WorldWideScience

Sample records for upcoming mars science

  1. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Mars: A Freshmen Year Seminar of Science and Science-fiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svec, Michael; Moffett, D. A.; Winiski, M.

    2013-06-01

    "Mars: On the shoulder of giants" is a freshmen year seminar developed collaboratively between the physics, education, and center for teaching and learning. This course focuses on how scientific knowledge is developed through the lens of our changing view of Mars throughout history. Analyses of current studies of Mars are juxtaposed against historical understanding and perceptions of the planet found in scientific and popular literature of the day, as well as the movies. Kim Stanley Robinson’s "Red Mars" provides a unifying story throughout the course complimented by Fredrick Taylor’s "The Scientific Exploration of Mars" and Hartmann’s "A Traveler’s Guide to Mars." Based on the three-years of experience, the authors advocate the use of the speculative science-fiction novel and argue for its use in high school and undergraduate courses including those for science majors. Many of the students who selected this seminar went on to major in science and in subsequent interviews discussed the influence of science fiction on their decision to major in science. Science fiction provided story, science, and speculation that became a rich medium for critical-thinking skills and critical literacy. Student reflections indicated that science fiction served as a reminder of why they study science, a source for imagination, and exploration of science as a human endeavor. Based on this experience, we propose five elements for selecting science-fiction for inclusion in science classes: 1) Provides a deep description of the science content or technologies, 2) Describes science and technologies are plausible or accurate to the time period, 3) Contains a novum or plausible innovation that plays a key element in the speculation, 4) Exploration of the impact on society or humanity, and, 5) Shows science and technology as human endeavors.

  3. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. Increased Science Instrumentation Funding Strengthens Mars Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Lee D.; Graff, T. G.

    2012-01-01

    As the strategic knowledge gaps mature for the exploration of Mars, Mars sample return (MSR), and Phobos/Deimos missions, one approach that becomes more probable involves smaller science instrumentation and integrated science suites. Recent technological advances provide the foundation for a significant evolution of instrumentation; however, the funding support is currently too small to fully utilize these advances. We propose that an increase in funding for instrumentation development occur in the near-term so that these foundational technologies can be applied. These instruments would directly address the significant knowledge gaps for humans to Mars orbit, humans to the Martian surface, and humans to Phobos/ Deimos. They would also address the topics covered by the Decadal Survey and the Mars scientific goals, objectives, investigations and priorities as stated by the MEPAG. We argue that an increase of science instrumentation funding would be of great benefit to the Mars program as well as the potential for human exploration of the Mars system. If the total non-Earth-related planetary science instrumentation budget were increased 100% it would not add an appreciable amount to the overall NASA budget and would provide the real potential for future breakthroughs. If such an approach were implemented in the near-term, NASA would benefit greatly in terms of science knowledge of the Mars, Phobos/Deimos system, exploration risk mitigation, technology development, and public interest.

  5. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzman, Frank M.; Rummel, John D.; Leveton, Lauren B.; Teeter, Ron

    1990-01-01

    The major life science considerations for Mars exploration missions are discussed. Radiation protection and countermeasures for zero gravity are discussed. Considerations of crew psychological health considerations and life support systems are addressed. Scientific opportunities presented by manned Mars missions are examined.

  6. Astrobiology in the Field: Studying Mars by Analogue Expeditions on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.

    2011-01-01

    We will present a strategy for how one prepares to engage in fieldwork on another planets by practicing in analogous environments on the Earth, including at Mono Lake. As an example, we will address the problem of how to study the habitability of an environment when you have no idea what kind of life might be there to exploit it. This will all be related to the upcoming launch of the Mars Science Laboratory to Mars in late November this year.

  7. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  8. Mars Science Laboratory Using Laser Instrument, Artist's Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    This artist's conception of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory portrays use of the rover's ChemCam instrument to identify the chemical composition of a rock sample on the surface of Mars. ChemCam is innovative for planetary exploration in using a technique referred to as laser breakdown spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of samples from distances of up to about 8 meters (25 feet) away. ChemCam is led by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France. Mars Science Laboratory, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life, is in development at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a launch opportunity in 2009. The mission is managed by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John P.; Crisp, Joy; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Anderson, Robert C.; Baker, Charles J.; Barry, Robert; Blake, David F.; Conrad, Pamela; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ferdowski, Bobak; Gellert, Ralf; Gilbert, John B.; Golombek, Matt; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hassler, Donald M.; Jandura, Louise; Litvak, Maxim; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Meyer, Michael; Malin, Michael C.; Mitrofanov, Igor; Simmonds, John J.; Vaniman, David; Welch, Richard V.; Wiens, Roger C.

    2012-09-01

    Scheduled to land in August of 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission was initiated to explore the habitability of Mars. This includes both modern environments as well as ancient environments recorded by the stratigraphic rock record preserved at the Gale crater landing site. The Curiosity rover has a designed lifetime of at least one Mars year (˜23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. Curiosity's 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 (SAM instrument); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin instrument); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, MARDI, and Mastcam instruments); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS instrument); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam instrument); an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN instrument); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS instrument); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation (RAD instrument). The various payload elements will work together to detect and study potential sampling targets with remote and in situ measurements; to acquire samples of rock, soil, and atmosphere and analyze them in onboard analytical instruments; and to observe the environment around the rover. The 155-km diameter Gale crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: an interior mountain of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mountain show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate

  10. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars science laboratory's curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassler, D.M.; Zeitlin, C.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Ehresmann, B.; Rafkin, S.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Brinza, D.E.; Weigle, G.; Böttcher, S.; Böhm, E.; Burmeister, S.; Guo, J.; Köhler, J.; Martin, C.; Reitz, G.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Kim, M.-H.; Grinspoon, D.; Bullock, M.A.; Posner, A.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Vasavada, A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose

  11. Report of the NASA Science Definition Team for the Mars Science Orbiter (MSO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael

    2007-01-01

    NASA is considering that its Mars Exploration Program (MEP) will launch an orbiter to Mars in the 2013 launch opportunity. To further explore this opportunity, NASA has formed a Science Definition Team (SDT) for this orbiter mission, provisionally called the Mars Science Orbiter (MSO). Membership and leadership of the SDT are given in Appendix 1. Dr. Michael D. Smith chaired the SDT. The purpose of the SDT was to define the: 1) Scientific objectives of an MSO mission to be launched to Mars no earlier than the 2013 launch opportunity, building on the findings for Plan A [Atmospheric Signatures and Near-Surface Change] of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Second Science Analysis Group (SAG-2); 2) Science requirements of instruments that are most likely to make high priority measurements from the MSO platform, giving due consideration to the likely mission, spacecraft and programmatic constraints. The possibilities and opportunities for international partners to provide the needed instrumentation should be considered; 3) Desired orbits and mission profile for optimal scientific return in support of the scientific objectives, and the likely practical capabilities and the potential constraints defined by the science requirements; and 4) Potential science synergies with, or support for, future missions, such as a Mars Sample Return. This shall include imaging for evaluation and certification of future landing sites. As a starting point, the SDT was charged to assume spacecraft capabilities similar to those of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The SDT was further charged to assume that MSO would be scoped to support telecommunications relay of data from, and commands to, landed assets, over a 10 Earth year period following orbit insertion. Missions supported by MSO may include planned international missions such as EXOMARS. The MSO SDT study was conducted during October - December 2007. The SDT was directed to complete its work by December 15, 2007

  12. Mars Science Laboratory Entry Guidance Improvements for Mars 2018 (DRAFT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Llama, Eduardo; Winski, Richard G.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Ivanov, Mark C.; Grover, Myron R.; Prakash, Ravi

    2011-01-01

    In 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will be launched in a mission to deliver the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. A follow on MSL-derived mission, referred to as Mars 2018, is planned for 2018. Mars 2018 goals include performance enhancements of the Entry, Descent and Landing over that of its predecessor MSL mission of 2011. This paper will discuss the main elements of the modified 2018 EDL preliminary design that will increase performance on the entry phase of the mission. In particular, these elements will increase the parachute deploy altitude to allow for more time margin during the subsequent descent and landing phases and reduce the delivery ellipse size at parachute deploy through modifications in the entry reference trajectory design, guidance trigger logic design, and the effect of additional navigation hardware.

  13. From Mars to Media: The Phoenix Mars Mission and the Challenges of Real-Time, Multimedia Science Communication and Public Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Bitter, C.

    2008-12-01

    Although the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Odyssey Missions set the standard for science communication and public education about Mars, the Phoenix Mission was presented with robust new communication challenges and opportunities. The new frontier includes Web 2.0, international forums, internal and external blogs, social networking sites, as well as the traditional media and education outlets for communicating science and information. We will explore the highlights and difficulties of managing the 'message from Mars' in our current multimedia saturated world while balancing authentic science discoveries, public expectations, and communication demands. Our goal is to create a more science savvy public and a more communication oriented science community for the future. The key issues are helping the public and our scientists distinguish between information and knowledge and managing the content that connects the two.

  14. Mars Science Laboratory Heatshield Flight Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahzari, Milad; White, Todd

    2017-01-01

    NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which landed the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on August 5th, 2012, was the largest and heaviest Mars entry vehicle representing a significant advancement in planetary entry, descent and landing capability. Hypersonic flight performance data was collected using MSLs on-board sensors called Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI). This talk will give an overview of MSL entry and a description of MEDLI sensors. Observations from flight data will be examined followed by a discussion of analysis efforts to reconstruct surface heating from heatshields in-depth temperature measurements. Finally, a brief overview of MEDLI2 instrumentation, which will fly on NASAs Mars2020 mission, will be presented with a discussion on how lessons learned from MEDLI data affected the design of MEDLI2 instrumentation.

  15. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  16. Waves in the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Hinson, D. P.; Peter, K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric waves play a crucial role in the Martian atmosphere. They are responsible for the redistribution of momentum, energy and dust and for the coupling of the different atmospheric regions on Mars. Almost all kinds of waves have been observed in the lower atmosphere (e.g. stationary and transient waves, baroclinic waves as well as migrating and non-migrating thermal tides, gravity waves, etc...). Atmospheric waves are also known to exist in the middle atmosphere of Mars ( 70-120 km, e.g. by the SPICAM instrument on Mars Express). In the thermosphere, thermal tides have been observed e.g. by radio occultation or accelerometer measurements on MGS. Recently, the NGIMS instrument on MAVEN reported gravity waves in the thermosphere of Mars. Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science experiment MaRS on Mars Express can analyse the temperature, pressure and neutral number density profiles in the lower atmosphere (from a few hundred metres above the surface up to 40-50 km) and electron density profiles in the ionosphere of Mars. Wavelike structures have been detected below the main ionospheric layers (M1 & M2) and in the topside of the ionosphere. The two coherent frequencies of the MaRS experiment allow to discriminate between plasma density fluctuations in the ionosphere and Doppler related frequency shifts caused by spacecraft movement. A careful analysis of the observed electron density fluctuations in combination with sensitivity studies of the radio occultation technique will be used to classify the observed fluctuations. The MaRS experiment is funded by DLR under grant 50QM1401.

  17. Measurements of energetic particle radiation in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, C; Hassler, D M; Cucinotta, F A; Ehresmann, B; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R F; Brinza, D E; Kang, S; Weigle, G; Böttcher, S; Böhm, E; Burmeister, S; Guo, J; Köhler, J; Martin, C; Posner, A; Rafkin, S; Reitz, G

    2013-05-31

    The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011, and for most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector made detailed measurements of the energetic particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft. These data provide insights into the radiation hazards that would be associated with a human mission to Mars. We report measurements of the radiation dose, dose equivalent, and linear energy transfer spectra. The dose equivalent for even the shortest round-trip with current propulsion systems and comparable shielding is found to be 0.66 ± 0.12 sievert.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Antoni Quintana-Marí (1907-1998): A Pioneer of the Use of History of Science in Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca-Rosell, Antoni; Grapí-Vilumara, Pere

    2010-09-01

    In the early 1930s, the young Antoni Quintana-Marí undertook some research on Antoni de Martí i Franquès, one of the most prominent Catalan scientists of the Enlightenment. This scientist worked in Tarragona, where Quintana-Marí lived. Quintana-Marí learnt about Martí i Franquès from Josep Estalella, his teacher of physics and chemistry at the secondary school. It was while researching on Martí i Franquès that Quintana-Marí became a true historian of science. He subsequently collaborated with other Spanish and foreign historians of science in the early years of this discipline. Quintana-Marí never forgot that his passion for history of science had been aroused by his school teacher.

  20. The aurora, Mars, and more! Increasing science content in elementary grades through art and literacy programs in earth and space science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfrow, S.; Wood, E. L.

    2011-12-01

    Although reading, writing, and math examinations are often conducted early in elementary school, science is not typically tested until 4th or 5th grade. The result is a refocus on the tested topics at the expense of the untested ones, despite that standards exist for each topic at all grades. On a national level, science instruction is relegated to a matter of a few hours per week. A 2007 Education Policy study states that elementary school students spend an average of 178 minutes a week on science while spending 500 minutes on literacy. A recent NSTA report in July of elementary and middle school teachers confirms that teachers feel pressured to teach math and literacy at the expense of other programs. One unintended result is that teachers in grades where science is tested must play catch-up with students for them to be successful on the assessment. A unique way to combat the lack of science instruction at elementary grades is to combine literacy, social studies, and math into an integrated science program, thereby increasing the number of science contact hours. The Dancing Lights program, developed at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, is a science, art, and literacy program about the aurora designed to easily fit into a typical 3rd-5th grade instructional day. It mirrors other successful literacy programs and will provide a basis for the literacy program being developed for the upcoming MAVEN mission to Mars. We will present early findings, as well as "lessons learned" during our development and implementation of the Dancing Lights program and will highlight our goals for the MAVEN mission literacy program.

  1. Mars' Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brinza, David E.; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A.; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Berger, Thomas; Matthia, Daniel; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Hamilton, Victoria; Peterson, Joseph; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  2. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Brinza, David E; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P

    2014-01-24

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  3. Testing a Mars science outpost in the Antarctic dry valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D. T.; Mckay, C. P.; Wharton, R. A.; Rummel, J. D.

    1992-01-01

    Field research conducted in the Antarctic has been providing insights about the nature of Mars in the science disciplines of exobiology and geology. Located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of southern Victoria Land (160 deg and 164 deg E longitude and 76 deg 30 min and 78 deg 30 min S latitude), research outposts are inhabited by teams of 4-6 scientists. It is proposed that the design of these outposts be expanded to enable meaningful tests of many of the systems that will be needed for the successful conduct of exploration activities on Mars. Although there are some important differences between the environment in the Antarctic dry valleys and on Mars, the many similarities and particularly the field science activities, make the dry valleys a useful terrestrial analog to conditions on Mars. Three areas have been identified for testing at a small science outpost in the dry valleys: (1) studying human factors and physiology in an isolated environment; (2) testing emerging technologies (e.g. innovative power management systems, advanced life support facilities including partial bioregenerative life support systems for water recycling and food growth, telerobotics, etc.); and (3) conducting basic scientific research that will enhance understanding of Mars while contributing to the planning for human exploration. It is suggested that an important early result of a Mars habitat program will be the experience gained by interfacing humans and their supporting technology in a remote and stressful environment.

  4. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

    On Earth, lakes provide favorable environments for the development of life and its preservation as fossils. They are extremely sensitive to climate fluctuations and to conditions within their watersheds. As such, lakes are unique markers of the impact of environmental changes. Past and current missions have now demonstrated that water once flowed at the surface of Mars early in its history. Evidence of ancient ponding has been uncovered at scales ranging from a few kilometers to possibly that of the Arctic ocean. Whether life existed on Mars is still unknown; upcoming missions may find critic

  5. The Emirates Mars Mission Science Data Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craft, J.; Al Hammadi, O.; DeWolfe, A. W.; Staley, B.; Schafer, C.; Pankratz, C. K.

    2017-12-01

    The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), led by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is expected to arrive at Mars in January 2021. The EMM Science Data Center (SDC) is to be developed as a joint effort between MBRSC and the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). The EMM SDC is responsible for the production, management, distribution, and archiving of science data collected from the three instruments on board the Hope spacecraft.With the respective SDC teams on opposite sides of the world evolutionary techniques and cloud-based technologies are being utilized in the development of the EMM SDC. This presentation will provide a top down view of the EMM SDC, summarizing the cloud-based technologies being implemented in the design, as well as the tools, best practices, and lessons learned for software development and management in a geographically distributed team.

  6. Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    The Curiosity rover landed successfully in Gale Crater, Mars on August 5, 2012. This event was a dramatic high point in the decade long effort to design, build, test and fly the most sophisticated scientific vehicle ever sent to Mars. The real achievements of the mission have only just begun, however, as Curiosity is now searching for signs that Mars once possessed habitable environments. The Mars Science Laboratory Project has been one of the most ambitious and challenging planetary projects that NASA has undertaken. It started in the successful aftermath of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover project and was designed to take significant steps forward in both engineering and scientific capabilities. This included a new landing system capable of emplacing a large mobile vehicle over a wide range of potential landing sites, advanced sample acquisition and handling capabilities that can retrieve samples from both rocks and soil, and a high reliability avionics suite that is designed to permit long duration surface operations. It also includes a set of ten sophisticated scientific instruments that will investigate both the geological context of the landing site plus analyze samples to understand the chemical & organic composition of rocks & soil found there. The Gale Crater site has been specifically selected as a promising location where ancient habitable environments may have existed and for which evidence may be preserved. Curiosity will spend a minimum of one Mars year (about two Earth years) looking for this evidence. This paper will report on the progress of the mission over the first few months of surface operations, plus look retrospectively at lessons learned during both the development and cruise operations phase of the mission..

  7. Search for Chemical Biomarkers on Mars Using the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Conrad, P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    One key goal for the future exploration of Mars is the search for chemical biomarkers including complex organic compounds important in life on Earth. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will provide the most sensitive measurements of the organic composition of rocks and regolith samples ever carried out in situ on Mars. SAM consists of a gas chromatograph (GC), quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), and tunable laser spectrometer to measure volatiles in the atmosphere and released from rock powders heated up to 1000 C. The measurement of organics in solid samples will be accomplished by three experiments: (1) pyrolysis QMS to identify alkane fragments and simple aromatic compounds; pyrolysis GCMS to separate and identify complex mixtures of larger hydrocarbons; and (3) chemical derivatization and GCMS extract less volatile compounds including amino and carboxylic acids that are not detectable by the other two experiments.

  8. The Science Operations Concept for the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frew, D.

    2014-04-01

    The ExoMars 2016 Science Operations Centre (SOC) based at the European Space Astronomy Centre is responsible for coordinating the science planning activities for the Trace Gas Orbiter. Science planning will involve all members of the ExoMars 2016 science ground segment (SGS), namely the SOC at ESAC, the Russian SOC at IKI, the orbiter instrument teams and the science management of the 2016 mission represented by the science working team (SWT) that is chaired by the project scientist. The science operations concept for the mission builds on the legacy inherited from previous ESA planetary missions, in particular from Mars Express for the core plan validation aspects and from the Smart-1 lunar mission for the opportunity analysis and longterm planning approach. Further concept drivers have been derived from the ExoMars 2016 mission profile in the areas of orbit predictability, instrument design and the usage of TGO as a relay for surface assets including the ExoMars 2018 rover. This paper will give an over view of the entire uplink planning process as it is conducted over 3 distinct planning cycles. The Long Term Plan (LTP) establishes the baseline science plan and demonstrates the operational feasibility of meeting the mission science goals formulated by the science working team (SWT) at science management level. The LTP has a planning horizon of 6 months. Each month of the baseline science plan is refined with the instrument teams within the Medium Term Plan (MTP) to converge on a frozen attitude request and resource envelopes for all of the observations in the plan. During the Short Term Planning cycle the SOC will iterate with the teams to finalise the commanding for all of the observations in the plan for the coming week. The description of the uplink planning process will focus on two key areas that are common to all of the planning cycles mentioned above: • Science Plan Abstraction: Interacting with the science plan at the appropriate level of abstraction to

  9. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Von der Heydt, Max O.; Mogensen, Claus T.; Canham, John; Harpold, Dan N.; Johnson, Joel; Errigo, Therese; Glavin, Daniel P.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-09-01

    Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover carries a set of five external verification standards in hermetically sealed containers that can be sampled as would be a Martian rock, by drilling and then portioning into the solid sample inlet of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite. Each organic check material (OCM) canister contains a porous ceramic solid, which has been doped with a fluorinated hydrocarbon marker that can be detected by SAM. The purpose of the OCM is to serve as a verification tool for the organic cleanliness of those parts of the sample chain that cannot be cleaned other than by dilution, i.e., repeated sampling of Martian rock. SAM possesses internal calibrants for verification of both its performance and its internal cleanliness, and the OCM is not used for that purpose. Each OCM unit is designed for one use only, and the choice to do so will be made by the project science group (PSG).

  10. Measurement of Mars Analog Soil Dielectric Properties for Mars 2020 Radar Science Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decrossas, E.; Bell, D. J.; Jin, C.; Steinfeld, D.; Batres, J.

    2017-12-01

    On multiple solar system missions, radar instruments have been used to probe subsurface geomorphology and to infer chemical composition based on the dielectric signature derived from the reflected signal. One important planetary application is the identification of subsurface water ice at Mars. Low frequency, 15 MHz to 25 MHz, instruments like SHARAD have been used from Mars orbit to investigate subsurface features from 10's to 1000's of meters below the surface of Mars with a vertical resolution of 15m and a horizontal resolution of 300 to 3000 meters. SHARAD has been able to identify vast layers of CO2 and water ice. The ground-penetrating RIMFAX instrument that will ride on the back of the Mars 2020 rover will operate over the 150 MHz to 1200 MHz band and penetrate to a depth of 10 meters with a vertical resolution of 15 to 30 cm. RIMFAX will be able to identify near surface water ice if it exists below the travel path of the Mars 2020 rover. Identification of near surface water ice has science application to current and past Mars hydrologic processes and to the potential for finding remnants of past Mars biologic activity. Identification of near surface water ice also has application to future human missions that would benefit from access to a Mars local water source. Recently, JPL investigators have been pursuing a secondary use of telecom signals to capture bistatic radar signatures from subsurface areas surrounding the rover but away from its travel path. A particularly promising potential source would be the telecom signal from a proposed Mars Helicopter back to the Mars 2020 rover. The Mars 2020 rover will be equipped with up to three telecom subsystems. The Rover Relay telecom subsystem operates at UHF receiving at 435 MHz frequency. Anticipating opportunistic collection of near-surface bistatic radar signatures from telecom signals received at the rover, it is valuable to understand the dielectric properties of the Martian soil in each of these three

  11. Coupling Immersive Experiences with the Use of Mission Data to Encourage Students' Interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math: Examples from the Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, S. L.; Valderrama, P.; Viotti, M. A.; Watt, K.; Wurman, G.

    2004-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Program, in partnership with the Arizona State University Mars Education Program has created and successfully tested innovative pathways and programs that introduce, develop, and reinforce science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - STEM subjects into pre-college curriculum. With launches scheduled every 26 months, Mars has the unique opportunity and ability to have a long-term, systemic influence on science education. Also, because of the high level of interest in Mars, as exemplified by the10 billion Internet hits during the Mars Exploration Rover mission, it is a great vehicle for the infusion of current science into today's classrooms. These Mars education programs have linked current mission science and engineering with the National Education Standards, integrating them in a teacher-friendly and student-friendly format. These linkages are especially synergistic when combined with long-term partnerships between educators, Mars scientists and engineers, as they exemplify real-world collaborations and teamwork. To accommodate many different audience needs, an array of programs and a variety of approaches to these programs have been developed. High tech, low tech and no tech options can be implemented to help insure that as many students can be accommodated and impacted by these programs as possible. These programs are scaled to match the National Education Standards in the grade levels in which students need to become proficient in these subjects. The Mars Student Imaging Project - MSIP allows teams of students from the fifth grade through community college to be immersed in a hands-on program and experience the scientific process firsthand by using the Thermal Emission Imaging System - THEMIS camera to target their own image of Mars using an educational version of the real flight software used to target THEMIS images. The student teams then analyze their image and report their findings to the MSIP website. This project has been in

  12. An Internationally Coordinated Science Management Plan for Samples Returned from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haltigin, T.; Smith, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    Mars Sample Return (MSR) remains a high priority of the planetary exploration community. Such an effort will undoubtedly be too large for any individual agency to conduct itself, and thus will require extensive global cooperation. To help prepare for an eventual MSR campaign, the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG) chartered the international Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples (iMARS) Phase II working group in 2014, consisting of representatives from 17 countries and agencies. The overarching task of the team was to provide recommendations for progressing towards campaign implementation, including a proposed science management plan. Building upon the iMARS Phase I (2008) outcomes, the Phase II team proposed the development of an International MSR Science Institute as part of the campaign governance, centering its deliberations around four themes: Organization: including an organizational structure for the Institute that outlines roles and responsibilities of key members and describes sample return facility requirements; Management: presenting issues surrounding scientific leadership, defining guidelines and assumptions for Institute membership, and proposing a possible funding model; Operations & Data: outlining a science implementation plan that details the preliminary sample examination flow, sample allocation process, and data policies; and Curation: introducing a sample curation plan that comprises sample tracking and routing procedures, sample sterilization considerations, and long-term archiving recommendations. This work presents a summary of the group's activities, findings, and recommendations, highlighting the role of international coordination in managing the returned samples.

  13. Mars in Motion: An online Citizen Science platform looking for changes on the surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprinks, James Christopher; Wardlaw, Jessica; Houghton, Robert; Bamford, Steven; Marsh, Stuart

    2016-10-01

    The European FP7 iMars project has developed tools and 3D models of the Martian surface through the co-registration of NASA and ESA mission data dating from the Viking missions of the 1970s to the present day, for a much more comprehensive interpretation of the geomorphological and climatic processes that have taken and do take place. We present the Citizen Science component of the project, 'Mars in Motion', created through the Zooniverse's Panoptes framework to allow volunteers to look for and identify changes on the surface of Mars over time. 'Mars in Motion', as with many other current citizen science platforms of a planetary or other disciplinary focus, has been developed to compliment the results of automated data mining analysis software, both by validation through the creation of training data and by adding context - gathering more in-depth data on the type and metrics of change initially detected.Through the analysis of initial volunteer results collected in the second half of 2016, the accuracy and ability of untrained participants to identify geomorphological changes is considered, as well as the impact of their position in the system. Volunteer contribution, either as a filter for poor quality imagery pre-algorithm, validation of algorithmic analysis, or adding context to pre-detected change, and their awareness and interpretation of its importance, can directly influence engagement with the platform and therefore ultimately its success. Understanding the effect of the volunteer and software's role in the system on both the results of and engagement with planetary science citizen science platforms will be an important lesson for the future, especially as the next generation of planetary missions will likely collect data orders of magnitude greater in volume. To deal with the data overload, it is likely that human or software solutions alone will not be sufficient, and that a combination of the two working together in a complimentary system that combines

  14. In Situ Strategy of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory to Investigate the Habitability of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    The ten science investigations of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover named "Curiosity" seek to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability through chemical and geological measurements from a highly capable robotic' platform. This mission seeks to understand if the conditions for life on ancient Mars are preserved in the near-surface geochemical record. These substantial payload resources enabled by MSL's new entry descent and landing (EDL) system have allowed the inclusion of instrument types nevv to the Mars surface including those that can accept delivered sample from rocks and soils and perform a wide range of chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical analyses. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment that is located in the interior of the rover is a powder x-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument that provides elemental and mineralogical information. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments complements this experiment by analyzing the volatile component of identically processed samples and by analyzing atmospheric composition. Other MSL payload tools such as the Mast Camera (Mastcam) and the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instruments are utilized to identify targets for interrogation first by the arm tools and subsequent ingestion into SAM and CheMin using the Sample Acquisition, Processing, and Handling (SA/SPaH) subsystem. The arm tools include the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and the Chemistry and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXX). The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument provides subsurface identification of hydrogen such as that contained in hydrated minerals

  15. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Joshua E.; Liu, Yuanming; Bhandari, Pradeep; Dudik, Brenda A.

    2012-01-01

    On November 26, 2011, NASA launched a large (900 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars on August 5, 2012. Prior to launch, the Rover was successfully operated in simulated mission extreme environments during a 16-day long Rover System Thermal Test (STT). This paper describes the MSL Rover STT, test planning, test execution, test results, thermal model correlation and flight predictions. The rover was tested in the JPL 25-Foot Diameter Space Simulator Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Rover operated in simulated Cruise (vacuum) and Mars Surface environments (8 Torr nitrogen gas) with mission extreme hot and cold boundary conditions. A Xenon lamp solar simulator was used to impose simulated solar loads on the rover during a bounding hot case and during a simulated Mars diurnal test case. All thermal hardware was exercised and performed nominally. The Rover Heat Rejection System, a liquid-phase fluid loop used to transport heat in and out of the electronics boxes inside the rover chassis, performed better than predicted. Steady state and transient data were collected to allow correlation of analytical thermal models. These thermal models were subsequently used to predict rover thermal performance for the MSL Gale Crater landing site. Models predict that critical hardware temperatures will be maintained within allowable flight limits over the entire 669 Sol surface mission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, J. E.; Mogensen, C. T.; VonderHeydt, M. O.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. M.; Johnson, J. A.

    2011-01-01

    The Organic Check Material (OCM) has been developed for use on the Mars Science Laboratory mission to serve as a sample standard for verification of organic cleanliness and characterization of potential sample alteration as a function of the sample acquisition and portioning process on the Curiosity rover. OCM samples will be acquired using the same procedures for drilling, portioning and delivery as are used to study martian samples with The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite during MSL surface operations. Because the SAM suite is highly sensitive to organic molecules, the mission can better verify the cleanliness of Curiosity's sample acquisition hardware if a known material can be processed through SAM and compared with the results obtained from martian samples.

  18. Selection of the Mars Science Laboratory landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M.; Grant, J.; Kipp, D.; Vasavada, A.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Fergason, Robin L.; Bellutta, P.; Calef, F.; Larsen, K.; Katayama, Y.; Huertas, A.; Beyer, R.; Chen, A.; Parker, T.; Pollard, B.; Lee, S.; Hoover, R.; Sladek, H.; Grotzinger, J.; Welch, R.; Dobrea, E. Noe; Michalski, J.; Watkins, M.

    2012-01-01

    The selection of Gale crater as the Mars Science Laboratory landing site took over five years, involved broad participation of the science community via five open workshops, and narrowed an initial >50 sites (25 by 20 km) to four finalists (Eberswalde, Gale, Holden and Mawrth) based on science and safety. Engineering constraints important to the selection included: (1) latitude (±30°) for thermal management of the rover and instruments, (2) elevation (surface that is safe for landing and roving and not dominated by fine-grained dust. Science criteria important for the selection include the ability to assess past habitable environments, which include diversity, context, and biosignature (including organics) preservation. Sites were evaluated in detail using targeted data from instruments on all active orbiters, and especially Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. All of the final four sites have layered sedimentary rocks with spectral evidence for phyllosilicates that clearly address the science objectives of the mission. Sophisticated entry, descent and landing simulations that include detailed information on all of the engineering constraints indicate all of the final four sites are safe for landing. Evaluation of the traversabilty of the landing sites and target “go to” areas outside of the ellipse using slope and material properties information indicates that all are trafficable and “go to” sites can be accessed within the lifetime of the mission. In the final selection, Gale crater was favored over Eberswalde based on its greater diversity and potential habitability.

  19. Exomars orbiter science and data-relay mission / looking for trace gases on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratacci, Olivier

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

  20. Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, J; Ehresmann, B; Zeitlin, C; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R F; Hassler, D M; Reitz, G; Brinza, D E; Appel, J; Böttcher, S; Böhm, E; Burmeister, S; Guo, J; Lohf, H; Martin, C; Posner, A; Rafkin, S

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011. Although designed for measuring the radiation on the surface of Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measured the radiation environment inside the spacecraft during most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the radiation environment inside the spacecraft is the specific contribution of neutrons with their high biological effectiveness. We apply an inversion method (based on a maximum-likelihood estimation) to calculate the neutron and gamma spectra from the RAD neutral particle measurements. The measured neutron spectrum (12-436 MeV) translates into a radiation dose rate of 3.8±1.2 μGy/day and a dose equivalent of 19±5 μSv/day. Extrapolating the measured spectrum (0.1-1000 MeV), we find that the total neutron-induced dose rate is 6±2 μGy/day and the dose equivalent rate is 30±10 μSv/day. For a 360 day round-trip from Earth to Mars with comparable shielding, this translates into a neutron induced dose equivalent of about 11±4 mSv. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Dosimetry of a Deep-Space (Mars) Mission using Measurements from RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, D.; Zeitlin, C.; Ehresmann, B.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.; Guo, J.; Matthiae, D.; Reitz, G.

    2017-12-01

    The space radiation environment is one of the outstanding challenges of a manned deep-space mission to Mars. To improve our understanding and take us one step closer to enabling a human Mars to mission, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been characterizing the radiation environment, both during cruise and on the surface of Mars for the past 5 years. Perhaps the most significant difference between space radiation and radiation exposures from terrestrial exposures is that space radiation includes a significant component of heavy ions from Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs). Acute exposures from Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) are possible during and around solar maximum, but the energies from SEPs are generally lower and more easily shielded. Thus the greater concern for long duration deep-space missions is the GCR exposure. In this presentation, I will review the the past 5 years of MSL RAD observations and discuss current approaches to radiation risk estimation used by NASA and other space agencies.

  2. In-Situ Operations and Planning for the Mars Science Laboratory Robotic Arm: The First 200 Sols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M.; Collins, C.; Leger, P.; Carsten, J.; Tompkins, V.; Hartman, F.; Yen, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Robotic Arm (RA) has operated for more than 200 Martian solar days (or sols) since the Mars Science Laboratory rover touched down in Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. During the first seven months on Mars the robotic arm has performed multiple contact science sols including the positioning of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and/or Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) with respect to rocks or loose regolith targets. The RA has supported sample acquisition using both the scoop and drill, sample processing with CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In- Situ Martian Rock Analysis), and delivery of sample portions to the observation tray, and the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) and CHEMIN (Chemistry and Mineralogy) science instruments. This paper describes the planning and execution of robotic arm activities during surface operations, and reviews robotic arm performance results from Mars to date.

  3. Atmosphere Assessment for MARS Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Cantor, Bruce; Barnes, Jeff; Tyler, Daniel, Jr.; Rafkin, Scot; Chen, Allen; Kass, David; Mischna, Michael; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2013-01-01

    On August 6, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, successfully landed on the surface of Mars. The Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) sequence was designed using atmospheric conditions estimated from mesoscale numerical models. The models, developed by two independent organizations (Oregon State University and the Southwest Research Institute), were validated against observations at Mars from three prior years. In the weeks and days before entry, the MSL "Council of Atmospheres" (CoA), a group of atmospheric scientists and modelers, instrument experts and EDL simulation engineers, evaluated the latest Mars data from orbiting assets including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), as well as Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). The observations were compared to the mesoscale models developed for EDL performance simulation to determine if a spacecraft parameter update was necessary prior to entry. This paper summarizes the daily atmosphere observations and comparison to the performance simulation atmosphere models. Options to modify the atmosphere model in the simulation to compensate for atmosphere effects are also presented. Finally, a summary of the CoA decisions and recommendations to the MSL project in the days leading up to EDL is provided.

  4. Stationary Planetary Waves in the Mars Winter Atmosphere as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin; Häusler, Bernd; Tyler, Leonard G.; Hinson, David P.

    2015-11-01

    Stationary (Rossby) Waves are excited by the interaction of the zonally varying topography with the strong eastward winter jets. They lead to distinctive longitudinal temperature variations which contribute significantly to the asymmetry of the seasonal polar CO2 ice caps and are also important for the dust redistribution in the planetary atmosphere.Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science Experiment MaRS at northern and southern high latitudes are used to gain insight into winter stationary wave structures on both hemispheres.Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) radio occultation measurements from the same season and year with their exceptionally good longitudinal and temporal coverage can be used to estimate the influence of transient eddies. Transient waves are especially important in the northern winter hemisphere.Wave number 2 stationary waves, driven by topography, are dominant in the northern winter latitudes while the wave number 1 wave is the most significant wave number during southern winter. The wave amplitudes peak around winter solstice on both hemispheres.Radio occultation measurements provide the unique opportunity to determine simultaneous measurements of temperature and geopotential height structures. Assuming geostrophic balance, these measurements can be used to determine meridional winds and eddy heat fluxes which provide further insight into the contribution of stationary waves to the heat exchange between the poles and the lower latitudes.

  5. Hypersonic and Supersonic Static Aerodynamics of Mars Science Laboratory Entry Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyakonov, Artem A.; Schoenenberger, Mark; Vannorman, John W.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the analysis of continuum static aerodynamics of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry vehicle (EV). The method is derived from earlier work for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Path Finder (MPF) and the appropriate additions are made in the areas where physics are different from what the prior entry systems would encounter. These additions include the considerations for the high angle of attack of MSL EV, ablation of the heatshield during entry, turbulent boundary layer, and other aspects relevant to the flight performance of MSL. Details of the work, the supporting data and conclusions of the investigation are presented.

  6. ExoMars entry, descent and landing science

    OpenAIRE

    Ferri, F.; Lewis, S. R.; Withers, P.; Aboudan, A.; Bettanini, C.; Colombatti, G.; Debei, S.; Golombek, M.; Harri, A. M.; Komatsu, G.; Leese, M. R.; Mäkinen, T.; Müller-Wodarg, I.; Ori, G. G.; Patel, M. R.

    2011-01-01

    The entry, descent and landing of ExoMars offer a rare (once-per-mission) opportunity to perform in situ investigation of the martian environment over a wide altitude range. Entry, Descent and Landing System (EDLS) measurements can provide essential data for atmospheric scientific investigations.\\ud \\ud We intend to perform atmospheric science measurements by exploiting data from EDLS engineering sensors and exploiting their readings beyond the expected engineering information.

  7. Reporting on Strategic Considerations About the Role of Science in Initial Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, David; Bass, Deborah; Thronson, Harley; Hays, Lindsay; Carberry, Chris; Cassady, Joe; Craig, Mark; Duggan, Matt; Drake, Bret; Stern, Jennifer; Zucker, Rick

    2016-07-01

    In December 2015, the "Third Community Workshop on Affording and Sustaining Human Mars Exploration" (AM III) was held, which was designed to provide community recommendations on the potential human exploration of Mars. To facilitate the workshop, we focused on two key questions: 1) From the dual and interrelated perspectives of affordability and sustainability, what are the strengths/challenges of Mars exploration scenarios?; and 2) From the perspective of prioritized scientific objectives for the martian system (the planet's surface or its moons), what are the most enabling capabilities of the different exploration architecture(s) and why? Group discussion over three days resulted in the following findings and observations: 1. NASA's incremental approach to deep-space exploration defines the so-called "Proving Ground," specifically in cis-lunar space, generally occurring in the 2020s and prior to human journeys to Mars. We concluded that there are capabilities directly related to, and on the critical path to, human exploration of Mars that could be developed in cis-lunar space. However, we also concluded that the Proving Ground should best be viewed as a campaign that occurs within a certain timeframe (including activities at Mars), rather than merely occurring at a specific location. 2. The workshop participants agreed that the most valuable purposes of sending humans to the martian system would be accomplished only by surface operations. We concluded that specific benefits, both technical and cost, of sending humans to the Mars system without landing on the martian surface should be assessed in depth. We discussed - although were unable to conclude - whether Mars orbit or Phobos/Deimos as a destination would make sufficient contributions towards humans landing on the martian surface or to answering high-priority science questions (as identified by the Decadal Survey) to justify their associated costs and possible risks. Further study on the value of an orbital

  8. OHB's Exploration Capabilities Overview Relevant to Mars Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaime, A.; Gerth, I.; Rohrbeck, M.; Scheper, M.

    2018-04-01

    The presentation will give an overview to all the OHB past and current projects that are relevant to the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, including some valuable lessons learned applicable to the upcoming MSR mission.

  9. Terrain Safety Assessment in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipp, Devin

    2012-01-01

    In August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will pioneer the next generation of robotic Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems by delivering the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. The process to select the MSL landing site took over five years and began with over 50 initial candidate sites from which four finalist sites were chosen. The four finalist sites were examined in detail to assess overall science merit, EDL safety, and rover traversability on the surface. Ultimately, the engineering assessments demonstrated a high level of safety and robustness at all four finalist sites and differences in the assessment across those sites were small enough that neither EDL safety nor rover traversability considerations could significantly discriminate among the final four sites. Thus the MSL landing site at Gale Crater was selected from among the four finalists primarily on the basis of science considerations.

  10. In Situ Measurement of Atmospheric Krypton and Xenon on Mars with Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Malespin, C. A.; Franz, H. B.; Pepin, R. O.; Trainer, M. G.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Atreya, S. K.; Freissinet, C.; Jones, J. H.; Manning, H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratorys Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation has measured all of the stable isotopes of the heavy noble gases krypton and xenon in the martian atmosphere, in situ, from the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater, Mars. Previous knowledge of martian atmospheric krypton and xenon isotope ratios has been based upon a combination of the Viking missions krypton and xenon detections and measurements of noble gas isotope ratios in martian meteorites. However, the meteorite measurements reveal an impure mixture of atmospheric, mantle, and spallation contributions. The xenon and krypton isotopic measurements reported here include the complete set of stable isotopes, unmeasured by Viking. The new results generally agree with Mars meteorite measurements but also provide a unique opportunity to identify various non-atmospheric heavy noble gas components in the meteorites. Kr isotopic measurements define a solar-like atmospheric composition, but deviating from the solar wind pattern at 80Kr and 82Kr in a manner consistent with contributions originating from neutron capture in Br. The Xe measurements suggest an intriguing possibility that isotopes lighter than 132Xe have been enriched to varying degrees by spallation and neutron capture products degassed to the atmosphere from the regolith, and a model is constructed to explore this possibility. Such a spallation component, however, is not apparent in atmospheric Xe trapped in the glassy phases of martian meteorites.

  11. AIAA Educator Academy - Mars Rover Curriculum: A 6 week multidisciplinary space science based curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriquez, E.; Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Curiosity mission has captured the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The AIAA and the University of Houston have developed a flexible curriculum program that offers children in-depth science and language arts learning culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students learn to research Mars in order to pick a science question about Mars that is of interest to them. They learn principles of spacecraft design in order to build a model of a Mars rover to carry out their mission on the surface of Mars. The model is a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the structure and organization of the 6 week curriculum. A set of 30 new 5E lesson plans have been written to support this project as a classroom activity. The challenge of developing interactive

  12. Ground Contact Model for Mars Science Laboratory Mission Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Way, David

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Preparing for Humans at Mars, MPPG Updates to Strategic Knowledge Gaps and Collaboration with Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, John; Wargo, Michael J.; Beaty, David

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Program Planning Group (MPPG) was an agency wide effort, chartered in March 2012 by the NASA Associate Administrator for Science, in collaboration with NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, the Chief Scientist, and the Chief Technologist. NASA tasked the MPPG to develop foundations for a program-level architecture for robotic exploration of Mars that is consistent with the President's challenge of sending humans to the Mars system in the decade of the 2030s and responsive to the primary scientific goals of the 2011 NRC Decadal Survey for Planetary Science. The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) also sponsored a Precursor measurement Strategy Analysis Group (P-SAG) to revisit prior assessments of required precursor measurements for the human exploration of Mars. This paper will discuss the key results of the MPPG and P-SAG efforts to update and refine our understanding of the Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) required to successfully conduct human Mars missions.

  14. The Topography of Mars: Understanding the Surface of Mars Through the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derby, C. A.; Neumann, G. A.; Sakimoto, S. E.

