone, Marco; Street, Kenneth; Rickman, Douglas

    2014-01-01

    Small-bodies such as asteroids and Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos have relatively unknown regolith environments. It is hypothesized that dust preserved in the regolith on the surfaces will have similar mechanical properties to lunar dust because of similar formation processes from micrometeorite bombardment, low relative gravity for slow settling times, and virtually no weathering because there is no atmosphere. This combination of processes infers that small-body dust particles will be highly angular and retain abrasive properties. The focus of this paper uses the mission architecture and engineering design for an asteroid hopper known as Hedgehog, a spherical spacecraft with several symmetric spikes used to aid with tumbling mobility in a low gravity environment. Dust abrasion considerations are highlighted throughout the paper relating to the lead authors' previous work, but act as an example of one of many important dust or regolith physical properties that need to be considered for future exploration. Measurable regolith properties are summarized in order to identify technologies that may be useful for exploration in terms of scientific return and spacecraft design. Previous instruments are summarized in this paper that could be used on the Hedgehog. Opportunities for hardware payloads are highlighted that include low mass solutions or dualpurpose instruments that can measure regolith or dust properties. Finally, dust mitigation suggestions are made for vehicles of this mobility profile.

  10. Photomosaics of the cathodoluminescence of 60 sections of meteorites and lunar samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akridge, D.G.; Akridge, J.M.C.; Batchelor, J.D.; Benoit, P.H.; Brewer, J.; DeHart, J.M.; Keck, B.D.; Jie, L.; Meier, A.; Penrose, M.; Schneider, D.M.; Sears, D.W.G.; Symes, S.J.K.; Yanhong, Z.

    2004-01-01

    Cathodoluminescence (CL) petrography provides a means of observing petrographic and compositional properties of geological samples not readily observable by other techniques. We report the low-magnification CL images of 60 sections of extraterrestrial materials. The images we report include ordinary chondrites (including type 3 ordinary chondrites and gas-rich regolith breccias), enstatite chondrites, CO chondrites and a CM chondrite, eucrites and a howardite, lunar highland regolith breccias, and lunar soils. The CL images show how primitive materials respond to parent body metamorphism, how the metamorphic history of EL chondrites differs from that of EH chondrites, how dark matrix and light clasts of regolith breccias relate to each other, how metamorphism affects eucrites, the texture of lunar regolith breccias and the distribution of crystallized lunar spherules ("lunar chondrules"), and how regolith working affects the mineral properties of lunar soils. More particularly, we argue that such images are a rich source of new information on the nature and history of these materials and that our efforts to date are a small fraction of what can be done. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. The Thermal Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) for Phoenix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Hecht, Michael H.; Cobos, Doug R.; Campbell, Gaylon S.; Campbell, Colin S.; Cardell, Greg; Foote, Marc C.; Wood, Stephen E.; Mehta, Manish

    2009-01-01

    The Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) is a component of the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) payload on the Phoenix Lander. TECP will measure the temperature, thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity of the regolith. It will also detect and quantify the population of mobile H2O molecules in the regolith, if any, throughout the polar summer, by measuring the electrical conductivity of the regolith, as well as the dielectric permittivity. In the vapor phase, TECP is capable of measuring the atmospheric H2O vapor abundance, as well as augment the wind velocity measurements from the meteorology instrumentation. TECP is mounted near the end of the 2.3 m Robotic Arm, and can be placed either in the regolith material or held aloft in the atmosphere. This paper describes the development and calibration of the TECP. In addition, substantial characterization of the instrument has been conducted to identify behavioral characteristics that might affect landed surface operations. The greatest potential issue identified in characterization tests is the extraordinary sensitivity of the TECP to placement. Small gaps alter the contact between the TECP and regolith, complicating data interpretation. Testing with the Phoenix Robotic Arm identified mitigation techniques that will be implemented during flight. A flight model of the instrument was also field tested in the Antarctic Dry Valleys during the 2007-2008 International Polar year. 2

  12. ISRU 3D printing for habitats and structures on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowley, Aidan

    2016-07-01

    In-situ-resource utilisation (ISRU) in combination with 3D printing may evolve into a key technology for future exploration. Setting up a lunar facility could be made much simpler by using additive manufacturing techniques to build elements from local materials - this would drastically reduce mission mass requirements and act as an excellent demonstrator for ISRU on other planetary bodies. Fabricating structures and components using Lunar regolith is an area of interest for ESA, as evidenced by past successful General Studies Program (GSP) and ongoing technology development studies. In this talk we detail a number of projects looking into the behavior of Lunar regolith simulants, their compositional variants and approaches to sintering such material that are under-way involving EAC, ESTEC and DLR. We report on early studies into utilizing conventional thermal sintering approaches of simulants as well as microwave sintering of these compositions. Both techniques are candidates for developing a 3D printing methodology using Lunar regolith. It is known that the differences in microwave effects between the actual lunar soil and lunar simulants can be readily ascribed to the presence of nanophase metallic Fe, native to Lunar regolith but lacking in simulants. In compostions of simulant with increased Illmenite (FeTiO3) concentrations, we observe improved regolith response to microwave heating, and the readily achieved formation of a glassy melt in ambient atmosphere. The improved response relative to untreated simulant is likely owing to the increased Fe content in the powder mix.

  13. Direct detection of projectile relics from the end of the lunar basin-forming epoch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joy, Katherine H; Zolensky, Michael E; Nagashima, Kazuhide; Huss, Gary R; Ross, D Kent; McKay, David S; Kring, David A

    2012-06-15

    The lunar surface, a key proxy for the early Earth, contains relics of asteroids and comets that have pummeled terrestrial planetary surfaces. Surviving fragments of projectiles in the lunar regolith provide a direct measure of the types and thus the sources of exogenous material delivered to the Earth-Moon system. In ancient [>3.4 billion years ago (Ga)] regolith breccias from the Apollo 16 landing site, we located mineral and lithologic relics of magnesian chondrules from chondritic impactors. These ancient impactor fragments are not nearly as diverse as those found in younger (3.4 Ga to today) regolith breccias and soils from the Moon or that presently fall as meteorites to Earth. This suggests that primitive chondritic asteroids, originating from a similar source region, were common Earth-Moon-crossing impactors during the latter stages of the basin-forming epoch.

  14. The Scattering Properties of Natural Terrestrial Snows versus Icy Satellite Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingue, Deborah; Hartman, Beth; Verbiscer, Anne

    1997-01-01

    Our comparisons of the single particle scattering behavior of terrestrial snows and icy satellite regoliths to the laboratory particle scattering measurements of McGuire and Hapke demonstrate that the differences between icy satellite regoliths and their terrestrial counterparts are due to particle structures and textures. Terrestrial snow particle structures define a region in the single particle scattering function parameter space separate from the regions defined by the McGuire and Hapke artificial laboratory particles. The particle structures and textures of the grains composing icy satellites regoliths are not simple or uniform but consist of a variety of particle structure and texture types, some of which may be a combination of the particle types investigated by McGuire and Hapke.

  15. Compositional characteristics of some Apollo 14 clastic materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.; Duncan, A. R.; Fruchter, J. S.; Mckay, S. M.; Stoeser, J. W.; Goles, G. G.; Lindstrom, D. J.

    1972-01-01

    Eighty-two subsamples of Apollo 14 materials have been analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis techniques for as many as 25 elements. In many cases, it was necessary to develop new procedures to allow analyses of small specimens. Compositional relationships among Apollo 14 materials indicate that there are small but systematic differences between regolith from the valley terrain and that from Cone Crater ejecta. Fragments from 1-2 mm size fractions of regolith samples may be divided into compositional classes, and the 'soil breccias' among them are very similar to valley soils. Multicomponent linear mixing models have been used as interpretive tools in dealing with data on regolith fractions and subsamples from breccia 14321. These mixing models show systematic compositional variations with inferred age for Apollo 14 clastic materials.

  16. Global Landslides on Rapidly Spinning Spheroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, Daniel J.; Sanchez, P.

    2013-10-01

    The angle of repose and conditions for global landslides on the surfaces of small, rapidly spinning, spheroidal asteroids are studied. Applying techniques of soil mechanics, we develop a theory for, and examples of, how regolith will fail and flow in this microgravity environment. Our motivation is to develop an understanding of the "top-shaped" class of asteroids based on analytical soil mechanics. Our analysis transforms the entire asteroid surface into a local frame where we can model it as a conventional granular pile with a surface slope, acceleration and height variations as a function of the body's spin rate, shape and density. A general finding is that the lowest point on a rapidly spinning spheroid is at the equator with the effective height of surface material monotonically increasing towards the polar regions, where the height can be larger than the physical radius of the body. We study the failure conditions of both cohesionless and cohesive regolith, and develop specific predictions of the surface profile as a function of the regolith angle of friction and the maximum spin rate experienced by the body. The theory also provides simple guidelines on what the shape may look like, although we do not analyze gravitationally self-consistent evolution of the body shape. The theory is tested with soft-sphere discrete element method granular mechanics simulations to better understand the dynamical aspects of global asteroid landslides. We find significant differences between failure conditions for cohesive and cohesionless regolith. In the case of cohesive regolith, we show that extremely small values of strength (much less than that found in lunar regolith) can stabilize a surface even at very rapid spin rates. Cohesionless surfaces, as expected, fail whenever their surface slopes exceed the angle of friction. Based on our analysis we propose that global landslides and the flow of material towards the equator on spheroidal bodies are precipitated by exogenous

  17. Topographic imprint on chemical weathering in deeply weathered soil-mantled landscapes (southern Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, Veerle; Schoonejans, Jerome; Ameijeiras-Marino, Yolanda; Opfergelt, Sophie; Minella, Jean

    2017-04-01

    The regolith mantle is defined as the thin layer of unconsolidated material overlaying bedrock that contributes to shape the Earth's surface. The development of the regolith mantle in a landscape is the result of in-situ weathering, atmospheric input and downhill transport of weathering products. Bedrock weathering - the physical and chemical transformations of rock to soil - contributes to the vertical development of the regolith layer through downward propagation of the weathering front. Lateral transport of soil particles, aggregates and solutes by diffusive and concentrated particle and solute fluxes result in lateral redistribution of weathering products over the hillslope. In this study, we aim to expand the empirical basis on long-term soil evolution at the landscape scale through a detailed study of soil weathering in subtropical soils. Spatial variability in chemical mass fluxes and weathering intensity were studied along two toposequences with similar climate, lithology and vegetation but different slope morphology. This allowed us to isolate the topographic imprint on chemical weathering and soil development. The toposequences have convexo-concave slope morphology, and eight regolith profiles were analysed involving the flat upslope, steep midslope and flat toeslope part. Our data show a clear topographic imprint on soil development. Along hillslope, the chemical weathering intensity of the regolith profiles increases with distance from the crest. In contrast to the upslope positions, the soils in the basal concavities develop on in-situ and transported regolith. While the chemical weathering extent on the slope convexities (the upslope profiles) is similar for the steep and gentle toposequence, there is a clear difference in the rate of increase of the chemical weathering extent with distance from the crest. The increase of chemical weathering extent along hillslope is highest for the steep toposequence, suggesting that topography enhances soil particle

  18. Building components for an outpost on the Lunar soil by means of a novel 3D printing technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesaretti, Giovanni; Dini, Enrico; De Kestelier, Xavier; Colla, Valentina; Pambaguian, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    3D-printing technologies are receiving an always increasing attention in architecture, due to their potential use for direct construction of buildings and other complex structures, also of considerable dimensions, with virtually any shape. Some of these technologies rely on an agglomeration process of inert materials, e.g. sand, through a special binding liquid and this capability is of interest for the space community for its potential application to space exploration. In fact, it opens the possibility for exploiting in-situ resources for the construction of buildings in harsh spatial environments. The paper presents the results of a study aimed at assessing the concept of 3D printing technology for building habitats on the Moon using lunar soil, also called regolith. A particular patented 3D-printing technology - D-shape - has been applied, which is, among the existing rapid prototyping systems, the closest to achieving full scale construction of buildings and the physical and chemical characteristics of lunar regolith and terrestrial regolith simulants have been assessed with respect to the working principles of such technology. A novel lunar regolith simulant has also been developed, which almost exactly reproduces the characteristics of the JSC-1A simulant produced in the US. Moreover, tests in air and in vacuum have been performed to demonstrate the occurrence of the reticulation reaction with the regolith simulant. The vacuum tests also showed that evaporation or freezing of the binding liquid can be prevented through a proper injection method. The general requirements of a Moon outpost have been specified, and a preliminary design of the habitat has been developed. Based on such design, a section of the outpost wall has been selected and manufactured at full scale using the D-shape printer and regolith simulant. Test pieces have also been manufactured and their mechanical properties have been assessed.

  19. PlanetVac: Sample Return with a Puff of Gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K.; Mueller, R.; Betts, B. H.

    2014-12-01

    PlanetVac is a regolith sample acquisition mission concept that uses compressed gas to blow material from the surface up a pneumatic tube and directly into a sample return container. The PlanetVac sampling device is built into the lander legs to eliminate cost and complexity associated with robotic arms and scoops. The pneumatic system can effectively capture fine and coarse regolith, including small pebbles. It is well suited for landed missions to Mars, asteroids, or the Moon. Because of the low pressures on all those bodies, the technique is extremely efficient. If losses are kept to minimum, 1 gram of compressed gas could efficiently lift 6000 grams of soil. To demonstrate this approach, the PlanetVac lander with four legs and two sampling tubes has been designed, integrated, and tested. Vacuum chamber testing was performed using two well-known planetary regolith simulants: Mars Mojave Simulant (MMS) and lunar regolith simulant JSC-1A. One of the two sampling systems was connected to a mockup of an earth return rocket while the second sampling system was connected to a lander deck mounted instrument (clear box for easy viewing). The tests included a drop from a height of approximately 50 cm onto the bed of regolith, deployment of sampling tubes into the regolith, pneumatic acquisition of sample into an instrument (sample container) and the rocket, and the launch of the rocket. The demonstration has been successful and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjJXvtQk6no. In most of the tests, 20 grams or more of sample was delivered to the 'instrument' and approximately 5 grams of regolith was delivered into a sampling chamber within the rocket. The gas lifting efficiency was calculated to be approximately 1000:1; that is 1 gram of gas lofted 1000 grams of regolith. Efficiencies in lower gravity environments are expected to be much higher. This successful, simple and lightweight sample capture demonstration paves the way to using such sampling system

  20. LAVA Pressure Transducer Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oltman, Samuel B.

    2016-01-01

    The Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) payload will transport the (LAVA) subsystem to hydrogen-rich locations on the moon supporting NASA's in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) programs. There, the LAVA subsystem will analyze volatiles that evolve from heated regolith samples in order to quantify how much water is present. To do this, the system needs resilient pressure transducers (PTs) to calculate the moles in the gas samples. The PT trade study includes a comparison of newly-procured models to a baseline unit with prior flight history in order to determine the PT model with the best survivability in flight-forward conditions.

  1. Petrology of lunar rocks and implication to lunar evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridley, W. I.

    1976-01-01

    Recent advances in lunar petrology, based on studies of lunar rock samples available through the Apollo program, are reviewed. Samples of bedrock from both maria and terra have been collected where micrometeorite impact penetrated the regolith and brought bedrock to the surface, but no in situ cores have been taken. Lunar petrogenesis and lunar thermal history supported by studies of the rock sample are discussed and a tentative evolutionary scenario is constructed. Mare basalts, terra assemblages of breccias, soils, rocks, and regolith are subjected to elemental analysis, mineralogical analysis, trace content analysis, with studies of texture, ages and isotopic composition. Probable sources of mare basalts are indicated.

  2. Discrete Element Method Simulation of a Boulder Extraction From an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulchitsky, Anton K.; Johnson, Jerome B.; Reeves, David M.; Wilkinson, Allen

    2014-01-01

    The force required to pull 7t and 40t polyhedral boulders from the surface of an asteroid is simulated using the discrete element method considering the effects of microgravity, regolith cohesion and boulder acceleration. The connection between particle surface energy and regolith cohesion is estimated by simulating a cohesion sample tearing test. An optimal constant acceleration is found where the peak net force from inertia and cohesion is a minimum. Peak pulling forces can be further reduced by using linear and quadratic acceleration functions with up to a 40% reduction in force for quadratic acceleration.

  3. A Combined XRD/XRF Instrument for Lunar Resource Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Blacic, J. D.

    1992-01-01

    Robotic surface missions to the Moon should be capable of measuring mineral as well as chemical abundances in regolith samples. Although much is already known about the lunar regolith, our data are far from comprehensive. Most of the regolith samples returned to Earth for analysis had lost the upper surface, or it was intermixed with deeper regolith. This upper surface is the part of the regolith most recently exposed to the solar wind; as such it will be important to resource assessment. In addition, it may be far easier to mine and process the uppermost few centimeters of regolith over a broad area than to engage in deep excavation of a smaller area. The most direct means of analyzing the regolith surface will be by studies in situ. In addition, the analysis of the impact-origin regolith surfaces, the Fe-rich glasses of mare pyroclastic deposits, are of resource interest, but are inadequately known; none of the extensive surface-exposed pyroclastic deposits of the Moon have been systematically sampled, although we know something about such deposits from the Apollo 17 site. Because of the potential importance of pyroclastic deposits, methods to quantify glass as well as mineral abundances will be important to resource evaluation. Combined x ray diffraction (XRD) and x ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis will address many resource characterization problems on the Moon. XRF methods are valuable for obtaining full major-element abundances with high precision. Such data, collected in parallel with quantitative mineralogy, permit unambiguous determination of both mineral and chemical abundances where concentrations are high enough to be of resource grade. Collection of both XRD and XRF data from a single sample provides simultaneous chemical and mineralogic information. These data can be used to correlate quantitative chemistry and mineralogy as a set of simultaneous linear equations, the solution of which can lead to full characterization of the sample. The use of

  4. Vertical-Screw-Auger Conveyer Feeder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Otis (Inventor); Vollmer, Hubert J. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    A conical feeder is attached to a vertically conveying screw auger. The feeder is equipped with scoops and rotated from the surface to force-feed regolith the auger. Additional scoops are possible by adding a cylindrical section above the conical funnel section. Such then allows the unit to collect material from swaths larger in diameter than the enclosing casing pipe of the screw auger. A third element includes a flexible screw auger. All three can be used in combination in microgravity and zero atmosphere environments to drill and recover a wide area of subsurface regolith and entrained volatiles through a single access point on the surface.

  5. Evolution of Shock Melt Compositions in Lunar Agglutinates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, A. M.; Christoffersen, R.; Keller, L. P.

    2015-01-01

    Lunar agglutinates are aggregates of regolith grains fused together in a glassy matrix of shock melt produced during smaller-scale (mostly micrometeorite) impacts. Agglutinate formation is a key space weathering process under which the optically-active component of nanophase metallic Fe (npFe(sup 0)) is added to the lunar regolith. Here we have used energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) compositional spectrum imaging in the SEM to quantify the chemical homogeneity of agglutinitic glass, correlate its homogeneity to its parent soil maturity, and identify the principle chemical components contributing to the shock melt compositional variations.

  6. Interplanetary Supply Chain Risk Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galluzzi, Michael C.

    2018-01-01

    Emphasis on KSC ground processing operations, reduced spares up-mass lift requirements and campaign-level flexible path perspective for space systems support as Regolith-based ISM is achieved by; Network modeling for sequencing space logistics and in-space logistics nodal positioning to include feedstock. Economic modeling to assess ISM 3D printing adaption and supply chain risk.

  7. Hydrogeologic investigation of the Maxey Flats radioactive waste burial site, Fleming County, Kentucky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehner, H.H.

    1983-01-01

    Burial trenches at the Maxey Flats radioactive waste burial site cover an area of about 20 acres, and are located on a plateau, about 300 to 400 feet above surrounding valleys. All waste is buried in the Nancy Member of the Borden Formation, and most is in the weathered shale (regolith) part of this member. Recharge to the rocks is probably by infiltration of rainfall through regolith at the top of the hill. At least two water tables are present: near the base of the regolith, at a depth of about 25 feet and; in the Ohio Shale, at a depth of about 300 feet. About 95 percent of ground-water discharge to streams is from colluvium on hillsides and valley alluvium. The remaining 5 percent is discharge from bedrock, of which about 0.5 percent is from rocks underlying the burial area. Waste radionuclides in the subsurface, other than tritium, were observed only in the regolith of the Nancy Member. Only tritium was observed with certainty in deeper rocks and in the adjacent valley alluvium. Other waste radionuclides were in streamwater and stream sediment, and may have been transported with overland runoff from the surface of the burial site. (USGS)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  9. Electromagnetic energy applied to and gained from lunar materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meek, T.T.; Vaniman, D.T.; Blake, R.D.; Cocks, F.H.

    1986-01-01

    Electromagnetic energy may be useful in microwave frequencies for in-situ melting or sintering of lunar regolith. Simple configurations of magnetron or gyrotron tubes might be constructed for unique melting geometries. For energy production, lunar ilmenite has potential applications in photovoltaic devices. 11 refs., 11 figs

  10. Lunar imaging and ionospheric calibration for the Lunar Cherenkov technique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McFadden, R.; Scholten, O.; Mevius, M.

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Cherenkov technique is a promising method for UHE neutrino and cosmic ray detection which aims to detect nanosecond radio pulses produced during particle interactions in the Lunar regolith. For low frequency experiments, such as NuMoon, the frequency dependent dispersive effect of the

  11. Growth and physiological aspects of bell pepper ( Capsicum annuum )

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study aimed to evaluate growth and physiological aspects of 'All Big' bell pepper, under saline stress and exogenous application of proline on the leaves. The research was conducted in pots adapted as drainage lysimeters under greenhouse conditions, using sandy-loam eutrophic Regolithic Neosol, in the ...

  12. Soil-gas helium and surface-waves detection of fault zones in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    a thin regolith. Based on satellite imagery and geologic mapping, three sites were selected for ... were also obtained using the multichannel analysis of surface waves. The study ... Fracture and fault networks form an important ... for a small-scale watershed development in a ... ing plain regions, where they may exist beneath.

  13. 4 Hydrogeochemical Framework.cdr

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    indicates the strength of the mutual relation amongst the hydrochemical ... the world are exposed to health risks due to ... the Bureau of Indian Standards, Drinking ... fluoride concentration in drinking water in ... availability of potable water to these .... regolith is thin or absent, ample ..... drinking water consumption within the.

  14. Hydrogen Distribution in the Lunar Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanin, A. B.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Bakhtin, B. N.; Bodnarik, J. G.; Boynton, W. V.; Chin, G.; Evans, L. G.; Harshmann, K.; Fedosov, F.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present a method of conversion of the lunar neutron counting rate measured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument collimated neutron detectors, to water equivalent hydrogen (WEH) in the top approximately 1 m layer of lunar regolith. Polar maps of the Moon’s inferred hydrogen abundance are presented and discussed.

  15. Remote In-Space Manufacturing Applied with the Science of Interplanetary Supply Chain Modeling for Deep Space Gateway Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galluzzi, M. C.

    2018-02-01

    Three goals can be achieved by 2030: 1. NASA will have the capability for remote on-demand 3d printing of critical hardware using regolith material as feedstock, 2. Logistics footprint reduced by 35%, 3. Deep Space Gateway will become 75% self-sustaining.

  16. Page 1 1059 Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2016-12-17

    Dec 17, 2016 ... The interpretation from the resistivity log of regolith rocks shows different curve types which include HA, HKH, QH, H and A ... surface formations, the higher the permeability and porosity of the ... potential electrodes; Ra is called apparent electrical resistance given by the resistivity meter. However, the above ...

  17. Geochemistry and petrography of the MacAlpine Hills lunar meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Mckay, David S.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Martinez, Rene R.; Mittlefehldt, David W.; Wang, Ming-Sheng; Lipschutz, Michael E.

    1991-01-01

    MacAlpine Hills 88104 and 88105, anorthositic lunar meteorites recovered form the same area in Antartica, are characterized. Petrographic studies show that MAC88104/5 is a polymict breccia dominated by impact melt clasts. It is better classified as a fragmental breccia than a regolith breccia. The bulk composition is ferroan and highly aluminous (Al2O3-28 percent).

