Sample records for nasa planetary exploration

  1. NASA Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayati, Samad

    1999-01-01

    Managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the lead U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system. JPL spacecraft have visited all known planets except Pluto (a Pluto mission is currently under study). In addition to its work for NASA, JPL conducts tasks for a variety of other federal agencies. In addition, JPL manages the worldwide Deep Space Network, which communicates with spacecraft and conducts scientific investigations from its complexes in California's Mojave Desert near Goldstone; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia. JPL employs about 6000 people.

  2. NASA's Desert RATS Science Backroom: Remotely Supporting Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara A.; Eppler, Dean; Gruener, John; Horz, Fred; Ming, Doug; Yingst, R. Aileen

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests designed to exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in conditions where long-distance, multi-day roving is achievable. In recent years, a D-RATS science backroom has conducted science operations and tested specific operational approaches. Approaches from the Apollo, Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix missions were merged to become the baseline for these tests. In 2010, six days of lunar-analog traverse operations were conducted during each week of the 2-week test, with three traverse days each week conducted with voice and data communications continuously available, and three traverse days conducted with only two 1-hour communications periods per day. In 2011, a variety of exploration science scenarios that tested operations for a near-earth asteroid using several small exploration vehicles and a single habitat. Communications between the ground and the crew in the field used a 50-second one-way delay, while communications between crewmembers in the exploration vehicles and the habitat were instantaneous. Within these frameworks, the team evaluated integrated science operations management using real-time science operations to oversee daily crew activities, and strategic level evaluations of science data and daily traverse results. Exploration scenarios for Mars may include architectural similarities such as crew in a habitat communicating with crew in a vehicle, but significantly more autonomy will have to be given to the crew rather than step-by-step interaction with a science backroom on Earth.

  3. NASA's Planetary Photojournal

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    A collaboration between NASA's Planetary Data System Imaging Node, the Solar System Visualization Project, and the Jet Propulsion Lab's Media Relations Office, NASA's Planetary Photojournal offers user-friendly, continuously-updated access to approximately 2,000 images from various solar system exploration programs. Users can select from a number of spacecraft/ instruments for different images of each of the planets in the solar system. Photos come as thumbnails and in full resolution TIFF format. A New Releases link contains the most current pictures.

  4. Fiber lasers and amplifiers for Earth\\/planetary science and exploration at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Michael A. Krainak; Hossin Abdeldayem; James Abshire; Graham R. Allan; John Burris; Jeffrey Chen; Barry Coyle; Steven Li; Haris Riris; Antonios Seas; Mark Stephen; Emily Wilson; Anthony Yu

    We discuss present and near-term uses for high- power fiber lasers and amplifiers for NASA-specific applications including planetary topography and atmospheric spectroscopy. Fiber lasers and amplifiers offer numerous advantages for both near-term and future deployment of instruments on exploration and science remote sensing orbiting satellites. Ground-based and airborne systems provide an evolutionary path to space and a means for calibration

  5. Refocusing NASA Planetary Science Funding

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Sarah Zielinski

    2006-01-01

    NASA should invest more money in data analysis for its planetary science missions, even if it means delaying or canceling afuture mission, members of the science committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) suggested at a 12 October meeting.

  6. Monitoring Floods with NASA's ST6 Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment: Implications on Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ip, Felipe; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Castano, B.; Chien, S.; Cichy, B.; Davies, A. G.; Doggett, T.; Greeley, R.; Sherwood, R.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's New Millennium Program (NMP) Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) [1-3] has been successfully demonstrated in Earth-orbit. NASA has identified the development of an autonomously operating spacecraft as a necessity for an expanded program of missions exploring the Solar System. The versatile ASE spacecraft command and control, image formation, and science processing software was uploaded to the Earth Observer 1 (EO-1) spacecraft in early 2004 and has been undergoing onboard testing since May 2004 for the near real-time detection of surface modification related to transient geological and hydrological processes such as volcanism [4], ice formation and retreat [5], and flooding [6]. Space autonomy technology developed as part of ASE creates the new capability to autonomously detect, assess, react to, and monitor dynamic events such as flooding. Part of the challenge has been the difficulty to observe flooding in real time at sufficient temporal resolutions; more importantly, it is the large spatial extent of most drainage networks coupled with the size of the data sets necessary to be downlinked from satellites that make it difficult to monitor flooding from space. Below is a description of the algorithms (referred to as ASE Flood water Classifiers) used in tandem with the Hyperion spectrometer instrument on EO-1 to identify flooding and some of the test results.

  7. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: A Robotic Boulder Capture Option for Science, Human Exploration, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, P.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar electric propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (4 - 10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is also examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (1 - 5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. The Robotic Boulder Capture (RBC) option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well- characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. This ARM option reduces mission risk and provides increased benefits for science, human exploration, resource utilization, and planetary defense. Science: The RBC option is an extremely large sample-return mission with the prospect of bringing back many tons of well-characterized asteroid material to the Earth-Moon system. The candidate boulder from the target NEA can be selected based on inputs from the world-wide science community, ensuring that the most scientifically interesting boulder be returned for subsequent sampling. In addition, the material surrounding the boulder can be collected from the surface, thus providing geological contextual information and additional samples of NEA regolith. The robotic manipulators used for capturing the boulder will ensure some of the surface remains undisturbed and that the boulder will retain its structural integrity, which will preserve the context of any samples collected by the astronauts and ensure a high level of science return. Human Exploration: Due to the coherent nature of the boulder that will be collected, entire encapsulation of the asteroid material is not required. This facilitates exploration and sample collection of the boulder by astronauts in a variety of ways. The total time for EVA during the crew portion of the mission is very limited. Current estimates are that each of the two EVAs will only last four hours. The RBC option will allow crew members to have good situational awareness of the work site and quickly identify sample sites of interest. In addition, the samples to be collected can be readily accessed without having to deal with removal of an encapsulation system, which adds extra complexity and risk for the astronauts during EVA. Resource Utilization: One of the most crucial aspects for resource utilization is the identification and collection of appropriate materials (e.g., volatiles, organics, metals, etc.) that contain components of interest. Prior characterization of NEAs is required in order to increase the likelihood that appropriate materials will be returned. Ground-based observations of small (<10 m) NEAs are challenging, but characterization efforts of larger targets have demonstrated that NEAs with volatiles and organics have been identified. Two potential targets for the RBC option (Bennu and 1999 JU3) have been previously identified as potentially rich in resources, and both are already targets of currently planned robotic missions that will characterize their physical properties in great detail. Planetary Defense: The RBC option involves interaction wi

  8. Planetary exploration through year 2000: An augmented program. Part two of a report by the Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    In 1982, the NASA Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) published a report on a Core Program of planetary missions, representing the minimum-level program that could be carried out in a cost effective manner, and would yield a continuing return of basic scientific results. This is the second part of the SSEC report, describing missions of the highest scientific merit that lie outside the scope of the previously recommended Core Program because of their cost and technical challenge. These missions include the autonomous operation of a mobile scientific rover on the surface of Mars, the automated collection and return of samples from that planet, the return to Earth of samples from asteroids and comets, projects needed to lay the groundwork for the eventual utilization of near-Earth resources, outer planet missions, observation programs for extra-solar planets, and technological developments essential to make these missions possible.

  9. NASA's Planetary Photojournal

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This site, hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), contains NASA's best solar system images. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and other objects all have entries sorted by the spacecraft that took the photo. The site is searchable by date, feature name, ID number, or spacecraft. Each image contains a small description and credits.

  10. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Longitudinal Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giron, Jennie M.; Sohus, A.

    2006-12-01

    NASA’s Planetary Science Summer School is a program designed to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers to participate in future missions of solar system exploration. The opportunity is advertised to science and engineering post-doctoral and graduate students with a strong interest in careers in planetary exploration. Preference is given to U.S. citizens. The “school” consists of a one-week intensive team exercise learning the process of developing a robotic mission concept into reality through concurrent engineering, working with JPL’s Advanced Project Design Team (Team X). This program benefits the students by providing them with skills, knowledge and the experience of collaborating with a concept mission design. A longitudinal study was conducted to assess the impact of the program on the past participants of the program. Data collected included their current contact information, if they are currently part of the planetary exploration community, if participation in the program contributed to any career choices, if the program benefited their career paths, etc. Approximately 37% of 250 past participants responded to the online survey. Of these, 83% indicated that they are actively involved in planetary exploration or aerospace in general; 78% said they had been able to apply what they learned in the program to their current job or professional career; 100% said they would recommend this program to a colleague.

  11. A vision for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connolly, John F.; Callaway, Robert K.; Diogu, Mark K.; Grush, Gene R.; Lancaster, E. M.; Morgan, William C.; Petri, David A.; Roberts, Barney B.; Pieniazek, Lester A.; Polette, Thomas M.

    1992-01-01

    A vision for planetary exploration is proposed which combines historical perspective and current NASA studies with the realities of changing political climates, economic environments, and technological directions. The concepts of Strategic Implementation Architectures (SIA), Open System Infrastructure Standards (OSIS), and Minimum Service Level Infrastructure (MSLI) are presented in order to propose a structure for the SEI which allows the realization of incremental mission objectives, establishes an investment strategy that efficiently uses public resources, and encourages partnerships with the government. The SIA is a hypothetical master plan which will allow the implementation of the complete spectrum of envisioned system capabilities for planetary exploration. OSIS consists of standards for interconnection, interoperability, and administration. MSLI can be defined as the minimum level of services provided by the system that are not justified by profit or parochial motives.

  12. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    This is the final report of a program that examined the fundamentals of education associated with space activities, promoted educational policy development in appropriate forums, and developed pathfinder products and services to demonstrate the utility of advanced communication technologies for space-based education. Our focus was on space astrophysics and planetary exploration, with a special emphasis on the themes of the Origins Program, with which the Principal Investigator (PI) had been involved from the outset. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration was also the core funding of the Space Telescope Science Institute's (ST ScI) Special Studies Office (SSO), and as such had provided basic support for such important NASA studies as the fix for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spherical aberration, scientific conception of the HST Advanced Camera, specification of the Next-Generation Space Telescope (NGST), and the strategic plan for the second decade of the HST science program.

  13. Airships for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony

    2004-01-01

    The feasibility of utilizing an airship for planetary atmospheric exploration was assessed. The environmental conditions of the planets and moons within our solar system were evaluated to determine their applicability for airship flight. A station-keeping mission of 50 days in length was used as the baseline mission. Airship sizing was performed utilizing both solar power and isotope power to meet the baseline mission goal at the selected planetary location. The results show that an isotope-powered airship is feasible within the lower atmosphere of Venus and Saturn s moon Titan.

  14. Direct Areal Robot Explorers For Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankine, A.; Nock, K.; Heun, M.; Aaron, K.; Schlaifer, S.

    Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC) is developing revolutionary system architecture for exploration of planetary atmospheres and surfaces from atmospheric altitudes. The work is supported by NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC). The innovative system architecture relies upon the use of Directed Aerial Robot Explorers (DARE), which essentially are autonomous balloons with trajectory control capabilities that can deploy swarms of miniature probes over multiple target areas. The balloons will follow the winds while in passive-exploring mode or steer across the winds towards regions of interest while in active-directed mode. The balloons will serve a dual purpose as independent explorers and as micro probes (MIPs) delivery systems for targeted observations. Trajectory control capabilities will offer unprecedented opportunities in high- resolution targeted observations of both atmospheric and surface phenomena. Multifunctional micro probes will be deployed from the balloons once over the target areas, and perform a multitude of functions, such as atmospheric profiling (Jupiter, Saturn), or surface exploration (Mars, Venus, Titan), relaying data back to the balloons. This architecture will enable low-cost, low-energy, long-term global exploration of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. We report on our progress towards the development of DARE.

  15. Physics in NASA Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Callaghan, Fred

    2004-01-01

    The primary focus of the workshop was NASA's new concentration on sending crewed missions to the Moon by 2020, and then on to Mars and beyond. Several speakers, including JPL s Fred O Callaghan and NASA's Mark Lee, broached the problem that there is now a serious reduction of capability to perform experiments in the ISS, or to fly significant mass in microgravity by other means. By 2010, the shuttle fleet will be discontinued and Russian craft will provide the only access to the ISS. O Callaghan stated that the Fundamental Physics budget is being reduced by 70%. LTMPF and LCAP are slated for termination. However, ground-based experiments are continuing to be funded at present, and it will be possible to compete for $80-90 million in new money from the Human Research Initiative (HRI). The new program thrust is for exploration, not fundamental physics. Fundamental, we were told by Lee, does not ring well in Washington these days. Investigators were advised to consider how their work can benefit missions to the Moon and Mars. Work such as that regarding atomic clocks is looked upon with favor, for example, because it is considered important to navigation and planetary GPS. Mark Lee stressed that physicists must convey to NASA senior management that they are able and willing to contribute to the new exploration research programs. The new mentality must be we deliver products, not do research. This program needs to be able to say that it is doing at least 50% exploration-related research. JPL s Ulf Israelsson discussed the implications to OBPR, which will deliver methods and technology to assure human health and performance in extraterrestrial settings. The enterprise will provide advanced life-support systems and technology that are reliable, capable, simpler, less massive, smaller, and energy-efficient, and it may offer other necessary expertise in areas such as low-gravity behavior. Like Dr. Lee, he stated that the focus must be on products, not research. While there is not yet a formal direction, he said, LTMPF and PARCS ISS flight projects are slated to terminate in October 2004. All flight investigations are being returned to ground programs and phased out by the end of FY07. Physics ground programs are intact for now, but to survive we must shift about 50% of research to supporting exploration. Basic research programs in other disciplines are being cancelled. Product lines will support human health, safety and life-support, including countermeasures against radiation and other hazards, as well as advances in time-keeping, navigation and communications technologies. Israelsson said that the new Fundamental Physics for Exploration Roadmap points to how fundamental physics research can and does support exploration. JPL will use the roadmap to argue for support for fundamental physics research under several codes. Nicholas Bigelow of the University of Rochester encouraged attendees not to become discouraged, but rather to embrace the opportunities presented by NASA's new direction.

  16. Planetary Exploration with Direct Aerial Robot Explorers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankine, A.; Aaron, K.; Heun, M.; Ingersoll, A.; Lorenz, R.; Nock, K.; Schlaifer, S.

    2003-04-01

    Global Aerospace Corporation is developing revolutionary system architecture for exploration of planetary atmospheres and surfaces from atmospheric altitudes. The work is supported by NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. The innovative system architecture relies upon the use of Directed Aerial Robot Explorers (DARE), which essentially are long-duration autonomous balloons with trajectory control capabilities that can deploy swarms of miniature probes over multiple target areas. The balloon platforms will serve a dual purpose as independent explorers and as micro probes delivery systems for targeted observations. Trajectory control capabilities will offer unprecedented opportunities in high-resolution targeted observations of both atmospheric and surface phenomena. Multifunctional micro probes will be deployed from the balloons once over the target areas, and perform a multitude of functions, such as atmospheric profiling or surface exploration, relaying data back to the balloons or an orbiter. This architecture will enable low-cost, low-energy, long-term global exploration of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. We present conceptual analysis of DARE capabilities and potential science applications for Venus, Titan, Jupiter and Mars.

  17. Directed aerial robot explorers for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankine, A. A.; Aaron, K. M.; Heun, M. K.; Nock, K. T.; Schlaifer, R. S.; Wyszkowski, C. J.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2004-01-01

    Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC) is developing a revolutionary system architecture for exploration of planetary atmospheres and surfaces from atmospheric altitudes. The work is supported by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC). The innovative system architecture relies upon the use of Directed Aerial Robot Explorers (DAREs), which essentially are long-duration-flight autonomous balloons with trajectory control capabilities that can deploy swarms of miniature probes over multiple target areas. The balloons will serve a dual purpose as independent explorers and as microprobe delivery systems for targeted observations. Trajectory control capabilities will offer unprecedented opportunities in high-resolution, targeted observations of both atmospheric and surface phenomena. Multifunctional microprobes will be deployed from the balloons once over the target areas, and perform a multitude of functions, such as atmospheric profiling or surface exploration, relaying data back to the balloons or an orbiter. This architecture will enable low-cost, low-energy, long-term global exploration of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. We report here results of the preliminary analysis of the trajectory control capabilities and potential applications for DARE platforms at Venus, Mars, Titan and Jupiter.

  18. Proposed NASA budget cuts planetary science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-02-01

    President Barack Obama's fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request for NASA would sharply cut planetary science while maintaining other science and exploration priorities. The total proposed FY 2013 budget for NASA is $17.7 billion, a slight decrease (0.33%) from the previous year (see Table 1). This includes $4.9 billion for the Science directorate, a decrease of about 3.2% from the previous year, and about $3.9 billion for the Human Exploration directorate, a n increase of about $200 million over FY 2012. The latter would include about $2.8 million for development of a new heavy-lift rocket system, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), to take humans beyond low-Earth orbit, along with the Orion crew vehicle.

  19. NASA: Solar System Exploration

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This NASA website offers a wide variety of space science-related activities, multimedia, and facts for people of all ages. The website presents the latest news and upcoming space science events. Students and educators can explore NASA's space missions by target, letter, year, and program. Individuals can learn about the history and future of robotic exploration of space through a pictorial timeline. In the Science and Technology link, visitors can find the latest science and technology features, NASA science highlights, science goals, and information on NASA scientists. Kids will enjoy the Roadtrip to Mars interactive module and interesting facts about the planets. Teachers can easily locate activities about the science behind the latest NASA headlines through the Fast Lesson Finder. Everyone can view the images and videos of the planets, spacecraft, technology, and additional subjects.

  20. Planetary Exploration Rebooted! New Ways of Exploring the Moon, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fong, Terrence W.

    2010-01-01

    In this talk, I will summarize how the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group has been developing and field testing planetary robots for human exploration, creating automated planetary mapping systems, and engaging the public as citizen scientists.

  1. Visualizing NASA's Planetary Data with Google Earth

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. A. Beyer; M. D. Hancher; M. Broxton; M. Weiss-Malik; N. Gorelick; E. Kolb

    2008-01-01

    There is a vast store of planetary geospatial data that has been collected by NASA but is difficult to access and visualize. As a 3D geospatial browser, the Google Earth client is one way to visualize planetary data. KML imagery super-overlays enable us to create a non-Earth planetary globe within Google Earth, and conversion of planetary meta-data allows display of

  2. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions: Overview of the Technology Maturation Efforts Funded by NASA's Game Changing Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beck, Robin A.; Arnold, James O.; Gasch, Matthew J.; Stackpoole, Margaret M.; Fan, Wendy; Szalai, Christine E.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2012-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist (OCT), NASA has identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASA's Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASA's exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) is a primary avenue to achieve the Agency's 2011 strategic goal to "Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future." In addition, recently released "NASA space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities," by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need for NASA to invest in the very near term in specific EDL technologies. The report points out the following challenges (Page 2-38 of the pre-publication copy released on February 1, 2012): Mass to Surface: Develop the ability to deliver more payload to the destination. NASA's future missions will require ever-greater mass delivery capability in order to place scientifically significant instrument packages on distant bodies of interest, to facilitate sample returns from bodies of interest, and to enable human exploration of planets such as Mars. As the maximum mass that can be delivered to an entry interface is fixed for a given launch system and trajectory design, the mass delivered to the surface will require reduction in spacecraft structural mass; more efficient, lighter thermal protection systems; more efficient lighter propulsion systems; and lighter, more efficient deceleration systems. Surface Access: Increase the ability to land at a variety of planetary locales and at a variety of times. Access to specific sites can be achieved via landing at a specific location (s) or transit from a single designated landing location, but it is currently infeasible to transit long distances and through extremely rugged terrain, requiring landing close to the site of interest. The entry environment is not always guaranteed with a direct entry, and improving the entry system's robustness to a variety of environmental conditions could aid in reaching more varied landing sites."

  3. Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cezzar, Ruknet; Sen, Ranjan K.

    1989-01-01

    The Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER) project is essentially research oriented towards technology insertion issues for NASA's unmanned planetary probes. It was initiated to complement and augment the long-term efforts for space exploration with particular reference to NASA/LaRC's (NASA Langley Research Center) research needs for planetary exploration missions of the mid and late 1990s. The requirements for space missions as given in the somewhat dated Advanced Information Processing Systems (AIPS) requirements document are contrasted with the new requirements from JPL/Caltech involving sensor data capture and scene analysis. It is shown that more stringent requirements have arisen as a result of technological advancements. Two possible architectures, the AIPS Proof of Concept (POC) configuration and the MAX Fault-tolerant dataflow multiprocessor, were evaluated. The main observation was that the AIPS design is biased towards fault tolerance and may not be an ideal architecture for planetary and deep space probes due to high cost and complexity. The MAX concepts appears to be a promising candidate, except that more detailed information is required. The feasibility for adding neural computation capability to this architecture needs to be studied. Key impact issues for architectural design of computing systems meant for planetary missions were also identified.

  4. NASA: Solar System Exploration

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This NASA website offers a wide variety of space science-related activities, multimedia, and facts for people of all ages. The website presents the latest news and upcoming space science events. Students and educators can explore space missions by name, decade, target, and nation. In the Science and Technology link, visitors can find the latest science and technology features, NASA science highlights, as well as information about astrobiology and power and propulsion. Kids will enjoy the Alien Safari interactive module and interesting facts about the planets. Teachers can easily locate activities about the science behind the latest NASA headlines through the Fast Lesson Finder. Everyone can view the images and videos of the planets, spacecraft, technology, and additional subjects.

  5. NASA's Mars Exploration Program

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This site provides information and resources on the NASA Mars Exploration Program, a science-driven program that seeks to understand whether Mars was, is, or can be a habitable world, as suggested by the presence or absence of liquid water. Site materials include overviews of current and past Mars missions and spacecraft, facts and a virtual tour of the planet using the NASA Mars Atlas, and a brief discussion of the perception of Mars in popular culture. For students, there are interactive features, games, and activities. For educators, there are professional development materials, classroom resources (activities and lessons), and information on four major education programs connected with Mars exploration. Other materials include news articles, multimedia presentations, recent images, and updates from current missions.

  6. The NASA planetary biology internship experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinkle, G.; Margulis, L.

    1991-01-01

    By providing students from around the world with the opportunity to work with established scientists in the fields of biogeochemistry, remote sensing, and origins of life, among others, the NASA Planetary Biology Internship (PBI) Program has successfully launched many scientific careers. Each year approximately ten interns participate in research related to planetary biology at NASA Centers, NASA-sponsored research in university laboratories, and private institutions. The PBI program also sponsors three students every year in both the Microbiology and Marine Ecology summer courses at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Other information about the PBI Program is presented including application procedure.

  7. NASA Robotics for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fischer, RIchard T.

    2007-01-01

    This presentation focuses on NASA's use of robotics in support of space exploration. The content was taken from public available websites in an effort to minimize any ITAR or EAR issues. The agenda starts with an introduction to NASA and the "Vision for Space Exploration" followed by NASA's major areas of robotic use: Robotic Explorers, Astronaut Assistants, Space Vehicle, Processing, and In-Space Workhorse (space infrastructure). Pictorials and movies of NASA robots in use by the major NASA programs: Space Shuttle, International Space Station, current Solar Systems Exploration and Mars Exploration, and future Lunar Exploration are throughout the presentation.

  8. NASA and Planetary Science on the Internet

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. W. Davis

    2004-01-01

    The presentation of planetary science on the World Wide Web is spotty at best. For example, a student searching Google to find the current number of known moons orbiting Jupiter would get answers ranging from 16 to 28 to 63 (the correct number as of Aug. 2004). Information on NASA-sponsored sites is often hard to find and out of date.

  9. Robot manipulator technologies for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Hari; Bao, Xiaoqi; Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Bonitz, Robert; Lindemann, Randall A.; Maimone, Mark; Nesnas, Issa A.; Voorhees, Christopher J.

    1999-06-01

    NASA exploration missions to Mars, initiated by the Mars Pathfinder mission in July 1997, will continue over the next decade. The missions require challenging innovations in robot design and improvements in autonomy to meet ambitious objectives under tight budget and time constraints. The authors are developing design tools, component technologies and capabilities to address these needs for manipulation with robots for planetary exploration. The specific developments are: (1) a software analysis tool to reduce robot design iteration cycles and optimize on design solutions, (2) new piezoelectric ultrasonic motors for light-weight and high torque actuation in planetary environments, (3) use of advanced materials and structures for strong and light-weight robot arms and (4) intelligent camera-image coordinated autonomous control of robot arms for instrument placement and sample acquisition from a rover vehicle.

  10. Robot Manipulator Technologies for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Das, H.; Bao, X.; Bar-Cohen, Y.; Bonitz, R.; Lindemann, R.; Maimone, M.; Nesnas, I.; Voorhees, C.

    1999-01-01

    NASA exploration missions to Mars, initiated by the Mars Pathfinder mission in July 1997, will continue over the next decade. The missions require challenging innovations in robot design and improvements in autonomy to meet ambitious objectives under tight budget and time constraints. The authors are developing design tools, component technologies and capabilities to address these needs for manipulation with robots for planetary exploration. The specific developments are: 1) a software analysis tool to reduce robot design iteration cycles and optimize on design solutions, 2) new piezoelectric ultrasonic motors (USM) for light-weight and high torque actuation in planetary environments, 3) use of advanced materials and structures for strong and light-weight robot arms and 4) intelligent camera-image coordinated autonomous control of robot arms for instrument placement and sample acquisition from a rover vehicle.

  11. NASA's Planetary Aeolian Laboratory: Facilities and Plans for Future Availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    The Planetary Aeolian Laboratory (PAL), supported by NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics (PG&G) program, is a unique facility used for conducting experiments and simulations of aeolian processes (windblown particles) under different planetary atmospheric environments, including Earth, Mars, and Saturn's moon Titan. With the death of PAL founder Ronald Greeley in 2011, there is concern in the planetary aeolian community whether the PAL will be maintained for continued use by planetary scientists. This presentation will review the PAL facilities, what are their current capabilities, how can interested scientists propose to NASA to use them, and what are the long-term plans for their continued use. The PAL includes one of the nation's largest pressure chambers for conducting low-pressure research. The primary purpose of the PAL is to enable scientific research into aeolian processes under controlled laboratory conditions, and enable testing and calibration of spacecraft instruments and components for NASA's solar system missions, including those requiring a large volume simulated Martian atmosphere. The PAL consists of: 1) the Mars Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) and 2) Titan Wind Tunnel (TWT) located in the Structural Dynamics Building (N-242) at the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in Mountain View, California and administered by Arizona State University. Also available (although not officially part of the PAL facilities) is: 3) an ambient pressure/temperature wind tunnel (ASUWIT) and 4) a vortex (dust devil) generator (ASUVG) on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University (ASU), which is part of the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) and the Ronald Greeley Center for Planetary Studies. The TWT just came online in June 2012, and upgrades are underway to both the hardware and software of the MARSWIT and ASUWIT. Long-term plans are for ASU to continue to manage these facilities, to make them as capable as possible, so that they may be useful resources to NASA and the aeolian community for many years to come.

  12. Planetary Exploration: An integrated Approach

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Mark Brandreth

    2002-01-01

    I have developed and am currently teaching a course on Planetary Exploration. This integrated program is designed to help students: * use principles of science to think more intelligently about the universe they live in and about the current issues of science and technology * develop a lifelong awareness of the potential and limitations of science and technology * realize

  13. Exploring Planetary Moons

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    2013-07-05

    This is a collection of mathematics problems relating to the moons of the solar system. Learners will use simple proportional relationships and work with fractions to study the relative sizes of the larger moons in our solar system, and explore how temperatures change from place to place using the Celsius and Kelvin scales.

  14. Planetary protection in the framework of the Aurora exploration program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, G.

    The Aurora Exploration Program will give ESA new responsibilities in the field of planetary protection. Until now, ESA had only limited exposure to planetary protection from its own missions. With the proposed ExoMars and MSR missions, however, ESA will enter the realm of the highest planetary protection categories. As a consequence, the Aurora Exploration Program has initiated a number of activities in the field of planetary protection. The first and most important step was to establish a Planetary Protection Working Group (PPWG) that is advising the Exploration Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) on all matters concerning planetary protection. The main task of the PPWG is to provide recommendations regarding: Planetary protection for robotic missions to Mars; Planetary protection for a potential human mission to Mars; Review/evaluate standards & procedures for planetary protection; Identify research needs in the field of planetary protection. As a result of the PPWG deliberations, a number of activities have been initiated: Evaluation of the Microbial Diversity in SC Facilities; Working paper on legal issues of planetary protection and astrobiology; Feasibility study on a Mars Sample Return Containment Facility; Research activities on sterilization procedures; Training course on planetary protection (May, 2004); Workshop on sterilization techniques (fall 2004). In parallel to the PPWG, the Aurora Exploration Program has established an Ethical Working Group (EWG). This working group will address ethical issues related to astrobiology, planetary protection, and manned interplanetary missions. The recommendations of the working groups and the results of the R&D activities form the basis for defining planetary protection specification for Aurora mission studies, and for proposing modification and new inputs to the COSPAR planetary protection policy. Close cooperation and free exchange of relevant information with the NASA planetary protection program is strongly encouraged.

  15. Visualizing NASA's Planetary Data with Google Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, R. A.; Hancher, M. D.; Broxton, M.; Weiss-Malik, M.; Gorelick, N.; Kolb, E.

    2008-12-01

    There is a vast store of planetary geospatial data that has been collected by NASA but is difficult to access and visualize. As a 3D geospatial browser, the Google Earth client is one way to visualize planetary data. KML imagery super-overlays enable us to create a non-Earth planetary globe within Google Earth, and conversion of planetary meta-data allows display of the footprint locations of various higher-resolution data sets. Once our group, or any group, performs these data conversions the KML can be made available on the Web, where anyone can download it and begin using it in Google Earth (or any other geospatial browser), just like a Web page. Lucian Plesea at JPL offers several KML basemaps (MDIM, colorized MDIM, MOC composite, THEMIS day time infrared, and both grayscale and colorized MOLA). We have created TES Thermal Inertia maps, and a THEMIS night time infrared overlay, as well. Many data sets for Mars have already been converted to KML. We provide coverage polygons overlaid on the globe, whose icons can be clicked on and lead to the full PDS data URL. We have built coverage maps for the following data sets: MOC narrow angle, HRSC imagery and DTMs, SHARAD tracks, CTX, and HiRISE. The CRISM team is working on providing their coverage data via publicly-accessible KML. The MSL landing site process is also providing data for potential landing sites via KML. The Google Earth client and KML allow anyone to contribute data for everyone to see via the Web. The Earth sciences community is already utilizing KML and Google Earth in a variety of ways as a geospatial browser, and we hope that the planetary sciences community will do the same. Using this paradigm for sharing geospatial data will not only enable planetary scientists to more easily build and share data within the scientific community, but will also provide an easy platform for public outreach and education efforts, and will easily allow anyone to layer geospatial information on top of planetary data. Our presentation will demonstrate how to leverage the latest Google Earth and KML features to visualize planetary data. In the future we hope to make additional planetary KML data available for Mars, the Moon, and other planets in the solar system. This will vastly increase the public's ability to easily access NASA's store of planetary geospatial information.

  16. NASA'S Mars Exploration Homepage

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    NASA

    This extensive site from NASA hosts a collection of science and news articles, images and animations, and resources for teachers and students. Information about various Martian missions and observational technologies are included as well as links to other NASA sites that relate to Mars.

  17. Enabling Exploration: NASA's Technology Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carroll, Carol W.

    2012-01-01

    Deputy Director of Science, Carol W. Carroll has been invited by University of Oregon's Materials Science Institute to give a presentation. Carol's Speech explains NASA's Technologies that are needed where NASA was, what NASA's current capabilities are. Carol will highlight many of NASA's high profile projects and she will explain what NASA needs for its future by focusing on the next steps in space exploration. Carol's audience will be University of Oregon's future scientists and engineer's and their professor's along with various other faculty members.

  18. 76 FR 64387 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-18

    ...Status of Impacts on the Planetary Science Division --Status of Joint NASA-European Space Agency Mars Program --Europa Jupiter System Mission Descope Options --Status of European Space Agency JUpitor ICy moon Explorer Potential Mission --Status...

  19. 76 FR 75914 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-05

    ...on the Planetary Science Division. -- Status of the Joint NASA-European Space Agency Mars Program. -- Update on Europa Jupiter System Mission Descope Options. -- Status of European Space Agency's Potential JUpitor ICy moon Explorer...

  20. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    The progress accomplished in the first five months of the three-year grant period of Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration is presented. The objectives of this project are to discover new education products and services based on space science, particularly planetary exploration. An Exploration in Education is the umbrella name for the education projects as they are seen by teachers and the interested public. As described in the proposal, our approach consists of: (1) increasing practical understanding of the potential role and capabilities of the research community to contribute to basic education using new discoveries; (2) developing an intellectual framework for these contributions by supplying criteria and templates for the teacher's stories; (3) attracting astronomers, engineers, and technical staff to the project and helping them form productive education partnerships for the future, (4) exploring relevant technologies and networks for authoring and communicating the teacher's stories; (5) enlisting the participation of potential user's of the teacher's stories in defining the products; (6) actually producing and delivering many educationally useful teacher's stories; and (7) reporting the pilot study results with critical evaluation. Technical progress was made by assembling our electronic publishing stations, designing electronic publications based on space science, and developing distribution approaches for electronic products. Progress was made addressing critical issues by developing policies and procedures for securing intellectual property rights and assembling a focus group of teachers to test our ideas and assure the quality of our products. The following useful materials are being produced: the TOPS report; three electronic 'PictureBooks'; one 'ElectronicArticle'; three 'ElectronicReports'; ten 'PrinterPosters'; and the 'FaxForum' with an initial complement of printed materials. We have coordinated with planetary scientists and astronomers both at the technical and policy level to assure the efficiency and ultimate utility of these efforts to derive educational benefits from the space science and exploration program as a whole.

  1. Planetary protection status of NASA space missions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Barengoltz

    2006-01-01

    Several United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration space missions of planetary protection PP consequence category 3 and higher outbound requirements are currently operating in space In order of launch dates they are Mars Global Surveyor MGS Mars Odyssey Mars Exploration Rover MER and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter MRO MGS originally was launched on November 7 1996 and entered Mars orbit

  2. Robots and Humans in Planetary Exploration: Working Together?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Lyons, Valerie (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Today's approach to human-robotic cooperation in planetary exploration focuses on using robotic probes as precursors to human exploration. A large portion of current NASA planetary surface exploration is focussed on Mars, and robotic probes are seen as precursors to human exploration in: Learning about operation and mobility on Mars; Learning about the environment of Mars; Mapping the planet and selecting landing sites for human mission; Demonstration of critical technology; Manufacture fuel before human presence, and emplace elements of human-support infrastructure

  3. NASA/CP--2006214202 NASA Space Exploration Logistics Workshop

    E-print Network

    de Weck, Olivier L.

    NASA/CP--2006­214202 NASA Space Exploration Logistics Workshop Proceedings January 17-18, 2006 Hanover, MD 21076-1320 #12;NASA/CP--2006­214202 NASA Space Exploration Logistics Workshop Proceedings January 17-18, 2006 Washington, DC The first Space Exploration Logistics Workshop, hosted by MIT and SOLE

  4. Data Management in Planetary Exploration and Space Physics

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. J. Walker; S. P. Joy; T. A. King

    2003-01-01

    Planetary exploration and space physics approach data management in very different ways. In this talk we will compare the approaches in these two disciplines with emphasis on how each has dealt with the problems of locating and accessing distributed data. We also will outline the data management challenges each will face in the next decade. Sixteen years ago the NASA

  5. Overview of Innovative Aircraft Power and Propulsion Systems and Their Applications for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony; Landis, Geoffrey; Lyons, Valerie

    2003-01-01

    Planetary exploration may be enhanced by the use of aircraft for mobility. This paper reviews the development of aircraft for planetary exploration missions at NASA and reviews the power and propulsion options for planetary aircraft. Several advanced concepts for aircraft exploration, including the use of in situ resources, the possibility of a flexible all-solid-state aircraft, the use of entomopters on Mars, and the possibility of aerostat exploration of Titan, are presented.

  6. Planetary explorer liquid propulsion study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckevitt, F. X.; Eggers, R. F.; Bolz, C. W.

    1971-01-01

    An analytical evaluation of several candidate monopropellant hydrazine propulsion system approaches is conducted in order to define the most suitable configuration for the combined velocity and attitude control system for the Planetary Explorer spacecraft. Both orbiter and probe-type missions to the planet Venus are considered. The spacecraft concept is that of a Delta launched spin-stabilized vehicle. Velocity control is obtained through preprogrammed pulse-mode firing of the thrusters in synchronism with the spacecraft spin rate. Configuration selection is found to be strongly influenced by the possible error torques induced by uncertainties in thruster operation and installation. The propulsion systems defined are based on maximum use of existing, qualified components. Ground support equipment requirements are defined and system development testing outlined.

  7. New Direction of NASA Exploration Life Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chambliss, Joe; Lawson, B. Michael; Barta, Daniel J.

    2006-01-01

    NASA's activities in life support Research and Technology Development (R&TD) have changed in both focus and scope following implementation of recommendations from the Exploration System Architecture Study (ESAS). The limited resources available and the compressed schedule to conduct life support R&TD have required that future efforts address the needs of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) and Lunar Outpost (LO). Advanced Life Support (ALS) efforts related to long duration planetary bases have been deferred or canceled. This paper describes the scope of the new Exploration Life Support (ELS) project; how it differs from ALS, and how it supports critical needs for the CEV, LSAM and LO. In addition, this paper provides rationale for changes in the scope and focus of technical content within ongoing life support R&TD activities.

  8. Planetary protection for human exploration of Mars

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Catharine A. Conley; John D. Rummel

    2010-01-01

    Human astronauts have unique capabilities that could greatly facilitate scientific exploration of other planets. However, when searching for life beyond Earth, these capabilities can be utilized effectively only if the biological contamination associated with human presence is monitored and minimized. This is termed planetary protection, and is a critical element in human exploration beyond Earth. Planetary protection must be incorporated

  9. Manned flight and planetary scientific exploration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, Christian; Moreau, Didier

    2014-05-01

    Human explorers had a fundamental role in the success of the APOLLO moon programme, they were at the same time the indispensable pilots, scientific operators and on the last missions lead scientists. Since, man did not either return to the moon or land on Mars but manned operation centres on the earth are now conducting extensive telescience on both celestial bodies. Manned flights to moon, Mars and asteroids are however still on the agenda and even if the main drive of these projects is outside science, it is to the planetary scientists to both prepare the data bases necessary for these flights and to ensure that the scientific advantage of conducting research in real time and in situ is exploited to the maximum. The current manned flight programme in Europe concentrates on the use of the International Space Station, the scientific activities can be roughly divided between the pressurized payloads and the external payloads. Technology developments occur also in parallel and prepare new exploration techniques. The current planning leads to exploitation up to 2020 but the space agencies study further extensions, the date of 2028 having already been considered. The relation of these programmes to future manned planetary exploration will be described both from the science and development point of view. The complementary role of astronauts and ground operation centres will be described on the basis of the current experience of operation centres managing the International Space Station. Finally, the NASA ORION project of exploration in the solar system will be described with emphasis on its current European participations. The science opportunities presented by independent ventures as Inspiration Mars or Mars One will be presented.

  10. Planetary Exploration: An integrated Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandreth, Mark

    I have developed and am currently teaching a course on Planetary Exploration. This integrated program is designed to help students: * use principles of science to think more intelligently about the universe they live in and about the current issues of science and technology * develop a lifelong awareness of the potential and limitations of science and technology * realize the important role that science will play in their personal and professional lives This program addresses the following essential questions: * What physical and chemical systems of earth can support life? * What physical and chemical systems exist on the planets of our solar system? * Can other planets support Life? * How do scientists explore the solar system and beyond? * How do solar systems and galaxies evolve? * What is the origin of the universe? Students apply the fundamental concepts of earth science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, and technology as they examine the Earth, our solar system, the Milky Way, other galaxies and the universe to answer these questions. In additions to many hands-on activities to further stimulate student learning and interest, they are guided through these questions in a Socratic, discussion format, working from student's prior knowledge and misconceptions.

  11. Nanotube-based Sensors and Systems for Outer Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noca, F.; Hunt, B. D.; Hoenk, M. E.; Choi, D.; Kowalczyk, R.; Williams, R.; Xu, J.; Koumoutsakos, P.