    2001-12-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter has been orbiting Mars since 1997 and has measured the topography of Mars with a meter of vertical accuracy. This new information has improved our understanding of both the surface and the interior of Mars. The topographic globe and the labeled topographic map of Mars illustrate these new data in a format that can be used in a classroom setting. The map is color shaded to show differences in elevation on Mars, presenting Mars with a different perspective than traditional geological and geographic maps. Through the differences in color, students can see Mars as a three-dimensional surface and will be able to recognize features that are invisible in imagery. The accompanying lesson plans are designed for middle school science students and can be used both to teach information about Mars as a planet and Mars in comparison to Earth, fitting both the solar system unit and the Earth science unit in a middle school curriculum. The lessons are referenced to the National Benchmark standards for students in grades 6-8 and cover topics such as Mars exploration, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, resolution and powers of 10, gravity, craters, seismic waves and the interior structure of a planet, isostasy, and volcanoes. Each lesson is written in the 5 E format and includes a student content activity and an extension showing current applications of Mars and MOLA data. These activities can be found at http://ltpwww.gsfc.nasa.gov/education/resources.html. Funding for this project was provided by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the MOLA Science Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

  15. The Development of the Chemin Mineralogy Instrument and Its Deployment on Mars (and Latest Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

    The CheMin instrument (short for "Chemistry and Mineralogy") on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is one of two "laboratory quality" instruments on board the Curiosity rover that is exploring Gale crater, Mars. CheMin is an X-ray diffractometer that has for the first time returned definitive and fully quantitative mineral identifications of Mars soil and drilled rock. I will describe CheMin's 23-year development from an idea to a spacecraft qualified instrument, and report on some of the discoveries that Curiosity has made since its entry, descent and landing on Aug. 6, 2012, including the discovery and characterization of the first habitable environment on Mars.

  16. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  17. Mars for Earthlings: an analog approach to Mars in undergraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is a terrestrial Earth analog pedagogical approach to teaching undergraduate geology, planetary science, and astrobiology. MFE utilizes Earth analogs to teach Mars planetary concepts, with a foundational backbone in Earth science principles. The field of planetary science is rapidly changing with new technologies and higher-resolution data sets. Thus, it is increasingly important to understand geological concepts and processes for interpreting Mars data. MFE curriculum is topically driven to facilitate easy integration of content into new or existing courses. The Earth-Mars systems approach explores planetary origins, Mars missions, rocks and minerals, active driving forces/tectonics, surface sculpting processes, astrobiology, future explorations, and hot topics in an inquiry-driven environment. Curriculum leverages heavily upon multimedia resources, software programs such as Google Mars and JMARS, as well as NASA mission data such as THEMIS, HiRISE, CRISM, and rover images. Two years of MFE class evaluation data suggest that science literacy and general interest in Mars geology and astrobiology topics increased after participation in the MFE curriculum. Students also used newly developed skills to create a Mars mission team presentation. The MFE curriculum, learning modules, and resources are available online at http://serc.carleton.edu/marsforearthlings/index.html.

  18. An experimental study to support the search for organics at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Olivier; Stalport, Fabien; Noblet, Audrey; Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice

    2012-07-01

    upcoming exploration of Gale Crater by Curiosity, the rover of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission.

  19. Detection of Reduced Nitrogen Compounds at Rocknest Using the Sample Analysis At Mars (SAM) Instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Brunner, A.; Coll, P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D.; Jones, J. H.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected nitrogen-bearing compounds during the pyrolysis of Rocknest material at Gale Crater. Hydrogen cyanide and acetonitrile were identified by the quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) both in direct evolved gas analysis (EGA). SAM carried out four separate analyses from Rocknest Scoop 5. A significant low temperature release was present in Rocknest runs 1-4, while a smaller high temperature release was also seen in Rocknest runs 1-3. Here we evaluate whether these compounds are indigenous to Mars or a pyrolysis product resulting from known terrestrial materials that are part of the SAM derivatization.

  20. 6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Fluorocarbon Contamination from the Drill on the Mars Science Laboratory: Potential Science Impact on Detecting Martian Organics by Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigenbrode, J. L.; McAdam, A.; Franz, H.; Freissinet, C.; Bower, H.; Floyd, M.; Conrad, P.; Mahaffy, P.; Feldman, J.; Hurowitz, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or trade name: Teflon by Dupont Co.) has been detected in rocks drilled during terrestrial testing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) drilling hardware. The PTFE in sediments is a wear product of the seals used in the Drill Bit Assemblies (DBAs). It is expected that the drill assembly on the MSL flight model will also shed Teflon particles into drilled samples. One of the primary goals of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL is to test for the presence of martian organics in samples. Complications introduced by the potential presence of PTFE in drilled samples to the SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA or pyrolysisquadrupole mass spectrometry, pyr-QMS) and pyrolysis- gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Pyr- GCMS) experiments was investigated.

  2. Trajectory Options for a Potential Mars Mission Combining Orbiting Science, Relay and a Sample Return Rendezvous Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Correlating multispectral imaging and compositional data from the Mars Exploration Rovers and implications for Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-03-01

    the relationship between SWIR multispectral imaging data and APXS- and Mössbauer-derived composition/mineralogy is often weak, a perhaps not entirely unexpected result given the different surface sampling depths of SWIR imaging (uppermost few microns) vs. APXS (tens of μm) and MB measurements (hundreds of μm). Results from the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover’s ChemCam Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument may show a closer relationship to Mastcam SWIR multispectral observations, however, because the initial laser shots onto a target will analyze only the upper few micrometers of the surface. The clustering and classification methods used in this study can be applied to any data set to formalize the definition of classes and identify targets that do not fit in previously defined classes.

  4. The Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: A potential landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Joseph R; Jean-PierreBibring; Poulet, François; Loizeau, Damien; Mangold, Nicolas; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Bishop, Janice L; Wray, James J; McKeown, Nancy K; Parente, Mario; Hauber, Ernst; Altieri, Francesca; Carrozzo, F Giacomo; Niles, Paul B

    2010-09-01

    The primary objective of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, which will launch in 2011, is to characterize the habitability of a site on Mars through detailed analyses of the composition and geological context of surface materials. Within the framework of established mission goals, we have evaluated the value of a possible landing site in the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars that is targeted directly on some of the most geologically and astrobiologically enticing materials in the Solar System. The area around Mawrth Vallis contains a vast (>1 × 10⁶ km²) deposit of phyllosilicate-rich, ancient, layered rocks. A thick (>150 m) stratigraphic section that exhibits spectral evidence for nontronite, montmorillonite, amorphous silica, kaolinite, saponite, other smectite clay minerals, ferrous mica, and sulfate minerals indicates a rich geological history that may have included multiple aqueous environments. Because phyllosilicates are strong indicators of ancient aqueous activity, and the preservation potential of biosignatures within sedimentary clay deposits is high, martian phyllosilicate deposits are desirable astrobiological targets. The proposed MSL landing site at Mawrth Vallis is located directly on the largest and most phyllosilicate-rich deposit on Mars and is therefore an excellent place to explore for evidence of life or habitability.

  5. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

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

  6. Evolved Gas Analysis of Mars Analog Samples from the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition: Implications for Analyses by the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, A.; Stern, J. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T.; Steele, A.; Amundsen, H. E. F.

    2012-01-01

    The 2011 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) investigated several geologic settings on Svalbard, using methodologies and techniques being developed or considered for future Mars missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS), which analyze gases created by pyrolysis of samples. During AMASE, a Hiden Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometer (EGA-MS) system represented the EGA-QMS capability of SAM. Another MSL instrument, CheMin, will use x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to perform quantitative mineralogical characterization of samples. Field-portable versions of CheMin were used during AMASE. AMASE 2011 sites spanned a range of environments relevant to understanding martian surface materials, processes and habitability. They included the basaltic Sverrefjell volcano, which hosts carbonate globules, cements and coatings, carbonate and sulfate units at Colletth0gda, Devonian sandstone redbeds in Bockfjorden, altered basaltic lava delta deposits at Mt. Scott Keltie, and altered dolerites and volcanics at Botniahalvoya. Here we focus on SAM-like EGA-MS of a subset of the samples, with mineralogy comparisons to CheMin team results. The results allow insight into sample organic content as well as some constraints on sample mineralogy.

  7. Martian Multimedia: The Agony and Ecstasy of Communicating Real-Time, Authentic Science During the Phoenix Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, C.; Buxner, S. R.

    2009-03-01

    The Phoenix Mars Mission faced robust communication challenges requiring real-time solutions. Managing the message from Mars and ensuring the highest quality of science data and news releases were our top priorities during mission surface operations.

  8. Joint US-USSR Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, S. R.; Trombka, J. I.; Evans, L. G.; Starr, R.; Squyres, S. W.; Surkov, Iu. A.; Moskaleva, L. P.; Shcheglov, O.; Mitugov, A. G.; Rester, A. C.

    1991-01-01

    The Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) project has been established at Goddard Space Flight Center for the evaluation and cross calibration of U.S. and USSR remote sensing gamma-ray and neutron detectors. These detectors are analogs of those flown on the Soviet Phobos mission around Mars and those to be flown on the upcoming U.S. Mars Observer mission. Cosmic rays, which are normally filtered out by the atmosphere, and the earth's magnetic field, will induce gamma-ray and neutron emissions from about a half ton of simulated Mars soil aboard the gondola. The cross calibration of these instruments should greatly facilitate the data analysis from both missions and play a role in U.S.-USSR cooperation in space.

  9. Radio Occultation Experiments with Venus Express and Mars Express using the Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocanegra Bahamon, T.; Gurvits, L.; Molera Calves, G.; Cimo, G.; Duev, D.; Pogrebenko, S.; Dirkx, D.; Rosenblatt, P.

    2017-12-01

    The Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) is a technique that can be used to enhance multiple radio science experiments of planetary missions. By 'eavesdropping' on the spacecraft signal using radio telescopes from different VLBI networks around the world, the PRIDE technique provides precise open-loop Doppler and VLBI observables to able to reconstruct the spacecraft's orbit. The application of this technique for atmospheric studies has been assessed by observing ESA's Venus Express (VEX) and Mars Express (MEX) during multiple Venus and Mars occultation events between 2012 and 2014. From these observing sessions density, temperature and pressure profiles of Venus and Mars neutral atmosphere and ionosphere have been retrieved. We present an error propagation analysis where the uncertainties of the atmospheric properties measured with this technique have been derived. These activities serve as demonstration of the applicability of the PRIDE technique for radio occultation studies, and provides a benchmark against the traditional Doppler tracking provided by the NASA's DSN and ESA's Estrack networks for these same purposes, in the framework of the upcoming ESA JUICE mission to the Jovian system.

  10. Science Driven Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Fossils are not enough. We will want to determine if life on Mars was a separate genesis from life on Earth. For this determination we need to access intact martian life; possibly frozen in the deep old permafrost. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be the most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software Internal Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Justin D.; Lam, Danny

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team is sending the rover, Curiosity, to Mars, and therefore is physically and technically complex. During my stay, I have assisted the MSL Flight Software (FSW) team in implementing functional test scripts to ensure that the FSW performs to the best of its abilities. There are a large number of FSW requirements that have been written up for implementation; however I have only been assigned a few sections of these requirements. There are many stages within testing; one of the early stages is FSW Internal Testing (FIT). The FIT team can accomplish this with simulation software and the MSL Test Automation Kit (MTAK). MTAK has the ability to integrate with the Software Simulation Equipment (SSE) and the Mission Processing and Control System (MPCS) software which makes it a powerful tool within the MSL FSW development process. The MSL team must ensure that the rover accomplishes all stages of the mission successfully. Due to the natural complexity of this project there is a strong emphasis on testing, as failure is not an option. The entire mission could be jeopardized if something is overlooked.

  12. Exploration of the Habitability of Mars with the SAM Suite Investigation on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.

    2008-01-01

    The 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) with a substantially larger payload capability that any other Mars rover, to date, is designed to quantitatively assess a local region on Mars as a potential habitat for present or past life. Its goals are (1) to assess past or present biological potential of a target environment, (2) to characterize geology and geochemistry at the MSL landing site, and (3) to investigate planetary processes that influence habitability. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Suite, in its final stages of integration and test, enables a sensitive search for organic molecules and chemical and isotopic analysis of martian volatiles. MSL contact and remote surface and subsurface survey Instruments establish context for these measurements and facilitate sample identification and selection. The SAM instruments are a gas chromatograph (GC), a mass spectrometer (MS), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). These together with supporting sample manipulation and gas processing devices are designed to analyze either the atmospheric composition or gases extracted from solid phase samples such as rocks and fines. For example, one of the core SAM experiment sequences heats a small powdered sample of a Mars rock or soil from ambient to -1300 K in a controlled manner while continuously monitoring evolved gases. This is followed by GCMS analysis of released organics. The general chemical survey is complemented by a specific search for molecular classes that may be relevant to life including atmospheric methane and its carbon isotope with the TLS and biomarkers with the GCMS.

  13. Mass Spectrometry on Future Mars Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sori, Michael M.; Brown, Adrian J.

    2018-07-01

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

  16. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Developing Inquiry Based Lesson Plans to Teach Planetary Science In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.; Dominey, W.; Ramsey, J.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2012-12-01

    The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the development of a detailed set of new 5E lesson plans to

  17. "Some curious drawings". Mars through Giovanni Schiaparelli's eyes: between science and fiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canadelli, Elena

    2009-01-01

    From the second half of the 19th century up to the first part of the 20th century the drawings of Mars by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli became the centre of an international controversy concerning the existence of canals and the hypothetical habitability of the red planet. These images also generated a full impact on the popular culture of the time. This essays follows the scientific representations of Mars by Schiaparelli (drawings of discs and maps) from their birth in the hands of the astronomy community up to their growing old in the hands of scientific popularizers such as Camille Flammarion and science fiction writers such as Herbert George Wells. With its seas and canyons Mars turned into the ideal background for scientific and exotic romanticism, offering a suitable setting for novels and tales. The core question crossed paths with the contemporary early 20th century debate raging on about the evolutionary theory. The study of Mars moved from astronomy to extraterrestrial physiology, biology, meteorology and geography: astronomical images then became imaginary portraits of Martians and artificial Martian landscapes.

  18. Implementing planetary protection measures on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benardini, James N; La Duc, Myron T; Beaudet, Robert A; Koukol, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), comprising a cruise stage; an aeroshell; an entry, descent, and landing system; and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator-powered Curiosity rover, made history with its unprecedented sky crane landing on Mars on August 6, 2012. The mission's primary science objective has been to explore the area surrounding Gale Crater and assess its habitability for past life. Because microbial contamination could profoundly impact the integrity of the mission and compliance with international treaty was required, planetary protection measures were implemented on MSL hardware to verify that bioburden levels complied with NASA regulations. By applying the proper antimicrobial countermeasures throughout all phases of assembly, the total bacterial endospore burden of MSL at the time of launch was kept to 2.78×10⁵ spores, well within the required specification of less than 5.0×10⁵ spores. The total spore burden of the exposed surfaces of the landed MSL hardware was 5.64×10⁴, well below the allowed limit of 3.0×10⁵ spores. At the time of launch, the MSL spacecraft was burdened with an average of 22 spores/m², which included both planned landed and planned impacted hardware. Here, we report the results of a campaign to implement and verify planetary protection measures on the MSL flight system.

  19. Entry, Descent, and Landing Communications for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Shidner, Jeremy D.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), established as the most advanced rover to land on the surface of Mars to date, launched on November 26th, 2011 and arrived to the Martian Gale Crater during the night of August 5th, 2012 (PDT). MSL will investigate whether the landing region was ever suitable to support carbon-based life, and examine rocks, soil, and the atmosphere with a sophisticated suite of tools. This paper addresses the flight system requirement by which the vehicle transmitted indications of the following events using both X-band tones and UHF telemetry to allow identification of probable root causes should a mission anomaly have occurred: Heat-Rejection System (HRS) venting, completion of the cruise stage separation, turn to entry attitude, atmospheric deceleration, bank angle reversal commanded, parachute deployment, heatshield separation, radar ground acquisition, powered descent initiation, rover separation from the descent stage, and rover release. During Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), the flight system transmitted a UHF telemetry stream adequate to determine the state of the spacecraft (including the presence of faults) at 8 kbps initiating from cruise stage separation through at least one minute after positive indication of rover release on the surface of Mars. The flight system also transmitted X-band semaphore tones from Entry to Landing plus one minute although since MSL was occulted, as predicted, by Mars as seen from the Earth, Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communications were interrupted at approximately is approx. 5 min after Entry ( approximately 130 prior to Landing). The primary data return paths were through the Deep Space Network (DSN) for DTE and the existing Mars network of orbiting assets for UHF, which included the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Express (MEX) elements. These orbiters recorded the telemetry data stream and returned it back to Earth via the DSN. The paper also discusses the total power

  20. The instrumental blank of the Mars Science Laboratory alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2012-10-01

    The alpha particle X-ray spectrometers on the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity accomplished extensive elemental analysis of the Martian surface through a combination of XRF and PIXE. An advanced APXS is now part of the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover. APXS spectra contain contributions which enhance elemental peak areas but which do not arise from these elements within the sample under study, thereby introducing error into derived concentrations. A detailed examination of these effects in the MSL APXS enables us to test two schemes for making the necessary corrections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Mars Science Laboratory Launch-Arrival Space Study: A Pork Chop Plot Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia Dwyer; Powell, Richard; Lockwood, Mary Kae

    2006-01-01

    Launch-Arrival, or "pork chop", plot analysis can provide mission designers with valuable information and insight into a specific launch and arrival space selected for a mission. The study begins with the array of entry states for each pair of selected Earth launch and Mars arrival dates, and nominal entry, descent and landing trajectories are simulated for each pair. Parameters of interest, such as maximum heat rate, are plotted in launch-arrival space. The plots help to quickly identify launch and arrival regions that are not feasible under current constraints or technology and also provide information as to what technologies may need to be developed to reach a desired region. This paper provides a discussion of the development, application, and results of a pork chop plot analysis to the Mars Science Laboratory mission. This technique is easily applicable to other missions at Mars and other destinations.

  4. Assessment of environments for Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent, and surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Chen, Allen; Barnes, Jeffrey R.; Burkhart, P. Daniel; Cantor, Bruce A.; Dwyer-Cianciolo, Alicia M.; Fergason, Robini L.; Hinson, David P.; Justh, Hilary L.; Kass, David M.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Mischna, Michael A.; Murphy, James R.; Rafkin, Scot C.R.; Tyler, Daniel; Withers, Paul G.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission aims to land a car-sized rover on Mars' surface and operate it for at least one Mars year in order to assess whether its field area was ever capable of supporting microbial life. Here we describe the approach used to identify, characterize, and assess environmental risks to the landing and rover surface operations. Novel entry, descent, and landing approaches will be used to accurately deliver the 900-kg rover, including the ability to sense and "fly out" deviations from a best-estimate atmospheric state. A joint engineering and science team developed methods to estimate the range of potential atmospheric states at the time of arrival and to quantitatively assess the spacecraft's performance and risk given its particular sensitivities to atmospheric conditions. Numerical models are used to calculate the atmospheric parameters, with observations used to define model cases, tune model parameters, and validate results. This joint program has resulted in a spacecraft capable of accessing, with minimal risk, the four finalist sites chosen for their scientific merit. The capability to operate the landed rover over the latitude range of candidate landing sites, and for all seasons, was verified against an analysis of surface environmental conditions described here. These results, from orbital and model data sets, also drive engineering simulations of the rover's thermal state that are used to plan surface operations.

  5. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

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

  6. Managing the Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Vacuum Test for Safety and Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jordan P.

    2010-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory is a NASA/JPL mission to send the next generation of rover to Mars. Originally slated for launch in 2009, development problems led to a delay in the project until the next launch opportunity in 2011. Amidst the delay process, the Launch/Cruise Solar Thermal Vacuum Test was undertaken as risk reduction for the project. With varying maturity and capabilities of the flight and ground systems, undertaking the test in a safe manner presented many challenges. This paper describes the technical and management challenges and the actions undertaken that led to the ultimate safe and successful execution of the test.

  7. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI): Complete Flight Data Set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheatwood, F. McNeil; Bose, Deepak; Karlgaard, Christopher D.; Kuhl, Christopher A.; Santos, Jose A.; Wright, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry vehicle (EV) successfully entered the Mars atmosphere and landed the Curiosity rover safely on the surface of the planet in Gale crater on August 6, 2012. MSL carried the MSL Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Instrumentation (MEDLI). MEDLI delivered the first in-depth understanding of the Mars entry environments and the response of the entry vehicle to those environments. MEDLI was comprised of three major subsystems: the Mars Entry Atmospheric Data System (MEADS), the MEDLI Integrated Sensor Plugs (MISP), and the Sensor Support Electronics (SSE). Ultimately, the entire MEDLI sensor suite consisting of both MEADS and MISP provided measurements that were used for trajectory reconstruction and engineering validation of aerodynamic, atmospheric, and thermal protection system (TPS) models in addition to Earth-based systems testing procedures. This report contains in-depth hardware descriptions, performance evaluation, and data information of the three MEDLI subsystems.

  8. Interactive 3D Mars Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    The Interactive 3D Mars Visualization system provides high-performance, immersive visualization of satellite and surface vehicle imagery of Mars. The software can be used in mission operations to provide the most accurate position information for the Mars rovers to date. When integrated into the mission data pipeline, this system allows mission planners to view the location of the rover on Mars to 0.01-meter accuracy with respect to satellite imagery, with dynamic updates to incorporate the latest position information. Given this information so early in the planning process, rover drivers are able to plan more accurate drive activities for the rover than ever before, increasing the execution of science activities significantly. Scientifically, this 3D mapping information puts all of the science analyses to date into geologic context on a daily basis instead of weeks or months, as was the norm prior to this contribution. This allows the science planners to judge the efficacy of their previously executed science observations much more efficiently, and achieve greater science return as a result. The Interactive 3D Mars surface view is a Mars terrain browsing software interface that encompasses the entire region of exploration for a Mars surface exploration mission. The view is interactive, allowing the user to pan in any direction by clicking and dragging, or to zoom in or out by scrolling the mouse or touchpad. This set currently includes tools for selecting a point of interest, and a ruler tool for displaying the distance between and positions of two points of interest. The mapping information can be harvested and shared through ubiquitous online mapping tools like Google Mars, NASA WorldWind, and Worldwide Telescope.

  9. Implementing the Mars Science Laboratory Terminal Descent Sensor Field Test Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, James F.; Bodie, James H.; Brown, Joseph D.; Chen, Allen; Chen, Curtis W.; Essmiller, John C.; Fisher, Charles D.; Goldberg, Hannah R.; Lee, Steven W.; Shaffer, Scott J.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will deliver a 900 kg rover to the surface of Mars in August 2012. MSL will utilize a new pulse-Doppler landing radar, the Terminal Descent Sensor (TDS). The TDS employs six narrow-beam antennas to provide unprecedented slant range and velocity performance at Mars to enable soft touchdown of the MSL rover using a unique sky crane Entry, De-scent, and Landing (EDL) technique. Prior to use on MSL, the TDS was put through a rigorous verification and validation (V&V) process. A key element of this V&V was operating the TDS over a series of field tests, using flight-like profiles expected during the descent and landing of MSL over Mars-like terrain on Earth. Limits of TDS performance were characterized with additional testing meant to stress operational modes outside of the expected EDL flight profiles. The flight envelope over which the TDS must operate on Mars encompasses such a large range of altitudes and velocities that a variety of venues were neces-sary to cover the test space. These venues included an F/A-18 high performance aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350 AStar helicopter and 100-meter tall Echo Towers at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center. Testing was carried out over a five year period from July 2006 to June 2011. TDS performance was shown, in gen-eral, to be excellent over all venues. This paper describes the planning, design, and implementation of the field test campaign plus results and lessons learned.

  10. MEDA, The New Instrument for Mars Environment Analysis for the Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Alvarez, Jose F.; Pena-Godino, Antonio; Rodriguez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Cordoba, Elizabeth; MEDA Team

    2016-08-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Designed to advance high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, the mission will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission will also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is an integrated full suite of sensors designed to address the Mars 2020 mission objectives of characterization of dust size and morphology and surface weather measurements.MEDA system consists of one control unit and 10 separated sensor enclosures distributed in different positions along the Mars 2020 rover. MEDA is composed of an ARM-based control computer with its flight software application, two wind sensors including mixed ASICs inside, five air temperature sensors, one sky pointing camera complemented with 16 photo- detectors looking up and around, one thermal infrared sensor using five measurement bands, one relative humidity sensor, one pressure sensor and the harness that interconnects all of them. It is a complex system intended to operate in one of the harshest environments possible, the Mars surface, for many years to come.This will become a short term reality thanks to the combination of a strong international science team driving the science and system requirements working together with a powerful industrial organization to design and build the instrument. The instrument is being built right now, with its Critical Design Review at the end of 2016, and the flight model to be provided in 2018.This paper summarizes the main scientific objective of the MEDA instrument, the links between the Mission and the MEDA science objectives, and the challenging environmental Mars requirements. It will then focus on the engineered definition of the instrument, showing the overall

  11. Remote Sensing Mars Landing Sites: An Out-of-School Time Planetary Science Education Activity for Middle School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. B.; Gaither, T. A.; Edgar, L. A.; Milazzo, M. P.; Vaughan, R. G.; Rubino-Hare, L.; Clark, J.; Ryan, S.

    2017-12-01

    As part of the Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science (PLANETS) project, we have developed an out-of-school time unit for middle school students focused on planetary remote sensing. The activity is divided into two exercises, with the goal of choosing a scientifically interesting and safe landing site for a future Mars mission. Students are introduced to NASA data from several actual and proposed landing sites and must use what they learn about remote sensing to choose a site that satisfies scientific and engineering criteria. The activity also includes background information for educators, including a summary of how landing on Mars helps answer major scientific questions, brief overviews of the data sets that the students will use, summaries of the site geology, and a list of relevant vocabulary. The first exercise introduces students to the concept of reflectance spectroscopy and how it can be used to identify the "fingerprints" of different minerals on the surface of Mars. Students are provided with simplified maps of mineral spectra at the four sites, based on Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) observations, as well as a reference sheet with the spectra of common minerals on Mars. They can use this information to determine which sites have hydrated minerals, mafic minerals, or both. The second exercise adds data from the Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter (MOLA), and high resolution visible data from the Context Camera (CTX) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Students learn about laser altimetry and how to interpret topographic contours to assess whether a landing site is too rough. The CTX data allow students to study the sites at higher resolution, with annotations that indicate key landforms of interest. These data, along with the spectroscopy data, allow students to rank the sites based on science and engineering criteria. This activity was developed as a collaboration between subject matter experts at

  12. Filter Strategies for Mars Science Laboratory Orbit Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Paul F.; Gustafson, Eric D.; Kruizinga, Gerhard L.; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft had ambitious navigation delivery and knowledge accuracy requirements for landing inside Gale Crater. Confidence in the orbit determination (OD) solutions was increased by investigating numerous filter strategies for solving the orbit determination problem. We will discuss the strategy for the different types of variations: for example, data types, data weights, solar pressure model covariance, and estimating versus considering model parameters. This process generated a set of plausible OD solutions that were compared to the baseline OD strategy. Even implausible or unrealistic results were helpful in isolating sensitivities in the OD solutions to certain model parameterizations or data types.

  13. Processing of Mars Exploration Rover Imagery for Science and Operations Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Douglass A.; Deen, Robert G.; Andres, Paul M.; Zamani, Payam; Mortensen, Helen B.; Chen, Amy C.; Cayanan, Michael K.; Hall, Jeffrey R.; Klochko, Vadim S.; Pariser, Oleg; hide

    2006-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) delivered an unprecedented array of image sensors to the Mars surface. These cameras were essential for operations, science, and public engagement. The Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was responsible for the first-order processing of all of the images returned by these cameras. This processing included reconstruction of the original images, systematic and ad hoc generation of a wide variety of products derived from those images, and delivery of the data to a variety of customers, within tight time constraints. A combination of automated and manual processes was developed to meet these requirements, with significant inheritance from prior missions. This paper describes the image products generated by MIPL for MER and the processes used to produce and deliver them.

  14. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Köhler

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD, on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements. We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements. We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  15. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koehler, J.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Appel, J. [Kiel Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Experimental and Applied Physics; and others

    2016-04-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements.We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements.We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  16. Mars Colony: Using Role-Play as a Pedagogical Approach to Teaching Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolenc, Nathan; Wood, Aja; Soldan, Katie; Tai, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss role-play as a pedagogical strategy to engage kindergarten and first-grade students in science and engineering. They present a five-part Mars colony lesson that they developed for a blended class, during which students role-play a space-exploration story that enables them to gain a firsthand perspective of what…

  17. The Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): a potential rover mission for 2018. Final report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) October 14, 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    This report documents the work of the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), which was assigned to formulate a concept for a potential rover mission that could be launched to Mars in 2018. Based on programmatic and engineering considerations as of April 2009, our deliberations assumed that the potential mission would use the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) sky-crane landing system and include a single solar-powered rover. The mission would also have a targeting accuracy of approximately 7 km (semimajor axis landing ellipse), a mobility range of at least 10 km, and a lifetime on the martian surface of at least 1 Earth year. An additional key consideration, given recently declining budgets and cost growth issues with MSL, is that the proposed rover must have lower cost and cost risk than those of MSL--this is an essential consideration for the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). The MRR-SAG was asked to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps toward the potential return of samples to Earth. The proposed means of achieving these two goals while balancing the trade-offs between them are described here in detail. We propose the name Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher(MAX-C) to reflect the dual purpose of this potential 2018 rover mission.

  18. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission's Red Planet program: Bridging the gap in elementary school science through climate studies of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2012-12-01

    Although reading, writing, and math examinations are often conducted early in elementary school, science is not typically tested until 4th or 5th grade. The result is a refocus on the tested topics at the expense of the untested ones, despite that standards exist for each topic at all grades. On a national level, science instruction is relegated to a matter of a few hours per week. A 2007 Education Policy study states that elementary school students spend an average of 178 minutes a week on science while spending 500 minutes on literacy. A recent NSTA report in July of 2011 of elementary and middle school teachers confirms that teachers feel pressured to teach math and literacy at the expense of other programs. In our interaction with elementary teachers, it is also apparent that many are uncomfortable with science concepts. In order for us to successfully address the Next Generation Science Standards, teachers must be able to reconcile all of the different requirements placed on them in a given school day and in a given school environment. A unique way to combat the lack of science instruction at elementary grades is to combine literacy into an integrated science program, thereby increasing the number of science contact hours. The Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore program, developed for the MAVEN mission, is a science, art, and literacy program designed to easily fit into a typical 3rd-5th grade instructional day. Red Planet tackles climate change through Mars' geologic history and makes Mars-Earth comparisons, while encouraging students to reflect on the environmental requirements needed to keep a biological organisms (including humans) happy, healthy, and alive. The Red Planet program is currently being pilot tested at Acres Green Elementary School in Colorado.

  19. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: 10 Years of Exploration from Mars Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, M. Daniel; Zurek, Richard W.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ( MRO ) entered Mars orbit on March 10, 2006. After five months of aerobraking, a series of propulsive maneuvers were used to establish the desired low -altitude science orbit. The spacecraft has been on station in its 255 x 320 k m, sun -synchronous (approximately 3 am -pm ), primary science orbit since September 2006 performing both scientific and Mars programmatic support functions. This paper will provide a summary of the major achievements of the mission to date and the major flight activities planned for the remainder of its third Extended Mission (EM3). Some of the major flight challenges the flight team has faced are also discussed.

  20. Integrating the Teaching of Space Science, Planetary Exploration And Robotics In Elementary And Middle School with Mars Rover Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Smith, H.; Boyko, B. S.; Peck, S.; Arcenaux, W. H.

    2005-05-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. This paper describes a program designed to help provide some excitement and relevance. It is based on the task of developing a mobile robot or "Rover" to explore the surface of Mars. There are two components to the program, a curriculum unit and a contest. The curriculum unit is structured as a 6-week planetary science unit for elementary school (grades 3-5). It can also be used as a curriculum unit, enrichment program or extracurricular activity in grades 6-8 by increasing the expected level of scientific sophistication in the mission design. The second component is a citywide competition to select the most outstanding models that is held annually at a local college or University. Primary (Grades 3-5) and middle school (Grades 6-8) students interested in science and engineering will design and build of a model of a Mars Rover to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars. The students will build the models as part of a 6-week Fall semester classroom-learning or homework project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover, and be required to do basic research on Mars that will determine the operational objectives and structural features of their rover. This module may be used as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system

  1. Preliminary Numerical Analysis of Convective Heat Transfer Loop Using MARS Code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Yongjae; Seo, Gwang Hyeok; Jeun, Gyoodong; Kim, Sung Joong [Hanyang Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    The MARS has been developed adopting two major modules: RELAP5/MOD3 (USA) for one-dimensional (1D) two-fluid model for two-phase flows and COBRA-TF code for a three-dimensional (3D), two-fluid, and three-field model. In addition to the MARS code, TRACE (USA) is a modernized thermal-hydraulics code designed to consolidate and extend the capabilities of NRC's 3 legacy safety code: TRAC-P, TRAC-B and RELAP. CATHARE (French) is also thermal-hydraulic system analysis code for Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) safety. There are several researches on comparing experimental data with simulation results by the MARS code. Kang et al. conducted natural convection heat transfer experiments of liquid gallium loop, and the experimental data were compared to MARS simulations. Bang et al. examined the capability of the MARS code to predict condensation heat transfer experiments with a vertical tube containing a non-condensable gas. Moreover, Lee et al. adopted MELCOR, which is one of the severe accident analysis codes, to evaluate several strategies for the severe accident mitigation. The objective of this study is to conduct the preliminary numerical analysis for the experimental loop at HYU using the MARS code, especially in order to provide relevant information on upcoming experiments for the undergraduate students. In this study, the preliminary numerical analysis for the convective heat transfer loop was carried out using the MARS Code. The major findings from the numerical simulations can be summarized as follows. In the calculations of the outlet and surface temperatures, the several limitations were suggested for the upcoming single-phase flow experiments. The comparison work for the HTCs shows validity for the prepared input model. This input could give useful information on the experiments. Furthermore, the undergraduate students in department of nuclear engineering, who are going to be taken part in the experiments, could prepare the program with the input, and will

  2. Preliminary Numerical Analysis of Convective Heat Transfer Loop Using MARS Code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Yongjae; Seo, Gwang Hyeok; Jeun, Gyoodong; Kim, Sung Joong

    2014-01-01

    The MARS has been developed adopting two major modules: RELAP5/MOD3 (USA) for one-dimensional (1D) two-fluid model for two-phase flows and COBRA-TF code for a three-dimensional (3D), two-fluid, and three-field model. In addition to the MARS code, TRACE (USA) is a modernized thermal-hydraulics code designed to consolidate and extend the capabilities of NRC's 3 legacy safety code: TRAC-P, TRAC-B and RELAP. CATHARE (French) is also thermal-hydraulic system analysis code for Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) safety. There are several researches on comparing experimental data with simulation results by the MARS code. Kang et al. conducted natural convection heat transfer experiments of liquid gallium loop, and the experimental data were compared to MARS simulations. Bang et al. examined the capability of the MARS code to predict condensation heat transfer experiments with a vertical tube containing a non-condensable gas. Moreover, Lee et al. adopted MELCOR, which is one of the severe accident analysis codes, to evaluate several strategies for the severe accident mitigation. The objective of this study is to conduct the preliminary numerical analysis for the experimental loop at HYU using the MARS code, especially in order to provide relevant information on upcoming experiments for the undergraduate students. In this study, the preliminary numerical analysis for the convective heat transfer loop was carried out using the MARS Code. The major findings from the numerical simulations can be summarized as follows. In the calculations of the outlet and surface temperatures, the several limitations were suggested for the upcoming single-phase flow experiments. The comparison work for the HTCs shows validity for the prepared input model. This input could give useful information on the experiments. Furthermore, the undergraduate students in department of nuclear engineering, who are going to be taken part in the experiments, could prepare the program with the input, and will

  3. Science Planning Implementation and Challenges for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashman, Mike; Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro; Frew, David; Garcia Beteta, Juan Jose; Geiger, Bernhard; Metcalfe, Leo; Muñoz, Michela; Nespoli, Federico

    2018-05-01

    The ExoMars Science Operations Centre (SOC) is located at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Spain and is responsible for coordinating the science planning activities for TGO in order to optimize the scientific return of the mission. The SOC constructs, in accordance with Science Working Team (SWT) science priorities, and in coordination with the PI science teams and ESA's Mission Operations Centre (MOC), a plan of scientific observations and delivers conflict free operational products for uplink and execution on-board. To achieve this, the SOC employs a planning concept based on Long, Medium and Short Term planning cycles. Long Term planning covers mission segments of several months and is conducted many months prior to execution. Its goal is to establish a feasible science observation strategy given the science priorities and the expected mission profile. Medium Term planning covers a 1 month mission segment and is conducted from 3 to 2 months prior to execution whilst Short Term planning covers a 1 week segment and is conducted from 2 weeks to 1 week prior to execution. The goals of Medium and Short Term planning are to operationally instantiate and validate the Long Term plan such that the SOC may deliver to MOC a conflict free spacecraft pointing profile request (a Medium Term planning deliverable), and the final instrument telecommanding products (a Short Term planning deliverable) such that the science plan is achieved and all operational constraints are met. With a 2 hour-400km science orbit, the vast number of solar occultation, nadir measurement, and surface imaging opportunities, combined with additional mission constraints such as the necessary provision of TGO communication slots to support the ExoMars 2020 Rover & Surface Platform mission and NASA surface assets, creates a science planning task of considerable magnitude and complexity. In this paper, we detail how the SOC is developing and implementing the necessary planning

  4. The UV Sensor Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Correction and Generation of UV Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente-Retortillo, Á.; Martinez, G.; Renno, N. O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2017-12-01

    The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station UV sensor (UVS) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory mission has completed more than 1750 sols of measurements, providing an unprecedented coverage ranging from diurnal to interannual times scales [1,2]. The UVS is comprised of six photodiodes to measure the UV flux in the ranges 200-380, 320-380, 280-320, 200-280, 230-290 and 300-350 nm [3]. UV fluxes in units of W/m2 can be found in the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS). However, dust deposition on the UVS and a non-physical discontinuity in the calibration functions when the solar zenith angle is above 30º cause errors in these fluxes that increase with time. We have developed a technique to correct UV fluxes from the effects of dust degradation and inconsistencies in the angular response of the UVS. The photodiode output currents (available in the PDS as lower-level TELRDR products), ancillary data records (available in the PDS as ADR products) and dust opacity values derived from Mastcam observations are used for performing the corrections. The corrections have been applied to the UVA band (320-380 nm) for the first 1000 sols of the mission, providing excellent results [4]. We plan to correct the UV fluxes on each of the six UVS bands and to make these results available in the PDS. Data products generated by this study will allow comparisons of the UV radiation environment at Gale crater with that at the locations of the future missions ExoMars 2020 and Mars 2020, as well as the assessment of the potential survivability of biological contaminants brought to Mars from Earth. References: [1] Smith, M. D., et al. (2016), Aerosol optical depth as observed by the Mars Science Laboratory REMS UV photodiodes, Icarus, 280, 234-248. [2] Vicente-Retortillo, Á., et al. (2017), Determination of dust aerosol particle size at Gale Crater using REMS UVS and Mastcam measurements, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 3502-3508. [3] Gómez-Elvira, J., et al. (2012), REMS: The environmental sensor

  5. Mars Rover Curriculum: Teacher Self Reporting of Increased Frequency and Confidence in their Science and Language Arts Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Carlson, C.; Nieser, K.; Slagle, E.

    2013-12-01

    The University of Houston is in the process of developing a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model Mars rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration (MRC). It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. A total of 65 Mars Rover teachers from the 2012-2013 cohort were invited to complete the Mars Rover Teacher Evaluation Survey. The survey was administered online and could be taken at the convenience of the participant. In total, 29 teachers participated in the survey. Teachers were asked to rate their current level of confidence in their ability to teach specific topics within the Earth and Life Science realms, as well as their confidence in their ability to implement teaching strategies with their students. In addition, they were asked to rate the degree to which they felt their confidence increased in the past year as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The majority of teachers (81-90%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively teach concepts related to earth and life sciences to their students. In addition, many of the teachers felt that their confidence in teaching these concepts increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their participation in the MRC program (54-88%). The most striking increase in this area was the reported 48% of teachers who felt their confidence in teaching 'Earth and the solar system and universe' increased 'Quite a bit' as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The vast majority of teachers (86-100%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively implement all of the listed teaching strategies. In addition, the vast majority reported believing that their confidence increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. "Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory", Köhler et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jack

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft carried the Curiosity rover to Mars. While the dramatic, successful landing of Curiosity and its subsequent exploration of the Martian surface have justifiably generated great excitement, from the standpoint of the health of crewmembers on missions to Mars, knowledge of the environment between Earth and Mars is critical. This paper reports data taken during the cruise phase of the MSL by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). The results are of great interest for several reasons. They are a direct measurement of the radiation environment during what will be a significant fraction of the duration of a proposed human mission to Mars; they were made behind the de facto shielding provided by various spacecraft components; and, in particular, they are a measurement of the contribution to radiation dose by neutrons. The neutron environment inside spacecraft is produced primarily by galactic cosmic ray ions interacting in shielding materials, and given the high biological effectiveness of neutrons and the increased contribution of neutrons to dose with increased depth in shielding, accurate knowledge of the neutron energy spectrum behind shielding is vital. The results show a relatively modest contribution from neutrons and gammas compared to that from charged particles, but also a discrepancy in both dose and dose rate between the data and simulations. The failure of the calculations to accurately reproduce the data is significant, given that future manned spacecraft will be more heavily shielded (and thus produce more secondary neutrons) and that spacecraft design will rely on simulations and model calculations of radiation transport. The methodology of risk estimation continues to evolve, and incorporates our knowledge of both the physical and biological effects of radiation. The relatively large uncertainties in the biological data, and the difficulties in reducing those uncertainties, makes it all the more important to

  8. Mars Mission Concepts: SAR and Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsperman, M.; Klaus, K.; Smith, D. B.; Clifford, S. M.; Lawrence, S. J.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: The time has come to leverage technology advances (including advances in autonomous operation and propulsion technology) to reduce the cost and increase the flight rate of planetary missions, while actively developing a scientific and engineering workforce to achieve national space objectives. Mission Science at Mars: A SAR imaging radar offers an ability to conduct high resolution investigations of the shallow (Models uniquely useful for exploration planning and science purposes. Since the SAR and the notional high-resolution stereo imaging system would be huge data volume producers - to maximize the science return we are currently considering the usage of laser communications systems; this notional spacecraft represents one pathway to evaluate the utility of laser communications in planetary exploration while providing useful science return.. Mission Concept: Using a common space craft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. SEP provides the greatest payload advantage albeit at the sacrifice of mission time. Our concept involves using a SEP enabled space craft (Boeing 702SP) with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Our concept of operations is to launch on May 5, 2018 using a launch vehicle with 2000kg launch capacity with a C3 of 7.4. After reaching Mars it takes 145 days to spiral down to a 250 km orbit above the surface of Mars when Mars SAR operations begin. Summary/Conclusions: A robust and compelling Mars mission can be designed to meet the 2018 Mars launch window opportunity. Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute the baseline science mission and conduct necessary Mars Sample Return Technology Demonstrations in Mars orbit on the same mission. An

  9. Mars mission program for primary students: Building student and teacher skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathers, Naomi; Pakakis, Michael; Christie, Ian

    2011-09-01

    The Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC) scenario-based programs, including the Mission to Mars and Mission to the Orbiting Space Laboratory, utilize methodologies such as hands-on applications, immersive learning, integrated technologies, critical thinking and mentoring. The use of a scenario provides a real-life context and purpose to what students might otherwise consider disjointed information. These programs engage students in the areas of maths and science, and highlight potential career paths in science and engineering. The introduction of a scenario-based program for primary students engages students in maths and science at a younger age, addressing the issues of basic numeracy and science literacy, thus laying the foundation for stronger senior science initiatives. Primary students absorb more information within the context of the scenario, and presenting information they can see, hear, touch and smell creates a memorable learning and sensory experience. The mission also supports development of teacher skills in the delivery of hands-on science and helps build their confidence to teach science. The Primary Mission to the Mars Base gives primary school students access to an environment and equipment not available in schools. Students wear flight suits for the duration of the program to immerse them in the experience of being an astronaut. Astronauts work in the VSSEC Space Laboratory, which is transformed into a Mars base for the primary program, to conduct experiments in areas such as robotics, human physiology, microbiology, nanotechnology and environmental science. Specialist mission control software has been developed by La Trobe University Centre for Games Technology to provide age appropriate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based problem solving and support the concept of a mission. Students in Mission Control observe the astronauts working in the space laboratory and talk to them via the AV system. This interactive

  10. Europe is going to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

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

  11. Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software Boot Robustness Testing Project Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Brian

    2011-01-01

    On the surface of Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory will boot up its flight computers every morning, having charged the batteries through the night. This boot process is complicated, critical, and affected by numerous hardware states that can be difficult to test. The hardware test beds do not facilitate testing a long duration of back-to-back unmanned automated tests, and although the software simulation has provided the necessary functionality and fidelity for this boot testing, there has not been support for the full flexibility necessary for this task. Therefore to perform this testing a framework has been build around the software simulation that supports running automated tests loading a variety of starting configurations for software and hardware states. This implementation has been tested against the nominal cases to validate the methodology, and support for configuring off-nominal cases is ongoing. The implication of this testing is that the introduction of input configurations that have yet proved difficult to test may reveal boot scenarios worth higher fidelity investigation, and in other cases increase confidence in the robustness of the flight software boot process.