  18. Nitrogen-Bearing, Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; Messenger, S.; Rahman, Z.; Gibson, E. K.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2017-01-01

    We report the identification of discrete assemblages of nitrogen (N)-rich organic matter entrapped within interior fracture surfaces of the martian meteorite Nakhla. Based on context, composition and isotopic measurements this organic matter is of demonstrably martian origin. The presence of N-bearing organic species is of considerable importance to the habitable potential and chemical evolution of the martian regolith.

  19. Crystal Stratigraphy of Two Basalts from Apollo 16: Unique Crystallization of Picritic Basalt 606063,10-16 and Very-Low-Titanium Basalt 65703,9-13

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donohue, P. H.; Neal, C. R.; Stevens, R. E.; Zeigler, R. A.

    2014-01-01

    A geochemical survey of Apollo 16 regolith fragments found five basaltic samples from among hundreds of 2-4 mm regolith fragments of the Apollo 16 site. These included a high-Ti vitrophyric basalt (60603,10-16) and one very-low-titanium (VLT) crystalline basalt (65703,9-13). Apollo 16 was the only highlands sample return mission distant from the maria (approx. 200 km). Identification of basaltic samples at the site not from the ancient regolith breccia indicates input of material via lateral transport by post-basin impacts. The presence of basaltic rocklets and glass at the site is not unprecedented and is required to satisfy mass-balance constraints of regolith compositions. However, preliminary characterization of olivine and plagioclase crystal size distributions indicated the sample textures were distinct from other known mare basalts, and instead had affinities to impact melt textures. Impact melt textures can appear qualitatively similar to pristine basalts, and quantitative analysis is required to distinguish between the two in thin section. The crystal stratigraphy method is a powerful tool in studying of igneous systems, utilizing geochemical analyses across minerals and textural analyses of phases. In particular, trace element signatures can aid in determining the ultimate origin of these samples and variations document subtle changes occurring during their petrogenesis.

  20. Synthesis for Lunar Simulants: Glass, Agglutinate, Plagioclase, Breccia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Michael; Wilson, Stephen A.; Rickman, Douglas L.; Stoeser, Douglas

    2012-01-01

    The video describes a process for making glass for lunar regolith simulants that was developed from a patented glass-producing technology. Glass composition can be matched to simulant design and specification. Production of glass, pseudo agglutinates, plagioclase, and breccias is demonstrated. The system is capable of producing hundreds of kilograms of high quality glass and simulants per day.

  1. Space weathering simulations through controlled growth of iron nanoparticles on olivine

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Čuda, J.; Filip, J.; Britt, D.; Bradley, T.; Tuček, J.; Skála, Roman; Kletetschka, Günther; Kašlík, J.; Malina, O.; Šišková, K.; Zbořil, R.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 237, 15 July (2014), s. 75-83 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LH12079 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : asteroids, surface * Moon, surface * regoliths * spectroscopy Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.038, year: 2014

  2. Thermal inertia of eclipsing binary asteroids : the role of component shape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; van de Weijgaert, Marlies

    2015-01-01

    Thermal inertia controls the temperature distribution on asteroid surfaces. This is of crucial importance to the Yarkovsky effect and for the planning of spacecraft operations on or near the surface. Additionally, thermal inertia is a sensitive indicator for regolith structure.A uniquely direct way

  3. Geothermal Heating, Convective Flow and Ice Thickness on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, N. D.; Travis, B. J.; Cuzzi, J.

    2001-01-01

    Our 3D calculations suggest that hydrothermal circulation may occur in the martian regolith and may significantly thin the surface ice layer on Mars at some locations due to the upwelling of warm convecting fluids driven solely by background geothermal heating. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. Geologic processes and sedimentary system on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, A S

    1988-01-01

    The subject is covered under following headings: (1) morphology and processes at the martian surface (impact craters, water and ice, landslide, aeolian processes, volcanism, chemical weathering); (2) the sedimentary system (martian geologic documentation, sedimentary balance, regolith, pyroclastics, erosion phenomena, deposit and loss of sediments) as well as (3) summary and final remarks. 72 refs.

  5. Instrument for Analysis of Organic Compounds on Other Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daulton, Riley M.; Hintze, Paul E.

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this project is to develop the Instrument for Solvent Extraction and Analysis of Extraterrestrial Bodies using In Situ Resources (ISEE). Specifically, ISEE will extract and characterize organic compounds from regolith which is found on the surface of other planets or asteroids. The techniques this instrument will use are supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC). ISEE aligns with NASA's goal to expand the frontiers of knowledge, capability, and opportunities in space in addition to supporting NASA's aim to search for life elsewhere by characterizing organic compounds. The outcome of this project will be conceptual designs of 2 components of the ISEE instrument as well as the completion of proof-of-concept extraction experiments to demonstrate the capabilities of SFE. The first conceptual design is a pressure vessel to be used for the extraction of the organic compounds from the regolith. This includes a comparison of different materials, geometry's, and a proposition of how to insert the regolith into the vessel. The second conceptual design identifies commercially available fluid pumps based on the requirements needed to generate supercritical CO2. The proof-of-concept extraction results show the percent mass lost during standard solvent extractions of regolith with organic compounds. This data will be compared to SFE results to demonstrate the capabilities of ISEE's approach.

  6. Hydrogeological Characteristics of Groundwater Yield in Shallow ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    regolith and the fractures in the fresh bedrock (Bala et al., 2011). According to .... data were collected from Kwara State Ministry of Water Resources and Lower Niger River Basin ... dropped, to allow the water level in the well to recover. This is ...

  7. A Combined Experimental and Modeling Program to Study the Impact of Solar Wind Ions on the Surface and Exosphere of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savin, D. W.; Bostick, B. C.; Domingue, D. L.; Ebel, D. S.; Harlow, G. E.; Killen, R. M.

    2018-05-01

    We aim to improve the interpretation of in-situ and remote-sensing data of Mercury. We will use updated exosphere and spectrophotometric models incorporating new data from lab simulations of solar wind ion irradiation of Mercury’s regolith surface.

  8. New Fiber Reinforced Waterless Concrete for Extraterrestrial Structural Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toutanji, H.; Tucker, D.; Ethridge, E.

    2005-01-01

    Commercial use of sulfur concrete on Earth is well established, particularly in corrosive, e.g., acid and salt, environments. Having found troilite (FeS) on the Moon raises the question of using extracted sulfur as a lunar construction mate: iii an attractive alternative to conventional concrete as it does not require water For the purpose of this paper it is assumed that lunar ore is mined, refined, and the raw sulfur processed with appropriate lunar regolith to form, for example, brick and beam elements. Glass fibers produced from regolith were used as a reinforcement to improve the mechanical properties of the sulfur concrete. Glass fibers and glass rebar were produced by melting the lunar regolith simulant. Lunar regolith stimulant was melted in a 25 cc Pt-Rh crucible in a Sybron Thermoline 46100 high temperature MoSi2 furnace at melting temperatures of 1450 to 1600G. The glass melt wets the ceramic rod and long continuous glass fibers were easily hand drawn. The glass fibers were immediately coated with a protective polymer to maintain the mechanical strength. The viability of sulfur concrete as a construction material for extraterrestrial application is presented. The mechanical properties of the glass fiber reinforced sulfur concrete were investigated.

  9. RESOLVE's Field Demonstration on Mauna Kea, Hawaii 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Captain, Janine; Quinn, Jacqueline; Moss, Thomas; Weis, Kyle

    2010-01-01

    In cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency, and the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, Inc., NASA has undertaken the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project called RESOLVE (Regolith and Environment Science & Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction). This project is an Earth-based lunar precursor demonstration of a system that could be sent to explore permanently shadowed polar lunar craters, where it would drill into regolith, quantify the volatiles that are present, and extract oxygen by hydrogen reduction of iron oxides. The resulting water could be electrolyzed into oxygen to support exploration and hydrogen, which would be recycled through the process. The RESOLVE chemical processing system was mounted on a Canadian Space Agency mobility chasis and successfully demonstrated on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano in February 2010. The RESOLVE unit is the initial prototype of a robotic prospecting mission to the Moon. RESOLVE is designed to go to the poles of the Moon to "ground truth" the form and concentration of the hydrogen/water/hydroxyl that has been seen from orbit (M3, Lunar Prospector and LRO) and to test technologies to extract oxygen from the lunar regolith. RESOLVE has the ability to capture a one-meter core sample of lunar regolith and heat it to determine the volatiles that may be released and then demonstrate the production of oxygen from minerals found in the regolith. The RESOLVE project, which is led by KSC, is a multi-center and multi-organizational effort that includes representatives from KSC, JSC, GRC, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Northern Center for Advanced Technology (NORCAT). This paper details the results obtained from four days of lunar analog testing that included gas chromatograph analysis for volatile components, remote control of chemistry and drilling operations via satalite communications, and real-time water quantification using a novel capacitance measurement technique.

  10. Space Plasma Ion Processing of Ilmenite in the Lunar Soil: Insights from In-Situ TEM Ion Irradiation Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoffersen, R.; Keller, L. P.

    2007-01-01

    Space weathering on the moon and asteroids results largely from the alteration of the outer surfaces of regolith grains by the combined effects of solar ion irradiation and other processes that include deposition of impact or sputter-derived vapors. Although no longer considered the sole driver of space weathering, solar ion irradiation remains a key part of the space weathering puzzle, and quantitative data on its effects on regolith minerals are still in short supply. For the lunar regolith, previous transmission electron microscope (TEM) studies performed by ourselves and others have uncovered altered rims on ilmenite (FeTiO3) grains that point to this phase as a unique "witness plate" for unraveling nanoscale space weathering processes. Most notably, the radiation processed portions of these ilmenite rims consistently have a crystalline structure, in contrast to radiation damaged rims on regolith silicates that are characteristically amorphous. While this has tended to support informal designation of ilmenite as a "radiation resistant" regolith mineral, there are to date no experimental data that directly and quantitatively compare ilmenite s response to ion radiation relative to lunar silicates. Such data are needed because the radiation processed rims on ilmenite grains, although crystalline, are microstructurally and chemically complex, and exhibit changes linked to the formation of nanophase Fe metal, a key space weathering process. We report here the first ion radiation processing study of ilmenite performed by in-situ means using the Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscope- Tandem Irradiation facility (IVEM-Tandem) at Argonne National Laboratory. The capability of this facility for performing real time TEM observations of samples concurrent with ion irradiation makes it uniquely suited for studying the dose-dependence of amorphization and other changes in irradiated samples.

  11. Solid/liquid partition coefficients (K{sub d}) and plant/soil concentration ratios (CR) for selected soils, tills and sediments at Forsmark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sheppard, Steve (ECOMatters Inc. (Canada)); Sohlenius, Gustav (Sveriges geologiska undersoekning (Sweden)); Omberg, Lars-Gunnar (ALS Scandinavia AB (Sweden)); Borgiel, Mikael (Sveriges Vattenekologer AB (Sweden)); Grolander, Sara (Facilia AB (Sweden)); Norden, Sara (Svensk Kaernbraenslehantering AB (Sweden))

    2011-11-15

    Solid/liquid partition coefficients (K{sub d}) are used to indicate the relative mobility of radionuclides and elements of concern from nuclear fuel waste, as well as from other sources. To indicate the uptake of radionuclides in biota concentration ratios (CR) between soil and biota are used. This report summarized K{sub d} data for regolith and marine sediments based on concentrations of 69 indigenous stable elements measured from samples collected at the Forsmark site and CR data concerning cereals growing on these soils. The samples included 50 regolith samples from agricultural land and wetlands, 8 samples of till collected at different depths, and two marine sediment samples. In addition, cereal grains, stems and roots were collected from 4 sites for calculation of CRs. The regolith samples represented the major 5 deposits, which can be used as arable land, at the site (clayey till, glacial clay, clay gyttja and peat (cultivated and undisturbed)). K{sub d} values were generally lower for peat compared to clay soils. There were also clear differences in K{sub d} resulting from differences in soil chemistry within each regolith type. Soil pH was the most important factor, and K{sub d} values for many elements were lower in acidic clay soils compared to basic clay soils. Although there were only a few samples of sandy till and marine sediment, the K{sub d} values were generally consistent with the corresponding regolith K{sub d} values. Of the different cereal parts the grain always had the lowest CR. In most cases, the root CR was significantly higher than the grain CR, whereas only for a few elements were the grain and stem CR values different

  12. A year on Mars: Life science investigations using a laboratory simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Paul; Kurk, Michael Andy

    2012-07-01

    A planetary environment simulator in Indiana, USA has been in use for about 5 years with visiting investigators having logged nearly one year of exposure time in intervals ranging from 7 days to 5 weeks. More than 20 investigators have studied a similar number of organisms in experiments ranging from the chemistry of the origin of life to the survival of invertebrate organisms in regolith. The simulator allows investigators to canvass several independent planetary variables, including diurnal temperature cycle, solar spectrum, light intensity, daytime shade, day length, depth and compositon of regolith, atmospheric pressure and composition, and moisture level. Gravity and ionizing radiation, of course, are not variable. Many experiments were performed at higher atmospheric pressure and moisture level than found on Mars, for example. The most popular conditions were simulations of light and temperature cycles resembling those at equatiorial and low latitudes and medium altitudes on Mars. Examples of completed and published studies include amino acid evolution, macroscopic microbial viability assays, the role of microbial community relationships in survival in extreme conditions, genomics of microbial communities, biological photoprotection by regolith, adaptability of cyanobacteria, and survival of extremophiles and small invertebrates as a function of regolith depth. Investigators have worked individually and as consortia exposing sometimes a few hundred samples at a time. As a general result, the survival of extremophiles has been found to be highly dependent on regolith cover, which is the dominant factor in affecting ultraviolet radiation exposure and moisture. A summary of the results of these investigations points the way toward further utilization of simulated extreme conditions relevant to the chemical origin of life, cellular evolution, gene expression in environmental adaptation, habitability parameters, life support systems, ecopoiesis and terraforming

  13. Solid/liquid partition coefficients (Kd) and plant/soil concentration ratios (CR) for selected soils, tills and sediments at Forsmark

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheppard, Steve; Sohlenius, Gustav; Omberg, Lars-Gunnar; Borgiel, Mikael; Grolander, Sara; Norden, Sara

    2011-11-01

    Solid/liquid partition coefficients (K d ) are used to indicate the relative mobility of radionuclides and elements of concern from nuclear fuel waste, as well as from other sources. To indicate the uptake of radionuclides in biota concentration ratios (CR) between soil and biota are used. This report summarized K d data for regolith and marine sediments based on concentrations of 69 indigenous stable elements measured from samples collected at the Forsmark site and CR data concerning cereals growing on these soils. The samples included 50 regolith samples from agricultural land and wetlands, 8 samples of till collected at different depths, and two marine sediment samples. In addition, cereal grains, stems and roots were collected from 4 sites for calculation of CRs. The regolith samples represented the major 5 deposits, which can be used as arable land, at the site (clayey till, glacial clay, clay gyttja and peat (cultivated and undisturbed)). K d values were generally lower for peat compared to clay soils. There were also clear differences in K d resulting from differences in soil chemistry within each regolith type. Soil pH was the most important factor, and K d values for many elements were lower in acidic clay soils compared to basic clay soils. Although there were only a few samples of sandy till and marine sediment, the K d values were generally consistent with the corresponding regolith K d values. Of the different cereal parts the grain always had the lowest CR. In most cases, the root CR was significantly higher than the grain CR, whereas only for a few elements were the grain and stem CR values different

  14. Development of a Modified Vacuum Cleaner for Lunar Surface Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Katherine P.; Lee, Steve A.; Edgerly, Rachel D.

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission to expand space exploration will return humans to the Moon with the goal of maintaining a long-term presence. One challenge that NASA will face returning to the Moon is managing the lunar regolith found on the Moon's surface, which will collect on extravehicular activity (EVA) suits and other equipment. Based on the Apollo experience, the issues astronauts encountered with lunar regolith included eye/lung irritation, and various hardware failures (seals, screw threads, electrical connectors and fabric contamination), which were all related to inadequate lunar regolith mitigation. A vacuum cleaner capable of detaching, transferring, and efficiently capturing lunar regolith has been proposed as a method to mitigate the lunar regolith problem in the habitable environment on lunar surface. In order to develop this vacuum, a modified "off-the-shelf' vacuum cleaner will be used to determine detachment efficiency, vacuum requirements, and optimal cleaning techniques to ensure efficient dust removal in habitable lunar surfaces, EVA spacesuits, and air exchange volume. During the initial development of the Lunar Surface System vacuum cleaner, systematic testing was performed with varying flow rates on multiple surfaces (fabrics and metallics), atmospheric (14.7 psia) and reduced pressures (10.2 and 8.3 psia), different vacuum tool attachments, and several vacuum cleaning techniques in order to determine the performance requirements for the vacuum cleaner. The data recorded during testing was evaluated by calculating particulate removal, relative to the retained simulant on the tested surface. In addition, optical microscopy was used to determine particle size distribution retained on the surface. The scope of this paper is to explain the initial phase of vacuum cleaner development, including historical Apollo mission data, current state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner technology, and vacuum cleaner testing that has

  15. Near surface bulk density estimates of NEAs from radar observations and permittivity measurements of powdered geologic material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickson, Dylan; Boivin, Alexandre; Daly, Michael G.; Ghent, Rebecca; Nolan, Michael C.; Tait, Kimberly; Cunje, Alister; Tsai, Chun An

    2018-05-01

    The variations in near-surface properties and regolith structure of asteroids are currently not well constrained by remote sensing techniques. Radar is a useful tool for such determinations of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) as the power of the reflected signal from the surface is dependent on the bulk density, ρbd, and dielectric permittivity. In this study, high precision complex permittivity measurements of powdered aluminum oxide and dunite samples are used to characterize the change in the real part of the permittivity with the bulk density of the sample. In this work, we use silica aerogel for the first time to increase the void space in the samples (and decrease the bulk density) without significantly altering the electrical properties. We fit various mixing equations to the experimental results. The Looyenga-Landau-Lifshitz mixing formula has the best fit and the Lichtenecker mixing formula, which is typically used to approximate planetary regolith, does not model the results well. We find that the Looyenga-Landau-Lifshitz formula adequately matches Lunar regolith permittivity measurements, and we incorporate it into an existing model for obtaining asteroid regolith bulk density from radar returns which is then used to estimate the bulk density in the near surface of NEA's (101955) Bennu and (25143) Itokawa. Constraints on the material properties appropriate for either asteroid give average estimates of ρbd = 1.27 ± 0.33g/cm3 for Bennu and ρbd = 1.68 ± 0.53g/cm3 for Itokawa. We conclude that our data suggest that the Looyenga-Landau-Lifshitz mixing model, in tandem with an appropriate radar scattering model, is the best method for estimating bulk densities of regoliths from radar observations of airless bodies.

  16. Hydrogen-Enhanced Lunar Oxygen Extraction and Storage Using Only Solar Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, rodney; King, Darren

    2013-01-01

    The innovation consists of a thermodynamic system for extracting in situ oxygen vapor from lunar regolith using a solar photovoltaic power source in a reactor, a method for thermally insulating the reactor, a method for protecting the reactor internal components from oxidation by the extracted oxygen, a method for removing unwanted chemical species produced in the reactor from the oxygen vapor, a method for passively storing the oxygen, and a method for releasing high-purity oxygen from storage for lunar use. Lunar oxygen exists in various types of minerals, mostly silicates. The energy required to extract the oxygen from the minerals is 30 to 60 MJ/kg O. Using simple heating, the extraction rate depends on temperature. The minimum temperature is approximately 2,500 K, which is at the upper end of available oven temperatures. The oxygen is released from storage in a purified state, as needed, especially if for human consumption. This method extracts oxygen from regolith by treating the problem as a closed batch cycle system. The innovation works equally well in Earth or Lunar gravity fields, at low partial pressure of oxygen, and makes use of in situ regolith for system insulation. The innovation extracts oxygen from lunar regolith using a method similar to vacuum pyrolysis, but with hydrogen cover gas added stoichiometrically to react with the oxygen as it is produced by radiatively heating regolith to 2,500 K. The hydrogen flows over and through the heating element (HE), protecting it from released oxygen. The H2 O2 heat of reaction is regeneratively recovered to assist the heating process. Lunar regolith is loaded into a large-diameter, low-height pancake reactor powered by photovoltaic cells. The reactor lid contains a 2,500 K HE that radiates downward onto the regolith to heat it and extract oxygen, and is shielded above by a multi-layer tungsten radiation shield. Hydrogen cover gas percolates through the perforated tungsten shielding and HE, preventing

  17. Mercury's Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroidal Space Weathering Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingue, Deborah L.; Chapman, Clark. R.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.; Schriver, David; Travnicek, Pavel M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Mercury's regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered by a set of space weathering processes. Before we can interpret crustal composition, it is necessary to understand the nature of these surface alterations. The processes that space weather the surface are the same as those that form Mercury's exosphere (micrometeoroid flux and solar wind interactions) and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of a global magnetic field. To comprehend how space weathering acts on Mercury's regolith, an understanding is needed of how contributing processes act as an interactive system. As no direct information (e.g., from returned samples) is available about how the system of space weathering affects Mercury's regolith, we use as a basis for comparison the current understanding of these same processes on lunar and asteroidal regoliths as well as laboratory simulations. These comparisons suggest that Mercury's regolith is overturned more frequently (though the characteristic surface time for a grain is unknown even relative to the lunar case), more than an order of magnitude more melt and vapor per unit time and unit area is produced by impact processes than on the Moon (creating a higher glass content via grain coatings and agglutinates), the degree of surface irradiation is comparable to or greater than that on the Moon, and photon irradiation is up to an order of magnitude greater (creating amorphous grain rims, chemically reducing the upper layers of grains to produce nanometer scale particles of metallic iron, and depleting surface grains in volatile elements and alkali metals). The processes that chemically reduce the surface and produce nanometer-scale particles on Mercury are suggested to be more effective than similar processes on the Moon. Estimated abundances of nanometer-scale particles can account for Mercury's dark surface relative to that of the Moon without requiring macroscopic grains of opaque minerals. The presence of

  18. Cosmogenic He and Ne in chondrules from clastic matrix and a lithic clast of Murchison: No pre-irradiation by the early sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riebe, My E. I.; Huber, Liliane; Metzler, Knut; Busemann, Henner; Luginbuehl, Stefanie M.; Meier, Matthias M. M.; Maden, Colin; Wieler, Rainer

    2017-09-01

    Whether or not some meteorites retain a record of irradiation by a large flux of energetic particles from the early sun in the form of excesses of cosmic-ray produced noble gases in individual crystals or single chondrules is a topic of ongoing debate. Here, we present He and Ne isotopic data for individual chondrules in Murchison, a chondritic regolith breccia of the CM group. We separated 27 chondrules from a clastic matrix portion and 26 chondrules from an adjacent single so-called "primary accretionary rock" (Metzler et al., 1992). All chondrules from the primary rock fragment are expected to share a common irradiation history, whereas chondrules from the clastic matrix were stirred in the regolith independently of each other. All "primary rock chondrules" and 23 of the "matrix chondrules" have very similar concentrations of cosmogenic 3He and 21Ne, corresponding to a cosmic-ray exposure age to galactic cosmic rays (GCR) of ∼1.3-1.9 Ma, in the range of Murchison's meteoroid exposure age determined with cosmogenic radionuclides. Four clastic matrix chondrules contain excesses of cosmogenic 3He and 21Ne, corresponding to nominal 4π exposure ages of ∼4-∼29 Ma, with a Ne isotopic composition as expected for production by GCR. If the fraction of excess cosmogenic gas bearing chondrules in the primary rock and clastic matrix were the same, we would expect this result with a statistical probability of only 0.5 - 2.7%. Therefore, the exposure age distributions for Murchison chondrules in primary rock and clastic matrix are very likely different. Such a difference is expected if the excess cosmogenic gas was acquired by some of the matrix chondrules in the regolith, but not if chondrules were irradiated in the solar nebula by the early sun before they accreted on the Murchison parent body. Therefore, Murchison does not provide evidence for irradiation by a high fluence of energetic particles from the early sun. By inference, this statement likely holds for the

  19. Earth-based radar and LRO Diviner constraints on the recent rate of lunar ejecta processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghent, Rebecca R.; Hayne, Paul O.; Bandfield, Joshua L.; Campbell, Bruce A.; Carter, Lynn M.; Allen, Carlton

    2013-04-01

    Many large craters on the lunar nearside show radar circular polarization ratio (CPR) signatures consistent with the presence of blocky ejecta blankets, to distances of 0.5 to 1.5 crater radii. However, most of these surfaces show very low surface rock concentration values and only limited enhancements in regolith temperatures calculated from Diviner nighttime infrared observations. Because the radar signal is integrated over the radar penetration depth (up to several meters), but the Diviner signal is sensitive only to rocks within the upper meter of the surface, this indicates that ejecta blocks on the surface and in the shallow subsurface are quickly removed by continued bombardment. Deeper subsurface rocks, which are clearly evident in radar CPR maps but are covered by a sufficiently thick layer of thermally insulating regolith material to render them invisible to Diviner, persist for much longer. By matching the results of one-dimensional thermal models to Diviner nighttime temperatures, we can constrain the thermophysical properties of the upper 1 meter of regolith. We find that Diviner nighttime cooling curves are best fit by a density profile that varies exponentially with depth, consistent with a mixture of rocks and regolith fines, with increasing rock content with depth. Using this density profile together with the surface rock abundance, we can estimate the excess rock mass represented by rocks on the surface and within the upper meter of regolith for individual craters. We find that for craters of known age younger than ~1.7Ga, a robust correlation exists between ejecta mass and crater age, which yields the first observational estimate of the rate of lunar ejecta processing. Our results show that crater ejecta are initially removed very quickly (perhaps up to ~1cm / m.y.), with the rate slowing over a short period of time to less than 1 mm / m.y., as the number of blocks on the surface decreases and the volume of protective regolith material increases

  20. Moonshine: Diurnally varying hydration through natural distillation on the Moon, detected by the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livengood, T A; Chin, G; Sagdeev, R Z; Mitrofanov, I G; Boynton, W V; Evans, L G; Litvak, M L; McClanahan, T P; Sanin, A B; Starr, R D; Su, J J

    2015-07-15

    The Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), on the polar-orbiting Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft, has detected suppression in the Moon's naturally-occurring epithermal neutron leakage flux that is consistent with the presence of diurnally varying quantities of hydrogen in the regolith near the equator. Peak hydrogen concentration (neutron flux suppression) is on the dayside of the dawn terminator and diminishes through the dawn-to-noon sector. The minimum concentration of hydrogen is in the late afternoon and dusk sector. The chemical form of hydrogen is not determinable from these measurements, but other remote sensing methods and anticipated elemental availability suggest water molecules or hydroxyl ions. Signal-to-noise ratio at maximum contrast is 5.6 σ in each of two detector systems. Volatiles are deduced to collect in or on the cold nightside surface and distill out of the regolith after dawn as rotation exposes the surface to sunlight. Liberated volatiles migrate away from the warm subsolar region toward the nearby cold nightside surface beyond the terminator, resulting in maximum concentration at the dawn terminator. The peak concentration within the upper ~1 m of regolith is estimated to be 0.0125 ± 0.0022 weight-percent water-equivalent hydrogen (wt% WEH) at dawn, yielding an accumulation of 190 ± 30 ml recoverable water per square meter of regolith at each dawn. Volatile transport over the lunar surface in opposition to the Moon's rotation exposes molecules to solar ultraviolet radiation. The short lifetime against photolysis and permanent loss of hydrogen from the Moon requires a resupply rate that greatly exceeds anticipated delivery of hydrogen by solar wind implantation or by meteoroid impacts, suggesting that the surface inventory must be continually resupplied by release from a deep volatile inventory in the Moon. The natural distillation of water from the regolith by sunlight and its capture on the cold night surface may

  1. Analytical, Experimental, and Modelling Studies of Lunar and Terrestrial Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haskin, Larry A.