    2001-01-01

    Direct sensing and processing at the nanometer scale offer NASA the opportunity to expand its capabilities in deep space exploration, particularly for the search for signatures of life, the analysis of planetary oceans and atmospheres, and communications systems. Carbon nanotubes, with their unique mechanical, electrical, and radiation-tolerant properties, are a promising tool for this exploration. We are developing devices based on carbon nanotubes, including sensors, actuators, and oscillators. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  12. NASA evolution of exploration architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Barney B.

    1991-01-01

    A series of charts and diagrams is used to provide a detailed overview of the evolution of NASA space exploration architectures. The pre-Apollo programs including the Werner von Braun feasibility study are discussed and the evolution of the Apollo program itself is treated in detail. The post-Apollo era is reviewed and attention is given to the resurgence of strategic planning exemplified by both ad hoc and formal efforts at planning. Results of NASA's study of the main elements of the Space Exploration Initiative which examined technical scenarios, science opportunities, required technologies, international considerations, institutional strengths and needs, and resource estimates are presented. The 90-day study concludes that, among other things, major investments in challenging technologies are required, the scientific opportunities provided by the program are considerable, current launch capabilities are inadequate, and Space Station Freedom is essential.

  13. Human-Robot Planetary Exploration Teams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tyree, Kimberly

    2004-01-01

    The EVA Robotic Assistant (ERA) project at NASA Johnson Space Center studies human-robot interaction and robotic assistance for future human planetary exploration. Over the past four years, the ERA project has been performing field tests with one or more four-wheeled robotic platforms and one or more space-suited humans. These tests have provided experience in how robots can assist humans, how robots and humans can communicate in remote environments, and what combination of humans and robots works best for different scenarios. The most efficient way to understand what tasks human explorers will actually perform, and how robots can best assist them, is to have human explorers and scientists go and explore in an outdoor, planetary-relevant environment, with robots to demonstrate what they are capable of, and roboticists to observe the results. It can be difficult to have a human expert itemize all the needed tasks required for exploration while sitting in a lab: humans do not always remember all the details, and experts in one arena may not even recognize that the lower level tasks they take for granted may be essential for a roboticist to know about. Field tests thus create conditions that more accurately reveal missing components and invalid assumptions, as well as allow tests and comparisons of new approaches and demonstrations of working systems. We have performed field tests in our local rock yard, in several locations in the Arizona desert, and in the Utah desert. We have tested multiple exploration scenarios, such as geological traverses, cable or solar panel deployments, and science instrument deployments. The configuration of our robot can be changed, based on what equipment is needed for a given scenario, and the sensor mast can even be placed on one of two robot bases, each with different motion capabilities. The software architecture of our robot is also designed to be as modular as possible, to allow for hardware and configuration changes. Two focus areas of our research are safety and crew time efficiency. For safety, our work involves enabling humans to reliably communicate with a robot while moving in the same workspace, and enabling robots to monitor and advise humans of potential problems. Voice, gesture, remote computer control, and enhanced robot intelligence are methods we are studying. For crew time efficiency, we are investigating the effects of assigning different roles to humans and robots in collaborative exploration scenarios.

  14. Planetary Protection Constraints For Planetary Exploration and Exobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debus, A.; Bonneville, R.; Viso, M.

    According to the article IX of the OUTER SPACE TREATY (London / Washington January 27., 1967) and in the frame of extraterrestrial missions, it is required to preserve planets and Earth from contamination. For ethical, safety and scientific reasons, the space agencies have to comply with the Outer Space Treaty and to take into account the related planetary protection Cospar recommendations. Planetary protection takes also into account the protection of exobiological science, because the results of life detection experimentations could have impacts on planetary protection regulations. The validation of their results depends strongly of how the samples have been collected, stored and analyzed, and particularly of their biological and organic cleanliness. Any risk of contamination by organic materials, chemical coumpounds and by terrestrial microorganisms must be avoided. A large number of missions is presently scheduled, particularly on Mars, in order to search for life or traces of past life. In the frame of such missions, CNES is building a planetary protection organization in order handle and to take in charge all tasks linked to science and engineering concerned by planetary protection. Taking into account CNES past experience in planetary protection related to the Mars 96 mission, its planned participation in exobiological missions with NASA as well as its works and involvement in Cospar activities, this paper will present the main requirements in order to avoid celestial bodies biological contamination, focussing on Mars and including Earth, and to protect exobiological science.

  15. Planetary exploration in the 1990's

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Douglas Blanchard

    1989-01-01

    Planned and proposed near-term missions for planetary exploration are outlined. The history of planetary missions is reviewed and the characteristics of proposed future missions are discussed. The missions include the Magellan mission to map Venus, the Mars Observer mission, the Lunar Geochemical Orbiter, the Lunar Observer mission, the second and third phases of the Venus Orbiter, the future of the

  16. Robots and Humans: Synergy in Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    How will humans and robots cooperate in future planetary exploration? Are humans and robots fundamentally separate modes of exploration, or can humans and robots work together to synergistically explore the solar system? It is proposed that humans and robots can work together in exploring the planets by use of telerobotic operation to expand the function and usefulness of human explorers, and to extend the range of human exploration to hostile environments.

  17. IAA Space Exploration Conference Planetary Robotic and Human Spaceflight Exploration

    E-print Network

    de Weck, Olivier L.

    IAA Space Exploration Conference Planetary Robotic and Human Spaceflight Exploration 09 January 2014 A pre-Summit Conference of the HEADS OF SPACE AGENCIES SUMMIT ON EXPLORATION 5) Space Exploration play complementary roles in achieving ambitious space exploration efforts, which are increasingly cost

  18. IAA Space Exploration Conference Planetary Robotic and Human Spaceflight Exploration

    E-print Network

    de Weck, Olivier L.

    IAA Space Exploration Conference Planetary Robotic and Human Spaceflight Exploration 09 January 2014 A pre-Summit Conference of the HEADS OF SPACE AGENCIES SUMMIT ON EXPLORATION 5) Space Exploration: The Imperative of Global Cooperation Evaluation of Human Space Exploration Missions Beyond Low Earth Orbit Oleg

  19. NASA Propulsion Investments for Exploration and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Bryan K.; Free, James M.; Klem, Mark D.; Priskos, Alex S.; Kynard, Michael H.

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invests in chemical and electric propulsion systems to achieve future mission objectives for both human exploration and robotic science. Propulsion system requirements for human missions are derived from the exploration architecture being implemented in the Constellation Program. The Constellation Program first develops a system consisting of the Ares I launch vehicle and Orion spacecraft to access the Space Station, then builds on this initial system with the heavy-lift Ares V launch vehicle, Earth departure stage, and lunar module to enable missions to the lunar surface. A variety of chemical engines for all mission phases including primary propulsion, reaction control, abort, lunar ascent, and lunar descent are under development or are in early risk reduction to meet the specific requirements of the Ares I and V launch vehicles, Orion crew and service modules, and Altair lunar module. Exploration propulsion systems draw from Apollo, space shuttle, and commercial heritage and are applied across the Constellation architecture vehicles. Selection of these launch systems and engines is driven by numerous factors including development cost, existing infrastructure, operations cost, and reliability. Incorporation of green systems for sustained operations and extensibility into future systems is an additional consideration for system design. Science missions will directly benefit from the development of Constellation launch systems, and are making advancements in electric and chemical propulsion systems for challenging deep space, rendezvous, and sample return missions. Both Hall effect and ion electric propulsion systems are in development or qualification to address the range of NASA s Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics mission requirements. These address the spectrum of potential requirements from cost-capped missions to enabling challenging high delta-v, long-life missions. Additionally, a high specific impulse chemical engine is in development that will add additional capability to performance-demanding space science missions. In summary, the paper provides a survey of current NASA development and risk reduction propulsion investments for exploration and science.

  20. Terrain identification methods for planetary exploration rovers

    E-print Network

    Brooks, Christopher Allen, 1978-

    2004-01-01

    Autonomous mobility in rough terrain is becoming increasingly important for planetary exploration rovers. Increased knowledge of local terrain properties is critical to ensure a rover's safety, especially when driving on ...

  1. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; Blackwood, Gary; Gagosian, John

    2014-11-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is chartered to implement the NASA space science goals of detecting and characterizing exoplanets and to search for signs of life. The ExEP manages space missions, future studies, technology investments, and ground-based science that either enables future missions or completes mission science. The exoplanet science community is engaged by the Program through Science Definition Teams and through the Exoplanet Program Analysis Group. The ExEP includes the space science missions of Kepler, K2, and the proposed WFIRST-AFTA that includes dark energy science, a widefield infrared survey, a microlensing survey for outer-exoplanet demographics, and a coronagraph for direct imaging of cool outer gas- and ice-giants around nearby stars. Studies of probe-scale (medium class) missions for a coronagraph (internal occulter) and starshade (external occulter) explore the trades of cost and science and provide motivation for a technology investment program to enable consideration of missions at the next decadal survey for NASA Astrophysics. Program elements include follow-up observations using the Keck Observatory which contribute to the science yield of Kepler and K2, and include mid-infrared observations of exo-zodiacal dust by the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer which provide parameters critical to the design and predicted science yield of the next generation of direct imaging missions. ExEP includes the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute which provides archives, tools, and professional education for the exoplanet community. Each of these program elements contribute to the goal of detecting and characterizing earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and seeks to respond to rapid evolution in this discovery-driven field and to ongoing programmatic challenges through engagement of the scientific and technical communities.

  2. The planetary exploration programme after two decades

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. N. James

    1981-01-01

    The possible future of the United States program of planetary exploration in the next two decades is examined. The scientific goals and strategy for the exploration of the solar system outside of the earth-moon system are outlined, and the increasing cost effectiveness (per bit of data returned) of the first two decades of space exploration is pointed out. Attention is

  3. Planetary exploration through year 2000, a core program: Mission operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    In 1980 the NASA Advisory Council created the Solar System Exploratory Committee (SSEC) to formulate a long-range program of planetary missions that was consistent with likely fiscal constraints on total program cost. The SSEC had as its primary goal the establishment of a scientifically valid, affordable program that would preserve the nation's leading role in solar system exploration, capitalize on two decades of investment, and be consistent with the coordinated set of scientific stategies developed earlier by the Committe on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX). The result of the SSEC effort was the design of a Core Program of planetary missions to be launched by the year 2000, together with a realistic and responsible funding plan. The Core Program Missions, subcommittee activities, science issues, transition period assumptions, and recommendations are discussed.

  4. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Preparing the Next Generation of Planetary Mission Leaders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budney, C. J.; Lowes, L. L.; Sohus, A.; Wheeler, T.; Wessen, A.; Scalice, D.

    2010-12-01

    Sponsored by NASA’s Planetary Science Division, and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Planetary Science Summer School prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork. For this professional development opportunity, applicants are sought who have a strong interest and experience in careers in planetary exploration, and who are science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students, and faculty teaching such students. Disciplines include planetary science, geoscience, geophysics, environmental science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science. Participants are selected through a competitive review process, with selections based on the strength of the application and advisor’s recommendation letter. Under the mentorship of a lead engineer (Dr. Charles Budney), students select, design, and develop a mission concept in response to the NASA New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity. They develop their mission in the JPL Advanced Projects Design Team (Team X) environment, which is a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of professional engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. About 36 students participate each year, divided into two summer sessions. In advance of an intensive week-long session in the Project Design Center at JPL, students select the mission and science goals during a series of six weekly WebEx/telecons, and develop a preliminary suite of instrumentation and a science traceability matrix. Students assume both a science team and a mission development role with JPL Team X mentors. Once at JPL, students participate in a series of Team X project design sessions, during which their mentors aid them in finalizing their mission design and instrument suite, and in making the necessary trade-offs to stay within the cost cap. Tours of JPL facilities highlight the end-to-end life cycle of a mission. At week’s end, students present their Concept Study to a “proposal review board” of JPL scientists and engineers and NASA Headquarters executives, who feed back the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal and mission design. The majority of students come from top US universities with planetary science or engineering programs, such as Brown University, MIT, Georgia Tech, University of Colorado, Caltech, Stanford, University of Arizona, UCLA, and University of Michigan. Almost a third of Planetary Science Summer School alumni from the last 10 years of the program are currently employed by NASA or JPL. The Planetary Science Summer School is implemented by the JPL Education Office in partnership with JPL’s Team X Project Design Center.

  5. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Preparing the Next Generation of Planetary Mission Leaders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowes, L. L.; Budney, C. J.; Sohus, A.; Wheeler, T.; Urban, A.; NASA Planetary Science Summer School Team

    2011-12-01

    Sponsored by NASA's Planetary Science Division, and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Planetary Science Summer School prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork. For this professional development opportunity, applicants are sought who have a strong interest and experience in careers in planetary exploration, and who are science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students, and faculty teaching such students. Disciplines include planetary science, geoscience, geophysics, environmental science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science. Participants are selected through a competitive review process, with selections based on the strength of the application and advisor's recommendation letter. Under the mentorship of a lead engineer (Dr. Charles Budney), students select, design, and develop a mission concept in response to the NASA New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity. They develop their mission in the JPL Advanced Projects Design Team (Team X) environment, which is a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of professional engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. About 36 students participate each year, divided into two summer sessions. In advance of an intensive week-long session in the Project Design Center at JPL, students select the mission and science goals during a series of six weekly WebEx/telecons, and develop a preliminary suite of instrumentation and a science traceability matrix. Students assume both a science team and a mission development role with JPL Team X mentors. Once at JPL, students participate in a series of Team X project design sessions, during which their mentors aid them in finalizing their mission design and instrument suite, and in making the necessary trade-offs to stay within the cost cap. Tours of JPL facilities highlight the end-to-end life cycle of a mission. At week's end, students present their Concept Study to a "proposal review board" of JPL scientists and engineers and NASA Headquarters executives, who feed back the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal and mission design. A survey of Planetary Science Summer School alumni administered in summer of 2011 provides information on the program's impact on students' career choices and leadership roles as they pursue their employment in planetary science and related fields. Preliminary results will be discussed during the session. Almost a third of the approximately 450 Planetary Science Summer School alumni from the last 10 years of the program are currently employed by NASA or JPL. The Planetary Science Summer School is implemented by the JPL Education Office in partnership with JPL's Team X Project Design Center.

  6. Communication Research for NASA's Planetary Protection Program: Science, Risk, Models, Strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billings, L.

    2004-12-01

    Planetary protection is the term used to describe policies and practices that are intended to prevent 1) contamination of extraterrestrial environments by microbial Earth life (forward contamination) and 2) contamination of Earth's environment by possible extraterrestrial microbial life (back contamination) in the course of solar system exploration. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the international Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) both have planetary protection policies in place. Because the practice of planetary protection involves many different disciplines and many different national and international and governmental and nongovernmental organizations, communication has always been an important element of the practice. Thus NASA Planetary Protection Office has a long-term communication research initiative under way, addressing legal and ethical issues relating to planetary protection, models and methods of science and risk communication, and communication strategy and planning. With the pace of solar system exploration picking up, the era of solar system sample return under way, and public concerns about biological contamination heightened, communication is an increasingly important concern in the planetary protection community. This paper will describe current activities in communication research for NASA's planetary protection program.

  7. NASA: Exploration in 3D

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    NASA's Exploration in 3D website is well executed and is accompanied by music with that classic, creepy, outer space feel. For visitors who prefer silence while looking at images of deep, dark space, there is a mute button near the bottom right side of the homepage. With this website, NASA is allowing the public to see their next major project, which involves creating a transportation system to take astronauts to the moon and then on to Mars. To enable the interested public to watch the progress of their plans for space, NASA will be taking photos of the project and putting them on this website, so they can be downloaded and printed. Once said images are printed, that's where the 3-D pocket viewfinders come in. For visitors interested in getting a viewfinder, click on the link at the bottom of the page that says "Click here to request your own EXN3D Pocket Viewfinder". To view the latest images with your viewfinder that are ready to download and print, visitors can click on "Downloads". Interested parties should check back in the future to see newly added images of the progress of the transportation system.

  8. 76 FR 69292 - NASA Advisory Council Science Committee Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-08

    ...SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice 11-113] NASA Advisory Council Science Committee Planetary...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces that the meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council originally...

  9. Scientific Assessment of NASA's Solar System Exploration Roadmap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-08-01

    At its June 24-28, 1996, meeting, the Space Studies Board's Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX), chaired by Ronald Greeley of Arizona State University, conducted an assessment of NASA's Mission to the Solar System Roadmap report. This assessment was made at the specific request of Dr. Jurgen Rahe, NASA's science program director for solar system exploration. The assessment includes consideration of the process by which the Roadmap was developed, comparison of the goals and objectives of the Roadmap with published National Research Council (NRC) recommendations, and suggestions for improving the Roadmap.

  10. Scientific Assessment of NASA's Solar System Exploration Roadmap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    At its June 24-28, 1996, meeting, the Space Studies Board's Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX), chaired by Ronald Greeley of Arizona State University, conducted an assessment of NASA's Mission to the Solar System Roadmap report. This assessment was made at the specific request of Dr. Jurgen Rahe, NASA's science program director for solar system exploration. The assessment includes consideration of the process by which the Roadmap was developed, comparison of the goals and objectives of the Roadmap with published National Research Council (NRC) recommendations, and suggestions for improving the Roadmap.

  11. Design of Hybrid Mobile Communication Networks for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alena, Richard L.; Ossenfort, John; Lee, Charles; Walker, Edward; Stone, Thom

    2004-01-01

    The Mobile Exploration System Project (MEX) at NASA Ames Research Center has been conducting studies into hybrid communication networks for future planetary missions. These networks consist of space-based communication assets connected to ground-based Internets and planetary surface-based mobile wireless networks. These hybrid mobile networks have been deployed in rugged field locations in the American desert and the Canadian arctic for support of science and simulation activities on at least six occasions. This work has been conducted over the past five years resulting in evolving architectural complexity, improved component characteristics and better analysis and test methods. A rich set of data and techniques have resulted from the development and field testing of the communication network during field expeditions such as the Haughton Mars Project and NASA Mobile Agents Project.

  12. National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA's Exploration

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA's Exploration Strategy April 2014 #12;Why Human Space Exploration? §Scientific and human exploration and pioneering mark advancing civilizations generations § § § Space exploration is human and robotic explorers in partnership § Robots explore distant

  13. Communication System Architecture for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Braham, Stephen P.; Alena, Richard; Gilbaugh, Bruce; Glass, Brian; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require effective communications supporting exploration activities and scientific field data collection. Constraints on cost, size, weight and power consumption for all communications equipment make optimization of these systems very important. These information and communication systems connect people and systems together into coherent teams performing the difficult and hazardous tasks inherent in planetary exploration. The communication network supporting vehicle telemetry data, mission operations, and scientific collaboration must have excellent reliability, and flexibility.

  14. NASA Earth and Space Science Explorers Poster

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    IGES

    2007-01-01

    This poster features several of the NASA Earth and Space Science Explorers, plus suggestions for using the series in the classroom. The series of online articles features NASA explorers, young and old, with many backgrounds and interests. Most articles are written for three different reading levels: grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and up.

  15. Planetary Society: Explore for Kids

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Educational activities related to space exploration suitable for elementary to middle-school students, including an opportunity to remotely drive (via home computer) a robotic Mars rover made of LEGOs. Instructions provided for observing and photographing meteor showers, constructing model rockets and comets, demonstrating the distances between planets, and creating a simulated volcanic eruption.

  16. Data Management in Planetary Exploration and Space Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, R. J.; Joy, S. P.; King, T. A.

    2003-12-01

    Planetary exploration and space physics approach data management in very different ways. In this talk we will compare the approaches in these two disciplines with emphasis on how each has dealt with the problems of locating and accessing distributed data. We also will outline the data management challenges each will face in the next decade. Sixteen years ago the NASA Solar System Exploration Division founded the Planetary Data System (PDS) to coordinate the data activities of planetary missions, provide the scientific community with access to planetary data and preserve the data from planetary missions for future analysis. PDS is organized into "nodes" by scientific sub-disciplines (Atmospheres, Geoscience, Plasma Interactions, Rings and Small Bodies) and experimental technique (Imaging and Radio Science). In addition the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) addresses data issues involving navigation and instrument pointing. All planetary data from NASA missions are prepared to the same metadata standards that include a common data dictionary. Initially access to the data was by sub-discipline although within a sub-discipline the access was to all missions and instrument types. More recently planetary science has become more interdisciplinary and now PDS is moving toward a system that supports cross discipline access. Data are available either on online or on hard media (CDROM or DVD). In recent years space physics data access has been organized by missions. Some missions support data systems through which all of the data from the mission can be accessed while for others the data are available from individual principal investigator sites. In general the space physics missions support an open data policy and much of the data is available online. There are no discipline wide metadata standards. Different missions support different data dictionaries, schemas and interfaces. The data come in a variety of formats. In the near future both planetary science and space physics will be challenged with massive volumes of data from new missions (approximately 1015 bytes). In both disciplines the need for comparative research across missions or sub-disciplines is becoming more common. Both will have to support data structures that allow users to readily locate, access, and use data from distributed and diverse sources. Both disciplines must address the issue of how to distribute these massive data sets to the science community. Distributable media (DVD) are too expensive due to their limited storage capacity and the network bandwidth is unlikely to be able to support online distribution.

  17. Multimission ground data system support of NASA'S planetary program

    Microsoft Academic Search

    William B. Green

    1995-01-01

    NASA funds the Multimission Operations Systems Office (MOSO) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to design, develop, and operate the Advanced Multimission Operations (AMMOS) multimission ground data system capabilities that are used to control operational spacecraft and process data returned from a variety of planetary missions. The AMMOS design is based on use of modular, networked capabilities and industry standard hardware

  18. NASA's planetary protection program as an astrobiology teaching module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolb, Vera M.

    2005-09-01

    We are currently developing a teaching module on the NASA's Planetary Protection Program for UW-Parkside SENCER courses. SENCER stands for Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibility. It is a national initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF), now in its fifth year, to improve science education by teaching basic sciences through the complex public issues of the 21st century. The Planetary Protection Program is one such complex public issue. Teaching astrobiology and the NASA's goals via the Planetary Protection module within the SENCER courses seems to be a good formula to reach large number of students in an interesting and innovative way. We shall describe the module that we are developing. It will be launched on our web site titled "Astrobiology at Parkside" (http://oldweb.uwp.edu/academic/chemistry/kolb/organic_chemistry/, or go to Google and then to Vera Kolb Home Page), and thus will be available for teaching to all interested parties.

  19. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batalha, N. M.

    2014-09-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star-type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first three years of data, 100 of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane) which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g. velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within 1 AU of their host stars in support of NASA's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

  20. Submillimeter Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry Exploration Sounder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlecht, Erich T.; Allen, Mark A.; Gill, John J.; Choonsup, Lee; Lin, Robert H.; Sin, Seth; Mehdi, Imran; Siegel, Peter H.; Maestrini, Alain

    2013-01-01

    Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry Exploration Sounder (SPACES), a high-sensitivity laboratory breadboard for a spectrometer targeted at orbital planetary atmospheric analysis. The frequency range is 520 to 590 GHz, with a target noise temperature sensitivity of 2,500 K for detecting water, sulfur compounds, carbon compounds, and other atmospheric constituents. SPACES is a prototype for a powerful tool for the exploration of the chemistry and dynamics of any planetary atmosphere. It is fundamentally a single-pixel receiver for spectral signals emitted by the relevant constituents, intended to be fed by a fixed or movable telescope/antenna. Its front-end sensor translates the received signal down to the 100-MHz range where it can be digitized and the data transferred to a spectrum analyzer for processing, spectrum generation, and accumulation. The individual microwave and submillimeter wave components (mixers, LO high-powered amplifiers, and multipliers) of SPACES were developed in cooperation with other programs, although with this type of instrument in mind. Compared to previous planetary and Earth science instruments, its broad bandwidth (approx. =.13%) and rapid tunability (approx. =.10 ms) are new developments only made possible recently by the advancement in submillimeter circuit design and processing at JPL.

  1. IUS application to NASA planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanford, Denton; Saucier, Sidney

    1987-01-01

    The considerations involved in the selection of a new upper stage to launch three planetary missions following the decision to cancel the use of Centaur are discussed, and the methods by which the selected IUS will fly these missions are described. It is shown that the IUS is capable of accomplishing all three misssions (Magellan, Galileo, and Ulysses) with some compromises in mission transit time. Relatively minor modifications to the IUS, airborne support equipment, and software are required. The first of the three missions is to be accomplished two and a half years from go-ahead by the use of existing IUS flight hardware.

  2. Explore Mars from the NASA Website

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhaoyao, Meng

    2005-01-01

    Here we show how to explore Mars based on data obtainable from the NASA website. The analysis and calculations of some physics questions provide interesting and useful examples of inquiry-based learning.

  3. 78 FR 21421 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-10

    ...SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 13-048] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This...

  4. 77 FR 71641 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-03

    ...ADMINISTRATION [Notice (12-104)] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This...

  5. 78 FR 56246 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-12

    ...SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 13-113] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This...

  6. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-28

    ...SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 13-123] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This...

  7. 75 FR 19661 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-15

    ...ADMINISTRATION [Notice (10-044)] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This...

  8. 77 FR 20851 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-06

    ...ADMINISTRATION [Notice (12-026)] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee...Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This...

  9. Intelligent robots for planetary exploration and construction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albus, James S.

    1992-01-01

    Robots capable of practical applications in planetary exploration and construction will require realtime sensory-interactive goal-directed control systems. A reference model architecture based on the NIST Real-time Control System (RCS) for real-time intelligent control systems is suggested. RCS partitions the control problem into four basic elements: behavior generation (or task decomposition), world modeling, sensory processing, and value judgment. It clusters these elements into computational nodes that have responsibility for specific subsystems, and arranges these nodes in hierarchical layers such that each layer has characteristic functionality and timing. Planetary exploration robots should have mobility systems that can safely maneuver over rough surfaces at high speeds. Walking machines and wheeled vehicles with dynamic suspensions are candidates. The technology of sensing and sensory processing has progressed to the point where real-time autonomous path planning and obstacle avoidance behavior is feasible. Map-based navigation systems will support long-range mobility goals and plans. Planetary construction robots must have high strength-to-weight ratios for lifting and positioning tools and materials in six degrees-of-freedom over large working volumes. A new generation of cable-suspended Stewart platform devices and inflatable structures are suggested for lifting and positioning materials and structures, as well as for excavation, grading, and manipulating a variety of tools and construction machinery.

  10. Intelligent robots for planetary exploration and construction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albus, James S.

    1992-02-01

    Robots capable of practical applications in planetary exploration and construction will require realtime sensory-interactive goal-directed control systems. A reference model architecture based on the NIST Real-time Control System (RCS) for real-time intelligent control systems is suggested. RCS partitions the control problem into four basic elements: behavior generation (or task decomposition), world modeling, sensory processing, and value judgment. It clusters these elements into computational nodes that have responsibility for specific subsystems, and arranges these nodes in hierarchical layers such that each layer has characteristic functionality and timing. Planetary exploration robots should have mobility systems that can safely maneuver over rough surfaces at high speeds. Walking machines and wheeled vehicles with dynamic suspensions are candidates. The technology of sensing and sensory processing has progressed to the point where real-time autonomous path planning and obstacle avoidance behavior is feasible. Map-based navigation systems will support long-range mobility goals and plans. Planetary construction robots must have high strength-to-weight ratios for lifting and positioning tools and materials in six degrees-of-freedom over large working volumes. A new generation of cable-suspended Stewart platform devices and inflatable structures are suggested for lifting and positioning materials and structures, as well as for excavation, grading, and manipulating a variety of tools and construction machinery.

  11. Budgeting for Exploration: the History and Political Economy of Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callahan, Jason

    2013-10-01

    The availability of financial resources continues to be one of the greatest limiting factors to NASA’s planetary science agenda. Historians and members of the space science community have offered many explanations for the scientific, political, and economic actions that combine to form NASA’s planetary science efforts, and this essay will use budgetary and historical analysis to examine how each of these factors have impacted the funding of U.S. exploration of the solar system. This approach will present new insights into how the shifting fortunes of the nation’s economy or the changing priorities of political leadership have affected government investment in science broadly, and space science specifically. This paper required the construction of a historical NASA budget data set displaying layered fiscal information that could be compared equivalently over time. This data set was constructed with information collected from documents located in NASA’s archives, the Library of Congress, and at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. The essay will examine the effects of the national gross domestic product, Federal debt levels, the budgets of other Federal agencies engaged in science and engineering research, and party affiliation of leadership in Congress and the White House on the NASA budget. It will also compare historic funding levels of NASA’s astrophysics, heliophysics, and Earth science efforts to planetary science funding. By examining the history of NASA’s planetary science efforts through the lens of the budget, this essay will provide a clearer view of how effectively the planetary science community has been able to align its goals with national science priorities.

  12. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Criswell, Marvin E.; Race, M. S.; Rummel, J. D.; Baker, A.

    2005-06-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop ("Planetary Protection Issues and Future Mars Missions," NASA CP-10086, 1991), but the timing of that workshop allowed neither a careful examination of the full range of issues, nor an appreciation for the Mars that has been revealed by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. Future workshops will also have the advantage of Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and ESA's Mars Express, but the Pingree Park workshop reported here had both the NCR's (1992) concern that "Missions carrying humans to Mars will contaminate the planet" and over a decade of careful study of human exploration objectives to guide them and to reconcile. A daunting challenge, and one that is not going to be simple (as the working title of this meeting, "When Ecologies Collide?" might suggest), it is clear that the planetary protection issues will have to be addressed to enable human explorers to safely and competently extend out knowledge about Mars, and its potential as a home for life whether martian or human.

  13. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Criswell, Marvin E.; Race, M. S.; Rummel, J. D.; Baker, A.

    2005-01-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop ("Planetary Protection Issues and Future Mars Missions," NASA CP-10086, 1991), but the timing of that workshop allowed neither a careful examination of the full range of issues, nor an appreciation for the Mars that has been revealed by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. Future workshops will also have the advantage of Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and ESA's Mars Express, but the Pingree Park workshop reported here had both the NCR's (1992) concern that "Missions carrying humans to Mars will contaminate the planet" and over a decade of careful study of human exploration objectives to guide them and to reconcile. A daunting challenge, and one that is not going to be simple (as the working title of this meeting, "When Ecologies Collide?" might suggest), it is clear that the planetary protection issues will have to be addressed to enable human explorers to safely and competently extend out knowledge about Mars, and its potential as a home for life whether martian or human.

  14. Adaptive multisensor fusion for planetary exploration rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collin, Marie-France; Kumar, Krishen; Pampagnin, Luc-Henri

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the adaptive multisensor fusion system currently being designed at NASA/Johnson Space Center is to provide a robotic rover with assured vision and safe navigation capabilities during robotic missions on planetary surfaces. Our approach consists of using multispectral sensing devices ranging from visible to microwave wavelengths to fulfill the needs of perception for space robotics. Based on the illumination conditions and the sensors capabilities knowledge, the designed perception system should automatically select the best subset of sensors and their sensing modalities that will allow the perception and interpretation of the environment. Then, based on reflectance and emittance theoretical models, the sensor data are fused to extract the physical and geometrical surface properties of the environment surface slope, dielectric constant, temperature and roughness. The theoretical concepts, the design and first results of the multisensor perception system are presented.

  15. NASA's Missions for Exoplanet Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unwin, Stephen

    2014-05-01

    Exoplanets are detected and characterized using a range of observational techniques - including direct imaging, astrometry, transits, microlensing, and radial velocities. Each technique illuminates a different aspect of exoplanet properties and statistics. This diversity of approach has contributed to the rapid growth of the field into a major research area in only two decades. In parallel with exoplanet observations, major efforts are now underway to interpret the physical and atmospheric properties of exoplanets for which spectroscopy is now possible. In addition, comparative planetology probes questions of interest to both exoplanets and solar system studies. In this talk I describe NASA's activities in exoplanet research, and discuss plans for near-future missions that have reflected-light spectroscopy as a key goal. The WFIRST-AFTA concept currently under active study includes a major microlensing survey, and now includes a visible light coronagraph for exoplanet spectroscopy and debris disk imaging. Two NASA-selected community-led teams are studying probe-scale (< 1B) mission concepts for imaging and spectroscopy. These concepts complement existing NASA missions that do exoplanet science (such as transit spectroscopy and debris disk imaging with HST and Spitzer) or are under development (survey of nearby transiting exoplanets with TESS, and followup of the most important targets with transit spectroscopy on JWST), and build on the work of ground-based instruments such as LBTI and observing with HIRES on Keck. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Copyright 2014. California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  16. Advanced flight computers for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephenson, R. Rhoads

    1988-01-01

    Research concerning flight computers for use on interplanetary probes is reviewed. The history of these computers from the Viking mission to the present is outlined. The differences between ground commercial computers and computers for planetary exploration are listed. The development of a computer for the Mariner Mark II comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission is described. Various aspects of recently developed computer systems are examined, including the Max real time, embedded computer, a hypercube distributed supercomputer, a SAR data processor, a processor for the High Resolution IR Imaging Spectrometer, and a robotic vision multiresolution pyramid machine for processsing images obtained by a Mars Rover.

  17. Middle School Adventures in Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S. S.; Pertzborn, R. A.

    1998-09-01

    During the summer of 1998 the UW-Madison Office of Space Science Education (OSSE) developed and implemented a pilot summer school program to improve the math and science performance of middle school students. The program focused on the subject of solar system exploration for the summer school offered by the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) for middle school students. OSSE staff collaborated with science, math, and technology teachers from two middle schools (Milwaukee Education Center and Bell Middle School) to expand upon a series of hands-on, interdisciplinary lesson plans originally developed to accompany the Planetary Society's Red Rover, Red Rover Program. For six weeks, sixty inner city middle school students had the opportunity to explore new worlds as far reaching as Mars, Mercury, Titania, Uranus and Pluto with the assistance of Planetary Scientists and staff from the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center. Students were provided with computers and internet connections by AT&T to conduct on-line research on their own research topic relating to planetary exploration. Based on their own research efforts, teams of five or six students wrote a mission statement and then proceeded to create a terrain resembling their desired planetary target. Team engineers then built a computer operated Lego Dacta rover designed especially for exploring the unique features of their targeted planet. In addition to strengthening their science and math skills, students also focused on the improvement of their communication skills by maintaining a daily journal of their experiences, tribulations and successes. Students were tested in the beginning and again at the end of the program. An independent group from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee performed overall assessment of the summer program. Based on the overall success in achieving performance enchmarks, the Milwaukee Public Schools and UW-Extension Learning Innovations Center have elected to collaborate with the OSSE to expand the pilot space science curriculum for the academic school year. This effort was supported by a grant from the AT&T Educational Foundation.

  18. NASA Laboratory Analysis for Manned Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krihak, Michael K.; Shaw, Tianna E.

    2014-01-01

    The Exploration Laboratory Analysis (ELA) project supports the Exploration Medical Capability Element under the NASA Human Research Program. ELA instrumentation is identified as an essential capability for future exploration missions to diagnose and treat evidence-based medical conditions. However, mission architecture limits the medical equipment, consumables, and procedures that will be available to treat medical conditions during human exploration missions. Allocated resources such as mass, power, volume, and crew time must be used efficiently to optimize the delivery of in-flight medical care. Although commercial instruments can provide the blood and urine based measurements required for exploration missions, these commercial-off-the-shelf devices are prohibitive for deployment in the space environment. The objective of the ELA project is to close the technology gap of current minimally invasive laboratory capabilities and analytical measurements in a manner that the mission architecture constraints impose on exploration missions. Besides micro gravity and radiation tolerances, other principal issues that generally fail to meet NASA requirements include excessive mass, volume, power and consumables, and nominal reagent shelf-life. Though manned exploration missions will not occur for nearly a decade, NASA has already taken strides towards meeting the development of ELA medical diagnostics by developing mission requirements and concepts of operations that are coupled with strategic investments and partnerships towards meeting these challenges. This paper focuses on the remote environment, its challenges, biomedical diagnostics requirements and candidate technologies that may lead to successful blood-urine chemistry and biomolecular measurements in future space exploration missions.

  19. The History of Planetary Exploration Using Mass Spectrometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    At the Planetary Probe Workshop Dr. Paul Mahaffy will give a tutorial on the history of planetary exploration using mass spectrometers. He will give an introduction to the problems and solutions that arise in making in situ measurements at planetary targets using this instrument class.

  20. Lunar Colonization and NASA's Exploration Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavert, Raymond B.

    2006-01-01

    Space colonization is not part of NASA's mission planning. NASA's exploration vision, mission goals and program implementations, however, can have an important affect on private lunar programs leading towards colonization. NASA's exploration program has been described as a journey not a race. It is not like the Apollo mission having tight schedules and relatively unchanging direction. NASA of this era has competing demands from the areas of aeronautics, space science, earth science, space operations and, there are competing demands within the exploration program itself. Under the journey not a race conditions, an entrepreneur thinking about building a hotel on the Moon, with a road to an exploration site, might have difficulty determining where and when NASA might be at a particular place on the Moon. Lunar colonization advocates cannot depend on NASA or other nations with space programs to lead the way to colonization. They must set their own visions, mission goals and schedules. In implementing their colonization programs they will be resource limited. They would be like ``hitchhikers'' following the programs of spacefaring nations identifying programs that might have a fit with their vision and be ready to switch to other programs that may take them in the colonization direction. At times they will have to muster their own limited resources and do things themselves where necessary. The purpose of this paper is to examine current changes within NASA, as a lunar colonization advocate might do, in order to see where there might be areas for fitting into a lunar colonization strategy. The approach will help understand how the ``hitchhiking'' technique might be better utilized.

  1. ANTS: Applying A New Paradigm for Lunar and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Rilee, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano- Technology Swarm), a mission architecture consisting of a large (1000 member) swarm of picoclass (1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft with both adaptable and evolvable heuristic systems, is being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept, and is here examined as a paradigm for lunar surface exploration. As the capacity and complexity of hardware and software, demands for bandwidth, and the sophistication of goals for lunar and planetary exploration have increased, greater cost constraints have led to fewer resources and thus, the need to operate spacecraft with less frequent human contact. At present, autonomous operation of spacecraft systems allows great capability of spacecraft to 'safe' themselves and survive when conditions threaten spacecraft safety. To further develop spacecraft capability, NASA is at the forefront of development of new mission architectures which involve the use of Intelligent Software Agents (ISAs), performing experiments in space and on the ground to advance deliberative and collaborative autonomous control techniques. Selected missions in current planning stages require small groups of spacecraft weighing tens, instead of hundreds, of kilograms to cooperate at a tactical level to select and schedule measurements to be made by appropriate instruments onboard. Such missions will be characterizing rapidly unfolding real-time events on a routine basis. The next level of development, which we are considering here, is in the use of autonomous systems at the strategic level, to explore the remote terranes, potentially involving large surveys or detailed reconnaissance.

  2. Planetary Rover Developments Supporting Mars Exploration, Sample Return and Future Human-Robotic Colonization

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Paul S. Schenker; Terry L. Huntsberger; Paolo Pirjanian; Eric T. Baumgartner; Eddie Tunstel

    2003-01-01

    We overview our recent research on planetary mobility. Products of this effort include the Field Integrated Design & Operations rover (FIDO), Sample Return Rover (SRR), reconfigurable rover units that function as an All Terrain Explorer (ATE), and a multi-Robot Work Crew of closely cooperating rovers (RWC). FIDO rover is an advanced technology prototype; its design and field testing support NASA's

  3. A Three-Line Stereo Camera Concept for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandau, Rainer; Hilbert, Stefan; Venus, Holger; Walter, Ingo; Fang, Wai-Chi; Alkalai, Leon

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents a low-weight stereo camera concept for planetary exploration. The camera uses three CCD lines within the image plane of one single objective. Some of the main features of the camera include: focal length-90 mm, FOV-18.5 deg, IFOV-78 (mu)rad, convergence angles-(+/-)10 deg, radiometric dynamics-14 bit, weight-2 kg, and power consumption-12.5 Watts. From an orbit altitude of 250 km the ground pixel size is 20m x 20m and the swath width is 82 km. The CCD line data is buffered in the camera internal mass memory of 1 Gbit. After performing radiometric correction and application-dependent preprocessing the data is compressed and ready for downlink. Due to the aggressive application of advanced technologies in the area of microelectronics and innovative optics, the low mass and power budgets of 2 kg and 12.5 Watts is achieved, while still maintaining high performance. The design of the proposed light-weight camera is also general purpose enough to be applicable to other planetary missions such as the exploration of Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. Moreover, it is an example of excellent international collaboration on advanced technology concepts developed at DLR, Germany, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA.