  12. Aerothermodynamic Environments Definition for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry Capsule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edquist, Karl T.; Dyakonov, Artem A.; Wright, Michael J.; Tang, Chun Y.

    2007-01-01

    An overview of the aerothermodynamic environments definition status is presented for the Mars Science Laboratory entry vehicle. The environments are based on Navier-Stokes flowfield simulations on a candidate aeroshell geometry and worst-case entry heating trajectories. Uncertainties for the flowfield predictions are based primarily on available ground data since Mars flight data are scarce. The forebody aerothermodynamics analysis focuses on boundary layer transition and turbulent heating augmentation. Turbulent transition is expected prior to peak heating, a first for Mars entry, resulting in augmented heat flux and shear stress at the same heatshield location. Afterbody computations are also shown with and without interference effects of reaction control system thruster plumes. Including uncertainties, analysis predicts that the heatshield may experience peaks of 225 W/sq cm for turbulent heat flux, 0.32 atm for stagnation pressure, and 400 Pa for turbulent shear stress. The afterbody heat flux without thruster plume interference is predicted to be 7 W/sq cm on the backshell and 10 W/sq cm on the parachute cover. If the reaction control jets are fired near peak dynamic pressure, the heat flux at localized areas could reach as high as 76 W/sq cm on the backshell and 38 W/sq cm on the parachute cover, including uncertainties. The final flight environments used for hardware design will be updated for any changes in the aeroshell configuration, heating design trajectories, or uncertainties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Mars science laboratory radiation assessment detector (MSL/RAD) modeling workshop proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Norbury, John W.; Reitz, Günther

    2017-08-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) (Hassler et al., 2012; Zeitlin et al., 2016) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover (Grotzinger et al., 2012) is a sophisticated charged and neutral particle radiation analyzer developed by an international team of scientists and engineers from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado as the leading institution, the University of Kiel and the German Aerospace Center in Cologne, Germany. RAD is a compact, powerful instrument capable of distinguishing between ionizing particles and neutral particles and providing neutron, gamma, and charged particle spectra from protons to iron as well as absorbed dose measurements in tissue-equivalent material. During the 6 month cruise to Mars, inside the MSL spacecraft, RAD served as a proxy to validate models of the radiation levels expected inside a spacecraft that future astronauts might experience (Zeitlin et al., 2013). RAD was turned on one day after the landing on August 7, 2012, exactly 100 years to the day after the discovery of cosmic rays on Earth by Victor Hess. These measurements are the first of their kind on the surface of another planet (Hassler et al., 2014), and the radiation data collected by RAD on the surface of Mars will inform projections of crew health risks and the design of protective surface habitats and other countermeasures for future human missions in the coming decades.

  16. Automated Scheduling of Personnel to Staff Operations for the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Russell; Mishkin, Andrew; Allbaugh, Alicia

    2014-01-01

    Leveraging previous work on scheduling personnel for space mission operations, we have adapted ASPEN (Activity Scheduling and Planning Environment) [1] to the domain of scheduling personnel for operations of the Mars Science Laboratory. Automated scheduling of personnel is not new. We compare our representations to a sampling of employee scheduling systems available with respect to desired features. We described the constraints required by MSL personnel schedulers and how each is handled by the scheduling algorithm.

  17. Direct-to-Earth Communications with Mars Science Laboratory During Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Melissa; Finley, Susan; Fort, David; Schratz, Brian; Ilott, Peter; Mukai, Ryan; Estabrook, Polly; Oudrhiri, Kamal; Kahan, Daniel; Satorius, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) undergoes extreme heating and acceleration during Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) on Mars. Unknown dynamics lead to large Doppler shifts, making communication challenging. During EDL, a special form of Multiple Frequency Shift Keying (MFSK) communication is used for Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communication. The X-band signal is received by the Deep Space Network (DSN) at the Canberra Deep Space Communication complex, then down-converted, digitized, and recorded by open-loop Radio Science Receivers (RSR), and decoded in real-time by the EDL Data Analysis (EDA) System. The EDA uses lock states with configurable Fast Fourier Transforms to acquire and track the signal. RSR configuration and channel allocation is shown. Testing prior to EDL is discussed including software simulations, test bed runs with MSL flight hardware, and the in-flight end-to-end test. EDA configuration parameters and signal dynamics during pre-entry, entry, and parachute deployment are analyzed. RSR and EDA performance during MSL EDL is evaluated, including performance using a single 70-meter DSN antenna and an array of two 34-meter DSN antennas as a back up to the 70-meter antenna.

  18. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Soucek, Alexander; Frischauf, Norbert; Stumptner, Willibald; Ragonig, Christoph; Sams, Sebastian; Bartenstein, Thomas; Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Petrova, Polina; Evetts, Simon; Sivenesan, Chan; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; Fritsch, Lukas; Fuchs, Harald; Gautsch, Christoph; Gerard, Stephan; Goetzloff, Linda; Gołebiowska, Izabella; Gorur, Paavan; Groemer, Gerhard; Groll, Petra; Haider, Christian; Haider, Olivia; Hauth, Eva; Hauth, Stefan; Hettrich, Sebastian; Jais, Wolfgang; Jones, Natalie; Taj-Eddine, Kamal; Karl, Alexander; Kauerhoff, Tilo; Khan, Muhammad Shadab; Kjeldsen, Andreas; Klauck, Jan; Losiak, Anna; Luger, Markus; Luger, Thomas; Luger, Ulrich; McArthur, Jane; Moser, Linda; Neuner, Julia; Orgel, Csilla; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Paternesi, Roberta; Peschier, Jarno; Pfeil, Isabella; Prock, Silvia; Radinger, Josef; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    We report on the MARS2013 mission, a 4-week Mars analog field test in the northern Sahara. Nineteen experiments were conducted by a field crew in Morocco under simulated martian surface exploration conditions, supervised by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for the management of a complex system of field assets; two advanced space suit simulators, four robotic vehicles, an emergency shelter, and a stationary sensor platform in a realistic work flow were coordinated by a Flight Control Team. A dedicated flight planning group, external control centers for rover tele-operations, and a biomedical monitoring team supported the field operations. A 10 min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. The fields of research for the experiments were geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, in particular the communication infrastructure emulating the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. We report on the operational work flows and the experiments conducted, including a deployable shelter prototype for multiple-day extravehicular activities and contingency situations.

  19. Mars Trek: An Interactive Web Portal for Current and Future Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

    NASA's Mars Trek (https://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped data products from past and current missions to Mars. During the past year, the capabilities and data served by Mars Trek have been significantly expanded beyond its original design as a public outreach tool. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate, Mars Trek's technology and capabilities are now being extended to support site selection and analysis activities for the first human missions to Mars.

  20. Mars Trek: An Interactive Web Portal for Current and Future Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Mars Trek (https://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped data products from past and current missions to Mars. During the past year, the capabilities and data served by Mars Trek have been significantly expanded beyond its original design as a public outreach tool. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate, Mars Trek's technology and capabilities are now being extended to support site selection and analysis activities for the first human missions to Mars.

  1. MMPM - Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  2. Improved Mars Upper Atmosphere Climatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.

    2004-01-01

    The detailed characterization of the Mars upper atmosphere is important for future Mars aerobraking activities. Solar cycle, seasonal, and dust trends (climate) as well as planetary wave activity (weather) are crucial to quantify in order to improve our ability to reasonably depict the state of the Mars upper atmosphere over time. To date, our best information is found in the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Accelerometer (ACC) database collected during Phase 1 (Ls = 184 - 300; F10.7 = 70 - 90) and Phase 2 (Ls = 30 - 90; F10.7 = 90 - 150) of aerobraking. This database (100 - 170 km) consists of thermospheric densities, temperatures, and scale heights, providing our best constraints for exercising the coupled Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) and the Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM). The Planetary Data System (PDS) contains level 0 and 2 MGS Accelerometer data, corresponding to atmospheric densities along the orbit track. Level 3 products (densities, temperatures, and scale heights at constant altitudes) are also available in the PDS. These datasets provide the primary model constraints for the new MGCM-MTGCM simulations summarized in this report. Our strategy for improving the characterization of the Mars upper atmospheres using these models has been three-fold : (a) to conduct data-model comparisons using the latest MGS data covering limited climatic and weather conditions at Mars, (b) to upgrade the 15-micron cooling and near-IR heating rates in the MGCM and MTGCM codes for ad- dressing climatic variations (solar cycle and seasonal) important in linking the lower and upper atmospheres (including migrating tides), and (c) to exercise the detailed coupled MGCM and MTGCM codes to capture and diagnose the planetary wave (migrating plus non-migrating tidal) features throughout the Mars year. Products from this new suite of MGCM-MTGCM coupled simulations are being used to improve our predictions of the structure of the Mars upper atmosphere for the

  3. Synergistic Use of Spacecraft Telecom Links for Collection of Planetary Radar Science Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, S.; Bell, D. J.; Chahat, N. E.; Decrossas, E.; Dobreva, T.; Duncan, C.; Ellliot, H.; Jin, C.; Lazio, J.; Miller, J.; Preston, R.

    2017-12-01

    On multiple solar system missions, radar instruments have been used to probe subsurface geomorphology and to infer chemical composition based on the dielectric signature derived from the reflected signal. Example spacecraft radar instruments are the 90 MHz CONSERT radar used to probe the interior of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to a depth of 760m, the 20 MHz SHARAD instrument used to investigate Mars subsurface ice features from Mars orbit at depths of 300 to 3000 meters and the upcoming RIMFAX 150 MHz to 1200 MHz ground penetrating radar that will ride on the Mars 2020 rover investigating to a depth of 10m below the rover. In all of these applications, the radar frequency and signal structures were chosen to match science goals of desired depth of penetration and spatial resolution combined with the expected subsurface materials and structures below the surface. Recently, JPL investigators have proposed a new radar science paradigm, synergistic use of the telecom hardware and telecom links to collect bistatic or monostatic radar signatures. All JPL spacecraft employ telecom hardware that operates at UHF (400 MHz and 900 MHz), X-band (8 GHz) or Ka-band (32 GHz). Using existing open-loop record functions in these radios, the telecom hardware can be used to capture opportunistic radar signatures from telecom signals penetrating the surface and reflecting off of subsurface structures. This paper reports on telecom strategies, radar science applications and recent laboratory and field tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of telecom link based radar data collection.

  4. Is Mars Sample Return Required Prior to Sending Humans to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael; Abell, Paul; Allwood, Abigail; Baker, John; Barnes, Jeff; Bass, Deborah; Beaty, David; Boston, Penny; Brinkerhoff, Will; Budney, Charles; hide

    2012-01-01

    Prior to potentially sending humans to the surface of Mars, it is fundamentally important to return samples from Mars. Analysis in Earth's extensive scientific laboratories would significantly reduce the risk of human Mars exploration and would also support the science and engineering decisions relating to the Mars human flight architecture. The importance of measurements of any returned Mars samples range from critical to desirable, and in all cases these samples will would enhance our understanding of the Martian environment before potentially sending humans to that alien locale. For example, Mars sample return (MSR) could yield information that would enable human exploration related to 1) enabling forward and back planetary protection, 2) characterizing properties of Martian materials relevant for in situ resource utilization (ISRU), 3) assessing any toxicity of Martian materials with respect to human health and performance, and 4) identifying information related to engineering surface hazards such as the corrosive effect of the Martian environment. In addition, MSR would be engineering 'proof of concept' for a potential round trip human mission to the planet, and a potential model for international Mars exploration.

  5. Mars Aeronomy Observer: Report of the Science Working Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunten, Donald M.; Slavin, James A.; Brace, Lawrence H.; Deming, Drake; Frank, Louis A.; Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Haberle, Robert M.; Hanson, William B.; Intriligator, Devrie S.; Killeen, Timothy L.; hide

    1986-01-01

    The Mars Aeronomy Observer (MAO) is a candidate follow-on mission to Mars Observer (MO) in the Planetary Observer Program. The four Mariner and two Viking spacecraft sent to Mars between 1965 and 1976 have provided a wealth of information concerning Martian planetology. The Mars Observer, to be launched in 1990, will build on their results by further examining the elemental and mineralogical composition of the surface, the strength and multipolar composition of the planetary magnetic field, the gravitational field and topography, and the circulation of the lower atmosphere. The Mars Aeronomy Observer is intended to address the last major aspects of Martian environment which have yet to be investigated: the upper atmosphere, the ionsphere, and the solar wind interaction region.

  6. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Mobile rovers have revolutionized our understanding of Mars geology by identifying habitable environments and addressing critical questions related to Mars science. Both the advances and limitations of rovers set the scene for Mars Sample Return.

  7. Mars exploration program analysis group goal one: determine if life ever arose on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M; Westall, Frances

    2010-11-01

    The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) maintains a standing document that articulates scientific community goals, objectives, and priorities for mission-enabled Mars science. Each of the goals articulated within the document is periodically revisited and updated. The astrobiology-related Goal One, "Determine if life ever arose on Mars," has recently undergone such revision. The finalized revision, which appears in the version of the MEPAG Goals Document posted on September 24, 2010, is presented here.

  8. Mars Target Encyclopedia: Information Extraction for Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagstaff, K. L.; Francis, R.; Gowda, T.; Lu, Y.; Riloff, E.; Singh, K.

    2017-06-01

    Mars surface targets / and published compositions / Seek and ye will find. We used text mining methods to extract information from LPSC abstracts about the composition of Mars surface targets. Users can search by element, mineral, or target.

  9. A mars communication constellation for human exploration and network science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, Francesco; Simonetto, Andrea; Martini, Roberto; Lavagna, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    This paper analyses the possibility of exploiting a small spacecrafts constellation around Mars to ensure a complete and continuous coverage of the planet, for the purpose of supporting future human and robotic operations and taking advantage of optical transmission techniques. The study foresees such a communications mission to be implemented at least after 2020 and a high data-rate requirement is imposed for the return of huge scientific data from massive robotic exploration or to allow video transmissions from a possible human outpost. In addition, the set-up of a communication constellation around Mars would give the opportunity of exploiting this multi-platform infrastructure to perform network science, that would largely increase our knowledge of the planet. The paper covers all technical aspects of a feasibility study performed for the primary communications mission. Results are presented for the system trade-offs, including communication architecture, constellation configuration and transfer strategy, and the mission analysis optimization, performed through the application of a multi-objective genetic algorithm to two models of increasing difficulty for the low-thrust trajectory definition. The resulting communication architecture is quite complex and includes six 530 kg spacecrafts on two different orbital planes, plus one redundant unit per plane, that ensure complete coverage of the planet’s surface; communications between the satellites and Earth are achieved through optical links, that allow lower mass and power consumption with respect to traditional radio-frequency technology, while inter-satellite links and spacecrafts-to-Mars connections are ensured by radio transmissions. The resulting data-rates for Earth-Mars uplink and downlink, satellite-to-satellite and satellite-to-surface are respectively 13.7 Mbps, 10.2 Mbps, 4.8 Mbps and 4.3 Mbps, in worst-case. Two electric propulsion modules are foreseen, to be placed on a C3˜0 escape orbit with two

  10. Touring Mars Online, Real-time, in 3D for Math and Science Educators and Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Greg; Kalinowski, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses a project that placed over 97% of Mars' topography made available from NASA into an interactive 3D multi-user online learning environment beginning in 2003. In 2005 curriculum materials that were created to support middle school math and science education were developed. Research conducted at the University of North Texas…

  11. Mars Science Laboratory Differential Restraint: The Devil is in the Details

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Differential Restraint, a mechanism used on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover to maintain symmetry of the mobility system during the launch, cruise, and entry descent and landing phases of the MSL mission, completed nearly three full design cycles before a finalized successful design was achieved. This paper address the lessons learned through these design cycles, including three major design elements that can easily be overlooked during the design process, including, tolerance stack contribution to load path, the possibility of Martian dirt as a failure mode, and the effects of material properties at temperature extremes.

  12. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  13. Pumped Fluid Loop Heat Rejection and Recovery Systems for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Prina, Mauro; Ramirez, Brenda; Paris, Anthony; Novak, Keith; Pauken, Michael

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the heat rejection and heat recovery system for thermal control of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The MSL mission will use mechanically pumped fluid loop based architecture for thermal control of the spacecraft and rover. The architecture is designed to harness waste heat from an Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermo-electric Generator (MMRTG) during Mars surface operations for thermal control during cold conditions and also reject heat during the cruise aspect of the mission. There are several test that are being conducted that will insure the safety of this concept. This architecture can be used during any future interplanetary missions utilizing radioisotope power systems for power generation.

  14. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs" included the following:Physical Meaning of the Hapke Parameter for Macroscopic Roughness: Experimental Determination for Planetary Regolith Surface Analogs and Numerical Approach; Near-Infrared Spectra of Martian Pyroxene Separates: First Results from Mars Spectroscopy Consortium; Anomalous Spectra of High-Ca Pyroxenes: Correlation Between Ir and M ssbauer Patterns; THEMIS-IR Emissivity Spectrum of a Large Dark Streak near Olympus Mons; Geomorphologic/Thermophysical Mapping of the Athabasca Region, Mars, Using THEMIS Infrared Imaging; Mars Thermal Inertia from THEMIS Data; Multispectral Analysis Methods for Mapping Aqueous Mineral Depostis in Proposed Paleolake Basins on Mars Using THEMIS Data; Joint Analysis of Mars Odyssey THEMIS Visible and Infrared Images: A Magic Airbrush for Qualitative and Quantitative Morphology; Analysis of Mars Thermal Emission Spectrometer Data Using Large Mineral Reference Libraries ; Negative Abundance : A Problem in Compositional Modeling of Hyperspectral Images; Mars-LAB: First Remote Sensing Data of Mineralogy Exposed at Small Mars-Analog Craters, Nevada Test Site; A Tool for the 2003 Rover Mini-TES: Downwelling Radiance Compensation Using Integrated Line-Sight Sky Measurements; Learning About Mars Geology Using Thermal Infrared Spectral Imaging: Orbiter and Rover Perspectives; Classifying Terrestrial Volcanic Alteration Processes and Defining Alteration Processes they Represent on Mars; Cemented Volcanic Soils, Martian Spectra and Implications for the Martian Climate; Palagonitic Mars: A Basalt Centric View of Surface Composition and Aqueous Alteration; Combining a Non Linear Unmixing Model and the Tetracorder Algorithm: Application to the ISM Dataset; Spectral Reflectance Properties of Some Basaltic Weathering Products; Morphometric LIDAR Analysis of Amboy Crater, California: Application to MOLA Analysis of Analog Features on Mars; Airborne Radar Study of Soil Moisture at

  15. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Early Results from Gale Crater Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flatow, I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D.; Crisp, J. A.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D. M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malin, M. C.; Meyer, M. A.; Mitrofanov, I.; Vasavada, A. R.; Wiens, R. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, landed at Gale Crater on August 5th (PDT) and initiated an investigation of modern and ancient environments. The 155-km diameter Gale Crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: the interior Mount Sharp preserves a succession of 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, ensure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars. Curiosity has an expected 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 (SAM); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, Mastcam); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam); an active/passive neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of

  16. Writing the History of Space Missions: Rosetta and Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coradini, M.; Russo, A.

    2011-10-01

    Mars Express is the first planetary mission accomplished by the European Space Agency (ESA). Launched in early June 2003, the spacecraft entered Mars's orbit on Christmas day of that year, demonstrating the new European commitment to planetary exploration. Following a failed attempt in the mid-­-1980s, two valid proposals for a European mission to Mars were submitted to ESA's decision-­-making bodies in the early 1990s, in step with renewed international interest in Mars exploration. Both were rejected, however, in the competitive selection process for the agency's Science Programme. Eventually, the Mars Express proposal emerged during a severe budgetary crisis in the mid-­-1990s as an exemplar of a "flexible mission" that could reduce project costs and development time. Its successful maneuvering through financial difficulties and conflicting scientific interests was due to the new management approach as well as to the public appeal of Mars exploration. In addition to providing a case study in the functioning of the ESA's Science Programme, the story of Mars Express discussed in this paper provides a case study in the functioning of the European Space Agency's Science Programme and suggests some general considerations on the peculiar position of space research in the general field of the history of science and technology.

  17. Simulated orbits of heavy planetary ions at Mars for different IMF configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon; Luhmann, Janet; Livi, Roberto; Hara, Takuya; Dong, Chuanfei; Ma, Yingjuan; McFadden, James; Bougher, Stephen

    2014-11-01

    We present simulated detections of O+, O2+ and CO2+ ions at Mars along a virtual orbit in the Mars space environment. Planetary pick-up ions are formed through the direct interaction of the solar wind with the neutral upper atmosphere, causing the newly created ions to be picked up and accelerated by the background convective electric field. Because previous missions such as Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Express (MEX) have not been able to measure the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) components simultaneously with plasma measurements, the response of heavy planetary pick-up ions to changes in the IMF has not been well characterized. Using a steady-state multi-species MHD model to provide the background electric and magnetic fields, the Mars Test Particle (MTP) simulation can trace each of these particles along field lines in near-Mars space and construct virtual ion detections from a spacecraft orbit. Specifically, we will present energy-time spectrograms and velocity space distributions (VSDs) for a selection of orbits during different IMF configurations and solar cycle conditions. These simulated orbits have broader implications for how to measure ion escape. Using individual particle traces, the origin and trajectories of different ion populations can be analyzed in order to assess how and where they contribute to the total atmospheric escape rate, which is a major objective of the upcoming MAVEN mission.

  18. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  19. The CheMin XRD on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity: Construction, Operation, and Quantitative Mineralogical Results from the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Nov. 26, 2011 and landed in Gale crater, Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. MSL's mission is to identify and characterize ancient "habitable" environments on Mars. MSL's precision landing system placed the Curiosity rover within 2 km of the center of its 20 X 6 km landing ellipse, next to Gale's central mound, a 5,000 meter high pile of laminated sediment which may contain 1 billion years of Mars history. Curiosity carries with it a full suite of analytical instruments, including the CheMin X-ray diffractometer, the first XRD flown in space. CheMin is essentially a transmission X-ray pinhole camera. A fine-focus Co source and collimator transmits a 50µm beam through a powdered sample held between X-ray transparent plastic windows. The sample holder is shaken by a piezoelectric actuator such that the powder flows like a liquid, each grain passing in random orientation through the beam over time. Forward-diffracted and fluoresced X-ray photons from the sample are detected by an X-ray sensitive Charge Coupled Device (CCD) operated in single photon counting mode. When operated in this way, both the x,y position and the energy of each photon are detected. The resulting energy-selected Co Kalpha Debye-Scherrer pattern is used to determine the identities and amounts of minerals present via Rietveld refinement, and a histogram of all X-ray events constitutes an X-ray fluorescence analysis of the sample.The key role that definitive mineralogy plays in understanding the Martian surface is a consequence of the fact that minerals are thermodynamic phases, having known and specific ranges of temperature, pressure and composition within which they are stable. More than simple compositional analysis, definitive mineralogical analysis can provide information about pressure/temperature conditions of formation, past climate, water activity and the like. Definitive mineralogical analyses are necessary to establish

  20. Ionospheric Electron Densities at Mars: Comparison of Mars Express Ionospheric Sounding and MAVEN Local Measurement

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Němec, F.; Morgan, D. D.; Fowler, C.M.; Kopf, A.J.; Andersson, L.; Gurnett, D. A.; Andrews, D.J.; Truhlík, Vladimír

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 122, č. 12 (2017), s. 12393-12405 E-ISSN 2169-9402 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : Mars * ionosphere * MARSIS * Mars Express * MAVEN * radar sounding Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics OBOR OECD: Astronomy (including astrophysics,space science) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017JA024629/full

  1. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Conrad, P. G.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Atreya, S. A.; Manning, H.

    2010-01-01

    An important goal of upcoming missions to Mars is to understand if life could have developed there. The task of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments [1] and the other Curiosity investigations [2] is to move us steadily toward that goal with an assessment of the habitability of our neighboring planet through a series of chemical and geological measurements. SAM is designed to search for organic compounds and inorganic volatiles and measure isotope ratios. Other instruments on Curiosity will provide elemental analysis and identify minerals. SAM will analyze both atmospheric samples and gases evolved from powdered rocks that may have formed billions of years ago with Curiosity providing access to interesting sites scouted by orbiting cameras and spectrometers.

  2. Recalibration of the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam instrument with an expanded geochemical database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan; Forni, Olivier; Frydenvang, Jens; Lasue, Jeremie; Cousin, Agnes; Payre, Valerie; Boucher, Tommy; Dyar, M. Darby; McLennan, Scott M.; Morris, Richard V.; Graff, Trevor G.; Mertzman, Stanley A; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Belgacem, Ines; Newsom, Horton E.; Clark, Ben C.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; McInroy, Rhonda E.; Martinez, Ronald; Gasda, Patrick J.; Gasnault, Olivier; Maurice, Sylvestre

    2017-01-01

    The ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has obtained > 300,000 spectra of rock and soil analysis targets since landing at Gale Crater in 2012, and the spectra represent perhaps the largest publicly-available LIBS datasets. The compositions of the major elements, reported as oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O), have been re-calibrated using a laboratory LIBS instrument, Mars-like atmospheric conditions, and a much larger set of standards (408) that span a wider compositional range than previously employed. The new calibration uses a combination of partial least squares (PLS1) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) algorithms, together with a calibration transfer matrix to minimize differences between the conditions under which the standards were analyzed in the laboratory and the conditions on Mars. While the previous model provided good results in the compositional range near the average Mars surface composition, the new model fits the extreme compositions far better. Examples are given for plagioclase feldspars, where silicon was significantly over-estimated by the previous model, and for calcium-sulfate veins, where silicon compositions near zero were inaccurate. The uncertainties of major element abundances are described as a function of the abundances, and are overall significantly lower than the previous model, enabling important new geochemical interpretations of the data.

  3. X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Treiman, A. H.; Sarrazin, P.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Achilles, C. N.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Crisp, J. A.; Morookian, J. M.; Farmer, J. D.; Rampe, E. B.; Stolper, E. M.; Spanovich, N.; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Verdasca, José Alexandre Alves; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Sushil; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F.; Avalos, Juan J. Blanco; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John "Iain"; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Carmosino, Marco; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie "Kenzie"; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; García, César Martín; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; Nachon, Marion; López, Sara Navarro; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel "Dan"; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Steele, Andrew; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Webster, Chris; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B. "Mouser"; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano

    2013-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity scooped samples of soil from the Rocknest aeolian bedform in Gale crater. Analysis of the soil with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument revealed plagioclase (~An57), forsteritic olivine (~Fo62), augite, and pigeonite, with minor K-feldspar, magnetite, quartz, anhydrite, hematite, and ilmenite. The minor phases are present at, or near, detection limits. The soil also contains 27 ± 14 weight percent x-ray amorphous material, likely containing multiple Fe3+- and volatile-bearing phases, including possibly a substance resembling hisingerite. The crystalline component is similar to the normative mineralogy of certain basaltic rocks from Gusev crater on Mars and of martian basaltic meteorites. The amorphous component is similar to that found on Earth in places such as soils on the Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii.

  4. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Best View from Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after midnight Sunday morning (5 April 1998 12:39 AM PST), the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft successfully acquired a high resolution image of the 'Face on Mars' feature in the Cydonia region. The image was transmitted to Earth on Sunday, and retrieved from the mission computer data base Monday morning (6 April 1998). The image was processed at the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) facility 9:15 AM and the raw image immediately transferred to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for release to the Internet. The images shown here were subsequently processed at MSSS.The picture was acquired 375 seconds after the spacecraft's 220th close approach to Mars. At that time, the 'Face', located at approximately 40.8o N, 9.6o W, was 275 miles (444 km) from the spacecraft. The 'morning' sun was 25o above the horizon. The picture has a resolution of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) per pixel, making it ten times higher resolution than the best previous image of the feature, which was taken by the Viking Mission in the mid-1970's. The full image covers an area 2.7 miles (4.4 km) wide and 25.7 miles (41.5 km) long.This Viking Orbiter image is one of the best Viking pictures of the area Cydonia where the 'Face' is located. Marked on the image are the 'footprint' of the high resolution (narrow angle) Mars Orbiter Camera image and the area seen in enlarged views (dashed box). See PIA01440-1442 for these images in raw and processed form.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  5. Reaching Mars: multi-criteria R&D portfolio selection for Mars exploration technology planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J. H.; Dolgin, B. P.; Weisbin, C. R.

    2003-01-01

    The exploration of Mars has been the focus of increasing scientific interest about the planet and its relationship to Earth. A multi-criteria decision-making approach was developed to address the question, Given a Mars program composed of mission concepts dependent on a variety of alternative technology development programs, which combination of technologies would enable missions to maximize science return under a constrained budget?.

  6. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Pressure Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kemppinen, Osku; Genzer, Maria; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Haberle, Robert M.; Schmidt, Walter; Savijärvi, Hannu; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Rafkin, Scott; Polkko, Jouni; Richardson, Mark; Newman, Claire; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Martín-Torres, Javier; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Kauhanen, Janne; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS pressure observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS pressure device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on silicon micro-machined capacitive pressure sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The pressure device makes use of two transducer electronics sections placed on a single multi-layer PCB inside the REMS Instrument Control Unit (ICU) with a filter-protected ventilation inlet to the ambient atmosphere. The absolute accuracy of the pressure device (< 3 Pa) and zero-drift (< 1 Pa/year) enables the investigations of long term and seasonal cycles of the Martian atmosphere. The relative accuracy, or repeatability, in the diurnal time scale is < 1.5 Pa, less than 2 % of the observed diurnal pressure variation at the landing site. The pressure device has special sensors with very high precision (less than 0.2 Pa) that makes it a good tool to study short-term atmospheric phenomena, e.g., dust devils and other convective vortices. The observed MSL pressure data enable us to study both the long term and short-term phenomena of the Martian atmosphere. This would add knowledge of these phenomena to that gathered by earlier Mars missions and modeling experiments [2,3]. Pressure observations are revealing new information on the local atmosphere and climate at Gale crater, and will shed light on the mesoscale and micrometeorological phenomena. Pressure observations show also

  7. Detection Limit of Smectite by Chemin IV Laboratory Instrument: Preliminary Implications for Chemin on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archilles, Cherie; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Blake, D. F.

    2011-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is an miniature X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument capable of detecting the mineralogical and elemental compositions of rocks, outcrops and soils on the surface of Mars. CheMin uses a microfocus-source Co X-ray tube, a transmission sample cell, and an energy-discriminating X-ray sensitive CCD to produce simultaneous 2-D XRD patterns and energy-dispersive X-ray histograms from powdered samples. CRISM and OMEGA have identified the presence of phyllosilicates at several locations on Mars including the four candidate MSL landing sites. The objective of this study was to conduct preliminary studies to determine the CheMin detection limit of smectite in a smectite/olivine mixed mineral system.

  8. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been regarded as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for the signatures of life began in the 19th century, and continue via telescopic investigations and landed missions. While early work focused on phenomenology and bordered on fantasy, modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and the search for biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Living systems produce more than 90% of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. The discovery of methane on Mars will be described, along with the ongoing extended search for clues to its origins. The possible origins of Mars methane will be discussed in the context of terrestrial analogue sites where geologic and biologic methane production now occurs - ranging from sub-permafrost zones in the arctic to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Terrestrial organisms that could prosper on Mars today will be mentioned. I will briefly touch upon experiments conducted by landed spacecraft, ranging from the Viking Life Science Experiments in 1976 to the impending Mars Science laboratory, and the Trace Gas Orbiter and ExoMars missions now being developed for flight in the coming decade.

  9. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, Trevor; Fries, Marc; Burton, Aaron; Ross, Amy; Larson, Kristine; Garrison, Dan; Calaway, Mike; Tran, Vinh; Bhartia, Roh; Beegle, Luther

    2016-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman Fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples. The SHERLOC instrument requires a calibration target which is being designed and fabricated at JSC as part of our continued science participation in Mars robotic missions. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

  10. Russian contribution to the ExoMars project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenyi, L.; Korablev, O.; Rodionov, D.; Khartov, V.; Martynov, M.; Lukyanchikov, A.

    2014-04-01

    The ExoMars ESA-led mission is dedicated to study of Mars and in particular its habitability. It consists of two launches, one planned in 2016 to deliver to Mars a telecommunication and science orbiter Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and a demonstrator of entry into the atmosphere and landing on the Mars surface, Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM). In 2018 a rover with drilling capability will be delivered to the surface of Mars. Since 2012 this mission, previously planned in cooperation with NASA is being developed in cooperation with Roscosmos. Both launches are planned with Proton-Breeze. In 2016 Russia contributes a significant part of the TGO science payload. In 2018 the landing will be provided by a joint effort capitalizing on the EDM technology. Russia contributes few science instruments for the rover, and leads the development of a long-living geophysical platform on the surface of Mars. Russian science instruments for TGO, the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) and the Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutrons Detector (FREND) constituent a half of its scientific payload, European instrument being NOMAD for mapping and detection of trace species, and CASSIS camera for high-resolution mapping of target areas. The ACS package consists of three spectrometers covering spectral range from 0.7 to 17 μm with spectral resolving power reaching 50000. It is dedicated to studies of the composition of the Martian atmosphere and the Martian climate. FREND is a neutron detector with a collimation module, which significantly narrows the field of view of the instrument, allowing to create higher resolution maps of hydrogen-abundant regions on Mars. The spatial resolution of FREND will be ~40 km from the 400- km TGO orbit that is ~10 times better than HEND on Mars-Odyssey. Additionally, FREND includes a dosimeter module for monitoring radiation levels in orbit around Mars. In the 2018 mission, Russia takes the major responsibility of the descent module. The primary

  11. The Calibration Target for the Mars 2020 SHERLOC Instrument: Multiple Science Roles for Future Manned and Unmanned Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A.; Ross, A.; Shahar, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman/fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples, which may be selected for inclusion into a returnable sample cache. The SHERLOC instrument will require the use of a calibration target, and by design, multiple science roles will be addressed in the design of the target. Samples of materials used in NASA Extravehicular Mobility unit (EMU, or "space suit") manufacture have been included in the target to serve as both solid polymer calibration targets for SHERLOC instrument function, as well as for testing the resiliency of those materials under martian ambient conditions. A martian meteorite will also be included in the target to serve as a well-characterized example of a martian rock that contains trace carbonaceous material. This rock will be the first rock that we know of that has completed a round trip between planets and will therefore serve an EPO role to attract public attention to science and planetary exploration. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  12. Frontiers of Life Sciences: The Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Regina M.; Pellis, Neal R.

    2005-01-01

    The rapid development of the productive processes after World War II extended human settlements into new ecological niches. Advances in Life Sciences played a decisive role supporting the establishment of human presence in areas of the planet where human life could have not existed otherwise. The evolution of life support systems, and the fabrication of new materials and technologies has enabled humans to inhabit Polar Regions, ocean surfaces and depths; and to leave Earth and occupy Low Earth Orbit. By the end of the 20 th Century, stations in the Antarctic and Arctic, off shore oil platforms, submarines, and space stations had become the ultimate demonstration of human ability to engineer habitats at Earth extreme environments and outer space. As we enter the 21st Century, the next development of human settlements will occur through the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The major risks of space exploration derive from long exposure of humans and other life systems to radiation, microgravity, isolation and confinement, dependence on artificial life support systems, and unknown effects (e.g., altered magnetic fields, ultrahigh vacuum on bacteria, fungi, etc.). Countermeasures will require a complete characterization of human and other biological systems adaptation processes. To sustain life in transit and on the surface of the Moon and Mars will require a balance of spacecraft, cargo, astronaut crews, and the use of in situ resources. Limitations on the number of crewmembers, payloads, and the barrenness of the terrain require a novel design for the capabilities needed in transit and at exploration outpost sites. The planned destinations have resources that may be accessed to produce materials, food, shelter, power, and to provide an environment compatible with successful occupation of longterm exploration sites. Once more, the advancements of Life Sciences will be essential for the design of interplanetary voyages and planetary surface operations. This

  13. Mineralogical Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David Frederick.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's CheMin instrument, the first X-ray Diffractometer flown in space, has been operating on Mars for nearly five years. CheMin was first to establish the quantitative mineralogy of the Mars global soil (1). The instrument was next used to determine the mineralogy of a 3.7 billion year old lacustrine mudstone, a result that, together with findings from other instruments on the MSL Curiosity rover, documented the first habitable environment found on another planet (2). The mineralogy of this mudstone from an ancient playa lake was also used to derive the maximum concentration of CO2 in the early Mars atmosphere, a surprisingly low value that calls into question the current theory that CO2 greenhouse warming was responsible for the warm and wet environment of early Mars. CheMin later identified the mineral tridymite, indicative of silica-rich volcanism, in mudstones of the Murray formation on Mt. Sharp. This discovery challenges the paradigm of Mars as a basaltic planet and ushers in a new chapter of comparative terrestrial planetology (3). CheMin is now being used to systematically sample the sedimentary layers that comprise the lower strata of Mt. Sharp, a 5,000 meter sequence of sedimentary rock laid down in what was once a crater lake, characterizing isochemical sediments that through their changing mineralogy, document the oxidation and drying out of the Mars in early Hesperian time.

  14. Towards Mars — Stratospheric Balloons as Test-Beds for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dannenberg, K.

    2018-04-01

    The abstract deals with the possibilities to use stratospheric balloons for Mars science and technology needs, especially with the opportunities offered by the new European infrastructure project HEMERA, recently selected by the European Commission.

  15. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

    A compilation of scientific knowledge about the planet Mars is provided. Information is divided into three categories: atmospheric data, surface data, and astrodynamic data. The discussion of atmospheric data includes the presentation of nine different models of the Mars atmosphere. Also discussed are Martian atmospheric constituents, winds, clouds, and solar irradiance. The great dust storms of Mars are presented. The section on Mars surface data provides an in-depth examination of the physical and chemical properties observed at the two Viking landing sites. Bulk densities, dielectric constants, and thermal inertias across the planet are then described and related back to those specific features found at the Viking landing sites. The astrodynamic materials provide the astronomical constants, time scales, and reference coordinate frames necessary to perform flightpath analysis, navigation design, and science observation design

  16. HEAT OF MARS IS LOVE OF LIFE?! TWO WAYS TO LOOK AT MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Alavipanah

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  17. Heat of Mars is Love of LIFE?! Two Ways to Look at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavipanah, S. K.; Van Gasselt, S.; Mulder, N. J.; Nezammahalleh, M. A.

    2013-09-01

    Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a) the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b) the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  18. 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.

  19. In Situ Analysis of Martian Phyllosilicates Using the Chemin Minerological Instrument on Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2008-01-01

    The CheMin minerological instrument on Mars Science Laboratory (MSL'09) [1] will return quantitive Xray diffraction data (XRD) and quantative X-ray fluorescence data (XRF;14Mars surface. Samples of 45-65 mm 3 from material sieved to less than 150 micrometers will be delivered through a funnel to one of 27 reusable sample cells (five additional cells on the sample wheel contain diffraction of fluorescence standards). Sample cells are 8-mm diamater discs with 7-micrometer thick Mylar or Kapton windows spaced 170 micrometers apart. Within this volume, the sample is shaken by piezoelectric vibration at sonic frequencies, causing the powder to flow past a narrow, collimated -ray beam in random orientation can be obtained even from minnerals exhibiting strong preferred orientation such as phylosilicates.

  20. Automatic Detection of Changes on Mars Surface from High-Resolution Orbital Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2017-04-01

    Over the last 40 years Mars has been extensively mapped by several NASA and ESA orbital missions, generating a large image dataset comprised of approximately 500,000 high-resolution images (of citizen science can be employed for training and verification it is unsuitable for planetwide systematic change detection. In this work, we introduce a novel approach in planetary image change detection, which involves a batch-mode automatic change detection pipeline that identifies regions that have changed. This is tested in anger, on tens of thousands of high-resolution images over the MC11 quadrangle [5], acquired by CTX, HRSC, THEMIS-VIS and MOC-NA instruments [1]. We will present results which indicate a substantial level of activity in this region of Mars, including instances of dynamic natural phenomena that haven't been cataloged in the planetary science literature before. We will demonstrate the potential and usefulness of such an automatic approach in planetary science change detection. Acknowledgments: The research leading to these results has received funding from the STFC "MSSL Consolidated Grant" ST/K000977/1 and partial support from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under iMars grant agreement n° 607379. References: [1] P. Sidiropoulos and J. - P. Muller (2015) On the status of orbital high-resolution repeat imaging of Mars for the observation of dynamic surface processes. Planetary and Space Science, 117: 207-222. [2] O. Aharonson, et al. (2003) Slope streak formation and dust deposition rates on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 108(E12):5138 [3] A. McEwen, et al. (2011) Seasonal flows on warm martian slopes. Science, 333 (6043): 740-743. [4] S. Byrne, et al. (2009) Distribution of mid-latitude ground ice on mars from new impact craters. Science, 325(5948):1674-1676. [5] K. Gwinner, et al (2016) The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of Mars Express and its approach to science analysis and mapping for Mars and

  1. Why, from a Life Sciences Perspective, This Mission to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Mars may have had water and life early in its history and this make it a key target for robotic and human exploration. Extensive human exploration of Mars will of necessity depend on life support systems that rely on agricultural plants. If current concept for recreating, a biosphere on Mars are implemented this would involve widespread use of plants, particularly species from Arctic and alpine environments.

  2. Tales from the Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Protection System Development (or, Try Not to Panic When Your Heatshield Material Disappears)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Helen H.

    2018-01-01

    In 2012, the entry vehicle for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission was the largest and heaviest vehicle flown to another planet, designed to be able to withstand the largest heat fluxes in the Martian atmosphere ever attempted. The heatshield material that had been successfully used for all previous Mars missions had been baselined in the design, but during the development and qualification testing demonstrated catastrophic and unexplained failures. With only 10 months remaining before the original launch date, the TPS team led by NASA Ames designed and implemented a first-ever tiled, ablative heatshield. Highlights from MSL of the testing difficulties and innovations required to execute a new heatshield design will be presented, along with a sneak peak of the Mars 2020 mission.

  3. Powered Flight Design and Reconstructed Performance Summary for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sell, Steven; Chen, Allen; Davis, Jody; San Martin, Miguel; Serricchio, Frederick; Singh, Gurkirpal

    2013-01-01

    The Powered Flight segment of Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) system extends from backshell separation through landing. This segment is responsible for removing the final 0.1% of the kinetic energy dissipated during EDL and culminating with the successful touchdown of the rover on the surface of Mars. Many challenges exist in the Powered Flight segment: extraction of Powered Descent Vehicle from the backshell, performing a 300m divert maneuver to avoid the backshell and parachute, slowing the descent from 85 m/s to 0.75 m/s and successfully lowering the rover on a 7.5m bridle beneath the rocket-powered Descent Stage and gently placing it on the surface using the Sky Crane Maneuver. Finally, the nearly-spent Descent Stage must execute a Flyaway maneuver to ensure surface impact a safe distance from the Rover. This paper provides an overview of the powered flight design, key features, and event timeline. It also summarizes Curiosity's as flown performance on the night of August 5th as reconstructed by the flight team.

  4. The New Planetary Science Archive (PSA): Exploration and Discovery of Scientific Datasets from ESA's Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, David; Besse, Sebastien; Vallat, Claire; Barbarisi, Isa; Arviset, Christophe; De Marchi, Guido; Barthelemy, Maud; Coia, Daniela; Costa, Marc; Docasal, Ruben; Fraga, Diego; Grotheer, Emmanuel; Lim, Tanya; MacFarlane, Alan; Martinez, Santa; Rios, Carlos; Vallejo, Fran; Saiz, Jaime

    2017-04-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. The PSA is currently implementing a number of significant improvements, mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standard, and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications to support science exploitation. As of the end of 2016, the PSA is hosting data from all of ESA's planetary missions. This includes ESA's first planetary mission Giotto that encountered comet 1P/Halley in 1986 with a flyby at 800km. Science data from Venus Express, Mars Express, Huygens and the SMART-1 mission are also all available at the PSA. The PSA also contains all science data from Rosetta, which explored comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and asteroids Steins and Lutetia. The year 2016 has seen the arrival of the ExoMars 2016 data in the archive. In the upcoming years, at least three new projects are foreseen to be fully archived at the PSA. The BepiColombo mission is scheduled for launch in 2018. Following that, the ExoMars Rover Surface Platform (RSP) in 2020, and then the JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE). All of these will archive their data in the PSA. In addition, a few ground-based support programmes are also available, especially for the Venus Express and Rosetta missions. The newly designed PSA will enhance the user experience and will significantly reduce the complexity for users to find their data promoting one-click access to the scientific datasets with more customized views when needed. This includes a better integration with Planetary GIS analysis tools and Planetary interoperability services (search and retrieve data, supporting e.g. PDAP, EPN-TAP). It will also be up

  5. Tactile Earth and Space Science Materials for Students with Visual Impairments: Contours, Craters, Asteroids, and Features of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule, Audrey C.