    1997-01-01

    The goal of our research has been to understand the paths and the processes of planetary evolution that produced planetary surface materials as we find them. Most of our work has been on lunar materials and processes. We have done studies that obtain geological knowledge from detailed examination of regolith materials and we have reported implications for future sample-collecting and on-surface robotic sensing missions. Our approach has been to study a suite of materials that we have chosen in order to answer specific geologic questions. We continue this work under NAG5-4172. The foundation of our work has been the study of materials with precise chemical and petrographic analyses, emphasizing analysis for trace chemical elements. We have used quantitative models as tests to account for the chemical compositions and mineralogical properties of the materials in terms of regolith processes and igneous processes. We have done experiments as needed to provide values for geochemical parameters used in the models. Our models take explicitly into account the physical as well as the chemical processes that produced or modified the materials. Our approach to planetary geoscience owes much to our experience in terrestrial geoscience, where samples can be collected in field context and sampling sites revisited if necessary. Through studies of terrestrial analog materials, we have tested our ideas about the origins of lunar materials. We have been mainly concerned with the materials of the lunar highland regolith, their properties, their modes of origin, their provenance, and how to extrapolate from their characteristics to learn about the origin and evolution of the Moon's early igneous crust. From this work a modified model for the Moon's structure and evolution is emerging, one of globally asymmetric differentiation of the crust and mantle to produce a crust consisting mainly of ferroan and magnesian igneous rocks containing on average 70-80% plagioclase, with a large

  2. Corrosion-Resistant Container for Molten-Material Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Theodore G.; McNaul, Eric

    2010-01-01

    In a carbothermal process, gaseous methane is passed over molten regolith, which is heated past its melting point to a temperature in excess of 1,625 C. At this temperature, materials in contact with the molten regolith (or regolith simulant) corrode and lose their structural properties. As a result, fabricating a crucible to hold the molten material and providing a method of contact heating have been problematic. Alternative containment approaches use a large crucible and limit the heat zone of the material being processed, which is inefficient because of volume and mass constraints. Alternative heating approaches use non-contact heating, such as by laser or concentrated solar energy, which can be inefficient in transferring heat and thus require higher power heat sources to accomplish processing. The innovation is a combination of materials, with a substrate material having high structural strength and stiffness and high-temperature capability, and a coating material with a high corrosion resistance and high-temperature capability. The material developed is a molybdenum substrate with an iridium coating. Creating the containment crucible or heater jacket using this material combination requires only that the molybdenum, which is easily processed by conventional methods such as milling, electric discharge machining, or forming and brazing, be fabricated into an appropriate shape, and that the iridium coating be applied to any surfaces that may come in contact with the corrosive molten material. In one engineering application, the molybdenum was fashioned into a container for a heat pipe. Since only the end of the heat pipe is used to heat the regolith, the container has a narrowing end with a nipple in which the heat pipe is snugly fit, and the external area of this nipple, which contacts the regolith to transfer heat into it, is coated with iridium. At the time of this reporting, no single material has been found that can perform the functions of this combination

  3. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Baird, A. K.; Weldon, R. J.; Tsusaki, D. M.; Schnabel, L.; Candelaria, M. P.

    1982-01-01

    Of the 21 samples acquired for the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 17 were analyzed to high precision. Compared to typical terrestrial continental soils and lunar mare fines, the Martian fines are lower in Al, higher in Fe, and much higher in S and Cl concentrations. Protected fines at the two lander sites are almost indistinguishable, but concentration of the element S is somewhat higher at Utopia. Duricrust fragments, successfully acquired only at the Chryse site, invariably contained about 50% higher S than fines. No elements correlate positively with S, except Cl and possibly Mg. A sympathetic variation is found among the triad Si, Al, Ca; positive correlation occurs between Ti and Fe. Sample variabilities are 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. The nature of the source materials for the regolith fines must be mafic to ultramafic.

  4. Inorganic analyses of Martian surface samples at the Viking landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Castro, A. J.; Rowe, C. D.; Baird, A. K.; Evans, P. H.; Rose, H. J., Jr.; Toulmin, P., III; Keil, K.; Kelliher, W. C.

    1976-01-01

    Elemental analyses of fines in the Martian regolith at two widely separated landing sites, Chryse Planitia and Utopia Planitia, produced remarkably similar results. At both sites, the uppermost regolith contains abundant Si and Fe, with significant concentrations of Mg, Al, S, Ca, and Ti. The S concentration is one to two orders of magnitude higher, and K (less than 0.25% by weight) is at least 5 times lower than the average for earth's crust. The trace elements Sr, Y, and possibly Zr have been detected at concentrations near or below 100 parts per million. Pebble-sized fragments sampled at Chryse contain more S than the bulk fines and are thought to be pieces of a sulfate-cemented duricrust.

  5. Advanced Water Purification System for In Situ Resource Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Stephen M.; Jolley, Scott T.; Captain, James G.

    2013-01-01

    One of NASA's goals is to enable longterm human presence in space, without the need for continuous replenishment of consumables from Earth. In situ resource utilization (ISRU) is the use of extraterrestrial resources to support activities such as human life-support, material fabrication and repair, and radiation shielding. Potential sources of ISRU resources include lunar and Martian regolith, and Martian atmosphere. Water and byproducts (including hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids) can be produced from lunar regolith via a high-temperature hydrogen reduction reaction and passing the produced gas through a condenser. center dot Due to the high solubility of HCI and HF in water, these byproducts are expected to be present in the product stream (up to 20,000 ppm) and must be removed (less than 10 ppm) prior to water consumption or electrolysis.

  6. OSIRIS-REx Touch-And-Go (TAG) Mission Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kevin; Sutter, Brian; May, Alex; Williams, Ken; Barbee, Brent W.; Beckman, Mark; Williams, Bobby

    2013-01-01

    The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is a NASA New Frontiers mission launching in 2016 to rendezvous with the near-Earth asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 in late 2018. After several months in formation with and orbit about the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will fly a Touch-And-Go (TAG) trajectory to the asteroid s surface to obtain a regolith sample. This paper describes the mission design of the TAG sequence and the propulsive maneuvers required to achieve the trajectory. This paper also shows preliminary results of orbit covariance analysis and Monte-Carlo analysis that demonstrate the ability to arrive at a targeted location on the surface of RQ36 within a 25 meter radius with 98.3% confidence.

  7. Concentrations of radioactive elements in lunar materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korotev, Randy L.

    1998-01-01

    As an aid to interpreting data obtained remotely on the distribution of radioactive elements on the lunar surface, average concentrations of K, U, and Th as well as Al, Fe, and Ti in different types of lunar rocks and soils are tabulated. The U/Th ratio in representative samples of lunar rocks and regolith is constant at 0.27; K/Th ratios are more variable because K and Th are carried by different mineral phases. In nonmare regoliths at the Apollo sites, the main carriers of radioactive elements are mafic (i.e., 6-8 percent Fe) impact-melt breccias created at the time of basin formation and products derived therefrom.

  8. Shallow lunar structure determined from the passive seismic experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Dorman, J.; Duennebier, F.; Lammlein, D.; Latham, G.

    1975-01-01

    Data relevant to the shallow structure of the Moon obtained at the Apollo seismic stations are compared with previously published results of the active seismic experiments. It is concluded that the lunar surface is covered by a layer of low seismic velocity (Vsub(p) approximately equal to 100 ms -1 ), which appears to be equivalent to the lunar regolith defined previously by geological observations. This layer is underlain by a zone of distinctly higher seismic velocity at all of the Apollo landing sites. The regolith thicknesses at the Apollo 11, 12, and 15 sites are estimated from the shear-wave resonance to be 4.4, 3.7, and 4.4m, respectively. These thicknesses and those determined at the other Apollo sites by the active seismic experiments appear to be correlated with the age determinations and the abundances of extra-lunar components at the sites. (Auth.)

  9. PowderSim: Lagrangian Discrete and Mesh-Free Continuum Simulation Code for Cohesive Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Scott; Walton, Otis; Settgast, Randolph

    2013-01-01

    PowderSim is a calculation tool that combines a discrete-element method (DEM) module, including calibrated interparticle-interaction relationships, with a mesh-free, continuum, SPH (smoothed-particle hydrodynamics) based module that utilizes enhanced, calibrated, constitutive models capable of mimicking both large deformations and the flow behavior of regolith simulants and lunar regolith under conditions anticipated during in situ resource utilization (ISRU) operations. The major innovation introduced in PowderSim is to use a mesh-free method (SPH-based) with a calibrated and slightly modified critical-state soil mechanics constitutive model to extend the ability of the simulation tool to also address full-scale engineering systems in the continuum sense. The PowderSim software maintains the ability to address particle-scale problems, like size segregation, in selected regions with a traditional DEM module, which has improved contact physics and electrostatic interaction models.

  10. Data processing and initial results of Chang'e-3 lunar penetrating radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yan; Fang, Guang-You; Feng, Jian-Qing; Xing, Shu-Guo; Ji, Yi-Cai; Zhou, Bin; Gao, Yun-Ze; Li, Han; Dai, Shun; Xiao, Yuan; Li, Chun-Lai

    2014-12-01

    To improve our understanding of the formation and evolution of the Moon, one of the payloads onboard the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover is Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR). This investigation is the first attempt to explore the lunar subsurface structure by using ground penetrating radar with high resolution. We have probed the subsurface to a depth of several hundred meters using LPR. In-orbit testing, data processing and the preliminary results are presented. These observations have revealed the configuration of regolith where the thickness of regolith varies from about 4 m to 6 m. In addition, one layer of lunar rock, which is about 330 m deep and might have been accumulated during the depositional hiatus of mare basalts, was detected.

  11. Data processing and initial results of Chang'e-3 lunar penetrating radar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Su Yan; Feng Jian-Qing; Xing Shu-Guo; Li Han; Dai Shun; Xiao Yuan; Li Chun-Lai; Fang Guang-You; Ji Yi-Cai; Zhou Bin; Gao Yun-Ze

    2014-01-01

    To improve our understanding of the formation and evolution of the Moon, one of the payloads onboard the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover is Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR). This investigation is the first attempt to explore the lunar subsurface structure by using ground penetrating radar with high resolution. We have probed the subsurface to a depth of several hundred meters using LPR. In-orbit testing, data processing and the preliminary results are presented. These observations have revealed the configuration of regolith where the thickness of regolith varies from about 4 m to 6 m. In addition, one layer of lunar rock, which is about 330 m deep and might have been accumulated during the depositional hiatus of mare basalts, was detected

  12. Estimated solar wind-implanted helium-3 distribution on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Swindle, T.D.; Lucey, P.G.

    1999-01-01

    Among the solar wind-implanted volatiles present in the lunar regolith, 3 He is possibly the most valuable resource because of its potential as a fusion fuel. The abundance of 3 He in the lunar regolith at a given location depends on surface maturity, the amount of solar wind fluence, and titanium content, because ilmenite (FeTiO3) retains helium much better than other major lunar minerals. Surface maturity and TiO2 maps from Clementine multispectral data sets are combined here with a solar wind fluence model to produce a 3He abundance map of the Moon. Comparison of the predicted 3He values to landing site observations shows good correlation. The highest 3He abundances occur in the farside maria (due to greater solar wind fluence received) and in higher TiO2 nearside mare regions.

  13. The global topography of Bennu: altimetry, photoclinometry, and processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, M. E.; Barnouin, O. S.; Daly, M. G.; Seabrook, J.; Palmer, E. E.; Gaskell, R. W.; Craft, K. L.; Roberts, J. H.; Philpott, L.; Asad, M. Al; Johnson, C. L.; Nair, A. H.; Espiritu, R. C.; Nolan, M. C.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2017-09-01

    The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission will spend two years observing (101955) Bennu and will then return pristine samples of carbonaceous material from the asteroid [1]. Launched in September 2016, OSIRISREx arrives at Bennu in August 2018, acquires a sample in July 2020, and returns the sample to Earth in September 2023. The instruments onboard OSIRIS-REx will measure the physical and chemical properties of this B-class asteroid, a subclass within the larger group of C-complex asteroids that might be organic-rich. At approximately 500m in average diameter [2], Bennu is sufficiently large to retain substantial regolith and as an Apollo asteroid with a low inclination (6°), it is one of the most accessible primitive near-Earth asteroid.

  14. The OSIRIS-REx Contamination Control and Witness Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dworkin, J. P.; Adelman, L.; Ajluni, T. M.; Andronikov, A. V.; Ballou, D. M.; Bartels, A. E.; Beshore, E.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Boynton, W. V.; Brucato, J. R.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx mission (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security Regolith Explorer) is the third NASA New Frontiers mission. It is scheduled for launch in 2016. The primary objective of the mission is to return at least 60 g of "pristine" material from the B-type near- Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, which is spectrally similar to organic-rich CI or CM meteorites [1]. The study of these samples will advance our understanding of materials available for the origin of life on Earth or elsewhere. The spacecraft will rendezvous with Bennu in 2018 and spend at least a year characterizing the asteroid before executing a maneuver to recover a sample of regolith in the touch-and-go sample acquisition mechanism (TAGSAM). The TAGSAM and sample is stowed in the sample return capsule (SRC) and returned to Earth in 2023.

  15. Feasibility Study of Commercial Markets for New Sample Acquisition Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Collin; Coyne, Jim; Bilen, Sven G.; Kisenwether, Liz; Miller, Garry; Mueller, Robert P.; Zacny, Kris

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and Penn State technology commercialization project was designed to assist in the maturation of a NASA SBIR Phase III technology. The project was funded by NASA's ESMD Education group with oversight from the Surface Systems Office at NASA Kennedy Space Center in the Engineering Directorate. Two Penn State engineering student interns managed the project with support from Honeybee Robotics and NASA Kennedy Space Center. The objective was to find an opportunity to integrate SBIR-developed Regolith Extractor and Sampling Technology as the payload for the future Lunar Lander or Rover missions. The team was able to identify two potential Google Lunar X Prize organizations with considerable interest in utilizing regolith acquisition and transfer technology.

  16. REE and Y in groundwater in the upper 1.2 km of Proterozoic granitoids (Eastern Sweden) - Assessing the role of composition and origin of groundwaters, geochemistry of fractures, and organic/inorganic aqueous complexation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathurin, Frédéric A.; Åström, Mats E.; Drake, Henrik; Maskenskaya, Olga M.; Kalinowski, Birgitta E.

    2014-11-01

    Yttrium and rare earth elements (YREEs) are studied in groundwater in the shallow regolith aquifer and the fracture networks of the upper 1.2 km of Paleoproterozoic granitoids in boreal Europe (Laxemar and Forsmark areas, Sweden). The study includes groundwater sampled via a total of 34 shallow boreholes reaching the bottom of the regolith aquifer, and 72 deep boreholes with equipment designed for retrieval of representative groundwater at controlled depths in the fractured bedrock. The groundwater composition differs substantially between regolith and fracture groundwater and between areas, which affects the dissolved YREE features, including concentrations and NASC normalized patterns. In the fresh groundwater in the regolith aquifers, highest YREE concentrations occur (10th and 90th percentile; Laxemar: 4.4-82 μg L-1; Forsmark: 1.9-19 μg L-1), especially in the slightly acidic groundwater (pH: 6.3-7.2 - Laxemar), where the normalized YREE patterns are slightly enriched in light REEs (LaNASC/YNASC: 1.1-2.4). In the recharge areas, where redox potentials of the regolith groundwater is more moderate, negative Ce anomaly (Laxemar: 0.37-0.45; Forsmark: 0.15-0.92) and positive Y anomaly (mainly in Forsmark: 1.0-1.7) are systematically more pronounced than in discharge areas. The significant correlations between the YREE features and dissolved organic carbon, minor elements, and somewhat pH suggest a strong control of humic substances (HSs) together with Al rich colloids and redox sensitive Fe-Mn hydrous precipitates on the dissolved YREE pools. In the bedrock fractures, the groundwater is circumneutral to slightly basic and displays YREE concentrations that are at least one order of magnitude lower than the regolith groundwater, and commonly below detection limit in the deep brackish and saline groundwater, with some exceptions such as La and Y. At intermediate depth (>50 m), where groundwater of meteoric origin percolates, the LaNASC/YNASC values moderately to

  17. Component and System Sensitivity Considerations for Design of a Lunar ISRU Oxygen Production Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Gokoglu, Suleyman; Hegde, Uday G.; Balasubramaniam, Ramaswamy; Santiago-Maldonado, Edgardo

    2009-01-01

    Component and system sensitivities of some design parameters of ISRU system components are analyzed. The differences between terrestrial and lunar excavation are discussed, and a qualitative comparison of large and small excavators is started. The effect of excavator size on the size of the ISRU plant's regolith hoppers is presented. Optimum operating conditions of both hydrogen and carbothermal reduction reactors are explored using recently developed analytical models. Design parameters such as batch size, conversion fraction, and maximum particle size are considered for a hydrogen reduction reactor while batch size, conversion fraction, number of melt zones, and methane flow rate are considered for a carbothermal reduction reactor. For both reactor types the effect of reactor operation on system energy and regolith delivery requirements is presented.

  18. Crew Systems for Asteroid Exploration: Concepts for Lightweight & Low Volume EVA Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rob; Calle, Carlos; Mantovani, James

    2013-01-01

    This RFI response is targeting Area 5. Crew Systems for Asteroid Exploration: concepts for lightweight and low volume robotic and extra-vehicular activity (EVA) systems, such as space suits, tools, translation aids, stowage containers, and other equipment. The NASA KSC Surface Systems Office, Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Lab and the Electrostatics & Surface Physics Lab (ESPL) are dedicated to developing technologies for operating in regolith environments on target body surfaces. We have identified two technologies in our current portfolio that are highly relevant and useful for crews that will visit a re-directed asteroid in Cis-Lunar Space. Both technologies are at a high TRL of 5/6 and could be rapidly implemented in time for an ARM mission in this decade.

  19. A SIMS study of lunar 'komatiitic glasses' - Trace element characteristics and possible origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, C. K.; Papike, J. J.; Galbreath, K. C.; Wentworth, S. J.; Shimizu, N.

    1990-01-01

    In Apollo 16 regolith breccias, Wentworth and McKay (1988) identified a suite of minute (less than 120 microns) 'komatiitic glass beads'. The wide major element compositional range, and ultra-Mg-prime character of the glasses suggest a variety of possible origins from complex impact processes to complex volcanic processes involving rather unusual and primitive magmatism. The extent of trace element depletion or enrichment in these glasses appears to be correlated to the siderophile character of the element (ionization potential or experimentally determined silicate melt/Fe metal partition coefficients. The ultra-Mg-prime glasses are depleted in Co relative to a bulk Moon Mg/Co exhibited by many lunar samples (volcanic glasses, basalts, regolith breccia, estimated upper mantle). The low Co and high incompatible element concentrations diminish the possibility that these glasses are a product of lunar komatiitic volcanism or impact, excavation, and melting of a very high Mg-prime plutonic unit.

  20. Physical characterization of asteroid surfaces from photometric analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.

    1989-01-01

    Rigorous photometric models, like Hapke's equation, can be applied to the analysis of disk-integrated phase curves in order to estimate a variety of regolith physical properties (average particle single-scattering albedo, particle transparency, soil compaction and large-scale roughness). Unfortunately, unambiguous interpretation is difficult due to uncertainties introduced by the irregular shapes of many asteroids and because Earth-based observations are often restricted to small phase angles (<30 degrees). In this chapter, the authors explore in detail how incomplete phase-angle coverage and nonsphericity of asteroids limits the reliable determination of Hapke's photometric parameters from asteroid phase curves. From obtainable Earth-based observations, it is possible to derive useful relative comparisons of single-scattering albedos, opposition-surge amplitudes, and regolith compaction states for different asteroids

  1. Mercury's Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroid Space Weathering Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominque, Deborah L.; Chapman, Clark R.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.; Orlando, Thomas M.; Schriver, David; hide

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the composition of Mercury's crust is key to comprehending the formation of the planet. The regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered via a set of space weathering processes. These processes are the same set of mechanisms that work to form Mercury's exosphere, and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of an intrinsic planetary magnetic field. The alterations need to be understood in order to determine the initial crustal compositions. The complex interrelationships between Mercury's exospheric processes, the space environment, and surface composition are examined and reviewed. The processes are examined in the context of our understanding of these same processes on the lunar and asteroid regoliths. Keywords: Mercury (planet) Space weathering Surface processes Exosphere Surface composition Space environment 3

  2. Water on Mars: Volatile history and resource availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.

    1991-01-01

    The existence of water on Mars is undisputed today. Measurements of atmospheric water vapor have shown that the abundance varies with location and season in a systematic way which depends on processes of exchange with the polar caps, regolith, and atmosphere. Channels, which give the appearance of having been carved by water or of having had water involved in their formation, appear in various locations on the surface; some were formed by catastrophic outflow of water from beneath the surface, while others form valley networks which give the appearance of having formed over long periods of time primarily early in the planet's history. The north polar residual cap consists of water ice, possibly containing an amount of water equivalent to a global layer several tens of meters thick. Finally, water is observed within the regolith, as adsorbed water or as water of hydration.