  4. Manipulator control for rover planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, Jonathan M.; Tunstel, Edward; Nguyen, Tam; Cooper, Brian K.

    1992-01-01

    An anticipated goal of Mars surface exploration missions will be to survey and sample surface rock formations which appear scientifically interesting. In such a mission, a planetary rover would navigate close to a selected sampling site and the remote operator would use a manipulator mounted on the rover to perform a sampling operation. Techniques for accomplishing the necessary manipulation for the sampling components of such a mission have been developed and are presented. We discuss the implementation of a system for controlling a seven (7) degree of freedom Puma manipulator, equipped with a special rock gripper mounted on a planetary rover prototype, intended for the purpose of performing the sampling operation. Control is achieved by remote teleoperation. This paper discusses the real-time force control and supervisory control aspects of the rover manipulation system. Integration of the Puma manipulator with the existing distributed computer architecture is also discussed. The work described is a contribution toward achieving the coordinated manipulation and mobility necessary for a Mars sample acquisition and return scenario.

  5. MEMS-Based Micro Instruments for In-Situ Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, Thomas; Urgiles, Eduardo R; Toda, Risaku; Wilcox, Jaroslava Z.; Douglas, Susanne; Lee, C-S.; Son, Kyung-Ah; Miller, D.; Myung, N.; Madsen, L.; Leskowitz, G.; El-Gammal, R.; Weitekamp, D.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's planetary exploration strategy is primarily targeted to the detection of extant or extinct signs of life. Thus, the agency is moving towards more in-situ landed missions as evidenced by the recent, successful demonstration of twin Mars Exploration Rovers. Also, future robotic exploration platforms are expected to evolve towards sophisticated analytical laboratories composed of multi-instrument suites. MEMS technology is very attractive for in-situ planetary exploration because of the promise of a diverse and capable set of advanced, low mass and low-power devices and instruments. At JPL, we are exploiting this diversity of MEMS for the development of a new class of miniaturized instruments for planetary exploration. In particular, two examples of this approach are the development of an Electron Luminescence X-ray Spectrometer (ELXS), and a Force-Detected Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (FDNMR) Spectrometer.

  6. The Space Launch System: NASA's Exploration Rocket

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blackerby, Christopher; Cate, Hugh C., III

    2013-01-01

    Powerful, versatile, and capable vehicle for entirely new missions to deep space. Vital to NASA's exploration strategy and the Nation's space agenda. Safe, affordable, and sustainable. Engaging the U.S. aerospace workforce and infrastructure. Competitive opportunities for innovations that affordably upgrade performance. Successfully meeting milestones in preparation for Preliminary Design Review in 2013. On course for first flight in 2017.

  7. Antarctic Exploration Parallels for Future Human Planetary Exploration: A Workshop Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, Stephen J. (Editor)

    2002-01-01

    Four Antarctic explorers were invited to a workshop at Johnson Space Center (JSC) to provide expert assessments of NASA's current understanding of future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit. These explorers had been on relatively sophisticated, extensive Antarctic expeditions with sparse or nonexistent support infrastructure in the period following World War II through the end of the International Geophysical Year. Their experience was similar to that predicted for early Mars or other planetary exploration missions. For example: one Antarctic a expedition lasted two years with only one planned resupply mission and contingency plans for no resupply missions should sea ice prevent a ship from reaching them; several traverses across Antarctica measured more than 1000 total miles, required several months to complete, and were made without maps (because they did not exist) and with only a few aerial photos of the route; and the crews of six to 15 were often international in composition. At JSC, the explorers were given tours of development, training, and scientific facilities, as well as documentation at operational scenarios for future planetary exploration. This report records their observations about these facilities and plans in answers to a series of questions provided to them before the workshop.

  8. Use and sizing of rocket hoppers for planetary surface exploration

    E-print Network

    Michel, Wendelin X

    2010-01-01

    The utilization of rocket hoppers can provide a valuable means of obtaining enhanced mobility for planetary surface exploration missions. Hoppers offer higher exploration versatility than landers, rovers, or other surface ...

  9. An Integrated Traverse Planner and Analysis Tool for Planetary Exploration

    E-print Network

    Johnson, Aaron William

    Future planetary explorations will require surface traverses of unprecedented frequency, length, and duration. As a result, there is need for exploration support tools to maximize productivity, scientific return, and safety. ...

  10. The planetary exploration survey: What society members think about planetary protection

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Donald MacGregor; Paul Slovic

    1995-01-01

    The results of a planetary exploration survey directed at members of the Planetary Society pertaining to planetry protection are presented. Responses to questions on the value of space exploration, the potential of life on other planets, the risk of interplanetry contamination, and the Mars Mission are presented and the statistics are shown via bar graphs.

  11. Magnetotelluric Sensor Development for Planetary Subsurface Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuqua, H.; Delory, G. T.; De Pater, I.; Grimm, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) Sounding is a powerful geophysical investigation technique capable of constraining planetary subsurface structure, including core size, mantle and crustal temperature profiles, and the distribution of electrical conductivity at depth. Natural sources of EM activity, including solar wind turbulence and plasma waves, can induce electric and magnetic fields in the Moon and other small bodies. These induced fields respond according to the electrical conductivity as a function of skin depth of the body in question. In a branch of EM Sounding known as Magnetotellurics (MT), measurements of the horizontal electric and magnetic fields at the planetary surface are inverted to produce constraints on the interior. MT is particularly worthwhile in that geophysically meaningful results can be obtained from a single station, thus avoiding network mission architectures. While surface magnetic field measurements were taken on the Moon during the Apollo era, to date no measurements of the surface horizontal electric field have been attempted. However electric field measurements on the lunar surface should be feasible given their long successful history on spacecraft missions in similar environments. Building upon the heritage of electric field sensor technology at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, we describe a development plan for this instrument from component level to a fully functional instrument assembly for use in EM sounding, highlighting operational requirements, science capabilities, required testing, anticipated results and challenges to overcome. Upon development, this lander electric field sensor will enable future MT surveys on the Moon, and will provide a new exploration method for other small airless bodies from a single station.

  12. Developing Advanced Human Support Technologies for Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berdich, Debra P.; Campbell, Paul D.; Jernigan, J. Mark

    2004-01-01

    The United States Vision for Space Exploration calls for sending robots and humans to explore the Earth's moon, the planet Mars, and beyond. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a set of design reference missions that will provide further detail to these plans. Lunar missions are expected to provide a stepping stone, through operational research and evaluation, in developing the knowledge base necessary to send crews on long duration missions to Mars and other distant destinations. The NASA Exploration Systems Directorate (ExSD), in its program of bioastronautics research, manages the development of technologies that maintain human life, health, and performance in space. Using a system engineering process and risk management methods, ExSD's Human Support Systems (HSS) Program selects and performs research and technology development in several critical areas and transfers the results of its efforts to NASA exploration mission/systems development programs in the form of developed technologies and new knowledge about the capabilities and constraints of systems required to support human existence beyond Low Earth Orbit. HSS efforts include the areas of advanced environmental monitoring and control, extravehicular activity, food technologies, life support systems, space human factors engineering, and systems integration of all these elements. The HSS Program provides a structured set of deliverable products to meet the needs of exploration programs. These products reduce the gaps that exist in our knowledge of and capabilities for human support for long duration, remote space missions. They also reduce the performance gap between the efficiency of current space systems and the greater efficiency that must be achieved to make human planetary exploration missions economically and logistically feasible. In conducting this research and technology development program, it is necessary for HSS technologists and program managers to develop a common currency for decision making and the allocation of funding. A high level assessment is made of both the knowledge gaps and the system performance gaps across the program s technical project portfolio. This allows decision making that assures proper emphasis areas and provides a key measure of annual technological progress, as exploration mission plans continue to mature.

  13. NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program (PGGURP): The Value of Undergraduate Geoscience Internships

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. K. Gregg

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program began funding PGGURP in 1978, in an effort to help planetary scientists deal with what was then seen as a flood of Viking Orbiter data. Each subsequent year, PGGURP has paired 8 - 15 undergraduates with NASA-funded Principal Investigators (PIs) around the country for approximately 8 weeks during the summer. Unlike other internship programs,

  14. Planetary Surface Exploration Using Raman Spectroscopy on Rovers and Landers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blacksberg, Jordana; Alerstam, E.; Maruyama, Y.; Charbon, E.; Rossman, G. R.

    2013-10-01

    Planetary surface exploration using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to probe the composition of rocks has recently become a reality with the operation of the mast-mounted ChemCam instrument onboard the Curiosity rover. Following this success, Raman spectroscopy has steadily gained support as a means for using laser spectroscopy to identify not just composition but mineral phases, without the need for sample preparation. The RLS Raman Spectrometer is included on the payload for the ExoMars mission, and a Raman spectrometer has been included in an example strawman payload for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. Raman spectroscopy has been identified by the community as a feasible means for pre-selection of samples on Mars for subsequent return to Earth. We present a next-generation instrument that builds on the widely used green-Raman technique to provide a means for performing Raman spectroscopy without the background noise that is often generated by fluorescence of minerals and organics. Microscopic Raman spectroscopy with a laser spot size smaller than the grains of interest can provide surface mapping of mineralogy while preserving morphology. A very small laser spot size 1 µm) is often necessary to identify minor phases that are often of greater interest than the matrix phases. In addition to the difficulties that can be posed by fine-grained material, fluorescence interference from the very same material is often problematic. This is particularly true for many of the minerals of interest that form in environments of aqueous alteration and can be highly fluorescent. We use time-resolved laser spectroscopy to eliminate fluorescence interference that can often make it difficult or impossible to obtain Raman spectra. We will discuss significant advances leading to the feasibility of a compact time-resolved spectrometer, including the development of a new solid-state detector capable of sub-ns time resolution. We will present results on planetary analog minerals to demonstrate the instrument performance including fluorescence rejection.

  15. NASA/SP2009566-ADD Human Exploration of Mars

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    NASA/SP­2009­566-ADD Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0 Addendum Mars Architecture Steering Group NASA Headquarters Bret G. Drake, editor NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas July 2009 #12;THE NASA STI PROGRAM OFFICE . . . IN PROFILE Since its founding, NASA has been dedicated

  16. Planetary surface exploration MESUR/autonomous lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, Larry; Dilorenzo, Matt; Austin, Dave; Ayers, Raymond; Burton, David; Gaylord, Joe; Kennedy, Jim; Laux, Richard; Lentz, Dale; Nance, Preston

    1992-01-01

    Planetary surface exploration micro-rovers for collecting data about the Moon and Mars have been designed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho. The goal of both projects was to design a rover concept that best satisfied the project objectives for NASA/Ames. A second goal was to facilitate student learning about the process of design. The first micro-rover is a deployment mechanism for the Mars Environmental Survey (MESUR) Alpha Particle/Proton/X-ray (APX) Instrument. The system is to be launched with the 16 MESUR landers around the turn of the century. A Tubular Deployment System and a spiked-legged walker have been developed to deploy the APX from the lander to the Martian Surface. While on Mars, the walker is designed to take the APX to rocks to obtain elemental composition data of the surface. The second micro-rover is an autonomous, roving vehicle to transport a sensor package over the surface of the moon. The vehicle must negotiate the lunar terrain for a minimum of one year by surviving impacts and withstanding the environmental extremes. The rover is a reliable track-driven unit that operates regardless of orientation that NASA can use for future lunar exploratory missions. This report includes a detailed description of the designs and the methods and procedures which the University of Idaho design teams followed to arrive at the final designs.

  17. Planetary surface exploration: MESUR/autonomous lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, Larry; Dilorenzo, Matt; Austin, Dave; Ayers, Raymond; Burton, David; Gaylord, Joe; Kennedy, Jim; Lentz, Dale; Laux, Richard; Nance, Preston

    1992-01-01

    Planetary surface exploration micro-rovers for collecting data about the Moon and Mars was designed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho. The goal of both projects was to design a rover concept that best satisfied the project objectives for NASA-Ames. A second goal was to facilitate student learning about the process of design. The first micro-rover is a deployment mechanism for the Mars Environmental SURvey (MESUR) Alpha Particle/Proton/X-ray instruments (APX). The system is to be launched with the sixteen MESUR landers around the turn of the century. A Tubular Deployment System and a spiked-legged walker was developed to deploy the APX from the lander to the Martian surface. While on Mars the walker is designed to take the APX to rocks to obtain elemental composition data of the surface. The second micro-rover is an autonomous, roving vehicle to transport a sensor package over the surface of the moon. The vehicle must negotiate the lunar-terrain for a minimum of one year by surviving impacts and withstanding the environmental extremes. The rover is a reliable track-driven unit that operates regardless of orientation which NASA can use for future lunar exploratory missions. A detailed description of the designs, methods, and procedures which the University of Idaho design teams followed to arrive at the final designs are included.

  18. 75 FR 4589 - NASA Advisory Council Exploration Committee Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-28

    ...NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice...NASA Advisory Council Exploration Committee Meeting AGENCY...National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION...National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...NASA Advisory Council Exploration Committee....

  19. The Future of NASA's Deep Space Network and Applications to Planetary Probe Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutsch, Leslie J.; Preston, Robert A.; Vrotsos, Peter

    2010-01-01

    NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) has been an invaluable tool in the world's exploration of space. It has served the space-faring community for more than 45 years. The DSN has provided a primary communication pathway for planetary probes, either through direct- to-Earth links or through intermediate radio relays. In addition, its radiometric systems are critical to probe navigation and delivery to target. Finally, the radio link can also be used for direct scientific measurement of the target body ('radio science'). This paper will examine the special challenges in supporting planetary probe missions, the future evolution of the DSN and related spacecraft technology, the advantages and disadvantages of radio relay spacecraft, and the use of the DSN radio links for navigation and scientific measurements.

  20. United States and Western Europe cooperation in planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Hunten, Donald M.; Masursky, Harold; Scarf, Frederick L.; Solomon, Sean C.; Wilkening, Laurel L.; Fechtig, Hugo; Balsiger, Hans; Blamont, Jacques; Fulchignoni, Marcello

    1989-01-01

    A framework was sought for U.S.-European cooperation in planetary exploration. Specific issues addressed include: types and levels of possible cooperative activities in the planetary sciences; specific or general scientific areas that seem most promising as the main focus of cooperative efforts; potential mission candidates for cooperative ventures; identification of special issues or problems for resolution by negotiation between the agencies, and possible suggestions for their resolutions; and identification of coordinated technological and instrumental developments for planetary missions.

  1. Ancillary Data Services of NASA's Planetary Data System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acton, C.

    1994-01-01

    JPL's Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) has primary responsibility for design and implementation of the SPICE ancillary information system, supporting a wide range of space science mission design, observation planning and data analysis functions/activities. NAIF also serves as the geometry and ancillary data node of the Planetary Data System (PDS). As part of the PDS, NAIF archives SPICE and other ancillary data produced by flight projects. NAIF then distributes these data, and associated data access software and high-level tools, to researchers funded by NASA's Office of Space Science. Support for a broader user community is also offered to the extent resources permit. This paper describes the SPICE system and customer support offered by NAIF.

  2. Terrain Classification and Classifier Fusion for Planetary Exploration Rovers

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ibrahim Halatci; Christopher A. Brooks; Karl Iagnemma

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of the physical properties of terrain surrounding a planetary exploration rover can be used to allow a rover system to fully exploit its mobility capabilities. Here a study of multi-sensor terrain classification for planetary rovers in Mars and Mars-like environments is presented. Two classification algorithms for color, texture, and range features are presented based on maximum likelihood estimation and

  3. The role of small missions in planetary and lunar exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The Space Studies Board of the National Research Council charged its Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) to (1) examine the degree to which small missions, such as those fitting within the constraints of the Discovery program, can achieve priority objectives in the lunar and planetary sciences; (2) determine those characteristics, such as level of risk, flight rate, target mix, university involvement, technology development, management structure and procedures, and so on, that could allow a successful program; (3) assess issues, such as instrument selection, mission operations, data analysis, and data archiving, to ensure the greatest scientific return from a particular mission, given a rapid deployment schedule and a tightly constrained budget; and (4) review past programmatic attempts to establish small planetary science mission lines, including the Planetary Observers and Planetary Explorers, and consider the impact management practices have had on such programs. A series of small missions presents the planetary science community with the opportunity to expand the scope of its activities and to develop the potential and inventiveness of its members in ways not possible within the confines of large, traditional programs. COMPLEX also realized that a program of small planetary missions was, in and of itself, incapable of meeting all of the prime objectives contained in its report 'An Integrated Strategy for the Planetary Sciences: 1995-2010.' Recommendations are provided for the small planetary missions to fulfill their promise.

  4. Introducing NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendleton, Yvonne

    The Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is focused on the Moon, near Earth asteroids, and the moons of Mars. Comprised of competitively selected teams across the U.S., a growing number of international partnerships around the world, and a small central office located at NASA Ames Research Center, the institute advances collaborative research to bridge science and exploration goals. As a virtual institute, SSERVI brings unique skills and collaborative technologies for enhancing collaborative research between geographically disparate teams. SSERVI is jointly funded through the NASA Science Mission Directorate and the NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. Current U.S. teams include: Dr. Jennifer L. Heldmann, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA; Dr. William Farrell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD; Prof. Carlé Pieters, Brown University, Providence, RI; Prof. Daniel Britt, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL; Prof. Timothy Glotch, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY; Dr. Mihaly Horanyi, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Dr. Ben Bussey, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD; Dr. David A. Kring, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX; and Dr. William Bottke, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO. Interested in becoming part of SSERVI? SSERVI Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) awards are staggered every 2.5-3yrs, with award periods of five-years per team. SSERVI encourages those who wish to join the institute in the future to engage current teams and international partners regarding potential collaboration, and to participate in focus groups or current team activities now. Joining hand in hand with international partners is a winning strategy for raising the tide of Solar System science around the world. Non-U.S. science organizations can propose to become either Associate or Affiliate members on a no-exchange-of-funds basis. Current international partners include: Canada, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Discussions are ongoing to bring several more partners into the fold. These partnerships have impacted lunar science in a number of ways, resulting in such efforts and groups as the Pan-European Lunar Science Consortium and the Canadian Sudbury Field School. For more information visit sservi.nasa.gov

  5. Tradespace model for planetary surface exploration hopping vehicles

    E-print Network

    Cunio, Phillip M

    2012-01-01

    Robotic planetary surface exploration, which has greatly benefited humankind's scientific knowledge of the solar system, has to date been conducted by sedentary landers or by slow, terrain-limited rovers. However, there ...

  6. Antenna Technologies for Future NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miranda, Felix A.

    2006-01-01

    NASA s plans for the manned exploration of the moon and Mars will rely heavily on the development of a reliable communications infrastructure on the surface and back to Earth. Future missions will thus focus not only on gathering scientific data, but also on the formation of the communications network. In either case, unique requirements become imposed on the antenna technologies necessary to accomplish these tasks. For example, surface activity applications such as robotic rovers, human extravehicular activities (EVA), and probes will require small size, lightweight, low power, multi-functionality, and robustness for the antenna elements being considered. Trunk-line communications to a centralized habitat on the surface and back to Earth (e.g., surface relays, satellites, landers) will necessitate wide-area coverage, high gain, low mass, deployable antennas. Likewise, the plethora of low to high data rate services desired to guarantee the safety and quality of mission data for robotic and human exploration will place additional demands on the technology. Over the past year, NASA Glenn Research Center has been heavily involved in the development of candidate antenna technologies with the potential for meeting these strict requirements. This technology ranges from electrically small antennas to phased array and large inflatable structures. A summary of this overall effort is provided, with particular attention being paid to small antenna designs and applications. A discussion of the Agency-wide activities of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) in forthcoming NASA missions, as they pertain to the communications architecture for the lunar and Martian networks is performed, with an emphasis on the desirable qualities of potential antenna element designs for envisioned communications assets. Identified frequency allocations for the lunar and Martian surfaces, as well as asset-specific data services will be described to develop a foundation for viable antenna technologies which might address these requirements and help guide future technology development decisions.

  7. A Review of Antenna Technologies for Future NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miranda, Felix A.; Nessel, James A.; Romanofsky, Robert R.; Acosta, J.

    2007-01-01

    NASA's plans for the manned exploration of the Moon and Mars will rely heavily on the development of a reliable communications infrastructure from planetary surface-to-surface, surface-to-orbit and back to Earth. Future missions will thus focus not only on gathering scientific data, but also on the formation of the communications network. In either case, unique requirements become imposed on the antenna technologies necessary to accomplish these tasks. For example, proximity (i.e., short distance) surface activity applications such as robotic rovers, human extravehicular activities (EVA), and probes will require small size, lightweight, low power, multi-functionality, and robustness for the antenna elements being considered. In contrast, trunk-line communications to a centralized habitat on the surface and back to Earth (e.g., relays, satellites, and landers) will necessitate high gain, low mass antennas such as novel inflatable/deployable antennas. Likewise, the plethora of low to high data rate services desired to guarantee the safety and quality of mission data for robotic and human exploration will place additional demands on the technology. Over the last few years, NASA Glenn Research Center has been heavily involved in the development and evaluation of candidate antenna technologies with the potential for meeting the aforementioned requirements. These technologies range from electrically small antennas to phased arrays and large inflatable antenna structures. A summary of these efforts will be discussed in this paper. NASA planned activities under the Exploration Vision as they pertain to the communications architecture for the Lunar and Martian scenarios will be discussed, with emphasis on the desirable qualities of potential antenna element designs for envisioned communications assets. Identified frequency allocations for the Lunar and Martian surfaces, as well as asset-specific data services will be described to develop a foundation for viable antenna technologies which might address these requirements and help guide future technology development decisions.

  8. A Review of Antenna Technologies for Future NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miranda, Felix A.; Nessel, James A.; Romanofsky, Robert R.; Acostia, Roberto J.

    2006-01-01

    NASA s plans for the manned exploration of the Moon and Mars will rely heavily on the development of a reliable communications infrastructure from planetary surface-to-surface, surface-to-orbit and back to Earth. Future missions will thus focus not only on gathering scientific data, but also on the formation of the communications network. In either case, unique requirements become imposed on the antenna technologies necessary to accomplish these tasks. For example, proximity (i.e., short distance) surface activity applications such as robotic rovers, human extravehicular activities (EVA), and probes will require small size, lightweight, low power, multi-functionality, and robustness for the antenna elements being considered. In contrast, trunk-line communications to a centralized habitat on the surface and back to Earth (e.g., relays, satellites, and landers) will necessitate high gain, low mass antennas such as novel inflatable/deployable antennas. Likewise, the plethora of low to high data rate services desired to guarantee the safety and quality of mission data for robotic and human exploration will place additional demands on the technology. Over the last few years, NASA Glenn Research Center has been heavily involved in the development and evaluation of candidate antenna technologies with the potential for meeting the aforementioned requirements. These technologies range from electrically small antennas to phased arrays and large inflatable antenna structures. A summary of these efforts will be discussed in this paper. NASA planned activities under the Exploration Vision as they pertain to the communications architecture for the Lunar and Martian scenarios will be discussed, with emphasis on the desirable qualities of potential antenna element designs for envisioned communications assets. Identified frequency allocations for the Lunar and Martian surfaces, as well as asset-specific data services will be described to develop a foundation for viable antenna technologies which might address these requirements and help guide future technology development decisions

  9. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission

    PubMed Central

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2014-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85–90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system. PMID:25049406

  10. Planetary exploration - Earth's new horizon \\/Twelfth von Karman Lecture

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. M. Schurmeier

    1975-01-01

    Planetary exploration is examined in terms of the interaction of technological growth with scientific progress and the intangibles associated with exploring the unknown. The field is limited to unmanned exploration of the planets and their satellites. A descriptive model of the endeavor, its activities and achievements in the past decade, a characterization of the current state of the art, and

  11. Planetary exploration - Earth's new horizon \\/12th von Karman Lecture

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. M. Schurmeier

    1975-01-01

    The article gives an account of the history of unmanned exploration of the planets of the solar system, including both earthbound exploration and exploration with spacecraft. Examples of images of the Martian surface are presented along with images obtained in Jupiter and Mercury flybys. Data are presented on the growth of US launch vehicle performance capability, navigation performance, and planetary

  12. Multimodal Platform Control for Robotic Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jorgensen, Charles; Betts, Bradley J.

    2006-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions pose unique problems for astronauts seeking to coordinate and control exploration vehicles. These include working in an environment filled with abrasive dust (e.g., regolith compositions), a desire to have effective hands-free communication, and a desire to have effective analog control of robotic platforms or end effectors. Requirements to operate in pressurized suits are particularly problematic due to the increased bulk and stiffness of gloves. As a result, researchers are considering alternative methods to perform fine movement control, for example capitalizing on higher-order voice actuation commands to perform control tasks. This paper presents current research at NASA s Neuro Engineering Laboratory that explores one method-direct bioelectric interpretation-for handling some of these problems. In this type of control system, electromyographic (EMG) signals are used both to facilitate understanding of acoustic speech in pressure-regulated suits 2nd to provide smooth analog control of a robotic platform, all without requiring fine-gained hand movement. This is accomplished through the use of non-invasive silver silver-chloride electrodes located on the forearm, throat, and lower chin, positioned so as to receive electrical activity originating from the muscles during contraction. For direct analog platform control, a small Personal Exploration Rover (PER) built by Carnegie Mellon University Robotics is controlled using forearm contraction duration and magnitudes, measured using several EMG channels. Signal processing is used to translate these signals into directional platform rotation rates and translational velocities. higher order commands were generated by differential contraction patterns called "clench codes."

  13. National Aeronautics and Space Administration! www.nasa.gov/exploration!

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    1! National Aeronautics and Space Administration! www.nasa.gov/exploration! National Aeronautics and Space Administration! Exploration Precursor Robotic Program (xPRP) and Exploration Scout (xScout): Two · President's Budget challenges NASA to embark on a new human space exploration program that invests near

  14. Venus Exploration opportunities within NASA's Solar System Exploration roadmap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor; Thompson, Thomas; Cutts, James; Robinson, James

    2006-01-01

    Science goals to understand the origin, history and environment of Venus have been driving international space exploration missions for over 40 years. Past missions include the Magellan and Pioneer-Venus missions by the US; the Venera program by the USSR; and the Vega missions through international cooperation. Furthermore, the US National Research Council (NRC), in the 2003 Solar System Exploration (SSE) Decadal Survey, identified Venus as a high priority target, thus demonstrating a continuing interest in Earth's sister planet. In response to the NRC recommendation, the 2005 NASA SSE Roadmap included a number of potential Venus missions arching through all mission classes from small Discovery, to medium New Frontiers and to large Flagship class missions. While missions in all of these classes could be designed as orbiters with remote sensing capabilities, the desire for scientific advancements beyond our current knowledge - including what we expect to learn from the ongoing ESA Venus Express mission - point to in-situ exploration of Venus.

  15. An Overview of Wind-Driven Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hajos, Gregory A.; Jones, Jack A.; Behar, Alberto; Dodd, Micheal

    2005-01-01

    The use of in-situ propulsion is considered enabling technology for long duration planetary surface missions. Most studies have focused on stored energy from chemicals extracted from the soil or the use of soil chemicals to produce photovoltaic arrays. An older form of in-situ propulsion is the use of wind power. Recent studies have shown potential for wind driven craft for exploration of Mars, Titan and Venus. The power of the wind, used for centuries to power wind mills and sailing ships, is now being applied to modern land craft. Efforts are now underway to use the wind to push exploration vehicles on other planets and moons in extended survey missions. Tumbleweed rovers are emerging as a new type of wind-driven science platform concept. Recent investigations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) indicate that these light-weight, mostly spherical or quasi-spherical devices have potential for long distance surface exploration missions. As a power boat has unique capabilities, but relies on stored energy (fuel) to move the vessel, the Tumbleweed, like the sailing ships of the early explorers on earth, uses an unlimited resource the wind to move around the surface of Mars. This has the potential to reduce the major mass drivers of robotic rovers as well as the power generation and storage systems. Jacques Blamont of JPL and the University of Paris conceived the first documented Mars wind-blown ball in 1977, shortly after the Viking landers discovered that Mars has a thin CO2 atmosphere with relatively strong winds. In 1995, Jack Jones, et al, of JPL conceived of a large wind-blown inflated ball for Mars that could also be driven and steered by means of a motorized mass hanging beneath the rolling axis of the ball. A team at NASA Langley Research Center started a biomimetic Tumbleweed design study in 1998. Wind tunnel and CFD analysis were applied to a variety of concepts to optimize the aerodynamic characteristics of the Tumbleweed Rovers. Bare structures, structures carrying sails and a tumbleweed plant (of the Salsola genus) were tested in Langley's wind tunnels. Thomas Estier of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology developed a memory metal collapsible structure, the Windball. Numerous other researchers have also suggested spherical rovers.

  16. Revised planetary protection policy for solar system exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Devincenzi, D. L.; Stabekis, P. D.

    1984-01-01

    In order to control contamination of planets by terrestrial microorganisms and organic constituents, U.S. planetary missions have been governed by a planetary protection (or planetary quarantine) policy which has changed little since 1972. This policy has recently been reviewed in light of new information obtained from planetary exploration during the past decade and because of changes to, or uncertainties in, some parameters used in the existing quantitative approach. On the basis of this analysis, a revised planetary protection policy with the following key features is proposed: deemphasizing the use of mathematical models and quantitative analyses; establishing requirements for target planet/mission type (i.e., Orbiter, Lander, etc.) combinations; considering sample return missions a separate category; simplifying documentation; and imposing implementing procedures (i.e., trajectory biasing, cleanroom assembly, spacecraft sterilization, etc.) by exception, i.e., only if the planet/mission combination warrants such controls.

  17. 77 FR 22807 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-17

    ...and Programmatic Impacts on the Planetary Science Division; --Status of the Joint NASA-European Space Agency Mars and Outer Planets Programs; --Status Updates from the Analysis Groups. It is imperative that the meeting be held on these...

  18. 76 FR 16841 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-25

    ...Planetary Science Division Including an Update on the NASA/ESA Bilateral --Decadal Survey --Outer Planets Working Group Report --Mars Working Group Report It is imperative that the meeting be held on these dates to accommodate the...

  19. NASA Space Exploration Logistics Workshop Proceedings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    deWeek, Oliver; Evans, William A.; Parrish, Joe; James, Sarah

    2006-01-01

    As NASA has embarked on a new Vision for Space Exploration, there is new energy and focus around the area of manned space exploration. These activities encompass the design of new vehicles such as the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and the identification of commercial opportunities for space transportation services, as well as continued operations of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Reaching the Moon and eventually Mars with a mix of both robotic and human explorers for short term missions is a formidable challenge in itself. How to achieve this in a safe, efficient and long-term sustainable way is yet another question. The challenge is not only one of vehicle design, launch, and operations but also one of space logistics. Oftentimes, logistical issues are not given enough consideration upfront, in relation to the large share of operating budgets they consume. In this context, a group of 54 experts in space logistics met for a two-day workshop to discuss the following key questions: 1. What is the current state-of the art in space logistics, in terms of architectures, concepts, technologies as well as enabling processes? 2. What are the main challenges for space logistics for future human exploration of the Moon and Mars, at the intersection of engineering and space operations? 3. What lessons can be drawn from past successes and failures in human space flight logistics? 4. What lessons and connections do we see from terrestrial analogies as well as activities in other areas, such as U.S. military logistics? 5. What key advances are required to enable long-term success in the context of a future interplanetary supply chain? These proceedings summarize the outcomes of the workshop, reference particular presentations, panels and breakout sessions, and record specific observations that should help guide future efforts.

  20. Neutron-gamma techniques for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. G.; Evans, L. G.; Trombka, J. I.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical analysis of planetary surfaces is necessary for the understanding of the origin and evolutionary processes of the solar system. Orbital lunar geochemical experiments performed during the Apollo 15 and 16 demonstrated that even with a low neutron flux (fast and thermal), reliable results could be extracted. The possibility of using a compact 14 MeV neutron generator for geochemical analysis of planetary surfaces, comets and asteroids is currently studied. This method allows the determination of bulk chemical composition, even in the presence of an atmosphere. This would be possible on the surface of Venus, for example, where alternate methods such as sample return are impractical. This method can be used for continuous monitoring of elemental abundances from a roving vehicle, for example, on the surface of Mars.

  1. Onboard object recognition for planetary exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Michael C. Burl; Philipp G. Wetzler

    2011-01-01

    Machine learning techniques have shown considerable promise for automating common visual inspection tasks such as the detection\\u000a of human faces in cluttered scenes. Here, we examine whether similar techniques can be used (or adapted) for the problem of\\u000a automatically locating geologic landforms in planetary images gathered by spacecraft. Beyond enabling more efficient and comprehensive\\u000a ground analysis of down-linked data, we

  2. NASA Johnson Space Center Leading Human Space Exploration

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    NASA Johnson Space Center Leading Human Space Exploration NASA Advisory Council Commercial Space live Goal 3 Create innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future & Mission Vision ­ Declaration of our future: JSC leads a global enterprise in human space exploration

  3. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system. PMID:25049406

  4. NASA Exploration Design Challenge - Duration: 2:15.

    NASA Video Gallery

    From the International Space Station, astronaut Sunita Williams welcomes participants to the NASA Exploration Design Challenge and explains the uncertainties about the effects of space radiation on...

  5. The Cassini mission to Saturn is the most ambi-tious effort in planetary space exploration ever

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    - entific probe called Huygens that will be released from the main space- craft to para- chute throughThe Cassini mission to Saturn is the most ambi- tious effort in planetary space exploration ever mounted. A joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia

  6. Micro-technology for planetary exploration and education

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, David P.; Varsi, Giulio

    1991-01-01

    The use of combined miniaturization technology and distributed information systems in planetary exploration is discussed. Missions in which teams of microrovers collect samples from planetary surfaces are addressed, emphasizing the ability of rovers to provide coverage of large areas, reliability through redundancy, and participation of a large group of investigators. The latter could involve people from a variety of institutions, increasing the opportunity for wide education and the increased interest of society in general in space exploration. A three-phase program to develop the present approach is suggested.

  7. Planetary exploration with electrically propelled vehicles.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stuhlinger, E.

    1972-01-01

    The characteristics of propulsion systems required for carrying out flight missions within the solar system, as desired by planetary physicists and astronomers, are reviewed. It is shown that an encouraging answer to these requirements is available in the form of electrostatic or ion propulsion systems. The design and performance characteristics of an electrostatic thrustor employing an ion source, accelerating electrode, beam neutralizer, and power source are discussed, together with those of the Kaufmann engine (electrostatic thrustor employing bombardment type ionization). More demanding missions which will become feasible with the advent of nuclear-electric power sources (such as the incore thermionic reactor) may include close orbiters around all the planets, and asteroid and cometary missions.

  8. JPL, NASA and the Historical Record: Key Events/Documents in Lunar and Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hooks, Michael Q.

    1999-01-01

    This document represents a presentation about the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) historical archives in the area of Lunar and Martian Exploration. The JPL archives documents the history of JPL's flight projects, research and development activities and administrative operations. The archives are in a variety of format. The presentation reviews the information available through the JPL archives web site, information available through the Regional Planetary Image Facility web site, and the information on past missions available through the web sites. The presentation also reviews the NASA historical resources at the NASA History Office and the National Archives and Records Administration.

  9. Panel Discussion: Planetary protection for human exploration missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rummel, J.

    Robotic exploration missions are compatible with planetary protection goals inasmuch as they offer an opportunity to implement planetary protection provisions in an arena where "mission success" criteria can be tied to environmental protection priorities, without the confounding effect of the presence of human crewmembers aboard the spacecraft. Future missions with human explorers that may wish to go to planets or bodies that have the potential to harbor life will, however, have to be implemented to prioritize and achieve both the protection of solar system environments and that of the human crewUand of the rest of humanity back on Earth. This presentation will consist of a panel discussion addressing the nature of future human missions especially those and the measures that may be necessary to ensure that planetary protection to Mars concerns are met, along with other mission goals (such as the safe return of the crew).

  10. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Resource Utilization, Science, and Planetary Defense

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and planetary defence. Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. With respect to planetary defence, in 2005 the U.S. Congress directed NASA to implement a survey program to detect, track, and characterize NEAs equal or greater than 140 m in diameter in order to access the threat from such objects to the Earth. The current goal of this survey is to achieve 90% completion of objects equal or greater than 140 m in diameter by 2020.

  11. Overview of the Planetary Data System

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Susan K. McMahon

    1996-01-01

    The NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) is an active archive that provides high quality, usable planetary science data products to the science community. This system evolved in response to scientists' requests for improved availability of planetary data from NASA missions, with increased scientific involvement and oversight. It is sponsored by the NASA Solar System Exploration Division, and includes seven university\\/research

  12. Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration: A Workshop

    PubMed Central

    Rummel, J.D.; Horneck, G.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract With the recognition of an increasing potential for discovery of extraterrestrial life, a diverse set of researchers have noted a need to examine the foundational ethical principles that should frame our collective space activities as we explore outer space. A COSPAR Workshop on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration was convened at Princeton University on June 8–10, 2010, to examine whether planetary protection measures and practices should be extended to protect planetary environments within an ethical framework that goes beyond “science protection” per se. The workshop had been in development prior to a 2006 NRC report on preventing the forward contamination of Mars, although it responded directly to one of the recommendations of that report and to several peer-reviewed papers as well. The workshop focused on the implications and responsibilities engendered when exploring outer space while avoiding harmful impacts on planetary bodies. Over 3 days, workshop participants developed a set of recommendations addressing the need for a revised policy framework to address “harmful contamination” beyond biological contamination, noting that it is important to maintain the current COSPAR planetary protection policy for scientific exploration and activities. The attendees agreed that there is need for further study of the ethical considerations used on Earth and the examination of management options and governmental mechanisms useful for establishing an environmental stewardship framework that incorporates both scientific input and enforcement. Scientists need to undertake public dialogue to communicate widely about these future policy deliberations and to ensure public involvement in decision making. A number of incremental steps have been taken since the workshop to implement some of these recommendations. Key Words: Planetary protection—Extraterrestrial life—Life in extreme environments—Environment—Habitability. Astrobiology 12, 1017–1023. PMID:23095097

  13. Earthworm typed Drilling robot for subsurface planetary exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Takashi Kubota; Kenji Nagaoka; Satoru Tanaka; Taro Nakamura

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a mobile robotic system designed to perform deep soil sampling for lunar or planetary subsurface exploration in the near future. Drilling robots have to carry the excavated fine sand, regolith backward because of the high density. Therefore a new scheme is proposed, to move forward under the soil by making use of reactive force caused by pushing

  14. Vibration-based terrain classification for planetary exploration rovers

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Christopher A. Brooks; Karl Iagnemma

    2005-01-01

    Safe, autonomous mobility in rough terrain is an important requirement for planetary exploration rovers. Knowledge of local terrain properties is critical to ensure a rover's safety on slopes and uneven surfaces. Visual features are often used to classify terrain; however, vision can be sensitive to lighting variations and other effects. This paper presents a method to classify terrain based on

  15. SUBSYMBOLIC PATH-PLANNING FOR SPACE AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION ROBOTS

    Microsoft Academic Search

    John Pisokas

    Space and planetary exploration and construction can be significantly facilitated by the use of robotic technology, which can provide low risk and low cost means. Especially for remote missions, it seems necessary to use robots able to autonomously pursue mission goals specified beforehand by humans. One key competence that such an autonomous robotic agent should possess is the ability to

  16. New Carriers and Sensors for Robotic Planetary Exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Romstedt; A. Schiele; N. Boudin; P. Coste; R. Lindner

    2006-01-01

    The robotic element of planetary exploration missions does play a crucial role for a successful mission completion. The development of reliable and rugged systems with at the same time low resource requirements and a generous acceptance of harsh environmental conditions is an important constituent of supportive research and development programs. This paper introduces a selection of new technologies developed by

  17. The JPL Autonomous Helicopter Testbed: A Platform for Planetary Exploration

    E-print Network

    Roumeliotis, Stergios I.