    2011-01-01

    New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation=revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented…

  6. Space Shuttle 750 psi Helium Regulator Application on Mars Science Laboratory Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizukami, Masashi; Yankura, George; Rust, Thomas; Anderson, John R.; Dien, Anthony; Garda, Hoshang; Bezer, Mary Ann; Johnson, David; Arndt, Scott

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is NASA's next major mission to Mars, to be launched in September 2009. It is a nuclear powered rover designed for a long duration mission, with an extensive suite of science instruments. The descent and landing uses a unique 'skycrane' concept, where a rocket-powered descent stage decelerates the vehicle, hovers over the ground, lowers the rover to the ground on a bridle, then flies a safe distance away for disposal. This descent stage uses a regulated hydrazine propulsion system. Performance requirements for the pressure regulator were very demanding, with a wide range of flow rates and tight regulated pressure band. These indicated that a piloted regulator would be needed, which are notoriously complex, and time available for development was short. Coincidentally, it was found that the helium regulator used in the Space Shuttle Orbiter main propulsion system came very close to meeting MSL requirements. However, the type was out of production, and fabricating new units would incur long lead times and technical risk. Therefore, the Space Shuttle program graciously furnished three units for use by MSL. Minor modifications were made, and the units were carefully tuned to MSL requirements. Some of the personnel involved had built and tested the original shuttle units. Delta qualification for MSL application was successfully conducted on one of the units. A pyrovalve slam start and shock test was conducted. Dynamic performance analyses for the new application were conducted, using sophisticated tools developed for Shuttle. Because the MSL regulator is a refurbished Shuttle flight regulator, it will be the only part of MSL which has physically already been in space.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  9. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of Mars Express and its approach to science analysis and mapping for Mars and its satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwinner, K.; Jaumann, R.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Heipke, C.; Oberst, J.; Neukum, G.; Ansan, V.; Bostelmann, J.; Dumke, A.; Elgner, S.; Erkeling, G.; Fueten, F.; Hiesinger, H.; Hoekzema, N. M.; Kersten, E.; Loizeau, D.; Matz, K.-D.; McGuire, P. C.; Mertens, V.; Michael, G.; Pasewaldt, A.; Pinet, P.; Preusker, F.; Reiss, D.; Roatsch, T.; Schmidt, R.; Scholten, F.; Spiegel, M.; Stesky, R.; Tirsch, D.; van Gasselt, S.; Walter, S.; Wählisch, M.; Willner, K.

    2016-07-01

    The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of ESA's Mars Express is designed to map and investigate the topography of Mars. The camera, in particular its Super Resolution Channel (SRC), also obtains images of Phobos and Deimos on a regular basis. As HRSC is a push broom scanning instrument with nine CCD line detectors mounted in parallel, its unique feature is the ability to obtain along-track stereo images and four colors during a single orbital pass. The sub-pixel accuracy of 3D points derived from stereo analysis allows producing DTMs with grid size of up to 50 m and height accuracy on the order of one image ground pixel and better, as well as corresponding orthoimages. Such data products have been produced systematically for approximately 40% of the surface of Mars so far, while global shape models and a near-global orthoimage mosaic could be produced for Phobos. HRSC is also unique because it bridges between laser altimetry and topography data derived from other stereo imaging instruments, and provides geodetic reference data and geological context to a variety of non-stereo datasets. This paper, in addition to an overview of the status and evolution of the experiment, provides a review of relevant methods applied for 3D reconstruction and mapping, and respective achievements. We will also review the methodology of specific approaches to science analysis based on joint analysis of DTM and orthoimage information, or benefitting from high accuracy of co-registration between multiple datasets, such as studies using multi-temporal or multi-angular observations, from the fields of geomorphology, structural geology, compositional mapping, and atmospheric science. Related exemplary results from analysis of HRSC data will be discussed. After 10 years of operation, HRSC covered about 70% of the surface by panchromatic images at 10-20 m/pixel, and about 97% at better than 100 m/pixel. As the areas with contiguous coverage by stereo data are increasingly abundant, we also

  10. Innovations in Delta Differential One-Way Range: from Viking to Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Border, James S.

    2009-01-01

    The Deep Space Network has provided the capability for very-long-baseline interferometry measurements in support of spacecraft navigation since the late 1970s. Both system implementation and the importance of such measurements to flight projects have evolved significantly over the past three decades. Innovations introduced through research and development programs have led to much better performance. This paper provides an overview of the development and use of interferometric tracking techniques in the DSN starting with the Viking era and continuing with a description of the current system and its planned use to support Mars Science Laboratory.

  11. Astrobiology and the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Garvin, James B.; Drake, B. G.; Beaty, David

    2010-01-01

    In March 2007, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) chartered the Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG), co-chaired by J. B. Garvin and J. S. Levine and consisting of about 30 Mars scientists from the U.S. and Europe. HEM-SAG was one of a half dozen teams charted by NASA to consider the human exploration of Mars. Other teams included: Mars Entry, Descent and Landing, Human Health and Performance, Flight and Surface Systems, and Heliospheric/Astrophysics. The results of these Mars teams and the development of an architecture for the human exploration of Mars were summarized in two recent publications: Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 (B. G. Drake, Editor), 100 pages, July 2009 and Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 Addendum (B. G. Drake, Editor), 406 pages, July 2009. This presentation summarizes the HEM-SAG conclusions on astrobiology and the search for life on Mars by humans.

  12. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mast cameras and Descent imager: Investigation and instrument descriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, Michal C.; Ravine, Michael A.; Caplinger, Michael A.; Tony Ghaemi, F.; Schaffner, Jacob A.; Maki, Justin N.; Bell, James F.; Cameron, James F.; Dietrich, William E.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Garvin, James B.; Hallet, Bernard; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Heydari, Ezat; Kah, Linda C.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Olson, Timothy S.; Parker, Timothy J.; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Sletten, Ron; Sullivan, Robert J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Aileen Yingst, R.; Duston, Brian M.; McNair, Sean; Jensen, Elsa H.

    2017-08-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Mast camera and Descent Imager investigations were designed, built, and operated by Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego, CA. They share common electronics and focal plane designs but have different optics. There are two Mastcams of dissimilar focal length. The Mastcam-34 has an f/8, 34 mm focal length lens, and the M-100 an f/10, 100 mm focal length lens. The M-34 field of view is about 20° × 15° with an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 218 μrad; the M-100 field of view (FOV) is 6.8° × 5.1° with an IFOV of 74 μrad. The M-34 can focus from 0.5 m to infinity, and the M-100 from 1.6 m to infinity. All three cameras can acquire color images through a Bayer color filter array, and the Mastcams can also acquire images through seven science filters. Images are ≤1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall. The Mastcams, mounted on the 2 m tall Remote Sensing Mast, have a 360° azimuth and 180° elevation field of regard. Mars Descent Imager is fixed-mounted to the bottom left front side of the rover at 66 cm above the surface. Its fixed focus lens is in focus from 2 m to infinity, but out of focus at 66 cm. The f/3 lens has a FOV of 70° by 52° across and along the direction of motion, with an IFOV of 0.76 mrad. All cameras can acquire video at 4 frames/second for full frames or 720p HD at 6 fps. Images can be processed using lossy Joint Photographic Experts Group and predictive lossless compression.

  13. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten

    2016-04-01

    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on http://www.expeditionmundus.org. Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a

  14. Nuclear technologies for Moon and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear technologies are essential to successful Moon and Mars exploration and settlements. Applications can take the form of nuclear propulsion for transport of crews and cargo to Mars and the Moon; surface power for habitats and base power; power for human spacecraft to Mars; shielding and life science understanding for protection against natural solar and cosmic radiations; radioisotopes for sterilization, medicine, testing, and power; and resources for the benefits of Earth. 5 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  15. A Vision for the Exploration of Mars: Robotic Precursors Followed by Humans to Mars Orbit in 2033

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Piers J.; Garvin, James B.; Kinney, Anne L.; Amato, Michael J.; White, Nicholas E.

    2012-01-01

    The reformulation of the Mars program gives NASA a rare opportunity to deliver a credible vision in which humans, robots, and advancements in information technology combine to open the deep space frontier to Mars. There is a broad challenge in the reformulation of the Mars exploration program that truly sets the stage for: 'a strategic collaboration between the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and the Office of the Chief Technologist, for the next several decades of exploring Mars'.Any strategy that links all three challenge areas listed into a true long term strategic program necessitates discussion. NASA's SMD and HEOMD should accept the President's challenge and vision by developing an integrated program that will enable a human expedition to Mars orbit in 2033 with the goal of returning samples suitable for addressing the question of whether life exists or ever existed on Mars

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Proceedings of the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    The 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference included sessions on: Phoenix: Exploration of the Martian Arctic; Origin and Early Evolution of the Moon; Comet Wild 2: Mineralogy and More; Astrobiology: Meteorites, Microbes, Hydrous Habitats, and Irradiated Ices; Phoenix: Soil, Chemistry, and Habitability; Planetary Differentiation; Presolar Grains: Structures and Origins; SPECIAL SESSION: Venus Atmosphere: Venus Express and Future Missions; Mars Polar Caps: Past and Present; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part I; 5 Early Nebula Processes and Models; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Cosmic Gymnasts; Mars: Ground Ice and Climate Change; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part II; Chondrite Parent-Body Processes; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Salubrious Surfaces; SNC Meteorites; Ancient Martian Crust: Primary Mineralogy and Aqueous Alteration; SPECIAL SESSION: Messenger at Mercury: A Global Perspective on the Innermost Planet; CAIs and Chondrules: Records of Early Solar System Processes; Small Bodies: Shapes of Things to Come; Sulfur on Mars: Rocks, Soils, and Cycling Processes; Mercury: Evolution and Tectonics; Venus Geology, Volcanism, Tectonics, and Resurfacing; Asteroid-Meteorite Connections; Impacts I: Models and Experiments; Solar Wind and Genesis: Measurements and Interpretation; Mars: Aqueous Processes; Magmatic Volatiles and Eruptive Conditions of Lunar Basalts; Comparative Planetology; Interstellar Matter: Origins and Relationships; Impacts II: Craters and Ejecta Mars: Tectonics and Dynamics; Mars Analogs I: Geological; Exploring the Diversity of Lunar Lithologies with Sample Analyses and Remote Sensing; Chondrite Accretion and Early History; Science Instruments for the Mars Science Lander; . Martian Gullies: Morphology and Origins; Mars: Dunes, Dust, and Wind; Mars: Volcanism; Early Solar System Chronology

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haingja Seo

    2012-12-01

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

  19. NASA's strategy for Mars exploration in the 1990s and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntress, W. T.; Feeley, T. J.; Boyce, J. M.

    NASA's Office of Space Science is changing its approach to all its missions, both current and future. Budget realities are necessitating that we change the way we do business and the way we look at NASA's role in the U.S. Government. These challenges are being met by a new and innovative approach that focuses on achieving a balanced world-class space science program that requires less U.S. resources while providing an enhanced role for technology and education as integral components of our Research and Development (R&D) programs. Our Mars exploration plans, especially the Mars Surveyor program, are a key feature of this new NASA approach to space science. The Mars Surveyor program will be affordable, engaging to the public with global and close-up images of Mars, have high scientific value, employ a distributed risk strategy (two launches per opportunity), and will use significant advanced technologies.

  20. Gravity Waves in the Atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Bird, M. K.; Tyler, G. L.; Hinson, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    Gravity waves are atmospheric waves whose restoring force is the buoyancy. They are known to play an essential role in the redistribution of energy, momentum and atmospheric constituents in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. Possible excitation mechanisms comprise convection in an adjacent atmospheric layer, other atmospheric instabilities like wind shear instabilities, or air flow over orographic obstacles especially in combination with the strong winter jets on Mars. Gravity waves on Mars were observed in the lower atmosphere [1,2] but are also expected to play a major role in the cooling of the thermosphere [3] and the polar warming [4]. A fundamental understanding of the possible source mechanisms is required to reveal the influence of small scale gravity waves on the global atmospheric circulation. Radio occultation profiles from the MaRS experiment on Mars Express [5] with their exceptionally high vertical resolution can be used to study small-scale vertical gravity waves and their global distribution in the lower atmosphere from the planetary boundary layer up to 40 km altitude. Atmospheric instabilities, which are clearly identified in the data, are used to gain further insight into possible atmospheric processes contributing to the excitation of gravity waves. [1] Creasey, J. E., et al.,(2006), Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01803, doi:10.1029/2005GL024037. [2]Tellmann, S., et al.(2013), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 306-320, doi:10.1002/jgre.20058. [3]Medvedev, A. S., et al.(2015), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 120, 913-927. doi:10.1002/2015JE004802.[4] Barnes, J. R. (1990), J. Geophys. Res., 95, B2, 1401-1421. [5] Pätzold, M., et al. (2016), Planet. Space Sci., 127, 44 - 90.

  1. Journal of Chemical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences. Journal of Chemical Sciences. Volumes & Issues. Volume 130. Issue 1. Jan 2018; Issue 2. Feb 2018; Issue 3. Mar 2018; Issue 4. Apr 2018. Volume 129. Issue 1. Jan 2017; Issue 2. Feb 2017; Issue 3. Mar 2017; Issue 4. Apr 2017; Issue 5. May 2017; Issue 6. Jun 2017; Issue 7

  2. Mission Mars India's quest for the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Lele, Ajey

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the book is to find an answer to the rationale behind the human quest for the Mars exploration. As a comprehensive assessment for this query is undertaken, it is realized that the basic question ‘Why Mars?’ seeks various responses from technological, economic and geopolitical to strategic perspectives. The book is essentially targeted to understand India’s desire to reach Mars. In the process, it also undertakes some implicit questioning of Mars programmes of various other states essentially to facilitate the setting up of the context for an assessment.   The book is divided into two parts: Part I: This covers both science and politics associated with Mars missions in global scenario and discusses the salient features of various Mars Missions undertaken by various countries. Part II: This provides details in regards to India’s Mars Mission.

  3. Deployment of the MARSIS Radar Antennas On-Board Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, Michel; Moorhouse, A.; Smith, A.; McKay, Mike; Fischer, J.; Jayaraman, P.; Mounzer, Z.; Schmidt, R.; Reddy, J.; Ecale, E.; hide

    2006-01-01

    On the first European planetary mission, the deployment of the two 20-meter long MARSIS antennas onboard the ESA Mars Express spacecraft has represented an unprecedented technological challenge, in the middle of a successful science mission. While Mars Express was already performing regular observations at Mars, a complex process has been performed on Earth, involving the ESA Project, coordination between ESA, NASA and ASI, the Mars Science community, the spacecraft manufacturer EADS Astrium and the Mission Control Centre at ESOC. This paper describes the steps that led from an initial nogo in 2004 to deployment one year later, as well as the conditions and difficulties encountered during the actual deployment. It provides insights in the technical and managerial processes that made it a success, and analyses the rationale behind the decisions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Atreya, S. K.; Manning, H. L.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Sam Team

    2010-12-01

    Introduction: An important goal of upcoming missions to Mars is to understand if life could have developed there. The task of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments [1] and the other Curiosity investigations [2] is to move us steadily toward that goal with an assessment of the habitability of our neighboring planet through a series of chemical and geological measurements. SAM is designed to search for organic compounds and inorganic volatiles and measure isotope ratios. Other instruments on Curiosity will provide elemental analysis and identify minerals. SAM will analyze both atmospheric samples and gases evolved from powdered rocks that may have formed billions of years ago with Curiosity providing access to interesting sites scouted by orbiting cameras and spectrometers. SAM Instrument Suite: SAM’s instruments are a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), a 6-column Gas Chromatograph (GC), and a 2-channel Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS). SAM can identify organic compounds in Mars rocks to sub-ppb sensitivity and secure precise isotope ratios for C, H, and O in carbon dioxide and water and measure trace levels of methane and its carbon 13 isotope. The SAM gas processing system consists of valves, heaters, pressure sensors, gas scrubbers and getters, traps, and gas tanks used for calibration or combustion experiments [2]. A variety of calibrant compounds interior and exterior to SAM will allow the science and engineering teams to assess SAM’s performance. SAM has been calibrated and tested in a Mars-like environment. Keeping Educators and the Public Informed: The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) goals of the SAM team are to make this complex chemical laboratory and its data widely available to educators, students, and the public. Formal education activities include developing templates for professional development workshops for educators to teach them about SAM and Curiosity, incorporating data into Mars Student Data Teams, and writing articles

  6. Database and Library Development of Organic Species using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectral Measurements in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Raul; Mahaffy, Paul; Misra, Prabhakar

    2010-02-01

    Our work involves the development of an organic contaminants database that will allow us to determine which compounds are found here on Earth and would be inadvertently detected in the Mars soil and gaseous samples as impurities. It will be used for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrumentation analysis in the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover scheduled for launch in 2011. In order to develop a comprehensive target database, we utilize the NIST Mass Spectral Library, Automated Mass Spectral Deconvolution and Identification System (AMDIS) and Ion Fingerprint Deconvolution (IFD) software to analyze the GC-MS data. We have analyzed data from commercial samples, such as paint and polymers, which have not been implemented into the rover and are now analyzing actual data from pyrolyzation on the rover. We have successfully developed an initial target compound database that will aid SAM in determining whether the components being analyzed come from Mars or are contaminants from either the rover itself or the Earth environment and are continuing to make improvements and adding data to the target contaminants database. )

  7. A Powder Delivery System (PoDS) for Mars in situ Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, C.; Blake, D.; Saha, C.; Sarrazin, P.

    2004-12-01

    Many instruments proposed for in situ Mars science investigations work best with fine-grained samples of rocks or soils. Such instruments include the mineral analyzer CheMin [1] and any instrument that requires samples having high surface areas (e.g., mass spectrometers, organic analyzers, etc). The Powder Delivery System (PoDS) is designed to deliver powders of selected grain sizes from a sample acquisition device such as an arm-deployed robotic driller or corer to an instrument suite located on the body of a rover/lander. PoDS is capable of size-selective sampling of crushed rocks, soil or drill powder for delivery to instruments that require specific grain sizes (e.g. 5-50 mg of less than150 micron powder for CheMin). Sample material is transported as an aerosol of particles and gas by vacuum advection. In the laboratory a venturi pump driven by compressed air provides the impulse. On Mars, the ambient atmosphere is a source of CO2 that can be captured and compressed by adsorption pumping during diurnal temperature cycling [2]. The lower atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars (7 torr) will affect fundamental parameters of gas-particle interaction such as Reynolds, Stocks and Knudsen numbers [3]. However, calculations show that the PoDS will operate under both Martian and terrestrial atmospheric conditions. Cyclone separators with appropriate particle size selection ranges remove particles from the aerosol stream. The vortex flow inside the cyclone causes grains larger than a specific size to be collected, while smaller grains remain entrained in the gas. Cyclones are very efficient inertial and centrifugal particle separators with cut sizes (d50) as low as 4 microns. Depending on the particle size ranges desired, a series of cyclones with descending cut sizes may be used, the simplest case being a single cyclone for particle deposition without mass separation. Transmission / membrane filters of appropriate pore sizes may also be used to collect powder from

  8. Is Mars Dead and Does it Matter: The Crucial Scientific Importance of a Lifeless Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Conrad, P. G.; Steele, A.

    2017-12-01

    The quest for signatures of ancient and/or present-day life on Mars is an important driving force in modern Mars science and exploration. The reasons for this have been spelled out in detail elsewhere, such as in the 2013-2022 Planetary Science decadal survey. We do not question the importance of the search for life, but would like to expound on the inverse case. Namely, if Mars is lifeless then it is one of the most astrobiologically important locales in the Solar System and is worthy of detailed and thorough investigation as such. At present we are aware of only one place in the universe that hosts biology, the Earth. Arguably one of the most important aspects of understanding life is the quandary of how life arose, and considerable work has been done on understanding this question. However, progress has been hampered by the fact that the conditions that facilitated the rise of life on Earth are almost completely lost; they have been overprinted by biological activity, altered by our oxygen- and water-rich modern environment, and physically destroyed by crustal recycling. None of these effects are present on a lifeless Mars. Whereas on a "living" Mars any habitable environment would be colonized and altered, a lifeless Mars should retain preserved environments - either planetary-scale or microenvironments - which preserve a record of the original physiochemical conditions suitable for the origin of life on a terrestrial planet. No other world has the same potential to preserve this record; Mercury, the Moon, Phobos and Deimos do not show signs of ever being habitable, Venus has a surface that has been mercilessly thermally altered and is difficult to access, and even the Earth itself has been extensively altered. Ceres is uncertain in this respect as that world is unlikely to ever have hosted a significant atmosphere and its potential status as an early ocean world is still debated. The irony here is that a Mars free of life is a unique and scientifically

  9. Analysis of Organic Molecules Extracted from Mars Analogues and Influence of Their Mineralogy Using N-Methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)Trifluoroacetamide Derivatization Coupled with Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry in Preparation for the Sample Analysis at Mars Derivatization Experiment on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalport, F.; Glavin, D. P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Bish, D.; Blake, D.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; McAdam, A.; Dworkin, J. P.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The search for complex organic molecules on Mars, including important biomolecules such as amino acids and carboxylic acids will require a chemical extraction and derivatization step to transform these organic compounds into species that are sufficiently volatile to be detected by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). We have developed, a one-pot extraction and chemical derivatization protocol using N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) and dimethylformamide (DMF) for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The temperature and duration the derivatization reaction, pre-concentration of chemical derivatives, and gas chromatographic separation parameters have been optimized under SAM instrument design constraints. MTBSTFA/DMF extraction and derivatization at 300 C for several minutes of a variety of terrestrial Mars analogue materials facilitated the detection of amino acids and carboxylic acids in a surface soil sample collected from the Atacama Desert and a carbonate-rich stromatolite sample from Svalbard. However, the rapid reaction of MTBSTFA with water in several analogue materials that contained high abundances of hydrated minerals and the possible deactivation of derivatized compounds by iron oxides, as detected by XRD/XRF using the CheMin field unit Terra, proved to be highly problematic for the direct extraction of organics using MTBSTFA, The combination of pyrolysis and two different chemical derivatization methods employed by SAM should enable a wide range of organic compounds to be detected by GCMS if present on Mars,

  10. Journal of Earth System Science | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Earth System Science. Journal of Earth System Science. Volumes & Issues. Volume 127. Issue 1. Feb 2018; Issue 2. Mar 2018; Issue 3. Apr 2018. Volume 126. Issue 1. Feb 2017; Issue 2. Mar 2017; Issue 3. Apr 2017; Issue 4. Jun 2017; Issue 5. Jul 2017; Issue 6. Aug 2017; Issue 7. Oct 2017 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. A concept for NASA's Mars 2016 astrobiology field laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther W; Wilson, Michael G; Abilleira, Fernando; Jordan, James F; Wilson, Gregory R

    2007-08-01

    The Mars Program Plan includes an integrated and coordinated set of future candidate missions and investigations that meet fundamental science objectives of NASA and the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). At the time this paper was written, these possible future missions are planned in a manner consistent with a projected budget profile for the Mars Program in the next decade (2007-2016). As with all future missions, the funding profile depends on a number of factors that include the exact cost of each mission as well as potential changes to the overall NASA budget. In the current version of the Mars Program Plan, the Astrobiology Field Laboratory (AFL) exists as a candidate project to determine whether there were (or are) habitable zones and life, and how the development of these zones may be related to the overall evolution of the planet. The AFL concept is a surface exploration mission equipped with a major in situ laboratory capable of making significant advancements toward the Mars Program's life-related scientific goals and the overarching Vision for Space Exploration. We have developed several concepts for the AFL that fit within known budget and engineering constraints projected for the 2016 and 2018 Mars mission launch opportunities. The AFL mission architecture proposed here assumes maximum heritage from the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Candidate payload elements for this concept were identified from a set of recommendations put forth by the Astrobiology Field Laboratory Science Steering Group (AFL SSG) in 2004, for the express purpose of identifying overall rover mass and power requirements for such a mission. The conceptual payload includes a Precision Sample Handling and Processing System that would replace and augment the functionality and capabilities provided by the Sample Acquisition Sample Processing and Handling system that is currently part of the 2009 MSL platform.

  13. Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  14. The Mars Science Laboratory APXS calibration target: Comparison of Martian measurements with the terrestrial calibration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, J.L.; King, P.L.; Burkemper, L.; Berger, J.A.; Gellert, R.; Boyd, N.I.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Thompson, L.; Edgett, K.S.; Yingst, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover carries a basalt calibration target for monitoring the performance of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The spectrum acquired on Sol 34 shows increased contributions from Mg, S, Cl and Fe relative to laboratory spectra recorded before launch. Mars Hand Lens Imager images confirm changes in the appearance of the surface. Spectra taken on Sols 179 and 411 indicate some loss of the deposited material. The observations suggest deposition of a surface film likely consisting of dust mobilized by impingement of the sky crane’s terminal descent engine plumes with surface fines during Curiosity’s landing. New APXS software has been used to model the thin film that coated the calibration target on landing. The results suggest that a film of about 100 nm thickness, and containing predominantly MgO, Fe 2 O 3 , SO 3 , Cl and Na 2 O could give rise to the observed spectral changes. If this film is also present on the alpha particle sources within the APXS, then its effect is negligible and the terrestrial calibration remains appropriate

  15. 75 FR 13265 - National Board for Education Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Board for Education Sciences AGENCY: Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of an open meeting. SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of an upcoming meeting of the National Board for Education Sciences. The...

  16. 75 FR 53280 - National Board for Education Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-31

    ... DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Board for Education Sciences AGENCY: Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. ACTION: Notice of an open meeting. SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of an upcoming meeting of the National Board for Education Sciences. The...

  17. Mars-Moons Exploration, Reconnaissance and Landed Investigation (MERLIN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S. L.; Chabot, N. L.; Buczkowski, D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Castillo, J. C.; Peplowski, P. N.; Ernst, C. M.; Rivkin, A.; Eng, D.; Chmielewski, A. B.; Maki, J.; trebi-Ollenu, A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Spence, H. E.; Horanyi, M.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Christian, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Mars-Moons Exploration, Reconnaissance and Landed Investigation (MERLIN) is a NASA Discovery mission proposal to explore the moons of Mars. Previous Mars-focused spacecraft have raised fundamental questions about Mars' moons: What are their origins and compositions? Why do the moons resemble primitive outer solar system D-type objects? How do geologic processes modify their surfaces? MERLIN answers these questions through a combination of orbital and landed measurements, beginning with reconnaissance of Deimos and investigation of the hypothesized Martian dust belts. Orbital reconnaissance of Phobos occurs, followed by low flyovers to characterize a landing site. MERLIN lands on Phobos, conducting a 90-day investigation. Radiation measurements are acquired throughout all mission phases. Phobos' size and mass provide a low-risk landing environment: controlled descent is so slow that the landing is rehearsed, but gravity is high enough that surface operations do not require anchoring. Existing imaging of Phobos reveals low regional slope regions suitable for landing, and provides knowledge for planning orbital and landed investigations. The payload leverages past NASA investments. Orbital imaging is accomplished by a dual multispectral/high-resolution imager rebuilt from MESSENGER/MDIS. Mars' dust environment is measured by the refurbished engineering model of LADEE/LDEX, and the radiation environment by the flight spare of LRO/CRaTER. The landed workspace is characterized by a color stereo imager updated from MER/HazCam. MERLIN's arm deploys landed instrumentation using proven designs from MER, Phoenix, and MSL. Elemental measurements are acquired by a modified version of Rosetta/APXS, and an uncooled gamma-ray spectrometer. Mineralogical measurements are acquired by a microscopic imaging spectrometer developed under MatISSE. MERLIN delivers seminal science traceable to NASA's Strategic Goals and Objectives, Science Plan, and the Decadal Survey. MERLIN's science

  18. Mineralogy of an active eolian sediment from the Namib dune, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.; Hazen, R. M.; Fendrich, K. V.; Craig, P. I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Des Marais, D. J.; Farmer, J. D.; Sarrazin, P. C.; Morookian, J. M.

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the history of the dune material and offers an important opportunity for ground truth of orbital observations. CheMin's analysis of the mineralogy and phase chemistry of modern and ancient Gale crater dune fields, together with other measurements by Curiosity's science payload, provides new insights into present and past eolian processes on Mars.

  19. Scientific results and lessons learned from an integrated crewed Mars exploration simulation at the Rio Tinto Mars analogue site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgel, Csilla; Kereszturi, Ákos; Váczi, Tamás; Groemer, Gernot; Sattler, Birgit

    2014-02-01

    Between 15 and 25 April 2011 in the framework of the PolAres programme of the Austrian Space Forum, a five-day field test of the Aouda.X spacesuit simulator was conducted at the Rio Tinto Mars-analogue site in southern Spain. The field crew was supported by a full-scale Mission Control Center (MCC) in Innsbruck, Austria. The field telemetry data were relayed to the MCC, enabling a Remote Science Support (RSS) team to study field data in near-real-time and adjust the flight planning in a flexible manner. We report on the experiences in the field of robotics, geophysics (Ground Penetrating Radar) and geology as well as life sciences in a simulated spaceflight operational environment. Extravehicular Activity (EVA) maps had been prepared using Google Earth and aerial images. The Rio Tinto mining area offers an excellent location for Mars analogue simulations. It is recognised as a terrestrial Mars analogue site because of the presence of jarosite and related sulphates, which have been identified by the NASA Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" in the El Capitan region of Meridiani Planum on Mars. The acidic, high ferric-sulphate content water of Rio Tinto is also considered as a possible analogue in astrobiology regarding the analysis of ferric sulphate related biochemical pathways and produced biomarkers. During our Mars simulation, 18 different types of soil and rock samples were collected by the spacesuit tester. The Raman results confirm the presence of minerals expected, such as jarosite, different Fe oxides and oxi-hydroxides, pyrite and complex Mg and Ca sulphates. Eight science experiments were conducted in the field. In this contribution first we list the important findings during the management and realisation of tests, and also a first summary of the scientific results. Based on these experiences suggestions for future analogue work are also summarised. We finish with recommendations for future field missions, including the preparation of the experiments

  20. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I: Overview and introduction to the special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2018-01-01

    The Bagnold dunes in Gale Crater, Mars, are the first active aeolian dune field explored in situ on another planet. The Curiosity rover visited the Bagnold dune field to understand modern winds, aeolian processes, rates, and structures; to determine dune material composition, provenance, and the extent and type of compositional sorting; and to collect knowledge that informs the interpretation of past aeolian processes that are preserved in the Martian sedimentary rock record. The Curiosity rover conducted a coordinated campaign of activities lasting 4 months, interspersed with other rover activities, and employing all of the rover's science instruments and several engineering capabilities. Described in 13 manuscripts and summarized here, the major findings of the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I, include the following: the characterization of and explanation for a distinctive, meter-scale size of sinuous aeolian bedform formed in the high kinetic viscosity regime of Mars' thin atmosphere; articulation and evaluation of a grain splash model that successfully explains the occurrence of saltation even at wind speeds below the fluid threshold; determination of the dune sands' basaltic mineralogy and crystal chemistry in comparison with other soils and sedimentary rocks; and characterization of chemically distinctive volatile reservoirs in sand-sized versus dust-sized fractions of Mars soil, including two volatile-bearing types of amorphous phases.

  1. Radiological Contingency Planning for the Mars Science Laboratory Launch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul P. Guss

    2008-04-01

    This paper describes the contingency planning for the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory scheduled for the 21-day window beginning on September 15, 2009. National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), based in Las Vegas, Nevada, will support the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its role for managing the overall radiological contingency planning support effort. This paper will focus on new technologies that NSTec’s Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) is developing to enhance the overall response capability that would be required for a highly unlikely anomaly. This paper presents recent advances in collecting and collating data transmitted from deployed teams and sensors. RSL is responsible to prepare the contingency planning for a range of areas from monitoring and assessment, sample collection and control, contaminated material release criteria, data management, reporting, recording, and even communications. The tools RSL has available to support these efforts will be reported. The data platform RSL will provide shall also be compatible with integration of assets and field data acquired with other DOE, National Space and Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), state, and local resources, personnel, and equipment. This paper also outlines the organizational structure for response elements in radiological contingency planning.

  2. Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE): A Simulated Mars Drilling Mission to Search for Subsurface Life at the Rio Tinto, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Lemke, Larry; Mandell, Humboldt; McKay, David; George, Jeffrey; Gomez-Alvera, Javier; Amils, Ricardo; Stevens, Todd; Miller, David

    2003-01-01

    The MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment) project was selected by the new NASA ASTEP program, which supports field experiments having an equal emphasis on Astrobiology science and technology development relevant to future Astrobiology missions. MARTE will search for a hypothesized subsurface anaerobic chemoautotrophic biosphere in the region of the Tinto River in southwestern Spain while also demonstrating technology needed to search for a subsurface biosphere on Mars. The experiment is informed by the strategy for searching for life on Mars.

  3. ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Instrument Modelling Approach to Streamline Science Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz Fernandez, Michela; Frew, David; Ashman, Michael; Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro; Garcia Beteta, Juan Jose; Geiger, Bernhard; Metcalfe, Leo; Nespoli, Federico; Muniz Solaz, Carlos

    2018-05-01

    ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) science operations activities are centralised at ESAC's Science Operations Centre (SOC). The SOC receives the inputs from the principal investigators (PIs) in order to implement and deliver the spacecraft pointing requests and instrument timelines to the Mission Operations Centre (MOC). The high number of orbits per planning cycle has made it necessary to abstract the planning interactions between the SOC and the PI teams at the observation level. This paper describes the modelling approach we have conducted for TGOís instruments to streamline science operations. We have created dynamic observation types that scale to adapt to the conditions specified by the PI teams including observation timing, and pointing block parameters calculated from observation geometry. This approach is considered and improvement with respect to previous missions where the generation of the observation pointing and commanding requests was performed manually by the instrument teams. Automation software assists us to effectively handle the high density of planned orbits with increasing volume of scientific data and to successfully meet opportunistic scientific goals and objectives. Our planning tool combines the instrument observation definition files provided by the PIs together with the flight dynamics products to generate the Pointing Requests and the instrument timeline (ITL). The ITL contains all the validated commands at the TC sequence level and computes the resource envelopes (data rate, power, data volume) within the constraints. At the SOC, our main goal is to maximise the science output while minimising the number of iterations among the teams, ensuring that the timeline does not violate the state transitions allowed in the Mission Operations Rules and Constraints Document.

  4. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

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

  5. Performance of the Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Rover Heat Rejection System Used for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Bame, David; Mastropietro, A. J.; Miller, Jennifer; Karlmann, Paul; Liu, Yuanming; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, required a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to +50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer and supply it to the rover. This design is the first instance of use of a RHRS for thermal control of a rover or lander on the surface of a planet. After an extremely successful landing on Mars (August 5), the rover and the RHRS have performed flawlessly for close to an earth year (half the nominal mission life). This paper will share the performance of the RHRS on the Martian surface as well as compare it to its predictions.

  6. Development and testing of the data automation subsystem for the Mariner Mars 1971 spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    1971-01-01

    The data automation subsystem designed and built as part of the Mariner Mars 1971 program, sequences and controls the science instruments and formats all science data. A description of the subsystem with emphasis on major changes relative to Mariner Mars 1969 is presented. In addition, the complete test phase is described.

  7. A Draft Science Management Plan for Returned Samples from Mars: Recommendations from the International Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples (iMARS) Phase II Working Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haltigin, T.; Lange, C.; Mugnuolo, R.; Smith, C.

    2018-04-01

    This paper summarizes the findings and recommendations of the International Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples (iMARS) Phase II Working Group, an international team comprising 38 members from 16 countries and agencies.

  8. Journal of Chemical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. L Ramajo1 R Parra1 M Reboredo1 M Castro1. Institute of Research in Materials Science and Technology (INTEMA), (CONICET - University of Mar del Plata), Juan B Justo 4302 (B7608FDQ), Mar del Plata, Argentina ...

  9. ChemCam activities and discoveries during the nominal mission of the Mars Science Laboratory in Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, O.; Rapin, W.; Forni, O.; Cousin, Agnes; Sautter, V.; Mangold, Nicolas; Le Deit, L.; Nachon, Marion; Anderson, Ryan; Lanza, Nina; Fabre, Cecile; Payre, Valerie; Lasue, Jeremie; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; LeVeille, Richard A.; Barraclough, Bruce; Beck, Pierre; Bender, Steven C.; Berger, Gilles; Bridges, John C.; Bridges, Nathan; Dromert, Gilles; Dyar, M. Darby; Francis, Raymond; Frydenvang, Jens; Gondet, B.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Langevin, Yves; Madsen Morten B.,; Melikechi, N.; Lacour, J.-L.; Le Mouelic, Stephane; Lewin, Eric; Newsom, Horton E.; Ollila, Ann M.; Pinet, Patrick; Schroder, S.; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Tokar, Robert L.; Toplis, M.J.; d'Uston, Claude; Vaniman, David; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2016-01-01

    At Gale crater, Mars, ChemCam acquired its first laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) target on Sol 13 of the landed portion of the mission (a Sol is a Mars day). Up to Sol 800, more than 188000 LIBS spectra were acquired on more than 5800 points distributed over about 650 individual targets. We present a comprehensive review of ChemCam scientific accomplishments during that period, together with a focus on the lessons learned from the first use of LIBS in space. For data processing, we describe new tools that had to be developed to account for the uniqueness of Mars data. With regard to chemistry, we present a summary of the composition range measured on Mars for major-element oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O) based on various multivariate models, with associated precisions. ChemCam also observed H, and the non-metallic elements C, O, P, and S, which are usually difficult to quantify with LIBS. F and Cl are observed through their molecular lines. We discuss the most relevant LIBS lines for detection of minor and trace elements (Li, Rb, Sr, Ba, Cr, Mn, Ni, and Zn). These results were obtained thanks to comprehensive ground reference datasets, which are set to mimic the expected mineralogy and chemistry on Mars. With regard to the first use of LIBS in space, we analyze and quantify, often for the first time, each of the advantages of using stand-off LIBS in space: no sample preparation, analysis within its petrological context, dust removal, sub-millimeter scale investigation, multi-point analysis, the ability to carry out statistical surveys and whole-rock analyses, and rapid data acquisition. We conclude with a discussion of ChemCam performance to survey the geochemistry of Mars, and its valuable support of decisions about selecting where and whether to make observations with more time and resource-intensive tools in the rover's instrument suite. In the end, we present a bird's-eye view of the many scientific results: discovery of felsic

  10. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Daybell, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them ...

  11. The Mars Science Laboratory APXS calibration target: Comparison of Martian measurements with the terrestrial calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); King, P.L. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario N6A3K7 (Canada); Burkemper, L. [Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Berger, J.A. [Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario N6A3K7 (Canada); Gellert, R.; Boyd, N.I.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Thompson, L. [Planetary and Space Science Centre, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B5A3 (Canada); Edgett, K.S. [Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA 92191-0148 (United States); Yingst, R.A. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover carries a basalt calibration target for monitoring the performance of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The spectrum acquired on Sol 34 shows increased contributions from Mg, S, Cl and Fe relative to laboratory spectra recorded before launch. Mars Hand Lens Imager images confirm changes in the appearance of the surface. Spectra taken on Sols 179 and 411 indicate some loss of the deposited material. The observations suggest deposition of a surface film likely consisting of dust mobilized by impingement of the sky crane’s terminal descent engine plumes with surface fines during Curiosity’s landing. New APXS software has been used to model the thin film that coated the calibration target on landing. The results suggest that a film of about 100 nm thickness, and containing predominantly MgO, Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, SO{sub 3}, Cl and Na{sub 2}O could give rise to the observed spectral changes. If this film is also present on the alpha particle sources within the APXS, then its effect is negligible and the terrestrial calibration remains appropriate.

  12. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Relative Humidity Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kemppinen, Osku; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Renno, Nilton; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schmidt, Walter; Polkko, Jouni; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Mischna, Michael; Martín-Torres, Javier; Haukka, Harri; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Rafkin, Scott; Paton, Mark; MSL Science Team

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS relative humidity observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS humidity device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on polymeric capacitive humidity sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The humidity device makes use of one transducer electronics section placed in the vicinity of the three (3) humidity sensor heads. The humidity device is mounted on the REMS boom 2 providing ventilation with the ambient atmosphere through a filter protecting the device from airborne dust. The absolute accuracy of the humidity device is temperature dependent, and is of the order of 2% at the temperature range of -30 to -10 °C, and of the order of 10% at the temperature range of -80 to -60 °C. This enables the investigations of atmospheric humidity variations of both diurnal and seasonal scale. The humidity device measurements will have a lag, when a step-wise change in humidity is taking place. This lag effect is increasing with decreasing temperature, and it is of the order of a few hours at the temperature of -75 °C. To compensate for the lag effect we used an algorithm developed by Mäkinen [2]. The humidity observations were validated after tedious efforts. This was needed to compensate for the artifacts of the transducer electronics. The compensation process includes an assumption that the relative humidity at Mars in the temperature range of 0 to -30 °C is about zero. The

  13. MetBaro - Pressure Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  14. Space radiation protection: Destination Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durante, Marco

    2014-04-01

    National space agencies are planning a human mission to Mars in the XXI century. Space radiation is generally acknowledged as a potential showstopper for this mission for two reasons: a) high uncertainty on the risk of radiation-induced morbidity, and b) lack of simple countermeasures to reduce the exposure. The need for radiation exposure mitigation tools in a mission to Mars is supported by the recent measurements of the radiation field on the Mars Science Laboratory. Shielding is the simplest physical countermeasure, but the current materials provide poor reduction of the dose deposited by high-energy cosmic rays. Accelerator-based tests of new materials can be used to assess additional protection in the spacecraft. Active shielding is very promising, but as yet not applicable in practical cases. Several studies are developing technologies based on superconducting magnetic fields in space. Reducing the transit time to Mars is arguably the best solution but novel nuclear thermal-electric propulsion systems also seem to be far from practical realization. It is likely that the first mission to Mars will employ a combination of these options to reduce radiation exposure. Copyright © 2014 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. EU-FP7-iMars: Analysis of Mars Multi-Resolution Images using Auto-Coregistration, Data Mining and Crowd Source Techniques: One year on with a focus on auto-DTM, auto-coregistration and citizen science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Jan-Peter; Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Yershov, Vladimir; Gwinner, Klaus; van Gasselt, Stephan; Walter, Sebastian; Ivanov, Anton; Morley, Jeremy; Sprinks, James; Houghton, Robert; Bamford, Stephen; Kim, Jung-Rack

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the role of different planetary surface formation processes within our Solar System is one of the fundamental goals of planetary science research. There has been a revolution in planetary surface observations over the last 8 years, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape (down to resolutions of 10cm) and subsequent terrain correction of imagery from orbiting spacecraft. This has led to the ability to be able to overlay different epochs back to the mid-1970s, examine time-varying changes (such as impact craters, RSLs, CO2 geysers, gullies, boulder movements and a host of ice-related phenomena). Consequently we are seeing a dramatic improvement in our understanding of surface formation processes. Since January 2004 the ESA Mars Express has been acquiring global data, especially HRSC stereo (12.5-25m nadir images) with 98% coverage with images ≤100m and more than 70% useful for stereo mapping (e.g. atmosphere sufficiently clear). It has been demonstrated [Gwinner et al., 2010] that HRSC has the highest possible planimetric accuracy of ≤25m and is well co-registered with MOLA, which represents the global 3D reference frame. HRSC 3D and terrain-corrected image products therefore represent the best available 3D reference data for Mars. Recently [Gwinner et al., 2015] have shown the ability to generate mosaiced DTM and BRDF-corrected surface reflectance maps. NASA began imaging the surface of Mars, initially from flybys in the 1960s with the first orbiter with images ≤100m in the late 1970s from Viking Orbiter. The most recent orbiter to begin imaging in November 2006 is the NASA MRO which has acquired surface imagery of around 1% of the Martian surface from HiRISE (at ≈25cm) and ≈5% from CTX (≈6m) in stereo. Unfortunately, for most of these NASA images, especially MGS, MO, VO and HiRISE their accuracy of georeferencing is often worse than the quality of Mars reference data from HRSC. This reduces their value for analysing changes in time

  16. Low cost manned Mars mission based on indigenous propellant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, A. P.; Cinnamon, M.; Hamling, S.; Mahn, K.; Phillips, J.; Westmark, V.