  3. Radiation protection for human missions to the Moon and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simonsen, L.C.; Nealy, J.E.

    1991-02-01

    Radiation protection assessments are performed for advanced Lunar and Mars manned missions. The Langley cosmic ray transport code and the nucleon transport code are used to quantify the transport and attenuation of galactic cosmic rays and solar proton flares through various shielding media. Galactic cosmic radiation at solar maximum and minimum, as well as various flare scenarios are considered. Propagation data for water, aluminum, liquid hydrogen, lithium hydride, lead, and lunar and Martian regolith (soil) are included. Shield thickness and shield mass estimates required to maintain incurred doses below 30 day and annual limits (as set for Space Station Freedom and used as a guide for space exploration) are determined for simple geometry transfer vehicles. On the surface of Mars, dose estimates are presented for crews with their only protection being the carbon dioxide atmosphere and for crews protected by shielding provided by Martian regolith for a candidate habitat

  4. The surface of the moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langevin, Yves

    1982-01-01

    Knowledge of the history of the interplanetary environment is linked to that of the formation and evolution of the lunar regolith. The major importance of the various space flights was the collection of almost 400 kg of lunar soil and rock samples, the study of which, thanks to isotopic dating methods, enabled the main lines of the history of the moon to be retraced. Since the ending of magma activity (three thousand million years ago), only the impacts of meteorites have modified the appearance of the lunar surface; the data acquired on their flow provide the explanation of the essential characteristics of the lunar regolith. The processing of the core particles and the samples has contributed to the determination of the history of the flow of particles and matter in the interplanetary environment [fr

  5. Distribution of inert gases in fines from the Cayley-Descartes region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, J. R.; Lakatos, S.; Heymann, D.

    1973-01-01

    The inert gases in 14 different fines and in one sample of 2 to 4 mm fines from Apollo 16 were measured by mass spectroscopy with respect to trapped solar wind gases, cosmogenic gases, and 'parentless' Ar-40. Such studies are helpful for the understanding of regolith evolution, of transport of regolith fines, and of the lunar atmosphere. The Apollo 16 soils are unique because they represent, after Luna 20, the second and much more extensive record from the lunar highlands. The landing site presents the problem of materials from the Cayley Formation vs those from the Descartes Formation. There are two large, relatively fresh craters in the area, North Ray and South Ray, whose ejecta patterns may be recognized in the inert-gas record.

  6. Exospheric transport restrictions on water ice in lunar polar traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. R., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    There is little doubt that at least 10 exp 17 g of water has accreted on the moon as a result of the reduction of ferric iron at the regolith surface by solar wind protons, the vaporization of chondrites, and perhaps comet impacts. Lacking an efficient escape mechanism, most of this water (or its progeny) is probably on the moon now. If the water were to have migrated to permanently shaded cold traps near the lunar poles, ice deposts with densities greater than 1000 g/sq cm would cover the traps, providing accessible resources. However, exospheric transport considerations suggest that the actual amount of water ice in the cold traps is probably too small to be of practical interest. The alternative is global assimilation of most of the water into the regolith, a process that must account for about 30 micromoles of water per gram of soil.

  7. Synodic and semiannual oscillations of argon-40 in the lunar exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. Richard; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2016-01-01

    The neutral mass spectrometer on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft collected a trove of exospheric data, including a set of high-quality measurements of radiogenic 40Ar over a period of 142 days. Data synthesis studies, using well-established exosphere simulation tools, show that the LADEE argon data are consistent with an exosphere-regolith interaction that is dominated by adsorption and that the desorption process generates the Armand distribution of exit velocities. The synthesis work has uncovered an apparent semiannual oscillation of argon that is consistent with temporal sequestration in the seasonal cold traps created at the poles by the obliquity of the Moon. In addition, the LADEE data provide new insight into the pristine nature of lunar regolith, its spatially varying sorption properties, and the influence of sorption processes on the synodic oscillation of the argon exosphere.

  8. Lunar heat-flow experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langseth, M. G.

    1977-01-01

    The principal components of the experiment were probes, each with twelve thermometers of exceptional accuracy and stability, that recorded temperature variations at the surface and in the regolith down to 2.5 m. The Apollo 15 experiment and the Apollo 17 probes recorded lunar surface and subsurface temperatures. These data provided a unique and valuable history of the interaction of solar energy with lunar surface and the effects of heat flowing from the deep interior out through the surface of the moon. The interpretation of these data resulted in a clearer definition of the thermal and mechanical properties of the upper two meters of lunar regolith, direct measurements of the gradient in mean temperature due to heat flow from the interior and a determination of the heat flow at the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 sites.

  9. Characterization of Minnesota lunar simulant for plant growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oglesby, James P.; Lindsay, Willard L.; Sadeh, Willy Z.

    1993-01-01

    Processing of lunar regolith into a plant growth medium is crucial in the development of a regenerative life support system for a lunar base. Plants, which are the core of such a system, produce food and oxygen for humans and, at the same time, consume carbon dioxide. Because of the scarcity of lunar regolith, simulants must be used to infer its properties and to develop procedures for weathering and chemical analyses. The Minnesota Lunar Simulant (MLS) has been identified to date as the best available simulant for lunar regolith. Results of the dissolution studies reveal that appropriately fertilized MLS can be a suitable medium for plant growth. The techniques used in conducting these studies can be extended to investigate the suitability of actual lunar regolith as a plant growth medium. Dissolution experiments were conducted using the MLS to determine its nutritional and toxicity characteristics for plant growth and to develop weathering and chemical analysis techniques. Two weathering regimes, one with water and one with dilute organic acids simulating the root rhizosphere microenvironment, were investigated. Elemental concentrations were measured using inductively-coupled-plasma (ICP) emission spectrometry and ion chromatography (IC). The geochemical speciation model, MINTEQA2, was used to determine the major solution species and the minerals controlling them. Acidification was found to be a useful method for increasing cation concentrations to meaningful levels. Initial results indicate that MLS weathers to give neutral to slightly basic solutions which contain acceptable amounts of the essential elements required for plant nutrition (i.e., potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, sodium, silicon, manganese, copper, chlorine, boron, molybdenum, and cobalt). Elements that need to be supplemented include carbon, nitrogen, and perhaps phosphorus and iron. Trace metals in solution were present at nontoxic levels.

  10. Optimized Bucket Wheel Design for Asteroid Excavation

    OpenAIRE

    Nallapu, Ravi Teja; Thoesen, Andrew; Garvie, Laurence; Asphaug, Erik; Thangavelautham, Jekanthan

    2017-01-01

    Current spacecraft need to launch with all of their required fuel for travel. This limits the system performance, payload capacity, and mission flexibility. One compelling alternative is to perform In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) by extracting fuel from small bodies in local space such as asteroids or small satellites. Compared to the Moon or Mars, the microgravity on an asteroid demands a fraction of the energy for digging and accessing hydrated regolith just below the surface. Previous ...

  11. Calcretized Ferricretes Around the Jaisalmer Area, Thar Desert, India: Their Chemistry, Mineralogy, Micromorphology and Genesis

    OpenAIRE

    TIWARI, DESIKAN RAMAKRISHNAN & KRISHNA CHANDRA

    2006-01-01

    Ferricrete, an iron duricrust, caps Tertiary and Mesozoic rocks around Jaisalmer in the Indian desert. These ferricretes are associated with two distinct present-day landforms. The upper unit is a high-level dissected, rocky structural plain and the lower one a colluvial flat with soft ferricrete gravels. This study pertains to the first situation wherein field observations, micromorphological features and regolith chemistry suggest an in situ origin for the ferricretes, as in the case of the...

  12. Dust Tolerant Commodity Transfer Interface Mechanisms for Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Ivan I.; Mueller, Robert P.; Tamasy, Gabor J.

    2014-01-01

    Regolith is present on most planetary surfaces such as Earth's moon, Mars, and Asteroids. If human crews and robotic machinery are to operate on these regolith covered surfaces, they must face the consequences of interacting with regolith fines which consist of particles below 100 microns in diameter down to as small as submicron scale particles. Such fine dust will intrude into mechanisms and interfaces causing a variety of problems such as contamination of clean fluid lines, jamming of mechanisms and damaging connector seals and couplings. Since multiple elements must be assembled in space for system level functionality, it will be inevitable that interfaces will be necessary for structural connections, and to pass commodities such as cryogenic liquid propellants, purge and buffer gases, water, breathing air, pressurizing gases, heat exchange fluids, power and data. When fine regolith dust is present in the environment it can be lofted into interfaces where it can compromise the utility of the interface by preventing the connections from being successfully mated, or by inducing fluid leaks or degradation of power and data transmission. A dust tolerant, hand held "quick-disconnect" cryogenic fluids connector housing has been developed at NASA KSC which can be used by astronaut crews to connect flex lines that will transfer propellants and other useful fluids to the end user. In addition, a dust tolerant, automated, cryogenic fluid, multiple connector, power and data interface mechanism prototype has been developed, fabricated and demonstrated by NASA at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The design and operation of these prototypes are explained and discussed.

  13. The spectral effects of subsolidus reduction of olivine and pyroxene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, D. T.

    1993-01-01

    The surfaces of atmosphereless bodies are subjected to a variety of chemical, thermal, accretionary, and shock processes related to their regolith environment. These processes are responsible for a number of alterations that occur in regoliths. Alterations include particle size commutation, implantation of solar wind gases, formation of agglutinates, spectral darkening, and, in the lunar case, the development of the very strong red continuum slope in the visible and near infrared spectra. A great deal of work has pointed to the role of agglutinates as the principal agent for darkening and reddening the lunar soil. The measures of regolith maturity are strongly linked to the accumulation of agglutinates. Recent work has suggested that the finest fractions of agglutinitic glass are major source of the spectral red slope. In particular, the red slope is most strongly associated with the agglutinitic glasses that are rich in blebs of sub-micron sized metal particles. It is thought that these metal particles, because of their size and scattering efficiently relative to the wavelength of light, are responsible for the red continuum slope. This fine fraction of metal particles is produced primarily by reduction of Fe(+2) from silicates. One mechanism for the reduction process is the reaction of solar implanted wind protons with the regolith soil during impact events. In this case the presence of hydrogen creates a reducing environment and the thermal pulse from the impact greatly speeds the reaction kinetics. To explore other reducing and thermal environments a series of experiments were done using samples in evacuated capsules buffered by Tantalum and heated to subsolidus temperatures.

  14. Lunar Penetrating Radar onboard the Chang'e-3 mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang Guang-You; Zhou Bin; Ji Yi-Cai; Zhang Qun-Ying; Shen Shao-Xiang; Li Yu-Xi; Guan Hong-Fei; Tang Chuan-Jun; Gao Yun-Ze; Lu Wei; Ye Sheng-Bo; Han Hai-Dong; Zheng Jin; Wang Shu-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) is one of the important scientific instruments onboard the Chang'e-3 spacecraft. Its scientific goals are the mapping of lunar regolith and detection of subsurface geologic structures. This paper describes the goals of the mission, as well as the basic principles, design, composition and achievements of the LPR. Finally, experiments on a glacier and the lunar surface are analyzed

  15. Lunar Penetrating Radar onboard the Chang'e-3 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Guang-You; Zhou, Bin; Ji, Yi-Cai; Zhang, Qun-Ying; Shen, Shao-Xiang; Li, Yu-Xi; Guan, Hong-Fei; Tang, Chuan-Jun; Gao, Yun-Ze; Lu, Wei; Ye, Sheng-Bo; Han, Hai-Dong; Zheng, Jin; Wang, Shu-Zhi

    2014-12-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) is one of the important scientific instruments onboard the Chang'e-3 spacecraft. Its scientific goals are the mapping of lunar regolith and detection of subsurface geologic structures. This paper describes the goals of the mission, as well as the basic principles, design, composition and achievements of the LPR. Finally, experiments on a glacier and the lunar surface are analyzed.

  16. The cool surfaces of binary near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbo, Marco; Walsh, Kevin; Mueller, Michael; Harris, Alan W.; Howell, Ellen S.

    2011-03-01

    Here we show results from thermal-infrared observations of km-sized binary near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). We combine previously published thermal properties for NEAs with newly derived values for three binary NEAs. The η value derived from the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) for each object is then used to estimate an average thermal inertia for the population of binary NEAs and compared against similar estimates for the population of non-binaries. We find that these objects have, in general, surface temperatures cooler than the average values for non-binary NEAs as suggested by elevated η values. We discuss how this may be evidence of higher-than-average surface thermal inertia. This latter physical parameter is a sensitive indicator of the presence or absence of regolith: bodies covered with fine regolith, such as the Earth’s moon, have low thermal inertia, whereas a surface with little or no regolith displays high thermal inertia. Our results are suggestive of a binary formation mechanism capable of altering surface properties, possibly removing regolith: an obvious candidate is the YORP effect. We present also newly determined sizes and geometric visible albedos derived from thermal-infrared observations of three binary NEAs: (5381) Sekhmet, (153591) 2001 SN263, and (164121) 2003 YT1. The diameters of these asteroids are 1.41 ± 0.21 km, 1.56 ± 0.31 km, and 2.63 ± 0.40 km, respectively. Their albedos are 0.23 ± 0.13, 0.24 ± 0.16, and 0.048 ± 0.015, respectively.

  17. Decoupling of stream and vegetation solutes during the late stages of weathering: insights from elemental and Mg isotope trends at the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapela Lara, M.; Schuessler, J. A.; Buss, H. L.; McDowell, W. H.

    2017-12-01

    During the evolution of the critical zone, the predominant source of nutrients to the vegetation changes from bedrock weathering to atmospheric inputs and biological recycling. In parallel, the architecture of the critical zone changes with time, promoting a change in water flow regime from near-surface porous flow during early weathering stages to more complex flow regimes modulated by clay-rich regolith during the late stages of weathering. As a consequence of these two concurrent processes, we can expect the predominant sources and pathways of solutes to the streams to also change during critical zone evolution. If this is true, we would observe a decoupling between the solutes used by the vegetation and those that determine the composition of the streams during the late stages of weathering, represented by geomorphically stable tropical settings. To test these hypotheses, we are analyzing the elemental and Mg isotopic composition of regolith and streams at the humid tropical Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory. We aim to trace the relative contributions of the surficial, biologically mediated pathways and the deeper, weathering controlled nutrient pathways. We also investigate the role of lithology on the solute decoupling between the vegetation and the stream, by examining two similar headwater catchments draining two different bedrocks (andesitic volcaniclastic and granitic). Our preliminary elemental and Mg isotope results are consistent with atmospheric inputs in the upper 2 m of regolith in both lithologies and with bedrock weathering at depth. During a short storm event ( 6 h), a headwater stream draining volcaniclastic bedrock showed a large variation in Mg and δ26Mg, correlated with total suspended solids, while another similar headwater granitic stream showed a much narrower variation. A larger stream draining volcaniclastic bedrock showed changes in Mg concentration in response to rain during the same storm event, but did not change in δ26Mg

  18. Resources of Near-Earth Space: Abstracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    The objectives are by theory, experiment, and bench-level testing of small systems, to develop scientifically-sound engineering processes and facility specifications for producing propellants and fuels, construction and shielding materials, and life support substances from the lithospheres and atmospheres of lunar, planetary, and asteroidal bodies. Current emphasis is on the production of oxygen, other usefull gases, metallic, ceramic/composite, and related byproducts from lunar regolith, carbonaceous chrondritic asteroids, and the carbon dioxide rich Martian atmosphere.

  19. Virtual Machine Language Controls Remote Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy Space Center worked with Blue Sun Enterprises, based in Boulder, Colorado, to enhance the company's virtual machine language (VML) to control the instruments on the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction mission. Now the NASA-improved VML is available for crewed and uncrewed spacecraft, and has potential applications on remote systems such as weather balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles, and submarines.

  20. USSR and Eastern Europe Scientific Abstracts Geophysics, Astronomy and Space No. 404

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-09-01

    intensity of cosmic rays at Yakutsk. Muon telescopes were placed on the ground surface and beneath the ground at depths of 7, 20 and 60 m water... Ray Variations ..45 Separation of Cosmic Ray Variations of Different Origin 45 Determining Atmospheric Turbidity from Pyranometric Measurements ...46...in Plasmosphere 47 IR Spectra of Lunar Regolith .....47 Correlation Between Cosmic Ray Variations and Solar Activity...48 Space Research for

  1. Method for Producing Launch/Landing Pads and Structures Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P. (Compiler)

    2015-01-01

    Current plans for deep space exploration include building landing-launch pads capable of withstanding the rocket blast of much larger spacecraft that that of the Apollo days. The proposed concept will develop lightweight launch and landing pad materials from in-situ materials, utilizing regolith to produce controllable porous cast metallic foam brickstiles shapes. These shapes can be utilized to lay a landing launch platform, as a construction material or as more complex parts of mechanical assemblies.

  2. Natural nanomaterials : reappraising the elusive structure of the nano-sized mineral ferrihydrite through X-Ray absorption spectroscopy at the iron K-edge

    OpenAIRE

    Figueiredo, M. Ondina; Silva, Teresa Pereira; Veiga, João Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Ferrihydrite is natural ferric oxyhydroxide occurring exclusively nanocrystalline. With ideal formula 5 Fe2 O3 . 9 H2 O, ferrihydrite is quite abundant in sediments, weathering crusts and mine wastes, being characteristic of red pre-soils formed by loose weathered rock plus mineral debris (regoliths) and commonly designated as “2-line” or “6-line” on the basis of the broadened maxima observed in the X-ray diffraction pattern. Synthetic nanocrystalline “6-line” ferrihydrite was...

  3. SEDIMENTOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE PEDOLOGICAL COVER OF CAMAÇARI ECOLOGICAL RESERVATION, CABO DE SANTO AGOSTINHO, PE, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Gomes da Silva

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the issues of environmental impacts derived from the continuousprocess of metropolitan growth, and aims at identifying and analysing the erosive processesoccurring in an area that has been legally designated as an environmental reservation,therefore said to be of strict permanent preservation. This research is focused on theunderstanding of causal relationships that unleash events of environmental disequilibrium,following the illegal systematic removal of the regolith for providing building materials tolocal civil construction entrepreneurs. It was possible to demonstrate the links between thespatial distribution of superficial materials (soils, sediments and regolith and the level ofstability of distinct geomorphic units, through the use of a morphostratigraphic approach. Thearea portrays a dissected hilly topography, lying within the limits of “Recife MetropolitanArea”, and therefore suffering the consequence of rapid changes in land use, epitomized bythe extensive removal of natural vegetation and exploitation of its deeply lateritized regolith,in spite of being protected by State laws. Deforestation allied to the removal of the deeplyweathered regolith has caused a rearrangement of the area’s morphodynamic units (Tricart,m1977, as shown by both field and lab-work. However, it was found that the diversity of thepedological cover in the area, as a dynamic response of the lithology to the east coasttradewinds tropical climate, commands the distribution of superficial processes, favoring theocurrence of mass movements, intense linear erosion, damming of superficial waterflow,reworking of sub-recent Aeolian sediments and building of coalescing alluvial fans. Finallythe research threw light on the understanding of the linkages between rates ofgemorphological dynamics and soil cover in a costal humid tropical environment.

  4. Compact, Deep-Penetrating Geothermal Heat Flow Instrumentation for Lunar Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagihara, S.; Zacny, K.; Hedlund, M.; Taylor, P. T.

    2012-01-01

    Geothermal heat flow is obtained as a product of the two separate measurements of geothermal gradient in, and thermal conductivity of, the vertical soi/rock/regolith interval penetrated by the instrument. Heat flow measurements are a high priority for the geophysical network missions to the Moon recommended by the latest Decadal Survey [I] and previously the International Lunar Network [2]. The two lunar-landing missions planned later this decade by JAXA [3] and ESA [4] also consider geothermal measurements a priority.

  5. New infrared telescopic observation of Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomba, E.; D'Aversa, E.; Sato, T.; Longobardo, A.; Aoki, S.; Sindoni, G.; Oliva, F.

    2017-09-01

    In this work we present new telescopic observations of the Vesta asteroid made at the Subaru Telescope by using the COMICS IR spectrometer. We were able to obtain 5 different observations in 5 day, at two different epochs. The obtained spectra do not exhibit Reststrahlen bands and show only weak features attributable to the Christiansen peak and to the transparency feature compatible with a fine grain size regolith.

  6. Surface Spectroscopy Center Of Excellence Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane

    2014-01-01

    We propose to develop a national center of excellence in Regolith Radiative Transfer (RRT), i.e., in modeling spectral reflectivity and emissivity of grainy or structured surfaces. The focus is the regime where the structural elements of grainy surfaces have grain sizes and separations of tens of microns, comparable to the wavelengths carrying diagnostic compositional information. This regime is of fundamental interest to remote sensing of planetary and terrestrial surfaces.

  7. Valoración de riesgos inducidos por la construcción de nuevos edificios en el campus de la Universidad de Deusto. España

    OpenAIRE

    Saiz de Omeñaca, Jesús; Edeño, Iñaki; Saiz de Omeñaca, José Antonio

    1990-01-01

    A study of the morphology of the basin adjacent to a projected construction site revealed that this building and others nearby could suffer serious damage in the event of flash flooding. In order to evaluate this risk, a number of factors were calculated; the amount of water that could fall onto the basin in case of extraordinary precipitation, the permeability of the soils and regoliths, the retention capacity of the vegetation, etc. After studying a number of possible solutions it was ...

  8. Hydrological response to bauxite mining and rehabilitation in the jarrah forest in south west Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Andrew H. Grigg

    2017-01-01

    Study region: Jarrah forest in south west Australia. Study focus: The hydrological response to bauxite mining in the jarrah forest could differ from other land uses such as timber harvesting or clearing for agriculture, since mining involves excavation of the upper regolith in addition to changes in forest cover due to clearing and subsequent rehabilitation. Three catchments, one subject to mining, a second subject to an intensive forest thinning treatment and an untreated control were mon...

  9. The Phobos-Grunt microgravity soil preparation system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Kai-leung; Lam, Chi Wo; Ko, Sui Man; Foster, James Abbott

    2017-12-01

    To understand the composition of regolith on distant bodies it is important to make quantitative measurement of its composition. However, many instruments on board space missions can only make qualitative measurements. The SOil Preparation SYStem (SOPSYS) designed for the Phobos-grunt mission in 2011 was a unique spacecraft subsystem that can grind, sieve, transport and measure samples of regolith in the absence of gravity. Its mission was to produce a compact plug of regolith sample composed of particles no larger than 1 mm for a gas analytic package. It delivers a sample with specified volume enabling a quantitative analysis of the volatiles produced at different temperatures through heating. To minimize cross contamination, SOPSYS self-cleans after each sample is delivered. The apparatus was a cooperative development between China and Russia for the Phobos-Grunt mission to the Martian moon Phobos and will be reused on the upcoming reattempt of that mission and other similar missions. The paper presents an overview of the subsystem and the results of qualification model testing. The flight unit of SOPSYS has a low mass of 622 g including control electronics and compact dimensions of 247 mm by 102 mm by 45 mm.

  10. Bi-directional Reflectance of Icy Surface Analogs: A Dual Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinones, Juan Manuel; Vides, Christina; Nelson, Robert M.; Boryta, Mark; Mannat, Ken s.

    2018-01-01

    Bi-directional reflectance measurements of analogs for planetary regolith have provided insight into the surface properties of planetary satellites and small bodies. Because Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) and water ice share a similar hexagonal crystalline structure, the former has been used in laboratory experiments to simulate the regolith of both icy and dusty planetary bodies. By measuring various sizes of well sorted size fractions of Al2O3, the reflectance phase curve and porosity of a planetary regolith can be determined. We have designed an experiment to test the laboratory measurements produced by Nelson et al. (2000). Additionally, we made reflectance measurements for other alkali-halide compounds that could be used for applications beyond astronomy and planetary science.In order to provide an independent check on the Nelson et al. data, we designed an instrument with a different configuration. While both instruments take bidirectional reflectance measurements, our instrument, the Rigid Photometric Goniometer (RPG), is fixed at a phase angle of 5° and detects the scattered light with a photomultiplier tube (PMT). The PMT current is then measured with an electrometer. Following the example of Nelson et al., we measured the bidirectional reflectance of Al2O3 particulate size fractions between 0.1sizes from 20size that provided optimal, or maximum, reflectance for each compound. Our conclusions bring confirmation and clarity to photometric sciences.