    The JPL Autonomous Helicopter Testbed: A Platform for Planetary Exploration Technology Research ­ The JPL Autonomous Helicopter Testbed (AHT), an aerial robot based upon a radio- controlled (RC) model helicopter, provides a small, low-cost platform for developing and field-testing new technologies needed

  18. A hypersonic vehicle approach to planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murbach, Marcus S.

    1993-01-01

    An enhanced Mars network class mission using a lifting hypersonic entry vehicle is proposed. The basic vehicle, derived from a mature hypersonic flight system called SWERVE, offers several advantages over more conventional low L/D or ballistic entry systems. The proposed vehicle has greatly improved lateral and cross range capability (e.g., it is capable of reaching the polar regions during less than optimal mission opportunities), is not limited to surface target areas of low elevation, and is less susceptible to problems caused by Martian dust storms. Further, the integrated vehicle has attractive deployment features and allows for a much improved evolutionary path to larger vehicles with greater science capability. Analysis of the vehicle is aided by the development of a Mars Hypersonic Flight Simulator from which flight trajectories are obtained. Atmospheric entry performance of the baseline vehicle is improved by a deceleration skirt and transpiration cooling system which significantly reduce TPS (Thermal Protection System) and flight battery mass. The use of the vehicle is also attractive in that the maturity of the flight systems make it cost-competitive with the development of a conventional low L/D entry system. Finally, the potential application of similar vehicles to other planetary missions is discussed.

  19. Middle School Adventures in Planetary Exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. S. Limaye; R. A. Pertzborn

    1998-01-01

    During the summer of 1998 the UW-Madison Office of Space Science Education (OSSE) developed and implemented a pilot summer school program to improve the math and science performance of middle school students. The program focused on the subject of solar system exploration for the summer school offered by the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) for middle school students. OSSE staff collaborated

  20. Towards a sustainable modular robot system for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossain, S. G. M.

    This thesis investigates multiple perspectives of developing an unmanned robotic system suited for planetary terrains. In this case, the unmanned system consists of unit-modular robots. This type of robot has potential to be developed and maintained as a sustainable multi-robot system while located far from direct human intervention. Some characteristics that make this possible are: the cooperation, communication and connectivity among the robot modules, flexibility of individual robot modules, capability of self-healing in the case of a failed module and the ability to generate multiple gaits by means of reconfiguration. To demonstrate the effects of high flexibility of an individual robot module, multiple modules of a four-degree-of-freedom unit-modular robot were developed. The robot was equipped with a novel connector mechanism that made self-healing possible. Also, design strategies included the use of series elastic actuators for better robot-terrain interaction. In addition, various locomotion gaits were generated and explored using the robot modules, which is essential for a modular robot system to achieve robustness and thus successfully navigate and function in a planetary environment. To investigate multi-robot task completion, a biomimetic cooperative load transportation algorithm was developed and simulated. Also, a liquid motion-inspired theory was developed consisting of a large number of robot modules. This can be used to traverse obstacles that inevitably occur in maneuvering over rough terrains such as in a planetary exploration. Keywords: Modular robot, cooperative robots, biomimetics, planetary exploration, sustainability.

  1. Fiber lasers and amplifiers for science and exploration at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krainak, Michael A.; Abshire, James; Allan, Graham R.; Stephen Mark

    2005-01-01

    We discuss present and near-term uses for high-power fiber lasers and amplifiers for NASA- specific applications including planetary topography and atmospheric spectroscopy. Fiber lasers and amplifiers offer numerous advantages for both near-term and future deployment of instruments on exploration and science remote sensing orbiting satellites. Ground-based and airborne systems provide an evolutionary path to space and a means for calibration and verification of space-borne systems. We present experimental progress on both the fiber transmitters and instrument prototypes for ongoing development efforts. These near-infrared instruments are laser sounders and lidars for measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, oxygen, water vapor and methane and a pseudo-noise (PN) code laser ranging system. The associated fiber transmitters include high-power erbium, ytterbium, neodymium and Raman fiber amplifiers. In addition, we will discuss near-term fiber laser and amplifier requirements and programs for NASA free space optical communications, planetary topography and atmospheric spectroscopy.

  2. Ethical considerations for planetary protection in space exploration: a workshop.

    PubMed

    Rummel, J D; Race, M S; Horneck, G

    2012-11-01

    With the recognition of an increasing potential for discovery of extraterrestrial life, a diverse set of researchers have noted a need to examine the foundational ethical principles that should frame our collective space activities as we explore outer space. A COSPAR Workshop on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration was convened at Princeton University on June 8-10, 2010, to examine whether planetary protection measures and practices should be extended to protect planetary environments within an ethical framework that goes beyond "science protection" per se. The workshop had been in development prior to a 2006 NRC report on preventing the forward contamination of Mars, although it responded directly to one of the recommendations of that report and to several peer-reviewed papers as well. The workshop focused on the implications and responsibilities engendered when exploring outer space while avoiding harmful impacts on planetary bodies. Over 3 days, workshop participants developed a set of recommendations addressing the need for a revised policy framework to address "harmful contamination" beyond biological contamination, noting that it is important to maintain the current COSPAR planetary protection policy for scientific exploration and activities. The attendees agreed that there is need for further study of the ethical considerations used on Earth and the examination of management options and governmental mechanisms useful for establishing an environmental stewardship framework that incorporates both scientific input and enforcement. Scientists need to undertake public dialogue to communicate widely about these future policy deliberations and to ensure public involvement in decision making. A number of incremental steps have been taken since the workshop to implement some of these recommendations. PMID:23095097

  3. The NASA Education Enterprise: Inspiring the Next Generation of Explorers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    On April 12, 2002, NASA Administrator Sean O Keefe opened a new window to the future of space exploration with these words in his Pioneering the Future address. Thus began the conceptual framework for structuring the new Education Enterprise. The Agency s mission is to understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe in search for life; and to inspire the next generation of explorers as only NASA can. In adopting this mission, education became a core element and is now a vital part of every major NASA research and development mission. NASA s call to inspire the next generation of explorers is now resounding throughout the NASA community and schools of all levels all around the country. The goal is to capture student interest, nurture their natural curiosities, and intrigue their minds with new and exciting scientific research; as well as to provide educators with the creative tools they need to improve America s scientific literacy. The future of NASA begins with America s youngest scholars. According to Administrator O Keefe s address, if NASA does not motivate the youngest generation now, there is little prospect this generation will choose to pursue scientific disciplines later. Since embracing Administrator O Keefe s educational mandate over a year ago, NASA has been fully devoted to broadening its roadmap to motivation. The efforts have generated a whole new showcase of thoughtprovoking and fun learning opportunities, through printed material, Web sites and Webcasts, robotics, rocketry, aerospace design contests, and various other resources as only NASA can.

  4. NASA remote sensing plans for Mars exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Robert A. Fogel; Michael A. Meyer; J. Douglas McCuistion; Stephen Saunders

    2005-01-01

    NASA's early period of Mars remote sensing was highlighted by the Mariner (4, 6, 7) flybys and the Mariner 9 and Viking (1, 2) orbiters. In the mid 1990s, NASA returned to Mars with orbiters designed to take advantage of technological breakthroughs in imaging and spectroscopy. Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera took 1.4 m\\/pixel resolution images while the Mars

  5. ADVANCED RADIOISOTOPE HEAT SOURCE AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

    SciTech Connect

    R. C. O'Brien; S. D. Howe; J. E. Werner

    2010-09-01

    The exploration of planetary surfaces and atmospheres may be enhanced by increasing the range and mobility of a science platform. Fundamentally, power production and availability of resources are limiting factors that must be considered for all science and exploration missions. A novel power and propulsion system is considered and discussed with reference to a long-range Mars surface exploration mission with in-situ resource utilization. Significance to applications such as sample return missions is also considered. Key material selections for radioisotope encapsulation techniques are presented.

  6. Applying Space to Earth What is the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration?

    E-print Network

    Denham, Graham

    Applying Space to Earth What is the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration? · Formed and space · Aims to lead Canadian planetary science and exploration efforts by creating a research meteorite impacts and planet formation. Planetary Science and Space Exploration #12;

  7. Lasers in Earth and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    1998-01-01

    For over 3 decades, lasers have been a tool of the space programs of the world for accomplishing a variety of engineering and scientific objectives. The majority of these uses have, however, been largely Earth-based and only a few lasers have actually been flown and operated in Earth orbit and even fewer on missions to the planets. However, in the last few years laser altimeters, lidars, and ranging systems have been part of space missions to the moon, an asteroid, and Mars; and more are planned and contemplated in the future exploration of the Earth and solar system. Early in 1994, the Clementine mission was launched to the moon and carried a laser altimeter that made the first systematic topographic survey of the moon during its 2-month observation period. This mission significantly improved our understanding of the shape and topography of the moon and along with gravity information obtained from the tracking data modified some of our thinking about the moon, the thickness of ice crust and the isostatic state of the highlands and basins. On September 11, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) entered into orbit around Mars and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) started to map the topography of the planet to unprecedented accuracy. On its first pass across the planet, MOLA showed large areas of the northern hemisphere to be flatter than any other known surface on Earth or any other body explored to date. In January 1999, the NEAR spacecraft which carries a laser ranger (NLR), will arrive at the S-type asteroid, Eros, and during the following year the NLR will help determine the shape and rotational dynamics of this asteroid. In the Spring of 2000, the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission will be launched and employing a multi-beam laser altimeter (MBLA) will measure the Earth's tree canopy shapes and heights and begin to globally monitor the biomass. The following year, in 2001, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, which carries a 2 wavelength laser altimeter of a few centimeter accuracy, will begin a multi-year observation program of the Earth's icecaps, land mass, oceans and the clouds of the atmosphere. At the same time, laser ranging to satellites and the moon is likely to be poised to reach to the planets and track spacecraft throughout the inner solar system by applying optical transponder technology to increase its distance capability.

  8. VIPER: Virtual Intelligent Planetary Exploration Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Laurence; Flueckiger, Lorenzo; Nguyen, Laurent; Washington, Richard

    2001-01-01

    Simulation and visualization of rover behavior are critical capabilities for scientists and rover operators to construct, test, and validate plans for commanding a remote rover. The VIPER system links these capabilities. using a high-fidelity virtual-reality (VR) environment. a kinematically accurate simulator, and a flexible plan executive to allow users to simulate and visualize possible execution outcomes of a plan under development. This work is part of a larger vision of a science-centered rover control environment, where a scientist may inspect and explore the environment via VR tools, specify science goals, and visualize the expected and actual behavior of the remote rover. The VIPER system is constructed from three generic systems, linked together via a minimal amount of customization into the integrated system. The complete system points out the power of combining plan execution, simulation, and visualization for envisioning rover behavior; it also demonstrates the utility of developing generic technologies. which can be combined in novel and useful ways.

  9. Hybrid Mobile Communication Networks for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alena, Richard; Lee, Charles; Walker, Edward; Osenfort, John; Stone, Thom

    2007-01-01

    A paper discusses the continuing work of the Mobile Exploration System Project, which has been performing studies toward the design of hybrid communication networks for future exploratory missions to remote planets. A typical network could include stationary radio transceivers on a remote planet, mobile radio transceivers carried by humans and robots on the planet, terrestrial units connected via the Internet to an interplanetary communication system, and radio relay transceivers aboard spacecraft in orbit about the planet. Prior studies have included tests on prototypes of these networks deployed in Arctic and desert regions chosen to approximate environmental conditions on Mars. Starting from the findings of the prior studies, the paper discusses methods of analysis, design, and testing of the hybrid communication networks. It identifies key radio-frequency (RF) and network engineering issues. Notable among these issues is the study of wireless LAN throughput loss due to repeater use, RF signal strength, and network latency variations. Another major issue is that of using RF-link analysis to ensure adequate link margin in the face of statistical variations in signal strengths.

  10. Mars Odyssey in the Context of NASA's Mars Exploration Program

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. B. Garvin

    2002-01-01

    The NASA Mars ODYSSEY Orbiter is the second step in NASA's scientific strategy for Mars Exploration during the present decade. ODYSSEY is intended to produce global scale inventories of key elemental characteristics of the uppermost surface layer, as well as the first 100m scale mineralogical assessment of another planet using middle-IR multispectral imaging. In addition, ODYSSEY will provide the first

  11. Everybody Dreams: Preparing a New Generation. NASA Explorer Schools Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2005

    2005-01-01

    NASA Explorer Schools provides unique opportunities for students and teachers by offering access to technology and resources that are seemingly beyond reach. Combining new technologies with NASA content, lesson plans, and real-world experiments enables teachers to enhance inquiry-based learning and augment student engagement. This publication…

  12. Traverse Planning Experiments for Future Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Voels, Stephen A.; Mueller, Robert P.; Lee, Pascal C.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the investigation is to evaluate methodology and data requirements for remotely-assisted robotic traverse of extraterrestrial planetary surface to support human exploration program, assess opportunities for in-transit science operations, and validate landing site survey and selection techniques during planetary surface exploration mission analog demonstration at Haughton Crater on Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada. Additionally, 1) identify quality of remote observation data sets (i.e., surface imagery from orbit) required for effective pre-traverse route planning and determine if surface level data (i.e., onboard robotic imagery or other sensor data) is required for a successful traverse, and if additional surface level data can improve traverse efficiency or probability of success (TRPF Experiment). 2) Evaluate feasibility and techniques for conducting opportunistic science investigations during this type of traverse. (OSP Experiment). 3) Assess utility of remotely-assisted robotic vehicle for landing site validation survey. (LSV Experiment).

  13. NASA Explorer Schools: School Recognition Opportunities - Duration: 1:47.

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA Explorer Schools not only provides access to high-quality STEM classroom resources and professional development but also recognizes teachers, schools and students who become highly engaged wit...

  14. Micro Scanning Laser Range Sensor for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Saito, Hirobumi; Kubota, Takashi; Mizuno, Takahide; Katoh, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Satoru; Kasamura, Kenji; Goto, Hiroshi

    1995-01-01

    This paper proposes a new type of scanning laser range sensor for planetary exploration. The proposed sensor has advantages of small size, light weight, and low power consumption with the help of micro electrical mechanical systems technology. We are in the process of developing a miniature two dimensional optical sensor which is driven by a piezoelectric actuator. In this paper, we present the mechanisms and system concept of a micro scanning laser range sensor.

  15. Technology development issues in space nuclear power for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankston, C. P.; Atkins, K. L.; Mastal, E. F.; Mcconnell, D. G.

    1990-01-01

    Planning for future planetary exploration missions indicates that there are continuing, long range requirements for nuclear power, and in particular radioisotope-based power sources. In meeting these requirements, there is a need for higher efficiency, lower mass systems. Four technology areas currently under development that address these goals are described: modular RTG, modular RTG with advanced thermoelectric materials, dynamic isotope power system (DIPS), and the Alkali Metal Thermoelectric Converter (AMTEC).

  16. Exploring Photosynthesis with NASA Remote Sensing Data

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Students will use NASA Satellite data to analyze and understand ways of studying photosynthesis from space. They will assume the role of a park ranger at Shenandoah National Park and determine when the plants and trees at their top efficiency by analyzing when the plants are absorbing a majority of the light hitting them (within the photosynthetic range.)

  17. NASA Planetary Scientist Profile Emily Wilson - Duration: 2:48.

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA scientist Emily Wilson discusses her work developing miniaturized instruments that measure greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Her latest instrument, the mini-LHR, works in tandem with AERONET...

  18. NASA ADMINISTRATOR'S SYMPOSIUM Risk and Exploration

    E-print Network

    Rhoads, James

    HARBOR. CATCH THE TRADE WINDS IN YOUR SAILS. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER. Attributed to Mark Twain #12 ROBERTS 77 Discussion 81 SESSION TWO--SEA Diving Shipwrecks JOHN CHATTERTON 97 Deep Ocean Exploration SYLVIA EARLE 101 Ocean Futures JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU 107 Exploration and the MICHAEL L. GERNHARDT 111 Risk

  19. 75 FR 50783 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-17

    ...SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics: --Planetary Science Division Update; --Mars Exploration Program Update. It is imperative that the meeting be held on this date to accommodate the scheduling...

  20. NASA Explorer Schools Teachers Selected for 2011 School Recognition Award - Duration: 6:02.

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA Explorer Schools project announces this year's schools selected for recognition. These schools showed exemplary classroom practices and innovative use of NASA. Explorer Schools resources to en...

  1. A subjective assessment of alternative mission architectures for the human exploration of Mars at NASA using multicriteria decision making

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Madjid Tavana

    2004-01-01

    The primary driver for developing missions to send humans to other planets is to generate signi.cant new scienti.c knowledge. NASA plans human planetary explorations with an acceptable level of risk consistent with other manned operations. Space exploration risks cannot be completely eliminated. Therefore, an acceptable level of cost, technical, safety, schedule, and political risks and bene.ts must be established for

  2. An Antarctic research outpost as a model for planetary exploration.

    PubMed

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

    1990-01-01

    During the next 50 years, human civilization may well begin expanding into the solar system. This colonization of extraterrestrial bodies will most likely begin with the establishment of small research outposts on the Moon and/or Mars. In all probability these facilities, designed primarily for conducting exploration and basic science, will have international participation in their crews, logistical support and funding. High fidelity Earth-based simulations of planetary exploration could help prepare for these expensive and complex operations. Antarctica provides one possible venue for such a simulation. The hostile and remote dry valleys of southern Victoria Land offer a valid analog to the Martian environment but are sufficiently accessible to allow routine logistical support and to assure the relative safety of their inhabitants. An Antarctic research outpost designed as a planetary exploration simulation facility would have great potential as a testbed and training site for the operation of future Mars bases and represents a near-term, relatively low-cost alternative to other precursor activities. Antarctica already enjoys an international dimension, an aspect that is more than symbolically appropriate to an international endeavor of unprecedented scientific and social significance--planetary exploration by humans. Potential uses of such a facility include: 1) studying human factors in an isolated environment (including long-term interactions among an international crew); 2) testing emerging technologies (e.g., advanced life support facilities such as a partial bioregenerative life support system, advanced analytical and sample acquisition instrumentation and equipment, etc.); and 3) conducting basic scientific research similar to the research that will be conducted on Mars, while contributing to the planning for human exploration. (Research of this type is already ongoing in Antarctica). PMID:11539799

  3. An Optimization Framework for Global Planetary Surface Exploration Campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, J.; de Weck, O.; Hoffman, J.

    As the scale of space exploration increases, planning of planetary surface exploration becomes more complex and campaign- level optimization becomes necessary. This is a challenging profit maximization problem whose decisions encompass selection of bases, technological options, routes, and excursion methods under constraints on a route, a mission, and a whole campaign. This paper introduces the Generalized Location Routing Problem with Profits (GLRPP), which is a framework to deal with this campaign optimization problem. A mathematical formulation for the GLRPP is developed and solution methods to solve the GLRPP are presented. A case study for a global Mars surface exploration campaign optimization has been carried out. Problem instances with 100 potential bases and 1000 potential exploration sites are solved with consideration of realistic future technologies and constraints.

  4. Towards terrain interaction prediction for bioinspired planetary exploration rovers.

    PubMed

    Yeomans, Brian; Saaj, Chakravathini M

    2014-03-01

    Deployment of a small legged vehicle to extend the reach of future planetary exploration missions is an attractive possibility but little is known about the behaviour of a walking rover on deformable planetary terrain. This paper applies ideas from the developing study of granular materials together with a detailed characterization of the sinkage process to propose and validate a combined model of terrain interaction based on an understanding of the physics and micro mechanics at the granular level. Whilst the model reflects the complexity of interactions expected from a walking rover, common themes emerge which enable the model to be streamlined to the extent that a simple mathematical representation is possible without resorting to numerical methods. Bespoke testing and analysis tools are described which reveal some unexpected conclusions and point the way towards intelligent control and foot geometry techniques to improve thrust generation. PMID:24434658

  5. NASA Computational Case Study: Modeling Planetary Magnetic and Gravitational Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simpson, David G.; Vinas, Adolfo F.

    2014-01-01

    In this case study, we model a planet's magnetic and gravitational fields using spherical harmonic functions. As an exercise, we analyze data on the Earth's magnetic field collected by NASA's MAGSAT spacecraft, and use it to derive a simple magnetic field model based on these spherical harmonic functions.

  6. Evaluation of multi-vehicle architectures for the exploration of planetary bodies in the Solar System

    E-print Network

    Alibay, Farah

    2014-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions are becoming increasingly complex and expensive due to ever more ambitious scientific and technical goals. On the other hand, budgets in planetary science have suffered from dramatic cuts ...

  7. A Small Fission Power System for NASA Planetary Science Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee; Casani, John; Elliott, John; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; MacPherson, Duncan; Nesmith, William; Houts, Michael; Bechtel, Ryan; Werner, James; Kapernick, Rick; Poston, David; Qualls, Arthur Lou; Lipinski, Ron; Radel, Ross; Bailey, Sterling; Weitzberg, Abraham

    2011-01-01

    In March 2010, the Decadal Survey Giant Planets Panel (GPP) requested a short-turnaround study to evaluate the feasibility of a small Fission Power System (FPS) for future unspecified National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) science missions. FPS technology was considered a potential option for power levels that might not be achievable with radioisotope power systems. A study plan was generated and a joint NASA and Department of Energy (DOE) study team was formed. The team developed a set of notional requirements that included 1-kW electrical output, 15-year design life, and 2020 launch availability. After completing a short round of concept screening studies, the team selected a single concept for concentrated study and analysis. The selected concept is a solid block uranium-molybdenum reactor core with heat pipe cooling and distributed thermoelectric power converters directly coupled to aluminum radiator fins. This paper presents the preliminary configuration, mass summary, and proposed development program.

  8. NASA CONNECT: Geometry of Exploration: Water Below Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    'Geometry of Exploration: Water Below the Surface of Mars?' is the third of seven programs in the 1999-2000 NASA CONNECT series. Produced by NASA Langley Research Center's Office of Education, NASA CONNECT is an award-winning series of instructional programs designed to enhance the teaching of math, science and technology concepts in grades 5-8. NASA CONNECT establishes the 'connection' between the mathematics, science, and technology concepts taught in the classroom and NASA research. Each program in the series supports the national mathematics, science, and technology standards; includes a resource-rich teacher guide; and uses a classroom experiment and web-based activity to complement and enhance the math, science, and technology concepts presented in the program. NASA CONNECT is FREE and the programs in the series are in the public domain. Visit our web site and register. http://connect.larc.nasa.gov In 'Geometry of Exploration: Water Below the Surface of Mars?' students will learn how engineers and scientists are using geometry and the solar system to navigate spacecraft to Mars.

  9. NASA CONNECT: Geometry of Exploration: Eyes Over Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    'Geometry of Exploration: Eyes over Mars' is the fourth of seven programs in the 1999-2000 NASA CONNECT series. Produced by NASA Langley Research Center's Office of Education, NASA CONNECT is an award-winning series of instructional programs designed to enhance the teaching of math, science and technology concepts in grades 5-8. NASA CONNECT establishes the 'connection' between the mathematics, science, and technology concepts taught in the classroom and NASA research. Each program in the series supports the national mathematics, science, and technology standards; includes a resource-rich teacher guide; and uses a classroom experiment and web-based activity to complement and enhance the math, science, and technology concepts presented in the program. NASA CONNECT is FREE and the programs in the series are in the public domain. Visit our web site and register. http://connect.larc.nasa.gov In 'Geometry of Exploration: Eyes over Mars', students will learn how engineers and scientists are using geometry and linear and angular measurements to survey the Earth and Mars and how geometric shapes affect navigation.

  10. Possible applications of time domain reflectometry in planetary exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heckendorn, S.

    1982-01-01

    The use of a time domain reflectometer (TDR) for planetary exploration is considered. Determination of the apparent dielectric constant and hence, the volumetric water content of frozen and unfrozen soils using the TDR is described. Earth-based tests were performed on a New York state sandy soil and a Wyoming Bentonite. Use of both a cylindrical coaxial transmission line and a parallel transmission line as probes was evaluated. The water content of the soils was varied and the apparent dielectric constant measured in both frozen and unfrozen states. Advantages and disadvantages of the technique are discussed.

  11. Surface penetrators for planetary exploration: Science rationale and development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, J. P.; Reynolds, R. T.; Blanchard, M. B.; Clanton, U. S.

    1981-01-01

    Work on penetrators for planetary exploration is summarized. In particular, potential missions, including those to Mars, Mercury, the Galilean satellites, comets, and asteroids are described. A baseline penetrator design for the Mars mission is included, as well as potential instruments and their status in development. Penetration tests in soft soil and basalt to study material eroded from the penetrator; changes in the structure, composition, and physical properties of the impacted soil; seismic coupling; and penetrator deflection caused by impacting rocks, are described. Results of subsystem studies and tests are given for design of entry decelerators, high-g components, thermal control, data acquisition, and umbilical cable deployment.

  12. Mission-directed path planning for planetary rover exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tompkins, Paul

    2005-07-01

    Robotic rovers uniquely benefit planetary exploration---they enable regional exploration with the precision of in-situ measurements, a combination impossible from an orbiting spacecraft or fixed lander. Mission planning for planetary rover exploration currently utilizes sophisticated software for activity planning and scheduling, but simplified path planning and execution approaches tailored for localized operations to individual targets. This approach is insufficient for the investigation of multiple, regionally distributed targets in a single command cycle. Path planning tailored for this task must consider the impact of large scale terrain on power, speed and regional access; the effect of route timing on resource availability; the limitations of finite resource capacity and other operational constraints on vehicle range and timing; and the mutual influence between traverses and upstream and downstream stationary activities. Encapsulating this reasoning in an efficient autonomous planner would allow a rover to continue operating rationally despite significant deviations from an initial plan. This research presents mission-directed path planning that enables an autonomous, strategic reasoning capability for robotic explorers. Planning operates in a space of position, time and energy. Unlike previous hierarchical approaches, it treats these dimensions simultaneously to enable globally-optimal solutions. The approach calls on a near incremental search algorithm designed for planning and re-planning under global constraints, in spaces of higher than two dimensions. Solutions under this method specify routes that avoid terrain obstacles, optimize the collection and use of rechargable energy, satisfy local and global mission constraints, and account for the time and energy of interleaved mission activities. Furthermore, the approach efficiently re-plans in response to updates in vehicle state and world models, and is well suited to online operation aboard a robot. Simulations exhibit that the new methodology succeeds where conventional path planners would fail. Three planetary-relevant field experiments demonstrate the power of mission-directed path planning in directing actual exploration robots. Offline mission-directed planning sustained a solar-powered rover in a 24-hour sun-synchronous traverse. Online planning and re-planning enabled full navigational autonomy of over 1 kilometer, and supported the execution of science activities distributed over hundreds of meters.

  13. Application of radioactive sources in analytical instruments for planetary exploration.

    PubMed

    Economou, Thanasis E

    2010-01-01

    Radioactive isotopes have been used in analytical instrumentation for planetary exploration since the very beginning of the space age. An Alpha Scattering Instrument (ASI) on board the Surveyor 5, 6 and 7 spacecrafts used the isotope (242)Cm to obtain the chemical composition of the lunar surface material in 1960s. The Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometers (APXS) used on several mission to Mars (Pathfinder, Mars-96, Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) and on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the next mission to Mars in 2011 and on the Rosetta mission to a comet) are improved derivatives of the original ASI, complimented with an X-ray mode and using the longer lived (244)Cm isotope. (57)Co, (55)Fe and many other radioisotopes have been used in several missions carrying XRF and Mössbauer instruments. In addition, (238)Pu isotope is exclusively being used in most of the space missions for heating and power generation. PMID:19850487

  14. NASA Radiation Protection Research for Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, John W.; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Tripathi, Ram K.; Heinbockel, John H.; Tweed, John; Mertens, Christopher J.; Walker, Steve A.; Blattnig, Steven R.; Zeitlin, Cary J.

    2006-01-01

    The HZETRN code was used in recent trade studies for renewed lunar exploration and currently used in engineering development of the next generation of space vehicles, habitats, and EVA equipment. A new version of the HZETRN code capable of simulating high charge and energy (HZE) ions, light-ions and neutrons with either laboratory or space boundary conditions with enhanced neutron and light-ion propagation is under development. Atomic and nuclear model requirements to support that development will be discussed. Such engineering design codes require establishing validation processes using laboratory ion beams and space flight measurements in realistic geometries. We discuss limitations of code validation due to the currently available data and recommend priorities for new data sets.

  15. Robotic Missions to Small Bodies and Their Potential Contributions to Human Exploration and Planetary Defense

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Robotic missions to small bodies will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration and planetary defense. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. The science and technical data obtained from robotic precursor missions that investigate the surface and interior physical characteristics of an object will help identify the pertinent physical properties that will maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for both robotic assets and crew operating in close proximity to, or at the surface of, a small body. These data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations. These data can also be applied for gaining an understanding of pertinent small body physical characteristics that would also be beneficial for formulating future impact mitigation procedures. Small Body Strategic Knowledge Gaps: For the past several years NASA has been interested in identifying the key SKGs related to future human destinations. These SKGs highlight the various unknowns and/or data gaps of targets that the science and engineering communities would like to have filled in prior to committing crews to explore the Solar System. An action team from the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) was formed specifically to identify the small body SKGs under the direction of the Human Exploration and Operations Missions Directorate (HEOMD), given NASA's recent interest in NEAs and the Martian moons as potential human destinations. The action team organized the SKGs into four broad themes: 1) Identify human mission targets; 2) Understand how to work on and interact with the small body surface; 3) Understand the small body environment and its potential risk/benefit to crew, systems, and operational assets; and 4) Understand the small body resource potential. Of these four SKG themes, the first three have significant overlap with planetary defense considerations. The data obtained from investigations of small body physical characteristics under these three themes can be directly applicable to planetary defense initiatives. Conclusions: Missions to investigate small bodies can address small body strategic knowledge gaps and contribute to the overall success for human exploration missions to asteroids and the Martian moons. In addition, such reconnaissance of small bodies can also provide a wealth of information relevant to the science and planetary defense of NEAs.

  16. Spatial Coverage Planning and Optimization for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaines, Daniel M.; Estlin, Tara; Chouinard, Caroline

    2008-01-01

    We are developing onboard planning and scheduling technology to enable in situ robotic explorers, such as rovers and aerobots, to more effectively assist scientists in planetary exploration. In our current work, we are focusing on situations in which the robot is exploring large geographical features such as craters, channels or regional boundaries. In to develop valid and high quality plans, the robot must take into account a range of scientific and engineering constraints and preferences. We have developed a system that incorporates multiobjective optimization and planning allowing the robot to generate high quality mission operations plans that respect resource limitations and mission constraints while attempting to maximize science and engineering objectives. An important scientific objective for the exploration of geological features is selecting observations that spatially cover an area of interest. We have developed a metric to enable an in situ explorer to reason about and track the spatial coverage quality of a plan. We describe this technique and show how it is combined in the overall multiobjective optimization and planning algorithm.

  17. Advanced planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Results of planetary advanced studies and planning support provided by Science Applications, Inc. staff members to Earth and Planetary Exploration Division, OSSA/NASA, for the period 1 February 1981 to 30 April 1982 are summarized. The scope of analyses includes cost estimation, planetary missions performance, solar system exploration committee support, Mars program planning, Galilean satellite mission concepts, and advanced propulsion data base. The work covers 80 man-months of research. Study reports and related publications are included in a bibliography section.

  18. NASA Exploration and Innovation Lead to New Discoveries Five heavyweight

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    NASA Exploration and Innovation Lead to New Discoveries Five heavyweight lifting-body designs 1960 1961 1962 19641963 1965 1966 1967 1968 19691959 Lifting Bodies 1962-1975 Gemini 1962 heating for hydrocarbon decomposition and toxic, medical, asbestos, chemical, and radioactive waste

  19. Knowledge Sharing at NASA: Extending Social Constructivism to Space Exploration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chindgren, Tina M.

    2008-01-01

    Social constructivism provides the framework for exploring communities of practice and storytelling at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in this applied theory paper. A brief overview of traditional learning and development efforts as well as the current knowledge sharing initiative is offered. In addition, a conceptual plan…

  20. Traverse Planning Experiments for Future Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, S. J.; Voels, S. A.; Mueller, R. P.; Lee, P. C.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a recent (July-August 2010 and July 2011) planetary surface traverse planning experiment. The purpose of this experiment was to gather data relevant to robotically repositioning surface assets used for planetary surface exploration. This is a scenario currently being considered for future human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars. The specific scenario selected was a robotic traverse on the lunar surface from an outpost at Shackleton Crater to the Malapert Massif. As these are exploration scenarios, the route will not have been previously traversed and the only pre-traverse data sets available will be remote (orbital) observations. Devon Island was selected as an analog location where a traverse route of significant length could be planned and then traveled. During the first half of 2010, a team of engineers and scientists who had never been to Devon Island used remote sensing data comparable to that which is likely to be available for the Malapert region (eg., 2-meter/pixel imagery, 10-meter interval topographic maps and associated digital elevation models, etc.) to plan a 17-kilometer (km) traverse. Surface-level imagery data was then gathered on-site that was provided to the planning team. This team then assessed whether the route was actually traversable or not. Lessons learned during the 2010 experiment were then used in a second experiment in 2011 for which a much longer traverse (85 km) was planned and additional surface-level imagery different from that gathered in 2010 was obtained for a comparative analysis. This paper will describe the route planning techniques used, the data sets available to the route planners and the lessons learned from the two traverses planned and carried out on Devon Island.

  1. Archive: NASA/NSTA Symposium: 21st Century Explorer - Today's Knowledge for Tomorrow's Explorer, Boston, MA: March 27, 2008

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    1900-01-01

    During this half-day symposium, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), scientists and education specialists shared information with teachers about the 21st Century Explorer project, about NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle, an

  2. Fission Power System Technology for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee; Houts, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Under the NASA Exploration Technology Development Program, and in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), NASA is conducting a project to mature Fission Power System (FPS) technology. A primary project goal is to develop viable system options to support future NASA mission needs for nuclear power. The main FPS project objectives are as follows: 1) Develop FPS concepts that meet expected NASA mission power requirements at reasonable cost with added benefits over other options. 2) Establish a hardware-based technical foundation for FPS design concepts and reduce overall development risk. 3) Reduce the cost uncertainties for FPS and establish greater credibility for flight system cost estimates. 4) Generate the key products to allow NASA decisionmakers to consider FPS as a preferred option for flight development. In order to achieve these goals, the FPS project has two main thrusts: concept definition and risk reduction. Under concept definition, NASA and DOE are performing trade studies, defining requirements, developing analytical tools, and formulating system concepts. A typical FPS consists of the reactor, shield, power conversion, heat rejection, and power management and distribution (PMAD). Studies are performed to identify the desired design parameters for each subsystem that allow the system to meet the requirements with reasonable cost and development risk. Risk reduction provides the means to evaluate technologies in a laboratory test environment. Non-nuclear hardware prototypes are built and tested to verify performance expectations, gain operating experience, and resolve design uncertainties.

  3. Software Architecture of Sensor Data Distribution In Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Charles; Alena, Richard; Stone, Thom; Ossenfort, John; Walker, Ed; Notario, Hugo

    2006-01-01

    Data from mobile and stationary sensors will be vital in planetary surface exploration. The distribution and collection of sensor data in an ad-hoc wireless network presents a challenge. Irregular terrain, mobile nodes, new associations with access points and repeaters with stronger signals as the network reconfigures to adapt to new conditions, signal fade and hardware failures can cause: a) Data errors; b) Out of sequence packets; c) Duplicate packets; and d) Drop out periods (when node is not connected). To mitigate the effects of these impairments, a robust and reliable software architecture must be implemented. This architecture must also be tolerant of communications outages. This paper describes such a robust and reliable software infrastructure that meets the challenges of a distributed ad hoc network in a difficult environment and presents the results of actual field experiments testing the principles and actual code developed.

  4. The Collaborative Information Portal and NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan

    2005-01-01

    The Collaborative Information Portal was enterprise software developed jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission. Mission managers, engineers, scientists, and researchers used this Internet application to view current staffing and event schedules, download data and image files generated by the rovers, receive broadcast messages, and get accurate times in various Mars and Earth time zones. This article describes the features, architecture, and implementation of this software, and concludes with lessons we learned from its deployment and a look towards future missions.

  5. NASA's new Mars Exploration Program: the trajectory of knowledge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Figueroa, O.; Naderi, F. M.

    2001-01-01

    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.".

  6. NASA's Space Launch System: An Enabling Capability for International Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.; May, Todd A.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2014-01-01

    As the program moves out of the formulation phase and into implementation, work is well underway on NASA's new Space Launch System, the world's most powerful launch vehicle, which will enable a new era of human exploration of deep space. As assembly and testing of the rocket is taking place at numerous sites around the United States, mission planners within NASA and at the agency's international partners continue to evaluate utilization opportunities for this ground-breaking capability. Developed with the goals of safety, affordability, and sustainability in mind, the SLS rocket will launch the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), equipment, supplies, and major science missions for exploration and discovery. NASA is developing this new capability in an austere economic climate, a fact which has inspired the SLS team to find innovative solutions to the challenges of designing, developing, fielding, and operating the largest rocket in history, via a path that will deliver an initial 70 metric ton (t) capability in December 2017 and then continuing through an incremental evolutionary strategy to reach a full capability greater than 130 t. SLS will be enabling for the first missions of human exploration beyond low Earth in almost half a century, and from its first crewed flight will be able to carry humans farther into space than they have ever voyaged before. In planning for the future of exploration, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, representing 12 of the world's space agencies, has created the Global Exploration Roadmap, which outlines paths toward a human landing on Mars, beginning with capability-demonstrating missions to the Moon or an asteroid. The Roadmap and corresponding NASA research outline the requirements for reference missions for these destinations. SLS will offer a robust way to transport international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they would need for such missions.

  7. Planetary surface exploration using Raman spectroscopy for minerals and organics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blacksberg, J.; Alerstam, E.; Maruyama, Y.; Charbon, E.; Rossman, G. R.; Shkolyar, S.; Farmer, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Raman spectroscopy has been identified as one of the primary techniques for planetary surface mineralogy. It is widely used as a laboratory technique since it can identify nearly all crystalline mineral phases. Using a small spot size on the surface (on the order of a micron), mineral phases can be mapped onto microscopic images preserving information about surface morphology. As a result, this technique has been steadily gaining support for in situ exploration of a variety of target bodies, for example Mars, the Moon, Venus, asteroids, and comets. In addition to in situ exploration, Raman spectroscopy has been identified as a feasible means for pre-selection of samples on Mars for subsequent return to Earth. This is in part due to the fact that Raman can detect many organics in addition to minerals. As a result, the most relevant rock samples containing organics (potentially fossil biosignatures) may potentially be selected for return to Earth. We present a next-generation instrument that builds on the widely used 532 nm Raman technique to provide a means for performing Raman spectroscopy without the background noise that is often generated by fluorescence of minerals and organics. We use time-resolved laser spectroscopy to eliminate this fluorescence interference that can often make it difficult or impossible to obtain Raman spectra. We will discuss significant advances leading to the feasibility of a compact time-resolved spectrometer, including the development of a new solid-state detector capable of sub-ns temporal resolution. We will address the challenges of analyzing surface materials, often organics, that exhibit short-lifetime fluorescence. We will present result on planetary analog samples to demonstrate the instrument performance including fluorescence rejection.

  8. Multi-Wavelength Dielectrometer (MWD) Sensor For Planetary Subsurface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deshpande, Manohar; VanSteenberg, Michael; Hilliard, Lawrence

    2006-01-01

    NASA's mission to Moon, Mars, and Beyond envisions landing of a light weight measurement platform on the planetary surface. The Multi-Wavelength Dielectrometer (MWD) on-board consists of essential electronics and metallic plates acting as electrodes attached to the body of such platform. An electric signal applied to one of the electrodes acting as a cathode sets up electric field pattern (in the soil medium) between the cathode and other electrodes acting as anodes. The electrodes are swept through multiple wavelengths (1Hz-1MHz) and the electric current drawn by the electrodes is measured at each frequency. The measured current whose amplitude and phase depend upon electrode spacing, dielectric constant of the subsurface soil, and the frequency is then used to estimate electrical properties of the soil. In this paper the MWD sensor that will measure the dielectric properties of Moon/Mars s soil is presented. A procedure to process the MWD measured data for extracting the soil properties is also described. Assuming the subsurface soil structure as multilayer strata having varying electric properties, an electric equivalent circuit of the multiple electrodes configuration placed on a multi-layer soil sample is obtained. The current drawn by the equivalent circuit from the low frequency signal generator is then calculated. By minimizing the difference between the model s estimated current and measured MWD data the electric properties of soil samples are extracted. Experimental and simulated results will be presented to validate the proposed procedure for extracting soil properties.