    1993-01-01

    The paper describes a low-cost approach to the manned exploration of Mars (which involves an unmanned mission followed two years later by a manned mission) based on near-term technologies and in situ propellant production. Particular attention is given to the basic mission architecture and its major components, including the orbital analysis, the unmanned segment, the Earth Return Vehicle, the aerobrake design, life sciences, guidance, communications, power, propellant production, the surface rovers, and Mars science. Also discussed are the cost per mission over an assumed 8-yr initiative.

  17. Enumeration of Mars years and seasons since the beginning of telescopic exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, Sylvain; Byrne, Shane; Titus, Timothy N.; Hansen, Candice J.; Kieffer, Hugh H.

    2015-01-01

    A clarification for the enumeration of Mars Years prior to 1955 is presented, along with a table providing the Julian dates associated with Ls = 0° for Mars Years -183 (beginning of the telescopic study of Mars) to 100. A practical algorithm for computing Ls as a function of the Julian Date is provided. No new science results are presented

  18. A Rover Mobility Platform with Autonomous Capability to Enable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, P.; Langley, C.; Shaw, A.

    2018-04-01

    The next step in understanding Mars is sample return. In Fall 2016, the CSA conducted an analogue deployment using the Mars Exploration Science Rover. An objective was to demonstrate the maturity of the rover's guidance, navigation, and control.

  19. Robotics and automation in Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Roger D.; Sturms, Francis M., Jr.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Gamber, R. T.

    1992-01-01

    A new approach to the exploration of Mars is examined which relies on the use of smaller and simpler vehicles. The new strategy involves the following principles: limiting science objectives to retrieval of rock samples from several different but geologically homogeneous areas; making use of emerging microspacecraft technologies to significantly reduce the mass of hardware elements; simplifying missions to the absolutely essential elements; and managing risk through the employment of many identical independent pieces some of which may fail. The emerging technologies and their applications to robotic Mars missions are discussed.

  20. Relay Telecommunications for the Coming Decade of Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C.; DePaula, R.

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Mars 2020 Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, Deepak; Wright, Henry; White, Todd; Schoenenberger, Mark; Santos, Jose; Karlgaard, Chris; Kuhl, Chris; Oishi, TOmo; Trombetta, Dominic

    2016-01-01

    This paper will introduce Mars Entry Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI2) on NASA's Mars2020 mission. Mars2020 is a flagship NASA mission with science and technology objectives to help answer questions about possibility of life on Mars as well as to demonstrate technologies for future human expedition. Mars2020 is scheduled for launch in 2020. MEDLI2 is a suite of instruments embedded in the heatshield and backshell thermal protection systems of Mars2020 entry vehicle. The objectives of MEDLI2 are to gather critical aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and TPS performance data during EDL phase of the mission. MEDLI2 builds up the success of MEDLI flight instrumentation on Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2012. MEDLI instrumentation suite measured surface pressure and TPS temperature on the heatshield during MSL entry into Mars. MEDLI data has since been used for unprecedented reconstruction of aerodynamic drag, vehicle attitude, in-situ atmospheric density, aerothermal heating, transition to turbulence, in-depth TPS performance and TPS ablation. [1,2] In addition to validating predictive models, MEDLI data has highlighted extra margin available in the MSL forebody TPS, which can potentially be used to reduce vehicle parasitic mass. MEDLI2 expands the scope of instrumentation by focusing on quantities of interest not addressed in MEDLI suite. The type the sensors are expanded and their layout on the TPS modified to meet these new objectives. The paper will provide key motivation and governing requirements that drive the choice and the implementation of the new sensor suite. The implementation considerations of sensor selection, qualification, and demonstration of minimal risk to the host mission will be described. The additional challenges associated with mechanical accommodation, electrical impact, data storage and retrieval for MEDLI2 system, which extends sensors to backshell will also be described.

  2. Enabling Tethered Exploration on Mars, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Strong science motivations exist for exploring hard to reach terrain on Mars and the leading systems proposed to do so require tethers. While tethers are used...

  3. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in-situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  4. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  5. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  6. Mars Science Laboratory relative humidity observations: Initial results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A-M; Genzer, M; Kemppinen, O; Gomez-Elvira, J; Haberle, R; Polkko, J; Savijärvi, H; Rennó, N; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J A; Schmidt, W; Richardson, M; Siili, T; Paton, M; Torre-Juarez, M De La; Mäkinen, T; Newman, C; Rafkin, S; Mischna, M; Merikallio, S; Haukka, H; Martin-Torres, J; Komu, M; Zorzano, M-P; Peinado, V; Vazquez, L; Urqui, R

    2014-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity (REMS-H), and UV measurements. We concentrate on describing the REMS-H measurement performance and initial observations during the first 100 MSL sols as well as constraining the REMS-H results by comparing them with earlier observations and modeling results. The REMS-H device is based on polymeric capacitive humidity sensors developed by Vaisala Inc., and it makes use of transducer electronics section placed in the vicinity of the three humidity sensor heads. The humidity device is mounted on the REMS boom providing ventilation with the ambient atmosphere through a filter protecting the device from airborne dust. The final relative humidity results appear to be convincing and are aligned with earlier indirect observations of the total atmospheric precipitable water content. The water mixing ratio in the atmospheric surface layer appears to vary between 30 and 75 ppm. When assuming uniform mixing, the precipitable water content of the atmosphere is ranging from a few to six precipitable micrometers. Atmospheric water mixing ratio at Gale crater varies from 30 to 140 ppmMSL relative humidity observation provides good dataHighest detected relative humidity reading during first MSL 100 sols is RH75.

  7. Upcoming planetary missions and the applicability of high-temperature-superconductor bolometers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brasunas, J.; Kunde, V.; Moseley, H.; Lakew, B.

    1991-01-01

    Planetary missions to Mars and beyond can last 11 years and longer, making impractical the use of stored cryogens. Passive radiative coolers and single-stage mechanical coolers remain possibilities. Cassini and Comet Rendezvous/Asteroid Fly-by (CRAF), both using the newly developed Mariner Mark 2 spacecraft, will be the next outer planet missions after Galileo; they are intended to provide information on the origin and evolution of the solar system. CRAF is slated for a 1994 launch. Cassini was chosen by ESA and will be launched by a Titan 4/Centaur in 1996. It will fly by Jupiter in 2000, inject an ESA-supplied probe into Titan in 2002, and take data in Saturn's orbit from 2002 to 2006. NASA/Goddard is currently developing a prototype Fourier transform spectrometer, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), for the Cassini mission. The baseline infrared detectors for CIRS are HgCdTe to 16 microns and Schwarz-type thermopiles from 16 to 1000 microns. The far infrared focal plane could be switched from thermopiles to high temperature superconductor (HTS) bolometers between now and 1996. An HTS bolometer could be built using the kinetic inductance effect, or the sharp resistance change at the transition. The transition-edge bolometer is more straightforward to implement, and initial efforts at NASA/Goddard are directed to that device. A working device was made and tested in early 1989. It also has somewhat elevated noise levels below 100 Hz. Upcoming efforts will center on reducing the time constant of the HTS bolometer by attempting to deposit an HTS film on a diamond substrate, and by thinning SrTiO3 substrates. Attempts will be made to improve the film quality to reduce the 1/4 noise level, and to improve the thermal isolation to increase the bolometer sensitivity

  8. Calibration and Sequence Development Status for the Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    The measurement goals of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the "Curiosity" Rover of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) include chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples [1,2]. SAM directly supports the ambitious goals of the MSL mission to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability and preservation in Gale crater by means of a range of chemical and geological measurements [3]. The SAM FM combined calibration and environmental testing took place primarily in 2010 with a limited set of tests implemented after integration into the rover in January 2011. The scope of SAM FM testing was limited both to preserve SAM consumables such as life time of its electromechanical elements and to minimize the level of terrestrial contamination in the SAM instrument. A more comprehensive calibration of a SAM-like suite of instruments will be implemented in 2012 with calibration runs planned for the SAM testbed. The SAM Testbed is nearly identical to the SAM FM and operates in a ambient pressure chamber. The SAM Instrument Suite: SAM's instruments are a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), a 6-column Gas Chromatograph (GC), and a 2-channel Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS). Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry is designed for identification of even trace organic compounds. The TLS [5] secures the C, H, and O isotopic composition in carbon dioxide, water, and methane. Sieved materials are delivered from the MSL sample acquisition and processing system to one of68 cups of the Sample Manipulation System (SMS). 59 of these cups are fabricated from inert quartz. After sample delivery, a cup is inserted into one of 2 ovens for evolved gas analysis (EGA ambient to >9500C) by the QMS and TLS. A portion of the gas released can be trapped and subsequently analyzed by GCMS. Nine sealed cups contain liquid solvents and chemical derivatization or thermochemolysis agents to extract and transform polar molecules

  9. Mineralogy of an Active Eolian Sediment from the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the

  10. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

    The science investigations enabled by Curiosity rover's instruments focus on identifying and exploring the habitability of the Martian environment. Measurements of noble gases, organic and inorganic compounds, and the isotopes of light elements permit the study of the physical and chemical processes that have transformed Mars throughout its history. Samples of the atmosphere, volatiles released from soils, and rocks from the floor of Gale Crater have provided a wealth of new data and a window into conditions on ancient Mars.

  11. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, N. G.; Farr, T.; Baker, V. R.; Bridges, N.; Carsey, F.; Duxbury, N.; Gilmore, M. S.; Green, J. R.; Grin, E.; Hansen, V.; Keszthelyi, L.; Lanagan, P.; Lentz, R.; Marinangeli, L.; Morris, P. A.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Robinson, C.; Thomson, B.

    2001-11-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites for Mars, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel is considering the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the MEPAG science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel is considering the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  12. MarsSedEx III: linking Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and reduced gravity experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2015-12-01

    Nikolaus J. Kuhn (1), Brigitte Kuhn (1), and Andres Gartmann (2) (1) University of Basel, Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Basel, Switzerland (nikolaus.kuhn@unibas.ch), (2) Meteorology, Climatology, Remote Sensing, Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland Experiments conducted during the MarsSedEx I and II reduced gravity experiments showed that using empirical models for sediment transport on Mars developed for Earth violates fluid dynamics. The error is caused by the interaction between runing water and sediment particles, which affect each other in a positive feedback loop. As a consequence, the actual flow conditions around a particle cannot be represented by drag coefficients derived on Earth. This study exmines the implications of such gravity effects on sediment movement on Mars, with special emphasis on the limits of sandstones and conglomerates formed on Earth as analogues for sedimentation on Mars. Furthermore, options for correctiong the errors using a combination of CFD and recent experiments conducted during the MarsSedEx III campaign are presented.

  13. Automation and Robotics for Human Mars Exploration (AROMA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Peter; von Richter, Andreas

    2003-01-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) systems are a key technology for Mars exploration. All over the world initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. From December 2000 to February 2002 Kayser-Threde GmbH, Munich, Germany lead a study called AROMA (Automation and Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals of this effort is to initiate new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. c2003 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  14. ESSC-ESF Position Paper: Science-Driven Scenario for Space Exploration: Report from the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Worms, Jean-Claude; Lammer, Helmut; Barucci, Antonella

    2009-01-01

    Abstract In 2005 the then ESA Directorate for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration (D-HME) commissioned a study from the European Science Foundation's (ESF) European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) to examine the science aspects of the Aurora Programme in preparation for the December......'s exploration programme, dubbed "Emergence and co-evolution of life with its planetary environments," focusing on those targets that can ultimately be reached by humans, i.e., Mars, the Moon, and Near Earth Objects. Mars was further recognized as the focus of that programme, with Mars sample return...

  15. Mars, High-Resolution Digital Terrain Model Quadrangles on the Basis of Mars-Express HRSC Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumke, A.; Spiegel, M.; van Gasselt, S.; Neu, D.; Neukum, G.

    2010-05-01

    -image mosaics, the use of the improved data (single strips and also image blocks) is essential because, among other things, they adapt the HRSC-derived data to the global Mars-reference system very well. The Q-DTM quadrangles will be distributed to the community as files in VICAR as well as Geo-JP2000 format. The map projection of the Q-DTM quadrangles will be, however, slightly different from the MC 140 scheme in the way that all quadrangles will be released in equidistant cylindric map projection except for the polar areas which will be stereographically projected. References: [1] Neukum, G., et al. (2004), ESA SP-1240, 17-35. [2] Jaumann, R., et al. (2007), Planet. Space. Sci. [3] Dumke, A. et al. (2008), IntArchPhRS, 37, Part B4, 1037-1042. [4] Greeley, R. and Batson, R. M. (1990), Planetary Mapping, Cambridge University Press, New York, 266. [5] Spiegel, M. (2007), IntArchPhRS, 36 (3/W49B), 161-166. [6] Spiegel, M. (2007), Dissertation, DGK C, 610, Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, München. [7] Schmidt, R. (2008), Dissertation, DGK C, 623, Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, München.. Acknowledgement: We thank the HRSC Experiment Teams at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research Berlin as well as the Mars Express Project Teams at ESTEC and ESOC for their successful planning and acquisition of data. This work is carried out as a pre-assessment of upcoming systematic tasks funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) Bonn through grant no. 50 QM 1001 and 50 QM 0301.

  16. Development of the science instrument CLUPI: the close-up imager on board the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Beauvivre, S.; Cessa, V.; Martin, P.

    2017-11-01

    First mission of the Aurora Exploration Programme of ESA, ExoMars will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies, and will pursue fundamental scientific investigations. Planned for launch in 2013, ExoMars will send a robotic rover to the surface of Mars. The Close-UP Imager (CLUPI) instrument is part of the Pasteur Payload of the rover fixed on the robotic arm. It is a robotic replacement of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits at high resolution is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the Pasteur rover may be active on Mars. At the resolution provided by CLUPI (approx. 15 micrometer/pixel), rocks show a plethora of surface and internal structures, to name just a few: crystals in igneous rocks, sedimentary structures such as bedding, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sedimentary bedding, sediment components, surface marks in sediments, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be visualized, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes, potentially present in sediments and in palaeocavitites in any rock type. CLUPI is a complete imaging system, consisting of an APS (Active Pixel Sensor) camera with 27° FOV optics. The sensor is sensitive to light between 400 and 900 nm with 12 bits digitization. The fixed focus optics provides well focused images of 4 cm x 2.4 cm rock area at a distance of about 10 cm. This challenging camera system, less than 200g, is an independent scientific instrument linked to the rover on board computer via a SpaceWire interface. After the science goals and specifications presentation, the development of this complex high performance miniaturized imaging system will be described.

  17. People and things. CERN Courier, Mar 1988, v. 28(2)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    1988-03-15

    The article reports on achievements of various people, staff changes and position opportunities within the CERN organization and contains news updates on upcoming or past events. The third conference on Intersections between Particle and Nuclear Physics will be held in Rockport, Maine, US, from 14-19 May. As with previous meetings in the series, it will stress cooperation between particle and nuclear physics in science, technology and facilities. Isidor Isaac Rabi died in January. In addition to his significant scientific contributions, he was an eloquent communicator of the values of science and played a leading role in the creation of major scientific Laboratories.

  18. People and things. CERN Courier, Mar 1988, v. 28(2)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    The article reports on achievements of various people, staff changes and position opportunities within the CERN organization and contains news updates on upcoming or past events. The third conference on Intersections between Particle and Nuclear Physics will be held in Rockport, Maine, US, from 14-19 May. As with previous meetings in the series, it will stress cooperation between particle and nuclear physics in science, technology and facilities. Isidor Isaac Rabi died in January. In addition to his significant scientific contributions, he was an eloquent communicator of the values of science and played a leading role in the creation of major scientific Laboratories

  19. MarsSI: Martian surface data processing information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; Thollot, P.; Loizeau, D.; Bultel, B.; Fernando, J.; Allemand, P.; Dubuffet, F.; Poulet, F.; Ody, A.; Clenet, H.; Leyrat, C.; Harrisson, S.

    2018-01-01

    MarsSI (Acronym for Mars System of Information, https://emars.univ-lyon1.fr/MarsSI/, is a web Geographic Information System application which helps managing and processing martian orbital data. The MarsSI facility is part of the web portal called PSUP (Planetary SUrface Portal) developed by the Observatories of Paris Sud (OSUPS) and Lyon (OSUL) to provide users with efficient and easy access to data products dedicated to the martian surface. The portal proposes 1) the management and processing of data thanks to MarsSI and 2) the visualization and merging of high level (imagery, spectral, and topographic) products and catalogs via a web-based user interface (MarsVisu). The portal PSUP as well as the facility MarsVisu is detailed in a companion paper (Poulet et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to describe the facility MarsSI. From this application, users are able to easily and rapidly select observations, process raw data via automatic pipelines, and get back final products which can be visualized under Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, MarsSI also contains an automatic stereo-restitution pipeline in order to produce Digital Terrain Models (DTM) on demand from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) or CTX (Context Camera) pair-images. This application is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) (ERC project eMars, No. 280168) and has been developed in the scope of Mars, but the design is applicable to any other planetary body of the solar system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  1. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Calibrating the ChemCam LIBS for Carbonate Minerals on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, Roger C.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Ollila, Ann M.; Barefield, James E.; Lanza, Nina; Newsom, Horton E.

    2009-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument suite on board the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover includes the first LIBS instrument for extraterrestrial applications. Here we examine carbonate minerals in a simulated martian environment using the LIDS technique in order to better understand the in situ signature of these materials on Mars. Both chemical composition and rock type are determined using multivariate analysis (MVA) techniques. Composition is confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Our initial results suggest that ChemCam can recognize and differentiate between carbonate materials on Mars.

  3. PADME (Phobos And Deimos and Mars Environment): A Proposed NASA Discovery Mission to Investigate the Two Moons of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pascal; Benna, Mehdi; Britt, Daniel; Colaprete, Anthony; Davis, Warren; Delory, Greg; Elphic, Richard; Fulsang, Ejner; Genova, Anthony; Glavin, Daniel; hide

    2015-01-01

    After 40 years of solar system exploration by spacecraft, the origin of Mars's satellites, remains vexingly unknown. There are three prevailing hypotheses concerning their origin: H1: They are captured small bodies from the outer main belt or beyond; H2: They are reaccreted Mars impact ejecta; H3: They are remnants of Mars' formation. There are many variants of these hypotheses, but as stated, these three capture the key ideas and constraints on their nature. So far, data and modeling have not allowed any one of these hypotheses to be verified or excluded. Each one of these hypotheses has important implications for the evolution of the solar system, the formation and evolution of planets and satellites, and the delivery of water and organics to Early Mars and Early Earth. Determining the origin of Phobos and Deimos is identified by the NASA and the NRC Decadal Survey as the most important science goal at these bodies.

  4. Vehicle Staging Analysis of the Transition to Supersonic Retropropulsion During Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The landing of the Mars Science Laboratory represents the upper limit of current Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) capabilities for Mars exploration. The succession...

  5. Mars atmosphere. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Atreya, Sushil K; Flesch, Gregory J; Mischna, Michael A; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A; Conrad, Pamela G; Christensen, Lance E; Pavlov, Alexander A; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Glavin, Daniel P; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A; Archer, P Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P; Moores, John E; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Bridges, John C; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T

    2015-01-23

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Organics on Mars : Laboratory studies of organic material under simulated martian conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kate, Inge Loes ten

    2006-01-01

    The search for organic molecules and traces of life on Mars has been a major topic in planetary science for several decades, and is the future perspective of several missions to Mars. In order to determine where and what those missions should be looking for, laboratory experiments under simulated

  7. The upcoming mutual event season for the Patroclus-Menoetius Trojan binary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundy, W. M.; Noll, K. S.; Buie, M. W.; Levison, H. F.

    2018-05-01

    We present new Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based Keck observations and new Keplerian orbit solutions for the mutual orbit of binary Jupiter Trojan asteroid (617) Patroclus and Menoetius, targets of NASA's Lucy mission. We predict event times for the upcoming mutual event season, which is anticipated to run from late 2017 through mid 2019.

  8. Humans to Mars: The Greatest Adventure in Human History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Schild,Rudy

    2011-01-01

    The reasons for a human mission to Mars are many and include (1) World technological leadership, (2) Enhanced national security, (3) Enhanced economic vitality, (4) The human urge to explore new and distant frontiers, (5) Scientific discovery (how did Mars evolve from an early Earth-like, hospitable planet to its present inhospitable state? Is there life on Mars?) (6) Inspiring the American public and the next generation of scientists and engineers (following the launch of Sputnik I by the USSR on October 4, 1957, the U. S. and the rest of the world witnessed a significant increase in the number of students going into science and engineering), (7) Develop new technologies for potential non-space spin-off applications, and, (8) Enhanced national prestige, etc. Other reasons for colonizing the Red Planet are more catastrophic in nature, including Mars as a safe haven for the survival of the human species in the event of an impact with a large asteroid (remember the demise of the dinosaurs 65-million years as a result of an asteroid impact!). Some have also suggested that the colonization of Mars may be a solution to the global exponential population explosion on our planet! A human mission to and the colonization of the Red Planet requires multi-disciplined expertise in many areas including engineering, technology, science, human health and medicine and the human psychological and behavior. To capture the relevant areas of needed expertise, we have invited a group of more than 70 U. S. and foreign experts in these areas, including astronauts, scientists, engineers, technologists, medical doctors, psychologists and economists to share their views and thoughts on a human mission to Mars.

  9. SAM : an experiment dedicated to the Carbon Quest at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Patrice; Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris; Cabane, Michel; Tan, F.; Coscia, D.; Nolan, T.; Rahen, E.; Teinturier, S.; Goutail, J. P.; Martin, D.; Montaron, C.; Galic, A.

    SAM is a suite of instruments that will be onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The SAM team consist of scientists and engineers at GSFC, U. Paris/CNRS, JPL, and Honeybee Robotics, along with many additional external partners. SAM's five science goals will address three of the most fundamental questions about the ability of Mars to support life -past, present, and future. Question 1: What does the inventory of carbon compounds near the surface of Mars tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 1: Survey carbon compound sources and evaluate their possible mechanism of formation and destruction. 2.Goal 2: Search for organic compounds of biotic and prebiotic importance expecially methane. Question 2: What are the chemical and isotopic states of the lighter elements in the solids and atmosphere of Mars and what do they tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 3: Reveal the chemical and isotopic state of elements (i.e., N, H, O, S and others) that are important for life as we know it. 2.Goal 4: Evaluate the habitability of Mars by studying its atmospheric chemistry and the composition of trace species that are evidence of interactions between the atmosphere and soil. Question 3: Were past habitability conditions different from today's? 1.Goal 5: Understand atmospheric and climatic evolution through measurements of noble gas and light element isotopes.

  10. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. The Thermal Infrared Sensor onboard NASA's Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G.; Perez-Izquierdo, J.; Sebastian, E.; Ramos, M.; Bravo, A.; Mazo, M.; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is scheduled for launch in July/August 2020 and will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is one of the seven instruments onboard the rover [1] and has been designed to assess the environmental conditions across the rover traverse. MEDA will extend the current record of in-situ meteorological measurements at the surface [2] to other locations on Mars. The Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS) [3] is one of the six sensors comprising MEDA. TIRS will use three downward-looking channels to measure (1) the surface skin temperature (with high heritage from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station onboard the Mars Science Laboratory mission [4]), (2) the upwelling thermal infrared radiation from the surface and (3) the reflected solar radiation at the surface, and two upward-looking channels to measure the (4) downwelling thermal infrared radiation at the surface and (5) the atmospheric temperature. In combination with other MEDA's sensors, TIRS will allow the quantification of the surface energy budget [5] and the determination of key geophysical properties of the terrain such as the albedo and thermal inertia with an unprecedented spatial resolution. Here we present a general description of the TIRS, with focus on its scientific requirements and results from field campaigns showing the performance of the different channels. References:[1] Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A. et al. (2014), MEDA: An environmental and meteorological package for Mars 2020, LPSC, 45, 2837. [2] Martínez, G.M. et al. (2017), The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity, Space Science Reviews, 1-44. [3] Pérez-Izquierdo, J. et al. (2017), The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) Instrument onboard Mars 2020, IEEE. [4] Sebastián, E. et al. (2010), The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station Ground

  12. The Athena Science Payload for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Haskin, L.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2001-01-01

    The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and tools for geologic exploration of the martian surface. It is designed to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials, including soils, rock surfaces, and rock interiors. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. Two identical copies of the Athena payload will be flown in 2003 on the two Mars Exploration Rovers. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and first copies of several of the instruments have already been built and tested for flight.

  13. "The Moon Village and Journey to Mars enable each other"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, Vidvuds

    2016-07-01

    with the addition of resource recovery from asteroids at industrial operations in cislunar space. Preliminary conclusions indicate that by doing more that the cost and risk of individual operations lessens. The cost and risk of the Journey to Mars will be significantly less if a parallel effort is underway with Moon Village. Moon Village is aimed at lunar exploration with a view towards enabling lunar ISRU. Success with lunar ISRU creates sources of fuel, water, and other materials required for missions to Mars. This creates a supplier- customer relationship. This economic aspect is further enhanced with space-based solar power first piloted for lunar applications then applied to terrestrial needs starting with disaster relief. The benefits of shared infrastructure are further augmented through development of industrial operations in cislunar space for asteroid and or lunar materials processing expanding the range of materials that become available for processing into products that do not have to be lifted out of the Earth's gravity well creating the basis for a space economy. The idea of an International Lunar Decade serving as a framework for coordination of international collaboration across multiple missions and fields is explored. [1] http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/space-experts-warn-congress-that-nasas-journey-to-mars-is-illusory/ [2] http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18801/pathways-to-exploration-rationales-and-approaches-for-a-us-program [3] http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/Nexgen_Downloads/NexGen_ELA_Report_FINAL.pdf [4] http://strategic.mit.edu/JSR_Final_Manuscript_Ishimatsu.pdf [5] Lunar COTS: An Economical and Sustainable Approach to Reaching Mars, http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/Nexgen_Downloads/AIAA2015-4408ZunigaLunarCOTS.pdf

  14. The Present Habitability Potential of Gale Crater: What We Have Learned So Far From Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Archer, P. D.; Domagal-Goldman, S.; Eigenbrode, J.; Fisk, M.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V.; Kah, L.; Kahanpaa, Henrik; Martin-Torres, J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission has comprehensively interrogated the surface environment of Mars as it explores Gale Crater. Both chemical and physical attributes of the present environment have been measured over the course of the mission, enabling us to compare the present state of the martian surface with the environmental requirements of prokaryotic microbes. While this approach does not exclude the possibility of martian life that may have evolved to adapt to the present conditions, it is advantageous in that it allows us to evaluate environmental requirements of known life and also provide insight into the likelihood of forward contamination by Earth organisms with the comparison of their environmental requirements with the measured attributes of the environment at Gale Crater. We have already modeled a paleoenvironment with high habitability potential (HP) based upon chemistry, mineralogy and other geological evidence such as sedimentary structures and larger scale geomorphology [1]. In this report, we turn our attention to the present HP of the Yellowknife Bay area, including the importance of the physical environmental metrics such as atmospheric pressure, air and ground temperature, ionizing radiation, wind speed and direction, slope, etc.

  15. Meteorological Predictions in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothchild, A.; Rafkin, S. C.; Pielke, R. A., Sr.

    2010-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry, descent, and landing (EDL) system employs a standard parachute strategy followed by a new sky crane concept where the rover is lowered to the ground via a tether from a hovering entry vehicle. As with previous missions, EDL system performance is sensitive to atmospheric conditions. While some observations characterizing the mean, large-scale atmospheric temperature and density data are available, there is effectively no information on the atmospheric conditions and variability at the scale that directly affects the spacecraft. In order to evaluate EDL system performance and to assess landing hazards and risk, it is necessary to simulate the atmosphere with a model that provides data at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Models also permit the study of the impact of the highly variable atmospheric dust loading on temperature, density and winds. There are four potential MSL landing sites: Mawrth Valle (22.3 N, 16.5W) , Gale Crater (5.4S, 137.7E), Holden Crater (26.1S, 34W), and Eberswalde Crater (24S, 33W). The final selection of the landing site will balance potential science return against landing and operational risk. Atmospheric modeling studies conducted with the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) is an integral part of the selection process. At each of the landing sites, a variety of simulations are conducted. The first type of simulations provide baseline predictions under nominal atmospheric dust loading conditions within the landing site window of ~Ls 150-170. The second type of simulation explores situations with moderate and high global atmospheric dust loading. The final type of simulation investigates the impact of local dust disturbances at the landing site. Mean and perturbation fields from each type of simulation at each of the potential landing sites are presented in comparison with the engineering performance limitations for the MSL EDL system. Within the lowest scale height, winds

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  18. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

    J. Dong; Z. Sun; W. Rao; Y. Jia; L. Meng; C. Wang; B. Chen

    2017-01-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achiev...

  19. The iMars WebGIS - A Central Hub for Displaying and Distributing Co-Registered Data of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gasselt, S.; Morley, J.; Houghton, R.; Bamford, S.; Ivanov, A.; Muller, J.-P.; Yershov, V.; Sidiripoulos, P.; Gwinner, K.; Waehlisch, M.; Kim, J. R.

    2014-04-01

    The iMars-project [1] is an EU funded R&D project which has started in 2014 and which is aimed at developing an automated processing system for generating image stacks of high-precision, co-registered, terrain-corrected and multi-temporal data of Mars obtained since 1977. It is anticipated that the entire NASA and ESA record of orbital image data will be co-registered and terrain-corrected in 2015 [1] so that time-series data can be generated for subsequent analyses. Such analyses will be conducted automatically using change-detection algorithms or interactively and visually using the citizen-science concept implemented at Zooniverse [2]. For more detailed information see [1] and visit the project's website at http://www.i-Mars.eu. Close user interaction plays a paramount role within iMars which requires sophisticated concepts for data handling and communication allowing users to integrate, analyse and visualise data from a central location. This interactive data hub will be realised through open-source webGIS implementations and by providing webGIS services to the user community using established OGC-protocols (see Fig. 1, [3, 4, 5]).

  20. The Nitrate/Perchlorate Ratio on Mars as an Indicator for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalex, R.; Freissinet, C.; Conrad, P. G.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and the potential development of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected evolved nitric oxide (NO) gas during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled mudstone acquired in Gale Crater. The detection of NO suggests an indigenous source of fixed N, and may indicate a mineralogical sink for atmospheric N2 in the form of nitrate. The ratio of nitrate to oxychlorine species (e.g. perchlorate) may provide insight into the extent of development of a nitrogen cycle on Mars.

  1. Demonstration of Critical Systems for Propellant Production on Mars for Science and Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Gaier, James R.; Zoeckler, Joseph G.; Kolacz, John S.; Wegeng, Robert S.; Rassat, Scot D.; Clark, D. Larry

    2013-01-01

    A Mars hopper has been proposed as a Mars mobility concept that will also demonstrate and advance in-situ resource utilization. The components needed in a Mars propellant production plant have been developed to various levels of technology maturity, but there is little experience with the systems in a Mars environment. Two systems for the acquisition and compression of the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere were designed, assembled, and tested in a Mars environment chamber. A microchannel sorption pump system was able to raise the pressure from 7 Torr to 450 Torr or from 12 Torr to over 700 Torr in two stages. This data now provides information needed to make additional improvements in the sorption pump technology to increase performance, although a system-level analysis might prove that some amount of pre- or post-compression may be a preferred solution. A mini cryofreezer system was also evaluated as an alternative method for carbon dioxide acquisition and compression. Finally, an electrolysis system was tested and successfully demonstrated start-up operation and thermal stability of all components during long-term operation in the chamber.

  2. Refinement of the Compton–Rayleigh scatter ratio method for use on the Mars Science Laboratory alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Perrett, G.M. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Maxwell, J.A. [3A 47 Surrey St. East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 3P6 (Canada); Nield, E.; Gellert, R. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); King, P.L. [Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200 (Australia); Lee, M.; O’Meara, J.M.; Pradler, I. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2013-05-01

    Spectra from the Mars rover alpha particle X-ray spectrometers contain the elastic and inelastic scatter peaks of the plutonium L X-rays emitted by the instrument’s {sup 244}Cm source. Various spectrum fitting approaches are tested using the terrestrial twin of the APXS instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, in order to provide accurate extraction of the Lα and Lβ Compton/Rayleigh intensity ratios, which can provide information about light “invisible” constituents such as water in geological samples. A well-defined dependence of C/R ratios upon mean sample atomic number is established using a large and varied set of geochemical reference materials, and the accuracy of this calibration is examined. Detailed attention is paid to the influence of the rubidium and strontium peaks which overlap the Lα scatter peaks. Our Monte Carlo simulation code for prediction of C/R ratios from element concentrations is updated. The ratio between measured and simulated C/R ratios provides a second means of calibration.

  3. Sci-Fi Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freudenrich, Craig C.

    2000-01-01

    Recommends using science fiction television episodes, novels, and films for teaching science and motivating students. Studies Newton's Law of Motion, principles of relativity, journey to Mars, interplanetary trajectories, artificial gravity, and Martian geology. Discusses science fiction's ability to capture student interest and the advantages of…

  4. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Comparison with Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after midnight Sunday morning (5 April 1998 12:39 AM PST), the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft successfully acquired a high resolution image of the 'Face on Mars' feature in the Cydonia region. The image was transmitted to Earth on Sunday, and retrieved from the mission computer data base Monday morning (6 April 1998). The image was processed at the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) facility 9:15 AM and the raw image immediately transferred to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for release to the Internet. The images shown here were subsequently processed at MSSS.The picture was acquired 375 seconds after the spacecraft's 220th close approach to Mars. At that time, the 'Face', located at approximately 40.8o N, 9.6o W, was 275 miles (444 km) from the spacecraft. The 'morning' sun was 25o above the horizon. The picture has a resolution of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) per pixel, making it ten times higher resolution than the best previous image of the feature, which was taken by the Viking Mission in the mid-1970's. The full image covers an area 2.7 miles (4.4 km) wide and 25.7 miles (41.5 km) long.In this comparison, the best Viking image has been enlarged to 3.3 times its original resolution, and the MOC image has been decreased by a similar 3.3 times, creating images of roughly the same size. In addition, the MOC images have been geometrically transformed to a more overhead projection (different from the mercator map projection of PIA01440 & 1441) for ease of comparison with the Viking image. The left image is a portion of Viking Orbiter 1 frame 070A13, the middle image is a portion of MOC frame shown normally, and the right image is the same MOC frame but with the brightness inverted to simulate the approximate lighting conditions of the Viking image.Processing Image processing has been applied to the images in order to improve the visibility of features. This processing included the following steps: The image was

  5. Small Spacecraft Constellation Concept for Mars Atmospheric Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, S. W.; Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Kobayashi, M. M.; Lazio, J.; Marinan, A.; Massone, G.; McCandless, S. E.; Preston, R. A.; Seubert, J.; Williamson, W.

    2017-12-01

    First demonstrated in 1965 when Mariner IV flew by Mars and determined the salient features of its atmosphere, radio occultation experiments have been carried out on numerous planetary missions with great discoveries. These experiments utilize the now classic configuration of a signal from a single planetary spacecraft to Earth receiving stations, where the science data are acquired. The Earth science community advanced the technique to utilizing a constellation of spacecraft with the radio occultation links between the spacecraft, enabled by the infrastructure of the Global Positioning System. With the advent of small and less costly spacecraft, such as planetary CubeSats and other variations, such as the anticipated innovative Mars Cube One mission, crosslinks among small spacecraft can be used to study other planets in the near future. Advantages of this type of experiment include significantly greater geographical coverage, which could reach global coverage over a few weeks with a small number of spacecraft. Repeatability of the global coverage can lead to examining temperature-pressure profiles and ionospheric electron density profiles, on daily, seasonal, annual, or other time scales of interest. The higher signal-to-noise ratio for inter-satellite links, compared to a link to Earth, decreases the design demands on the instrumentation (smaller antennas and transmitters, etc.). After an actual Mars crosslink demonstration, this concept has been in development using Mars as a possible target. Scientific objectives, delivery methods, operational scenarios and end-to-end configuration have been documented. Science objectives include determining the state and variability of the lower Martian atmosphere, which has been an identified as a high priority objective by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, particularly as it relates to entry, descent, and landing and ascent for future crewed and robotic missions. This paper will present the latest research on the

  6. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

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

  7. Midlatitude Ice-Rich Ground on Mars: An Important Target for Science and In Situ Resource Utilization on Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Heldmann, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    The region of ROI is characterized by proven presence of near surface ground ice and numerous periglacial features. Midlatitude ground ice on Mars is of significant scientific interest for understanding the history and evolution of ice stability on Mars, the impact that changes in insolation produced by variations in Mars’ orbital parameters has on the regions climate, and could provide human exploration with a reliable and plentiful in situ resource. For both science and exploration, assessing the astrobiological potential of the ice is important in terms of (1) understanding the potential for life on Mars and (2) evaluating the presence of possible biohazards in advance of human exploration. Heldmann et al. (2014) studied locations on Mars in the Amazonis Planitia region where near surface ground ice was exposed by new impact craters (Byrne et al. 2009). The study examined whether sites in this region were suitable for human exploration including reviewing the evidence for midlatitude ground ice, discussing the possible explanations for its occurrence, assessing its potential habitability for modern life, and evaluating the resource potential. They systematically analyzed remote-sensing data sets to identify a viable landing site. Five sites where ground ice was exposed were examined with HiRise imaging and were classified according to (1) presence of polygons as a proxy for subsurface ice, (2) presence and abundance of rough topographic obstacles (e.g., large cracks, cliffs, uneven topography), (3) rock density, (4) presence and abundance of large boulders, and (5) presence of craters. A suitable landing site was found having ground ice at only 0.15m depth, and no landing site hazards within a 25 km landing ellipse. This paper presents results of that study and examines the relevance of this ROI to the workshop goals.

  8. Low-cost autonomous orbit control about Mars: Initial simulation results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, S. D.; Early, L. W.; Potterveld, C. W.; Königsmann, H. J.

    1999-11-01

    Interest in studying the possibility of extraterrestrial life has led to the re-emergence of the Red Planet as a major target of planetary exploration. Currently proposed missions in the post-2000 period are routinely calling for rendezvous with ascent craft, long-term orbiting of, and sample-return from Mars. Such missions would benefit greatly from autonomous orbit control as a means to reduce operations costs and enable contact with Mars ground stations out of view of the Earth. This paper present results from initial simulations of autonomously controlled orbits around Mars, and points out possible uses of the technology and areas of routine Mars operations where such cost-conscious and robust autonomy could prove most effective. These simulations have validated the approach and control philosophies used in the development of this autonomous orbit controller. Future work will refine the controller, accounting for systematic and random errors in the navigation of the spacecraft from the sensor suite, and will produce prototype flight code for inclusion on future missions. A modified version of Microcosm's commercially available High Precision Orbit Propagator (HPOP) was used in the preparation of these results due to its high accuracy and speed of operation. Control laws were developed to allow an autonomously controlled spacecraft to continuously control to a pre-defined orbit about Mars with near-optimal propellant usage. The control laws were implemented as an adjunct to HPOP. The GSFC-produced 50 × 50 field model of the Martian gravitational potential was used in all simulations. The Martian atmospheric drag was modeled using an exponentially decaying atmosphere based on data from the Mars-GRAM NASA Ames model. It is hoped that the simple atmosphere model that was implemented can be significantly improved in the future so as to approach the fidelity of the Mars-GRAM model in its predictions of atmospheric density at orbital altitudes. Such additional work

  9. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  10. Metrology as part and parcel of training programmes for science and engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Regtien, Paulus P.L.

    2007-01-01

    At many universities and training institutes education in metrology or measurement science is in strong competition with upcoming disciplines. Its importance for science and engineering remains, however, evident. Advanced instruments make measuring almost a routine activity, but it is shown that a

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  13. Word reading skill predicts anticipation of upcoming spoken language input: a study of children developing proficiency in reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mani, Nivedita; Huettig, Falk

    2014-10-01

    Despite the efficiency with which language users typically process spoken language, a growing body of research finds substantial individual differences in both the speed and accuracy of spoken language processing potentially attributable to participants' literacy skills. Against this background, the current study took a look at the role of word reading skill in listeners' anticipation of upcoming spoken language input in children at the cusp of learning to read; if reading skills affect predictive language processing, then children at this stage of literacy acquisition should be most susceptible to the effects of reading skills on spoken language processing. We tested 8-year-olds on their prediction of upcoming spoken language input in an eye-tracking task. Although children, like in previous studies to date, were successfully able to anticipate upcoming spoken language input, there was a strong positive correlation between children's word reading skills (but not their pseudo-word reading and meta-phonological awareness or their spoken word recognition skills) and their prediction skills. We suggest that these findings are most compatible with the notion that the process of learning orthographic representations during reading acquisition sharpens pre-existing lexical representations, which in turn also supports anticipation of upcoming spoken words. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Indigenous Fixed Nitrogen on Mars: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, D., Jr.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Conrad, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate has been detected in Mars surface sediments and aeolian deposits by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover (Stern et al., 2015). This detection is significant because fixed nitrogen is necessary for life, a requirement that drove the evolution of N-fixing metabolism in life on Earth. The question remains as to the extent to which a primitive N cycle ever developed on Mars, and whether N is currently being deposited on the martian surface at a non-negligible rate. It is also necessary to consider processes that could recycle oxidized N back into the atmosphere, and how these processes may have changed the soil inventory of N over time. The abundance of fixed nitrogen detected as NO from thermal decomposition of nitrate is consistent with both delivery of nitrate via impact generated thermal shock early in martian history and dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO, occurring in the present. Processes that could recycle N back into the atmosphere may include nitrate reduction by Fe(II) in aqueous environments on early Mars, impact decomposition, and/or UV photolysis. In order to better understand the history of nitrogen fixation on Mars, we look to cycling of N in Mars analog environments on Earth such as the Atacama Desert and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. In particular, we examine the ratio of nitrate to perchlorate (NO3-/ClO4-) in these areas compared to those calculated from data acquired on Mars.

  15. Mars Sample Return: The Critical Need for Planning a Meaningful and Participatory Public Engagement Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug Boonstra, S.

    2018-04-01

    The Mars Sample Return campaign offers the prospect of an historical leap forward in the understanding of the science of Mars, and an unprecedented opportunity to engage our citizenry in one of the enduring questions of humanity, "Are we alone?".

  16. initiatives.html | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Upcoming Refresher Courses. Topology 02 to 14 May, 2018. Ramanujan Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, University of Madras Register Mathematics 11 to 25 June, 2018. Dayanand Science College, Latur (M.S.) Register Experimental Physics 14 to 29 June, 2018. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi

  17. calendar.html | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Upcoming Refresher Courses. Topology 02 to 14 May, 2018. Ramanujan Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, University of Madras Register Mathematics 11 to 25 June, 2018. Dayanand Science College, Latur (M.S.) Register Experimental Physics 14 to 29 June, 2018. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi

  18. Human Mars Landing Site and Impacts on Mars Surface Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Bussey, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes NASA's initial steps for identifying and evaluating candidate Exploration Zones (EZs) and Regions of Interests (ROIs) for the first human crews that will explore the surface of Mars. NASA's current effort to define the exploration of this planet by human crews, known as the Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC), provides the context in which these EZs and ROIs are being considered. The EMC spans all aspects of a human Mars mission including launch from Earth, transit to and from Mars, and operations on the surface of Mars. An EZ is a collection of ROIs located within approximately 100 kilometers of a centralized landing site. ROIs are areas relevant for scientific investigation and/or development/maturation of capabilities and resources necessary for a sustainable human presence. The EZ also contains one or more landing sites and a habitation site that will be used by multiple human crews during missions to explore and utilize the ROIs within the EZ. With the EMC as a conceptual basis, the EZ model has been refined to a point where specific site selection criteria for scientific exploration and in situ resource utilization can be defined. In 2015 these criteria were distributed to the planetary sciences community and the in situ resource utilization and civil engineering communities as part of a call for EZ proposals. The resulting "First Landing Site/Exploration Zone Workshop for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars" was held in October 2015 during which 47 proposals for EZs and ROIs were presented and discussed. Proposed locations spanned all longitudes and all allowable latitudes (+/- 50 degrees). Proposed justification for selecting one of these EZs also spanned a significant portion of the scientific and resource criteria provided to the community. Several important findings resulted from this Workshop including: (a) a strong consensus that, at a scale of 100 km (radius), multiple places on Mars exist that have both sufficient scientific interest

  19. International cooperation for Mars exploration and sample return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Boynton, William V.; Cameron, A. G. W.; Carr, Michael H.; Kitchell, Jennifer H.; Mazur, Peter; Pace, Norman R.; Prinn, Ronald G.; Solomon, Sean C.; Wasserburg, Gerald J.