  11. Impact cratering on porous targets in the strength regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Akiko M.

    2017-12-01

    Cratering on small bodies is crucial for the collision cascade and also contributes to the ejection of dust particles into interplanetary space. A crater cavity forms against the mechanical strength of the surface, gravitational acceleration, or both. The formation of moderately sized craters that are sufficiently larger than the thickness of the regolith on small bodies, in which mechanical strength plays the dominant role rather than gravitational acceleration, is in the strength regime. The formation of microcraters on blocks on the surface is also within the strength regime. On the other hand, the formation of a crater of a size comparable to the thickness of the regolith is affected by both gravitational acceleration and cohesion between regolith particles. In this short review, we compile data from the literature pertaining to impact cratering experiments on porous targets, and summarize the ratio of spall diameter to pit diameter, the depth, diameter, and volume of the crater cavity, and the ratio of depth to diameter. Among targets with various porosities studied in the laboratory to date, based on conventional scaling laws (Holsapple and Schmidt, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 1849-1870, 1982) the cratering efficiency obtained for porous sedimentary rocks (Suzuki et al., J. Geophys. Res. 117, E08012, 2012) is intermediate. A comparison with microcraters formed on a glass target with impact velocities up to 14 km s-1 indicates a different dependence of cratering efficiency and depth-to-diameter ratio on impact velocity.

  12. The lunar thermal ice pump

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schorghofer, Norbert [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Aharonson, Oded, E-mail: norbert@hawaii.edu [Helen Kimmel Center for Planetary Science, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100 (Israel)

    2014-06-20

    It has long been suggested that water ice can exist in extremely cold regions near the lunar poles, where sublimation loss is negligible. The geographic distribution of H-bearing regolith shows only a partial or ambiguous correlation with permanently shadowed areas, thus suggesting that another mechanism may contribute to locally enhancing water concentrations. We show that under suitable conditions, water molecules can be pumped down into the regolith by day-night temperature cycles, leading to an enrichment of H{sub 2}O in excess of the surface concentration. Ideal conditions for pumping are estimated and found to occur where the mean surface temperature is below 105 K and the peak surface temperature is above 120 K. These conditions complement those of the classical cold traps that are roughly defined by peak temperatures lower than 120 K. On the present-day Moon, an estimated 0.8% of the global surface area experiences such temperature variations. Typically, pumping occurs on pole-facing slopes in small areas, but within a few degrees of each pole the equator-facing slopes are preferred. Although pumping of water molecules is expected over cumulatively large areas, the absolute yield of this pump is low; at best, a few percent of the H{sub 2}O delivered to the surface could have accumulated in the near-surface layer in this way. The amount of ice increases with vapor diffusivity and is thus higher in the regolith with large pore spaces.

  13. The Shallow Subsurface Geological Structures at the Chang'E-3 Landing Site Based on Lunar Penetrating Radar Channel-2B Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, N.; Zhu, P.; Yuan, Y.; Yang, K.; Xiao, L.; Xiao, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) carried by the Yutu rover of the Chinese Chang'E-3 mission has detected the shallow subsurface structures for the landing site at the northern Mare Imbrium. The antenna B of the LPR Channel-2 has collected more than 2000 traces of usable raw data. We performed calibration on the LPR data including amplitude compensation, filtering, and deconvolution. The processed results reveal that the shallow subsurface of the landing site can be divided into three major layers whose thicknesses are ~1, ~3, and 2-7 m, respectively. Variations occur on the thickness of each layer at different locations. Considering the geological background of the landing site, we interpret that the first layer is the regolith layer accumulated over ~80 Ma since the formation of the 450 m diameter Chang'E A crater. This regolith layer was formed on the basis of the ejecta deposits of Chang'E A. The second layer is the remnant continuous ejecta deposits from the Chang'E A crater, which is thicker closer to the crater rim and thinning outwardly. The Chang'E A crater formed on a paleo-regolith layer over the Eratosthenian basalts, which represents the third layer detected by the Channel 2B of the LPR.

  14. Beneficiation of lunar ilmenite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Joaquin

    1991-01-01

    One of the most important commodities lacking in the moon is free oxygen which is required for life and used extensively for propellent. Free oxygen, however, can be obtained by liberating it from the oxides and silicates that form the lunar rocks and regolith. Ilmenite (FeTiO3) is considered one of the leading candidates for production of oxygen because it can be reduced with a reasonable amount of energy and it is an abundant mineral in the lunar regolith and many mare basalts. In order to obtain oxygen from ilmenite, a method must be developed to beneficiate ilmenite from lunar material. Two possible techniques are electrostatic or magnetic methods. Both methods have complications because lunar ilmenite completely lacks Fe(3+). Magnetic methods were tested on eucrite meteorites, which are a good chemical simulant for low Ti mare basalts. The ilmenite yields in the experiments were always very low and the eucrite had to be crushed to xxxx. These data suggest that magnetic separation of ilmenite from fine grain lunar basalts would not be cost effective. Presently, experiments are being performed with electrostatic separators, and lunar regolith is being waited for so that simulants do not have to be employed.

  15. An Extension of Analysis of Solar-Heated Thermal Wadis to Support Extended-Duration Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramaniam, R.; Gokoglu, S. A.; Sacksteder, K. R.; Wegeng, R. S.; Suzuki, N. H.

    2010-01-01

    The realization of the renewed exploration of the Moon presents many technical challenges; among them is the survival of lunar surface assets during periods of darkness when the lunar environment is very cold. Thermal wadis are engineered sources of stored solar energy using modified lunar regolith as a thermal storage mass that can supply energy to protect lightweight robotic rovers or other assets during the lunar night. This paper describes an extension of an earlier analysis of performance of thermal wadis based on the known solar illumination of the Moon and estimates of producible thermal properties of modified lunar regolith. The current analysis has been performed for the lunar equatorial region and validates the formerly used 1-D model by comparison of predictions to those obtained from 2-D and 3-D computations. It includes the effects of a thin dust layer covering the surface of the wadi, and incorporating either water as a phase-change material or aluminum stakes as a high thermal conductivity material into the regolith. The calculations indicate that thermal wadis can provide the desired thermal energy and temperature control for the survival of rovers or other equipment during periods of darkness.

  16. A thermal control system for long-term survival of scientific instruments on lunar surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, K; Iijima, Y; Sakatani, N; Otake, H; Tanaka, S

    2014-03-01

    A thermal control system is being developed for scientific instruments placed on the lunar surface. This thermal control system, Lunar Mission Survival Module (MSM), was designed for scientific instruments that are planned to be operated for over a year in the future Japanese lunar landing mission SELENE-2. For the long-term operations, the lunar surface is a severe environment because the soil (regolith) temperature varies widely from nighttime -200 degC to daytime 100 degC approximately in which space electronics can hardly survive. The MSM has a tent of multi-layered insulators and performs a "regolith mound". Temperature of internal devices is less variable just like in the lunar underground layers. The insulators retain heat in the regolith soil in the daylight, and it can keep the device warm in the night. We conducted the concept design of the lunar survival module, and estimated its potential by a thermal mathematical model on the assumption of using a lunar seismometer designed for SELENE-2. Thermal vacuum tests were also conducted by using a thermal evaluation model in order to estimate the validity of some thermal parameters assumed in the computed thermal model. The numerical and experimental results indicated a sufficient survivability potential of the concept of our thermal control system.

  17. A thermal control system for long-term survival of scientific instruments on lunar surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogawa, K.; Iijima, Y.; Tanaka, S.; Sakatani, N.; Otake, H.

    2014-01-01

    A thermal control system is being developed for scientific instruments placed on the lunar surface. This thermal control system, Lunar Mission Survival Module (MSM), was designed for scientific instruments that are planned to be operated for over a year in the future Japanese lunar landing mission SELENE-2. For the long-term operations, the lunar surface is a severe environment because the soil (regolith) temperature varies widely from nighttime −200 degC to daytime 100 degC approximately in which space electronics can hardly survive. The MSM has a tent of multi-layered insulators and performs a “regolith mound”. Temperature of internal devices is less variable just like in the lunar underground layers. The insulators retain heat in the regolith soil in the daylight, and it can keep the device warm in the night. We conducted the concept design of the lunar survival module, and estimated its potential by a thermal mathematical model on the assumption of using a lunar seismometer designed for SELENE-2. Thermal vacuum tests were also conducted by using a thermal evaluation model in order to estimate the validity of some thermal parameters assumed in the computed thermal model. The numerical and experimental results indicated a sufficient survivability potential of the concept of our thermal control system

  18. Some geomorphological features of the Orhaneli Pluton: Implications for denudation history

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Evren ERGİNAL

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The granitic intrusions of the variable age of cooling, size and mineral composition are widely exposed in the northwest Anatolia, Turkey. The nearly circular Orhaneli Pluton emplaced during the Early Eocene with some 15 km in diameter, is one of such plutonic bodies. Geomorphological features of the pluton are discussed here with special emphasis given on the denudation history. To this end, evidence from two isolated Inselberglike hills as remnants of roof rocks in the centre of the pluton and episodically emergence of granite landforms of etch origin after unroofing process were investigated. Field data reveal the absence of granodiorite clasts within Early to Middle Miocene lacustrine deposits in the north of the pluton, implying that the pluton might not have been exposure prior to Upper Miocene as a whole. After the first exposure, the granite landforms, such as boulders, corestones and tors constituting sound evidence of an etch origin, became exposure by continual removing of regolith cover by surficial runoff. These forms of various scale were formed at first by subsurface weathering and shaped by surficial weathering processes after any stages of removal of the regolith cover. Drainage segments accounted for removal of regolith is mostly structurally controlled defined by NW-SE, NE-SW and N-S-aligned fracture systems.

  19. Developing Biological ISRU: Implications for Life Support and Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. I.; Allen, C. C.; Garrison, D. H.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Galindo, C.; Mckay, David S.

    2010-01-01

    Main findings: 1) supplementing very dilute media for cultivation of CB with analogs of lunar or Martian regolith effectively supported the proliferation of CB; 2) O2 evolution by siderophilic cyanobacteria cultivated in diluted media but supplemented with iron-rich rocks was higher than O2 evolution by same strain in undiluted medium; 3) preliminary data suggest that organic acids produced by CB are involved in iron-rich mineral dissolution; 4) the CB studied can accumulate iron on and in their cells; 4) sequencing of the cyanobacterium JSC-1 genome revealed that this strain possesses molecular features which make it applicable for the cultivation in special photoreactors on Moon and Mars. Conclusion: As a result of pilot studies, we propose, to develop a concept for semi-closed integrated system that uses CB to extract useful elements to revitalize air and produce valuable biomolecules. Such a system could be the foundation of a self-sustaining extraterrestrial outpost (Hendrickx, De Wever et al., 2005; Handford, 2006). A potential advantage of a cyanobacterial photoreactor placed between LSS and ISRU loops is the possibility of supplying these systems with extracted elements and compounds from the regolith. In addition, waste regolith may be transformed into additional products such as methane, biomass, and organic and inorganic soil enrichment for the cultivation of higher plants.

  20. LAVA Subsystem Integration and Testing for the RESOLVE Payload of the Resource Prospector Mission: Mass Spectrometers and Gas Chromatography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coan, Mary R.; Stewart, Elaine M.

    2015-01-01

    The Regolith and Environment Science & Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) payload is part of Resource Prospector (RP) along with a rover and a lander that are expected to launch in 2020. RP will identify volatile elements that may be combined and collected to be used for fuel, air, and water in order to enable deeper space exploration. The Resource Prospector mission is a key part of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). The demand for this method of utilizing resources at the site of exploration is increasing due to the cost of resupply missions and deep space exploration goals. The RESOLVE payload includes the Lunar Advanced Volatile Analysis (LAVA) subsystem. The main instrument used to identify the volatiles evolved from the lunar regolith is the Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). LAVA analyzes the volatiles emitted from the Oxygen and Volatile Extraction Node (OVEN) Subsystem. The objective of OVEN is to obtain, weigh, heat and transfer evolved gases to LAVA through the connection between the two subsystems called the LOVEN line. This paper highlights the work completed during a ten week internship that involved the integration, testing, data analysis, and procedure documentation of two candidate mass spectrometers for the LAVA subsystem in order to aid in determining which model to use for flight. Additionally, the examination of data from the integrated Resource Prospector '15 (RP' 15) field test will be presented in order to characterize the amount of water detected from water doped regolith samples.

  1. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Moon and Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session" Moon and Mercury" included the following reports:Helium Production of Prompt Neutrinos on the Moon; Vapor Deposition and Solar Wind Implantation on Lunar Soil-Grain Surfaces as Comparable Processes; A New Lunar Geologic Mapping Program; Physical Backgrounds to Measure Instantaneous Spin Components of Terrestrial Planets from Earth with Arcsecond Accuracy; Preliminary Findings of a Study of the Lunar Global Megaregolith; Maps Characterizing the Lunar Regolith Maturity; Probable Model of Anomalies in the Polar Regions of Mercury; Parameters of the Maximum of Positive Polarization of the Moon; Database Structure Development for Space Surveying Results by Moon -Zond Program; CM2-type Micrometeoritic Lunar Winds During the Late Heavy Bombardment; A Comparison of Textural and Chemical Features of Spinel Within Lunar Mare Basalts; The Reiner Gamma Formation as Characterized by Earth-based Photometry at Large Phase Angles; The Significance of the Geometries of Linear Graben for the Widths of Shallow Dike Intrusions on the Moon; Lunar Prospector Data, Surface Roughness and IR Thermal Emission of the Moon; The Influence of a Magma Ocean on the Lunar Global Stress Field Due to Tidal Interaction Between the Earth and Moon; Variations of the Mercurian Photometric Relief; A Model of Positive Polarization of Regolith; Ground Truth and Lunar Global Thorium Map Calibration: Are We There Yet?;and Space Weathering of Apollo 16 Sample 62255: Lunar Rocks as Witness Plates for Deciphering Regolith Formation Processes.

  2. CCD-Based XRD/XRF for Determining Environmental Mineralogy on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Chipera, S. J.

    2000-01-01

    Health effects from Martian dusts will be a concern for any manned Mars missions. Nuisance dusts plagued the Apollo astronauts, but dusts of more hazardous mineralogy, in habitats occupied by Mars astronauts weakened by a long-duration mission, may be more than a nuisance. Chemical hazards in Martian regolith attributable to S, Cl, Br, Cd, and Pb are known or strongly suspected to be present, but terrestrial studies of the health effects of dusts indicate that accurate determination of mineralogy is a critical factor in evaluating inhalation hazards. Mineral inhalation hazards such as the Group-I carcinogenic zeolite erionite, which is demonstrated to cause mesothelioma, cannot be identified by chemical analysis alone. Studies of palagonite analogs raise the possibility that erionite may occur on Mars. In addition to health effects concerns, environmental mineralogy has significant importance in resource extraction, groundwater use, and sustained agriculture. The high sulfur and chlorine content of Martian regolith will affect all of these uses, but the nature of mineralogic reservoirs for S and Cl will determine their uptake and concentration in extracted groundwater and in agricultural applications of regolith. Wet chemistry experiments planned for the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) will define some of the consequences of water/soil interaction, but an understanding of the mineralogic basis for water-rock reactions is needed to understand the mechanisms of reaction and to apply the results of a few experiments to larger scales and different conditions.

  3. A thermal control system for long-term survival of scientific instruments on lunar surface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ogawa, K., E-mail: ogawa@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba (Japan); Iijima, Y.; Tanaka, S. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo, Sagamihara, Kanagawa (Japan); Sakatani, N. [The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Shonan Village, Hayama, Kanagawa (Japan); Otake, H. [JAXA Space Exploration Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo, Sagamihara, Kanagawa (Japan)

    2014-03-15

    A thermal control system is being developed for scientific instruments placed on the lunar surface. This thermal control system, Lunar Mission Survival Module (MSM), was designed for scientific instruments that are planned to be operated for over a year in the future Japanese lunar landing mission SELENE-2. For the long-term operations, the lunar surface is a severe environment because the soil (regolith) temperature varies widely from nighttime −200 degC to daytime 100 degC approximately in which space electronics can hardly survive. The MSM has a tent of multi-layered insulators and performs a “regolith mound”. Temperature of internal devices is less variable just like in the lunar underground layers. The insulators retain heat in the regolith soil in the daylight, and it can keep the device warm in the night. We conducted the concept design of the lunar survival module, and estimated its potential by a thermal mathematical model on the assumption of using a lunar seismometer designed for SELENE-2. Thermal vacuum tests were also conducted by using a thermal evaluation model in order to estimate the validity of some thermal parameters assumed in the computed thermal model. The numerical and experimental results indicated a sufficient survivability potential of the concept of our thermal control system.

  4. Laboratory simulations of lunar darkening processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hapke, B.

    1993-01-01

    It was clear long before the Apollo missions that a darkening process occurs on the moon. However, its nature remains controversial and elusive. Current evidence implies that the darkening is associated with, and is probably caused by, submicroscopic metallic iron in the regolith. Questions discussed at the workshop include: (1) under what conditions will impact vitrification produce a dark glass; (2) what is the role of the submicroscopic metallic Fe (SMFe) in the lunar darkening process; (3) how is the SMFe produced; (4) is there a significant component of the regolith that has been deposited from a vapor, if so, what form is it in, and how can it be recognized, what are its effects on the chemistry of the regolith; (5) how do the processes of impact vitrification, vaporization, sputtering, and SMFe production vary as a function of distance from the sun and location in planetary magnetospheres; and (6) what other processes might affect optical properties. Ices have lower melting and boiling temperatures and sputtering yields several orders of magnitude larger than silicates. Hence, analogous processes will occur to an even greater extent on satellites of the outer planets, and these questions are relevant to those bodies as well.

  5. Observed diurnal variations in Mars Science Laboratory Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons passive mode data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, C. G.; Moersch, J.; Jun, I.; Mitrofanov, I.; Litvak, M.; Boynton, W. V.; Drake, D.; Fedosov, F.; Golovin, D.; Hardgrove, C.; Harshman, K.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Kuzmin, R.; Lisov, D.; Maclennan, E.; Malakhov, A.; Mischna, M.; Mokrousov, M.; Nikiforov, S.; Sanin, A. B.; Starr, R.; Vostrukhin, A.

    2018-06-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) experiment measures the martian neutron leakage flux in order to estimate the amount of water equivalent hydrogen present in the shallow regolith. When DAN is operating in passive mode, it is sensitive to neutrons produced through the interactions of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) with the regolith and atmosphere and neutrons produced by the rover's Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). During the mission, DAN passive mode data were collected over the full diurnal cycle at the locations known as Rocknest (sols 60-100) and John Klein (sols 166-272). A weak, but unexpected, diurnal variation was observed in the neutron count rates reported at these locations. We investigate different hypotheses that could be causing these observed variations. These hypotheses are variations in subsurface temperature, atmospheric pressure, the exchange of water vapor between the atmosphere and regolith, and instrumental effects on the neutron count rates. Our investigation suggests the most likely factors contributing to the observed diurnal variations in DAN passive data are instrumental effects and time-variable preferential shielding of alpha particles, with other environmental effects only having small contributions.

  6. A new planetary structure fabrication process using phosphoric acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchner, Christoph; Pawelke, Roland H.; Schlauf, Thomas; Reissner, Alexander; Makaya, Advenit

    2018-02-01

    Minimising the launch mass is an important aspect of exploration mission planning. In-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) can improve this by reducing the amount of terrestrial materials needed for planetary exploration activities. We report on a recently concluded investigation into the requirements and available technologies for creating hardware on extra-terrestrial bodies, using the limited resources available on site. A trade-off of ISRU technologies for hardware manufacturing was conducted. A new additive manufacturing process suitable for fabricating structures on the Moon or Mars was developed. The process uses planetary regolith as the base material and concentrated phosphoric acid as the liquid binder. Mixing the reagents creates a sticky construction paste that slowly solidifies into a hard, rock-like material. Prior to solidification, the paste is extruded in layers, creating the desired structures in a 3D printing process. We used Martian regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A, but the process is not selective towards regolith composition. Samples were exposed to thermal cycles and were mechanically characterised. Reduced-scale demonstrator structures were printed to demonstrate structure fabrication using the developed process.

  7. Ferromagnetic resonance studies of lunar core stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housley, R. M.; Cirlin, E. H.; Goldberg, I. B.; Crowe, H.

    1976-01-01

    We first review the evidence which links the characteristic ferromagnetic resonance observed in lunar fines samples with agglutinatic glass produced primarily by micrometeorite impacts and present new results on Apollo 15, 16, and 17 breccias which support this link by showing that only regolith breccias contribute significantly to the characteristic FMR intensity. We then provide a calibration of the amount of Fe metal in the form of uniformly magnetized spheres required to give our observed FMR intensities and discuss the theoretical magnetic behavior to be expected of Fe spheres as a function of size. Finally, we present FMR results on samples from every 5 mm interval in the core segments 60003, 60009, and 70009. These results lead us to suggest: (1) that secondary mixing may generally be extensive during regolith deposition so that buried regolith surfaces are hard to recognize or define; and (2) that local grinding of rocks and pebbles during deposition may lead to short scale fluctuations in grain size, composition, and apparent exposure age of samples.

  8. Restoration of the Apollo Heat Flow Experiments Metadata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagihara, S.; Stephens, M. K.; Taylor, P. T.; Williams, D. R.; Hills, H. K.; Nakamura, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Geothermal heat flow probes were deployed on the Apollo 15 and 17 missions as part of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP). At each landing site, the astronauts drilled 2 holes, 10-m apart, and installed a probe in each. The holes were 1- and 1.5-m deep at the Apollo 15 site and 2.5-m deep at the Apollo 17 sites. The probes monitored surface temperature and subsurface temperatures at different depths. At the Apollo 15 site, the monitoring continued from July 1971 to January 1977. At the Apollo 17 site, it did from December 1972 to September 1977. Based on the observations made through December 1974, Marcus Langseth, the principal investigator of the heat flow experiments (HFE), determined the thermal conductivity of the lunar regolith by mathematically modeling how the seasonal temperature fluctuation propagated down through the regolith. He also determined the temperature unaffected by diurnal and seasonal thermal waves of the regolith at different depths, which yielded the geothermal gradient. By multiplying the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity, Langseth obtained the endogenic heat flow of the Moon as 21 mW/m(exp 2) at Site 15 and 16 mW/m(exp 2) at Site 17.

  9. On the metal-rich surfaces of (16) Psyche and other M-type asteroids from interferometric observations in the thermal infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbo, Marco; Matter, A.; Gundlach, B.; Blum, J.

    2013-10-01

    Asteroids belonging to the spectroscopic M-type exhibit a quasi featureless and moderately red reflectance spectrum and a geometric visible albedo between 0.1 and 0.3. These asteroids were initially thought to be metallic cores of differentiated asteroids that were exposed to space by a catastrophic disruption by impacts. Later, this view has been challenged by the detection of silicates and hydration spectroscopic bands on these bodies. Unveiling the physical properties of the surfaces of these asteroids, and identifying their meteorite analogs is a challenge from remote-sensing observations. Nevertheless, these are crucial problems, important for estimating the number of asteroids that underwent differentiation in the early phases of the formation of our solar system. The thermal inertia is a sensitive indicator for the presence of metal in the regolith on the surfaces of asteroids. We developed a new thermophysical model that allow us to derive the value of the thermal inertia from interferometric observations in the thermal infrared. We report on our investigation of the thermal inertia of M-type asteroids, including the asteroids (16) Psyche, for which we obtained a thermal inertia value anomalously high compared to the thermal inertia values of other asteroids in the same size range. From the thermal inertia and model of heat conductivity that accounts for different values of the packing fraction (a measure of the degree of compaction of the regolith particles) the regolith grain size is derived.