  9. Planetary protection issues and human exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Devincenzi, D. L.

    1991-01-01

    A key feature of the Space Exploration Initiative involves human missions to Mars. The report describing the initiative cites the search for life on Mars, extant or extinct, as one of the five science themes for such an endeavor. Because of this, concerns for planetary protection (PP) have arisen of two fronts: (1) forward contamination of Mars by spacecraft-borne terrestrial microbes which could interfere with exobiological analyses; and (2) back contamination of Earth by species that may be present in returned Mars samples. The United States is also signatory to an international treaty designed to protect Earth and planets from harmful cross-contamination during exploration. Therefore, it is timely to assess the necessity for, and impact of, PP procedures on the mission set comprising the human exploration of Mars. The ground-rules adopted at a recent workshop which addressed PP questions of this type are presented. In addition, the workshop produced several recommendations for dealing with forward and back contamination concerns for non-scientific perspectives, including public relations, legal, regulatory, international, and environmental.

  10. Time-resolved remote Raman and fluorescence spectrometers for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Shiv K.; Misra, Anupam K.; Acosta, Tayro E.; Lucey, Paul G.

    2012-06-01

    At the University of Hawaii, we have developed compact time-resolved (TR) Raman, and fluorescence spectrometers suitable for planetary exploration under NASA's Mars Instrument Development Program. The compact Raman and fluorescence spectrometers consist of custom miniature spectrographs based on volume holographic gratings, and custom miniature intensified CCD cameras. These spectrographs have been interfaced with a regular 50 mm camera lens as well as with a three and a half inch diameter telescope for remotely interrogating minerals, water, water-ice and dry ice. Using a small frequency-doubled Nd:YAG pulsed laser (35 mJ/pulse, 20 Hz) and 50 mm camera lens, TRRaman and LINF spectra of minerals, and bio-minerals can be measured within 30 s under super-critical CO2, and with 3.5-inch telescope these samples can be interrogated to 50 m radial distance during day time and nighttime. The fluorescence spectrograph is capable of measuring TR- laser-induced fluorescence excited with 355 nm laser in the spectral range 400-800 nm spectral range. The TR-fluorescence spectra allow measurement of LINF from rare-earths and transition-metal ions in time domain, and also assist in differentiating between abiogenic minerals from organic and biogenic materials based on the fluorescence lifetime. Biological materials are also identified from their characteristic short-lived (<10 ns) laser-induced fluorescence lifetime. These instruments will play important role in planetary exploration especially in NASA's future Mars Sample Return Mission, and lander and rover missions.

  11. Instrument deployment testbed: For planetary surface geophysical exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trebi-Ollennu, A.; Rankin, A. L.; Cheng, Yang; Tso, K. S.; Deen, R. G.; Aghazarian, H.; Kulczycki, E. A.; Bonitz, R. G.; Alkalai, L.

    This paper describes a high fidelity mission concept systems testbed at JPL that was used to support the InSight (Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) mission concept study. The InSight mission would conduct geophysical exploration of Mars' interior using three instruments 1. SEIS seismometer monitors seismic activity and tidal displacements; 2. RISE X-band radio Doppler tracking experiment measures rotational variations; and 3. HP3: Heat-flow and Physical Properties Probe determines the geothermal heat flux. CNES contributes SEIS and DLR contributes HP3. The measurements from these instruments would yield information about processes that occurred during the initial accretion of the planet, the formation and differentiation of its core, crust, and mantle, and subsequent evolution of its interior. The SEIS and HP3 instruments will be deployed to the surface of Mars using a robotic arm similar to the robotic arm used on the Mars Phoenix Lander mission and operational experience inherited from Phoenix and MER. The SEIS and HP3 will be monitored every three hours for one Mars year, with no ground-in-the-loop interaction required. InSight was one of three proposed missions selected by NASA Discovery Program in May 2011 for funding to conduct preliminary design studies and analyses. InSight was selected in August 2012 as the 12th mission in the NASA Discovery Program.

  12. Your Planetary Protection Officer

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Brendan I. Koerner

    This is a brief article about John Rummel, NASA's Planetary Protection Officer. It explains the purpose of planetary protection (to prevent contamination of Earth by alien life forms and of space by Earth's life forms), gives some historical background about NASA's planetary protection policies, and gives examples of recent protocols for sterilization of spacecraft. There are links to the Planetary Protection Office website, the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Bodies, and updated policy guidelines.

  13. The Generalized Location Routing Problem with Profits for planetary surface exploration and terrestrial applications

    E-print Network

    Ahn, Jaemyung

    2008-01-01

    As the scale of space exploration gets larger, planning of planetary surface exploration becomes more complex and campaign-level optimization becomes necessary. This is a challenging profit maximization problem whose ...

  14. Bioinspired engineering of exploration systems for NASA and DoD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thakoor, Sarita; Chahl, Javaan; Srinivasan, M. V.; Young, L.; Werblin, Frank; Hine, Butler; Zornetzer, Steven

    2002-01-01

    A new approach called bioinspired engineering of exploration systems (BEES) and its value for solving pressing NASA and DoD needs are described. Insects (for example honeybees and dragonflies) cope remarkably well with their world, despite possessing a brain containing less than 0.01% as many neurons as the human brain. Although most insects have immobile eyes with fixed focus optics and lack stereo vision, they use a number of ingenious, computationally simple strategies for perceiving their world in three dimensions and navigating successfully within it. We are distilling selected insect-inspired strategies to obtain novel solutions for navigation, hazard avoidance, altitude hold, stable flight, terrain following, and gentle deployment of payload. Such functionality provides potential solutions for future autonomous robotic space and planetary explorers. A BEES approach to developing lightweight low-power autonomous flight systems should be useful for flight control of such biomorphic flyers for both NASA and DoD needs. Recent biological studies of mammalian retinas confirm that representations of multiple features of the visual world are systematically parsed and processed in parallel. Features are mapped to a stack of cellular strata within the retina. Each of these representations can be efficiently modeled in semiconductor cellular nonlinear network (CNN) chips. We describe recent breakthroughs in exploring the feasibility of the unique blending of insect strategies of navigation with mammalian visual search, pattern recognition, and image understanding into hybrid biomorphic flyers for future planetary and terrestrial applications. We describe a few future mission scenarios for Mars exploration, uniquely enabled by these newly developed biomorphic flyers.

  15. NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations: Science Operations Development for Human Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Mary S.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission 16 in 2012 was to evaluate and compare the performance of a defined series of representative near-Earth asteroid (NEA) extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks under different conditions and combinations of work systems, constraints, and assumptions considered for future human NEA exploration missions. NEEMO 16 followed NASA's 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS), the primary focus of which was understanding the implications of communication latency, crew size, and work system combinations with respect to scientific data quality, data management, crew workload, and crew/mission control interactions. The 1-g environment precluded meaningful evaluation of NEA EVA translation, worksite stabilization, sampling, or instrument deployment techniques. Thus, NEEMO missions were designed to provide an opportunity to perform a preliminary evaluation of these important factors for each of the conditions being considered. NEEMO 15 also took place in 2011 and provided a first look at many of the factors, but the mission was cut short due to a hurricane threat before all objectives were completed. ARES Directorate (KX) personnel consulted with JSC engineers to ensure that high-fidelity planetary science protocols were incorporated into NEEMO mission architectures. ARES has been collaborating with NEEMO mission planners since NEEMO 9 in 2006, successively building upon previous developments to refine science operations concepts within engineering constraints; it is expected to continue the collaboration as NASA's human exploration mission plans evolve.

  16. Grading NASA's Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Committee on Assessing the Solar System Exploration Program has reviewed NASA's progress to date in implementing the recommendations made in the National Research Council's (NRC's) solar system exploration decadal survey covering the period 2003-2013, New Frontiers in the Solar System, and in its Mars Architecture report, Assessment of NASA s Mars Architecture 2007-2016. The committee assessed NASA's progress with respect to each individual recommendation in these two reports, assigning an academic-style grade, explaining the rationale for the grade and trend, and offering recommendations for improvement. The committee generally sought to develop recommendations in cases where it determined that the grade, the trend, or both were worrisome and that the achievement of a decadal survey recommendation would require some kind of corrective action on NASA's part. This usually meant that the committee sought to offer a recommendation when the grade was a "C" or lower. However, the committee did offer recommendations in connection with some higher grades when it believed that minor corrective action was possible and desirable. More importantly, the committee did not offer recommendations for some of the activities given lower grades, particularly in the enabling technologies area (Chapter 6), because the committee determined that only the restoration of funding and the development of a strategic technology development program would solve these problems.

  17. Exploring NASA Earth Science Satellite Data in the K-12 Classroom Using MY NASA DATA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phelps, C. S.; Chambers, L. H.; Diones, D. D.; Moore, S. W.; Oots, P. C.

    2007-12-01

    Mentoring and inquirY using NASA Data on Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs (MY NASA DATA) is an Internet-based project aimed to bring real NASA Earth system satellite data into the K-12 science classroom. MY NASA DATA consists of a Web site that collects lesson plans, science project ideas, and specially developed documentation to help the target audience more easily use NASA's vast collection of data about the Earth system. The core engine of MY NASA DATA is the Live Access Server (LAS) that provides access to over 128 satellite data parameters for student inquiry. The LAS allows students to make custom geo- referenced color plots, line graphs and data files for spreadsheets for any given parameter, time and location of choice. Students may also actively compare parameters and generate difference or overlay plots to explore real issues and topics in Earth science. The MY NASA DATA Web site already contains over 50 user-contributed lesson plans and science projects that introduce teachers and students to using the LAS interactive analysis tool, and about twenty more contributions will be posted by mid-2008. Each lesson plan is linked to national and state Standards of Learning (SOL) for easy implementation into the science curriculum and includes learning outcomes, prerequisites, and other key pedagogical elements. In-depth unit plans and science fair project ideas are also collected to engage students in longer-term research and interpretation of the NASA satellite data parameters. Several of the projects encourage students to collect local scientific data over a period of time for comparison with the satellite data. Each lesson or project provides the age-appropriate scaffolding that allows students to make new discoveries by exploring real data while teaching basic scientific principals and methods. The MY NASA DATA project also utilizes new developments in media and technology to provide more options for involving users remotely. Digital Learning Network (DLN) videoconferences, summer teacher workshops, and short courses at regional and national conferences are available for more intensive training in using MY NASA DATA in the classroom. Lessons using LAS data with Geographical Information System (GIS) software and data formats are also available for advanced audiences. A mentor network has been established to allow students to ask professional scientists and engineers scientific or career questions via e-mail. Feedback from outreach efforts has been extremely positive, and Web site metrics currently show over 8000 unique users per month.

  18. Reports and recommendations from COSPAR Planetary Exploration Committee (PEX) & International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    In response to the growing importance of space exploration, the objectives of the COSPAR Panel on Exploration (PEX) are to provide high quality, independent science input to support the development of a global space exploration program while working to safeguard the scientific assets of solar system bodies. PEX engages with COSPAR Commissions and Panels, science foundations, IAA, IAF, UN bodies, and IISL to support in particular national and international space exploration working groups and the new era of planetary exploration. COSPAR's input, as gathered by PEX, is intended to express the consensus view of the international scientific community and should ultimately provide a series of guidelines to support future space exploration activities and cooperative efforts, leading to outstanding scientific discoveries, opportunities for innovation, strategic partnerships, technology progression, and inspiration for people of all ages and cultures worldwide. We shall focus on the lunar exploration aspects, where the COSPAR PEX is building on previous COSPAR, ILEWG and community conferences. An updated COSPAR PEX report is published and available online (Ehrenfreund P. et al, COSPAR planetary exploration panel report, http://www.gwu.edu/~spi/assets/COSPAR_PEX2012.pdf). We celebrate 20 years after the 1st International Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon at Beatenberg in June 1994. The International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) was established the year after in April 1995 at an EGS meeting in Hamburg, Germany. As established in its charter, this working group reports to COSPAR and is charged with developing an international strategy for the exploration of the Moon (http://sci.esa.int/ilewg/ ). It discusses coordination between missions, and a road map for future international lunar exploration and utilisation. It fosters information exchange or potential and real future lunar robotic and human missions, as well as for new scientific and exploration information about the Moon. We present the GLUC/ICEUM11 declaration (with emphasis on Science and exploration; Technologies and resources, Infrastructures and human aspects; Moon, Space, Society and Young Explorers) (http://sci.esa.int/iceum11). We give a report on ongoing relevant ILEWG community activities. We discuss how lunar missions SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang'E1&2, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LRO, GRAIL, LADEE, Chang'E3 and upcoming missions contribute to lunar exploration objectives & roadmap.

  19. The Potential of Phased Arrays for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pogorzelski, Ronald J.

    2000-01-01

    Phased array antennas provide a set of operational capabilities which are very attractive for certain mission applications and not very attractive for others. Such antennas are by no means a panacea for telecommunications. In this paper the features of phased arrays are reviewed and their implications for space missions are considered in terms of benefits and costs. The primary capability provided by a phased array is electronic beam agility. The beam direction may be controlled at electronic speeds (vs. mechanical actuation) permitting time division multiplexing of multiple "users." Moreover, the beam direction can be varied over a full hemisphere (for a planar array). On the other hand, such antennas are typically much more complicated than the more commonly used reflectors and horns and this implies higher cost. In some applications, this increased cost must be accepted if the mission is to be carried out at all. The SIR-C radar is an example of such a case albeit not for deep space. Assuming for the sake of argument that the complexity and cost of a phased array can be significantly reduced, where can such antennas be of value in the future of planetary exploration? Potential applications to be discussed are planetary rovers, landers, and orbiters including both the areosynchronous and low orbit varieties. In addition, consideration is given to links from deep space to earth. As may be fairly obvious, the deep space link to earth would not benefit from the wide angle steering capability provided by a phase array whereas a rover could gain advantage from the capability to steer a beam anywhere in the sky. In the rover case, however, physical size of the aperture becomes a significant factor which, of course, has implications regarding the choice of frequency band. Recent research work concerning phased arrays has suggested that future phased arrays might be made less complex and, therefore, less costly. Successful realization of such phased arrays would enable many of the planetary missions discussed in this paper and significantly broaden the telecommunications capabilities available to the mission designers of the future.

  20. NASA's RPS Design Reference Mission Set for Solar System Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.

    2007-01-01

    NASA's 2006 Solar System Exploration (SSE) Strategic Roadmap identified a set of proposed large Flagship, medium New Frontiers and small Discovery class missions, addressing key exploration objectives. These objectives respond to the recommendations by the National Research Council (NRC), reported in the SSE Decadal Survey. The SSE Roadmap is down-selected from an over-subscribed set of missions, called the SSE Design Reference Mission (DRM) set. Missions in the Flagship and New Frontiers classes can consider Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs), while small Discovery class missions are not permitted to use them, due to cost constraints. In line with the SSE DRM set and the SSE Roadmap missions, the RPS DRM set represents a set of missions, which can be enabled or enhanced by RPS technologies. At present, NASA has proposed the development of two new types of RPSs. These are the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), with static power conversion; and the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG), with dynamic conversion. Advanced RPSs, under consideration for possible development, aim to increase specific power levels. In effect, this would either increase electric power generation for the same amount of fuel, or reduce fuel requirements for the same power output, compared to the proposed MMRTG or SRG. Operating environments could also influence the design, such that an RPS on the proposed Titan Explorer would use smaller fins to minimize heat rejection in the extreme cold environment; while the Venus Mobile Explorer long-lived in-situ mission would require the development of a new RPS, in order to tolerate the extreme hot environment, and to simultaneously provide active cooling to the payload and other electric components. This paper discusses NASA's SSE RPS DRM set, in line with the SSE DRM set. It gives a qualitative assessment regarding the impact of various RPS technology and configuration options on potential mission architectures, which could support NASA's RPS technology development planning, and provide an understanding of fuel need trades over the next three decades.

  1. NASA thesaurus: Astronomy vocabulary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    A terminology of descriptors used by the NASA Scientific and Technical information effort to index documents in the area of astronomy is presented. The terms are listed in hierarchical format derived from the 1988 edition of the NASA Thesaurus Volume 1 -- Hierarchical Listing. Over 1600 terms are included. In addition to astronomy, space sciences covered include astrophysics, cosmology, lunar flight and exploration, meteors and meteorites, celestial mechanics, planetary flight and exploration, and planetary science.

  2. The Jupiter System Observer: Exploring the Origins of Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prockter, Louise; Senske, D.; Collins, G. C.; Cooper, J. F.; Hendrix, A.; Hibbitts, C.; Kivelson, M.; Schubert, G.; Showman, A.; Turtle, E.; Williams, D.

    2007-10-01

    The Jupiter System Observer (JSO) is one of four studies commissioned by NASA's Science Mission Directorate to examine the potential science return from a flagship-class mission to the outer solar system. JSO is a long-duration mission that will study the entire Jupiter system, focusing on both its individual components, including Jupiter's atmosphere, rocky and icy moons, rings, and magnetospheric phenomena, and the interactions between them. The wealth of data to be returned by JSO will enable a fuller understanding of a variety of magnetospheric, atmospheric, and geological processes, and will illuminate the question of how planetary systems form and evolve. The science team has outlined a number of significant science goals that can be accomplished by a spacecraft that tours the Jovian system for several years before ultimately ending up in Ganymede orbit. Ganymede was selected as the final destination for JSO because of its unique place in the Jovian system and the solar system - it is only the third body known to have its own dynamo-generated magnetic field. Ganymede is thought to contain a subsurface ocean and exhibits a surface with a variety of older and younger terrains, making it an excellent target for understanding the formation and evolution of icy satellites. Long-term monitoring of Jupiter's atmosphere and rings, Io's volcanism and torus, and high-resolution flyby imaging of Europa, Callisto and Io will enable an unprecedented study of the Jovian system as a solar system analog, and enables cross-cutting scientific objectives in the fields of atmospheres, geology, magnetospheres, and geophysics.

  3. Products from NASA's In-Space Propulsion Program Applicable to Low-Cost Planetary Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David; Pencil, Eric J.; Glabb, Louis J.; Falck, Robert D.; Dankanich, John

    2013-01-01

    NASAs In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. The technology areas include electric propulsion technologies, spacecraft bus technologies, entry vehicle technologies, and design tools for systems analysis and mission trajectories. The electric propulsion technologies include critical components of both gridded and non-gridded ion propulsion systems. The spacecraft bus technologies under development include an ultra-lightweight tank (ULTT) and advanced xenon feed system (AXFS). The entry vehicle technologies include the development of a multi-mission entry vehicle, mission design tools and aerocapture. The design tools under development include system analysis tools and mission trajectory design tools.

  4. Products from NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Applicable to Low-Cost Planetary Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Daniel; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since September 2001 NASA s In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. Recently completed is the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Two other cost saving technologies nearing completion are the NEXT ion thruster and the Aerocapture technology project. Also under development are several technologies for low cost sample return missions. These include a low cost Hall effect thruster (HIVHAC) which will be completed in 2011, light weight propellant tanks, and a Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV). This paper will discuss the status of the technology development, the cost savings or performance benefits, and applicability of these in-space propulsion technologies to NASA s future Discovery, and New Frontiers missions, as well as their relevance for sample return missions.

  5. Products from NASA's in-space propulsion technology program applicable to low-cost planetary missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Daniel; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle M.

    2014-01-01

    Since September 2001, NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. Recently completed is the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Two other cost saving technologies nearing completion are the NEXT ion thruster and the Aerocapture technology project. Under development are several technologies for low-cost sample return missions. These include a low-cost Hall-effect thruster (HIVHAC) which will be completed in 2011, light-weight propellant tanks, and a Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV). This paper will discuss the status of the technology development, the cost savings or performance benefits, and applicability of these in-space propulsion technologies to NASA's future Discovery, and New Frontiers missions, as well as their relevance for sample return missions.

  6. The Global Exploration Roadmap and its significance for NASA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurini, K. C.; Gerstenmaier, W. H.

    2014-08-01

    The Global Exploration Roadmap reflects the collaborative effort of twelve space agencies to define a long-term human space exploration strategy which provides substantial benefits for improving the quality of life on Earth and is implementable and sustainable. Such a strategy is a necessary precondition to the government investments required to enable the challenging and rewarding missions that extend human presence into the solar system. The article introduces the international strategy and elaborates on NASA's leadership role in shaping that strategy. The publication of the roadmap, a reflection of the space landscape and multilateral agency-level dialog over the last four years, allows NASA to demonstrate its commitment to leading a long-term space exploration endeavor that delivers benefits, maintains strategic human spaceflight capabilities and expands human presence in space, with human missions to the surface of Mars as a driving goal. The road mapping process has clearly demonstrated the complementary interests of the participants and the potential benefits that can be gained through cooperation among nations to achieve a common goal. The present US human spaceflight policy is examined and it is shown that the establishment of a sustainable global space exploration strategy is fully consistent with that policy.

  7. Smarter Software For Enhanced Vehicle Health Monitoring and Inter-Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, William E.; Goodrich, Charles H.; Steinrock, Todd (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The existing philosophy for space mission control was born in the early days of the space program when technology did not exist to put significant control responsibility onboard the spacecraft. NASA relied on a team of ground control experts to troubleshoot systems when problems occurred. As computing capability improved, more responsibility was handed over to the systems software. However, there is still a large contingent of both launch and flight controllers supporting each mission. New technology can update this philosophy to increase mission assurance and reduce the cost of inter-planetary exploration. The advent of model-based diagnosis and intelligent planning software enables spacecraft to handle most routine problems automatically and allocate resources in a flexible way to realize mission objectives. The manifests for recent missions include multiple subsystems and complex experiments. Spacecraft must operate at longer distances from earth where communications delays make earthbound command and control impractical. NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC) has demonstrated the utility of onboard diagnosis and planning with the Remote Agent experiment in 1999. KSC has pioneered model-based diagnosis and demonstrated its utility for ground support operations. KSC and ARC are cooperating in research to improve the state of the art of this technology. This paper highlights model-based reasoning applications for Moon and Mars missions including in-situ resource utilization and enhanced vehicle health monitoring.

  8. Transition in the Human Exploration of Space at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, Carla A.; Cabana, Robert

    2011-01-01

    NASA is taking the next step in human exploration, beyond low Earth orbit. We have been going to low Earth orbit for the past 50 years and are using this experience to work with commercial companies to perform this function. This will free NASA resources to develop the systems necessary to travel to a Near Earth Asteroid, the Moon, Lagrange Points, and eventually Mars. At KSC, we are positioning ourselves to become a multi-user launch complex and everything we are working on is bringing us closer to achieving this goal. A vibrant multi-use spaceport is to the 21st Century what the airport was to the 20th Century - an invaluable transportation hub that supports government needs while promoting economic development and commercial markets beyond Earth's atmosphere. This past year saw the end of Shuttle, but the announcements of NASA's crew module, Orion, and heavy-lift rocket, the SLS, as well as the establishment of the Commercial Crew Program. We have a busy, but very bright future ahead of us and KSC is looking forward to playing an integral part in the next era of human space exploration. The future is SLS, 21st Century Ground Systems Program, and the Commercial Crew Program; and the future is here.

  9. Volatile Analysis by Pyrolysis of Regolith for Planetary Resource Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Malespin, Charles; ten Kate, Inge L.; Getty, Stephanie A.; Holmes, Vincent E.; Mumm, Erik; Franz, Heather B.; Noreiga, Marvin; Dobson, Nick; Southard, Adrian E.; Feng, Steven H.; Kotecki, Carl A.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Swindle, Timothy D.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Rice, James W.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    The extraction and identification of volatile resources that could be utilized by humans including water, oxygen, noble gases, and hydrocarbons on the Moon, Mars, and small planetary bodies will be critical for future long-term human exploration of these objects. Vacuum pyrolysis at elevated temperatures has been shown to be an efficient way to release volatiles trapped inside solid samples. In order to maximize the extraction of volatiles, including oxygen and noble gases from the breakdown of minerals, a pyrolysis temperature of 1400 C or higher is required, which greatly exceeds the maximum temperatures of current state-of-the-art flight pyrolysis instruments. Here we report on the recent optimization and field testing results of a high temperature pyrolysis oven and sample manipulation system coupled to a mass spectrometer instrument called Volatile Analysis by Pyrolysis of Regolith (VAPoR). VAPoR is capable of heating solid samples under vacuum to temperatures above 1300 C and determining the composition of volatiles released as a function of temperature.

  10. Enabling the space exploration initiative: NASA's exploration technology program in space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Cull, Ronald C.

    1991-01-01

    Space power requirements for Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) are reviewed, including the results of a NASA 90-day study and reports by the National Research Council, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), NASA, the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program, and the Synthesis Group. The space power requirements for the SEI robotic missions, lunar spacecraft, Mars spacecraft, and human missions are summarized. Planning for exploration technology is addressed, including photovoltaic, chemical and thermal energy conversion; high-capacity power; power and thermal management for the surface, Earth-orbiting platform and spacecraft; laser power beaming; and mobile surface systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Electrochemical Energy Storage and Power Sources for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, Richard S.

    2007-01-01

    An overview of NASA s electrochemical energy storage programs for NASA Exploration missions is being presented at the 10th Electrochemical Power Sources R&D Symposium, which is being held in Williamsburg, VA on August 20-23, 2007. This public domain venue, which is sponsored by the U.S. Navy and held every two years, serves as a forum for the dissemination of research and development results related to electrochemical energy storage technology programs that are currently being supported and managed within governmental agencies. Technology areas of primary interest include batteries, fuel cells, and both overview and focused presentations on such are given by both governmental and contractual researchers. The forum also provides an opportunity to assess technology areas of mutual interest with respect to establishing collaborative and/or complementary programmatic interactions.

  13. Field Immune Assessment during Simulated Planetary Exploration in the Canadian Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crucian, Brian; Lee, Pascal; Stowe, Raymond; Jones, Jeff; Effenhauser, Rainer; Widen, Raymond; Sams, Clarence

    2006-01-01

    Dysregulation of the immune system has been shown to occur during space flight, although the detailed nature of the phenomenon and the clinical risks for exploration class missions has yet to be established. In addition, the growing clinical significance of immune system evaluation combined with epidemic infectious disease rates in third world countries provides a strong rationale for the development of field-compatible clinical immunology techniques and equipment. In July 2002 NASA performed a comprehensive field immunology assessment on crewmembers participating in the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) on Devon Island in the high Canadian Arctic. The purpose of the study was to evaluate mission-associated effects on the human immune system, as well as to evaluate techniques developed for processing immune samples in remote field locations. Ten HMP-2002 participants volunteered for the study. A field protocol was developed at NASA-JSC for performing sample collection, blood staining/processing for immunophenotype analysis, wholeblood mitogenic culture for functional assessments and cell-sample preservation on-location at Devon Island. Specific assays included peripheral leukocyte distribution; constitutively activated T cells, intracellular cytokine profiles and plasma EBV viral antibody levels. Study timepoints were L-30, midmission and R+60. The protocol developed for immune sample processing in remote field locations functioned properly. Samples were processed in the field location, and stabilized for subsequent analysis at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The data indicated that some phenotype, immune function and stress hormone changes occurred in the HMP field participants that were largely distinct from pre-mission baseline and post-mission recovery data. These immune changes appear similar to those observed in Astronauts following spaceflight. The sample processing protocol developed for this study may have applications for immune assessment during exploration-class space missions or in remote terrestrial field locations. The data validate the use of the HMP as a ground-based spaceflight/planetary exploration analog for some aspects of human physiology.

  14. Orbital observatories for planetary science and exoplanets exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavrov, Alexander; Bisikalo, Dmitry; Ksanfomality, Leonid; Korablev, Oleg; Ananyeva, Vladislava; Kiselev, Alexander

    The Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Science (IKI RAS) currently develops two middle class space telescopes projects aimed to observe Solar system planets by a long term spectroscopy polarimetry monitoring and aimed to extra solar planets (exoplanets) engineering and scientific goals. “Planetary monitoring” telescope has a 0.6 meter primary mirror diameter and it is planned on board of Russian Segment of ISS. It is scheduled to be launched in 2018. It includes 5 science instruments: IR: 1000..4000 nm high-resolution spectrometer R>10000; Visible Field camera with filters wheel; UV-VIS Fourier spectrometer; UV-VIS spectropolarimeter; Stellar coronagraph linked with spectrometer. The “Planetary monitoring” telescope scientific goals devoted to explore not jet well studied questions on Mars (methane, ozone, dust and clouds, isotope ratio of HDO/H2O), on Venus (UV absorber, night glow, atmosphere dynamics), icy and gaseous Solar system planets, Jovian moons, Lunar exosphere, comets, meteorites. This telescope aims also for engineering development of exoplanet study by stellar coronagraphy linked with a low resolution spectrometry. The “Plnetary monitoring” telescope will have its larger version with up to 1.5 .. 2 meter primary mirror diameter. That mission called “Zvezdnyi (engl. stellar) patrol” and is tentatively scheduled for the launch in 2022 to L2 point on a Navigator automate platform. “Zvezdnyi patrol” has the main goal to atmospheric characterization of cold exoplanets with spectral near IR instruments. Another goal is to measure more precisely the Solar system planets atmosphere components. High-contrast imaging is currently the only available technique for the study of the thermodynamical and compositional properties of exoplanets in long-period orbits, comparable to the range from Venus to Jupiter. This project is a coronagraphic space telescope dedicated to the spectropolarimetric analysis of gaseous and icy giant planets as well as super-Earths at visible and near IR wavelengths. So far, studies for high-contrast imaging instruments have mainly focused on technical feasibility because of the challenging planet/star flux ratio of 10e-8-10e-10 required at short separations (200 mas or so) to image cold exoplanets. However, the main interest of “Zvezdnyi patrol” instruments, namely the analysis of planet atmospheric/surface properties, has remained largely unexplored.

  15. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beck, R.; Arnold, J.; Gasch, M.; Stackpole, M.; Wercinski, R.; Venkatapathy, E.; Fan, W.; Thornton, J; Szalai, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist (OCT), NASA has identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASAs Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASAs exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) is a primary avenue to achieve the Agencys 2011 strategic goal to Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future. In addition, recently released NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities, by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need for NASA to invest in the very near term in specific EDL technologies. The report points out the following challenges (Page 2-38 of the pre-publication copy released on February 1, 2012): Mass to Surface: Develop the ability to deliver more payload to the destination. NASA's future missions will require ever-greater mass delivery capability in order to place scientifically significant instrument packages on distant bodies of interest, to facilitate sample returns from bodies of interest, and to enable human exploration of planets such as Mars. As the maximum mass that can be delivered to an entry interface is fixed for a given launch system and trajectory design, the mass delivered to the surface will require reductions in spacecraft structural mass more efficient, lighter thermal protection systems more efficient lighter propulsion systems and lighter, more efficient deceleration systems. Surface Access: Increase the ability to land at a variety of planetary locales and at a variety of times. Access to specific sites can be achieved via landing at a specific location(s) or transit from a single designated landing location, but it is currently infeasible to transit long distances and through extremely rugged terrain, requiring landing close to the site of interest. The entry environment is not always guaranteed with a direct entry, and improving the entry systems robustness to a variety of environmental conditions could aid in reaching more varied landing sites. The National Research Council (NRC) Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities report highlights six challenges and they are: 1) Mass to Surface, 2) Surface Access, 3) Precision Landing, 4) Surface Hazard Detection and Avoidance, 5) Safety and Mission Assurance, and 6) Affordability. In order for NASA to meet these challenges, the report recommends immediate focus on Rigid and Flexible Thermal Protection Systems. Rigid TPS systems such as Avcoat or SLA are honeycomb based and PICA is in the form of tiles. The honeycomb systems is manufactured using techniques that require filling of each (3/8 cell) by hand and within a limited amount of time once the ablative compound is mixed, all of the cells have to be filled and the entire heat-shield has to be cured. The tile systems such as PICA pose a different challenge as the mechanical strength characteristic and the manufacturing limitations require large number of small tiles with gap-fillers between the tiles. Recent investments in flexible ablative systems have given rise to the potential for conformal ablative TPS> A conformal TPS over a rigid aeroshell has the potential to solve a number of challenges faced by traditional rigid TPS materials.

  16. Autonomous Surface Sample Acquisition for Planetary and Lunar Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, D. P.

    2007-08-01

    Surface science sample acquisition is a critical activity within any planetary and lunar exploration mission, and our research is focused upon the design, implementation, experimentation and demonstration of an onboard autonomous surface sample acquisition capability for a rover equipped with a robotic arm upon which are mounted appropriate science instruments. Images captured by a rover stereo camera system can be processed using shape from stereo methods and a digital elevation model (DEM) generated. We have developed a terrain feature identification algorithm that can determine autonomously from DEM data suitable regions for instrument placement and/or surface sample acquisition. Once identified, surface normal data can be generated autonomously which are then used to calculate an arm trajectory for instrument placement and sample acquisition. Once an instrument placement and sample acquisition trajectory has been calculated, a collision detection algorithm is required to ensure the safe operation of the arm during sample acquisition.We have developed a novel adaptive 'bounding spheres' approach to this problem. Once potential science targets have been identified, and these are within the reach of the arm and will not cause any undesired collision, then the 'cost' of executing the sample acquisition activity is required. Such information which includes power expenditure and duration can be used to select the 'best' target from a set of potential targets. We have developed a science sample acquisition resource requirements calculation that utilises differential inverse kinematics methods to yield a high fidelity result, thus improving upon simple 1st order approximations. To test our algorithms a new Planetary Analogue Terrain (PAT) Laboratory has been created that has a terrain region composed of Mars Soil Simulant-D from DLR Germany, and rocks that have been fully characterised in the laboratory. These have been donated by the UK Planetary Analogue Field Study network, and constitute the science targets for our autonomous sample acquisition work. Our PAT Lab. terrain has been designed to support our new rover chassis which is based upon the ExoMars rover Concept-E mechanics which were investigated during the ESA ExoMars Phase A study. The rover has 6 wheel drives, 6 wheels steering, and a 6 wheel walking capability. Mounted on the rover chassis is the UWA robotic arm and mast. We have designed and built a PanCam system complete with a computer controlled pan and tilt mechanism. The UWA PanCam is based upon the ExoMars PanCam (Phase A study) and hence supports two Wide Angle Cameras (WAC - 64 degree FOV), and a High Resolution Camera (HRC - 5 degree FOV). WAC separation is 500 mm. Software has been developed to capture images which form the data input into our on-board autonomous surface sample acquisition algorithms.

  17. Overview of NASA's Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephan, Ryan A.

    2010-01-01

    NASA's Constellation Program includes the Orion, Altair, and Lunar Surface Systems project offices. The first two elements, Orion and Altair, are manned space vehicles while the third element is broader and includes several sub-elements including Rovers and a Lunar Habitat. The upcoming planned missions involving these systems and vehicles include several risks and design challenges. Due to the unique thermal environment, many of these risks and challenges are associated with the vehicles' thermal control system. NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) includes the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). ETDP consists of several technology development projects. The project chartered with mitigating the aforementioned risks and design challenges is the Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project. The risks and design challenges are addressed through a rigorous technology development process that culminates with an integrated thermal control system test. The resulting hardware typically has a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of six. This paper summarizes the development efforts being performed by the technology development project. The development efforts involve heat acquisition and heat rejection hardware including radiators, heat exchangers, and evaporators. The project has also been developing advanced phase change material heat sinks and performing assessments for thermal control system fluids.

  18. NASA Center for Intelligent Robotic Systems for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    NASA's program for the civilian exploration of space is a challenge to scientists and engineers to help maintain and further develop the United States' position of leadership in a focused sphere of space activity. Such an ambitious plan requires the contribution and further development of many scientific and technological fields. One research area essential for the success of these space exploration programs is Intelligent Robotic Systems. These systems represent a class of autonomous and semi-autonomous machines that can perform human-like functions with or without human interaction. They are fundamental for activities too hazardous for humans or too distant or complex for remote telemanipulation. To meet this challenge, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has established an Engineering Research Center for Intelligent Robotic Systems for Space Exploration (CIRSSE). The Center was created with a five year $5.5 million grant from NASA submitted by a team of the Robotics and Automation Laboratories. The Robotics and Automation Laboratories of RPI are the result of the merger of the Robotics and Automation Laboratory of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering (ECSE) and the Research Laboratory for Kinematics and Robotic Mechanisms of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, and Mechanics (ME,AE,&M), in 1987. This report is an examination of the activities that are centered at CIRSSE.

  19. Definition, Expansion and Screening of Architectures for Planetary Exploration Class Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Power Systems

    E-print Network

    Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Power Systems By Bryan K. Smith Submitted to the System Design, expansion and screening of Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Power concepts capable of achieving planetaryDefinition, Expansion and Screening of Architectures for Planetary Exploration Class Nuclear

  20. A New Direction for NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Combining Science and Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, B.; Daou, D.; Schmidt, G.; Pendleton, Y.

    2014-04-01

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is a virtual institute focused on research at the intersection of science and exploration, training the next generation of lunar scientists, and community development. As part of the SSERVI mission, we act as a hub for opportunities that engage the larger scientific and exploration communities in order to form new interdisciplinary, research-focused collaborations. This talk will describe the research efforts of the new nine domestic teams that constitute the U.S. complement of the Institute and how we will engage the international science and exploration communities through workshops, conferences, online seminars and classes, student exchange programs and internships.

  1. Thermal Protection Materials Technology for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valentine, Peter G.; Lawerence, Timtohy W.; Gubert, Michael K.; Flynn, Kevin C.; Milos, Frank S.; Kiser, James D.; Ohlhorst, Craig W.; Koenig, John R.

    2005-01-01

    To fulfill the President s Vision for Space Exploration - successful human and robotic missions between the Earth and other solar system bodies in order to explore their atmospheres and surfaces - NASA must reduce trip time, cost, and vehicle weight so that payload and scientific experiment capabilities are maximized. As a collaboration among NASA Centers, this project will generate products that will enable greater fidelity in mission/vehicle design trade studies, support risk reduction for material selections, assist in optimization of vehicle weights, and provide the material and process templates for development of human-rated qualification and certification Thermal Protection System (TPS) plans. Missions performing aerocapture, aerobraking, or direct aeroentry rely on technologies that reduce vehicle weight by minimizing the need for propellant. These missions use the destination planet s atmosphere to slow the spacecraft. Such mission profiles induce heating environments on the spacecraft that demand thermal protection heatshields. This program offers NASA essential advanced thermal management technologies needed to develop new lightweight nonmetallic TPS materials for critical thermal protection heatshields for future spacecraft. Discussion of this new program (a December 2004 new start) will include both initial progress made and a presentation of the work to be preformed over the four-year life of the program. Additionally, the relevant missions and environments expected for Exploration Systems vehicles will be presented, along with discussion of the candidate materials to be considered and of the types of testing to be performed (material property tests, space environmental effects tests, and Earth and Mars gases arc jet tests).

  2. NASA's Analog Missions: Driving Exploration Through Innovative Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reagan, Marcum L.; Janoiko, Barbara A.; Parker, Michele L.; Johnson, James E.; Chappell, Steven P.; Abercromby, Andrew F.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) will require a unique collection of advanced, innovative technologies and the precise execution of complex and challenging operational concepts. One tool we in the Analog Missions Project at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) utilize to validate exploration system architecture concepts and conduct technology demonstrations, while gaining a deeper understanding of system-wide technical and operational challenges, is our analog missions. Analog missions are multi-disciplinary activities that test multiple features of future spaceflight missions in an integrated fashion to gain a deeper understanding of system-level interactions and integrated operations. These missions frequently occur in remote and extreme environments that are representative in one or more ways to that of future spaceflight destinations. They allow us to test robotics, vehicle prototypes, habitats, communications systems, in-situ resource utilization, and human performance as it relates to these technologies. And they allow us to validate architectural concepts, conduct technology demonstrations, and gain a deeper understanding of system-wide technical and operational challenges needed to support crewed missions beyond LEO. As NASA develops a capability driven architecture for transporting crew to a variety of space environments, including the moon, near-Earth asteroids (NEA), Mars, and other destinations, it will use its analog missions to gather requirements and develop the technologies that are necessary to ensure successful human exploration beyond LEO. Currently, there are four analog mission platforms: Research and Technology Studies (RATS), NASA s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), and International Space Station (ISS) Test bed for Analog Research (ISTAR).