    1990-01-01

    The National Research Council's Space Studies Board has previously recommended that the next major phase of Mars exploration for the United States involve detailed in situ investigations of the surface of Mars and the return to earth for laboratory analysis of selected Martian surface samples. More recently, the European space science community has expressed general interest in the concept of cooperative Mars exploration and sample return. The USSR has now announced plans for a program of Mars exploration incorporating international cooperation. If the opportunity becomes available to participate in Mars exploration, interest is likely to emerge on the part of a number of other countries, such as Japan and Canada. The Space Studies Board's Committee on Cooperative Mars Exploration and Sample Return was asked by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to examine and report on the question of how Mars sample return missions might best be structured for effective implementation by NASA along with international partners. The committee examined alternatives ranging from scientific missions in which the United States would take a substantial lead, with international participation playing only an ancillary role, to missions in which international cooperation would be a basic part of the approach, with the international partners taking on comparably large mission responsibilities. On the basis of scientific strategies developed earlier by the Space Studies Board, the committee considered the scientific and technical basis of such collaboration and the most mutually beneficial arrangements for constructing successful cooperative missions, particularly with the USSR.

  20. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

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

  1. An Efficient Approach for Mars Sample Return Using Emerging Commercial Capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Andrew A; Stoker, Carol R

    2016-06-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science [1]. This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as "Red Dragon", onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the Earth Return

  2. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

    A Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the recent Decadal Survey of Planetary Science. However, an affordable program to carry this out has not been defined. This paper describes a study that examined use of emerging commercial capabilities to land the sample return elements, with the goal of reducing mission cost. A team at NASA Ames examined the feasibility of the following scenario for MSR: A Falcon Heavy launcher injects a SpaceX Dragon crew capsule and trunk onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule is modified to carry all the hardware needed to return samples collected on Mars including a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) and Sample Collection and Storage hardware. The Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using SuperSonic Retro Propulsion (SSRP) as described by Braun and Manning [IEEEAC paper 0076, 2005]. Samples are acquired and deliverd to the MAV by a prelanded asset, possibly the proposed 2020 rover. After samples are obtained and stored in the ERV, the MAV launches the sample-containing ERV from the surface of Mars. We examined cases where the ERV is delivered to either low Mars orbit (LMO), C3 = 0 (Mars escape), or an intermediate energy state. The ERV then provides the rest of the energy (delta V) required to perform trans-Earth injection (TEI), cruise, and insertion into a Moon-trailing Earth Orbit (MTEO). A later mission, possibly a crewed Dragon launched by a Falcon Heavy (not part of the current study) retrieves the sample container, packages the sample, and performs a controlled Earth re-entry to prevent Mars materials from accidentally contaminating Earth. The key analysis methods used in the study employed a set of parametric mass estimating relationships (MERs) and standard aerospace analysis software codes modified for the MAV class of launch vehicle to determine the range of performance parameters that produced converged

  3. X-Ray Computed Tomography: The First Step in Mars Sample Return Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welzenbach, L. C.; Fries, M. D.; Grady, M. M.; Greenwood, R. C.; McCubbin, F. M.; Zeigler, R. A.; Smith, C. L.; Steele, A.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission will collect and cache samples from the martian surface for possible retrieval and subsequent return to Earth. If the samples are returned, that mission would likely present an opportunity to analyze returned Mars samples within a geologic context on Mars. In addition, it may provide definitive information about the existence of past or present life on Mars. Mars sample return presents unique challenges for the collection, containment, transport, curation and processing of samples [1] Foremost in the processing of returned samples are the closely paired considerations of life detection and Planetary Protection. In order to achieve Mars Sample Return (MSR) science goals, reliable analyses will depend on overcoming some challenging signal/noise-related issues where sparse martian organic compounds must be reliably analyzed against the contamination background. While reliable analyses will depend on initial clean acquisition and robust documentation of all aspects of developing and managing the cache [2], there needs to be a reliable sample handling and analysis procedure that accounts for a variety of materials which may or may not contain evidence of past or present martian life. A recent report [3] suggests that a defined set of measurements should be made to effectively inform both science and Planetary Protection, when applied in the context of the two competing null hypotheses: 1) that there is no detectable life in the samples; or 2) that there is martian life in the samples. The defined measurements would include a phased approach that would be accepted by the community to preserve the bulk of the material, but provide unambiguous science data that can be used and interpreted by various disciplines. Fore-most is the concern that the initial steps would ensure the pristine nature of the samples. Preliminary, non-invasive techniques such as computed X-ray tomography (XCT) have been suggested as the first method to interrogate and

  4. Scientists are from Mars, educators are from Venus: Relationships in the ecosystem of science teacher preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggan-Haas, Don Andrew

    2000-10-01

    Great problems exist in science teaching from kindergarten through the college level (NRC, 1996; NSF, 1996). The problem may be attributed to the failure of teachers to integrate their own understanding of science content with appropriate pedagogy (Shulman, 1986, 1987). All teachers were trained by college faculty and therefore some of the blame for these problems rests on those faculty. This dissertation presents three models for describing secondary science teacher preparation. Two Programs, Two Cultures adapts C. P. Snow's classic work (1959) to describe the work of a science teacher candidate as that of an individual who navigates between two discrete programs: one in college science and the second in teacher education. The second model, Scientists Are from Mars, Educators Are from Venus adapts the popular work of John Gray to describe the system of science teacher education as hobbled by the dysfunctional relationships among the major players and describes the teacher as progeny from this relationship. The third model, The Ecosystem of Science Teacher Preparation reveals some of the deeper complexities of science teacher education and posits that the traditional college science approach treats students as a monoculture when great diversity in fact exists. The three models are described in the context of a large Midwestern university's teacher education program as that program is construed for future biology teachers. Four undergraduate courses typically taken by future biology teachers were observed and described: an introductory biology course; an introductory teacher education course; an upper division course in biochemistry and a senior level science teaching methods course. Seven second semester seniors who were biological Science majors were interviewed. All seven students had taken all of the courses observed. An organization of scientists and educators working together to improve science teaching from kindergarten through graduate school is also

  5. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Dean L.; Lysek, Mark J.; Morookian, John Michael [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2014-01-29

    The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed successfully on Mars on August 5, 2012, eight months after launch. The chosen landing site of Gale Crater, located at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, has provided a much more benign environment than was originally planned for during the critical design and integration phases of the MSL Project when all possible landing sites were still being considered. The expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at the Gale Crater landing site during Curiosity's primary mission (1 Martian year or 687 Earth days) are from −90°C to 0°C. However, enclosed within Curiosity's thermal control fluid loops the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is maintained at approximately +20°C. The CheMin instrument uses X-ray diffraction spectroscopy to make precise measurements of mineral constituents of Mars rocks and soil. The instrument incorporated the commercially available Ricor K508 Stirling cycle cryocooler to cool the CCD detector. After several months of brushing itself off, stretching and testing out its subsystems, Curiosity began the exploration of the Mars surface in October 2012. The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) received its first soil sample from Curiosity on October 24, and successfully analyzed its first soil sample. After a brief review of the rigorous Ricor K508 cooler qualification tests and life tests based on the original MSL environmental requirements this paper presents final pre-launch instrument integration and testing results, and details the operational data of the CheMin cryocooler, providing a snapshot of the resulting CheMin instrument analytical data.

  6. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Dean L.; Lysek, Mark J.; Morookian, John Michael

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed successfully on Mars on August 5, 2012, eight months after launch. The chosen landing site of Gale Crater, located at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, has provided a much more benign environment than was originally planned for during the critical design and integration phases of the MSL Project when all possible landing sites were still being considered. The expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at the Gale Crater landing site during Curiosity's primary mission (1 Martian year or 687 Earth days) are from −90°C to 0°C. However, enclosed within Curiosity's thermal control fluid loops the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is maintained at approximately +20°C. The CheMin instrument uses X-ray diffraction spectroscopy to make precise measurements of mineral constituents of Mars rocks and soil. The instrument incorporated the commercially available Ricor K508 Stirling cycle cryocooler to cool the CCD detector. After several months of brushing itself off, stretching and testing out its subsystems, Curiosity began the exploration of the Mars surface in October 2012. The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) received its first soil sample from Curiosity on October 24, and successfully analyzed its first soil sample. After a brief review of the rigorous Ricor K508 cooler qualification tests and life tests based on the original MSL environmental requirements this paper presents final pre-launch instrument integration and testing results, and details the operational data of the CheMin cryocooler, providing a snapshot of the resulting CheMin instrument analytical data

  7. Vibration and Acoustic Testing for Mars Micromission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Dennis L.; Scharton, Terry D.

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M G; Ewing, R C; Lamb, M P; Fischer, W W; Grotzinger, J P; Rubin, D M; Lewis, K W; Ballard, M; Day, Mitch D.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S G; Bridges, N T; Des Marais, D J; Fraeman, A A; Grant, J A; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Ming, D W; Mischna, M A; Rice, M S; Sumner, D A; Vasavada, A R; Yingst, R A

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  9. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Day, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Mischna, M. A.; Rice, M. S.; Sumner, D. A.; Vasavada, A. R.; Yingst, R. A.

    2016-07-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter- to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  10. 727.pdf | mar102006 | currsci | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; currsci; mar102006; 727.pdf. 404! error. The page your are looking for can not be found! Please check the link or use the navigation bar at the top. YouTube · Twitter · Facebook · Blog. Academy News. IAS Logo. Ethical Guidelines and Procedures document. Posted on 17 January 2017. A revised version of the ...

  11. Ground truthing for methane hotspots at Railroad Valley, NV - application to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detweiler, A. M.; Kelley, C. A.; Bebout, B.; McKay, C. P.; DeMarines, J.; Yates, E. L.; Iraci, L. T.

    2011-12-01

    .7%. Temperature and relative humidity sensors were placed in the playa at 5, 20, and 30 cm below the surface. Since the relative humidity neared 100% (down to 20 cm below the surface), high enough to support microbial life, the observed absence of methane production in the playa itself is likely due to the low POC content, compared to other methane-producing environments. The spatial distribution of methane in combination with the spectral reflectance at the RRV dry lakebed makes it a good Mars analog. The ground truthing and satellite calibration work accomplished at RRV is a good exercise in preparation to identifying the origins of methane observed in the atmosphere of Mars during the upcoming 2012 Mars Science Laboratory and 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter missions.

  12. Hydrovolcanic features on Mars: Preliminary observations from the first Mars year of HiRISE imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keszthelyi, L.P.; Jaeger, W.L.; Dundas, C.M.; Martinez-Alonso, S.; McEwen, A.S.; Milazzo, M.P.

    2010-01-01

    We provide an overview of features indicative of the interaction between water and lava and/or magma on Mars as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera during the Primary Science Phase of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. The ability to confidently resolve meter-scale features from orbit has been extremely useful in the study of the most pristine examples. In particular, HiRISE has allowed the documentation of previously undescribed features associated with phreatovolcanic cones (formed by the interaction of lava and groundwater) on rapidly emplaced flood lavas. These include "moats" and "wakes" that indicate that the lava crust was thin and mobile, respectively [Jaeger, W.L., Keszthelyi, L.P., McEwen, A.S., Dundas, C.M., Russel, P.S., 2007. Science 317, 1709-1711]. HiRISE has also discovered entablature-style jointing in lavas that is indicative of water-cooling [Milazzo, M.P., Keszthelyi, L.P., Jaeger, W.L., Rosiek, M., Mattson, S., Verba, C., Beyer, R.A., Geissler, P.E., McEwen, A.S., and the HiRISE Team, 2009. Geology 37, 171-174]. Other observations strongly support the idea of extensive volcanic mudflows (lahars). Evidence for other forms of hydrovolcanism, including glaciovolcanic interactions, is more equivocal. This is largely because most older and high-latitude terrains have been extensively modified, masking any earlier 1-10 m scale features. Much like terrestrial fieldwork, the prerequisite for making full use of HiRISE's capabilities is finding good outcrops.

  13. A Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (MVP-SEM) for the Surface of Mars: An Instrument for the Planetary Science Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunson, J.; Gaskin, J. A.; Danilatos, G.; Doloboff, I. J.; Effinger, M. R.; Harvey, R. P.; Jerman, G. A.; Klein-Schoder, R.; Mackie, W.; Magera, B.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope(MVP-SEM) project, funded by the NASA Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO) Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES), will build upon previous miniaturized SEM designs for lunar and International Space Station (ISS) applications and recent advancements in variable pressure SEM's to design and build a SEM to complete analyses of samples on the surface of Mars using the atmosphere as an imaging medium. By the end of the PICASSO work, a prototype of the primary proof-of-concept components (i.e., the electron gun, focusing optics and scanning system)will be assembled and preliminary testing in a Mars analog chamber at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be completed to partially fulfill Technology Readiness Level to 5 requirements for those components. The team plans to have Secondary Electron Imaging(SEI), Backscattered Electron (BSE) detection, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) capabilities through the MVP-SEM.

  14. Data from the Mars Science Laboratory CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, David; Blake, David; Bristow, Tom; DesMarais, David; Achilles, Cherie; Anderson, Robert; Crips, Joy; Morookian, John Michael; Spanovich, Nicole; Vasavada, Ashwin; hide

    2013-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity uses a Co tube source and a CCD detector to acquire mineralogy from diffracted primary X-rays and chemical information from fluoresced X-rays. CheMin has been operating at the MSL Gale Crater field site since August 5, 2012 and has provided the first X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses in situ on a body beyond Earth. Data from the first sample collected, the Rocknest eolian soil, identify a basaltic mineral suite, predominantly plagioclase (approx.An50), forsteritic olivine (approx.Fo58), augite and pigeonite, consistent with expectation that detrital grains on Mars would reflect widespread basaltic sources. Minor phases (each XRD. This amorphous component is attested to by a broad rise in background centered at approx.27deg 2(theta) (Co K(alpha)) and may include volcanic glass, impact glass, and poorly crystalline phases including iron oxyhydroxides; a rise at lower 2(theta) may indicate allophane or hisingerite. Constraints from phase chemistry of the crystalline components, compared with a Rocknest bulk composition from the APXS instrument on Curiosity, indicate that in sum the amorphous or poorly crystalline components are relatively Si, Al, Mg-poor and enriched in Ti, Cr, Fe, K, P, S, and Cl. All of the identified crystalline phases are volatile-free; H2O, SO2 and CO2 volatile releases from a split of this sample analyzed by the SAM instrument on Curiosity are associated with the amorphous or poorly ordered materials. The Rocknest eolian soil may be a mixture of local detritus, mostly crystalline, with a regional or global set of dominantly amorphous or poorly ordered components. The Rocknest sample was targeted by MSL for "first time analysis" to demonstrate that a loose deposit could be scooped, sieved to <150 microns, and delivered to instruments in the body of the rover. A drilled sample of sediment in outcrop is anticipated. At the time of writing this abstract, promising outcrops are

  15. The Raman Laser Spectrometer for the ExoMars Rover Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rull, Fernando; Maurice, Sylvestre; Hutchinson, Ian; Moral, Andoni; Perez, Carlos; Diaz, Carlos; Colombo, Maria; Belenguer, Tomas; Lopez-Reyes, Guillermo; Sansano, Antonio; Forni, Olivier; Parot, Yann; Striebig, Nicolas; Woodward, Simon; Howe, Chris; Tarcea, Nicolau; Rodriguez, Pablo; Seoane, Laura; Santiago, Amaia; Rodriguez-Prieto, Jose A.; Medina, Jesús; Gallego, Paloma; Canchal, Rosario; Santamaría, Pilar; Ramos, Gonzalo; Vago, Jorge L.; RLS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) on board the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission will provide precise identification of the mineral phases and the possibility to detect organics on the Red Planet. The RLS will work on the powdered samples prepared inside the Pasteur analytical suite and collected on the surface and subsurface by a drill system. Raman spectroscopy is a well-known analytical technique based on the inelastic scattering by matter of incident monochromatic light (the Raman effect) that has many applications in laboratory and industry, yet to be used in space applications. Raman spectrometers will be included in two Mars rovers scheduled to be launched in 2020. The Raman instrument for ExoMars 2020 consists of three main units: (1) a transmission spectrograph coupled to a CCD detector; (2) an electronics box, including the excitation laser that controls the instrument functions; and (3) an optical head with an autofocus mechanism illuminating and collecting the scattered light from the spot under investigation. The optical head is connected to the excitation laser and the spectrometer by optical fibers. The instrument also has two targets positioned inside the rover analytical laboratory for onboard Raman spectral calibration. The aim of this article was to present a detailed description of the RLS instrument, including its operation on Mars. To verify RLS operation before launch and to prepare science scenarios for the mission, a simulator of the sample analysis chain has been developed by the team. The results obtained are also discussed. Finally, the potential of the Raman instrument for use in field conditions is addressed. By using a ruggedized prototype, also developed by our team, a wide range of terrestrial analog sites across the world have been studied. These investigations allowed preparing a large collection of real, in situ spectra of samples from different geological processes and periods of Earth evolution. On this basis, we are working

  16. Exploration of Mars with the ChemCam LIBS Instrument and the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012, and has been exploring the planet ever since. Dr. Horton E. Newsom will discuss the MSL's design and main goal, which is to characterize past environments that may have been conducive to the evolution and sustainability of life. He will also discuss Curiosity's science payload, and remote sensing, analytical capabilities, and direct discoveries of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument, which is the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) to operate on another planetary surface and determine the chemistry of the rocks and soils.

  17. Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. Volumes & Issues. Volume 128. Issue 1. Mar 2018; Issue 2. Apr 2018. Volume 127. Issue 1. Feb 2017; Issue 2. Apr 2017; Issue 3. Jun 2017; Issue 4. Sep 2017; Issue 5. Nov 2017. Volume 126. Issue 1. Feb 2016; Issue 2

  18. MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR RAW DATA SET - CRUISE V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) Raw Data Archive (RDA) is a time-ordered collection of raw and partially processed data collected during the MGS...

  19. Rock Formation and Cosmic Radiation Exposure Ages in Gale Crater Mudstones from the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Farley, Ken; Malespin, Charles; Gellert, Ralph; Grotzinger, John

    2014-05-01

    The quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been utilized to secure abundances of 3He, 21Ne, 36Ar, and 40Ar thermally evolved from the mudstone in the stratified Yellowknife Bay formation in Gale Crater. As reported by Farley et al. [1] these measurements of cosmogenic and radiogenic noble gases together with Cl and K abundances measured by MSL's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer enable a K-Ar rock formation age of 4.21+0.35 Ga to be established as well as a surface exposure age to cosmic radiation of 78+30 Ma. Understanding surface exposures to cosmic radiation is relevant to the MSL search for organic compounds since even the limited set of studies carried out, to date, indicate that even 10's to 100's of millions of years of near surface (1-3 meter) exposure may transform a significant fraction of the organic compounds exposed to this radiation [2,3,4]. Transformation of potential biosignatures and even loss of molecular structural information in compounds that could point to exogenous or endogenous sources suggests a new paradigm in the search for near surface organics that incorporates a search for the most recently exposed outcrops through erosional processes. The K-Ar rock formation age determination shows promise for more precise in situ measurements that may help calibrate the martian cratering record that currently relies on extrapolation from the lunar record with its ground truth chronology with returned samples. We will discuss the protocol for the in situ noble gas measurements secured with SAM and ongoing studies to optimize these measurements using the SAM testbed. References: [1] Farley, K.A.M Science Magazine, 342, (2013). [2] G. Kminek et al., Earth Planet Sc Lett 245, 1 (2006). [3] Dartnell, L.R., Biogeosciences 4, 545 (2007). [4] Pavlov, A. A., et al. Geophys Res Lett 39, 13202 (2012).

  20. 78 FR 34384 - The President's Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-04; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 19] The President's Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting Notice. SUMMARY: The...

  1. 78 FR 45200 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-26

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-06; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 22] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting Notice. SUMMARY: The...

  2. 78 FR 38042 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-25

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice--MK-2013-05; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 20] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting; Correction AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting notice...

  3. 78 FR 52531 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-23

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-07; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 24] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting Notice. SUMMARY: The...

  4. 78 FR 55079 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-09

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-08; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 27] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meetings AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting notice. SUMMARY: The...

  5. 78 FR 64942 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-30

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-10; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 32] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office of Government-Wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting notice. SUMMARY: The...

  6. CO2 Insulation for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Karlmann, Paul; Anderson, Kevin; Novak, Keith

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sending a large (>850 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars in 2011. The rover's primary power source is a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) that generates roughly 2000 W of heat, which is converted to approximately 110 W of electrical power for use by the rover electronics, science instruments, and mechanism-actuators. The large rover size and extreme thermal environments (cold and hot) for which the rover is designed for led to a sophisticated thermal control system to keep it within allowable temperature limits. The pre-existing Martian atmosphere of low thermal conductivity CO2 gas (8 Torr) is used to thermally protect the rover and its components from the extremely cold Martian environment (temperatures as low as -130 deg C). Conventional vacuum based insulation like Multi Layer Insulation (MLI) is not effective in a gaseous atmosphere, so engineered gaps between the warm rover internal components and the cold rover external structure were employed to implement this thermal isolation. Large gaps would lead to more thermal isolation, but would also require more of the precious volume available within the rover. Therefore, a balance of the degree of thermal isolation achieved vs. the volume of rover utilized is required to reach an acceptable design. The temperature differences between the controlled components and the rover structure vary from location to location so each gap has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to arrive at an optimal thickness. For every configuration and temperature difference, there is a critical thickness below which the heat transfer mechanism is dominated by simple gaseous thermal conduction. For larger gaps, the mechanism is dominated by natural convection. In general, convection leads to a poorer level of thermal isolation as compared to conduction. All these considerations play important roles in the

  7. Mimicking Mars: a vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobrado, J M; Martín-Soler, J; Martín-Gago, J A

    2014-03-01

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10(-6) mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.

  8. Mars Ascent Vehicle-Propellant Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankanich, John; Rousseau, Jeremy; Williams, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    This project is to develop and test a new propellant formulation specifically for the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) for the robotic Mars Sample Return mission. The project was initiated under the Planetary Sciences Division In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program and is continuing under the Mars Exploration Program. The two-stage, solid motor-based MAV has been the leading MAV solution for more than a decade. Additional studies show promise for alternative technologies including hybrid and bipropellant options, but the solid motor design has significant propellant density advantages well suited for physical constraints imposed while using the SkyCrane descent stage. The solid motor concept has lower specific impulse (Isp) than alternatives, but if the first stage and payload remain sufficiently small, the two-stage solid MAV represents a potential low risk approach to meet the mission needs. As the need date for the MAV slips, opportunities exist to advance technology with high on-ramp potential. The baseline propellant for the MAV is currently the carboxyl terminated polybutadiene (CTPB) based formulation TP-H-3062 due to its advantageous low temperature mechanical properties and flight heritage. However, the flight heritage is limited and outside the environments, the MAV must endure. The ISPT program competed a propellant formulation project with industry and selected ATK to develop a new propellant formulation specifically for the MAV application. Working with ATK, a large number of propellant formulations were assessed to either increase performance of a CTPB propellant or improve the low temperature mechanical properties of a hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) propellant. Both propellants demonstrated potential to increase performance over heritage options, but an HTPB propellant formulation, TP-H-3544, was selected for production and testing. The test plan includes propellant aging first at high vacuum conditions, representative of the Mars transit

  9. Feeding People's Curiosity: Leveraging the Cloud for Automatic Dissemination of Mars Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, David; Powell, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Smartphones and tablets have made wireless computing ubiquitous, and users expect instant, on-demand access to information. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) operations software suite, MSL InterfaCE (MSLICE), employs a different back-end image processing architecture compared to that of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) in order to better satisfy modern consumer-driven usage patterns and to offer greater server-side flexibility. Cloud services are a centerpiece of the server-side architecture that allows new image data to be delivered automatically to both scientists using MSLICE and the general public through the MSL website (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/).

  10. The telecom reform process in Europe and the upcoming challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henten, Anders

    2013-01-01

    of the whole information communications technology (ICT) area requiring new policy and regulatory answers. Originality/value – The paper provides a brief introduction to the European telecommunication reform process, its achievements, present challenges, and the policy responses of the European Union......Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief introduction to the telecommunication reform process in Europe, its status, and upcoming policy issues. Furthermore, it also aims to provide an overview of the papers in this special issue. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides...

  11. PDS4 vs PDS3 - A Comparison of PDS Data for Two Mars Rovers - Existing Mars Curiosity Mission Mass Spectrometer (SAM) PDS3 Data vs Future ExoMars Rover Mass Spectrometer (MOMA) PDS4 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyness, E.; Franz, H. B.; Prats, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument is a suite of instruments on Mars aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Centered on a mass spectrometer, SAM delivers its data to the PDS Atmosphere's node in PDS3 format. Over five years on Mars the process of operating SAM has evolved and extended significantly from the plan in place at the time the PDS3 delivery specification was written. For instance, SAM commonly receives double or even triple sample aliquots from the rover's drill. SAM also stores samples in spare cups for long periods of time for future analysis. These unanticipated operational changes mean that the PDS data deliveries are absent some valuable metadata without which the data can be confusing. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) instrument is another suite of instruments centered on a mass spectrometer bound for Mars. MOMA is part of the European ExoMars rover mission schedule to arrive on Mars in 2021. While SAM and MOMA differ in some important scientific ways - MOMA uses an linear ion trap compared to the SAM quadropole mass spectrometer and MOMA has a laser desorption experiment that SAM lacks - the data content from the PDS point of view is comparable. Both instruments produce data containing mass spectra acquired from solid samples collected on the surface of Mars. The MOMA PDS delivery will make use of PDS4 improvements to provide a metadata context to the data. The MOMA PDS4 specification makes few assumptions of the operational processes. Instead it provides a means for the MOMA operators to provide the important contextual metadata that was unanticipated during specification development. Further, the software tools being developed for instrument operators will provide a means for the operators to add this crucial metadata at the time it is best know - during operations.

  12. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: an upcoming era of research on bio-meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, C. E.; Sands, D. C.; Bardin, M.; Jaenicke, R.; Vogel, B.; Leyronas, C.; Ariya, P. A.; Psenner, R.

    2008-01-01

    For the past 200 years, the field of aerobiology has explored the abundance, diversity, survival and transport of micro-organisms in the atmosphere. Micro-organisms have been explored as passive and severely stressed riders of atmospheric transport systems. Recently, an interest in the active roles of these micro-organisms has emerged along with proposals that the atmosphere is a global biome for microbial metabolic activity and perhaps even multiplication. As part of a series of papers on the sources, distribution and roles in atmospheric processes of biological particles in the atmosphere, here we describe the pertinence of questions relating to the potential roles that air-borne micro-organisms might play in meteorological phenomena. For the upcoming era of research on the role of air-borne micro-organisms in meteorological phenomena, one important challenge is to go beyond descriptions of abundance of micro-organisms in the atmosphere toward an understanding of their dynamics in terms of both biological and physico-chemical properties and of the relevant transport processes at different scales. Another challenge is to develop this understanding under contexts pertinent to their potential role in processes related to atmospheric chemistry, the formation of clouds, precipitation and radiative forcing. This will require truly interdisciplinary approaches involving collaborators from the biological and physical sciences, from disciplines as disparate as agronomy, microbial genetics and atmosphere physics, for example.

  13. Using Planning, Scheduling and Execution for Autonomous Mars Rover Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, Tara A.; Gaines, Daniel M.; Chouinard, Caroline M.; Fisher, Forest W.; Castano, Rebecca; Judd, Michele J.; Nesnas, Issa A.

    2006-01-01

    With each new rover mission to Mars, rovers are traveling significantly longer distances. This distance increase raises not only the opportunities for science data collection, but also amplifies the amount of environment and rover state uncertainty that must be handled in rover operations. This paper describes how planning, scheduling and execution techniques can be used onboard a rover to autonomously generate and execute rover activities and in particular to handle new science opportunities that have been identified dynamically. We also discuss some of the particular challenges we face in supporting autonomous rover decision-making. These include interaction with rover navigation and path-planning software and handling large amounts of uncertainty in state and resource estimations. Finally, we describe our experiences in testing this work using several Mars rover prototypes in a realistic environment.

  14. Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. José M Sigarreta. Articles written in Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences. Volume 120 Issue 5 November 2010 pp 593-609. Gromov Hyperbolicity in Cartesian Product Graphs · Junior Michel José M Rodríguez José M Sigarreta María Villeta · More Details Abstract ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. 78 FR 35272 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-12

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-05; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence 20] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: M eeting notice. SUMMARY: The...

  17. 78 FR 69416 - The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-19

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2013-11; Docket No. 2013-0002; Sequence No. 36] The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office of Government-Wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). ACTION: Meeting Notice. SUMMARY: The...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  19. The Mars 2020 Rover Mission: EISD Participation in Mission Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A. S.; Ross, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 Rover mission will search for potential biosignatures on the martian surface, use new techniques to search for and identify tracelevel organics, and prepare a cache of samples for potential return to Earth. Identifying trace organic compounds is an important tenet of searching for potential biosignatures. Previous landed missions have experienced difficulty identifying unambiguously martian, unaltered organic compounds, possibly because any organic species have been destroyed on heating in the presence of martian perchlorates and/or other oxidants. The SHERLOC instrument on Mars 2020 will use ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy to identify trace organic compounds without heating the samples.

  20. The Get Going to Mars campaign: an outreach experiment in art, literacy, and science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfrow, S.; Mason, T.; Christofferson, R.

    2013-12-01

    The 6-month Going to Mars campaign brought crowdsourcing to the next NASA Mars mission: a student art contest flooded us in the colorful imagination of children; a haiku contest gave us poetry about dunes and ice caps, love, humor, and our place in the universe; and a send-your-name activity connected MAVEN with tens of thousands of people. In this discussion, we'll dive into the statistics (1+ million page views, 15,000+ message submissions, 375+ art entries), the individual winners from small-town USA and across the globe, and the dirt and grit that made the Going to Mars campaign come alive. View the archived site at http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/goingtomars.

  1. Image Quality Assessment of JPEG Compressed Mars Science Laboratory Mastcam Images using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerner, H. R.; Bell, J. F., III; Ben Amor, H.

    2017-12-01

    The Mastcam color imaging system on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover acquires images within Gale crater for a variety of geologic and atmospheric studies. Images are often JPEG compressed before being downlinked to Earth. While critical for transmitting images on a low-bandwidth connection, this compression can result in image artifacts most noticeable as anomalous brightness or color changes within or near JPEG compression block boundaries. In images with significant high-frequency detail (e.g., in regions showing fine layering or lamination in sedimentary rocks), the image might need to be re-transmitted losslessly to enable accurate scientific interpretation of the data. The process of identifying which images have been adversely affected by compression artifacts is performed manually by the Mastcam science team, costing significant expert human time. To streamline the tedious process of identifying which images might need to be re-transmitted, we present an input-efficient neural network solution for predicting the perceived quality of a compressed Mastcam image. Most neural network solutions require large amounts of hand-labeled training data for the model to learn the target mapping between input (e.g. distorted images) and output (e.g. quality assessment). We propose an automatic labeling method using joint entropy between a compressed and uncompressed image to avoid the need for domain experts to label thousands of training examples by hand. We use automatically labeled data to train a convolutional neural network to estimate the probability that a Mastcam user would find the quality of a given compressed image acceptable for science analysis. We tested our model on a variety of Mastcam images and found that the proposed method correlates well with image quality perception by science team members. When assisted by our proposed method, we estimate that a Mastcam investigator could reduce the time spent reviewing images by a minimum of 70%.

  2. EU-FP7-iMARS: analysis of Mars multi-resolution images using auto-coregistration, data mining and crowd source techniques: A Mid-term Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, J.-P.; Yershov, V.; Sidiropoulos, P.; Gwinner, K.; Willner, K.; Fanara, L.; Waelisch, M.; van Gasselt, S.; Walter, S.; Ivanov, A.; Cantini, F.; Morley, J. G.; Sprinks, J.; Giordano, M.; Wardlaw, J.; Kim, J.-R.; Chen, W.-T.; Houghton, R.; Bamford, S.

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the role of different solid surface formation processes within our Solar System is one of the fundamental goals of planetary science research. There has been a revolution in planetary surface observations over the last 8 years, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape (down to resolutions of 10s of cms) and subsequent terrain correction of imagery from orbiting spacecraft. This has led to the potential to be able to overlay different epochs back to the mid-1970s. Within iMars, a processing system has been developed to generate 3D Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and corresponding OrthoRectified Images (ORIs) fully automatically from NASA MRO HiRISE and CTX stereo-pairs which are coregistered to corresponding HRSC ORI/DTMs. In parallel, iMars has developed a fully automated processing chain for co-registering level-1 (EDR) images from all previous NASA orbital missions to these HRSC ORIs and in the case of HiRISE these are further co-registered to previously co-registered CTX-to-HRSC ORIs. Examples will be shown of these multi-resolution ORIs and the application of different data mining algorithms to change detection using these co-registered images. iMars has recently launched a citizen science experiment to evaluate best practices for future citizen scientist validation of such data mining processed results. An example of the iMars website will be shown along with an embedded Version 0 prototype of a webGIS based on OGC standards.

  3. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life beyond Earth illustrates how the charters of NASA and the National Park Service share common ground. The mission of NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. NASA's Astrobiology program seeks to understand the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, and it abides by the principles of planetary stewardship, public outreach, and education. We cannot subject planetary exploration destinations to Earthly biological contamination both for ethical reasons and to preserve their scientific value for astrobiology. We respond to the public's interest in the mysteries of life and the cosmos by honoring their desire to participate in the process of discovery. We involve youth in order to motivate career choices in science and technology and to perpetuate space exploration. The search for evidence of past life on Mars illustrates how the missions of NASA and NPS can become synergistic. Volcanic activity occurs on all rocky planets in our Solar System and beyond, and it frequently interacts with water to create hydrothermal systems. On Earth these systems are oases for microbial life. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has found evidence of extinct hydrothermal system in Gusev crater, Mars. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a pristine laboratory for investigating how microorganisms can both thrive and leave evidence of their former presence in hydrothermal systems. NASA scientists, NPS interpretation personnel and teachers can collaborate on field-oriented programs that enhance Mars mission planning, engage students and the public in science and technology, and emphasize the ethics of responsible exploration.

  4. Anaesthetic Considerations of Awake Craniotomy: An Upcoming Entity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jui Lagoo

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Awake craniotomy was historically advocated for resistant epilepsy surgery. Presently, its role has widened for resection of lesions abutting or invading the eloquent cortex. It aims at maximizing resection while minimizing neurological damage. Anaesthetic challenges include providing sufficient depth of anaesthesia, full cooperation and consciousness during cortical mapping, smooth transition between anaesthesia and consciousness, airway protection, haemodynamic stability, patient immobility and co-operation. Communication and co-operation between the patient and surgical and anaesthesia teams is vital. We report safe conduct of monitored anaesthesia care by the combined use of dexmedetomidine and scalp nerve blocks for tumour resection. This technique ensured haemodynamic stability, decreased stress response to painful stimuli and improved patient tolerance. As awake craniotomy is an upcoming technique, knowledge about anaesthetic implications, challenges and techniques will help in optimum management.

  5. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  6. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

  7. 78 FR 64500 - World War One Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-29

    ... One Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: World War One Centennial Commission. ACTION: Meeting notice. SUMMARY: Notice of this meeting is being provided according to... the schedule and agenda for the November 15, 2013, meeting of the World War One Centennial Commission...

  8. MetBaro - Pressure Instrument for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  9. NASA's New Mars Exploration Program: The Trajectory of Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.; Figueroa, Orlando; Naderi, Firouz M.

    2001-12-01

    NASA's newly restructured Mars Exploration Program (MEP) is finally on the way to Mars with the successful April 7 launch of the 2001 Mars Odyssey Orbiter. In addition, the announcement by the Bush Administration that the exploration of Mars will be a priority within NASA's Office of Space Science further cements the first decade of the new millennium as one of the major thrusts to understand the "new" Mars. Over the course of the past year and a half, an integrated team of managers, scientists, and engineers has crafted a revamped MEP to respond to the scientific as well as management and resource challenges associated with deep space exploration of the Red Planet. This article describes the new program from the perspective of its guiding philosophies, major events, and scientific strategy. It is intended to serve as a roadmap to the next 10-15 years of Mars exploration from the NASA viewpoint. [For further details, see the Mars Exploration Program web site (URL): http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov]. The new MEP will certainly evolve in response to discoveries, to successes, and potentially to setbacks as well. However, the design of the restructured strategy is attentive to risks, and a major attempt to instill resiliency in the program has been adopted. Mars beckons, and the next decade of exploration should provide the impetus for a follow-on decade in which multiple sample returns and other major program directions are executed. Ultimately the vision to consider the first human scientific expeditions to the Red Planet will be enabled. By the end of the first decade of this program, we may know where and how to look for the elusive clues associated with a possible martian biological record, if any was every preserved, even if only as "chemical fossils."

  10. A New Generation of Telecommunications for Mars: The Reconfigurable Software Radio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, J.; Horne, W.

    2000-01-01

    Telecommunications is a critical component for any mission at Mars as it is an enabling function that provides connectivity back to Earth and provides a means for conducting science. New developments in telecommunications, specifically in software - configurable radios, expand the possible approaches for science missions at Mars. These radios provide a flexible and re-configurable platform that can evolve with the mission and that provide an integrated approach to communications and science data processing. Deep space telecommunication faces challenges not normally faced by terrestrial and near-earth communications. Radiation, thermal, highly constrained mass, volume, packaging and reliability all are significant issues. Additionally, once the spacecraft leaves earth, there is no way to go out and upgrade or replace radio components. The reconfigurable software radio is an effort to provide not only a product that is immediately usable in the harsh space environment but also to develop a radio that will stay current as the years pass and technologies evolve.

  11. 77 FR 12841 - The President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-02

    ... for the implementation of best business practices to improve Federal Government management and... performance management, Senior Executive Service (SES) leadership development and SES performance appraisal... President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY...

  12. Geographies of Mars seeing and knowing the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Lane, K Maria D

    2010-01-01

    One of the first maps of Mars, published by an Italian astronomer in 1877, with its pattern of canals, fueled belief in intelligent life forms on the distant red planet-a hope that continued into the 1960s. Although the Martian canals have long since been dismissed as a famous error in the history of science, K. Maria D. Lane argues that there was nothing accidental about these early interpretations. Indeed, she argues, the construction of Mars as an incomprehensibly complex and engineered world both reflected and challenged dominant geopolitical themes during a time of majo

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Rossi, A.

    2009-04-01

    HIRISE image processing in the existing data processing pipeline and improve it at the same time. Currently the workflow is not finished: DEM units are relative and are not in elevation. We have been able to derive successful DEMs from CTX data Becquerel [14] and Crommelin craters as well as for some areas in the North Polar Layered Terrain. Due to its tremendous resolution HIRISE data showing great surface detail, hence allowing better correlation than other sensors considered in this work. In all cases DEM were showing considerable potential for exploration of terrain characteristics. Next steps include cross validation results with DEM produced by other teams and sensors (HRSC [6], HIRISE [7]) and providing elevation in terms of absolute height over a MOLA areoid. MRO imaging data allows us an unprecedented look at Martian terrain. This work provides a step forward derivation of DEM from HIRISE and CTX datasets and currently undergoing validation vs. other existing datasets. We will present our latest results for layering structures in both North and South Polar Layered deposits as well as layered structures inside Becquerel and Crommelin craters. Digital Elevation models derived from the CTX sensor can also be utilized effectively as a input for clutter reduction models, which are in turn used for the ground penetrating SHARAD instrument [13]. References. [1] R. Arvidson, et al. Mars exploration program 2007 phoenix landing site selection and characteristics. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 113, JUN 19 2008. [2] M. Golombek, et al. Assessment of mars exploration rover landing site predictions. Nature, 436(7047):44-48, JUL 7 2005. [3] K. E. Herkenhoff, et al. Meter-scale morphology of the north polar region of mars. Science, 317(5845):1711-1715, SEP 21 2007. [4] A. B. Ivanov. Ten-Meter Scale Topography and Roughness of Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Sites and Martian Polar Regions. volume 34 of Lunar and Planetary Inst. Technical Report, pages 2084-+, Mar

  14. The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Christopher R.; Conrad, Pamela G.; Arvey, Robert; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Chalmers, Robert A.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Errigo, Therese; hide

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) addresses the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere and volatiles extracted from solid samples. The SAM investigation is designed to contribute substantially to the mission goal of quantitatively assessing the habitability of Mars as an essential step in the search for past or present life on Mars. SAM is a 40 kg instrument suite located in the interior of MSL's Curiosity rover. The SAM instruments are a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and a 6-column gas chromatograph all coupled through solid and gas processing systems to provide complementary information on the same samples. The SAM suite is able to measure a suite of light isotopes and to analyze volatiles directly from the atmosphere or thermally released from solid samples. In addition to measurements of simple inorganic compounds and noble gases SAM will conduct a sensitive search for organic compounds with either thermal or chemical extraction from sieved samples delivered by the sample processing system on the Curiosity rover's robotic arm,

  15. 77 FR 38065 - The President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-26

    ... for the implementation of best business practices to improve Federal Government management and... management, IT vendor performance management, Senior Executive Service (SES) leadership development and SES... President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY...

  16. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    mobilize and redistribute volatile reservoirs both on and below the surface. And for Mars, these variations are large. In the past 20 My, for example, the obliquity is believed to have varied from a low of 15° to a high of 45° with a regular oscillation time scale of ~10^5 years. These variations are typically less than two degrees on the Earth. Mars, therefore, offers a natural laboratory for the study of orbitally induced climate change on a terrestrial planet. Finally, general circulation models (GCMs) for Mars have reached a level of sophistication that justifies their application to the study of spin axis/orbitally forced climate change. With recent advances in computer technology the models can run at reasonable spatial resolution for many Mars years with physics packages that include cloud microphysics, radiative transfer in scattering/absorbing atmospheres, surface heat budgets, boundary layer schemes, and a host of other processes. To be sure, the models will undergo continual improvement, but with carefully designed experiments they can now provide insights into mechanisms of climate change in the recent past. Thus, the geologic record is better preserved, the forcing function is large, and GCMs have become useful tools. While research efforts in each of these areas have progressed considerably over the past several decades, they have proceeded mostly on independent paths occasionally leading to conflicting ideas. To remedy this situation and accelerate progress in the area, the NASA/Ames Research Center's Mars General Circulation Modeling Group hosted a 3-day workshop on May 15-17, 2012 that brought together the geological and atmospheric science communities to collectively discuss the evidence for recent climate change on Mars, the nature of the change required, and how that change could be brought about. Over 50 researchers, students, and post-docs from the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan attended the meeting. The program and abstracts from the workshop are

  17. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Using Planetary Exploration To Enrich STEM Teaching In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Dominey, W.; Kapral, A.; Carlson, C.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2011-12-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The program culminates in a capstone event held at the University of Houston (or other central location in the other communities that will be involved

  18. Mars Global Surveyor Radio Science Electron Density Profiles: Interannual Variability and Implications for the Neutral Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.; Engel, S.; Hinson, D. P.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) experiment employs an ultrastable oscillator aboard the spacecraft. The signal from the oscillator to Earth is refracted by the Martian ionosphere, allowing retrieval of electron density profiles versus radius and geopotential. The present analysis is carried out on five sets of occultation measurements: (1) four obtained near northern summer solstice (Ls = 74-116, near aphelion) at high northern latitudes (64.7-77.6N), and (2) one set of profiles approaching equinox conditions (Ls = 135- 146) at high southern latitudes (64.7-69.1S). Electron density profiles (95 to 200 km) are examined over a narrow range of solar zenith angles (76.5-86.9 degrees) for local true solar times of (1) 3-4 hours and (2) 12.1 hours. Variations spanning 1-Martian year are specifically examined in the Northern hemisphere.