  10. Turning the Moon into a Solar Photovoltaic Paradise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freundlich, Alex; Alemu, Andenet; Williams, Lawrence; Nakamura, Takashi; Sibille, Laurent; Curren, Peter

    2006-01-01

    Lunar resource utilization has focused principally on the extraction of oxygen from the lunar regolith. A number of schemes have been proposed for oxygen extraction from Ilmenite and Anorthite. Serendipitously, these schemes have as their by-products (or more directly as their "waste products"), materials needed for the fabrication of thin film silicon solar cells. Thus lunar surface possesses both the elemental components needed for the fabrication of silicon solar cells and a vacuum environment that allows for vacuum deposition of thin film solar cells directly on the surface of the Moon without the need for vacuum chambers. In support of the US space exploration initiative a new architecture for the production of thin film solar cells on directly on the lunar surface is proposed. The paper discusses experimental data on the fabrication and properties of lunar glass substrates, evaporated lunar regolith thin films (anti-reflect coatings and insulators), and preliminary attempts in the fabrication of thin film (silicon/II-VI) photovoltaic materials on lunar regolith glass substrates. A conceptual design for a solar powered robotic rover capable of fabricating solar cells directly on the lunar surface is provided. Technical challenges in the development of such a facility and strategies to alleviate perceived difficulties are discussed.

  11. Integrated Bio-ISRU and Life Support Systems at the Lunar Outpost: Concept and Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. I.; Garrison, D. H.; Allen, C. C.; Pickering, K.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Galindo, C., Jr.; Pan, D.; Foraker, E.; Mckay, D. S.

    2009-01-01

    We continue the development of our concept of a biotechnological loop for in-situ resource extraction along with propellant and food production at a future lunar outpost, based on the cultivation of litholytic cyanobacteria (LCB) with lunar regolith (LR) in a geobioreactor energized by sunlight. Our preliminary studies have shown that phototropic cultivation of LCB with simulants of LR in a low-mineralized medium supplemented with CO2 leads to rock dissolution (bioweathering) with the resulting accumulation of Fe, Mg and Al in cyanobacterial cells and in the medium. LCB cultivated with LR simulants produces more O2 than the same organisms cultivated in a high-mineralized medium. The loss of rock mass after bioweathering with LCB suggests the release of O from regolith. Further studies of chemical pathways of released O are required. The bioweathering process is limited by the availability of CO2, N, and P. Since lunar regolith is mainly composed of O, Si, Ca, Al and Mg, we propose to use organic waste to supply a geobioreactor with C, N and P. The recycling of organic waste, including urine, through a geobioreactor will allow for efficient element extraction as well as oxygen and biomass production. The most critical conclusion is that a biological life support system tied to a geobioreactor might be more efficient for supporting an extraterrestrial outpost than a closed environmental system.

  12. Nuclear tracks, Sm isotopes and neutron capture effects in the Elephant Morraine shergottite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rajan, R.S.; Lugmair, G.; Tamhane, A.S.; Poupeau, G.

    1986-01-01

    Nuclear track studies, uranium concentration measurements and Sm-isotope studies have been performed on both lithologies A and B of the Elephant Morraine shergottite, EETA 79001. Track studies show that EETA 79001 was a rather small object in space with a preatmospheric radius of 12+-2 cm, corresponding to a preatmospheric mass of 28+-13 kg. Phosphates have U-concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 1.3 ppm. There are occasional phosphates with excess fission tracks, possibly produced from neutron induced fission of U and Th, during the regolith exposure in the shergottite parent body (SPB). Sm-isotope studies, while not showing any clear cut excess in 150 Sm, enable us to derive meaningful upper limits to thermal neutron fluences of 2 to 3x10 15 n/cm 2 , during a possible regolith irradiation. These limits are consistent with the track data and also enable us to derive an upper limit to the neutron exposure age of EETA 79001 of 55 Myr in the SPB regolith. (author)

  13. Nuclear tracks, Sm isotopes and neutron capture effects in the Elephant Morraine shergottite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rajan, R.S.; Lugmair, G.; Tamhane, A.S.; Poupeau, G.

    1985-01-01

    Nuclear track studies, uranium concentration measurements and Sm-isotope studies have been performed on both lithologies A and B of the Elephant Morraine Shergottite, EETA 79001. Track studies show that EETA 79001 was a rather small object in space with a preatmospheric radius of 12 +-2cm, corresponding to a preatmospheric mass of 28 +- 13 kg. U-concentrations measurements indicate that phosphates have concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 1.3 ppm. There are occasional phosphates with excess fission tracks, possibly produced from neutron induced fission of U and Th, during the regolith exposure in the shergottite parent body (SPB). Sm-isotope studies, while not showing any clear cut excess in 150 Sm, enable us to derive meaningful upper limits to thermal neutron fluences of 2 to 3x10 15 n/cm 2 , during a possible regolith irradiation. These limits are consistent with that required to explain the track data and also enable us to derive an upper limit to the neutron exposure age of EETA 79001 of 55 Myr in the SPB regolith. (Author) [pt

  14. Differentiation history of small bodies in the solar system: the howardite and mesosiderite meteorite parent bodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mittlefehldt, D.W.

    1978-01-01

    Mesosiderites and howardites are regolith samples of differentiated asteroids. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) data on whole rock howardites and mesosiderite silicates show that the composition of howardites and mesosiderites are similar, and intermediate between those of eucrites and diogenites. The mesosiderites Mincy, Lowicz and Veramin show an enrichment in light REE and have an REE pattern that is qualitatively similar to that in terrestrial basalts thought to have been formed by small degrees of partial melting. Attempts to model the REE abundances in these mesosiderites indicates that they most likely formed by approx. 2 to 4% partial melting of a source containing low abundances of the rare earths. Since numerous properties separate mesosiderite silicates from howardites, it is clear that they are not samples of a well-mixed regolith from a single parent body. If regolith stirring is efficient on small parent bodies, then mesosiderites and howardites originated on separate parent bodies. Rare earth element patterns give evidence for remelting and fractional crystallization of preexisting cumulates and sequential melting episodes. The mesosiderites appear to contain a slightly greater abundance of diogenite-like material and certainly contain a greater abundance of large olivine clasts. These observations suggest that the mesosiderite parent body crust was more complexly fractionated than the howardite parent body crust. The latter appears to have been dominated by quenched basalt flows

  15. Application of manufactured products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastri, Sankar; Duke, Michael B.

    1992-01-01

    A wide range of products can be manufactured from the following materials: (1) lunar regolith or basalt; (2) regolith or rock beneficiated to concentrate plagioclase or other minerals; (3) iron, extracted from lunar soil or rocks by various means; (4) naturally occurring or easily obtained materials that have cementitious properties; and (5) byproducts of the above materials. Among the products that can be produced from these materials are the following: beams; plates and sheets; transparent plates (windows); bricks and blocks; pipes and tubes; low-density materials (foams); fiber, wire, and cables; foils and reflective coatings; hermetic seals (coatings); and formed objects. In addition to oxygen, which can be obtained by several processes, either from unbeneficiated regolith or by reduction of concentrated ilmenite, these materials make the simplest requirements of the lunar resource extraction system. A thorough analysis of the impact of these simplest products on the economics of space operations is not possible at this point. Research is necessary both to define optimum techniques and adapt them to space and to determine the probable market for the products so that the priority of various processes can be assessed. Discussions of the following products are presented: aerobraking heat shields; pressurized habitats; lunar photovoltaic farms; and agricultural systems.

  16. Software Architecture to Support the Evolution of the ISRU RESOLVE Engineering Breadboard Unit 2 (EBU2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Thomas; Nurge, Mark; Perusich, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    The In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Regolith & Environmental Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE) software provides operation of the physical plant from a remote location with a high-level interface that can access and control the data from external software applications of other subsystems. This software allows autonomous control over the entire system with manual computer control of individual system/process components. It gives non-programmer operators the capability to easily modify the high-level autonomous sequencing while the software is in operation, as well as the ability to modify the low-level, file-based sequences prior to the system operation. Local automated control in a distributed system is also enabled where component control is maintained during the loss of network connectivity with the remote workstation. This innovation also minimizes network traffic. The software architecture commands and controls the latest generation of RESOLVE processes used to obtain, process, and quantify lunar regolith. The system is grouped into six sub-processes: Drill, Crush, Reactor, Lunar Water Resource Demonstration (LWRD), Regolith Volatiles Characterization (RVC) (see example), and Regolith Oxygen Extraction (ROE). Some processes are independent, some are dependent on other processes, and some are independent but run concurrently with other processes. The first goal is to analyze the volatiles emanating from lunar regolith, such as water, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen, and others. This is done by heating the soil and analyzing and capturing the volatilized product. The second goal is to produce water by reducing the soil at high temperatures with hydrogen. This is done by raising the reactor temperature in the range of 800 to 900 C, causing the reaction to progress by adding hydrogen, and then capturing the water product in a desiccant bed. The software needs to run the entire unit and all sub-processes; however

  17. Oxygen Extraction from Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Tony

    2017-01-01

    Oxygen, whether used as part of rocket bipropellant or for astronaut life support, is a key consumable for space exploration and commercialization. In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) has been proposed many times as a method for making space exploration more cost effective and sustainable. On planetary and asteroid surfaces the presence of minerals in the regolith that contain oxygen is very common, making them a potential oxygen resource. The majority of research and development for oxygen extraction from minerals has been for lunar regolith although this work would generally be applicable to regolith at other locations in space. This presentation will briefly survey the major methods investigated for oxygen extraction from regolith with a focus on the current status of those methods and possible future development pathways. The major oxygen production methods are (1) extraction from lunar ilmenite (FeTiO3) with either hydrogen or carbon monoxide, (2) carbothermal reduction of iron oxides and silicates with methane, and (3) molten regolith electrolysis (MRE) of silicates. Methods (1) and (2) have also been investigated in a two-step process using CO reduction and carbon deposition followed by carbothermal reduction. All three processes have byproducts that could also be used as resources. Hydrogen or carbon monoxide reduction produce iron metal in small amounts that could potentially be used as construction material. Carbothermal reduction also makes iron metal along with silicon metal and a glass with possible applications. MRE produces iron, silicon, aluminum, titanium, and glass, with higher silicon yields than carbothermal reduction. On Mars and possibly on some moons and asteroids, water is present in the form of mineral hydrates, hydroxyl (-OH) groups on minerals, andor water adsorbed on mineral surfaces. Heating of the minerals can liberate the water which can be electrolyzed to provide a source of oxygen as well. The chemistry of these processes, some key

  18. Discussion of thermal extraction chamber concepts for Lunar ISRU

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer, Matthias; Hager, Philipp; Parzinger, Stephan; Dirlich, Thomas; Spinnler, Markus; Sattelmayer, Thomas; Walter, Ulrich

    The Exploration group of the Institute of Astronautics (LRT) of the Technische Universitüt a München focuses on long-term scenarios and sustainable human presence in space. One of the enabling technologies in this long-term perspective is in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). When dealing with the prospect of future manned missions to Moon and Mars the use of ISRU seems useful and intended. The activities presented in this paper focus on Lunar ISRU. This basically incorporates both the exploitation of Lunar oxygen from natural rock and the extraction of solar wind implanted particles (SWIP) from regolith dust. Presently the group at the LRT is examining possibilities for the extraction of SWIPs, which may provide several gaseous components (such as H2 and N2) valuable to a human presence on the Moon. As a major stepping stone in the near future a Lunar demonstrator/ verification experiment payload is being designed. This experiment, LUISE (LUnar ISru Experiment), will comprise a thermal process chamber for heating regolith dust (grain size below 500m), a solar thermal power supply, a sample distribution unit and a trace gas analysis. The first project stage includes the detailed design and analysis of the extraction chamber concepts and the thermal process involved in the removal of SWIP from Lunar Regolith dust. The technique of extracting Solar Wind volatiles from Regolith has been outlined by several sources. Heating the material to a threshold value seems to be the most reasonable approach. The present paper will give an overview over concepts for thermal extraction chambers to be used in the LUISE project and evaluate in detail the pros and cons of each concept. The special boundary conditions set by solar thermal heating of the chambers as well as the material properties of Regolith in a Lunar environment will be discussed. Both greatly influence the design of the extraction chamber. The performance of the chamber concepts is discussed with respect to the

  19. Experimental Investigation of Adsorption Kinetics: Implications for Diurnals Variations of Martian Atmospheric Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slank, R.; Farris, H. N.; Chevrier, V.

    2017-12-01

    Introduction: Ice at Mars' equatorial regions is unstable at geologically short timescales, due to factors like thermal properties of the regolith and depth [1]. The distribution of ice is governed by thermodynamics and kinetics, which largely depends on diffusive and adsorptive properties of the regolith [2] and are studied through simulation experiments on regolith analogs. Numerical models of water ice stability [3] often require kinetic parameters that are lacking for Mars relevant materials. Previous measurements were limited to clays [4] or did not account for temperature dependence [5]. Method: Measurements of input parameters are performed for different regoliths relevant to observations of the Martian surface: smectite, basalt, JSC-Mars 1, and nanophase ferric oxides [6]. While diffusive properties of some of these materials are well understood [7; 1; 8; 9], we seek to determine adsorption parameters, specifically the temperature dependencies for kinetics. Adsorption kinetic constants are derived from the change in mass of water adsorbed as a function of time on a thin layer ( 1mm thick) of regolith, resulting in minimum diffusion and maximum surface in contact with the atmosphere. The samples are baked for 24 hours at 100°C and then sealed in a desiccators placed in a freezer to cool the sample. All experiments are run in the Aries Mars Simulation Chamber. The chamber is evacuated to less that 1 mbar, filled with dry CO2 gas to atmospheric pressure, and chilled to the determined temperature. Once conditions are stable, the sample is measured and placed in the chamber. The sample is then exposed to a 6 mbar CO2 atmosphere at various temperatures (-12 to 3°C) and humidities (5 to 80%). Experiments are run for 4 to 8 hours, to allow the sample to reach steady state. During this time, mass, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and water vapor pressure are recorded. References: [1] Beck, P. et al. (2010) JGR 115. [2] Chevrier, V.F. et al. (2008) Icarus

  20. Lunabotics Mining Competition: Inspiration Through Accomplishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition is designed to promote the development of interest in space activities and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. The competition uses excavation, a necessary first step towards extracting resources from the regolith and building bases on the moon. The unique physical properties of lunar regolith and the reduced 1/6th gravity, vacuum environment make excavation a difficult technical challenge. Advances in lunar regolith mining have the potential to significantly contribute to our nation's space vision and NASA space exploration operations. The competition is conducted annually by NASA at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The teams that can use telerobotic or autonomous operation to excavate a lunar regolith geotechnical simulant, herein after referred to as Black Point-1 (or BP-1) and score the most points (calculated as an average of two separate 10-minute timed competition attempts) will eam points towards the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence and the scores will reflect ranking in the on-site mining category of the competition. The minimum excavation requirement is 10.0 kg during each competition attempt and the robotic excavator, referred to as the "Lunabot", must meet all specifications. This paper will review the achievements of the Lunabotics Mining Competition in 2010 and 2011, and present the new rules for 2012. By providing a framework for robotic design and fabrication, which culminates in a live competition event, university students have been able to produce sophisticated lunabots which are tele-operated. Multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged and the extreme sense of accomplishment provides a unique source of inspiration to the participating students, which has been shown to translate into increased interest in STEM careers. Our industrial sponsors (Caterpillar, Newmont Mining, Harris, Honeybee Robotics) have all stated that there is a strong need for skills in the workforce related

  1. Badlands in humid regions - redbed desertification in Nanxiong Basin, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Luobin; Hua, Peng; Simonson, Scott

    2016-04-01

    The redbed badlands in Nanxiong City, China, well represent badlands in humid regions. The erosion rate in humid regions is much higher than that in arid regions and can reach 1 cm per month during the summer. The purpose of this study is to introduce the research of badlands in China, which have not been extensively studied so far, and to compare the badlands between arid and humid regions. Furthermore, the aim is to study the impact of mineralogical and chemical composition on the disintegration of soft rock in Nanxiong Basin badlands. For the purpose of this study field observations, sampling, and digging profiles were done. The mineralogical and chemical compositions of the Nanxiong Basin badland lithologies were determined by XRD, XRF and thin sections. Weathering resistance, process of weathering, and disintegration features were studied by weathering experiments under natural conditions. Weathering profiles can be easily divided into four layers: regolith, a strongly weathered layer, a poorly weathered layer, and an unweathered sediment. The depth of the weathering profile is influenced by the weathering resistance of the soft rock. Weathering resistance affects the erosion rate and evolution of landforms in badlands by influencing the rate from unweathered rock to regolith. Analyzed sediments have high content of illite and illite-smectite interstratifications. This composition of clay minerals together with poor sediment consolidation jointly leads to weathering prone sediment. The weathering and disintegration of soft rock in Nanxiong Basin badlands has a close relationship with rainfall. Sheet erosion, a kind of solid-liquid phase flow, formed in the regolith of the badland during rainfall events and can be the most instrumental to erosion. The mineral composition and liquidity plasticity index were also analyzed, and the results show that the regolith are low liquid limit silts with liquid limit of 21%-25%, plastic limit of 13%-18% and plasticity index

  2. Planning for the Collection and Analysis of Samples of Martian Granular Materials Potentially to be Returned by Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Beaty, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to land on Mars in 2021 and will be equipped with a sampling system capable of collecting rock cores, as well as a specialized drill bit for collecting unconsolidated granular material. A key mission objective is to collect a set of samples that have enough scientific merit to justify returning to Earth. In the case of granular materials, we would like to catalyze community discussion on what we would do with these samples if they arrived in our laboratories, as input to decision-making related to sampling the regolith. Numerous scientific objectives have been identified which could be achieved or significantly advanced via the analysis of martian rocks, "regolith," and gas samples. The term "regolith" has more than one definition, including one that is general and one that is much more specific. For the purpose of this analysis we use the term "granular materials" to encompass the most general meaning and restrict "regolith" to a subset of that. Our working taxonomy includes the following: 1) globally sourced airfall dust (dust); 2) saltation-sized particles (sand); 3) locally sourced decomposed rock (regolith); 4) crater ejecta (ejecta); and, 5) other. Analysis of martian granular materials could serve to advance our understanding areas including habitability and astrobiology, surface-atmosphere interactions, chemistry, mineralogy, geology and environmental processes. Results of these analyses would also provide input into planning for future human exploration of Mars, elucidating possible health and mechanical hazards caused by the martian surface material, as well as providing valuable information regarding available resources for ISRU and civil engineering purposes. Results would also be relevant to matters of planetary protection and ground-truthing orbital observations. We will present a preliminary analysis of the following, in order to generate community discussion and feedback on all issues relating to: What are the

  3. Acquisition and Retaining Granular Samples via a Rotating Coring Bit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Badescu, Mircea; Sherrit, Stewart

    2013-01-01

    This device takes advantage of the centrifugal forces that are generated when a coring bit is rotated, and a granular sample is entered into the bit while it is spinning, making it adhere to the internal wall of the bit, where it compacts itself into the wall of the bit. The bit can be specially designed to increase the effectiveness of regolith capturing while turning and penetrating the subsurface. The bit teeth can be oriented such that they direct the regolith toward the bit axis during the rotation of the bit. The bit can be designed with an internal flute that directs the regolith upward inside the bit. The use of both the teeth and flute can be implemented in the same bit. The bit can also be designed with an internal spiral into which the various particles wedge. In another implementation, the bit can be designed to collect regolith primarily from a specific depth. For that implementation, the bit can be designed such that when turning one way, the teeth guide the regolith outward of the bit and when turning in the opposite direction, the teeth will guide the regolith inward into the bit internal section. This mechanism can be implemented with or without an internal flute. The device is based on the use of a spinning coring bit (hollow interior) as a means of retaining granular sample, and the acquisition is done by inserting the bit into the subsurface of a regolith, soil, or powder. To demonstrate the concept, a commercial drill and a coring bit were used. The bit was turned and inserted into the soil that was contained in a bucket. While spinning the bit (at speeds of 600 to 700 RPM), the drill was lifted and the soil was retained inside the bit. To prove this point, the drill was turned horizontally, and the acquired soil was still inside the bit. The basic theory behind the process of retaining unconsolidated mass that can be acquired by the centrifugal forces of the bit is determined by noting that in order to stay inside the interior of the bit, the

  4. Geohydrologic reconnaissance of the upper Potomac River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trainer, Frank W.; Watkins, Frank A.

    1975-01-01

    The upper Potomac River basin, in the central Appalachian region in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, is a humid temperate region of diverse fractured rocks. Three geohydrologic terranes, which underlie large parts of the basin, are described in terms of their aquifer characteristics and of the magnitude and duration of their base runoff: (1) fractured rock having a thin regolith, (2) fractured rock having a thick regolith, and (3) carbonate rock. Crystalline rock in the mountainous part of the Blue Ridge province and shale with tight sandstone in the folded Appalachians are covered with thin regolith. Water is stored in and moves through fairly unmodified fractures. Average transmissivity (T) is estimated to be 150 feet squared per day, and average storage coefficient (S), 0.005. Base runoff declines rapidly from its high levels during spring and is poorly sustained during the summer season of high evapotranspiration. The rocks in this geohydrologic terrane are the least effective in the basin for the development of water supplies and as a source of dry-weather streamflow. Crystalline and sedimentary rocks in the Piedmont province and in the lowland part of the Blue Ridge province are covered with thick regolith. Water is stored in and moves through both the regolith and the underlying fractured rock. Estimated average values for aquifer characteristics are T, 200 feet squared per day, and S, 0.01. Base runoff is better sustained in this terrane than in the thin-regolith terrane and on the average .is about twice as great. Carbonate rock, in which fractures have been widened selectively by solution, especially near streams, has estimated average aquifer characteristics of T, 500 feet squared per day, and S, 0.03-0.04. This rock is the most effective in the basin in terms of water supply and base runoff. Where its fractures have not been widened by solution, the carbonate rock is a fractured-rock aquifer much like the noncarbonate rock. At low

  5. Weathering landforms exposure and erosion phases in Pedriza de Manzanares (Spanish Central Range)

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Rodríguez, M.; Centeno Carrillo, J. D.; Alvarez de Buergo, M.

    2012-04-01

    The phases of erosion can be reconstructed measuring the position and dimensions of exposed granite underground weathering landforms. We afford a first approach of this kind of "erosion history" in the area of Pedriza de Manzanares. Pedriza de Manzanares is the main part of the Natural Park of High Manzanares River Basin. The area is part also of the Late Paleozoic granites of the Spanish Central Range, intruded during the Variscan orogeny, and uplifted to its present position during Alpine orogeny. The granite shows a complex fracture pattern (related to Variscan and Alpine processes) that defines a landscape with alternance of regolith-connected-depressions and fresh granite outcrops with abundant bornhards and boulders. Pedriza (as most people call it) is a well known area for its granite landforms which attract tourism, educators and rock climbers. In this area, the contrasting hydrological behaviour of fresh and weathered granite, especially in fractures areas, produces small aquifers with a high recharge from adjacent impermeable surfaces. These conditions have been studied in relation to the soil water availability (for both human and ecosystems), and in relation to the geomorphic edaphic processes (taffoni, flared slopes, etc.). In previous works (García et al., 2008, Centeno et al., 2010) a conceptual model using MS-Excel was devised which provided the basis by which were defined the relevant variables and their interconnections (landforms, climate, hydrogeology). From the standpoint of soils water (and the related weathering processes or ecosystem characteristics), this is especially important in semi-arid and arid climates, as has been appreciated by practising farmers for many years, for the contrast in productive potential in stark between the regolithic and rocky areas. At the same time, granite weathering is enhanced by the persistent presence of water in the regolith and, as a consequence, many microforms are initiated or evolve under the regolith

  6. Effects of Rocket Exhaust on Lunar Soil Reflectance Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, R. N.; Jolliff, B. L.; Robinson, M. S.; Hapke, B. W.; Plescia, J. B.