  3. Using Perilog to Explore "Decision Making at NASA"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGreevy, Michael W.

    2005-01-01

    Perilog, a context intensive text mining system, is used as a discovery tool to explore topics and concerns in "Decision Making at NASA," chapter 6 of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) Report, Volume I. Two examples illustrate how Perilog can be used to discover highly significant safety-related information in the text without prior knowledge of the contents of the document. A third example illustrates how "if-then" statements found by Perilog can be used in logical analysis of decision making. In addition, in order to serve as a guide for future work, the technical details of preparing a PDF document for input to Perilog are included in an appendix.

  4. NASA Technology Area 07: Human Exploration Destination Systems Roadmap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.; Alexander, Leslie; Landis, Rob; Linne, Diane; Mclemore, Carole; Santiago-Maldonado, Edgardo; Brown, David L.

    2011-01-01

    This paper gives an overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Chief Technologist (OCT) led Space Technology Roadmap definition efforts. This paper will given an executive summary of the technology area 07 (TA07) Human Exploration Destination Systems (HEDS). These are draft roadmaps being reviewed and updated by the National Research Council. Deep-space human exploration missions will require many game changing technologies to enable safe missions, become more independent, and enable intelligent autonomous operations and take advantage of the local resources to become self-sufficient thereby meeting the goal of sustained human presence in space. Taking advantage of in-situ resources enhances and enables revolutionary robotic and human missions beyond the traditional mission architectures and launch vehicle capabilities. Mobility systems will include in-space flying, surface roving, and Extra-vehicular Activity/Extravehicular Robotics (EVA/EVR) mobility. These push missions will take advantage of sustainability and supportability technologies that will allow mission independence to conduct human mission operations either on or near the Earth, in deep space, in the vicinity of Mars, or on the Martian surface while opening up commercialization opportunities in low Earth orbit (LEO) for research, industrial development, academia, and entertainment space industries. The Human Exploration Destination Systems (HEDS) Technology Area (TA) 7 Team has been chartered by the Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) to strategically roadmap technology investments that will enable sustained human exploration and support NASA s missions and goals for at least the next 25 years. HEDS technologies will enable a sustained human presence for exploring destinations such as remote sites on Earth and beyond including, but not limited to, LaGrange points, low Earth orbit (LEO), high Earth orbit (HEO), geosynchronous orbit (GEO), the Moon, near-Earth objects (NEOs), which > 95% are asteroidal bodies, Phobos, Deimos, Mars, and beyond. The HEDS technology roadmap will strategically guide NASA and other U.S. Government agency technology investments that will result in capabilities enabling human exploration missions to diverse destinations generating high returns on investments.

  5. Rough-terrain mobile robot planning and control with application to planetary exploration

    E-print Network

    Iagnemma, Karl David

    2001-01-01

    Future planetary exploration missions will require mobile robots to perform difficult tasks in highly challenging terrain, with limited human supervision. Current motion planning and control algorithms are not well suited ...

  6. Space exploration challenges : characterization and enhancement of space suit mobility and planetary protection policy analysis

    E-print Network

    Holschuh, Bradley Thomas

    2010-01-01

    This thesis addresses two challenges associated with advanced space and planetary exploration: characterizing and improving the mobility of current and future gas pressurized space suits; and developing effective domestic ...

  7. Development of a mechanical counter pressure Bio-Suit System for planetary exploration

    E-print Network

    Sim, Zhe Liang

    2006-01-01

    Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is critical for human spaceflight and particularly for human planetary exploration. The MIT Man Vehicle Laboratory is developing a Bio-Suit EVA System, based on mechanical counterpressure ...

  8. Nuclear power technology requirements for NASA exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomfield, Harvey S.

    1990-01-01

    It is pointed out that future exploration of the moon and Mars will mandate developments in many areas of technology. In particular, major advances will be required in planet surface power systems. Critical nuclear technology challenges that can enable strategic self-sufficiency, acceptable operational costs, and cost-effective space transportation goals for NASA exploration missions have been identified. Critical technologies for surface power systems include stationary and mobile nuclear reactor and radioisotope heat sources coupled to static and dynamic power conversion devices. These technologies can provide dramatic reductions in mass, leading to operational and transportation cost savings. Critical technologies for space transportation systems include nuclear thermal rocket and nuclear electric propulsion options, which present compelling concepts for significantly reducing mass, cost, or travel time required for Earth-Mars transport.

  9. NASA/SP2009-566-ADD2 Human Exploration of Mars

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    NASA/SP­2009-566-ADD2 Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0 Addendum #2 Bret G. Drake and Kevin D. Watts, editors NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas March 2014 #12;NASA STI Program ... in Profile Since its founding, NASA has been dedicated to the advancement

  10. The Explorer's Guide to the Universe. A Reading List for Planetary and Space Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zucker, Sandy, Comp.; And Others

    This reading list for planetary and space science presents general references and bibliographies intended to supply background to the non-scientist, as well as more specific sources for recent discoveries. Included are NASA publications and those which have been commercially produced. References are sectioned into these topics: (1) general reviews…

  11. Don't Leave Home Without It: Planetary Protection for Robotic and Human Missions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. A. Conley; L. Billings

    2008-01-01

    In planetary exploration and the search for life beyond Earth, the unique capabilities provided by human explorers will be advantageous to science only if the biological contamination associated with human presence is understood and controlled. The practice of preventing cross- contamination between the Earth and other planetary bodies is called planetary protection. NASA has a planetary protection policy in place

  12. Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx): an infrastructure to bridge space missions data and computational models in planetary science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khodachenko, M. L.; Kallio, E. J.; Génot, V. N.; Al-Ubaidi, T.; Topf, F.; Schmidt, W.; Alexeev, I. I.; Modolo, R.; André, N.; Gangloff, M.; Belenkaya, E. S.

    2012-04-01

    The FP7-SPACE project Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx) has started in June 2011. The aim of the project is the Creation of an integrated interactive IT framework where data from space missions will be interconnected to numerical models, providing a possibility to 1) simulate planetary phenomena and interpret spacecraft data; 2) test and improve models versus experimental data; 3) fill gaps in measurements by appropriate modelling runs; 4) solve technological tasks of mission operation and preparation. Data analysis and visualization within IMPEx will be based on the advanced computational models of the planetary environments. Specifically, the 'modeling sector' of IMPEx is formed of four well established numerical codes and their related computational infrastructures: 1) 3D hybrid modeling platform HYB for the study of planetary plasma environments, hosted at FMI; 2) an alternative 3D hybrid modeling platform, hosted at LATMOS; 3) MHD modelling platform GUMICS for 3D terrestrial magnetosphere, hosted at FMI; and 4) the global 3D Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model for simulation of magnetospheres of different Solar System objects, hosted at SINP. Modelling results will be linked to the corresponding experimental data from space and planetary missions via several online tools: 1/ AMDA (Automated Multi-Dataset Analysis) which provides cross-linked visualization and operation of experimental and numerical modelling data, 2/ 3DView which will propose 3D visualization of spacecraft trajectories in simulated and observed environments, and 3/ "CLWeb" software which enables computation of various micro-scale physical products (spectra, distribution functions, etc.). In practice, IMPEx is going to provide an external user with an access to an extended set of space and planetary missions' data and powerful, world leading computing models, equipped with advanced visualization tools. Via its infrastructure, IMPEx will enable to merge spacecraft data bases and scientific modelling tools, providing their joint interconnected operation for the better understanding of related space and planetary physics phenomena.

  13. Planetary Protection: A Major Challenge in the Exploration of Life in the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rummel, J. D.

    2003-12-01

    The picture of Mars that is now emerging from the Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey results stands in marked contrast from that portrayed shortly after the Viking missions of the mid-1970s. The abundance of water ice seen both in the polar caps themselves, and in lower latitudes outside of the polar regions is particularly intriguing, and adds to the heightened consideration Mars as a planet that might support life--either Mars life or life brought from Earth. Elsewhere in the Solar System the situation also intrigues those looking for habitable niches. The tides of Europa are thought to keep its icy shell melted, thus providing ample liquid water in an ocean that may be on the order of 100 km deep. Other icy bodies may also be as interesting, whether they orbit Jupiter or are found around Saturn or the other outer planets. The intriguing nature of these bodies, and their potential niches for life, highlight the problems involved with possible biological contamination that may be carried by future missions, and its possible effects. A particular challenge are missions carrying perennial heat sources of high capacity and longevity (e.g., Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) which could, by non-nominal landings or other mission operations, be introduced to close contact with water ice--potentially forming Earthlike environments that could accommodate the growth of contaminant organisms. Maintaining the cleanliness of solar system bodies from biological growth is of critical importance to the future success of NASA's science and exploration missions, as is protecting the Earth from the importation of life from elsewhere, if it exists. Recently, the ICSU Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has published an international consensus planetary protection policy that provides a standard to address the prevention of biological contamination in sensitive areas on Mars, and in the Jovian moons.. Furthermore, as our array of missions grow, new data will drive future planetary protection concerns. A framework for assessing required contamination control measures must be developed.

  14. Long-Life, Lightweight, Multi-Roller Traction Drives for Planetary Vehicle Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, Richard C.; Fusaro, Robert L.; Dimofte, Florin

    2012-01-01

    NASA s initiative for Lunar and Martian exploration will require long lived, robust drive systems for manned vehicles that must operate in hostile environments. The operation of these mechanical drives will pose a problem because of the existing extreme operating conditions. Some of these extreme conditions include operating at a very high or very cold temperature, operating over a wide range of temperatures, operating in very dusty environments, operating in a very high radiation environment, and operating in possibly corrosive environments. Current drive systems use gears with various configurations of teeth. These gears must be lubricated with oil (or grease) and must have some sort of a lubricant resupply system. For drive systems, oil poses problems such as evaporation, becoming too viscous and eventually freezing at cold temperatures, being too thin to lubricate at high temperatures, being degraded by the radiation environment, being contaminated by the regolith (soil), and if vaporized (and not sealed), it will contaminate the regolith. Thus, it may not be advisable or even possible to use oil because of these limitations. An oil-less, compact traction vehicle drive is a drive designed for use in hostile environments like those that will be encountered on planetary surfaces. Initially, traction roller tests in vacuum were conducted to obtain traction and endurance data needed for designing the drives. From that data, a traction drive was designed that would fit into a prototype lunar rover vehicle, and this design data was used to construct several traction drives. These drives were then tested in air to determine their performance characteristics, and if any final corrections to the designs were necessary. A limitation with current speed reducer systems such as planetary gears and harmonic drives is the high-contact stresses that occur at tooth engagement and in the harmonic drive wave generator interface. These high stresses induce high wear of solid lubricant coatings, thus necessitating the use of liquid lubricants for long life.

  15. Exploring Planetary System Evolution Through High-Contrast Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Thomas; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Gpies Team

    2015-01-01

    Direct imaging of circumstellar disks provides unique information about planetary system construction and evolution. Several hundred nearby main-sequence stars are known to host debris disks, which are produced by mutual collisions of orbiting planetesimals during a phase thought to coincide with terrestrial planet formation. Therefore, detection of the dust in such systems through scattered near-infrared starlight offers a view of the circumstellar environment during the epoch of planet assembly. We have used ground-based coronagraphic angular differential imaging (ADI) with Keck NIRC2 and Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) to investigate disk structures that may act as signposts of planets. ADI and its associated image processing algorithms (e.g., LOCI) are powerful tools for suppressing the stellar PSF and quasistatic speckles that can contaminate disk signal. However, ADI PSF-subtraction also attenuates disk surface brightness in a spatially- and parameter-dependent manner, thereby biasing photometry and compromising inferences regarding the physical processes responsible for the dust distribution. To account for this disk "self-subtraction," we developed a novel technique to forward model the disk structure and compute a self-subtraction map for a given ADI-processed image. Applying this method to NIRC2 near-IR imaging of the HD 32297 debris disk, we combined the high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of ADI data with unbiased photometry to measure midplane curvature in the edge-on disk and a break in the disk's radial brightness profile. Such a break may indicate the location of a planetesimal ring that is a source of the light-scattering micron-sized grains. For the HD 61005 debris disk, we examined similar data together with GPI 1.6-micron polarization data and detected the dust ring's swept-back morphology, brightness asymmetry, stellocentric offset, and inner clearing. To study the physical mechanism behind these features, we explored how eccentricity and mutual inclination affect disk morphology by constructing self-subtracted scattered-light models (using our forward-modeling technique) and comparing them with complementary NIRC2 (several-arcsecond scales) and GPI (high S/N close to the star) observations.

  16. EXPLORING THE HABITABLE ZONE FOR KEPLER PLANETARY CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L. [MPIA, Koenigstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Sasselov, D., E-mail: lkaltene@cfa.harvard.edu [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2011-08-01

    This Letter outlines a simple approach to evaluate habitability of terrestrial planets by assuming different types of planetary atmospheres and using corresponding model calculations. Our approach can be applied for current and future candidates provided by the Kepler mission and other searches. The resulting uncertainties and changes in the number of planetary candidates in the HZ for the Kepler 2011 February data release are discussed. To first order, the HZ depends on the effective stellar flux distribution in wavelength and time, the planet albedo, and greenhouse gas effects. We provide a simple set of parameters which can be used for evaluating future planet candidates from transit searches.

  17. NASA's Mars Exploration Program: Characterize the Geology of Mars

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    A study of the geology of Mars should reveal answers to such questions as how Mars developed into the planet we see today and what accounts for the differences and similarities between Earth and Mars. Visitors to this site can learn about ancient magnetism recently discovered by the Mars Global Surveyor that suggests the planet was once more dynamic and Earth-like with a magnetic field shielding the surface from cosmic radiation. They can read about the importance of studying the age and composition of Martian rocks, particularly those rocks and minerals which might have been formed in the presence of water. This is part of NASA's presentation of four science goals for its Mars Exploration Program, a science-driven effort to discover whether Mars was, is, or can be, a habitable world.

  18. NASA Space Launch System: A Cornerstone Capability for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2014-01-01

    Under construction today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS), managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, will provide a robust new capability for human and robotic exploration beyond Earth orbit. The vehicle's initial configuration, sched will enable human missions into lunar space and beyond, as well as provide game-changing benefits for space science missions, including offering substantially reduced transit times for conventionally designed spacecraft. From there, the vehicle will undergo a series of block upgrades via an evolutionary development process designed to expedite mission capture as capability increases. The Space Launch System offers multiple benefits for a variety of utilization areas. From a mass-lift perspective, the initial configuration of the vehicle, capable of delivering 70 metric tons (t) to low Earth orbit (LEO), will be the world's most powerful launch vehicle. Optimized for missions beyond Earth orbit, it will also be the world's only exploration-class launch vehicle capable of delivering 25 t to lunar orbit. The evolved configuration, with a capability of 130 t to LEO, will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown. From a volume perspective, SLS will be compatible with the payload envelopes of contemporary launch vehicles, but will also offer options for larger fairings with unprecedented volume-lift capability. The vehicle's mass-lift capability also means that it offers extremely high characteristic energy for missions into deep space. This paper will discuss the impacts that these factors - mass-lift, volume, and characteristic energy - have on a variety of mission classes, particularly human exploration and space science. It will address the vehicle's capability to enable existing architectures for deep-space exploration, such as those documented in the Global Exploration Roadmap, a capabilities-driven outline for future deep-space voyages created by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, which represents 14 of the world's space agencies. In addition, this paper will detail this new rocket's capability to support missions beyond the human exploration roadmap, including robotic precursor missions to other worlds or uniquely high-mass space operation facilities in Earth orbit. As this paper will explain, the SLS Program is currently building a global infrastructure asset that will provide robust space launch capability to deliver sustainable solutions for exploration.

  19. An Assessment of Dust Effects on Planetary Surface Systems to Support Exploration Requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, Sandy

    2004-01-01

    Apollo astronauts learned first hand how problems with dust impact lunar surface missions. After three days, lunar dust contamination on EVA suit bearings led to such great difficulty in movement that another EVA would not have been possible. Dust clinging to EVA suits was transported into the Lunar Module. During the return trip to Earth, when micro gravity was reestablished, the dust became airborne and floated through the cabin. Crews inhaled the dust and it irritated their eyes. Some mechanical systems aboard the spacecraft were damaged due to dust contamination. Study results obtained by Robotic Martian missions indicate that Martian surface soil is oxidative and reactive. Exposures to the reactive Martian dust will pose an even greater concern to the crew health and the integrity of the mechanical systems. As NASA embarks on planetary surface missions to support its Exploration Vision, the effects of these extraterrestrial dusts must be well understood and systems must be designed to operate reliably and protect the crew in the dusty environments of the Moon and Mars. The AIM Dust Assessment Team was tasked to identify systems that will be affected by the respective dust, how they will be affected, associated risks of dust exposure, requirements that will need to be developed, identified knowledge gaps, and recommended scientific measurements to obtain information needed to develop requirements, and design and manufacture the surface systems that will support crew habitation in the lunar and Martian outposts.

  20. Wireless sensor networks for planetary exploration: Experimental assessment of communication and deployment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanz, D.; Barrientos, A.; Garzón, M.; Rossi, C.; Mura, M.; Puccinelli, D.; Puiatti, A.; Graziano, M.; Medina, A.; Mollinedo, L.; de Negueruela, C.

    2013-09-01

    Planetary surface exploration is an appealing application of wireless sensor networks that has been investigated in recent years by the space community, including the European Space Agency. The idea is to deploy a number of self-organizing sensor nodes forming a wireless networked architecture to provide a distributed instrument for the study and exploration of a planetary body. To explore this concept, ESA has funded the research project RF Wireless for Planetary Exploration (RF-WIPE), carried out by GMV, SUPSI and UPM. The purpose of RF-WIPE was to simulate and prototype a wireless sensor network in order to assess the potential and limitations of the technology for the purposes of planetary exploration. In this paper, we illustrate the results of the work carried out within the context of RF-WIPE. Two test case scenarios have been investigated: a distributed sensor network-based instrument and networked planetary surface exploration. Each scenario is related to a particular network configuration. For such configurations, energy models and communication protocols have been developed, simulated, and validated both on laboratory tests and with outdoor field tests. Additionally, node deployment was investigated, and a deployment system based on a mobile robotics platform has been designed and tested.

  1. An Update on the NASA Planetary Science Division Research and Analysis Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richey, Christina; Bernstein, Max; Rall, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: NASA's Planetary Science Division (PSD) solicits its Research and Analysis (R&A) programs each year in Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES). Beginning with the 2014 ROSES solicitation, PSD will be changing the structure of the program elements under which the majority of planetary science R&A is done. Major changes include the creation of five core research program elements aligned with PSD's strategic science questions, the introduction of several new R&A opportunities, new submission requirements, and a new timeline for proposal submissionROSES and NSPIRES: ROSES contains the research announcements for all of SMD. Submission of ROSES proposals is done electronically via NSPIRES: http://nspires.nasaprs.com. We will present further details on the proposal submission process to help guide younger scientists. Statistical trends, including the average award size within the PSD programs, selections rates, and lessons learned, will be presented. Information on new programs will also be presented, if available.Review Process and Volunteering: The SARA website (http://sara.nasa.gov) contains information on all ROSES solicitations. There is an email address (SARA@nasa.gov) for inquiries and an area for volunteer reviewers to sign up. The peer review process is based on Scientific/Technical Merit, Relevance, and Level of Effort, and will be detailed within this presentation.ROSES 2014 submission changes: All PSD programs will use a two-step proposal submission process. A Step-1 proposal is required and must be submitted electronically by the Step-1 due date. The Step-1 proposal should include a description of the science goals and objectives to be addressed by the proposal, a brief description of the methodology to be used to address the science goals and objectives, and the relevance of the proposed research to the call submitted to.Additional Information: Additional details will be provided on the Cassini Data Analysis Program, the Exoplanets Research program and Discovery Data Analysis Program, for which Dr. Richey is the Lead Program Officer.

  2. FORUM | PLANETARY SCIENCE & ASTROBIOLOGY Jupiter exploration: high risk and high rewards

    E-print Network

    Kite, Edwin

    FORUM | PLANETARY SCIENCE & ASTROBIOLOGY Jupiter exploration: high risk and high rewards Edwin S.ac.uk) Jupiter exploration is big science, and only the United States can afford self-contained missions into Jupiter to prevent it from contaminating Europa's ocean, cost $1.6 bn. Despite the failure of its High

  3. The Exploration of Neptune and Triton Submitted to the NRC 2009 Planetary Science Decadal Survey by

    E-print Network

    Barr, Amy C.

    The Exploration of Neptune and Triton Submitted to the NRC 2009 Planetary Science Decadal Survey by of Arizona #12;The Exploration of Neptune and Triton 2 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Neptune has the strongest winds's subsequent dynamical evolution. Neptune's large moon Triton is likely a captured Kuiper Belt Object (KBO

  4. Heliospheric Physics and NASA's Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minow, Joseph I.

    2007-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration outlines NASA's development of a new generation of human-rated launch vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle and an architecture for exploring the Moon and Mars. The system--developed by the Constellation Program--includes a near term (approx. 2014) capability to provide crew and cargo service to the International Space Station after the Shuttle is retired in 2010 and a human return to the Moon no later than 2020. Constellation vehicles and systems will necessarily be required to operate efficiently, safely, and reliably in the space plasma and radiation environments of low Earth orbit, the Earth's magnetosphere, interplanetary space, and on the lunar surface. This presentation will provide an overview of the characteristics of space radiation and plasma environments relevant to lunar programs including the trans-lunar injection and trans-Earth injection trajectories through the Earth's radiation belts, solar wind surface dose and plasma wake charging environments in near lunar space, energetic solar particle events, and galactic cosmic rays and discusses the design and operational environments being developed for lunar program requirements to assure that systems operate successfully in the space environment.

  5. Exploring the Solar System Activities Outline: Hands-On Planetary Science for Formal Education K-14 and Informal Settings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, J. S.; Tobola, K. W.; Lindstrom, M. L.

    2003-01-01

    Activities by NASA scientists and teachers focus on integrating Planetary Science activities with existing Earth science, math, and language arts curriculum. The wealth of activities that highlight missions and research pertaining to the exploring the solar system allows educators to choose activities that fit a particular concept or theme within their curriculum. Most of the activities use simple, inexpensive techniques that help students understand the how and why of what scientists are learning about comets, asteroids, meteorites, moons and planets. With these NASA developed activities students experience recent mission information about our solar system such as Mars geology and the search for life using Mars meteorites and robotic data. The Johnson Space Center ARES Education team has compiled a variety of NASA solar system activities to produce an annotated thematic outline useful to classroom educators and informal educators as they teach space science. An important aspect of the outline annotation is that it highlights appropriate science content information and key science and math concepts so educators can easily identify activities that will enhance curriculum development. The outline contains URLs for the activities and NASA educator guides as well as links to NASA mission science and technology. In the informal setting educators can use solar system exploration activities to reinforce learning in association with thematic displays, planetarium programs, youth group gatherings, or community events. Within formal education at the primary level some of the activities are appropriately designed to excite interest and arouse curiosity. Middle school educators will find activities that enhance thematic science and encourage students to think about the scientific process of investigation. Some of the activities offered are appropriate for the upper levels of high school and early college in that they require students to use and analyze data.

  6. Exploring NASA and ESA Atmospheric Data Using GIOVANNI, the Online Visualization and Analysis Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leptoukh, Gregory

    2007-01-01

    Giovanni, the NASA Goddard online visualization and analysis tool (http://giovanni.gsfc.nasa.gov) allows users explore various atmospheric phenomena without learning remote sensing data formats and downloading voluminous data. Using NASA MODIS (Terra and Aqua) and ESA MERIS (ENVISAT) aerosol data as an example, we demonstrate Giovanni usage for online multi-sensor remote sensing data comparison and analysis.

  7. Microsystems, Space Qualified Electronics and Mobile Sensor Platforms for Harsh Environment Applications and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunter, Gary W.; Okojie, Robert S.; Krasowski, Michael J.; Beheim, Glenn M.; Fralick, Gustave C.; Wrbanek, John D.; Greenberg, Paul S.; Xu, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center is presently developing and applying a range of sensor and electronic technologies that can enable future planetary missions. These include space qualified instruments and electronics, high temperature sensors for Venus missions, mobile sensor platforms, and Microsystems for detection of a range of chemical species and particulates. A discussion of each technology area and its level of maturity is given. It is concluded that there is a strong need for low power devices which can be mobile and provide substantial characterization of the planetary environment where and when needed. While a given mission will require tailoring of the technology for the application, basic tools which can enable new planetary missions are being developed.

  8. Human Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Current Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Larman, K. T.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. Dynamical Assessment: The current near-term NASA human spaceflight capability is in the process of being defined while the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Space Launch System (SLS) are still in development. Hence, those NEAs in more accessible heliocentric orbits relative to a minimal interplanetary exploration capability will be considered for the first missions. If total mission durations for the first voyages to NEAs are to be kept to less than one year, with minimal velocity changes, then NEA rendezvous missions ideally will take place within 0.1 AU of Earth (approx about 5 million km or 37 lunar distances). Human Exploration Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to inter-planetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Missions to NEAs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting detailed scientific investigations of these primitive objects. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at these destinations. In addition, the resulting scientific investigations would refine designs for future extraterrestrial In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), and assist in the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. Conclusions: The scientific and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a piloted mission to a NEA using NASA's proposed human exploration systems a compelling endeavor

  9. 78 FR 42805 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration Operations Committee; Research Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-17

    ...NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice...Advisory Council; Human Exploration Operations Committee...National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION...National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA...Subcommittee of the Human Exploration and Operations...

  10. Cytochemical studies of planetary microorganisms explorations in exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levinthal, E. C.

    1980-01-01

    Experiments to identify free living organisms in soils that may be substantially simpler in genetic content, and mirroring a more primitive stage of evolution than the species with which we are familiar to date, were designed. Organic chemical studies on the composition and disposition of elementary carbon leave nothing wanting as an aboriginal substrate for the original of life and early chemical evolution. Such studies were missed when it came to the interpretation of the Viking lander data, and needed for conceptual planning of future planetary missions.

  11. Immune system changes during simulated planetary exploration on Devon Island, high arctic

    PubMed Central

    Crucian, Brian; Lee, Pascal; Stowe, Raymond; Jones, Jeff; Effenhauser, Rainer; Widen, Raymond; Sams, Clarence

    2007-01-01

    Background Dysregulation of the immune system has been shown to occur during spaceflight, although the detailed nature of the phenomenon and the clinical risks for exploration class missions have yet to be established. Also, the growing clinical significance of immune system evaluation combined with epidemic infectious disease rates in third world countries provides a strong rationale for the development of field-compatible clinical immunology techniques and equipment. In July 2002 NASA performed a comprehensive immune assessment on field team members participating in the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) on Devon Island in the high Canadian Arctic. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of mission-associated stressors on the human immune system. To perform the study, the development of techniques for processing immune samples in remote field locations was required. Ten HMP-2002 participants volunteered for the study. A field protocol was developed at NASA-JSC for performing sample collection, blood staining/processing for immunophenotype analysis, whole-blood mitogenic culture for functional assessments and cell-sample preservation on-location at Devon Island. Specific assays included peripheral leukocyte distribution; constitutively activated T cells, intracellular cytokine profiles, plasma cortisol and EBV viral antibody levels. Study timepoints were 30 days prior to mission start, mid-mission and 60 days after mission completion. Results The protocol developed for immune sample processing in remote field locations functioned properly. Samples were processed on Devon Island, and stabilized for subsequent analysis at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The data indicated that some phenotype, immune function and stress hormone changes occurred in the HMP field participants that were largely distinct from pre-mission baseline and post-mission recovery data. These immune changes appear similar to those observed in astronauts following spaceflight. Conclusion The immune system changes described during the HMP field deployment validate the use of the HMP as a ground-based spaceflight/planetary exploration analog for some aspects of human physiology. The sample processing protocol developed for this study may have applications for immune studies in remote terrestrial field locations. Elements of this protocol could possibly be adapted for future in-flight immunology studies conducted during space missions. PMID:17521440

  12. Exploring NASA Earth Science Satellite Data in the K-12 Classroom Using MY NASA DATA

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. S. Phelps; L. H. Chambers; D. D. Diones; S. W. Moore; P. C. Oots

    2007-01-01

    Mentoring and inquirY using NASA Data on Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs (MY NASA DATA) is an Internet-based project aimed to bring real NASA Earth system satellite data into the K-12 science classroom. MY NASA DATA consists of a Web site that collects lesson plans, science project ideas, and specially developed documentation to help the target audience

  13. NASA Selects Mars Exploration Program Rover for 2003 Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In 2003, NASA plans to launch a relative of the now-famous 1997 Mars Pathfinder rover. Using drop, bounce and roll technology, this larger cousin is expected to reach the surface of the red planet in January 2004 and begin the longest journey of scientific exploration ever undertaken across the surface of that alien world. The rover will weigh about nearly 150 kilograms (about 300 pounds) and has a range of up to about 100 meters (110 yards) per sol, or Martian day. Surface operations will last for at least 90 sols, extending to late April 2004, but could continue longer, depending on the health of the rover. One aspect of the Mars rover's mission is to determine history of climate and water at a site or sites on Mars where conditions may once have been warmer and wetter and thus potentially favorable to life as we know it here on Earth. The exact landing site has not yet been chosen, but is likely to be a location such as a former lakebed or channel deposit -- a place where scientists believe there was once water. A site will be selected on the basis of intensive study of orbital data collected by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, as well as the Mars 2001 orbiter and other missions.

  14. NASA EG-2000-03-002-GSFC Exploring the Aurora and the Ionosphere 1 Educational Product

    E-print Network

    NASA EG-2000-03-002-GSFC Exploring the Aurora and the Ionosphere 1 Educational Product Educators#DQG#Aurora and the Ionosphere An Educator Guide with Activities in Space Science #12;NASA EG-2000-03-002-GSFC Exploring the Aurora and the Ionosphere 2 Solar Storms and You! is available in electronic for

  15. Exploring the Architectural Trade Space of NASAs Space Communication and Navigation Program

    E-print Network

    de Weck, Olivier L.

    Exploring the Architectural Trade Space of NASAs Space Communication and Navigation Program Marc of this study is the architectural tradespace exploration of the next generation TDRSS. The space of possible, Bernie Seery NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 8800 Greenbelt Road Greenbelt, MD 20771 301

  16. Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, Stephen J. (Editor); Kaplan, David I. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    Personnel representing several NASA field centers have formulated a "Reference Mission" addressing human exploration of Mars. This report summarizes their work and describes a plan for the first human missions to Mars, using approaches that are technically feasible, have reasonable risks, and have relatively low costs. The architecture for the Mars Reference Mission builds on previous work of the Synthesis Group (1991) and Zubrin's (1991) concepts for the use of propellants derived from the Martian Atmosphere. In defining the Reference Mission, choices have been made. In this report, the rationale for each choice is documented; however, unanticipated technology advances or political decisions might change the choices in the future.

  17. NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, Richard; Delory, Gregory; Colaprete, Anthony; Horanyi, Mihaly; Mahaffy, Paul; Hine, Butler; McClard, Steven; Grayzeck, Edwin; Boroson, Don

    2011-01-01

    Nearly 40 years have passed since the last Apollo missions investigated the mysteries of the lunar atmosphere and the question of levitated lunar dust. The most important questions remain: what is the composition, structure and variability of the tenuous lunar exosphere? What are its origins, transport mechanisms, and loss processes? Is lofted lunar dust the cause of the horizon glow observed by the Surveyor missions and Apollo astronauts? How does such levitated dust arise and move, what is its density, and what is its ultimate fate? The US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council decadal surveys and the recent "Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon" (SCEM) reports have identified studies of the pristine state of the lunar atmosphere and dust environment as among the leading priorities for future lunar science missions. These measurements have become particularly important since recent observations by the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission point to significant amounts of water and other volatiles sequestered within polar lunar cold traps. Moreover Chandrayaan/M3, EPOXI and Cassini/VIMS have identified molecular water and hydroxyl on lunar surface regolith grains. Variability in concentration suggests these species are likely to be present in the exosphere, and thus constitute a source for the cold traps. NASA s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is currently under development to address these goals. LADEE will determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere and investigate the processes that control its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions. LADEE will also determine whether dust is present in the lunar exosphere, and reveal its sources and variability. LADEE s results are relevant to surface boundary exospheres and dust processes throughout the solar system, will address questions regarding the origin and evolution of lunar volatiles, and will have implications for future exploration activities. LADEE will be the first mission based on the Ames Common Bus design. LADEE employs a high heritage instrument payload: a Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS), an Ultraviolet/Visible Spectrometer (UVS), and the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX). It will also carry a space terminal as part of the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), which is a technology demonstration. LLCD will also supply a ground terminal. LLCD is funded by the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD), managed by GSFC, and built by MIT Lincoln Lab. NMS was directed to the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and UVS to Ames Research Center (ARC). LDEX was selected through the Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity Notice (SALMON) Acquisition Process, and is provided by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The LADEE NMS covers a m/z range of 2-150 and draws its design from mass spectrometers developed at GSFC for the MSL/SAM, Cassini Orbiter, CONTOUR, and MAVEN missions. The UVS instrument is a next-generation, high-reliability version of the LCROSS UV-Vis spectrometer, spanning 250-800 nm wavelength, with high (<1 nm) spectral resolution. UVS will also perform dust occultation measurements via a solar viewer optic. LDEX senses dust impacts in situ, at LADEE orbital altitudes of 50 km and below, with a particle size range of between 100 nm and 5 micron. Dust particle impacts on a large hemispherical target create electron and ion pairs. The latter are focused and accelerated in an electric field and detected at a microchannel plate. LADEE is an important part of NASA s portfolio of near-term lunar missions; launch is planned for May, 2013. The lunar atmosphere is the most accessible example of a surface boundary exosphere, and may reveal the sources and cycling of volatiles. Dynamic dust activity must be accounted for in the design and operation of lunar surface operations.

  18. Integrated Software Systems for Crew Management During Extravehicular Activity in Planetary Terrain Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuznetz, Lawrence; Nguen, Dan; Jones, Jeffrey; Lee, Pascal; Merrell, Ronald; Rafiq, Azhar

    2008-01-01

    Initial planetary explorations with the Apollo program had a veritable ground support army monitoring the safety and health of the 12 astronauts who performed lunar surface extravehicular activities (EVAs). Given the distances involved, this will not be possible on Mars. A spacesuit for Mars must be smart enough to replace that army. The next generation suits can do so using 2 software systems serving as virtual companions, LEGACI (Life support, Exploration Guidance Algorithm and Consumable Interrogator) and VIOLET (Voice Initiated Operator for Life support and Exploration Tracking). The system presented in this study integrates data inputs from a suite of sensors into the MIII suit s communications, avionics and informatics hardware for distribution to remote managers and data analysis. If successful, the system has application not only for Mars but for nearer term missions to the Moon, and the next generation suits used on ISS as well. Field tests are conducted to assess capabilities for next generation spacesuits at Johnson Space Center (JSC) as well as the Mars and Lunar analog (Devon Island, Canada). LEGACI integrates data inputs from a suite of noninvasive biosensors in the suit and the astronaut (heart rate, suit inlet/outlet lcg temperature and flowrate, suit outlet gas and dewpoint temperature, pCO2, suit O2 pressure, state vector (accelerometry) and others). In the Integrated Walkback Suit Tests held at NASA-JSC and the HMP tests at Devon Island, communication and informatics capabilities were tested (including routing by satellite from the suit at Devon Island to JSC in Houston via secure servers at VCU in Richmond, VA). Results. The input from all the sensors enable LEGACI to compute multiple independent assessments of metabolic rate, from which a "best" met rate is chosen based on statistical methods. This rate can compute detailed information about the suit, crew and EVA performance using test-derived algorithms. VIOLET gives LEGACI voice activation capability, allowing the crew to query the suit, and receive feedback and alerts that will lead to corrective action. LEGACI and VIOLET can also automatically control the astronaut's cooling and consumable use rate without crew input if desired. These findings suggest that non-invasive physiological and environmental sensors supported with data analysis can allow for more effective management of mission task performance during EVA. Integrated remote and local view of data metrics allow crewmember to receive real time feedback in synch with mission control in preventing performance shortcomings for EVA in exploration missions.

  19. Robotic automation for space: planetary surface exploration, terrain-adaptive mobility, and multirobot cooperative tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenker, Paul S.; Huntsberger, Terrance L.; Pirjanian, Paolo; Baumgartner, Eric T.; Aghazarian, Hrand; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Leger, Patrick C.; Cheng, Yang; Backes, Paul G.; Tunstel, Edward; Dubowsky, Steven; Iagnemma, Karl D.; McKee, Gerard T.

    2001-10-01

    During the last decade, there has been significant progress toward a supervised autonomous robotic capability for remotely controlled scientific exploration of planetary surfaces. While planetary exploration potentially encompasses many elements ranging from orbital remote sensing to subsurface drilling, the surface robotics element is particularly important to advancing in situ science objectives. Surface activities include a direct characterization of geology, mineralogy, atmosphere and other descriptors of current and historical planetary processes-and ultimately-the return of pristine samples to Earth for detailed analysis. Toward these ends, we have conducted a broad program of research on robotic systems for scientific exploration of the Mars surface, with minimal remote intervention. The goal is to enable high productivity semi-autonomous science operations where available mission time is concentrated on robotic operations, rather than up-and-down-link delays. Results of our work include prototypes for landed manipulators, long-ranging science rovers, sampling/sample return mobility systems, and more recently, terrain-adaptive reconfigurable/modular robots and closely cooperating multiple rover systems. The last of these are intended to facilitate deployment of planetary robotic outposts for an eventual human-robot sustained scientific presence. We overview our progress in these related areas of planetary robotics R&D, spanning 1995-to-present.

  20. 75 FR 57520 - NASA Advisory Council; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Supporting Research and Technology Working...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-21

    ...Council; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Supporting Research and Technology Working...of the Supporting Research and Technology Working...Group of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the...INFORMATION: The agenda topics for the meeting...

  1. 75 FR 12310 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-15

    ...Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC...Ms. Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate...includes the following topics: --Planetary Science Division Update...Planetary Science Division Research and Analysis/...

  2. 78 FR 77719 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-24

    ...Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC...CONTACT: Ms. Ann Delo, Science Mission Directorate...includes the following topics: --Planetary Science Division Update --Planetary Science Division Research and Analysis...

  3. Exploration Planetary Surface Structural Systems: Design Requirements and Compliance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorsey, John T.

    2011-01-01

    The Lunar Surface Systems Project developed system concepts that would be necessary to establish and maintain a permanent human presence on the Lunar surface. A variety of specific system implementations were generated as a part of the scenarios, some level of system definition was completed, and masses estimated for each system. Because the architecture studies generally spawned a large number of system concepts and the studies were executed in a short amount of time, the resulting system definitions had very low design fidelity. This paper describes the development sequence required to field a particular structural system: 1) Define Requirements, 2) Develop the Design and 3) Demonstrate Compliance of the Design to all Requirements. This paper also outlines and describes in detail the information and data that are required to establish structural design requirements and outlines the information that would comprise a planetary surface system Structures Requirements document.

  4. Antarctic Exploration Parallels for Future Human Planetary Exploration: The Role and Utility of Long Range, Long Duration Traverses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, Stephen J. (Editor); Voels, Stephen A. (Editor)

    2012-01-01

    Topics covered include: Antarctic Exploration Parallels for Future Human Planetary Exploration: Science Operations Lessons Learned, Planning, and Equipment Capabilities for Long Range, Long Duration Traverses; Parallels Between Antarctic Travel in 1950 and Planetary Travel in 2050 (to Accompany Notes on "The Norwegian British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition 1949-52"); My IGY in Antarctica; Short Trips and a Traverse; Geologic Traverse Planning for Apollo Missions; Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) Traverse Planning; Science Traverses in the Canadian High Arctic; NOR-USA Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica: Science and Logistics on a Three-Month Expedition Across Antarctica's Farthest Frontier; A Notional Example of Understanding Human Exploration Traverses on the Lunar Surface; and The Princess Elisabeth Station.