  19. The Antarctic permafrost as a testbed for REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station-Mars Science Laboratory)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, B.; Ramos, M.; Sebastián, E.; Armiens, C.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Cabos, W.; de Pablo, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    The present climatic characteristics of Mars favor the presence of extense permafrost areas in this lonely planet. Therefore environmental parameters that are included in Martian Rover missions are also used for monitoring thermal soil surface evolution in order to study the permafrost active layer thickness and the energy balance in the soil-atmosphere boundary limit layer. The REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) is an environmental station designed by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB- Spain) with the collaboration of national and international partners (CRISA/EADS, UPC and FMI), which is part of the payload of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) NASA mission to Mars (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/overview/). This mission is expected to be launched in the final months of 2009, and mainly consists of a Rover, with a complete set of scientific instruments; the Rover will carry the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. Five sensors compose the REMS instrument: ground (GT-REMS) and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, pressure, humidity and ultraviolet radiation (UV-REMS). A simplified setup of the REMS was deployed on Antarctica in the surroundings of the Spanish Antarctic Stations on Livingston and Deception Islands (Maritime Antarctica), where the permafrost distribution is well-known. The aim of the experiment was to check REMS's sensors response against hard environmental conditions and calibrates their measures with standard Antarctic devices. The experimental apparatuses included some standard meteorological and thermopiles sensors corresponding to the REMS. All the sensors are mounted in a 1.8 m mast and include a Pt100 air temperature sensor with shield solar protection on the mast top, a Kipp and Zonnen CNR1 net radiometer for measuring infrared (5-50 μm) and short wave solar (305-2800 nm) radiation at 1.5 m high, GT-REMS sensor and its amplification box at 0.7 m high and finally

  20. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars: NRC Community Panel Decadal Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2002-12-01

    A report was completed recently by a Community Panel for the NRC Decadal Study of Solar System Exploration. The desire was for a review of the current state of knowledge and for recommendations for action over the next decade. The topic of this panel, Terrestrial Analogs to Mars, was chosen to bring attention to the need for an increase in analog studies in support of the increased pace of Mars exploration. It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all of these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the overarching science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel considered the issues of data collection and archiving, value of field workshops, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities. Parts of this work were performed under contract to NASA.

  1. International Earth Science Constellation (ESC) Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guit, William J.; Machado, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    This is the Welcome and Introduction presentation for the International Earth Science Constellation (ESC) Mission Operations Working Group (MOWG) meeting held in Albuquerque NM from September 27-29. It contains an org chart, charter, history, significant topics to be discussed, AquaAura 2017 inclination adjust maneuver calendar, a-train long range plans, upcoming events, and action items.

  2. Mechanically-Deployed Hypersonic Decelerator and Conformal Ablator Technologies for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Wercinski, Paul F.; Beck, Robin A. S.; Hamm, Kenneth R.; Yount, Bryan C.; Makino, A.; Smith, B.; Gage, P.; Prabhu, D.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of a mechanically deployable hypersonic decelerator, developed initially for high mass (40 MT) human Mars missions, is currently funded by OCT for technology maturation. The ADEPT (Adaptive, Deployable Entry and Placement Technology) project has broad, game-changing applicability to in situ science missions to Venus, Mars, and the Outer Planets. Combined with maturation of conformal ablator technology (another current OCT investment), the two technologies provide unique low mass mission enabling capabilities otherwise not achievable by current rigid aeroshell or by inflatables. If this abstract is accepted, we will present results that illustrate the mission enabling capabilities of the mechanically deployable architecture for: (1) robotic Mars (Discovery or New Frontiers class) in the near term; (2) alternate approaches to landing MSL-class payloads, without the need for supersonic parachute or lifting entry, in the mid-term; and (3) Heavy mass and human missions to Mars in the long term.

  3. MetHumi - Humidity Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  4. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    built by group of scientific institutes from all over Europe, plus Russia, the United States, Japan and China. These instruments are a subsurface sounding radar; a high-resolution camera, several surface and atmospheric spectrometers, a plasma analyzer and a radio science experiment. The high-resolution camera will image the entire planet in full colour, in 3D, at a resolution of up to 2 metres in selected areas. One of the spectrometers will map the mineral composition of the surface with great accuracy. The missing water Data from some of the instruments will be key to finding out what happened with the water which was apparently so abundant in the past. For instance, the radar altimeter will search for subsurface water and ice, down to a depth of a few kilometres. Scientists expect to find a layer of ice or permafrost, and to measure its thickness. Other observations with the spectrometers will determine the amount of water remaining in the atmosphere. They will also tell whether there is a still a full ‘water cycle’ on Mars, for example how water is deposited in the poles and how it evaporates, depending on the seasons. "These data will determine how much water there is left. We have clear evidence for the presence of water in the past, we have seen dry river beds and sedimentary layers, and there is also evidence for water on present-day Mars. But we do not know how much water there is. Mars Express will tell us,” says Chicarro. The search for life The instruments on board Beagle 2 will investigate the geology and the climate of the landing site. But, above all, it will look for signs of life. Contrary to the Viking missions, Mars Express will search for evidence for both present and past life. Scientists are now more aware that a few biological experiments are not enough to search for life - they will combine many different types of tests to help discard contradictory results. To ‘sniff’ out direct evidence of past or present biological activity, Beagle

  6. 76 FR 29752 - The President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-23

    ... Management, for the purpose of identifying leading business practices that have the potential to improve...'s Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY: Office...: The President's Management Advisory Board, a Federal Advisory Committee established in accordance with...

  7. Simultaneous Determination of Structure and Event Location Using Body and Surface Wave Measurements at a Single Station: Preparation for Mars Data from the InSight Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, M. P.; Banerdt, W. B.; Beucler, E.; Blanchette-Guertin, J. F.; Boese, M.; Clinton, J. F.; Drilleau, M.; James, S. R.; Kawamura, T.; Khan, A.; Lognonne, P. H.; Mocquet, A.; van Driel, M.

    2015-12-01

    An important challenge for the upcoming InSight mission to Mars, which will deliver a broadband seismic station to Mars along with other geophysical instruments in 2016, is to accurately determine event locations with the use of a single station. Locations are critical for the primary objective of the mission, determining the internal structure of Mars, as well as a secondary objective of measuring the activity of distribution of seismic events. As part of the mission planning process, a variety of techniques have been explored for location of marsquakes and inversion of structure, and preliminary procedures and software are already under development as part of the InSight Mars Quake and Mars Structure Services. One proposed method, involving the use of recordings of multiple-orbit surface waves, has already been tested with synthetic data and Earth recordings. This method has the strength of not requiring an a priori velocity model of Mars for quake location, but will only be practical for larger events. For smaller events where only first orbit surface waves and body waves are observable, other methods are required. In this study, we implement a transdimensional Bayesian inversion approach to simultaneously invert for basic velocity structure and location parameters (epicentral distance and origin time) using only measurements of body wave arrival times and dispersion of first orbit surface waves. The method is tested with synthetic data with expected Mars noise and Earth data for single events and groups of events and evaluated for errors in both location and structural determination, as well as tradeoffs between resolvable parameters and the effect of 3D crustal variations.

  8. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

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

  9. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

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

  10. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  13. Evolved Gas Analyses of the Murray Formation in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Rampe, E. B.; Thompson, L. M.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Stern, J. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D.

    2017-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover has analyzed 13 samples from Gale Crater. All SAM-evolved gas analyses have yielded a multitude of volatiles (e.g., H2O, SO2, H2S, CO2, CO, NO, O2, HCl) [1- 6]. The objectives of this work are to 1) Characterize recent evolved SO2, CO2, O2, and NO gas traces of the Murray formation mudstone, 2) Constrain sediment mineralogy/composition based on SAM evolved gas analysis (SAM-EGA), and 3) Discuss the implications of these results relative to understanding the geological history of Gale Crater.

  14. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard the Mars rover, Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Ravine, M. A.; Caplinger, M. A.; Ghaemi, F. T.; Schaffner, J. A.; Malin, M. C.; Baker, J. M.; Dibiase, D. R.; Laramee, J.; Maki, J. N.; Willson, R. G.; Bell, J. F., III; Cameron, J. F.; Dietrich, W. E.; Edwards, L. J.; Hallet, B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Heydari, E.; Kah, L. C.; Lemmon, M. T.; Minitti, M. E.; Olson, T. S.; Parker, T. J.; Rowland, S. K.; Schieber, J.; Sullivan, R. J.; Sumner, D. Y.; Thomas, P. C.; Yingst, R. A.

    2009-08-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, is expected to land on Mars in 2012. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will be used to document martian rocks and regolith with a 2-megapixel RGB color CCD camera with a focusable macro lens mounted on an instrument-bearing turret on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The flight MAHLI can focus on targets at working distances of 20.4 mm to infinity. At 20.4 mm, images have a pixel scale of 13.9 μm/pixel. The pixel scale at 66 mm working distance is about the same (31 μm/pixel) as that of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Microscopic Imager (MI). MAHLI camera head placement is dependent on the capabilities of the MSL robotic arm, the design for which presently has a placement uncertainty of ~20 mm in 3 dimensions; hence, acquisition of images at the minimum working distance may be challenging. The MAHLI consists of 3 parts: a camera head, a Digital Electronics Assembly (DEA), and a calibration target. The camera head and DEA are connected by a JPL-provided cable which transmits data, commands, and power. JPL is also providing a contact sensor. The camera head will be mounted on the rover's robotic arm turret, the DEA will be inside the rover body, and the calibration target will be mounted on the robotic arm azimuth motor housing. Camera Head. MAHLI uses a Kodak KAI-2020CM interline transfer CCD (1600 x 1200 active 7.4 μm square pixels with RGB filtered microlenses arranged in a Bayer pattern). The optics consist of a group of 6 fixed lens elements, a movable group of 3 elements, and a fixed sapphire window front element. Undesired near-infrared radiation is blocked using a coating deposited on the inside surface of the sapphire window. The lens is protected by a dust cover with a Lexan window through which imaging can be ac-complished if necessary, and targets can be illuminated by sunlight or two banks of two white light LEDs. Two 365 nm UV LEDs are included to search for fluores-cent materials at night. DEA

  15. Mimicking Mars: A vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2014-03-15

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10{sup −6} mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.

  16. Drilling on the Moon and Mars: Developing the Science Approach for Subsurface Exploration with Human Crews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Zavaleta, J.; Bell, M.; Direto, S.; Foing, B.; Blake, D.; Kim, S.

    2010-01-01

    DOMEX (Drilling on the Moon and Mars in Human Exploration) is using analog missions to develop the approach for using human crews to perform science activities on the Moon and Mars involving exploration and sampling of the subsurface. Subsurface science is an important activity that may be uniquely enabled by human crews. DOMEX provides an opportunity to plan and execute planetary mission science activities without the expense and overhead of a planetary mission. Objectives: The objective of this first in a series of DOMEX missions were to 1) explore the regional area to understand the geologic context and determine stratigraphy and geologic history of various geologic units in the area. 2) Explore for and characterize sites for deploying a deep (10 m depth) drilling system in a subsequent field season. 3) Perform GPR on candidate drill sites. 4) Select sites that represent different geological units deposited in different epochs and collect soil cores using sterile procedures for mineralogical, organic and biological analysis. 5) Operate the MUM in 3 different sites representing different geological units and soil characteristics. 6) Collect rock and soil samples of sites visited and analyze them at the habitat. Results: At mission start the crew performed a regional survey to identify major geologic units that were correlated to recognized stratigraphy and regional geologic maps. Several candidate drill sites were identified. During the rest of the mission, successful GPR surveys were conducted in four locations. Soil cores were collected in 5 locations representing soils from 4 different geologic units, to depths up to 1m. Soil cores from two locations were analyzed with PCR in the laboratory. The remainder were reserved for subsequent analysis. XRD analysis was performed in the habitat and in the field on 39 samples, to assist with sample characterization, conservation, and archiving. MUM was deployed at 3 field locations and 1 test location (outside the

  17. Detection of Organics at Mars: How Wet Chemistry Onboard SAM Helps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, A.; Freissinet, Caroline; Szopa, C.; Glavin, D.; Coll, P.; Cabane, M.; Eigenbrode, J.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Coscia, D.; Teinturier, S.; hide

    2013-01-01

    For the first time in the history of space exploration, a mission of interest to astrobiology could be able to analyze refractory organic compounds in the soil of Mars. Wet chemistry experiment allow organic components to be altered in such a way that improves there detection either by releasing the compounds from sample matricies or by changing the chemical structure to be amenable to analytical conditions. The latter is particular important when polar compounds are present. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), on the Curiosity rover of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, has onboard two wet chemistry experiments: derivatization and thermochemolysis. Here we report on the nature of the MTBSTFA derivatization experiment on SAM, the detection of MTBSTFA in initial SAM results, and the implications of this detection.

  18. CFD Analysis for Assessing the Effect of Wind on the Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, requires a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to 50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 W of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 W. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer. Winds on Mars can be as fast as 15 m/s for extended periods. They can lead to significant heat loss from the MMRTG and the hot plates due to convective heat pick up from these surfaces. Estimation of this convective heat loss cannot be accurately and adequately achieved by simple textbook based calculations because of the very complicated flow fields around these surfaces, which are a function of wind direction and speed. Accurate calculations necessitated the employment of sophisticated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) computer codes. This paper describes the methodology and results of these CFD calculations. Additionally, these results are compared to simple textbook based calculations that served as benchmarks and sanity checks for them. And finally, the overall RHRS system performance predictions will be shared to show how these results affected the overall rover thermal performance.

  19. Implementing planetary protection on the Atlas V fairing and ground systems used to launch the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benardini, James N; La Duc, Myron T; Ballou, David; Koukol, Robert

    2014-01-01

    On November 26, 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket, taking its first step toward exploring the past habitability of Mars' Gale Crater. Because microbial contamination could profoundly impact the integrity of the mission, and compliance with international treaty was a necessity, planetary protection measures were implemented on all MSL hardware to verify that bioburden levels complied with NASA regulations. The cleanliness of the Atlas V payload fairing (PLF) and associated ground support systems used to launch MSL were also evaluated. By applying proper recontamination countermeasures early and often in the encapsulation process, the PLF was kept extremely clean and was shown to pose little threat of recontaminating the enclosed MSL flight system upon launch. Contrary to prelaunch estimates that assumed that the interior PLF spore burden ranged from 500 to 1000 spores/m², the interior surfaces of the Atlas V PLF were extremely clean, housing a mere 4.65 spores/m². Reported here are the practices and results of the campaign to implement and verify planetary protection measures on the Atlas V launch vehicle and associated ground support systems used to launch MSL. All these facilities and systems were very well kept and exceeded the levels of cleanliness and rigor required in launching the MSL payload.

  20. New treatment directions for IPF: current status of ongoing and upcoming clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macagno, Francesco; Varone, Francesco; Leone, Paolo Maria; Mari, Pier-Valerio; Panico, Loredana; Berardini, Ludovica; Richeldi, Luca

    2017-07-01

    The main objective of this review is to explore the wide and expanding field of new clinical trials in IPF. Recent trials have confirmed the efficacy of the approved drugs pirfenidone and nintedanib; nonetheless, the discovery of new biological pathways has opened new horizons in this field. Areas covered: New strategies against matrix deposition are under study and so is for the role of immunity and autoimmunity. Recent advances in the use of stem cells are opening new possibilities for the recovery of damaged lung tissues. The role of microbioma is under investigation in order to evaluate the use of antibiotics in IPF treatment. Analysing all the new and the upcoming clinical trials, we are trying to offer a comprehensive view of the emerging new frontiers in the treatment of IPF. Expert commentary: The key points for the ongoing and upcoming clinical trials will be to avoid previous mistakes and to choose carefully both study populations and efficacy endpoints. The exciting possibility to enrol patients with progressive lung fibrosis, both idiopathic and not, could be a next step forward. How the existing therapies will fit in a futurist scenario of personalized medicine is still a challenge.

  1. fell detail.php3 | php | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Upcoming Refresher Courses. Topology 02 to 14 May, 2018. Ramanujan Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, University of Madras Register Mathematics 11 to 25 June, 2018. Dayanand Science College, Latur (M.S.) Register Experimental Physics 14 to 29 June, 2018. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi

  2. Emotions and Habitability study in Moon Mars Analogue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Alexandre; Lia Schlacht, Irene

    Euro Moon Mars mission have been conducted by students and field researchers in the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) a habitat installed by the Mars Society (MS) in the Utah desert. The campaign was supported by ILEWG International Lunar Exploration Working Group, ESTEC, NASA Ames, and partners. It investigated human aspects of isolation in a Mars analogue base. The project is in line with the ILEWG which coordinates several MDRS missions, and contributes to the preparation of future Mars sample return missions. The objective is to study and improve the habitat dynamics in a closed and small environment. Investigation cover different fields as emotional, sociological and psychological aspects and a food study but also habitability aspects. The study has been conducted by asking to the crew members to perform task and fill in questionnaires before, during and after the simulation. Video recovering, pictures and heart rate counting will also be used. One of the main study subject, conducted by Bernard Rimé, concerns the sharing of emotions in an isolated environ-e ment. Another is "Mars Habitability Experiment", which responsible is Irene Schlacht, will try to determine whether humans need variability of stimuli such as it happens in the natural environment -e.g. seasonal changing -to gain efficiency, reliability and well-being. This study have been conducted from February 19 to April 19 on two crews presenting different aspects that could lead to various behaviours. The first crew is made of people from different countries that don't know each other very well. On the opposite, the second crew members have the same cultural background -they come from the same country, university -and they know each other for at least six months. This allow studying how the extreme conditions of the isolation affect the crew efficiency, creativity and sanity according to its homogeneity. Report on the science and technical results, and implications for Earth-Mars comparative stud

  3. CODE STEM - Moon, Mars, and Beyond; DLESE-Powered On-Line Classroom, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — "CODE (COrps DEvelopment) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) ? Moon Mars and Beyond; DLESE-Powered On-Line Classroom" shares the excitement of...

  4. Using Mars Mission Analogs and Authentic Experiences to Stimulate STEM Learning in K-14 Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, S. L.; Grigsby, B.; Valderrama, P.; Watt, K.

    2005-12-01

    Today, in many of the classrooms across our nation, K-12 educators are finding it more difficult to engage their students in the subjects that will help them to succeed to a more productive way of life - science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Finally, add to this formidable task a diverse set of learners (demographically and skill level) of an average classroom and the constraints of high stakes testing. Quite a challenge, indeed! The Arizona State University (ASU) Mars Education Program, in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Public Engagement Team have created programming, curriculum, and activities that help to bridge the gap between STEM learning and student interest. Starting with the Standards in the STEM areas - the areas which teachers are tasked to teach already, our team has modeled the STEM-based curriculum after the way that NASA's Mars team conducts their work and research. There is much challenge in the statement "Science for All Americans" when it comes to applying it equally to all classrooms across the U.S. To make sure that these curricular materials and hands-on experiences are available to any teacher and student, the ASU Mars Education Program has adopted a "high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech" approach. In other words, materials and programming have to be available and doable with whatever capabilities a classroom might possess. Using this approach, successful examples of Mars-based educational materials include Marsbound and the Mars Student Imaging Project. The Marsbound simulation is based on National Technology Standards and seemingly low tech. However, the simplicity of this simulation is quickly forgotten as it follows the familiar NASA scenario of building a mission to Mars with engineering constraints. Student teams use a set of equipment cards and a playmat (both available at no cost) to build their mission and balance it according to the constraints given. Students soon realize there is a lot of complexity to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  6. Sadhana | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2018-03-14

    Mar 14, 2018 ... Cloud security; network security; anomaly detection; network traffic analysis; DDoS attack detection. ... Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, India; Department of Applied Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology ...

  7. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Tomographic intensity mapping of the HI using the redshifted 21-cm observations opens up a new window towards our understanding of cosmological background evolution and structure formation. This is a key science goal of several upcoming radio telescopes including the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). In this article, we ...

  8. The subsurface geology of Río Tinto: material examined during a simulated Mars drilling mission for the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Schutt, John; Sutter, Brad; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Bell, Mary Sue; Battler, Melissa; Cannon, Howard; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    The 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project conducted a simulated 1-month Mars drilling mission in the Río Tinto district, Spain. Dry robotic drilling, core sampling, and biological and geological analytical technologies were collectively tested for the first time for potential use on Mars. Drilling and subsurface sampling and analytical technologies are being explored for Mars because the subsurface is the most likely place to find life on Mars. The objectives of this work are to describe drilling, sampling, and analytical procedures; present the geological analysis of core and borehole material; and examine lessons learned from the drilling simulation. Drilling occurred at an undisclosed location, causing the science team to rely only on mission data for geological and biological interpretations. Core and borehole imaging was used for micromorphological analysis of rock, targeting rock for biological analysis, and making decisions regarding the next day's drilling operations. Drilling reached 606 cm depth into poorly consolidated gossan that allowed only 35% of core recovery and contributed to borehole wall failure during drilling. Core material containing any indication of biology was sampled and analyzed in more detail for its confirmation. Despite the poorly consolidated nature of the subsurface gossan, dry drilling was able to retrieve useful core material for geological and biological analysis. Lessons learned from this drilling simulation can guide the development of dry drilling and subsurface geological and biological analytical technologies for future Mars drilling missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Allison M.

    2016-10-01

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

  10. Mars Public Mapping Project: Public Participation in Science Research; Providing Opportunities for Kids of All Ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, L. D.; Valderrama Graff, P.; Bandfield, J. L.; Christensen, P. R.; Klug, S. L.; Deva, B.; Capages, C.

    2007-12-01

    The Mars Public Mapping Project is a web-based education and public outreach tool developed by the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University. This tool allows the general public to identify and map geologic features on Mars, utilizing Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visible images, allowing public participation in authentic scientific research. In addition, participants are able to rate each image (based on a 1 to 5 star scale) to help build a catalog of some of the more appealing and interesting martian surface features. Once participants have identified observable features in an image, they are able to view a map of the global distribution of the many geologic features they just identified. This automatic feedback, through a global distribution map, allows participants to see how their answers compare to the answers of other participants. Participants check boxes "yes, no, or not sure" for each feature that is listed on the Mars Public Mapping Project web page, including surface geologic features such as gullies, sand dunes, dust devil tracks, wind streaks, lava flows, several types of craters, and layers. Each type of feature has a quick and easily accessible description and example image. When a participant moves their mouse over each example thumbnail image, a window pops up with a picture and a description of the feature. This provides a form of "on the job training" for the participants that can vary with their background level. For users who are more comfortable with Mars geology, there is also an advanced feature identification section accessible by a drop down menu. This includes additional features that may be identified, such as streamlined islands, valley networks, chaotic terrain, yardangs, and dark slope streaks. The Mars Public Mapping Project achieves several goals: 1) It engages the public in a manner that encourages active participation in scientific research and learning about geologic features and processes. 2) It helps to

  11. 100 New Impact Crater Sites Found on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  13. Robotic Mission to Mars: Hands-on, minds-on, web-based learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathers, Naomi; Goktogen, Ali; Rankin, John; Anderson, Marion

    2012-11-01

    Problem-based learning has been demonstrated as an effective methodology for developing analytical skills and critical thinking. The use of scenario-based learning incorporates problem-based learning whilst encouraging students to collaborate with their colleagues and dynamically adapt to their environment. This increased interaction stimulates a deeper understanding and the generation of new knowledge. The Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC) uses scenario-based learning in its Mission to Mars, Mission to the Orbiting Space Laboratory and Primary Expedition to the M.A.R.S. Base programs. These programs utilize methodologies such as hands-on applications, immersive-learning, integrated technologies, critical thinking and mentoring to engage students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and highlight potential career paths in science and engineering. The immersive nature of the programs demands specialist environments such as a simulated Mars environment, Mission Control and Space Laboratory, thus restricting these programs to a physical location and limiting student access to the programs. To move beyond these limitations, VSSEC worked with its university partners to develop a web-based mission that delivered the benefits of scenario-based learning within a school environment. The Robotic Mission to Mars allows students to remotely control a real rover, developed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), on the VSSEC Mars surface. After completing a pre-mission training program and site selection activity, students take on the roles of scientists and engineers in Mission Control to complete a mission and collect data for further analysis. Mission Control is established using software developed by the ACRI Games Technology Lab at La Trobe University using the principles of serious gaming. The software allows students to control the rover, monitor its systems and collect scientific data for analysis. This program encourages

  14. Atmospheric Tides in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzewich, Scott D,; Newman, C. E; de la Torre Juarez, M.; Wilson, R. J.; Lemmon, M.; Smith, M. D.; Kahanpaa, H.; Harri, A.-M.

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric tides are the primary source of daily air pressure variation at the surface of Mars. These tides are forced by solar heating of the atmosphere and modulated by the presence of atmospheric dust, topography, and surface albedo and thermal inertia. This results in a complex mix of sun-synchronous and nonsun- synchronous tides propagating both eastward and westward around the planet in periods that are integer fractions of a solar day. The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station on board the Mars Science Laboratory has observed air pressure at a regular cadence for over 1 Mars year and here we analyze and diagnose atmospheric tides in this pressure record. The diurnal tide amplitude varies from 26 to 63 Pa with an average phase of 0424 local true solar time, while the semidiurnal tide amplitude varies from 5 to 20 Pa with an average phase of 0929. We find that both the diurnal and semidiurnal tides in Gale Crater are highly correlated to atmospheric opacity variations at a value of 0.9 and to each other at a value of 0.77, with some key exceptions occurring during regional and local dust storms. We supplement our analysis with MarsWRF general circulation modeling to examine how a local dust storm impacts the diurnal tide in its vicinity. We find that both the diurnal tide amplitude enhancement and regional coverage of notable amplitude enhancement linearly scales with the size of the local dust storm. Our results provide the first long-term record of surface pressure tides near the martian equator.

  15. The magnetic field of Mars according to data of Mars-3 and Mars-5 space vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolginov, Sh.Sh.; Eroshenko, E.G.; Zhuzgov, L.N.

    1975-01-01

    Magnitograms obtained by the space probe ''Mars-5'' on the evening and day sides as well as those from the ''Mars-3'' obtained earlier suggest the following: In the vicinity of Mars there exists a shock front and its disposition is tracked at various angles to the direction to the sun. Magnetometers have registered a region in space where magnetic field features the properties of a magnetosphere field in its topology and action on plasma. The magnetic field in the region of the ''magnitosphere'' does not change its sign when the interplanetary field does shile in adjacent boundary regions the regular part of the field changes its sign when that of the interplanetary field does. The configuration and dimensions of the ''magnitosphere'' depend on thesolar wind intensity. On the day side (''Mars-3'') the magnitospheric field ceases to be registered at an altitude of 2200km, whereas on the night side (''Mars-5'') the regular field is traced up to 7500-9500km from the planet surface. All the above unambiguously suggests that the planet Mars has its own magnetic field. Under the influence of the solar wind the field takes the characteristic form: it is limited on the day side and elongated on the night one. The topology oif force lines is explicable if one assumes that the axis of the Mars magnetic dipole is inclined to the rotation axis at an abgle of 15-20deg. The northern magnetic pole of the dipole is licated in the northern hemisphere, i.e. the Mars fields in their regularity are opposite to the geomagnetic field. The magnetic moment of the Mars dipole is equal to M=2.5x10 22 Gauss.cm 3 . (author)

  16. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantini, Federico; Ivanov, Anton B.

    2016-04-01

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

  18. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

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

  19. Mars Drilling Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Humboldt, C., Jr.

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Home | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-03-14

    Mar 14, 2016 ... Resonance is the monthly journal of science education brought out by the ... it is meant to be a useful resource for students and teachers of science. ... to interested students in the higher secondary 'plus two' group as well as ...

  1. NASA's Planetary Science Missions and Participations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daou, Doris; Green, James L.

    2017-04-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Division (PSD) and space agencies around the world are collaborating on an extensive array of missions exploring our solar system. Planetary science missions are conducted by some of the most sophisticated robots ever built. International collaboration is an essential part of what we do. NASA has always encouraged international participation on our missions both strategic (ie: Mars 2020) and competitive (ie: Discovery and New Frontiers) and other Space Agencies have reciprocated and invited NASA investigators to participate in their missions. NASA PSD has partnerships with virtually every major space agency. For example, NASA has had a long and very fruitful collaboration with ESA. ESA has been involved in the Cassini mission and, currently, NASA funded scientists are involved in the Rosetta mission (3 full instruments, part of another), BepiColombo mission (1 instrument in the Italian Space Agency's instrument suite), and the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer mission (1 instrument and parts of two others). In concert with ESA's Mars missions NASA has an instrument on the Mars Express mission, the orbit-ground communications package on the Trace Gas Orbiter (launched in March 2016) and part of the DLR/Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer instruments going onboard the ExoMars Rover (to be launched in 2018). NASA's Planetary Science Division has continuously provided its U.S. planetary science community with opportunities to include international participation on NASA missions too. For example, NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers Programs provide U.S. scientists the opportunity to assemble international teams and design exciting, focused planetary science investigations that would deepen the knowledge of our Solar System. The PSD put out an international call for instruments on the Mars 2020 mission. This procurement led to the selection of Spain and Norway scientist leading two instruments and French scientists providing a significant portion of another

  2. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Characterization of Aerodynamic Interactions with the Mars Science Laboratory Reaction Control System Using Computation and Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenenberger, Mark; VanNorman, John; Rhode, Matthew; Paulson, John

    2013-01-01

    On August 5 , 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry capsule successfully entered Mars' atmosphere and landed the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater. The capsule used a reaction control system (RCS) consisting of four pairs of hydrazine thrusters to fly a guided entry. The RCS provided bank control to fly along a flight path commanded by an onboard computer and also damped unwanted rates due to atmospheric disturbances and any dynamic instabilities of the capsule. A preliminary assessment of the MSL's flight data from entry showed that the capsule flew much as predicted. This paper will describe how the MSL aerodynamics team used engineering analyses, computational codes and wind tunnel testing in concert to develop the RCS system and certify it for flight. Over the course of MSL's development, the RCS configuration underwent a number of design iterations to accommodate mechanical constraints, aeroheating concerns and excessive aero/RCS interactions. A brief overview of the MSL RCS configuration design evolution is provided. Then, a brief description is presented of how the computational predictions of RCS jet interactions were validated. The primary work to certify that the RCS interactions were acceptable for flight was centered on validating computational predictions at hypersonic speeds. A comparison of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions to wind tunnel force and moment data gathered in the NASA Langley 31-Inch Mach 10 Tunnel was the lynch pin to validating the CFD codes used to predict aero/RCS interactions. Using the CFD predictions and experimental data, an interaction model was developed for Monte Carlo analyses using 6-degree-of-freedom trajectory simulation. The interaction model used in the flight simulation is presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Onboard calibration igneous targets for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Chemistry Camera laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabre, C., E-mail: cecile.fabre@g2r.uhp-nancy.fr [G2R, Nancy Universite (France); Maurice, S.; Cousin, A. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Wiens, R.C. [LANL, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Forni, O. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Sautter, V. [MNHN, Paris (France); Guillaume, D. [GET, Toulouse (France)

    2011-03-15

    Accurate characterization of the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on-board composition targets is of prime importance for the ChemCam instrument. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science and operations teams expect ChemCam to provide the first compositional results at remote distances (1.5-7 m) during the in situ analyses of the Martian surface starting in 2012. Thus, establishing LIBS reference spectra from appropriate calibration standards must be undertaken diligently. Considering the global mineralogy of the Martian surface, and the possible landing sites, three specific compositions of igneous targets have been determined. Picritic, noritic, and shergottic glasses have been produced, along with a Macusanite natural glass. A sample of each target will fly on the MSL Curiosity rover deck, 1.56 m from the ChemCam instrument, and duplicates are available on the ground. Duplicates are considered to be identical, as the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the composition dispersion is around 8%. Electronic microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) analyses give evidence that the chemical composition of the four silicate targets is very homogeneous at microscopic scales larger than the instrument spot size, with RSD < 5% for concentration variations > 0.1 wt.% using electronic microprobe, and < 10% for concentration variations > 0.01 wt.% using LA ICP-MS. The LIBS campaign on the igneous targets performed under flight-like Mars conditions establishes reference spectra for the entire mission. The LIBS spectra between 240 and 900 nm are extremely rich, hundreds of lines with high signal-to-noise, and a dynamical range sufficient to identify unambiguously major, minor and trace elements. For instance, a first LIBS calibration curve has been established for strontium from [Sr] = 284 ppm to [Sr] = 1480 ppm, showing the potential for the future calibrations for other major or minor

  6. Onboard calibration igneous targets for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Chemistry Camera laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabre, C.; Maurice, S.; Cousin, A.; Wiens, R.C.; Forni, O.; Sautter, V.; Guillaume, D.

    2011-01-01

    Accurate characterization of the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on-board composition targets is of prime importance for the ChemCam instrument. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science and operations teams expect ChemCam to provide the first compositional results at remote distances (1.5-7 m) during the in situ analyses of the Martian surface starting in 2012. Thus, establishing LIBS reference spectra from appropriate calibration standards must be undertaken diligently. Considering the global mineralogy of the Martian surface, and the possible landing sites, three specific compositions of igneous targets have been determined. Picritic, noritic, and shergottic glasses have been produced, along with a Macusanite natural glass. A sample of each target will fly on the MSL Curiosity rover deck, 1.56 m from the ChemCam instrument, and duplicates are available on the ground. Duplicates are considered to be identical, as the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the composition dispersion is around 8%. Electronic microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) analyses give evidence that the chemical composition of the four silicate targets is very homogeneous at microscopic scales larger than the instrument spot size, with RSD 0.1 wt.% using electronic microprobe, and 0.01 wt.% using LA ICP-MS. The LIBS campaign on the igneous targets performed under flight-like Mars conditions establishes reference spectra for the entire mission. The LIBS spectra between 240 and 900 nm are extremely rich, hundreds of lines with high signal-to-noise, and a dynamical range sufficient to identify unambiguously major, minor and trace elements. For instance, a first LIBS calibration curve has been established for strontium from [Sr] = 284 ppm to [Sr] = 1480 ppm, showing the potential for the future calibrations for other major or minor elements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS): Antenna Visibility Determination, Network Simulation, and Management Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odubiyi, Jide; Kocur, David; Pino, Nino; Chu, Don

    1996-01-01

    This report presents the results of our research on Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS) network modeling and unattended network operations. The primary focus of our research is to investigate the feasibility of the TIMS architecture, which links the Earth-based Mars Operations Control Center, Science Data Processing Facility, Mars Network Management Center, and the Deep Space Network of antennae to the relay satellites and other communication network elements based in the Mars region. The investigation was enhanced by developing Build 3 of the TIMS network modeling and simulation model. The results of several 'what-if' scenarios are reported along with reports on upgraded antenna visibility determination software and unattended network management prototype.

  9. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration, announced in 2004, calls on NASA to finish constructing the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return to the Moon and go on the Mars. By exploring space, America continues the tradition of great nations who mastered the Earth, air, and sea, and who then enjoyed the benefits of increased commerce and technological advances. The progress being made today is part of the next chapter in America's history of leadership in space. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within the planned timeline and also within the allowable budget, NASA is building upon the best of proven space transportation systems. Journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. What America learns in reaching for the Moon will teach astronauts how to prepare for the first human footprints on Mars. While robotic science may reveal information about the nature of hydrogen on the Moon, it will most likely tale a human being with a rock hammer to find the real truth about the presence of water, a precious natural resource that opens many possibilities for explorers. In this way, the combination of astronauts using a variety of tools and machines provides a special synergy that will vastly improve our understanding of Earth's cosmic neighborhood.

  10. Mapping the Upper Subsurface of MARS Using Radar Polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, L. M.; Rincon, R.; Berkoski, L.

    2012-01-01

    Future human exploration of Mars will require detailed knowledge of the surface and upper several meters of the subsurface in potential landing sites. Likewise, many of the Planetary Science Decadal Survey science goals, such as understanding the history of Mars climate change, determining how the surface was altered through processes like volcanism and fluvial activity, and locating regions that may have been hospitable to life in the past, would be significantly advanced through mapping of the upper meters of the surface. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is the only remote sensing technique capable of penetrating through meters of material and imaging buried surfaces at high (meters to tens-of-meters) spatial resolution. SAR is capable of mapping the boundaries of buried units and radar polarimetry can provide quantitative information about the roughness of surface and subsurface units, depth of burial of stratigraphic units, and density of materials. Orbital SAR systems can obtain broad coverage at a spatial scale relevant to human and robotic surface operations. A polarimetric SAR system would greatly increase the safety and utility of future landed systems including sample caching.

  11. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind-blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground-based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial-like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples were pre...

  12. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind‐blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground‐based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial‐like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples...

  13. The Regulatory Small RNA MarS Supports Virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappesch, Roberto; Warnke, Philipp; Mikkat, Stefan; Normann, Jana; Wisniewska-Kucper, Aleksandra; Huschka, Franziska; Wittmann, Maja; Khani, Afsaneh; Schwengers, Oliver; Oehmcke-Hecht, Sonja; Hain, Torsten; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Patenge, Nadja

    2017-09-25

    Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play a role in the control of bacterial virulence gene expression. In this study, we investigated an sRNA that was identified in Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus, GAS) but is conserved throughout various streptococci. In a deletion strain, expression of mga, the gene encoding the multiple virulence gene regulator, was reduced. Accordingly, transcript and proteome analyses revealed decreased expression of several Mga-activated genes. Therefore, and because the sRNA was shown to interact with the 5' UTR of the mga transcript in a gel-shift assay, we designated it MarS for m ga-activating regulatory sRNA. Down-regulation of important virulence factors, including the antiphagocytic M-protein, led to increased susceptibility of the deletion strain to phagocytosis and reduced adherence to human keratinocytes. In a mouse infection model, the marS deletion mutant showed reduced dissemination to the liver, kidney, and spleen. Additionally, deletion of marS led to increased tolerance towards oxidative stress. Our in vitro and in vivo results indicate a modulating effect of MarS on virulence gene expression and on the pathogenic potential of GAS.

  14. Aeolian sedimentary processes at the Bagnold Dunes, Mars: Implications for modern dune dynamics and sedimentary structures in the aeolian stratigraphic record of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Bridges, Nathan T.; Sullivan, Rob; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Fischer, Woodward W.; Lamb, Mike P.; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2016-04-01

    Wind-blown sand dunes are ubiquitous on the surface of Mars and are a recognized component of the martian stratigraphic record. Our current knowledge of the aeolian sedimentary processes that determine dune morphology, drive dune dynamics, and create aeolian cross-stratification are based upon orbital studies of ripple and dune morphodynamics, rover observations of stratification on Mars, Earth analogs, and experimental and theoretical studies of sand movement under Martian conditions. In-situ observations of sand dunes (informally called the Bagnold Dunes) by Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater, Mars provide the first opportunity to make observations of dunes from the grain-to-dune scale thereby filling the gap in knowledge between theory and orbital observations and refining our understanding of the martian aeolian stratigraphic record. We use the suite of cameras on Curiosity, including Navigation Camera (Navcam), Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), to make observations of the Bagnold Dunes. Measurements of sedimentary structures are made where stereo images are available. Observations indicate that structures generated by gravity-driven processes on the dune lee slopes, such as grainflow and grainfall, are similar to the suite of aeolian sedimentary structures observed on Earth and should be present and recognizable in Mars' aeolian stratigraphic record. Structures formed by traction-driven processes deviate significantly from those found on Earth. The dune hosts centimeter-scale wind ripples and large, meter-scale ripples, which are not found on Earth. The large ripples migrate across the depositional, lee slopes of the dune, which implies that these structures should be present in Mars' stratigraphic record and may appear similar to compound-dune stratification.The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Team is acknowledged for their support of this work.

  15. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Trajectory Reconstruction and Uncertainty Analysis Using Mars Science Laboratory Pre-Flight Scale Model Aeroballistic Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo, Rafael A.; Tolson, Robert H.; Schoenenberger, Mark

    2013-01-01

    As part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) trajectory reconstruction effort at NASA Langley Research Center, free-flight aeroballistic experiments of instrumented MSL scale models was conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The models carried an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a flush air data system (FADS) similar to the MSL Entry Atmospheric Data System (MEADS) that provided data types similar to those from the MSL entry. Multiple sources of redundant data were available, including tracking radar and on-board magnetometers. These experimental data enabled the testing and validation of the various tools and methodologies that will be used for MSL trajectory reconstruction. The aerodynamic parameters Mach number, angle of attack, and sideslip angle were estimated using minimum variance with a priori to combine the pressure data and pre-flight computational fluid dynamics (CFD) data. Both linear and non-linear pressure model terms were also estimated for each pressure transducer as a measure of the errors introduced by CFD and transducer calibration. Parameter uncertainties were estimated using a "consider parameters" approach.

  18. Detection and location of multiple events by MARS. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.; Masso, J.F.; Archambeau, C.B.; Savino, J.M.

    1980-09-01

    Seismic data from two explosions was processed using the Systems Science and Software MARS (Multiple Arrival Recognition System) seismic event detector in an effort to determine their relative spatial and temporal separation on the basis of seismic data alone. The explosions were less than 1.0 kilometer apart and were separated by less than 0.5 sec in origin times. The seismic data consisted of nine local accelerograms (r < 1.0 km) and four regional (240 through 400 km) seismograms. The MARS processing clearly indicates the presence of multiple explosions, but the restricted frequency range of the data inhibits accurate time picks and hence limits the precision of the event location

  19. Astrobiological aspects of Mars and human presence: pros and cons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G

    2008-08-01

    After the realization of the International Space Station, human exploratory missions to Moon or Mars, i.e. beyond low Earth orbit, are widely considered as the next logical step of peaceful cooperation in space on a global scale. Besides the human desire to extend the window of habitability, human exploratory missions are driven by several aspects of science, technology, culture and economy. Mars is currently considered as a major target in the search for life beyond the Earth. Understanding the history of water on Mars appears to be one of the clues to the puzzle on the probability of life on Mars. On Earth microorganisms have flourished for more than 3.5 Ga and have developed strategies to cope with so-called extreme conditions (e.g., hot vents, permafrost, subsurface regions, rocks or salt crystals). Therefore, in search for life on Mars, microorganisms are the most likely candidates for a putative biota on Mars and the search for morphological or chemical signatures of life or its relics is one of the primary and most exciting goals of Mars exploration. The presence of humans on the surface of Mars will substantially increase this research potential, e.g., by supporting deep subsurface drilling and by allowing intellectual collection and sophisticated in situ analysis of samples of astrobiological interest. On the other hand, such long-duration missions beyond LEO will add a new dimension to human space flight, concerning the distance of travel, the radiation environment, the gravity levels, the duration of the mission, and the level of confinement and isolation the crew will be exposed to. This will raise the significance of several health issues, above all radiation protection, gravity related effects as well as psychological issues. Furthermore, the import of internal and external microorganisms inevitably accompanying any human mission to Mars, or brought purposely to Mars as part of a bioregenerative life support system needs careful consideration with

  20. 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.

  1. SUV Tracks On Mars? The 'Devil' is in the Details

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    rises into the spinning air, giving the appearance of a tornado-like column that moves across the landscape. As the column of air moves, its ability to pick up dust varies--sometimes they hold a lot of dust and are nearly opaque; sometimes you cannot even see them. Dust-devils rarely last long, since their very motion changes the conditions that allowed them to form in the first place.Mars Pathfinder detected the passage of several dust devils during its 83 days of operation on Mars in 1997. Mariner 9 and the Viking landers and orbiters of the 1970s also found evidence that dust devils occur on Mars; indeed, some Viking Orbiter images actually show dust devil clouds. MOC image 26403 is the latest entry in the body of evidence for the work of wind in the modern martian environment. The MOC Science Team is continuing to study these and other streaks caused by wind interacting with the martian surface.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  2. Science/s.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuelle Tricoire

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Un forum a été organisé en mars par la Commission européenne. Il s’appelait « Science in Society ». Depuis 2000 la Commission a mis en place un Plan d’Action élaboré pour que soit promue « la science » au sein du public, afin que les citoyens prennent de bonnes décisions, des décisions informées. Il s’agit donc de développer la réflexivité au sein de la société, pour que cette dernière agisse avec discernement dans un monde qu’elle travaille à rendre durable. ...

  3. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.

    1988-01-01

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

  4. MAHLI on Mars: lessons learned operating a geoscience camera on a landed payload robotic arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aileen Yingst, R.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian M.; McBride, Marie J.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Ravine, Michael A.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.