    2012-12-01

    The Apollo, Surveyor, and Luna spacecraft descent engine plumes affected the regolith at and surrounding their landing sites. Owing to the lack of rapid weathering processes on the Moon, surface alterations are still visible as photometric anomalies in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images. These areas are interpreted as disturbance of the regolith by rocket exhaust during descent of the spacecraft, which we refer to as "blast zones" (BZs). The BZs consist of an area of lower reflectance (LR-BZ) compared to the surroundings that extends up to a few meters out from the landers, as well as a broader halo of higher reflectance (HR-BZ) that extends tens to hundreds of meters out from the landers. We use phase-ratio images for each landing site to determine the spatial extent of the disturbed regions and to quantify differences in reflectance and backscattering characteristics within the BZs compared to nearby undisturbed regolith. We also compare the reflectance changes and BZ dimensions at the Apollo sites with those at Luna and Surveyor sites. We seek to determine the effects of rocket exhaust in terms of erosion and particle redistribution, as well as the cause(s) of the reflectance variations, i.e., physical changes at the regolith surface. When approximated as an ellipse, the average Apollo BZ area is ~29,000 m2 (~175 ± 60 m by 200 ± 27 m) which is 10x larger than the average Luna BZ, and over 100x larger than the average Surveyor BZ. Moreover, BZ area scales roughly with lander mass (as a proxy for thrust). The LR-BZs are evident at the Apollo sites, especially where astronaut bioturbation has roughened the soil, leading to a 2-14% reduction in reflectance at ~30° phase. The LR-BZs at the Luna and Surveyor sites are less evident and may be mostly confined to the area below the landers. The average normalized reflectance in the HR-BZs for images with a 30° phase angle is 2-16% higher than in the undisturbed surrounding

  7. Lunar nuclear power plant design for thermal-hydraulic cooling in nano-scale environment: Nuclear engineering-based interdisciplinary nanotechnology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Tae Ho

    2015-01-01

    The environment of the Moon is nearly vacant, which has very low density of several kinds of gases. It has the molecular level contents of the lunar atmosphere in Table 1, which is recognized that radiation heat transfer is a major cooling method. The coolant of the nuclear power plant (NPP) in the lunar base is the Moon surface soil , which is known as the regolith. The regolith is the layer of loose and heterogeneous material covering the solid rock. For finding the optimized length of the radiator of the coolant in the lunar NPP, the produced power and Moon environmental temperature are needed. This makes the particular heat transfer characteristics in heat transfer in the Moon surface. The radiation is the only heat transfer way due to very weak atmosphere. It is very cold in the night time and very hot in the daytime on the surface of the ground. There are comparisons between lunar high land soil and Earth averages in Table 2. In the historical consideration, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky made a suggestion for the colony on the Moon.. There are a number of ideas for the conceptual design which have been proposed by several scientists. In 1954, Arthur C. Clarke mentioned a lunar base of inflatable modules covered in lunar dust for insulation. John S. Rinehart suggested the structure of the stationary ocean of dust, because there could be a mile-deep dust ocean on the Moon, which gives a safer design. In 1959, the project horizon was launched regarding the U.S. Army's plan to establish a fort on the Moon by 1967. H. H. Koelle, a German rocket engineer of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, leaded the project (ABMA). There was the first landing in 1965 and 245 tons of cargos were transported to the outpost by 1966. The coolant material of regolith in the Moon is optimized for the NPP. By the simulation, there are some results. The temperature is calculated as the 9 nodals by radiation heat transfer from the potassium coolant to the regolith flow. The high efficiency

  8. Lunar nuclear power plant design for thermal-hydraulic cooling in nano-scale environment: Nuclear engineering-based interdisciplinary nanotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woo, Tae Ho [Systemix Global Co. Ltd., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-05-15

    The environment of the Moon is nearly vacant, which has very low density of several kinds of gases. It has the molecular level contents of the lunar atmosphere in Table 1, which is recognized that radiation heat transfer is a major cooling method. The coolant of the nuclear power plant (NPP) in the lunar base is the Moon surface soil , which is known as the regolith. The regolith is the layer of loose and heterogeneous material covering the solid rock. For finding the optimized length of the radiator of the coolant in the lunar NPP, the produced power and Moon environmental temperature are needed. This makes the particular heat transfer characteristics in heat transfer in the Moon surface. The radiation is the only heat transfer way due to very weak atmosphere. It is very cold in the night time and very hot in the daytime on the surface of the ground. There are comparisons between lunar high land soil and Earth averages in Table 2. In the historical consideration, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky made a suggestion for the colony on the Moon.. There are a number of ideas for the conceptual design which have been proposed by several scientists. In 1954, Arthur C. Clarke mentioned a lunar base of inflatable modules covered in lunar dust for insulation. John S. Rinehart suggested the structure of the stationary ocean of dust, because there could be a mile-deep dust ocean on the Moon, which gives a safer design. In 1959, the project horizon was launched regarding the U.S. Army's plan to establish a fort on the Moon by 1967. H. H. Koelle, a German rocket engineer of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, leaded the project (ABMA). There was the first landing in 1965 and 245 tons of cargos were transported to the outpost by 1966. The coolant material of regolith in the Moon is optimized for the NPP. By the simulation, there are some results. The temperature is calculated as the 9 nodals by radiation heat transfer from the potassium coolant to the regolith flow. The high efficiency

  9. The effects of climate and landscape position on chemical denudation and mineral transformation in the Santa Catalina mountain critical zone observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lybrand, Rebecca, E-mail: rlybrand@email.arizona.edu [Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Rasmussen, Craig [Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Jardine, Angie; Troch, Peter [Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Chorover, Jon [Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2011-06-15

    Highlights: > Depth to paralithic contact generally increased with elevation. > Q/P ratios were higher in divergent landscape positions compared to adjacent convergent hollows. > Clay mineral assemblages changed as a function of elevation. > Climate, landscape position and erosion interactively control soil and regolith development. - Abstract: Understanding the interactions of climate, physical erosion, chemical weathering and pedogenic processes is essential when considering the evolution of critical zone systems. Interactions among these components are particularly important to predicting how semiarid landscapes will respond to forecasted changes in precipitation and temperature under future climate change. The primary goal of this study was to understand how climate and landscape structure interact to control chemical denudation and mineral transformation across a range of semiarid ecosystems in southern Arizona. The research was conducted along the steep environmental gradient encompassed by the Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (SCM-CZO). The gradient is dominated by granitic parent materials and spans significant range in both mean annual temperature (>10 deg. C) and precipitation (>50 cm a{sup -1}), with concomitant shift in vegetation communities from desert scrub to mixed conifer forest. Regolith profiles were sampled from divergent and convergent landscape positions in five different ecosystems to quantify how climate-landscape position interactions control regolith development. Regolith development was quantified as depth to paralithic contact and degree of chemical weathering and mineral transformation using a combination of quantitative and semi-quantitative X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of bulk soils and specific particle size classes. Depth to paralithic contact was found to increase systematically with elevation for divergent positions at approximately 28 cm per 1000 m elevation, but varied inconsistently for convergent

  10. The effects of climate and landscape position on chemical denudation and mineral transformation in the Santa Catalina mountain critical zone observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lybrand, Rebecca; Rasmussen, Craig; Jardine, Angie; Troch, Peter; Chorover, Jon

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Depth to paralithic contact generally increased with elevation. → Q/P ratios were higher in divergent landscape positions compared to adjacent convergent hollows. → Clay mineral assemblages changed as a function of elevation. → Climate, landscape position and erosion interactively control soil and regolith development. - Abstract: Understanding the interactions of climate, physical erosion, chemical weathering and pedogenic processes is essential when considering the evolution of critical zone systems. Interactions among these components are particularly important to predicting how semiarid landscapes will respond to forecasted changes in precipitation and temperature under future climate change. The primary goal of this study was to understand how climate and landscape structure interact to control chemical denudation and mineral transformation across a range of semiarid ecosystems in southern Arizona. The research was conducted along the steep environmental gradient encompassed by the Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (SCM-CZO). The gradient is dominated by granitic parent materials and spans significant range in both mean annual temperature (>10 deg. C) and precipitation (>50 cm a -1 ), with concomitant shift in vegetation communities from desert scrub to mixed conifer forest. Regolith profiles were sampled from divergent and convergent landscape positions in five different ecosystems to quantify how climate-landscape position interactions control regolith development. Regolith development was quantified as depth to paralithic contact and degree of chemical weathering and mineral transformation using a combination of quantitative and semi-quantitative X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of bulk soils and specific particle size classes. Depth to paralithic contact was found to increase systematically with elevation for divergent positions at approximately 28 cm per 1000 m elevation, but varied inconsistently for convergent

  11. Data Processing and Primary results of Lunar Penetrating Radar on Board the Chinese Yutu Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yan; Xing, Shuguo; Feng, Jianqing; Dai, Shun; Ding, Chunyu; Xiao, Yuan; Zhang, Hongbo; Zhao, Shu; Xue, Xiping; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Liu, Bin; Yao, Meijuan; Li, Chunlai

    2015-04-01

    Radar is an attractive and powerful technique to observe the Moon. Radar mapping of the Moon's topography was first done by the Arecibo telescope at a wave- length of 70 cm in 1964 (Thompson & Dyce 1966). Chang'e-3 (CE-3) was successfully launched on 2013 December 2, and the landing place is in Mare Imbrium, about 40km south of the 6km diameter Laplace F crater, at 44.1214ON, 19.5116OW. The Lunar ground-Penetrating Radar (LPR) is one of scientific payloads of the Yutu rover, aiming to achieve the first direct measurements and explore the lunar subsurface structure. Compared with ALSE and LRS, LPR works at higher frequencies of 60 MHz and 500 MHz. Thus it can probe regions with shallower depth including the regolith and lunar crust at higher range resolution. The LPR uses one transmitting and one receiving dipole antenna for 60 MHz which are installed at the back of the rover. For 500 MHz, one transmitting and two bow-tie receiving antennas are attached to the bottom of the rover. It transmits a pulsed signal and receives the radar echo signal along the path that the Yutu rover traverses. The free space range resolutions are ~ 50 cm and ~ 25 m for 60 MHz and 500 MHz respectively. The radar data stop being sampled and are sent back to Earth when Yutu is stationary. Observations are simultaneously carried out at frequencies of 60 MHz and 500 MHz. Since the Yutu rover had severe problems during its second lunar day, it is pity that the Yutu rover only transversed a limited distance of 114.8m. In total, 566 MB of data were obtained. The scientific data are archived and distributed by National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Data processing has been done in order to eliminate the effect of the instrument. To obtain clear radar images, more data processing need to be applied such as coordinate transformation, data editing, background removal, the operations of smoothing and gain resetting. The radar signal could detect hundreds of meters deep at

  12. Long-wavelength Radar Studies of the Lunar Maria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Hawke, B. Ray; Thompson, Thomas W.

    1995-01-01

    Radar measurements at 70 cm and 7.5 m wavelengths provide insight into the structure and chemical properties of the upper 5-100 m of the lunar regolith and crust. Past work has identified a number of anomalous regions and changes in echo strength, some attributed to differences in titanium content. There has been little opportunity, however, to compare calibrated long-wavelength backscatter among different units or to theoretical model results. We combine recent high-resolution (3-5 km) 70-cm radar data for the nearside with earlier calibrated full-disk observations to provide a reasonable estimate of the true lunar backscatter coefficient. These data are tested against models for quasi-specular scattering from the surface, echoes from a buried substrate, and Mie scattering from surface and buried rocks. We find that 70 cm echoes likely arise from Mie scattering by distributed rocks within the soil, consistent with earlier hypotheses. Returns from a buried substrate would provide a plausible fit to the observations only if the regolith depth were 3 m or less and varied little across the maria. Depolarized echoes are due to some combination of single and multiple scattering events, but it appears that single scattering alone could account for the observed echo power, based on comparisons with terrestrial rocky surfaces. Backscatter strength from the regolith is most strongly affected by the loss tangent, whose variation with mineral content is still poorly defined. We compared the backscatter values for the mare deposits to the oxide contents inferred from spectral ratio methods, and found that in general the unit boundaries evident in radar images closely follow those seen in color difference images. The 70-cm data are not well correlated with TiO2 values found using the Charette relationship nor with Fe abundances derived from Clementine observations. The lack of a relationship between radar echo and Fe content is reasonable given the distribution of iron among

  13. On The Development of Additive Construction Technologies for Application to Development of Lunar/Martian Surface Structures Using In-Situ Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werkheiser, Niki; Fiske, Michael; Edmunson, Jennifer; Khoshnevis, Behrokh

    2015-01-01

    deposition using the Contour Crafting process. This process, conceived initially for rapid development of cementitious structures on Earth, also lends itself exceptionally well to the automated fabrication of planetary surface structures using minimally processed regolith as aggregate, and imported binder material or binders developed from in situ materials. This process has been used successfully in the fabrication of construction elements using lunar regolith simulant and Mars regolith simulant, both with various binder materials. These binder materials have resulted from extensive evaluation and include both "imported" binder materials that might be launched from Earth as well as some binder materials that can theoretically also be derived from existing regolith materials. They were chosen to 1) reduce penetrating radiation as much as possible, primarily with hydrogen-bearing polymers, 2) attempt to provide an air-tight structure, 3) sufficiently mix and adsorb to regolith grains for strength, 4) maximize tolerance to day-night thermal cycling, 5) possibly increase electrical conductivity to dissipate any accumulated static charge, and 6) ease their application on planetary surfaces (specifically, the accommodation of reduced atmosphere and lack of heat sinks). Some of these materials have been tested with respect to radiation mitigation, micrometeorite resistance, and resistance to larger, slower-traveling pieces of regolith impinging on the surface, simulating nearby launch and landing activities. Conceptual designs for a Continuous Feedstock Delivery/Mixing System (CFDMS) will also be presented and future planned activities will be discussed as well.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  15. Study of the formation of duricrusts on the martian surface and their effect on sampling equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kömle, Norbert; Pitcher, Craig; Gao, Yang; Richter, Lutz

    2017-01-01

    The Powdered Sample Dosing and Distribution System (PSDDS) of the ExoMars rover will be required to handle and contain samples of Mars regolith for long periods of time. Cementation of the regolith, caused by water and salts in the soil, results in clumpy material and a duricrust layer forming on the surface. It is therefore possible that material residing in the sampling system may cement, and could potentially hinder its operation. There has yet to be an investigation into the formation of duricrusts under simulated Martian conditions, or how this may affect the performance of sample handling mechanisms. Therefore experiments have been performed to create a duricrust and to explore the cementation of Mars analogues, before performing a series of tests on a qualification model of the PSDDS under simulated Martian conditions. It was possible to create a consolidated crust of cemented material several millimetres deep, with the material below remaining powder-like. It was seen that due to the very low permeability of the Montmorillonite component material, diffusion of water through the material was quickly blocked, resulting in a sample with an inhomogeneous water content. Additionally, samples with a water mass content of 10% or higher would cement into a single solid piece. Finally, tests with the PSDDS revealed that samples with a water mass content of just 5% created small clumps with significant internal cohesion, blocking the sample funnels and preventing transportation of the material. These experiments have highlighted that the cementation of regolith in Martian conditions must be taken into consideration in the design of sample handling instruments.

  16. Determining the Influence of Dust on Post-Glacial Lacustrine Sedimentation in Bald Lake, Uinta Mountains, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keefe, S. S.; McElroy, R.; Munroe, J. S.

    2016-12-01

    Dust is increasingly recognized as an important component of biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem function in mountain environments. Previous work has shown that delivery of dust to the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah has influenced pedogenesis, soil nutrient status, and surface water chemistry. An array of passive and active samplers in the alpine zone of the Uintas provides detailed information about contemporary dust fluxes, along with physical and geochemical properties of modern dust. Reconstruction of changes in the dust system over time, however, requires continuous sedimentary archives sensitive to dust inputs. A radiocarbon-dated 3.5-m core (spanning 12.7 kyr) collected from subalpine Bald Lake may provide such a record. Passive dust collectors in the vicinity of the lake constrain the geochemical properties of modern dust, whereas samples of regolith constrain properties of the local surficial material within the watershed. Together, these represent two end member sources of clastic sediment to Bald Lake basin: allochthonous dust and autochthonous regolith. Ba and Eu are found in higher abundances in the dust than in the watershed regolith. Zr and Th are found to be lower in the dust than in the watershed. Geochemical analysis of the sediment core allows the relative contribution of exotic and local material to the lake to be considered as a time series covering the post-glacial interval when indicator elements are plotted. Findings suggest Bald Lake's dust record tracks regional aridity and corresponds to low-stands of large lakes in the southwestern United States. Spatial variability of elemental abundances in the watershed suggests there are more than two input sources contributing to the lake over time.

  17. The Frustrating Lives of Climate Scientists - 45 Years of Warm, Cold, Wet and Dry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, O. B.; Hartwick, V.; Urata, R. A.

    2016-12-01

    Mariner 9 arrived at Mars in November 1971, where it revealed giant volcanoes and dry river valleys some of which originated from rainfall or runoff. Some geologists think there were oceans, tidal waves, craters that filled to their rims and then overflowed or didn't overflow, and river deltas reaching into the ancient seas and lakes. Climate scientists have stumbled through a 45 year-long chain of failed explanations for these geologic data. CO2 in greater abundance than now is likely involved, but not sufficient. Adding CH4 , CO2 clouds, or SO2 have faltered on further study. Three ideas are still being kicked around, two of which are able to make Mars warm, but may have geologic issues. First, is the idea of adding H2 to the CO2, which warms sufficiently in climate models. However, the large quantities needed are a challenge to outgassing models. Second, is impacts, the largest of which would mobilize most of the water in the regolith. Geologists object that the water from impacts would not last long enough to carve rivers. However, no one has explored the concurrent generation of the regolith by these impacts, which would create a loose, easily erodible surface. Are the rivers all in ancient regolith? If some rivers are in bedrock it would be harder to explain by impacts. Finally, impacts may triggered water/cloud greenhouses. Such a climate state would be long lasting, requires only a modest background atmosphere of carbon dioxide, and would fade away when the carbon dioxide dropped below a few hundred mbar. However, not all climate models have been able to produce such water driven greenhouse warming. In this talk I will outline the history of these climate models, point to evidence that might discriminate between them, describe how the water greenhouse models work or don't work, and suggest some new projects that might be done to decide just how warm and wet Mars may have been.

  18. A new moonquake catalog from Apollo 17 seismic data I: Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment: Thermal moonquakes and implications for surface processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, R. C.; Dimech, J. L.; Phillips, D.; Molaro, J.; Schmerr, N. C.

    2017-12-01

    Apollo 17's Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment's (LSPE) primary objective was to constrain the near-surface velocity structure at the landing site using active sources detected by a 100 m-wide triangular geophone array. The experiment was later operated in "listening mode," and early studies of these data revealed the presence of thermal moonquakes - short-duration seismic events associated with terminator crossings. However, the full data set has never been systematically analyzed for natural seismic signal content. In this study, we analyze 8 months of continuous LSPE data using an automated event detection technique that has previously successfully been applied to the Apollo 16 Passive Seismic Experiment data. We detected 50,000 thermal moonquakes from three distinct event templates, representing impulsive, intermediate, and emergent onset of seismic energy, which we interpret as reflecting their relative distance from the array. Impulsive events occur largely at sunrise, possibly representing the thermal "pinging" of the nearby lunar lander, while emergent events occur at sunset, possibly representing cracking or slumping in more distant surface rocks and regolith. Preliminary application of an iterative event location algorithm to a subset of the impulsive waveforms supports this interpretation. We also perform 3D modeling of the lunar surface to explore the relative contribution of the lander, known rocks and surrounding topography to the thermal state of the regolith in the vicinity of the Apollo 17 landing site over the course of the lunar diurnal cycle. Further development of both this model and the event location algorithm may permit definitive discrimination between different types of local diurnal events e.g. lander noise, thermally-induced rock breakdown, or fault creep on the nearby Lee-Lincoln scarp. These results could place important constraints on both the contribution of seismicity to regolith production, and the age of young lobate scarps.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Organic Matter Responses to Radiation under Lunar Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthewman, Richard; Crawford, Ian A.; Jones, Adrian P.; Joy, Katherine H.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Large bodies, such as the Moon, that have remained relatively unaltered for long periods of time have the potential to preserve a record of organic chemical processes from early in the history of the Solar System. A record of volatiles and impactors may be preserved in buried lunar regolith layers that have been capped by protective lava flows. Of particular interest is the possible preservation of prebiotic organic materials delivered by ejected fragments of other bodies, including those originating from the surface of early Earth. Lava flow layers would shield the underlying regolith and any carbon-bearing materials within them from most of the effects of space weathering, but the encapsulated organic materials would still be subject to irradiation before they were buried by regolith formation and capped with lava. We have performed a study to simulate the effects of solar radiation on a variety of organic materials mixed with lunar and meteorite analog substrates. A fluence of ∼3 × 1013 protons cm−2 at 4–13 MeV, intended to be representative of solar energetic particles, has little detectable effect on low-molecular-weight (≤C30) hydrocarbon structures that can be used to indicate biological activity (biomarkers) or the high-molecular-weight hydrocarbon polymer poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene), and has little apparent effect on a selection of amino acids (≤C9). Inevitably, more lengthy durations of exposure to solar energetic particles may have more deleterious effects, and rapid burial and encapsulation will always be more favorable to organic preservation. Our data indicate that biomarker compounds that may be used to infer biological activity on their parent planet can be relatively resistant to the effects of radiation and may have a high preservation potential in paleoregolith layers on the Moon. Key Words: Radiation—Moon—Regolith—Amino acids—Biomarkers. Astrobiology 16, 900–912. PMID:27870583

  1. The opposition effect in Saturn's main rings as seen by Cassini ISS: 4. Correlations of the surge morphology with surface albedos and VIMS spectral properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Déau, Estelle; Dones, Luke; Mishchenko, Michael I.; West, Robert A.; Helfenstein, Paul; Hedman, Matt M.; Porco, Carolyn C.

    2018-05-01

    In this paper, we continue our analysis of the saturnian ring opposition effect seen by Cassini ISS. The ring opposition effect is a peak in the rings' reflectivity caused as the directions from a spot on the rings to the observer and to the light source, respectively, converge toward zero degrees. So far, the exact origin of the ring's opposition effect is still a matter of debate. In our previous work (Déau, et al., 2013, Icarus, 226, 591-603), we compared the opposition effect morphology with the rings' optical depth and found that only the slope of the linear part of the rings' phase curves was strongly correlated with the optical depth. We interpreted this as an indication of the predominant role of interparticle shadowing at moderate phase angles (α ∼ 10-40o). More recently (Déau, 2015, Icarus, 253, 311-345), we showed that interparticle shadowing cannot explain the behavior at low phase angles (α Journal Letters, 711, L71-L74). We find that the opposition surge morphology is strongly correlated with the water ice band depth and the regolith albedo. We interpret this finding as an indication that coherent backscattering plays a role in affecting both the water ice band depths and the opposition surge at low phase angles (α < 1o). As the regolith albedo and spectral properties are related to the grain size, porosity, roughness, and composition, we try to assess which of these regolith properties are preponderant in coherent backscattering. Our study is able to narrow down the parameter space of these properties, whose values allow a good match between the angular width predicted by models of coherent backscattering and the width of the observed peak.

  2. Geological Structures in the WaIls of Vestan Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David; Nathues, A.; Beck, A. W.; Hoffmann, M.; Schaefer, M.; Williams, D. A.

    2014-01-01

    A compelling case can be made that Vesta is the parent asteroid for the howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites [1], although this interpretation has been questioned [2]. Generalized models for the structure of the crust of Vesta have been developed based on petrologic studies of basaltic eucrites, cumulate eucrites and diogenites. These models use inferred cooling rates for different types of HEDs and compositional variations within the clan to posit that the lower crust is dominantly diogenitic in character, cumulate eucrites occur deep in the upper crust, and basaltic eucrites dominate the higher levels of the upper crust [3-5]. These models lack fine-scale resolution and thus do not allow for detailed predictions of crustal structure. Geophysical models predict dike and sill intrusions ought to be present, but their widths may be quite small [6]. The northern hemisphere of Vesta is heavily cratered, and the southern hemisphere is dominated by two 400-500 km diameter basins that excavated deep into the crust [7-8]. Physical modeling of regolith formation on 300 km diameter asteroids predicts that debris layers would reach a few km in thickness, while on asteroids of Vesta's diameter regolith thicknesses would be less [9]. This agrees well with the estimated =1 km thickness of local debris excavated by a 45 km diameter vestan crater [10]. Large craters and basins may have punched through the regolith/megaregolith and exposed primary vestan crustal structures. We will use Dawn Framing Camera (FC) [11] images and color ratio maps from the High Altitude and Low Altitude Mapping Orbits (HAMO, 65 m/pixel; LAMO, 20 m/pixel) to evaluate structures exposed on the walls of craters: two examples are discussed here.