  5. 75 FR 15743 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-30

    ...Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting...Aeronautics and Space Administration...Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...a meeting of the Exploration Committee of the...Exploration, Exploration Systems Mission...Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  6. 75 FR 40852 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-14

    ...Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting...Aeronautics and Space Administration...Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...a meeting of the Exploration Committee of the...Exploration, Exploration Systems Mission...Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  7. Proactive Integration of Planetary Protection Needs Into Early Design Phases of Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret; Conley, Catharine

    Planetary protection (PP) policies established by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science have been in force effectively for five decades, ensuring responsible exploration and the integrity of science activities, for both human and robotic missions in the Solar System beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). At present, operations on most bodies in the solar system are not constrained by planetary protection considerations because they cannot be contaminated by Earth life in ways that impact future space exploration. However, operations on Mars, Europa, and Enceladus, which represent locations with biological potential, are subject to strict planetary protection constraints for missions of all types because they can potentially be contaminated by organisms brought from Earth. Forward contamination control for robotic missions is generally accomplished through a combination of activities that reduce the bioload of microbial hitchhikers on outbound spacecraft prior to launch. Back contamination control for recent robotic missions has chiefly been accomplished by selecting sample-return targets that have little or no potential for extant life (e.g., cometary particles returned by Stardust mission). In the post-Apollo era, no human missions have had to deal with planetary protection constraints because they have never left Earth orbit. Future human missions to Mars, for example, will experience many of the challenges faced by the Apollo lunar missions, with the added possibility that astronauts on Mars may encounter habitable environments in their exploration or activities. Current COSPAR PP Principles indicate that safeguarding the Earth from potential back contamination is the highest planetary protection priority in Mars exploration. While guidelines for planetary protection controls on human missions to Mars have been established by COSPAR, detailed engineering constraints and processes for implementation of these guidelines have not yet been developed. Looking ahead, it is recognized that these planetary protection policies will apply to both governmental and non-governmental entities for the more than 100 countries that are signatories to the Outer SpaceTreaty. Fortunately, planetary protection controls for human missions are supportive of many other important mission needs, such as maximizing closed-loop and recycling capabilities to minimize mass required, minimizing exposure of humans to planetary materials for multiple health reasons, and minimizing contamination of planetary samples and environments during exploration and science activities. Currently, there is progress on a number of fronts in translating the basic COSPAR PP Principles and Implementation Guidelines into information that links with early engineering and process considerations. For example, an IAA Study Group on Planetary Protection and Human Missions is engaging robotic and human mission developers and scientists in exploring detailed technical, engineering and operational approaches by which planetary protection objectives can be accomplished for human missions in synergism with robotic exploration and in view of other constraints. This on-going study aims to highlight important information for the early stages of planning, and identify key research and technology development (R&TD) areas for further consideration and work. Such R&TD challenges provide opportunities for individuals, institutions and agencies of emerging countries to be involved in international exploration efforts. In January 2014, the study group presented an Interim Report to the IAA Heads of Agencies Summit in Washington DC. Subsequently, the group has continued to work on expanding the initial technical recommendations and findings, focusing especially on information useful to mission architects and designers as they integrate PP considerations in their varied plans-- scientific, commercial and otherwise. Already the findings and recommendations discussed by the study participants to date have set the agenda for additional work that will

  8. Strategic Research to Enable NASA's Exploration Missions Conference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nahra, Henry (Compiler)

    2004-01-01

    Abstracts are presented from a conference sponsored by the NASA Office of Biological and Physical Research and hosted by NASA Glenn Research Center and the National Center for Microgravity Research on Fluids and Combustion, held in Cleveland, Ohio, June 22-23, 2004. Topics pertained to the behavior of processes and materials in microgravity as well as physiological-biological studies and microgravity effects.

  9. NASA Advanced Explorations Systems: Concepts for Logistics to Living

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shull, Sarah A.; Howe, A. Scott; Flynn, Michael T.; Howard, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) project strives to enable a largely mission-independent cradle-to-grave-to-cradle approach to minimize logistics contributions to total mission architecture mass. The goals are to engineer logistics materials, common crew consumables, and container configurations to meet the following five basic goals: 1. Minimize intrinsic logistics mass and improve ground logistics flexibility. 2. Allow logistics components to be directly repurposed for on-orbit non-logistics functions (e.g., crew cabin outfitting) thereby indirectly reducing mass/volume. 3. Compact and process logistics that have not been directly repurposed to generate useful on-orbit components and/or compounds (e.g., radiation shielding, propellant, other usable chemical constituents). 4. Enable long-term stable storage and disposal of logistics end products that cannot be reused or repurposed (e.g., compaction for volume reduction, odor control, and maintenance of crew cabin hygienic conditions). 5. Allow vehicles in different mission phases to share logistics resources. This paper addresses the work being done to meet the second goal, the direct repurposing of logistics components to meet other on-orbit needs, through a strategy termed Logistics to Living (L2L). L2L has several areas but can be defined as repurposing or converting logistical items (bags, containers, foam, components, etc.) into useful crew items or life support augmentation on-orbit after they have provided their primary logistics function. The intent is that by repurposing items, dedicated crew items do not have to be launched and overall launch mass is decreased. For non-LEO missions, the vehicle interior volume will be relatively fixed so L2L will enable this volume to be used more effectively through reuse and rearrangement of logistical components. Past work in the area of L2L has already conceptually developed several potential technologies [Howe, Howard 2010]. Several of the L2L concepts that have shown the most potential in the past are based on NASA cargo transfer bags (CTBs) or their equivalents which are currently used to transfer cargo to and from the ISS. A high percentage of all logistics supplies are packaging mass and for a 6-month mission a crew of four might need over 100 CTBs. These CTBs are used for on-orbit transfer and storage but eventually becomes waste after use since down mass is very limited. The work being done in L2L also considering innovative interior habitat construction that integrate the CTBs into the walls of future habitats. The direct integration could provide multiple functions: launch packaging, stowage, radiation protection, water processing, life support augmentation, as well as structure. Reuse of these CTBs would reduce the amount of waste generated and also significantly reduce future up mass requirements for exploration missions. Also discussed here is the L2L water wall , an innovative reuse of an unfolded CTB as a passive water treatment system utilizing forward osmosis. The bags have been modified to have an inner membrane liner that allows them to purify wastewater. They may also provide a structural water-wall element that can be used to provide radiation protection and as a structural divider. Integration of the components into vehicle/habitat architecture and consideration of operations concepts and human factors will be discussed. In the future these bags could be designed to treat wastewater, concentrated brines, and solid wastes, and to dewater solid wastes and produce a bio-stabilized construction element. This paper will describe the follow-on work done in design, fabrication and demonstrations of various L2L concepts, including advanced CTBs for reuse/repurposing, internal outfitting studies and the CTB-based forward osmosis water wall.

  10. 75 FR 39974 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-13

    ...Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting...Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC...m. to 5 p.m. EDT. ADDRESSES: NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street...FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marian...

  11. 75 FR 36445 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-25

    ...Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting...Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC...to 5:30 p.m. EDT ADDRESSES: NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street...FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marian...

  12. 75 FR 80850 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-23

    ...Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting...Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC...p.m., Local Time. ADDRESSES: NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street...FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marian...

  13. 76 FR 21411 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-15

    ...Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting...Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC...p.m., Local Time. ADDRESSES: NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street...FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marian...

  14. Adhesion of Silicone Elastomer Seals for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    deGroh, Henry C., III; Miller, Sharon K. R.; Smith, Ian M.; Daniels, Christopher C.; Steinetz, Bruce M

    2008-01-01

    Silicone rubber seals are being considered for a number of interfaces on NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). Some of these joints include the docking system, hatches, and heat shield-to-back shell interface. A large diameter molded silicone seal is being developed for the Low Impact Docking System (LIDS) that forms an effective seal between the CEV and International Space Station (ISS) and other future Constellation Program spacecraft. Seals between the heat shield and back shell prevent high temperature reentry gases from leaking into the interface. Silicone rubber seals being considered for these locations have inherent adhesive tendencies that would result in excessive forces required to separate the joints if left unchecked. This paper summarizes adhesion assessments for both as-received and adhesion-mitigated seals for the docking system and the heat shield interface location. Three silicone elastomers were examined: Parker Hannifin S0899-50 and S0383-70 compounds, and Esterline ELA-SA-401 compound. For the docking system application various levels of exposure to atomic oxygen (AO) were evaluated. Moderate AO treatments did not lower the adhesive properties of S0899-50 sufficiently. However, AO pretreatments of approximately 10(exp 20) atoms/sq cm did lower the adhesion of S0383-70 and ELA-SA-401 to acceptable levels. For the heat shield-to-back shell interface application, a fabric covering was also considered. Molding Nomex fabric into the heat shield pressure seal appreciably reduced seal adhesion for the heat shield-to-back shell interface application.

  15. The Need for Analogue Missions in Scientific Human and Robotic Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snook, K. J.; Mendell, W. W.

    2004-01-01

    With the increasing challenges of planetary missions, and especially with the prospect of human exploration of the moon and Mars, the need for earth-based mission simulations has never been greater. The current focus on science as a major driver for planetary exploration introduces new constraints in mission design, planning, operations, and technology development. Analogue missions can be designed to address critical new integration issues arising from the new science-driven exploration paradigm. This next step builds on existing field studies and technology development at analogue sites, providing engineering, programmatic, and scientific lessons-learned in relatively low-cost and low-risk environments. One of the most important outstanding questions in planetary exploration is how to optimize the human and robotic interaction to achieve maximum science return with minimum cost and risk. To answer this question, researchers are faced with the task of defining scientific return and devising ways of measuring the benefit of scientific planetary exploration to humanity. Earth-based and spacebased analogue missions are uniquely suited to answer this question. Moreover, they represent the only means for integrating science operations, mission operations, crew training, technology development, psychology and human factors, and all other mission elements prior to final mission design and launch. Eventually, success in future planetary exploration will depend on our ability to prepare adequately for missions, requiring improved quality and quantity of analogue activities. This effort demands more than simply developing new technologies needed for future missions and increasing our scientific understanding of our destinations. It requires a systematic approach to the identification and evaluation of the categories of analogue activities. This paper presents one possible approach to the classification and design of analogue missions based on their degree of fidelity in ten key areas. Various case studies are discussed to illustrate the approach.

  16. Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abell, P. A.; Sanders, G. B.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: In 2009 the Augustine Commission identified near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. NEA Space-Based Survey and Robotic Precursor Missions: The most suitable targets for human missions are NEAs in Earth-like orbits with long synodic periods. However, these mission candidates are often not observable from Earth until the timeframe of their most favorable human mission opportunities, which does not provide an appropriate amount of time for mission development. A space-based survey telescope could more efficiently find these targets in a timely, affordable manner. Such a system is not only able to discover new objects, but also track and characterize objects of interest for human space flight consideration. Those objects with characteristic signatures representative of volatile-rich or metallic materials will be considered as top candidates for further investigation due to their potential for resource utilization and scientific discovery. Once suitable candidates have been identified, precursor spacecraft are required to perform basic reconnaissance of a few NEAs under consideration for the human-led mission. Robotic spacecraft will assess targets for potential hazards that may pose a risk to the deep space transportation vehicle, its deployable assets, and the crew. Additionally, the information obtained about the NEA's basic physical characteristics will be crucial for planning operational activities, designing in-depth scientific/engineering investigations, and identifying sites on the NEA for sample collection. Human Exploration Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to interplanetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at a NEA with total mission duration limits of 180 days or less. Hence, these missions would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while simultaneously conducting detailed investigations of these primitive objects with instruments and equipment that exceed the mass and power capabilities delivered by robotic spacecraft. All of these activities will be vital for refinement of resource characterization/identification and development of extraction/utilization technologies to be used on airless bodies under low- or micro-gravity conditions. In addition, gaining enhanced understanding of a NEA's geotechnical properties and its gross internal structure will assist the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. Conclusions: The scientific, resource utilization, and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a piloted sample return mission to a NEA using NASA's proposed human exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  17. Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, P. A.; Sanders, G. B.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: In 2009 the Augustine Commission identified near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. NEA Space-Based Survey and Robotic Precursor Missions: The most suitable targets for human missions are NEAs in Earth-like orbits with long synodic periods. However, these mission candidates are often not observable from Earth until the timeframe of their most favorable human mission opportunities, which does not provide an appropriate amount of time for mission development. A space-based survey telescope could more efficiently find these targets in a timely, affordable manner. Such a system is not only able to discover new objects, but also track and characterize objects of interest for human space flight consideration. Those objects with characteristic signatures representative of volatile-rich or metallic materials will be considered as top candidates for further investigation due to their potential for resource utilization and scientific discovery. Once suitable candidates have been identified, precursor spacecraft are required to perform basic reconnaissance of a few NEAs under consideration for the human-led mission. Robotic spacecraft will assess targets for potential hazards that may pose a risk to the deep space transportation vehicle, its deployable assets, and the crew. Additionally, the information obtained about the NEA's basic physical characteristics will be crucial for planning operational activities, designing in-depth scientific/engineering investigations, and identifying sites on the NEA for sample collection. Human Exploration Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to interplanetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at a NEA with total mission duration limits of 180 days or less. Hence, these missions would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while simultaneously conducting detailed investigations of these primitive objects with instruments and equipment that exceed the mass and power capabilities delivered by robotic spacecraft. All of these activities will be vital for refinement of resource characterization/identification and development of extraction/utilization technologies to be used on airless bodies under low- or micro-gravity conditions. In addition, gaining enhanced understanding of a NEA s geotechnical properties and its gross internal structure will assist the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. Conclusions: The scientific, resource utilization, and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a piloted sample return mission to a NEA using NASA s proposed human exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  18. Slope traversal experiments with slip compensation control for lunar\\/planetary exploration rover

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Genya Ishigami; Keiji Nagatani; Kazuya Yoshida

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents slope traversal experiments with slip compensation control for lunar\\/planetary exploration rovers. On loose soil, wheels of the rover easily slip even when the rover travels with relatively low velocity. Because of the slip, following an arbitrary path on loose soil becomes a difficult task for the rover, and also, the slip will increase when the rover traverses

  19. Planetary Rover Developments Supporting Mars Exploration, Sample Return and Future Human-Robotic Colonization

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Paul S. Schenker; Terrance L. Huntsberger; Paolo Pirjanian; Eric T. Baumgartner; Edward Tunstel

    2003-01-01

    We overview our recent research on planetary mobility. Products of this effort include the Field Inte- grated Design & Operations rover (FIDO), Sample Return Rover (SRR), reconfigurable rover units that function as an All Terrain Explorer (ATE), and a multi-Robot Work Crew of closely cooperating rovers (RWC). FIDO rover is an advanced technology prototype; its design and field testing support

  20. Tier-Scalable Reconnaissance Missions For The Autonomous Exploration Of Planetary Bodies

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Wolfgang Fink; James M. Dohm; Mark A. Tarbell; Trent M. Hare; Victor R. Baker; D. Schulze-Makuch; R. Furfaro; A. G. Fairen; T. P. Ferre; H. Miyamoto; G. Komatsu; W. C. Mahaney

    2007-01-01

    A fundamentally new (scientific) reconnaissance mission concept, termed tier-scalable reconnaissance, for remote planetary (including Earth) atmospheric, surface and subsurface exploration recently has been devised that soon will replace the engineering and safety constrained mission designs of the past, allowing for optimal acquisition of geologic, paleohydrologic, paleoclimatic, and possible astrobiologic information of Venus, Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Enceladus, Triton, and other

  1. Implementation the NASA Planetary Data System PDS4 Providing Access to LADEE Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beebe, Reta F.; Huber , Lyle; Neakrase, Lynn; Reese, Shannon; Crichton, Daniel; Hardman, Sean; Delory, Gregory; Neese, Carol

    2014-11-01

    The NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) is responsible for archiving all planetary data acquired by robotic missions, and observational campaigns with ground/space-based observatories. PDS has moved to version 4 of its archive system. PDS4 uses XML to enhance search and retrieval capabilities. Although the efforts are system wide, the Atmospheres Node has acted as the lead node and is presenting a preliminary users interface for retrieval of LADEE data. LADEE provides the first opportunity to test out the end-to-end process of archiving data from an active mission into the new PDS4 architecture. The limited number of instruments, with simple data structures, is an ideal test of PDS4. XML uses schema (analogous to blueprints) to control the structure of the corresponding XML labels. In the case of PDS4, these schemas allow management of the labels and their content by forcing validation dictated by the underlying Information Model (IM). The use of a central IM is a vast improvement over PDS3 because of the uniformity it provides across all nodes. PDS4 has implemented a product-centric approach for archiving data and supplemental documentation. Another major change involves the Central Registry, where all products are registered and accessible to search engines. Under PDS4, documents, data, and other ancillary data are all products that are registered in the system. Together with the XML implementation, the Registry allows the search routines to be more complex and inclusive than they have been in the past. For LADEE, the PDS nodes and LADEE instrument teams worked together to identify data products that LADEE would produce. Documentation describing instruments and data products were produced by the teams and peer reviewed by PDS. XML label templates were developed by the PDS and provided to the instrument teams to integrate into their pipelines. Data from the primary mission (100 days) have been certified and harvested into the registry and are accessible through the user interface. The LADEE implementation represents the first step toward modernization of the archive and should make the archive more usable for data providers and end-users alike. The poster provides a link to a PDS4 online tutorial.

  2. VEVI: A Virtual Reality Tool For Robotic Planetary Explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Piguet, Laurent; Fong, Terry; Hine, Butler; Hontalas, Phil; Nygren, Erik

    1994-01-01

    The Virtual Environment Vehicle Interface (VEVI), developed by the NASA Ames Research Center's Intelligent Mechanisms Group, is a modular operator interface for direct teleoperation and supervisory control of robotic vehicles. Virtual environments enable the efficient display and visualization of complex data. This characteristic allows operators to perceive and control complex systems in a natural fashion, utilizing the highly-evolved human sensory system. VEVI utilizes real-time, interactive, 3D graphics and position / orientation sensors to produce a range of interface modalities from the flat panel (windowed or stereoscopic) screen displays to head mounted/head-tracking stereo displays. The interface provides generic video control capability and has been used to control wheeled, legged, air bearing, and underwater vehicles in a variety of different environments. VEVI was designed and implemented to be modular, distributed and easily operated through long-distance communication links, using a communication paradigm called SYNERGY.

  3. Near-Earth Objects: Targets for Future Human Exploration, Solar System Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

    U.S. President Obama stated on April 15, 2010 that the next goal for human spaceflight will be to send human beings to a near-Earth asteroid by 2025. Given this direction from the White House, NASA has been involved in studying various strategies for near-Earth object (NEO) exploration in order to follow U.S. Space Exploration Policy. This mission would be the first human expedition to an interplanetary body beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars and other Solar System destinations. Missions to NEOs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific investigations of these primitive objects. In addition, the resulting scientific investigations would refine designs for future extraterrestrial resource extraction and utilization, and assist in the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. This presentation will discuss some of the physical characteristics of NEOs and review some of the current plans for NEO research and exploration from both a human and robotic mission perspective.

  4. Science Operations During Planetary Surface Exploration: Desert-RATS Tests 2009-2011

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    NASA s Research and Technology Studies (RATS) team evaluates technology, human-robotic systems and extravehicular equipment for use in future human space exploration missions. Tests are conducted in simulated space environments, or analog tests, using prototype instruments, vehicles, and systems. NASA engineers, scientists and technicians from across the country gather annually with representatives from industry and academia to perform the tests. Test scenarios include future missions to near-Earth asteroids (NEA), the moon and Mars.. Mission simulations help determine system requirements for exploring distant locations while developing the technical skills required of the next generation of explorers.

  5. NASA Flight Tests Explore Supersonic Laminar Flow - Duration: 55 seconds.

    NASA Video Gallery

    In partnership with Aerion Corporation of Reno, Nevada, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Centerâ??s tested supersonic airflow over a small experimental airfoil design on its F-15B Test Bed aircraft du...

  6. Explore at NASA Goddard Promo - Duration: 0:54.

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will again open its gates to welcome the regional community for a day of fun-filled activities, hands-on demonstrations, entertainment, and foo...

  7. Planetary sciences and exploration: An Indian perspective J N GOSWAMI

    E-print Network

    Joshi, Yogesh Moreshwar

    panels along with solar system objects of interest for exploration (bottom panel). From left to right solar flare records in meteorites and constancy of solar and galactic cosmic ray fluxes over long the nature of long-term solar wind, solar energetic particle and galactic cosmic ray fluxes as well

  8. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Marvin E. Criswell; M. S. Race; J. D. Rummel; A. Baker

    2005-01-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop (\\

  9. 75 FR 80081 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-21

    ...Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting...Aeronautics and Space Administration...Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...a meeting of the Exploration Committee of the...Bette Siegel, Exploration Systems Mission...Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  10. 76 FR 18800 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting.

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-05

    ...Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting...Aeronautics and Space Administration...Aeronautics and Space Administration...meeting of the Exploration Committee of the...Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and...

  11. 75 FR 52375 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-25

    ...Advisory Council; Exploration Committee AGENCY...Aeronautics and Space Administration...Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...a meeting of the Exploration Committee of the...Jane Parham, Exploration Systems Mission...Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  12. NASA -Exploration Systems -Can People Go to Mars? http://exploration.nasa.gov/articles/17feb_radiation.html 1 of 3 09/22/2006 08:23 AM

    E-print Network

    Shepherd, Simon

    NASA - Exploration Systems - Can People Go to Mars? http://exploration.nasa.gov/articles/17feb Systems - Can People Go to Mars? http://exploration.nasa.gov/articles/17feb_radiation.html 2 of 3 09/22/2006 08:23 AM Can People Go to Mars? Space radiation between Earth and Mars poses a hazard to astronauts

  13. NASA Space Engineering Research Center for utilization of local planetary resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    In 1987, responding to widespread concern about America's competitiveness and future in the development of space technology and the academic preparation of our next generation of space professionals, NASA initiated a program to establish Space Engineering Research Centers (SERC's) at universities with strong doctoral programs in engineering. The goal was to create a national infrastructure for space exploration and development, and sites for the Centers would be selected on the basis of originality of proposed research, the potential for near-term utilization of technologies developed, and the impact these technologies could have on the U.S. space program. The Centers would also be charged with a major academic mission: the recruitment of topnotch students and their training as space professionals. This document describes the goals, accomplishments, and benefits of the research activities of the University of Arizona/NASA SERC. This SERC has become recognized as the premier center in the area known as In-Situ Resource Utilization or Indigenous Space Materials Utilization.

  14. Laboratory Tests of a Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer: A Tool for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, K. E.; Evans, C. A.; Hodges, K.

    2011-12-01

    Maximizing the science return from a mission to another planetary surface involves the integration of science objectives with deployable technologies that enable the collection of data and samples. For long duration manned missions, it is likely that more samples will be collected than can be returned to Earth due to mass limits. A niche exists for technologies that help prioritize samples for return, provide data for future sample handling and curation, and characterization for samples that are not returned to Earth. To fill this niche, hardware and protocols for field instruments are currently being developed and evaluated at NASA Johnson Space Center and Arizona State University. Our goal is to develop an easily used, environmentally isolated facility as part of the astronaut surface habitat for preliminary sample characterization and down-selection. NASA has constructed a prototype, GeoLab, as a testbed for evaluating the scientific applicability and operational considerations of various analytical instruments. One instrument under evaluation is a small, portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer that can be also be used by astronaut explorers as part of their field gear while on scientific sorties, or on robotic field assistants. We report on preliminary usability tests for commercially available handheld XRF instruments. These instruments collect data by contacting the surface of a rock or sediment sample with an 8 mm-wide sensor window. Within 60 seconds, the devices can provide relatively precise data on the abundance of major and trace elements heavier than Na. Lab-based handheld XRF analyses of terrestrial and lunar samples, compared with those made with full-scale laboratory XRF systems, show good correlation, but we continue to investigate potential sources of error and the need for careful calibration with standards of known composition. Specifically, we use a suite of five terrestrial and five lunar basalts, all well characterized by conventional XRF technology, to evaluate the handheld technology. All of these samples are fine-grained and homogeneous, and were selected to eliminate effects introduced to the data by inconsistencies in the sample matrix, or added complexities like increased vesicularity or phenocryst content. Our calibration curves are built from smooth, sawed surfaces. We have examined all major elements, minus Na (which falls below the instrument sensitivity). Initial tests show that reproducible and reliable calibration curves are produced for Ca, Fe, Al, Ti, and Si, but the curves produced for Mg, Mn, K and P include greater uncertainties. We are currently investigating how the instrument signal variably drops off as a function of surface roughness and distance to the instrument window. Through studies such as these in the simulated GeoLab setting, we can better understand the instrument's capabilities in a field environment, both on Earth and for potential future missions to other planetary surfaces.

  15. Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connolly, John

    1998-01-01

    The Reference Mission was developed over a period of several years and was published in NASA Special Publication 6107 in July 1997. The purpose of the Reference Mission was to provide a workable model for the human exploration of Mars, which is described in enough detail that alternative strategies and implementations can be compared and evaluated. NASA is continuing to develop the Reference Mission and expects to update this report in the near future. It was the purpose of the Reference Mission to develop scenarios based on the needs of scientists and explorers who want to conduct research on Mars; however, more work on the surface-mission aspects of the Reference Mission is required and is getting under way. Some aspects of the Reference Mission that are important for the consideration of the surface mission definition include: (1) a split mission strategy, which arrives at the surface two years before the arrival of the first crew; (2) three missions to the outpost site over a 6-year period; (3) a plant capable of producing rocket propellant for lifting off Mars and caches of water, O, and inert gases for the life-support system; (4) a hybrid physico-chemical/bioregenerative life-support system, which emphasizes the bioregenerative system more in later parts of the scenario; (5) a nuclear reactor power supply, which provides enough power for all operations, including the operation of a bioregenerative life-support system as well as the propellant and consumable plant; (6) capability for at least two people to be outside the habitat each day of the surface stay; (7) telerobotic and human-operated transportation vehicles, including a pressurized rover capable of supporting trips of several days' duration from the habitat; (7) crew stay times of 500 days on the surface, with six-person crews; and (8) multiple functional redundancies to reduce risks to the crews on the surface. New concepts are being sought that would reduce the overall cost for this exploration program and reducing the risks that are indigenous to Mars exploration. Among those areas being explored are alternative space propulsion approaches, solar vs. nuclear power, and reductions in the size of crews.

  16. Science requirements for PRoViScout, a robotics vision system for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, E.; Pullan, D.; Griffiths, A.; Paar, G.

    2011-10-01

    The robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, including missions of interest for geobiology (e.g., ExoMars), will be the precursor of human missions within the next few decades. Such exploration will require platforms which are much more self-reliant and capable of exploring long distances with limited ground support in order to advance planetary science objectives in a timely manner. The key to this objective is the development of planetary robotic onboard vision processing systems, which will enable the autonomous on-site selection of scientific and mission-strategic targets, and the access thereto. The EU-funded research project PRoViScout (Planetary Robotics Vision Scout) is designed to develop a unified and generic approach for robotic vision onboard processing, namely the combination of navigation and scientific target selection. Any such system needs to be "trained", i.e. it needs (a) scientific requirements which the system needs to address, and (b) a data base of scientifically representative target scenarios which can be analysed. We present our preliminary list of science requirements, based on previous experience from landed Mars missions.

  17. NASA

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration home page provides information on current events at NASA, general information about NASA, and links to a plethora of NASA web sites, educational resources, and NASA Centers.

  18. The MASSE Project: Applications of Biotechnology for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, Kennda; Steele, Andrew; Hedgecock, Jud; Wainwright, Norm; McKay, David S.; Maule, Jake; Schweitzer, Mary

    2003-01-01

    Automated life-detection experiments for solar system exploration have been previously. proposed and used onboard the. Viking, Mars lander,s, although. with ambiguous results. The recent advances in biotechnology such as biosensors, protein microarrays, and microfluidics alongside increased. knowledge in biomarker science have led to vastly improved sophistication and sensitivity for a new approach in life detection. The MASSE project has taken the challenge of integrating all of this knowledge into a new generation of interplanetary flight instrumentation for the main purpose.ot combining several mutually. confirming tests for life, organic/microbial contamination, prebiotic and abiotic chemicals into a small low powered instrument. Although the primary goal is interplanetary exploration, several terrestrial applications have become apparent specifically in point-of-care medical technology, bio-warfare, environmental sensing and microbial monitoring of manned space-flight vehicles.

  19. Path-following control of wheeled planetary exploration robots moving on deformable rough terrain.

    PubMed

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Hai-bo; Deng, Zong-quan; Li, Zhijun; Xia, Ke-rui; Duan, Guang-ren

    2014-01-01

    The control of planetary rovers, which are high performance mobile robots that move on deformable rough terrain, is a challenging problem. Taking lateral skid into account, this paper presents a rough terrain model and nonholonomic kinematics model for planetary rovers. An approach is proposed in which the reference path is generated according to the planned path by combining look-ahead distance and path updating distance on the basis of the carrot following method. A path-following strategy for wheeled planetary exploration robots incorporating slip compensation is designed. Simulation results of a four-wheeled robot on deformable rough terrain verify that it can be controlled to follow a planned path with good precision, despite the fact that the wheels will obviously skid and slip. PMID:24790582

  20. Path-Following Control of Wheeled Planetary Exploration Robots Moving on Deformable Rough Terrain

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Hai-bo; Deng, Zong-quan; Li, Zhijun; Xia, Ke-rui; Duan, Guang-ren

    2014-01-01

    The control of planetary rovers, which are high performance mobile robots that move on deformable rough terrain, is a challenging problem. Taking lateral skid into account, this paper presents a rough terrain model and nonholonomic kinematics model for planetary rovers. An approach is proposed in which the reference path is generated according to the planned path by combining look-ahead distance and path updating distance on the basis of the carrot following method. A path-following strategy for wheeled planetary exploration robots incorporating slip compensation is designed. Simulation results of a four-wheeled robot on deformable rough terrain verify that it can be controlled to follow a planned path with good precision, despite the fact that the wheels will obviously skid and slip. PMID:24790582

  1. Science Friday: Planetary Exploration / McNeil's Nebula

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This site provides two radio broadcasts: an update on several space missions and a discussion of McNeil's Nebula. The first 33-minute broadcast discusses space missions exploring the planets in our solar system, such as Cassini in its orbit around Saturn, the twin Mars rovers, and Messenger, soon to lift off for the planet Mercury. The second, a 15-minute clip, discusses how a newborn star is shining some light on McNeil's Nebula and on the origin of our solar system.

  2. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1 Paradigm Shift in Design for NASA's Space Exploration

    E-print Network

    de Weck, Olivier L.

    implications of NASA's new space exploration initiative at the value, system architecture and vehicle levels. The space exploration system is expected to accomplish a wide variety of defined and undefined mission. The new design process is defined and then applied to the space exploration system with decisions

  3. Developing Algebra Concepts through Applications Related to NASA's Space Exploration Program

    E-print Network

    Spagnolo, Filippo

    Administration [NASA] has a new focus for manned space travel to go beyond Earth's orbit for purposes of human so that they may develop an appreciation for how mathematics is connected to space travelDeveloping Algebra Concepts through Applications Related to NASA's Space Exploration Program

  4. Developing Calculus Concepts through Applications Related to NASA's Space Exploration Program

    E-print Network

    Spagnolo, Filippo

    Administration [NASA] has a new focus for manned space travel to go beyond Earth's orbit for purposes of human so that they may develop an appreciation for how mathematics is connected to space travelDeveloping Calculus Concepts through Applications Related to NASA's Space Exploration Program Chris

  5. When astronauts rocket to the moon aboard NASA's Orion crew exploration

    E-print Network

    ;Constellation Program 2 NASA Facts motors will ignite, pulling the Orion crew module safely free of the Ares IWhen astronauts rocket to the moon aboard NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle, they will lift off the rocket at a moment's notice and setting the stage for a safe landing. Making its first flights early

  6. Robosphere: Self Sustaining Robotic Ecologies as Precursors to Human Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombano, Silvano P.

    2003-01-01

    The present sequential mission oriented approach to robotic planetary exploration, could be changed to an infrastructure building approach where a robotic presence is permanent, self sustaining and growing with each mission. We call this self-sustaining robotic ecology approach robosphere and discuss the technological issues that need to be addressed before this concept can be realized. One of the major advantages of this approach is that a robosphere would include much of the infrastructure required by human explorers and would thus lower the preparation and risk threshold inherent in the transition from robotic to human exploration. In this context we discuss some implications for space architecture.

  7. NASA Now: MMSEV: The Future of Robotic Exploration - Duration: 6:11.

    NASA Video Gallery

    Meet Fernando Zumbado, a NASA robotic systems engineer who works with the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle, or MMSEV. Zumbado explains how the robotic MMSEV vehicle is designed to adapt to i...

  8. 76 FR 41307 - NASA Advisory Council; Space Operations Committee and Exploration Committee; Joint Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-13

    ...NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice 11-064] NASA Advisory Council; Space Operations Committee and Exploration Committee...Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of...

  9. NASA Shows Progress of President's Space Exploration Vision - Duration: 2:47.

    NASA Video Gallery

    On the third anniversary of President Obama's visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he set his space exploration vision for the future, news media representatives were given an opp...

  10. Planetary protection and humans on Mars: NASA\\/ESA workshop results

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Margaret S. Race; Gerhard Kminek; John D. Rummel

    2008-01-01

    Planetary protection requirements for future human missions to Mars will strongly influence mission and spacecraft designs, particularly those related to the operation of advanced life support systems (ALS), extravehicular activity (EVA), laboratory and in situ sampling operations, and associated environmental monitoring and control systems. In order to initiate communication, understanding and working relations among the ALS, EVA, and planetary protection

  11. Japanese Exploration to Solar System Small Bodies: Rewriting a Planetary Formation Theory with Astromaterial Connection (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yano, H.

    2013-12-01

    Three decades ago, Japan's deep space exploration started with Sakigake and Suisei, twin flyby probes to P/Halley. Since then, the Solar System small bodies have been one of focused destinations to the Japanese solar system studies even today. Only one year after the Halley armada launch, the very first meeting was held for an asteroid sample return mission at ISAS, which after 25 years, materialized as the successful Earth return of Hayabusa , an engineering verification mission for sample return from surfaces of an NEO for the first time in the history. Launched in 2003 and returned in 2010, Hayabusa became the first to visit a sub-km, rubble-pile potentially hazardous asteroid in near Earth space. Its returned samples solved S-type asteroid - ordinary chondrite paradox by proving space weathering evidences in sub-micron scale. Between the Halley missions and Hayabusa, SOCCER concept by M-V rocket was jointly studied between ISAS and NASA; yet it was not realized due to insufficient delta-V for intact capture by decelerating flyby/encounter velocity to a cometary coma. The SOCCER later became reality as Stardust, NASA Discovery mission for cometary coma dust sample return in1999-2006. Japan has collected the second largest collection of the Antarctic meteorites and micrometeorites of the world and asteromaterial scientists are eager to collaborate with space missions. Also Japan enjoyed a long history of collaborations between professional astronomers and high-end amateur observers in the area of observational studies of asteroids, comets and meteors. Having these academic foundations, Japan has an emphasis on programmatic approach to sample returns of Solar System small bodies in future prospects. The immediate follow-on to Hayabusa is Hayabusa-2 mission to sample return with an artificial impactor from 1999 JU3, a C-type NEO in 2014-2020. Following successful demonstration of deep space solar sail technique by IKAROS in 2010-2013, the solar power sail is a deep space probe with hybrid propulsion of solar photon sail and ion engine system that will enable Japan to reach out deep interplanetary space beyond the main asteroid belt. Since 2002, Japanese scientists and engineers have been investigating the solar power sail mission to Jupiter Trojans and interdisciplinary cruising science, such as infrared observation of zodiacal light due to cosmic dust, which at the same time hit a large cross section of the solar sail membrane dust detector, concentrating inside the main asteroid belt. Now the mission design has extended from cruising and fly-by only to rendezvous and sample return options from Jupiter Trojan asteroids. Major scientific goal of Jupiter Trojan exploration is to constrain its origin between two competing hypothesis such as remnants of building blocks the Jovian system as the classic model and the second generation captured EKBOs as the planetary migration models, in which several theories are in deep discussion. Also important is to better understand mixing process of material and structure of the early Solar System just beyond snow line. The current plan involves its launch and both solar photon and IES accelerations combined with Earth and Jupiter gravity assists in 2020's, detailed rendezvous investigation of a few 10-km sized D-type asteroid among Jupiter Trojans in early 2030's and an optional sample return of its surface materials to the Earth in late 2030's.

  12. Enhanced Multi-Modal Access to Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamarra, Norm; Doyle, Richard; Wyatt, Jay

    2003-01-01

    Tomorrow's Interplanetary Network (IPN) will evolve from JPL's Deep-Space Network (DSN) and provide key capabilities to future investigators, such as simplified acquisition of higher-quality science at remote sites and enriched access to these sites. These capabilities could also be used to foster public interest, e.g., by making it possible for students to explore these environments personally, eventually perhaps interacting with a virtual world whose models could be populated by data obtained continuously from the IPN. Our paper looks at JPL's approach to making this evolution happen, starting from improved communications. Evolving space protocols (e.g., today's CCSDS proximity and file-transfer protocols) will provide the underpinning of such communications in the next decades, just as today's rich web was enabled by progress in Internet Protocols starting from the early 1970's (ARPAnet research). A key architectural thrust of this effort is to deploy persistent infrastructure incrementally, using a layered service model, where later higher-layer capabilities (such as adaptive science planning) are enabled by earlier lower-layer services (such as automated routing of object-based messages). In practice, there is also a mind shift needed from an engineering culture raised on point-to-point single-function communications (command uplink, telemetry downlink), to one in which assets are only indirectly accessed, via well-defined interfaces. We are aiming to foster a 'community of access' both among space assets and the humans who control them. This enables appropriate (perhaps eventually optimized) sharing of services and resources to the greater benefit of all participants. We envision such usage to be as automated in the future as using a cell phone is today - with all the steps in creating the real-time link being automated.

  13. Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx): a new EU FP7-SPACE project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khodachenko, M. L.; Genot, V. N.; Kallio, E. J.; Alexeev, I. I.; Modolo, R.; Al-Ubaidi, T.; André, N.; Gangloff, M.; Schmidt, W.; Belenkaya, E. S.; Topf, F.; Stoeckler, R.

    2011-12-01

    The FP7-SPACE project Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx) has started in June 2011. It will create an interactive framework for exploitation of space missions' data. Data analysis and visualization will be based on the advanced computational models of the planetary environments. Specifically, the 'modeling sector' of IMPEx is formed of four well established numerical codes and their related computational infrastructures: 1) 3D hybrid modeling platform HYB for the study of planetary plasma environments, hosted at FMI; 2) an alternative 3D hybrid modeling platform, hosted at LATMOS; 3) MHD modelling platform GUMICS for 3D terrestrial magnetosphere, hosted at FMI; and 4) the global 3D Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model for simulation of magnetospheres of different Solar System objects, hosted at SINP. Modelling results will be linked to the corresponding experimental data from space and planetary missions via several online tools: 1/ AMDA (Automated Multi-Dataset Analysis, http://cdpp-amda.cesr.fr/) which provides cross-linked visualization and operation of experimental and numerical modelling data, 2/ 3DView which will propose 3D visualization of spacecraft trajectories in simulated and observed environments, and 3/ "CLWeb" software which enables computation of various micro-scale physical products (spectra, distribution functions, etc.). In practice, IMPEx is going to provide an external user with an access to an extended set of space and planetary missions' data and powerful, world leading computing models, equipped with advanced visualization tools. Via its infrastructure, IMPEx will bring the data and models outside of the mission teams and specialized modelling groups making them accessible and useful for a broad planetary science community.

  14. Determining Desirable Cursor Control Device Characteristics for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandor, Aniko; Holden, Kritina L.

    2007-01-01

    A test battery was developed for cursor control device evaluation: four tasks were taken from ISO 9241-9, and three from previous studies conducted at NASA. The tasks focused on basic movements such as pointing, clicking, and dragging. Four cursor control devices were evaluated with and without Extravehicular Activity (EVA) gloves to identify desirable cursor control device characteristics for NASA missions: 1) the Kensington Expert Mouse, 2) the Hulapoint mouse, 3) the Logitech Marble Mouse, and 4) the Honeywell trackball. Results showed that: 1) the test battery is an efficient tool for differentiating among input devices, 2) gloved operations were about 1 second slower and had at least 15% more errors; 3) devices used with gloves have to be larger, and should allow good hand positioning to counteract the lack of tactile feedback, 4) none of the devices, as designed, were ideal for operation with EVA gloves.