    2016-06-01

    The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is a 2-megapixel, color camera with resolution as high as 13.9 µm pixel-1. MAHLI has operated successfully on the Martian surface for over 1150 Martian days (sols) aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity. During that time MAHLI acquired images to support science and science-enabling activities, including rock and outcrop textural analysis; sand characterization to further the understanding of global sand properties and processes; support of other instrument observations; sample extraction site documentation; range-finding for arm and instrument placement; rover hardware and instrument monitoring and safety; terrain assessment; landscape geomorphology; and support of rover robotic arm commissioning. Operation of the instrument has demonstrated that imaging fully illuminated, dust-free targets yields the best results, with complementary information obtained from shadowed images. The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) allow satisfactory night imaging but do not improve daytime shadowed imaging. MAHLI's combination of fine-scale, science-driven resolution, RGB color, the ability to focus over a large range of distances, and relatively large field of view (FOV), have maximized the return of science and science-enabling observations given the MSL mission architecture and constraints.

  5. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara

    2014-01-01

    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers (http://pioneeringmars.org) provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

  6. A robotic exploration mission to Mars and Phobos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Justin H.; Defosse, Erin; Ho, Quang; Barriga, Ernisto; Davis, Grant; Mccourt, Steve; Smith, Matt

    1993-01-01

    This report discusses the design of a robotic exploration to Mars and Phobos. It begins with the mission's background and objectives, followed by a detailed explanation of various elements of Project Aeneas, including science, spacecraft, probes, and orbital trajectories. In addition, a description of Argos Space Endeavours, management procedures, and overall project costs are presented. Finally, a list of recommendations for future design activity is included.

  7. Influence of Dust Loading on Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Ryan B.; Gronoff, Guillaume; Mertens, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the radiation environment at the surface of Mars is the primary goal of the Radiation Assessment Detector on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover. One of the conditions that Curiosity will likely encounter is a dust storm. The objective of this paper is to compute the cosmic ray ionization in different conditions, including dust storms, as these various conditions are likely to be encountered by Curiosity at some point. In the present work, the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety model, recently modified for Mars, was used along with the Badhwar & O'Neill 2010 galactic cosmic ray model. In addition to galactic cosmic rays, five different solar energetic particle event spectra were considered. For all input radiation environments, radiation dose throughout the atmosphere and at the surface was investigated as a function of atmospheric dust loading. It is demonstrated that for galactic cosmic rays, the ionization depends strongly on the atmosphere profile. Moreover, it is shown that solar energetic particle events strongly increase the ionization throughout the atmosphere, including ground level, and can account for the radio blackout conditions observed by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft. These results demonstrate that the cosmic rays' influence on the Martian surface chemistry is strongly dependent on solar and atmospheric conditions that should be taken into account for future studies.

  8. Report of the Workshop for Life Detection in Samples from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catherine; Allen, Carlton C.; Bartlett, Douglas H.; Beaty, David W.; Benning, Liane G.; Bhartia, Rohit; Boston, Penelope J.; Duchaine, Caroline; Farmer, Jack D.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether there is or was life on Mars has been one of the most pivotal since Schiaparellis' telescopic observations of the red planet. With the advent of the space age, this question can be addressed directly by exploring the surface of Mars and by bringing samples to Earth for analysis. The latter, however, is not free of problems. Life can be found virtually everywhere on Earth. Hence the potential for contaminating the Mars samples and compromising their scientific integrity is not negligible. Conversely, if life is present in samples from Mars, this may represent a potential source of extraterrestrial biological contamination for Earth. A range of measures and policies, collectively termed 'planetary protection', are employed to minimise risks and thereby prevent undesirable consequences for the terrestrial biosphere. This report documents discussions and conclusions from a workshop held in 2012, which followed a public conference focused on current capabilities for performing life-detection studies on Mars samples. The workshop focused on the evaluation of Mars samples that would maximise scientific productivity and inform decision making in the context of planetary protection. Workshop participants developed a strong consensus that the same measurements could be employed to effectively inform both science and planetary protection, when applied in the context of two competing hypotheses: 1) that there is no detectable life in the samples; or 2) that there is martian life in the samples. Participants then outlined a sequence for sample processing and defined analytical methods that would test these hypotheses. They also identified critical developments to enable the analysis of samples from Mars.

  9. Mars Navigator: An Interactive Multimedia Program about Mars, Aerospace Engineering, Astronomy, and the JPL Mars Missions. [CD-ROM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramoll, Kurt

    This CD-ROM introduces basic astronomy and aerospace engineering by examining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions to Mars. It contains numerous animations and narrations in addition to detailed graphics and text. Six interactive laboratories are included to help understand topics such as the…

  10. The CanMars Analogue Mission: Lessons Learned for Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osinski, G. R.; Beaty, D.; Battler, M.; Caudill, C.; Francis, R.; Haltigin, T.; Hipkin, V.; Pilles, E.

    2018-04-01

    We present an overview and lessons learned for Mars Sample Return from CanMars — an analogue mission that simulated a Mars 2020-like cache mission. Data from 39 sols of operations conducted in the Utah desert in 2015 and 2016 are presented.

  11. The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Science Objectives and Mast Unit Description

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Saccoccio, M.; Barraclough, B.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Mangold, N.; Baratoux, D.; Bender, S.; Berger, G.; Bernardin, J.; Berthé, M.; Bridges, N.; Blaney, D.; Bouyé, M.; Caïs, P.; Clark, B.; Clegg, S.; Cousin, A.; Cremers, D.; Cros, A.; DeFlores, L.; Derycke, C.; Dingler, B.; Dromart, G.; Dubois, B.; Dupieux, M.; Durand, E.; d'Uston, L.; Fabre, C.; Faure, B.; Gaboriaud, A.; Gharsa, T.; Herkenhoff, K.; Kan, E.; Kirkland, L.; Kouach, D.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Lasue, J.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lescure, M.; Lewin, E.; Limonadi, D.; Manhès, G.; Mauchien, P.; McKay, C.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Michel, Y.; Miller, E.; Newsom, Horton E.; Orttner, G.; Paillet, A.; Parès, L.; Parot, Y.; Pérez, R.; Pinet, P.; Poitrasson, F.; Quertier, B.; Sallé, B.; Sotin, Christophe; Sautter, V.; Séran, H.; Simmonds, J.J.; Sirven, J.-B.; Stiglich, R.; Striebig, N.; Thocaven, J.-J.; Toplis, M.J.; Vaniman, D.

    2012-01-01

    ChemCam is a remote sensing instrument suite on board the "Curiosity" rover (NASA) that uses Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to provide the elemental composition of soils and rocks at the surface of Mars from a distance of 1.3 to 7 m, and a telescopic imager to return high resolution context and micro-images at distances greater than 1.16 m. We describe five analytical capabilities: rock classification, quantitative composition, depth profiling, context imaging, and passive spectroscopy. They serve as a toolbox to address most of the science questions at Gale crater. ChemCam consists of a Mast-Unit (laser, telescope, camera, and electronics) and a Body-Unit (spectrometers, digital processing unit, and optical demultiplexer), which are connected by an optical fiber and an electrical interface. We then report on the development, integration, and testing of the Mast-Unit, and summarize some key characteristics of ChemCam. This confirmed that nominal or better than nominal performances were achieved for critical parameters, in particular power density (>1 GW/cm2). The analysis spot diameter varies from 350 μm at 2 m to 550 μm at 7 m distance. For remote imaging, the camera field of view is 20 mrad for 1024×1024 pixels. Field tests demonstrated that the resolution (˜90 μrad) made it possible to identify laser shots on a wide variety of images. This is sufficient for visualizing laser shot pits and textures of rocks and soils. An auto-exposure capability optimizes the dynamical range of the images. Dedicated hardware and software focus the telescope, with precision that is appropriate for the LIBS and imaging depths-of-field. The light emitted by the plasma is collected and sent to the Body-Unit via a 6 m optical fiber. The companion to this paper (Wiens et al. this issue) reports on the development of the Body-Unit, on the analysis of the emitted light, and on the good match between instrument performance and science specifications.

  12. Mars Surface Mobility Leading to Sustainable Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Barsi, Stephen J.; Sjauw En Wa, Waldy K.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    A Mars rocket-propelled hopper concept was evaluated for feasibility through analysis and experiments. The approach set forth in this paper is to combine the use of in-situ resources in a new Mars mobility concept that will greatly enhance the science return while providing the first opportunity towards reducing the risk of incorporating ISRU into the critical path for the highly coveted, but currently unaffordable, sample return mission. Experimental tests were performed on a high-pressure, self-throttling gaseous oxygen/methane propulsion system to simulate a two-burn-with-coast hop profile. Analysis of the trajectory, production plant requirements, and vehicle mass indicates that a small hopper vehicle could hop 2 km every 30 days with an initial mass of less than 60 kg. A larger vehicle can hop 15 km every 30 to 60 days with an initial mass of 300 to 430 kg.

  13. 78 FR 51192 - World War I Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting; Sunshine Act...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-20

    ... GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-WWICC-2013-01; Docket No. 2013-0007; Sequence 1] World War I Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting; Sunshine Act Meetings Time and Date: Open: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Central Time) on Friday, September 13, 2013. Place: The...

  14. Power requirements assessment for lunar and Mars scientific and experimental payloads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotas, J.F.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports on an evaluation of prospective scientific payloads and surface experiments for future manned missions to the moon and Mars which determined that overall mission objectives and requirements influence the selection of candidate power systems. A generic classification of these science missions was developed to examine these relationships. Scientific missions were defined for the four Synthesis Report architectures and cumulative power load and payload mix computed. Approximately half of all deployed science payloads were sited within the main surface outpost and powered by the central power generation facility. The remaining remote science payloads require either autonomous or smaller central power facilities

  15. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  17. Goldstone Radar Observations of the 1999 Mars Opposition and other Observing Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slade, M. A.

    1997-07-01

    As part of the International Mars Watch, Goldstone radar observations of Mars are planned during the 1999 Opposition ( Feb.'99-Aug'99). While some observing time is already allocated, a number of tracks could be made available for well-focused scientific objectives. Since the Deep Space Network plans far in advance, now is the time to develop your plans. During the next Mars opposition, the sub-Earth latitudes are in Mars' Northern hemisphere over the most northerly terrain accessible, which has not been previously examined with current sensitivity. The North residual ice cap is of particular interest. As a reminder to the Planetary Science community, observing proposals from any scientist with peer-reviewed planetary funding are solicited and should be forwarded to Martin.A.Slade@jpl.nasa.gov by email. Data reduction can, in principle, be carried out over the Internet. A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow resident at JPL for short period is recommended, however, to become familiar with suite of software for data analysis. Unfortunately, JPL cannot guarantee travel reimbursement due to funding limitations. We urge your consideration of becoming involved with the acquisition and analysis of Goldstone radar data. In the recent past, P.I.'s or co-I.s from Cornell, Arecibo/NAIC, Washington State University, Univ. Cal. Berkeley, Harvard -Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Univ. of Chicago, the DLR, Kashima SRC, ISAS, the Russian Academy of Science, the Russian Space Agency, and the USGS, have participated in radar experiments with Goldstone transmitting. This work is supported by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.

  18. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Studying the cosmic dawn and the epoch of reionization through the redshifted 21-cm line are among the major science goals of the SKA1. Their significance lies in the fact that they are closely related to the very first stars in the Universe. Interpreting the upcoming data would require detailed modelling of the relevant ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Geological characterization of remote field sites using visible and infrared spectroscopy: Results from the 1999 Marsokhod field test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Ruff, S.W.; Moersch, J.; Roush, T.; Horton, K.; Bishop, J.; Cabrol, N.A.; Cockell, C.; Gazis, P.; Newsom, Horton E.; Stoker, C.

    2001-01-01

    Upcoming Mars Surveyor lander missions will include extensive spectroscopic capabilities designed to improve interpretations of the mineralogy and geology of landing sites on Mars. The 1999 Marsokhod Field Experiment (MFE) was a Mars rover simulation designed in part to investigate the utility of visible/near-infrared and thermal infrared field spectrometers to contribute to the remote geological exploration of a Mars analog field site in the California Mojave Desert. The experiment simultaneously investigated the abilities of an off-site science team to effectively analyze and acquire useful imaging and spectroscopic data and to communicate efficiently with rover engineers and an on-site field team to provide meaningful input to rover operations and traverse planning. Experiences gained during the MFE regarding effective communication between different mission operation teams will be useful to upcoming Mars mission teams. Field spectra acquired during the MFE mission exhibited features interpreted at the time as indicative of carbonates (both dolomitic and calcitic), mafic rocks and associated weathering products, and silicic rocks with desert varnish-like coatings. The visible/near-infrared spectra also suggested the presence of organic compounds, including chlorophyll in one rock. Postmission laboratory petrologic and spectral analyses of returned samples confirmed that all rocks identified as carbonates using field measurements alone were calc-silicates and that chlorophyll associated with endolithic organisms was present in the one rock for which it was predicted. Rocks classified from field spectra as silicics and weathered mafics were recognized in the laboratory as metamorphosed monzonites and diorite schists. This discrepancy was likely due to rock coatings sampled by the field spectrometers compared to fresh rock interiors analyzed petrographically, in addition to somewhat different surfaces analyzed by laboratory thermal spectroscopy compared to field

  1. Subterranean science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paling, Sean; Sadler, Stephen

    2015-05-01

    The deep underground laboratories of the world are no longer the scientific realm of astroparticle physics alone. From Mars rovers to muon tomography, and from radioactive dating to astrobiology, Sean Paling and Stephen Sadler describe the renaissance in the science taking place far beneath our feet.

  2. Human Exploration Ethnography of the Haughton-Mars Project, 1998-1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancey, William J.; Swanson, Keith (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    During the past two field seasons, July 1988 and 1999, we have conducted research about the field practices of scientists and engineers at Haughton Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, with the objective of determining how people will live and work on Mars. This broad investigation of field life and work practice, part of the Haughton-Mars Project lead by Pascal Lee, spans social and cognitive anthropology, psychology, and computer science. Our approach involves systematic observation and description of activities, places, and concepts, constituting an ethnography of field science at Haughton. Our focus is on human behaviors-what people do, where, when, with whom, and why. By locating behavior in time and place-in contrast with a purely functional or "task oriented" description of work-we find patterns constituting the choreography of interaction between people, their habitat, and their tools. As such, we view the exploration process in terms of a total system comprising a social organization, facilities, terrain/climate, personal identities, artifacts, and computer tools. Because we are computer scientists seeking to develop new kinds of tools for living and working on Mars, we focus on the existing representational tools (such as documents and measuring devices), learning and improvization (such as use of the internet or informal assistance), and prototype computational systems brought to the field. Our research is based on partnership, by which field scientists and engineers actively contribute to our findings, just as we participate in their work and life.

  3. Intra-EVA Space-to-Ground Interactions when Conducting Scientific Fieldwork Under Simulated Mars Mission Constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaton, Kara H.; Chappell, Steven P.; Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Lim, Darlene S. S.

    2018-01-01

    The Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) project is a four-year program dedicated to iteratively designing, implementing, and evaluating concepts of operations (ConOps) and supporting capabilities to enable and enhance scientific exploration for future human Mars missions. The BASALT project has incorporated three field deployments during which real (non-simulated) biological and geochemical field science have been conducted at two high-fidelity Mars analog locations under simulated Mars mission conditions, including communication delays and data transmission limitations. BASALT's primary Science objective has been to extract basaltic samples for the purpose of investigating how microbial communities and habitability correlate with the physical and geochemical characteristics of chemically altered basalt environments. Field sites include the active East Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawai'i, reminiscent of early Mars when basaltic volcanism and interaction with water were widespread, and the dormant eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho, similar to present-day Mars where basaltic volcanism is rare and most evidence for volcano-driven hydrothermal activity is relict. BASALT's primary Science Operations objective has been to investigate exploration ConOps and capabilities that facilitate scientific return during human-robotic exploration under Mars mission constraints. Each field deployment has consisted of ten extravehicular activities (EVAs) on the volcanic flows in which crews of two extravehicular and two intravehicular crewmembers conducted the field science while communicating across time delay and under bandwidth constraints with an Earth-based Mission Support Center (MSC) comprised of expert scientists and operators. Communication latencies of 5 and 15 min one-way light time and low (0.512 Mb/s uplink, 1.54 Mb/s downlink) and high (5.0 Mb/s uplink, 10.0 Mb/s downlink) bandwidth conditions were evaluated. EVA crewmembers communicated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  6. Soft Computing Techniques in Vision Science

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Yeon-Mo

    2012-01-01

    This Special Edited Volume is a unique approach towards Computational solution for the upcoming field of study called Vision Science. From a scientific firmament Optics, Ophthalmology, and Optical Science has surpassed an Odyssey of optimizing configurations of Optical systems, Surveillance Cameras and other Nano optical devices with the metaphor of Nano Science and Technology. Still these systems are falling short of its computational aspect to achieve the pinnacle of human vision system. In this edited volume much attention has been given to address the coupling issues Computational Science and Vision Studies.  It is a comprehensive collection of research works addressing various related areas of Vision Science like Visual Perception and Visual system, Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychophysics and Ophthalmology, linguistic relativity, color vision etc. This issue carries some latest developments in the form of research articles and presentations. The volume is rich of contents with technical tools ...

  7. Carl Sagan and the Exploration of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Owen B.; Condon, Estelle P. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Inspired by childhood readings of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Carl Sagan's first interest in planetary science focused on Mars and Venus. Typical of much of his career he was skeptical of early views about these planets. Early in this century it was thought that the Martian wave of darkening, a seasonal albedo change on the planet, was biological in origin. He suggested instead that it was due to massive dust storms, as was later shown to be the case. He was the first to recognize that Mars has huge topography gradients across its surface. During the spacecraft era, as ancient river valleys were found on the planet, he directed studies of Mars' ancient climate. He suggested that changes in the planets orbit were involved in climate shifts on Mars, just as they are on Earth. Carl had an early interest in Venus. Contradictory observations led to a controversy about the surface temperature, and Carl was one of the first to recognize that Venus has a massive greenhouse effect at work warming its surface. His work on radiative transfer led to an algorithm that was extensively used by modelers of the Earth's climate and whose derivatives still dominate the calculation of radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres today. Carl inspired a vast number of young scientists through his enthusiasm for new ideas and discoveries, his skeptical approach, and his boundless energy. I had the privilege to work in Carl's laboratory during the peak of the era of Mars' initial exploration. It was an exciting time, and place. Carl made it a wonderful experience.

  8. Mars At Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    These NASA Hubble Space Telescope views provide the most detailed complete global coverage of the red planet Mars ever seen from Earth. The pictures were taken on February 25, 1995, when Mars was at a distance of 65 million miles (103 million km).To the surprise of researchers, Mars is cloudier than seen in previous years. This means the planet is cooler and drier, because water vapor in the atmosphere freezes out to form ice-crystal clouds. Hubble resolves Martian surface features with a level of detail only exceeded by planetary probes, such as impact craters and other features as small as 30 miles (50 kilometers) across.[Tharsis region] - A crescent-shaped cloud just right of center identifies the immense shield volcano Olympus Mons, which is 340 miles (550 km) across at its base. Warm afternoon air pushed up over the summit forms ice-crystal clouds downwind from the volcano. Farther to the east (right) a line of clouds forms over a row of three extinct volcanoes which are from north to south: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons. It's part of an unusual, recurring 'W'-shaped cloud formation that once mystified earlier ground-based observers.[Valles Marineris region] - The 16 mile-high volcano Ascraeus Mons pokes through the cloud deck along the western (left) limb of the planet. Other interesting geologic features include (lower left) Valles Marineris, an immense rift valley the length of the continental United States. Near the image center lies the Chryse basin made up of cratered and chaotic terrain. The oval-looking Argyre impact basin (bottom) appears white due to clouds or frost.[Syrtis Major region] - The dark 'shark fin' feature left of center is Syrtis Major. Below it the giant impact basin Hellas. Clouds cover several great volcanos in the Elysium region near the eastern (right) limb. As clearly seen in the Hubble images, past dust storms in Mars' southern hemisphere have scoured the plains of fine light dust and transported the dust northward. This

  9. Water surface elevation from the upcoming SWOT mission under different flows conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domeneghetti, Alessio; Schumann, Guy J. P.; Wei, Rui; Frasson, Renato P. M.; Durand, Michael; Pavelsky, Tamlin; Castellarin, Attilio; Brath, Armando

    2017-04-01

    The upcoming SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) satellite mission will provide unprecedented bi-dimensional observations of terrestrial water surface heights along rivers wider than 100m. Despite the literature reports several activities showing possible uses of SWOT products, potential and limitations of satellite observations still remain poorly understood and investigated. We present one of the first analyses regarding the spatial observation of water surface elevation expected from SWOT for a 140 km reach of the middle-lower portion of the Po River, in Northern Italy. The river stretch is characterized by a main channel varying from 100-500 m in width and a floodplain delimited by a system of major embankments that can be as wide as 5 km. The reconstruction of the hydraulic behavior of the Po River is performed by means of a quasi-2D model built with detailed topographic and bathymetric information (LiDAR, 2m resolution), while the simulation of remotely sensed hydrometric data is performed with a SWOT simulator that mimics the satellite sensor characteristics. Referring to water surface elevations associated with different flow conditions (maximum, minimum and average flow) this work characterizes the spatial observations provided by SWOT and highlights the strengths and limitations of the expected products. The analysis provides a robust reference for spatial water observations that will be available from SWOT and assesses possible effects of river embankments, river width and river topography under different hydraulic conditions. Results of the study characterize the expected accuracy of the upcoming SWOT mission and provide additional insights towards the appropriate exploitation of future hydrological observations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Science of Sexism?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    darshanw

    2015-06-20

    Jun 20, 2015 ... tive of the attitudes many of them have faced in ... This image of women scientists at ISRO celebrating the launch of the Mars orbiter ... engineers writing on social media about ... women to Indian science) and Prof. Shobhona ...

  13. Autonomous Operation of Mars Meteorological Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  14. Mars and Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muehlberger, W.

    2001-01-01

    Wherever mankind travels in space, people will always be preceded by unmanned probes that will provide the first bit of information. But there comes a time when we've learned all we can by unmanned vehicles. Man comes on the scene and makes the decisions about what is most valuable to us here, and that makes space into a new laboratory. Photography plays a vital role in all that John Glenn, in 'The View from Space'. Why do you take a photograph? We took a lot of documentation pictures because we were supposed to. But a lot of photographs were taken on instinct things you can't predict you're going to see or that are going to impress you. You say, 'Now I've got to take a picture of that" or "Look at the way that is positioned' or' Look at the way the sun is shining on that." Those 'stand-back' pictures were taken with aesthetics in mind, to capture and document the venture itself." Eugene Cernan in 'The View from Space'. The Apollo mode for a Science Support Room in Mission Control will not work for Mars. The time delay makes it nearly useless. Our team was available for instantaneous reaction and assistance to the crew on EVA. Therefore the Science Support Team has to be on Mars! The crew that went out the day before will do the supporting. They will hand off to each other for the next EVA. They will send a daily report back to Earth as to what was accomplished, problems that need resolution, supporting video, data, etc. etc. In Apollo, that was the role of my "Tiger Team," who sat in Gene Krantz' office watching and listening but having no role for directly helping the Back Room. They wrote a summary of the EVA, what was accomplished, what got omitted that was important to insert into the next EVA. It was distributed throughout Mission Control- especially to the Big Brass, Flight Director, and the CapCom.

  15. TMBM: Tethered Micro-Balloons on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) as Critical In Situ Investigation for Targeting Mars Returned Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Goesmann, F.; Goetz, W.; Raulin, F.; SAM Science Team; MOMA Science Team

    2018-04-01

    SAM (Curiosity) and MOMA (ExoMars) Mars instruments, seeking for organics and biosignatures, are essential to establish taphonomic windows of preservation of molecules, in order to target the most interesting samples to return from Mars.

  17. Building a Unique Scenario to Support Cross-Mission Science with SPICE: The Siding-Spring comet encounter with Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, M.; Witasse, O.; Sánchez-Cano, B.

    2017-09-01

    On October 2014, Mars experienced a close encounter with Comet Siding Spring. This contribution outlines a SPICE scenario built to assist studies combining MEX, MAVEN, Mars Odyssey, MSL, and Siding-Spring data focused on a Cosmographia 3D scenario.

  18. The Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Surveyor (ARES): New Mars Science to Reduce Human Risk and Prepare for the Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Croom, Mark A.; Wright, Henry S.; Killough, B. D.; Edwards, W. C.

    2012-01-01

    Obtaining critical measurements for eventual human Mars missions while expanding upon recent Mars scientific discoveries and deriving new scientific knowledge from a unique near surface vantage point is the focus of the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Surveyor (ARES) exploration mission. The key element of ARES is an instrumented,rocket-powered, well-tested robotic airplane platform, that will fly between one to two kilometers above the surface while traversing hundreds of kilometers to collect and transmit previously unobtainable high spatial measurements relevant to the NASA Mars Exploration Program and the exploration of Mars by humans.

  19. Preservation of martian organic and environmental records: final report of the Mars biosignature working group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summons, Roger E; Amend, Jan P; Bish, David; Buick, Roger; Cody, George D; Des Marais, David J; Dromart, Gilles; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Knoll, Andrew H; Sumner, Dawn Y

    2011-03-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has an instrument package capable of making measurements of past and present environmental conditions. The data generated may tell us if Mars is, or ever was, able to support life. However, the knowledge of Mars' past history and the geological processes most likely to preserve a record of that history remain sparse and, in some instances, ambiguous. Physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to biosignature preservation on Earth, especially under conditions early in its history when microbial life predominated, are also imperfectly known. Here, we present the report of a working group chartered by the Co-Chairs of NASA's MSL Project Science Group, John P. Grotzinger and Michael A. Meyer, to review and evaluate potential for biosignature formation and preservation on Mars. Orbital images confirm that layered rocks achieved kilometer-scale thicknesses in some regions of ancient Mars. Clearly, interplays of sedimentation and erosional processes govern present-day exposures, and our understanding of these processes is incomplete. MSL can document and evaluate patterns of stratigraphic development as well as the sources of layered materials and their subsequent diagenesis. It can also document other potential biosignature repositories such as hydrothermal environments. These capabilities offer an unprecedented opportunity to decipher key aspects of the environmental evolution of Mars' early surface and aspects of the diagenetic processes that have operated since that time. Considering the MSL instrument payload package, we identified the following classes of biosignatures as within the MSL detection window: organism morphologies (cells, body fossils, casts), biofabrics (including microbial mats), diagnostic organic molecules, isotopic signatures, evidence of biomineralization and bioalteration, spatial patterns in chemistry, and biogenic gases. Of these, biogenic organic molecules and biogenic atmospheric gases are

  20. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.a; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.

    2005-01-01

    The Life In The Atacama (LITA) project develops and field tests a long-range, solarpowered, automated rover platform (Zo ) and a science payload assembled to search for microbial life in the Atacama desert. Life is barely detectable over most of the driest desert on Earth. Its unique geological, climatic, and biological evolution have created a unique training site for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the robotic search for life on Mars.

  1. Candidate cave entrances on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Glen E.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Ice Dragon: A Mission to Address Science and Human Exploration Objectives on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Davila, A.; Sanders, G.; Glass, Brian; Gonzales, A.; Heldmann, Jennifer; Karcz, J.; Lemke, L.; Sanders, G.

    2012-01-01

    We present a mission concept where a SpaceX Dragon capsule lands a payload on Mars that samples ground ice to search for evidence of life, assess hazards to future human missions, and demonstrate use of Martian resources.

  3. Visible and Near-Infrared (VNIR) Spectroscopy of Altered Basalts with Application to the ChemCam Library for Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadnott, B.; Ehlmann, B. L.

    2012-12-01

    The discovery of Fe, Mg, and Al clays on Mars using VNIR spectroscopy from orbit indicates past low temperature/pressure hydrothermal and weathering environments. Laboratory analysis of Mars-analog rocks from these settings on Earth was used to build the ChemCam sample library for Mars Science Laboratory, permitting for more accurate compositional analysis of Martian samples, improved linkages between VNIR's mineralogic and ChemCam's elemental data, and improved recognition of different environmental settings for aqueous alteration. VNIR spectroscopy was used to analyze 4 suites of altered basaltic rocks—one from San Carlos, AZ and three from various locations in Iceland. Continuum shape and absorption features were found to vary, depending on the environment and extent of alteration. Relatively unaltered rocks had electronic absorptions related to ferrous iron. The strength of the 1.9- μm (μm = microns) H2O absorption correlated with the degree of aqueous alteration. Samples with strong 1.9- μm absorptions often exhibited absorption bands at 1.4, 2.2, and 2.3 μm indicating the presence of clay minerals and/or features at 0.5-0.8 μm indicative of ferric iron oxides. Diagnostic absorption features and continuum slopes have been used to identify a representative subset of rocks from each suite for further analysis for the ChemCam library. Noteworthy spectral features for all suites included variation of absorption bands from 2.0-2.5 μm. Most samples contained an absorption band near 2.21 μm, indicating the presence of Si-OH or Al-OH; a 2.3 μm band is also present in some samples, indicating the presence of Mg-OH and Fe-OH, with subtle shifts between 2.29 and 2.35 μm indicating the major cation and constituent phase (e.g. amorphous phase, smectite or chlorite). Overall continuum slope correlated with the degree of alteration. Flat slopes contained weak 1.9 μm bands (little alteration) and sometimes ferrous iron absorptions of primary minerals. Negative

  4. ESSC-ESF Position Paper-Science-Driven Scenario for Space Exploration: Report from the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worms, Jean-Claude; Lammer, Helmut; Barucci, Antonella; Beebe, Reta; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Blamont, Jacques; Blanc, Michel; Bonnet, Roger; Brucato, John R.; Chassefière, Eric; Coradini, Angioletta; Crawford, Ian; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Falcke, Heino; Gerzer, Rupert; Grady, Monica; Grande, Manuel; Haerendel, Gerhard; Horneck, Gerda; Koch, Bernhard; Lobanov, Andreï; Lopez-Moreno, José J.; Marco, Robert; Norsk, Peter; Rothery, Dave; Swings, Jean-Pierre; Tropea, Cam; Ulamec, Stephan; Westall, Frances; Zarnecki, John

    2009-02-01

    In 2005 the then ESA Directorate for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration (D-HME) commissioned a study from the European Science Foundation's (ESF) European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) to examine the science aspects of the Aurora Programme in preparation for the December 2005 Ministerial Conference of ESA Member States, held in Berlin. A first interim report was presented to ESA at the second stakeholders meeting on 30 and 31 May 2005. A second draft report was made available at the time of the final science stakeholders meeting on 16 September 2005 in order for ESA to use its recommendations to prepare the Executive proposal to the Ministerial Conference. The final ESSC report on that activity came a few months after the Ministerial Conference (June 2006) and attempted to capture some elements of the new situation after Berlin, and in the context of the reduction in NASA's budget that was taking place at that time; e.g., the postponement sine die of the Mars Sample Return mission. At the time of this study, ESSC made it clear to ESA that the timeline imposed prior to the Berlin Conference had not allowed for a proper consultation of the relevant science community and that this should be corrected in the near future. In response to that recommendation, ESSC was asked again in the summer of 2006 to initiate a broad consultation to define a science-driven scenario for the Aurora Programme. This exercise ran between October 2006 and May 2007. ESA provided the funding for staff support, publication costs, and costs related to meetings of a Steering Group, two meetings of a larger ad hoc group (7 and 8 December 2006 and 8 February 2007), and a final scientific workshop on 15 and 16 May 2007 in Athens. As a result of these meetings a draft report was produced and examined by the Ad Hoc Group. Following their endorsement of the report and its approval by the plenary meeting of the ESSC, the draft report was externally refereed, as is now normal practice

  5. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Clarke, Jonathan; Direito, Susana O. L.; Blake, David; Martin, Kevin R.; Zavaleta, Jhony; Foing, Bernard

    2011-07-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to terrains on Mars. Soils were analysed for mineralogy by a Terra X-ray diffractometer (XRD), a field version of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission (2012 landing). Soluble ion chemistry, total organic content and identity and distribution of microbial populations were also determined. The Terra data reveal that Mancos and Morrison soils are rich in phyllosilicates similar to those observed on Mars from orbital measurements (montmorillonite, nontronite and illite). Evaporite minerals observed include gypsum, thenardite, polyhalite and calcite. Soil chemical analysis shows sulfate the dominant anion in all soils and SO4>>CO3, as on Mars. The cation pattern Na>Ca>Mg is seen in all soils except for the Summerville where Ca>Na. In all soils, SO4 correlates with Na, suggesting sodium sulfates are the dominant phase. Oxidizable organics are low in all soils and range from a high of 0.7% in the Mancos samples to undetectable at a detection limit of 0.1% in the Morrison soils. Minerals rich in chromium and vanadium were identified in Morrison soils that result from diagenetic replacement of organic compounds. Depositional environment, geologic history and mineralogy all affect the ability to preserve and detect organic compounds. Subsurface biosphere populations were revealed to contain organisms from all three domains (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya) with cell density between 3.0×106 and 1.8×107 cells ml-1 at the deepest depth. These measurements are analogous to data that could be obtained on future robotic or human Mars missions and results are relevant to the MSL mission that will investigate phyllosilicates on Mars.

  6. Human Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Architecture Study Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Polsgrove, Tara T.

    2016-01-01

    The Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Architecture Study is a multi-NASA center activity to analyze candidate EDL systems as they apply to human Mars landing in the context of the Evolvable Mars Campaign. The study, led by the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), is performed in conjunction with the NASA's Science Mission Directorate and the Human Architecture Team, sponsored by NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The primary objective is to prioritize future STMD EDL technology investments by (1) generating Phase A-level designs for selected concepts to deliver 20 t human class payloads, (2) developing a parameterized mass model for each concept capable of examining payloads between 5 and 40 t, and (3) evaluating integrated system performance using trajectory simulations. This paper summarizes the initial study results.

  7. The Role of the Photogeologic Mapping in the Morocco 2013 Mars Analog Field Simulation (Austrian Space Forum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losiak, Anna; Orgel, Csilla; Moser, Linda; MacArthur, Jane; Gołębiowska, Izabela; Wittek, Steffen; Boyd, Andrea; Achorner, Isabella; Rampey, Mike; Bartenstein, Thomas; Jones, Natalie; Luger, Ulrich; Sans, Alejandra; Hettrich, Sebastian

    2013-04-01

    The MARS2013 mission: The Austrian Space Forum together with multiple scientific partners will conduct a Mars analog field simulation. The project takes place between 1st and 28th of February 2013 in the northern Sahara near Erfoud. During the simulation a field crew (consisting of suited analog astronauts and a support team) will conduct several experiments while being managed by the Mission Support Center (MSC) located in Innsbruck, Austria. The aim of the project is to advance preparation of the future human Mars missions by testing: 1) the mission design with regard to operational and engineering challenges (e.g., how to work efficiently with introduced time delay in communication between field team and MSC), 2) scientific instruments (e.g., rovers) and 3) human performance in conditions analogous to those that will be encountered on Mars. The Role of Geological Mapping: Remote Science Support team (RSS) is responsible for processing science data obtained in the field. The RSS is also in charge of preparing a set of maps to enable planning activities of the mission (including the development of traverses) [1, 2]. The usage of those maps will increase the time-cost efficiency of the entire mission. The RSS team members do not have any prior knowledge about the area where the simulation is taking place and the analysis is fully based on remote sensing satellite data (Landsat, GoogleEarth) and a digital elevation model (ASTER GDEM)from the orbital data. The maps design: The set of maps (covering area 5 km X 5 km centered on the Mission Base Camp) was designed to simplify the process of site selection for the daily traverse planning. Additionally, the maps will help to accommodate the need of the field crew for the increased autonomy in the decision making process, forced by the induced time delay between MSC and "Mars". The set of provided maps should allow the field team to orientate and navigate in the explored areas as well as make informed decisions about

  8. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

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

  9. Mars at Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Evolved Gas Analyses of Sedimentary Materials in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Stimson Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Rampe, E. B.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Stern, J. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D.

    2016-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover has analyzed 10 samples from Gale Crater. All SAM evolved gas analyses have yielded a multitude of volatiles (e.g, H2O, SO2, H2S, CO2, CO, NO, O2, HC1). The objectives of this work are to 1) Characterize the evolved H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 gas traces of sediments analyzed by SAM through sol 1178, 2) Constrain sediment mineralogy/composition based on SAM evolved gas analysis (SAM-EGA), and 3) Discuss the implications of these results releative to understanding the geochemical history of Gale Crater.

  11. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

    Data Management for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) project is a comprehensive system addressing the needs of development, test, and operations phases of the mission. During development of flight software, including the science software, the data management system can be simulated using any POSIX file system. During testing, the on-board file system can be bit compared with files on the ground to verify proper behavior and end-to-end data flows. During mission operations, end-to-end accountability of data products is supported, from science observation concept to data products within the permanent ground repository. Automated and human-in-the-loop ground tools allow decisions regarding retransmitting, re-prioritizing, and deleting data products to be made using higher level information than is available to a protocol-stack approach such as the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP).

  12. Guidelines for 2008 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2008-01-01

    Full details of the Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS) are available via the HR Department’s homepage or directly on the Department’s MARS web page: https://cern.ch/hr-dept/ https://cern.ch/hr-eguide/mars/mars.asp You will find on these pages: MARS procedures including the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; Regulations with links to the scheme’s statutory basis; Frequently Asked Questions; Useful documents with links to relevant documentation; e.g. mandate of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC); Related links and contacts. HR Department Tel. 73566

  13. Mars Technologies Spawn Durable Wind Turbines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Sometimes referred to as regenerative life support systems, the concept includes an enclosed self-sufficient habitat that can independently support life for years on end. Such a system aims not only to produce its own food and water but to purify air and convert waste into useful byproducts. In the early 1990s, NASA was planning for an extended stay on Mars, and Bubenheim and his Ames colleagues were concentrating efforts on creating a complete ecological system to sustain human crewmembers during their time on the Red Planet. The main barrier to developing such a system, he says, is energy. Mars has no power plants, and a regenerative system requires equipment that runs on electricity to do everything from regulating humidity in the atmosphere to monitoring the quality of recycled water. The Ames group started looking at how to best make power on a planet that is millions of miles away from Earth and turned to a hybrid concept combining wind and solar power technologies. The reason was that Mars experiences frequent dust storms that can block nearly all sunlight. When theres a dust storm and the wind is blowing, the wind system could be the dominant power source. When the wind is not blowing and the sun is out, photovoltaics could be the dominant source, says Bubenheim.To develop and test the wind power technology, Ames turned to a remote, harsh environment here on Earth: the South Pole. The South Pole was a really good analog for Mars, says Bubenheim. The technology features for going to Mars were the same technology features needed to make something work at the South Pole.Around the same time that NASA started investigating energy technologies for the Red Planet, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was working on a redesign of their station at the South Pole. To power its operations, NSF used fuel that it flew to the remote location, but the Foundation recognized the benefits of also using onsite renewable energy technologies. In the winter they have small

  14. The Preparation for and Execution of Engineering Operations for the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover mission is the most complex and scientifically packed rover that has ever been operated on the surface of Mars. The preparation leading up to the surface mission involved various tests, contingency planning and integration of plans between various teams and scientists for determining how operation of the spacecraft (s/c) would be facilitated. In addition, a focused set of initial set of health checks needed to be defined and created in order to ensure successful operation of rover subsystems before embarking on a two year science journey. This paper will define the role and responsibilities of the Engineering Operations team, the process involved in preparing the team for rover surface operations, the predefined engineering activities performed during the early portion of the mission, and the evaluation process used for initial and day to day spacecraft operational assessment.

  15. Smart Industry Research in the Field of HRM : Resetting Job Design as an Example of Upcoming Challenges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Habraken, Milou Maria Petronella; Bondarouk, Tatiana; Bondarouk, Tanya; Ruel, Huub; Parry, Emma

    2017-01-01

    Purpose – This chapter aims to encourage and guide Smart Industry HRM-related research by addressing upcoming challenges developed using a Job Design lens. Methodology/approach – The challenges are constructed based on a developed overview of the existing body of work related to Job Design and a

  16. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Yingst, R. Aileen; Ravine, Michael A.; Caplinger, Michael A.; Maki, Justin N.; Ghaemi, F. Tony; Schaffner, Jacob A.; Bell, James F.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Heydari, Ezat; Kah, Linda C.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Olson, Timothy S.; Parker, Timothy J.; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Sullivan, Robert J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Thomas, Peter C.; Jensen, Elsa H.; Simmonds, John J.; Sengstacken, Aaron J.; Wilson, Reg G.; Goetz, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) investigation will use a 2-megapixel color camera with a focusable macro lens aboard the rover, Curiosity, to investigate the stratigraphy and grain-scale texture, structure, mineralogy, and morphology of geologic materials in northwestern Gale crater. Of particular interest is the stratigraphic record of a ?5 km thick layered rock sequence exposed on the slopes of Aeolis Mons (also known as Mount Sharp). The instrument consists of three parts, a camera head mounted on the turret at the end of a robotic arm, an electronics and data storage assembly located inside the rover body, and a calibration target mounted on the robotic arm shoulder azimuth actuator housing. MAHLI can acquire in-focus images at working distances from ?2.1 cm to infinity. At the minimum working distance, image pixel scale is ?14 μm per pixel and very coarse silt grains can be resolved. At the working distance of the Mars Exploration Rover Microscopic Imager cameras aboard Spirit and Opportunity, MAHLI?s resolution is comparable at ?30 μm per pixel. Onboard capabilities include autofocus, auto-exposure, sub-framing, video imaging, Bayer pattern color interpolation, lossy and lossless compression, focus merging of up to 8 focus stack images, white light and longwave ultraviolet (365 nm) illumination of nearby subjects, and 8 gigabytes of non-volatile memory data storage.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neary, L.; Daerden, F.

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, Kathryn M.; Edwards, Christopher; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D.; Edgar, Lauren; Fraeman, A.; Jacob, S.; LeDeit, L.; Lewis, K.W.; Rice, M.S.; Rubin, D.; Calef, F.; Edgett, K.; Williams, R.M.E.; Williford, K.H.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides the first systematic comparison of orbital facies maps with detailed ground-based geology observations from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover to examine the validity of geologic interpretations derived from orbital image data. Orbital facies maps were constructed for the Darwin, Cooperstown, and Kimberley waypoints visited by the Curiosity rover using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. These maps, which represent the most detailed orbital analysis of these areas to date, were compared with rover image-based geologic maps and stratigraphic columns derived from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Results show that bedrock outcrops can generally be distinguished from unconsolidated surficial deposits in high-resolution orbital images and that orbital facies mapping can be used to recognize geologic contacts between well-exposed bedrock units. However, process-based interpretations derived from orbital image mapping are difficult to infer without known regional context or observable paleogeomorphic indicators, and layer-cake models of stratigraphy derived from orbital maps oversimplify depositional relationships as revealed from a rover perspective. This study also shows that fine-scale orbital image-based mapping of current and future Mars landing sites is essential for optimizing the efficiency and science return of rover surface operations.

  19. A Multi-mission Event-Driven Component-Based System for Support of Flight Software Development, ATLO, and Operations first used by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehghani, Navid; Tankenson, Michael

    2006-01-01

    This paper details an architectural description of the Mission Data Processing and Control System (MPCS), an event-driven, multi-mission ground data processing components providing uplink, downlink, and data management capabilities which will support the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project as its first target mission. MPCS is developed based on a set of small reusable components, implemented in Java, each designed with a specific function and well-defined interfaces. An industry standard messaging bus is used to transfer information among system components. Components generate standard messages which are used to capture system information, as well as triggers to support the event-driven architecture of the system. Event-driven systems are highly desirable for processing high-rate telemetry (science and engineering) data, and for supporting automation for many mission operations processes.

  20. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  1. 78 FR 56246 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

    ... topics: --Planetary Science Division Update --Mars Exploration Program Update --Government Performance... to providing the following information no less than 10 working days prior to the meeting: full name; gender; date/place of birth; citizenship; visa information (number, type, expiration date); passport...

  2. Winds Measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) During the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover's Bagnold Dunes Campaign and Comparison with Numerical Modeling Using MarsWRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Claire E.; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Marin, Mercedes; Navarro, Sara; Torres, Josefina; Richardson, Mark I.; Battalio, J. Michael; Guzewich, Scott D.; Sullivan, Robert; de la Torre, Manuel;