  3. Development and Testing of an ISRU Soil Mechanics Vacuum Test Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Wilkinson, R. Allen

    2014-01-01

    For extraterrestrial missions, earth based testing in relevant environments is key to successful hardware development. This is true for both early component level development and system level integration. For In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) on the moon, hardware must interface with the surface material, or regolith, in a vacuum environment. A relevant test environment will therefore involve a vacuum chamber with a controlled, properly conditioned bed of lunar regolith simulant. However, in earth-based granular media, such as lunar regolith simulant, gases trapped within the material pore structures and water adsorbed to all particle surfaces will release when exposed to vacuum. Early vacuum testing has shown that this gas release can occur violently, which loosens and weakens the simulant, altering the consolidation state. A mid-size chamber (3.66 m tall, 1.5 m inner diameter) at the NASA Glenn Research Center has been modified to create a soil mechanics test facility. A 0.64 m deep by 0.914 m square metric ton bed of lunar simulant was placed under vacuum using a variety of pumping techniques. Both GRC-3 and LHT-3M simulant types were used. Data obtained from an electric cone penetrometer can be used to determine strength properties at vacuum including: cohesion, friction angle, bulk density and shear modulus. Simulant disruptions, caused by off-gassing, affected the strength properties, but could be mitigated by reducing pump rate. No disruptions were observed at pressures below 2.5 Torr, regardless of the pump rate. The slow off-gassing of the soil at low pressure lead to long test times; a full week to reach 10(exp -5) Torr. Robotic soil manipulation would enable multiple ISRU hardware test within the same vacuum cycle. The feasibility of a robotically controlled auger and tamper was explored at vacuum conditions.

  4. Advanced Space Surface Systems Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffaker, Zachary Lynn; Mueller, Robert P.

    2014-01-01

    The importance of advanced surface systems is becoming increasingly relevant in the modern age of space technology. Specifically, projects pursued by the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Lab are unparalleled in the field of planetary resourcefulness. This internship opportunity involved projects that support properly utilizing natural resources from other celestial bodies. Beginning with the tele-robotic workstation, mechanical upgrades were necessary to consider for specific portions of the workstation consoles and successfully designed in concept. This would provide more means for innovation and creativity concerning advanced robotic operations. Project RASSOR is a regolith excavator robot whose primary objective is to mine, store, and dump regolith efficiently on other planetary surfaces. Mechanical adjustments were made to improve this robot's functionality, although there were some minor system changes left to perform before the opportunity ended. On the topic of excavator robots, the notes taken by the GMRO staff during the 2013 and 2014 Robotic Mining Competitions were effectively organized and analyzed for logistical purposes. Lessons learned from these annual competitions at Kennedy Space Center are greatly influential to the GMRO engineers and roboticists. Another project that GMRO staff support is Project Morpheus. Support for this project included successfully producing mathematical models of the eroded landing pad surface for the vertical testbed vehicle to predict a timeline for pad reparation. And finally, the last project this opportunity made contribution to was Project Neo, a project exterior to GMRO Lab projects, which focuses on rocket propulsion systems. Additions were successfully installed to the support structure of an original vertical testbed rocket engine, thus making progress towards futuristic test firings in which data will be analyzed by students affiliated with Rocket University. Each project will be explained in

  5. Activities of the Center for Space Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    The Center for Space Construction (CSC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder is one of eight University Space Engineering Research Centers established by NASA in 1988. The mission of the center is to conduct research into space technology and to directly contribute to space engineering education. The center reports to the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and resides in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The college has a long and successful track record of cultivating multi-disciplinary research and education programs. The Center for Space Construction is prominent evidence of this record. At the inception of CSC, the center was primarily founded on the need for research on in-space construction of large space systems like space stations and interplanetary space vehicles. The scope of CSC's research has now evolved to include the design and construction of all spacecraft, large and small. Within this broadened scope, our research projects seek to impact the underlying technological basis for such spacecraft as remote sensing satellites, communication satellites, and other special purpose spacecraft, as well as the technological basis for large space platforms. The center's research focuses on three areas: spacecraft structures, spacecraft operations and control, and regolith and surface systems. In the area of spacecraft structures, our current emphasis is on concepts and modeling of deployable structures, analysis of inflatable structures, structural damage detection algorithms, and composite materials for lightweight structures. In the area of spacecraft operations and control, we are continuing our previous efforts in process control of in-orbit structural assembly. In addition, we have begun two new efforts in formal approach to spacecraft flight software systems design and adaptive attitude control systems. In the area of regolith and surface systems, we are continuing the work of characterizing the physical properties of lunar

  6. Bosch Reactor Development for High Percentage Oxygen Recovery from Carbon Dioxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, David; Abney, Morgan

    2015-01-01

    This next Generation Life Support Project entails the development and demonstration of Bosch reaction technologies to improve oxygen recovery from metabolically generated oxygen and/or space environments. A primary focus was placed on alternate carbon formation reactor concepts to improve useful catalyst life for space vehicle applications, and make use of in situ catalyst resources for non-terrestrial surface missions. Current state-of-the-art oxygen recovery systems onboard the International Space Station are able to effectively recover approximately 45 percent of the oxygen consumed by humans and exhausted in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Excess CO2 is vented overboard and the oxygen contained in the molecules is lost. For long-duration missions beyond the reaches of Earth for resupply, it will be necessary to recover greater amounts of constituents such as oxygen that are necessary for sustaining life. Bosch technologies theoretically recover 100 percent of the oxygen from CO2, producing pure carbon as the sole waste product. Challenges with this technology revolve around the carbon product fouling catalyst materials, drastically limiting catalyst life. This project successfully demonstrated techniques to extend catalyst surface area exposure times to improve catalyst life for vehicle applications, and demonstrated the use of Martian and lunar regolith as viable catalyst Bosch Reactor Development for High Percentage Oxygen Recovery From Carbon Dioxide materials for surface missions. The Bosch process generates carbon nanotube formation within the regolith, which has been shown to improve mechanical properties of building materials. Production of bricks from post reaction regolith for building and radiation shielding applications were also explored.

  7. Development of Additive Construction Technologies for Application to Development of Lunar/Martian Surface Structures Using In-Situ Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werkheiser, Niki J.; Fiske, Michael R.; Edmunson, Jennifer E.; Khoshnevis, Berokh

    2015-01-01

    For long-duration missions on other planetary bodies, the use of in situ materials will become increasingly critical. As human presence on these bodies expands, so must the breadth of the structures required to accommodate them including habitats, laboratories, berms, radiation shielding for natural radiation and surface reactors, garages, solar storm shelters, greenhouses, etc. Planetary surface structure manufacturing and assembly technologies that incorporate in situ resources provide options for autonomous, affordable, pre-positioned environments with radiation shielding features and protection from micrometeorites, exhaust plume debris, and other hazards. The ability to use in-situ materials to construct these structures will provide a benefit in the reduction of up-mass that would otherwise make long-term Moon or Mars structures cost prohibitive. The ability to fabricate structures in situ brings with it the ability to repair these structures, which allows for the self-sufficiency and sustainability necessary for long-duration habitation. Previously, under the auspices of the MSFC In-Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) project and more recently, under the jointly-managed MSFC/KSC Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) project, the MSFC Surface Structures Group has been developing materials and construction technologies to support future planetary habitats with in-situ resources. One such additive construction technology is known as Contour Crafting. This paper presents the results to date of these efforts, including development of novel nozzle concepts for advanced layer deposition using this process. Conceived initially for rapid development of cementitious structures on Earth, it also lends itself exceptionally well to the automated fabrication of planetary surface structures using minimally processed regolith as aggregate, and binders developed from in situ materials as well. This process has been used successfully in the fabrication of

  8. An integrated geophysical and geochemical exploration of critical zone weathering on opposing montane hillslope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singha, K.; Navarre-Sitchler, A.; Bandler, A.; Pommer, R. E.; Novitsky, C. G.; Holbrook, S.; Moore, J.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying coupled geochemical and hydrological properties and processes that operate in the critical zone is key to predicting rock weathering and subsequent transmission and storage of water in the shallow subsurface. Geophysical data have the potential to elucidate geochemical and hydrologic processes across landscapes over large spatial scales that are difficult to achieve with point measurements alone. Here, we explore the connections between weathering and fracturing, as measured from integrated geochemical and geophysical borehole data and seismic velocities on north- and south-facing aspects within one watershed in the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory. We drilled eight boreholes up to 13 m deep on north- and south-facing aspects within Upper Gordon Gulch, and surface seismic refraction data were collected near these wells to explore depths of regolith and bedrock, as well as anisotropic characteristics of the subsurface material due to fracturing. Optical televiewer data were collected in these wells to infer the dominant direction of fracturing and fracture density in the near surface to corroborate with the seismic data. Geochemical samples were collected from four of these wells and a series of shallow soil pits for bulk chemistry, clay fraction, and exchangeable cation concentrations to identify depths of chemically altered saprolite. Seismic data show that depth to unweathered bedrock, as defined by p-wave seismic velocity, is slightly thicker on the north-facing slopes. Geochemical data suggest that the depth to the base of saprolite ranges from 3-5 m, consistent with a p-wave velocity value of 1200 m/s. Based on magnitude and anisotropy of p-wave velocities together with optical televiewer data, regolith on north-facing slopes is thought to be more fractured than south-facing slopes, while geochemical data indicate that position on the landscape is another important characteristic in determining depths of weathering. We explore the importance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. A review of 3He resources and acquisition for use as fusion fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittenberg, L.J.; Camerson, E.N.; Kulcinski, G.L.; Ott, S.H.; Santarius, J.F.; Sviatoslavsky, G.I.; Sviatoslavsky, I.N.; Thompson, H.E.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports that a combination of man-made and natural resources on earth could provide sufficient 3 He fuel for the technological development of D- 3 He fusion reactors. Helium exists in natural gas wells; however, at the current rate of natural gas usage, this resource would provide 3 He. The radioactive decay of 3 H produced in fission production reactors could yield 110 kg of 3 He by the year 2000 if it were retained. Apparently, a large amount of 3 He exists within the earth's mantle, but it is inaccessible. A significant quantity of 3 He, which could be imported to supply a fusion power industry on earth for hundreds of years, exists on the moon. The solar wind has deposited >1 million tonnes of 3 He in the fine regolith that covers the surface of the moon. The presence of this solar wind gas was confirmed by analyses of the lunar regolith samples brought to earth. A strong correlation is noted between the helium retained and the TiO 2 content of the regolith; consequently, remote-sensing data showing high-titanium-bearing soils in the lunar maria areas have been used to locate potentially rich sites for helium extraction. Surface photographs of Mare Tranquillitatis have shown that nearly 50% of this mare may be minable and capable of supplying ∼7100 tonnes of 3 He. A mobile mining vehicle is proposed for use in the excavation of the soil and the release of the helium and other solar wind gases. The evolved gases would be purified by a combination of permeators and cryogenic techniques to provide a rich resource of H 2 , helium, CO 2 , H 2 O, and N 2 , followed by helium isotopic separation systems

  11. Probing the internal structure of the asteriod Didymoon with a passive seismic investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, N.; Hempel, S.; Pou, L.; Cadu, A.; Garcia, R. F.; Mimoun, D.; Margerin, L.; Karatekin, O.

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the internal structure of an asteroid has important implications for interpreting its evolutionary history, for understanding its continuing geological evolution, and also for asteroid deflection and in-situ space resource utilisation. Given the strong evidence that asteroids are seismically active, an in-situ passive seismic experiment could provide information about the asteroid surface and interior properties. Here, we discuss the natural seismic activity that may be present on Didymoon, the secondary component of asteroid (65803) Didymos. Our analysis of the tidal stresses in Didymoon shows that tidal quakes are likely to occur if the secondary has an eccentric orbit. Failure occurs most easily at the asteroid poles and close to the surface for both homogeneous and layered internal structures. Simulations of seismic wave propagation in Didymoon show that the seismic moment of even small meteoroid impacts can generate clearly observable body and surface waves if the asteroid's internal structure is homogeneous. The presence of a regolith layer over a consolidated core can result in the seismic energy becoming trapped in the regolith due to the strong impedance contrast at the regolith-core boundary. The inclusion of macro-porosity (voids) further complexifies the wavefield due to increased scattering. The most prominent seismic waves are always found to be those traveling along the surface of the asteroid and those focusing in the antipodal point of the seismic source. We find also that the waveforms and ground acceleration spectra allow discrimination between the different internal structure models. Although the science return of a passive seismic experiment would be enhanced by having multiple seismic stations, one single seismic station can already vastly improve our knowledge about the seismic environment and sub-surface structure of an asteroid. We describe several seismic measurement techniques that could be applied in order to study the

  12. A numerical simulation of climate changes during the obliquity cycle on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Francois, L.M.; Walker, J.C.G.; Kuhn, W.R.

    1990-01-01

    A one-dimensional seasonal energy balance climate model has been developed for the Martian surface and coupled to a model of CO 2 distribution between atmosphere, regolith, and polar caps. This model takes into account the greenhouse warming of carbon dioxide, the meridional transport of heat, the CO 2 condensation and sublimation cycle, and its adsorption in the regolith. The model takes into consideration the diurnal variation of solar irradiation, since it is shown that disregard of this effect yields temperatures too high by several degrees. The yearly-averaged temperatures calculated from this climate model at different obliquities are used to estimate the importance of CO 2 exchanges between the regolith and atmosphere-cap systems during the obliquity cycle. For this purpose, the equation of thermal diffusion into the ground is solved for each latitude belt. The results differ substantially from those of previous studies, due in part to the consideration of the diurnal and seasonal variations of the solar irradiance. The model shows the importance of taking these short-period variations into account instead of using yearly-averaged quantities, due to the strong nonlinearity of the climate system on Mars. The roles of meridional heat transport and greenhouse warming are analyzed and shown to be important. For example, a permanent polar cap of carbon dioxide is destroyed by heat transport when the obliquity is high, while at low obliquity, high-pressure systems without permanent cap can exist if enough exchangeable carbon dioxide is available. Further, the results show the possible existence of hysteresis cycles in the formation and sublimation of permanent deposits during the course of the obliquity cycle

  13. Quantifying the controls on potential soil production rates: a case study of the San Gabriel Mountains, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. D. Pelletier

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The potential soil production rate, i.e., the upper limit at which bedrock can be converted into transportable material, limits how fast erosion can occur in mountain ranges in the absence of widespread landsliding in bedrock or intact regolith. Traditionally, the potential soil production rate has been considered to be solely dependent on climate and rock characteristics. Data from the San Gabriel Mountains of California, however, suggest that topographic steepness may also influence potential soil production rates. In this paper I test the hypothesis that topographically induced stress opening of preexisting fractures in the bedrock or intact regolith beneath hillslopes of the San Gabriel Mountains increases potential soil production rates in steep portions of the range. A mathematical model for this process predicts a relationship between potential soil production rates and average slope consistent with published data. Once the effects of average slope are accounted for, a small subset of the data suggests that cold temperatures may limit soil production rates at the highest elevations of the range due to the influence of temperature on vegetation growth. These results suggest that climate and rock characteristics may be the sole controls on potential soil production rates as traditionally assumed but that the porosity of bedrock or intact regolith may evolve with topographic steepness in a way that enhances the persistence of soil cover in compressive-stress environments. I develop an empirical equation that relates potential soil production rates in the San Gabriel Mountains to the average slope and a climatic index that accounts for temperature limitations on soil production rates at high elevations. Assuming a balance between soil production and erosion rates on the hillslope scale, I illustrate the interrelationships among potential soil production rates, soil thickness, erosion rates, and topographic steepness that result from the

  14. Lagrangian Trajectory Modeling of Lunar Dust Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, John E.; Metzger, Philip T.; Immer, Christopher D.

    2008-01-01

    Apollo landing videos shot from inside the right LEM window, provide a quantitative measure of the characteristics and dynamics of the ejecta spray of lunar regolith particles beneath the Lander during the final 10 [m] or so of descent. Photogrammetry analysis gives an estimate of the thickness of the dust layer and angle of trajectory. In addition, Apollo landing video analysis divulges valuable information on the regolith ejecta interactions with lunar surface topography. For example, dense dust streaks are seen to originate at the outer rims of craters within a critical radius of the Lander during descent. The primary intent of this work was to develop a mathematical model and software implementation for the trajectory simulation of lunar dust particles acted on by gas jets originating from the nozzle of a lunar Lander, where the particle sizes typically range from 10 micron to 500 micron. The high temperature, supersonic jet of gas that is exhausted from a rocket engine can propel dust, soil, gravel, as well as small rocks to high velocities. The lunar vacuum allows ejected particles to travel great distances unimpeded, and in the case of smaller particles, escape velocities may be reached. The particle size distributions and kinetic energies of ejected particles can lead to damage to the landing spacecraft or to other hardware that has previously been deployed in the vicinity. Thus the primary motivation behind this work is to seek a better understanding for the purpose of modeling and predicting the behavior of regolith dust particle trajectories during powered rocket descent and ascent.

  15. A Prototype Bucket Wheel Excavator for the Moon, Mars and Phobos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muff, T.; Johnson, L.; King, R.; Duke, M. B.

    2004-02-01

    Excavation of surface regolith material is the first step in processes to extract volatile materials from planetary surface regolith for the production of propellant and life support consumables. Typically, concentrations of volatiles are low, so relatively large amounts of material must be excavated. A bucket wheel excavator is proposed, which has the capability of continuous excavation, which is readily adapted to granular regolith materials as found on the Moon, in drift deposits on Mars, and probably on the surface of asteroids and satellites, such as Phobos. The bucket wheel excavator is relatively simple, compared to machines such as front end loaders. It also has the advantage that excavation forces are principally horizontal rather than vertical, which minimizes the need for excavator mass and suits it to operations in reduced gravity fields. A prototype small bucket wheel excavator has been built at approximately the scale of the rovers that are carried to Mars on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. The prototype allows the collection of data on forces exerted and power requirements for excavation and will provide data on which more efficient designs can be based. At excavation rates in the vicinity of one rover mass of material excavated per hour, tests of the prototype demonstrate that the power required is largely that needed to operate the excavator hardware and not related strongly to the amount of material excavated. This suggests that the excavation rate can be much larger for the same excavation system mass. Work on this prototype is continuing on the details of transfer of material from the bucket wheel to an internal conveyor mechanism, which testing demonstrated to be problematic in the current design.

  16. Solar Ion Processing of Major Element Surface Compositions of Mature Mare Soils: Insights from Combined XPS and Analytical TEM Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoffersen, R.; Dukes, C.; Keller, L. P.; Baragiola, R.

    2012-01-01

    Solar wind ions are capable of altering the sur-face chemistry of the lunar regolith by a number of mechanisms including preferential sputtering, radiation-enhanced diffusion and sputter erosion of space weathered surfaces containing pre-existing compositional profiles. We have previously reported in-situ ion irradiation experiments supported by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and analytical TEM that show how solar ions potentially drive Fe and Ti reduction at the monolayer scale as well as the 10-100 nm depth scale in lunar soils [1]. Here we report experimental data on the effect of ion irradiation on the major element surface composition in a mature mare soil.

  17. In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) on the Moon: Moessbauer Spectroscopy as a Process Monitor for Oxygen Production. Results from a Field Test on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, R.V.; Schroder, C.; Graff, T.G.; Sanders, G.B.; Lee, K.A.; Simon, T.M.; Larson, W.E.; Quinn, J.W.; Clark, L.D.; Caruso, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Essential consumables like oxygen must to be produced from materials on the lunar surface to enable a sustained, long-term presence of humans on the Moon. The Outpost Precursor for ISRU and Modular Architecture (OPTIMA) field test on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, facilitated by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, was designed to test the implementation of three hardware concepts to extract oxygen from the lunar regolith: Precursor ISRU Lunar Oxygen Testbed (PILOT) developed by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, CO; Regolith & Environmental Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE) developed at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL; and ROxygen developed at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. The three concepts differ in design, but all rely on the same general principle: hydrogen reduction of metal cations (primarily Fe2+) bonded to oxygen to metal (e.g., Fe0) with the production of water. The hydrogen source is residual hydrogen in the fuel tanks of lunar landers. Electrolysis of the water produces oxygen and hydrogen (which is recycled). We used the miniaturized M ssbauer spectrometer MIMOS II to quantify the yield of this process on the basis of the quantity of Fe0 produced. Iron M ssbauer spectroscopy identifies iron-bearing phases, determines iron oxidation states, and quantifies the distribution of iron between mineral phases and oxidation states. The oxygen yield can be calculated by quantitative measurements of the distribution of Fe among oxidation states in the regolith before and after hydrogen reduction. A M ssbauer spectrometer can also be used as a prospecting tool to select the optimum feedstock for the oxygen production plants (e.g., high total Fe content and easily reduced phases). As a demonstration, a MIMOS II backscatter spectrometer (SPESI, Germany) was mounted on the Cratos rover (NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH), which is one of

  18. Gold deposits in the western sector of the Central Spanish System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrios, S.; Florido, P.; Reguilon, R.

    2010-01-01

    The gold deposits in the western sector of the Central Spanish System can be grouped in: (1) gold quartz veins type (El Chivote, La Pedrera), (2) paleoplacers: gold nuggets in tertiary alluvial deposits (Las Cavenes, Sierro de Coria), (3) quaternary placers (Rio Erjas), (4) gold nuggets in a regolith developed on the Schist and Graywacke Complex (CEG) (Casillas de Coria). The morphological study of gold nuggets will provide physical, chemical, bacteriological and climatic characteristics. Mining works are located on these deposits from roman time to the present day. (Author)

  19. Morphology and composition of gold in a lateritic profile, Fazenda Pison “Garimpo”, Amazon, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larizzatti, J. H.; Oliveira, S. M. B.; Butt, C. R. M.

    2008-05-01

    This study describes the morphological evolution of gold grains in a lateritic weathering profile in an equatorial rainforest climate. Primary sources of gold are quartz veins associated with shallow granophyric intrusion. Gold grains were found in fresh ore, saprolite, transition zones, ferruginous duricrust, red latosol, and yellow latosol. Irregularly shaped grains predominate, with smaller proportions of dendritic and prismatic forms. Gold grains are weathered in the uppermost 10 m of the regolith. Mean gold grain size is maximum in the duricrust (>125 μm) and decreases progressively upward into the yellow latosol (duricrust formation may preserve some grains as large aggregates, but subsequent transformation into latosol further modifies them.

  20. Ground-atmosphere interactions at Gale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renno, N. O.; Martinez, G.; Ramos, M.; Hallet, B.; Gómez, F. G.; Jun, I.; Fisk, M. R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hamilton, V. E.; Mischna, M. A.; Sletten, R. S.; Martin-Torres, J.; De La Torre Juarez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.; Zorzano, M.

    2013-12-01

    We analyze variations in environmental parameters and regolith properties along Curiosity's track to determine the possible causes of an abrupt change in the thermal properties of the ground and the atmosphere observed around Sol 120, as the rover transitioned from an area of sandy soil (Rocknest) to an area of fractured bedrock terrain (Yellowknife). Curiosity is instrumented with the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) and the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) sensors to measure the air temperature, the ground temperature, and the hydrogen content of the shallow subsurface along Curiosity's track. Analysis of the REMS data is used to estimate the regolith's heat budget. This analysis suggests that the abrupt decrease in the ground and atmosphere temperature and the difference between ground and air temperatures observed around Sol 120 is likely caused by an increase in the soil thermal inertia. The changes in thermal inertia have been known for some time so confirming this by the REMS package provides ground truthing. A new unexpected finding is that the regolith water content, as indicated by DAN's detection of hydrogen content, is higher in the Yellowknife soil. Another interesting finding at this site are the holes and other signs of recent geological activity in the area of fractured terrain that may reflect large volumetric variations and facilitate gas exchange between the ground and atmosphere. Near-surface volumetric changes in soil and bedrock could reflect changes in the volume of subsurface H2O, or in the partitioning of H2O among its three phases. Volume increases could also result from salt crystal growth in rock pores and soil pores associated with the adsorption of water vapor. Crystallization in pores is a significant weathering process on Earth; it could well be active on Mars. Salts also inhibits the exchange of moisture between the ground and the atmosphere, and cements the soils of arid places such as in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in