  15. AS12-AS101-3 Breakthrough Capability for the NASA Astrophysics Explorer Program: Reaching the Darkest Sky

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenhouse, Matthew; Benson, S.; Falck, R.; Fixsen, D.; Gardner, J.; Garvin, J.; Kruk, J.; Oleson, S.; Thronson, H.

    2011-01-01

    We describe a mission architecture designed to substantially increase the science capability of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Astrophysics Explorer Program for all AO proposers working within the near-UV to far-infrared spectrum. We have demonstrated that augmentation of Falcon 9 Explorer launch services with a 13 kW Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) stage can deliver a 700 kg science observatory payload to extra-Zodiacal orbit. Over the above wavelength range, observatory performance is limited by zodiacal light. This new capability enables up to 10X increased photometric sensitivity and 160X increased observing speed relative to a Sun-Earth L2, Earth-trailing, or Earth orbit with no increase in telescope aperture. All enabling SEP stage technologies for this launch service augmentation have reached sufficient readiness (TRl-6) for Explorer Program application in conjunction with the Falcon 9. We demonstrate that enabling Astrophysics Explorers to reach extra-zodiacal orbit will allow this small payload program to rival the Science performance of much larger long development time systems; thuS, providing a means to realize major science objectives while increasing the SMD Astrophysics portfolio diversity and resiliency to external budget pressure. The SEP technology employed in this study has strong applicability to SMD Planetary Science community-proposed missions and is a stated flight demonstration priority for NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). This new mission architecture for astrophysics Explorers enables an attractive realization of joint goals for OCT and SMD with wide applicability across SMD science disciplines.

  16. Toward Sustainable and Affordable Space Exploration: The Role of NASA’s Space Product Development Program

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Franklin D. Schowengerdt

    2005-01-01

    The National Vision for Space Exploration calls for sustainable and affordable human and robotic missions to explore the solar system. Sustainability requires that the program produce visible benefits to the public, along with scientific and technological advances in support of exploration that would be expected from a program of this magnitude. Affordability requires that the private sector be heavily involved,

  17. 77 FR 53919 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-04

    ...Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC...Ms. Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate...includes the following topics: --Planetary Science Division Update...Senior Review Update --Research and Analysis...

  18. 78 FR 15378 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-11

    ...Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC...Ms. Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate...includes the following topics: --Planetary Science Division Update...Curiosity Update --Research and Analysis...

  19. 75 FR 80851 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-23

    ...Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC...Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate...includes the following topics: --Update on the Planetary Science Division. --Update...Groups. --Update on Research and Analysis...

  20. Exploration Roadmap Working Group (ERWG) Data Collection, NASA's Inputs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, Bret; Landis, Rob; Thomas, Andrew; Mauzy, Susan; Graham, Lee; Culbert, Chris; Troutman, Pat

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews four areas for further space exploration: (1) Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0, (2) Robotic Precursors targeting Near Earth Objects (NEO) for Human Exploration, (3) Notional Human Exploration of Near Earth Objects and (4) Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Refueling to Augment Human Exploration. The first presentation reviews the goals and objectives of the Mars DRA, presents a possible mission profile, innovation requirements for the mission and key risks and challenges for human exploration of Mars. The second presentation reviews the objective and goals of the robotic precursors to the NEO and the mission profile of such robotic exploration. The third presentation reviews the mission scenario of human exploration of NEO, the objectives and goals, the mission operational drivers, the key technology needs and a mission profile. The fourth and last presentation reviews the examples of possible refueling in low earth orbit prior to lunar orbit insertion, to allow for larger delivered payloads for a lunar mission.

  1. Operational Support Issues for the new NASA Exploration Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunches, J.; Balch, C.; Murtagh, W.

    2004-12-01

    The recent proposal for NASA to fly astronauts to the Moon and Mars is both very exciting and, at the same time, daunting. Any flight away from the protection of the Earth's magnetic field poses special problems for space weather operational support providers such as NOAA's Space Environment Center. Since the Apollo flights in the 1960's, SEC has provided forecasts and warnings of important space weather to NASA at Johnson Space Center. The NASA Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG) receives SEC products and services to aid them in their function of safeguarding the astronaut's health and safety. But to travel away from the Geo-magnetosphere and then the Sun-Earth line, new services will be necessary to insure the warning of imminent solar energetic particle (SEP) events, a severe threat to astronaut safety. Currently SEP forecasts are marginally accurate and must be improved. These SEP add to perhaps the most serious threat to safety, the constant bombardment of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR). Fortunately, the GCR behavior, though variable, is well understood. The presentation will consist first of a status report on the state of the predictive art for the near-Earth environment. That report will include both data and models currently used at SEC, as well as prediction verification statistics. Following that, there will be a look into future time on issues related to a lunar flight and a stay on the moon. Lastly some thoughts will be given on what may be required to provide adequate operational support for a flight to and from, and habitation on Mars.

  2. Battery and Fuel Cell Development for NASA's Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manzo, Michelle A.; Reid, Concha M.

    2009-01-01

    NASA's return to the moon will require advanced battery, fuel cell and regenerative fuel cell energy storage systems. This paper will provide an overview of the planned energy storage systems for the Orion Spacecraft and the Aries rockets that will be used in the return journey to the Moon. Technology development goals and approaches to provide batteries and fuel cells for the Altair Lunar Lander, the new space suit under development for extravehicular activities (EVA) on the Lunar surface, and the Lunar Surface Systems operations will also be discussed.

  3. NAC Exploration Committee August 3-4, 2010 Minutes CORRECTED 9/27/10 1 NASA ADVISORY COUNCIL (NAC)

    E-print Network

    Waliser, Duane E.

    development within NASA. ESMD has funding for Technology development and demonstrations. "We observeNAC Exploration Committee August 3-4, 2010 Minutes ­ CORRECTED 9/27/10 1 NASA ADVISORY COUNCIL (NAC to by the White House, Congress, and NASA leadership. This complicates ESMD operations." Exploration Committee

  4. NASA Explorer Institutes: Exploring the Possibilities for Collaboration with the Informal Education Community. Report of the NASA Explorer Institutes--Focus Groups and Pilot Workshops, September 2004-March 2005; Planning and Evaluation Meeting, March 14-17, 2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallaway, Debbie; Freeman, Jason; Walker, Gretchen; Davis, Hilarie

    2005-01-01

    This report contains summary information and conclusions from the pilot workshops, focus groups, and the NEI (NASA Explorer Institutes) Planning and Evaluation Conference which united representatives of the workshops, focus groups, and NASA education. The culmination of these NEI pilot initiatives resulted in the identification of strategies that…

  5. NASA UTILIZATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION AND THE VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Julie A.; Thomas, Donald A.

    2006-01-01

    Under U.S. President Bush s Vision for Space Exploration (January 14, 2004), NASA has refocused its utilization plans for the International Space Station (ISS). This use will now focus on: (1) the development of countermeasures that will protect crews from the hazards of the space environment, (2) testing and validating technologies that will meet information and systems needs for future exploration missions.

  6. NASA: Innovate, Explore, Discover, Inspire - Duration: 6 minutes, 41 seconds.

    NASA Video Gallery

    The President's Fiscal Year 2014 budget ensures the United States will remain the world's leader in space exploration and scientific discovery for years to come, while making critical advances in a...

  7. Exploration of Terminal Procedures Enabled by NASA Wake VAS Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lunsford, Clark R.; Smith, Arthur P., III; Cooper, Wayne W., Jr.; Mundra, Anand D.; Gross, Amy E.; Audenaerd, Laurence F.; Killian, Bruce E.

    2004-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) tasked The MITRE Corporation's Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) to investigate potential air traffic control (ATC) procedures that could benefit from technology used or developed in NASA's Wake Vortex Advisory System (WakeVAS). The task also required developing an estimate of the potential benefits of the candidate procedures. The main thrust of the investigation was to evaluate opportunities for improved capacity and efficiency in airport arrival and departure operations. Other procedures that would provide safety enhancements were also considered. The purpose of this investigation was to provide input to the WakeVAS program office regarding the most promising areas of development for the program. A two-fold perspective was desired: First, identification of benefits from possible procedures enabled by both incremental components and the mature state of WakeVAS technology; second identification of procedures that could be expected to evolve from the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) procedures. The evolution of procedures should provide meaningful increments of benefit and a low risk implementation of the WakeVAS technologies.

  8. From the APOLLO legacy to Mars, what can the manned exploration programme bring to planetary science?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, C.

    Manned space began with the promise of setting foot on the Moon in the first decade of the space age; this was done by the APOLLO project which combined unprecedented technological innovation with space and moon science. The scientific results of APPOLO will be briefly reviewed together with the lessons to be learnt from this unique experience. In the last 34 years, manned space was limited to low earth orbit and it can be reasonably argued that the science return from continuing will be to the maximum incremental, however, the full use of the present space station could still be considered for external instrument platforms as, for example, a planetary telescope. Independently of the science objectives, the Presidential Vision in the United States and the Lisbon declaration of the European Union have led to new manned exploration programmmes returning to the Moon, going to Mars and beyond. The current status of these ambitious projects and their return for planetary science will be reviewed.

  9. NASA Video Catalog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This issue of the NASA Video Catalog cites video productions listed in the NASA STI database. The videos listed have been developed by the NASA centers, covering Shuttle mission press conferences; fly-bys of planets; aircraft design, testing and performance; environmental pollution; lunar and planetary exploration; and many other categories related to manned and unmanned space exploration. Each entry in the publication consists of a standard bibliographic citation accompanied by an abstract. The Table of Contents shows how the entries are arranged by divisions and categories according to the NASA Scope and Subject Category Guide. For users with specific information, a Title Index is available. A Subject Term Index, based on the NASA Thesaurus, is also included. Guidelines for usage of NASA audio/visual material, ordering information, and order forms are also available.

  10. Benefit assessment of NASA space technology goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The socio-economic benefits to be derived from system applications of space technology goals developed by NASA were assessed. Specific studies include: electronic mail; personal telephone communications; weather and climate monitoring, prediction, and control; crop production forecasting and water availability; planetary engineering of the planet Venus; and planetary exploration.

  11. Auxiliary Propulsion Activities in Support of NASA's Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Best, Philip J.; Unger, Ronald J.; Waits, David A.

    2005-01-01

    The Space Launch Initiative (SLI) procurement mechanism NRA8-30 initiated the Auxiliary Propulsion System/Main Propulsion System (APS/MPS) Project in 2001 to address technology gaps and development risks for non-toxic and cryogenic propellants for auxiliary propulsion applications. These applications include reaction control and orbital maneuvering engines, and storage, pressure control, and transfer technologies associated with on-orbit maintenance of cryogens. The project has successfully evolved over several years in response to changing requirements for re-usable launch vehicle technologies, general launch technology improvements, and, most recently, exploration technologies. Lessons learned based on actual hardware performance have also played a part in the project evolution to focus now on those technologies deemed specifically relevant to the Exploration Initiative. Formal relevance reviews held in the spring of 2004 resulted in authority for continuation of the Auxiliary Propulsion Project through Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05), and provided for a direct reporting path to the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. The tasks determined to be relevant under the project were: continuation of the development, fabrication, and delivery of three 870 lbf thrust prototype LOX/ethanol reaction control engines; the fabrication, assembly, engine integration and testing of the Auxiliary Propulsion Test Bed at White Sands Test Facility; and the completion of FY04 cryogenic fluid management component and subsystem development tasks (mass gauging, pressure control, and liquid acquisition elements). This paper presents an overview of those tasks, their scope, expectations, and results to-date as carried forward into the Exploration Initiative.

  12. Impact of the Columbia Supercomputer on NASA Space and Exploration Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biswas, Rupak; Kwak, Dochan; Kiris, Cetin; Lawrence, Scott

    2006-01-01

    NASA's 10,240-processor Columbia supercomputer gained worldwide recognition in 2004 for increasing the space agency's computing capability ten-fold, and enabling U.S. scientists and engineers to perform significant, breakthrough simulations. Columbia has amply demonstrated its capability to accelerate NASA's key missions, including space operations, exploration systems, science, and aeronautics. Columbia is part of an integrated high-end computing (HEC) environment comprised of massive storage and archive systems, high-speed networking, high-fidelity modeling and simulation tools, application performance optimization, and advanced data analysis and visualization. In this paper, we illustrate the impact Columbia is having on NASA's numerous space and exploration applications, such as the development of the Crew Exploration and Launch Vehicles (CEV/CLV), effects of long-duration human presence in space, and damage assessment and repair recommendations for remaining shuttle flights. We conclude by discussing HEC challenges that must be overcome to solve space-related science problems in the future.

  13. NASA's Planned Fuel Cell Development Activities for 2009 and Beyond in Support of the Exploration Vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    NASA s Energy Storage Project is one of many technology development efforts being implemented as part of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP), under the auspices of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). The Energy Storage Project is a focused technology development effort to advance lithium-ion battery and proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technologies to meet the specific power and energy storage needs of NASA Exploration missions. The fuel cell portion of the project has as its focus the development of both primary fuel cell power systems and regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage systems, and is led by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in partnership with the Johnson Space Center (JSC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), academia, and industrial partners. The development goals are to improve stack electrical performance, reduce system mass and parasitic power requirements, and increase system life and reliability.

  14. NASA astrophysics - Optical systems to explore the universe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pellerin, C. J., Jr.; Stencel, R. E.

    1983-01-01

    Major and minor NASA astrophysical research efforts in the near-term are outlined, together with projections of direction for future projects. The Space Telescope is being readied for a 1986 launch and will feature an f/24, 2.4 m aperture, an MgF2 mirror with better than 1/60 wavelength accuracy and will be diffraction-limited in the UV. Pointing accuracy is designed to be 0.007 arcsec for 24 hr. Optical, spectrometric, and photometric equipment will be included. Around 1990, Shuttle-based missions will include an IR telescope and a subarcsec solar surface imaging device. A free-flying X-ray observatory (AXAF) is planned and will include a sensitivity that exceeds that of the HEAO-2 spacecraft by two orders of magnitude. Instruments are under development for higher resolution UV, gamma-ray, and IR studies. In-orbit interferometry is being studied and will depend on in-orbit assembly and servicing of stable structures with segmented optics.

  15. NASA Solar System Exploration Education and Public Outreach Activity Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowes, L.; Miner, E.; Betrue, R.

    2000-12-01

    This presentation is an overview of the Solar System Exploration EPO activities funded by the Office of Space Science (OSS) from June 1999 to May 2000, and how these activities fit into the OSS strategy. Traditionally, OSS has been involved in education primarily by contributing to the development of the scientific and technical workforce. Under the current OSS EPO strategy, this role is expanded to reach more audiences, including the formal education community, informal education organizations, and the general public. The Solar System Exploration EPO approach uses partnerships to leverage resources and increase our reach. Our partnerships include a strong emphasis on the involvement of the scientific community. Our SSE missions and research are the key to engaging our audiences by making Solar System Exploration part of the human experience. This presentation will feature some unique contributions of the missions for engaging our audiences through mission events in the next year. That will be followed by illustrations of how we partner, both internally between missions, and externally.

  16. Opportunities within NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate for Engineering Students and Faculty

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garner, Lesley

    2008-01-01

    In 2006, NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) launched two new Educational Projects: (1) The ESMID Space Grant Student Project ; and (2) The ESM1D Space Grant Faculty Project. The Student Project consists of three student opportunities: exploration-related internships at NASA Centers or with space-related industry, senior design projects, and system engineering paper competitions. The ESMID Space Grant Faculty Project consists of two faculty opportunities: (1) a summer faculty fellowship; and (2) funding to develop a senior design course.

  17. Exploring NASA Satellite Data with High Resolution Visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, J. C.; Yang, W.; Johnson, J. E.; Shen, S.; Zhao, P.; Gerasimov, I. V.; Vollmer, B.; Vicente, G. A.; Pham, L.

    2013-12-01

    Satellite data products are important for a wide variety of applications that can bring far-reaching benefits to the science community and the broader society. These benefits can best be achieved if the satellite data are well utilized and interpreted, such as model inputs from satellite, or extreme event (such as volcano eruption, dust storm, ...etc) interpretation from satellite. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, despite the abundance and relative maturity of numerous satellite data products provided by NASA and other organizations. Such obstacles may be avoided by providing satellite data as ';Images' with accurate pixel-level (Level 2) information, including pixel coverage area delineation and science team recommended quality screening for individual geophysical parameters. We will present a prototype service from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) supporting various visualization and data accessing capabilities from satellite Level 2 data (non-aggregated and un-gridded) at high spatial resolution. Functionality will include selecting data sources (e.g., multiple parameters under the same measurement, like NO2 and SO2 from Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), or same parameter with different methods of aggregation, like NO2 in OMNO2G and OMNO2D products), defining area-of-interest and temporal extents, zooming, panning, overlaying, sliding, and data subsetting and reformatting. The portal interface will connect to the backend services with OGC standard-compliant Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) calls. The interface will also be able to connect to other OGC WMS and WCS servers, which will greatly enhance its expandability to integrate additional outside data/map sources.

  18. Measurements from an Aerial Vehicle: A New Tool for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, Henry S.; Levine, Joel S.; Croom, Mark A.; Edwards, William C.; Qualls, Garry D.; Gasbarre, Joseph F.

    2004-01-01

    Aerial vehicles fill a unique planetary science measurement gap, that of regional-scale, near-surface observation, while providing a fresh perspective for potential discovery. Aerial vehicles used in planetary exploration bridge the scale and resolution measurement gaps between orbiters (global perspective with limited spatial resolution) and landers (local perspective with high spatial resolution) thus complementing and extending orbital and landed measurements. Planetary aerial vehicles can also survey scientifically interesting terrain that is inaccessible or hazardous to landed missions. The use of aerial assets for performing observations on Mars, Titan, or Venus will enable direct measurements and direct follow-ons to recent discoveries. Aerial vehicles can be used for remote sensing of the interior, surface and atmosphere of Mars, Venus and Titan. Types of aerial vehicles considered are airplane "heavier than air" and airships and balloons "lighter than air". Interdependencies between the science measurements, science goals and objectives, and platform implementation illustrate how the proper balance of science, engineering, and cost, can be achieved to allow for a successful mission. Classification of measurement types along with how those measurements resolve science questions and how these instruments are accommodated within the mission context are discussed.

  19. Space Applications of the FLUKA Monte-Carlo Code: Lunar and Planetary Exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Kerry; Wilson, Thomas; Zapp, Neal [NASA, Johnson Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, Code KR, Houston, 77058 Texas (United States); Pinsky, Lawrence [University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Blvd, Houston, 77204 Texas (United States)

    2007-02-12

    NASA has recognized the need for making additional heavy-ion collision measurements at the U.S. Brookhaven National Laboratory in order to support further improvement of several particle physics transport-code models for space exploration applications. FLUKA has been identified as one of these codes and we will review the nature and status of this investigation as it relates to high-energy heavy-ion physics.

  20. NASA's Role in Addressing Misconceptions: Scale of Our Solar System and Other Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebofsky, L. A.; McCarthy, D. W.; Higgins, M. L.; Lebofsky, N. R.

    2014-07-01

    Our Solar System is no longer unique. As of early September 2013, there were over 940 known planets orbiting other stars. Planetary systems are fairly common, and astronomers are now finding Earth-sized planets in the “Goldilocks Zone,” implying that there may be many habitable planets. The Next Generation Science Standards includes the Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Place in the Universe and Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns; Scale, Portion, and Quantity; and Systems and System Models. While we are learning more about the nature of our Solar System and its planets by studying other planetary systems, our discoveries are heavily biased by the techniques used to detect these systems: primarily radial velocity, transits, and direct observations.

  1. ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF PLANETS EMBEDDED IN A MASSIVE DEBRIS DISK. J. M. Hahn, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX 77058-1113, USA, hahn@lpi.jsc.nasa.gov, R. Malhotra, renu@lpi.jsc.nasa.gov.

    E-print Network

    Hahn, Joseph M.

    ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF PLANETS EMBEDDED IN A MASSIVE DEBRIS DISK. J. M. Hahn, Lunar and Planetary@lpi.jsc.nasa.gov. The discovery of the Kuiper Belt has revealed that a siz- able fraction of its members orbit at Neptune's mean motion resonances [1]. Such resonant configurations would have de- veloped naturally had Neptune's orbit

  2. NASA safety program activities in support of the Space Exploration Initiatives Nuclear Propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The activities of the joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Program Technical Panels have been used as the basis for the current development of safety policies and requirements for the Space Exploration Initiatives (SEI) Nuclear Propulsion Technology development program. The Safety Division of the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Quality has initiated efforts to develop policies for the safe use of nuclear propulsion in space through involvement in the joint agency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG), encouraged expansion of the initial policy development into proposed programmatic requirements, and suggested further expansion into the overall risk assessment and risk management process for the NASA Exploration Program. Similar efforts are underway within the Department of Energy to ensure the safe development and testing of nuclear propulsion systems on Earth. This paper describes the NASA safety policy related to requirements for the design of systems that may operate where Earth re-entry is a possibility. The expected plan of action is to support and oversee activities related to the technology development of nuclear propulsion in space, and support the overall safety and risk management program being developed for the NASA Exploration Program.

  3. NASA's Learning Technology Project: Developing Educational Tools for the Next Generation of Explorers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Federman, A. N.; Hogan, P. J.

    2003-12-01

    Since 1996, NASA's Learning Technology has pioneered the use of innovative technology toinspire students to pursue careers in STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.) In the past this has included Web sites like Quest and the Observatorium, webcasts and distance learning courses, and even interactive television broadcasts. Our current focus is on development of several mission oriented software packages, targeted primarily at the middle-school population, but flexible enough to be used by elementary to graduate students. These products include contributions to an open source solar system simulator, a 3D planetary encyclopedia), development of a planetary surface viewer (atlas) and others. Whenever possible these software products are written to be 'open source' and multi-platform, for the widest use and easiest access for developers. Along with the software products, we are developing activities and lesson plans that are tested and used by educators in the classroom. The products are reviewed by professional educators. Together these products constitute the NASA Experential Platform for learning, in which the tools used by the public are similar (and in some respects) the same as those used by professional investigators. Efforts are now underway to incorporate actual MODIS and other real time data uplink capabilities.

  4. Considering the Ethical Implications of Space Exploration and Potential Impacts on Planetary Environments and Possible Indigenous Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret

    Since the early days of the Outer Space Treaty, a primary concern of planetary protection policy has been to avoid contamination of planetary environments by terrestrial microbes that could compromise current or subsequent scientific investigations, particularly those searching for indigenous life. Over the past decade robotic missions and astrobiological research have greatly increased our understanding of diverse planetary landscapes and altered our views about the survivability of terrestrial organisms in extreme environments. They have also expanded notions about the prospect for finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. Recently a number of different groups, including the COSPAR Planetary Protection Workshop in Montreal (January 2008), have questioned whether it is advisable to re-examine current biological planetary protection policy in light of the ethical implications and responsibilities to preserve planetary environments and possible indigenous life. This paper discusses the issues and concerns that have led to recent recommendations for convening an international workshop specifically to discuss planetary protection policy and practices within a broader ethical and practical framework, and to consider whether revisions to policy and practices should be made. In addition to including various international scientific and legal organizations and experts in such a workshop, it will be important to find ways to involve the public in these discussions about ethical aspects of planetary exploration.

  5. Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex (BIO-Plex): NASA's Next Human-Rated Testing Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tri, Terry O.

    1999-01-01

    As a key component in its ground test bed capability, NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has been developing a large-scale advanced life support test facility capable of supporting long-duration evaluations of integrated bioregenerative life support systems with human test crews. This facility-targeted for evaluation of hypogravity compatible life support systems to be developed for use on planetary surfaces such as Mars or the Moon-is called the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Systems Test Complex (BIO-Plex) and is currently under development at the Johnson Space Center. This test bed is comprised of a set of interconnected chambers with a sealed internal environment which are outfitted with systems capable of supporting test crews of four individuals for periods exceeding one year. The advanced technology systems to be tested will consist of both biological and physicochemical components and will perform all required crew life support functions. This presentation provides a description of the proposed test "missions" to be supported by the BIO-Plex and the planned development strategy for the facility.

  6. NASA Space Engineering Research Center for utilization of local planetary resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramohalli, Kumar; Lewis, John S.

    1990-01-01

    The University of Arizona and NASA have joined to form the UA/NASA Space Engineering Research Center. The purpose of the Center is to discover, characterize, extract, process, and fabricate useful products from the extraterrestrial resources available in the inner solar system (the moon, Mars, and nearby asteroids). Individual progress reports covering the center's research projects are presented and emphasis is placed on the following topics: propellant production, oxygen production, ilmenite, lunar resources, asteroid resources, Mars resources, space-based materials processing, extraterrestrial construction materials processing, resource discovery and characterization, mission planning, and resource utilization.

  7. Lunar and Planetary Robotic Exploration Missions in the 20th Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huntress, W. T., Jr.; Moroz, V. I.; Shevalev, I. L.

    2003-07-01

    The prospect of traveling to the planets was science fiction at the beginning of the 20th Century and science fact at its end. The space age was born of the Cold War in the 1950s and throughout most of the remainder of the century it provided not just an adventure in the exploration of space but a suspenseful drama as the US and USSR competed to be first and best. It is a tale of patience to overcome obstacles, courage to try the previously impossible and persistence to overcome failure, a tale of both fantastic accomplishment and debilitating loss. We briefly describe the history of robotic lunar and planetary exploration in the 20th Century, the missions attempted, their goals and their fate. We describe how this enterprise developed and evolved step by step from a politically driven competition to intense scientific investigations and international cooperation.

  8. Demonstration of the feasibility of an integrated x ray laboratory for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Franco, E. D.; Kerner, J. A.; Koppel, L. N.; Boyle, M. J.

    1993-01-01

    The identification of minerals and elemental compositions is an important component in the geological and exobiological exploration of the solar system. X ray diffraction and fluorescence are common techniques for obtaining these data. The feasibility of combining these analytical techniques in an integrated x ray laboratory compatible with the volume, mass, and power constraints imposed by many planetary missions was demonstrated. Breadboard level hardware was developed to cover the range of diffraction lines produced by minerals, clays, and amorphous; and to detect the x ray fluorescence emissions of elements from carbon through uranium. These breadboard modules were fabricated and used to demonstrate the ability to detect elements and minerals. Additional effort is required to establish the detection limits of the breadboard modules and to integrate diffraction and fluorescence techniques into a single unit. It was concluded that this integrated x ray laboratory capability will be a valuable tool in the geological and exobiological exploration of the solar system.

  9. NASA utilization of the International Space Station and the Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Julie A.; Thumm, Tracy L.; Thomas, Donald A.

    2007-06-01

    In response to the US President's Vision for Space Exploration (January 14, 2004), NASA has revised its utilization plans for International Space Station (ISS) to focus on (1) research on astronaut health and the development of countermeasures that will protect our crews from the space environment during long-duration voyages, (2) ISS as a test bed for research and technology developments that will insure vehicle systems and operational practices are ready for future exploration missions, (3) developing and validating operational practices and procedures for long-duration space missions. In addition, NASA will continue a small amount of fundamental research in life and microgravity sciences. There have been significant research accomplishments that are important for achieving the Exploration Vision. Some of these have been formal research payloads, while others have come from research based on the operation of ISS. We will review a selection of these experiments and results, as well as outline some of ongoing and upcoming research. The ISS represents the only microgravity opportunity to perform on-orbit long-duration studies of human health and performance and technologies relevant for future long-duration missions planned during the next 25 years. Even as NASA focuses on developing the Orion spacecraft and return to the moon (2015 2020), research on and operation of the ISS is fundamental to the success of NASA's Exploration Vision.

  10. A Solar Electric Propulsion Cargo Vehicle to Support NASA Lunar Exploration Program

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ronald Spores; Jeff Monheiser; Brian P. Dempsey; Darren Wade; Kenneth Creel; David Jacobson; Geoff Drummond

    In support of the President's 2004 Vision for U.S. Space Exploration, two NASA funded efforts were initiated for the development of critical propulsion technologies required for high-power solar electric propulsion (SEP) cargo vehicles. Results show that a high power SEP system is capable of delivering over twice the mass to the lunar surface as compared to a cryogenic chemical system.

  11. NASA Utilization of the International Space Station and the Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Julie A.; Thumm, Tracy L.; Thomas, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

    In response to the U.S. President s Vision for Space Exploration (January 14, 2004), NASA has revised its utilization plans for ISS to focus on (1) research on astronaut health and the development of countermeasures that will protect our crews from the space environment during long duration voyages, (2) ISS as a test bed for research and technology developments that will insure vehicle systems and operational practices are ready for future exploration missions, (3) developing and validating operational practices and procedures for long-duration space missions. In addition, NASA will continue a small amount of fundamental research in life and microgravity sciences. There have been significant research accomplishments that are important for achieving the Exploration Vision. Some of these have been formal research payloads, while others have come from research based on the operation of International Space Station (ISS). We will review a selection of these experiments and results, as well as outline some of ongoing and upcoming research. The ISS represents the only microgravity opportunity to perform on-orbit long-duration studies of human health and performance and technologies relevant for future long-duration missions planned during the next 25 years. Even as NASA focuses on developing the Orion spacecraft and return to the moon (2015-2020), research on and operation of the ISS is fundamental to the success of NASA s Exploration Vision.

  12. NASA Utilization of the International Space Station and the Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Julie A.; Thomas, Donald A.; Thumm, Tracy L.

    2006-01-01

    In response to the U.S. President's Vision for Space Exploration (January 14, 2004), NASA has revised its utilization plans for ISS to focus on (1) research on astronaut health and the development of countermeasures that will protect our crews from the space environment during long duration voyages, (2) ISS as a test bed for research and technology developments that will insure vehicle systems and operational practices are ready for future exploration missions, (3) developing and validating operational practices and procedures for long-duration space missions. In addition, NASA will continue a small amount of fundamental research in life and microgravity sciences. There have been significant research accomplishments that are important for achieving the Exploration Vision. Some of these have been formal research payloads, while others have come from research based on the operation of International Space Station (ISS). We will review a selection of these experiments and results, as well as outline some of ongoing and upcoming research. The ISS represents the only microgravity opportunity to perform on-orbit long-duration studies of human health and performance and technologies relevant for future long-duration missions planned during the next 25 years. Even as NASA focuses on developing the Orion spacecraft and return to the moon (2015-2020), research on and operation of the ISS is fundamental to the success of NASA s Exploration Vision.

  13. NASA Utilization of the International Space Station and the Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Julie A.; Thumm, Tracy L.; Thomas, Donald A.

    2006-01-01

    In response to the U.S. President s Vision for Space Exploration (January 14, 2004), NASA has revised its utilization plans for ISS to focus on (1) research on astronaut health and the development of countermeasures that will protect our crews from the space environment during long duration voyages, (2) ISS as a test bed for research and technology developments that will insure vehicle systems and operational practices are ready for future exploration missions, (3) developing and validating operational practices and procedures for long-duration space missions. In addition, NASA will continue a small amount of fundamental research in life and microgravity sciences. There have been significant research accomplishments that are important for achieving the Exploration Vision. Some of these have been formal research payloads, while others have come from research based on the operation of International Space Station (ISS). We will review a selection of these experiments and results, as well as outline some of ongoing and upcoming research. The ISS represents the only microgravity opportunity to perform on-orbit long-duration studies of human health and performance and technologies relevant for future long-duration missions planned during the next 25 years. Even as NASA focuses on developing the Orion spacecraft and return to the moon (2015-2020), research on and operation of the ISS is fundamental to the success of NASA s Exploration Vision.

  14. NASA Space Engineering Research Center for utilization of local planetary resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Reports covering the period from 1 Nov. 1991 to 31 Oct. 1992 and documenting progress at the NASA Space Engineering Research Center are included. Topics covered include: (1) processing of propellants, volatiles, and metals; (2) production of structural and refractory materials; (3) system optimization discovery and characterization; (4) system automation and optimization; and (5) database development.

  15. Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter: Using NASA NEO and ImageJ to Explore the Role of Snow Cover in Shaping Climate

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Explore and animate satellite images of reflected short wave radiation, snow cover, and land surface temperature downloaded. Then observe, graph, and analyze the relationship between these three variables.

  16. Low-latency Science Exploration of Planetary Bodies: a Demonstration Using ISS in Support of Mars Human Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Valinia, Azita; Bleacher, Jacob; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Garvin, Jim; Petro, Noah

    2014-01-01

    We summarize a proposed experiment to use the International Space Station to formally examine the application and validation of low-latency telepresence for surface exploration from space as an alternative, precursor, or potentially as an adjunct to astronaut "boots on the ground." The approach is to develop and propose controlled experiments, which build upon previous field studies and which will assess the effects of different latencies (0 to 500 msec), task complexity, and alternate forms of feedback to the operator. These experiments serve as an example of a pathfinder for NASA's roadmap of missions to Mars with low-latency telerobotic exploration as a precursor to astronaut's landing on the surface to conduct geological tasks.

  17. Nuclear electric propulsion for planetary science missions: NASA technology program planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents the status of technology program planning to develop those Nuclear Electric Propulsion technologies needed to meet the advanced propulsion system requirements for planetary science missions in the next century. The technology program planning is based upon technologies with significant development heritage: ion electric propulsion and the SP-100 space nuclear power technologies. Detailed plans are presented for the required ion electric propulsion technology development and demonstration. Closer coordination between space nuclear power and space electric propulsion technology programs is a necessity as technology plans are being further refined in light of NEP concept definition and possible early NEP flight activities.

  18. Nasa's International Space Station: A Testbed for Planetary Protection Protocol Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, M. S.; Rucker, M.; Love, S.; Johnson, J.; Chambliss, J.; Pierson, D.; Ott, M.; Mary, N.; Glass, B.; Lupisella, M.; Scheuger, A.; Race, M.

    2015-01-01

    Wherever humans go, they inevitably carry along the critters that live in and on them. Conventional wisdom has long held that it is unlikely those critters could survive the space environment, but in 2007 some microscopic aquatic animals called Tardigrades survived exposure to space and in 2008 Cyanobacteria lived for 548 days outside the ISS. Unlike the Mars rovers that were cleaned once and sent on their way, crew members will provide a constantly regenerating contaminant source. Are we prepared to certify that we can meet forward contamination protocols as we search for life at new destinations? What about the organisms we might reasonably expect a crewed spacecraft to leak or vent? Do we even know what they are? How long might our tiny hitch-hikers survive in close proximity to a warm spacecraft that periodically leaks/vents water or oxygen and how might they mutate with long-duration exposure? How will these contaminants migrate from their source in conditions encountered in space or on other planetary surfaces? This project aims to answer some of these questions by bringing together key stakeholder communities to develop a human forward contamination test, analysis, and integration plan. A system engineering approach to identify the experiments, analysis, and modeling needed to develop the contamination control protocols required will be used as a roadmap to integrate the many different parts of this problem - from launch to landing, living, and working on another planetary surface.

  19. NASA's International Space Station: A Testbed for Planetary Protection Protocol Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, M. S.; Rucker, M.; Love, S.; Johnson, J.; Chambliss, J.; Pierson, D.; Ott, M.; Mary, N.; Glass, B.; Lupisella, M.; Scheuger, A.; Race, M.

    2015-01-01

    Wherever humans go, they inevitably carry along the critters that live in and on them. Conventional wisdom has long held that it is unlikely those critters could survive the space environment, but in 2007 some microscopic aquatic animals called Tardigrades survived exposure to space and in 2008 Cyanobacteria lived for 548 days outside the ISS. Unlike the Mars rovers that were cleaned once and sent on their way, crew members will provide a constantly regenerating contaminant source. Are we prepared to certify that we can meet forward contamination protocols as we search for life at new destinations? What about the organisms we might reasonably expect a crewed spacecraft to leak or vent? Do we even know what they are? How long might our tiny hitch-hikers survive in close proximity to a warm spacecraft that periodically leaks/vents water or oxygen and how might they mutate with long-duration exposure? How will these contaminants migrate from their source in conditions encountered in space or on other planetary surfaces? This project aims to answer some of these questions by bringing together key stakeholder communities to develop a human forward contamination test, analysis, and integration plan. A system engineering approach to identify the experiments, analysis, and modeling needed to develop the contamination control protocols required will be used as a roadmap to integrate the many different parts of this problem - from launch to landing, living, and working on another planetary surface.

  20. Moving Towards a Common Ground and Flight Data Systems Architecture for NASA's Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rader. Steve; Kearney, Mike; McVittie, Thom; Smith, Dan

    2006-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has embarked on an ambitious effort to return man to the moon and then on to Mars. The Exploration Vision requires development of major new space and ground assets and poses challenges well beyond those faced by many of NASA's recent programs. New crewed vehicles must be developed. Compatible supply vehicles, surface mobility modules and robotic exploration capabilities will supplement the manned exploration vehicle. New launch systems will be developed as well as a new ground communications and control infrastructure. The development must take place in a cost-constrained environment and must advance along an aggressive schedule. Common solutions and system interoperability and will be critical to the successful development of the Exploration data systems for this wide variety of flight and ground elements. To this end, NASA has assembled a team of engineers from across the agency to identify the key challenges for Exploration data systems and to establish the most beneficial strategic approach to be followed. Key challenges and the planned NASA approach for flight and ground systems will be discussed in the paper. The described approaches will capitalize on new technologies, and will result in cross-program interoperability between spacecraft and ground systems, from multiple suppliers and agencies.

  1. NASA Space Engineering Research Center for utilization of local planetary resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    In 1987, responding to widespread concerns about both the health of American space technology development and the academic preparation of 21st-century space professionals, NASA announced a nationwide competition to establish a number of Space Engineering Research Centers. These centers were to be founded on the campuses of nine Universities with strong Doctoral programs in Engineering. Over 115 proposals were received by NASA in November 1987. The University of Arizona's proposal was selected in May as one of the winners, with a budget of approximately $7 million guaranteed by NASA for a minimum funding period of five years. The role of the University of Arizona SERC is to develop the technologies necessary to produce a wide variety of useful products using the materials and sources of energy that occur naturally in near-Earth space. An additional purpose is to lower the cost and extend the scope of large-scale activities. A brief description of the Center's activities for the 1989-1990 period is presented.

  2. 75 FR 15742 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-30

    ...National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION...National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...CONTACT: Ms. Jane Parham, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  3. 75 FR 33838 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-15

    ...National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION...National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...CONTACT: Ms. Jane Parham, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  4. 75 FR 43565 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-26

    ...National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION...National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...CONTACT: Ms. Jane Parham, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration...

  5. Planetary Sciences Subcommittee September 3-4, 2014 NASA ADVISORY COUNCIL

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    Laboratory (MSL, also known as Curiosity Rover). The Dawn, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN Status Update 6 Mars Exploration Program Update 8 Mars 2020 Status Report 9 Outer Planets Program Update). The missions reviewed were Cassini, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Mars Exploration Rover (MER, also known

  6. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA): Capabilities for Planetary and Exoplanetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backman, Dana E.; Reach, W. T.; Dunham, E. W.; Wolf, J.; Rho, J.; SOFIA Science Team

    2012-10-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) enables high angular and spectral resolution observations with its seven first-generation instruments: 3 cameras, 3 spectrometers, and a high-speed photometer. These capabilities make SOFIA a powerful facility for advancing understanding of planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres, star and planet formation processes, and chemistry of the protosolar nebula and protoplanetary disks. SOFIA's Early Science program, using the FORCAST mid-IR camera (PI Terry Herter, Cornell), the GREAT far-IR spectrometer (PI Rolf Guesten, MPIfR), and the HIPO occultation photometer (PI Ted Dunham, Lowell Observatory), is now complete. Some Early Science results were published in special issues of Ap.J.Letters (v.749) and Astronomy & Astrophysics (v.542). Regarding solar system targets, SOFIA obtained mid-IR images of Jupiter and of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 (the latter observations were part of Earth-based support for the EPOXI mission). On 23 June 2011, SOFIA intercepted the center of Pluto's shadow that crossed the Pacific at nearly 30 km/sec. The occultation light curve was observed from SOFIA simultaneously by the HIPO photometer and the Fast Diagnostic Camera (FDC; PI Juergen Wolf, DSI). HIPO is specifically intended for planetary science, including stellar occultations by solar system bodies and extrasolar planet transits. HIPO can be co-mounted with the near-IR camera FLITECAM (PI Ian McLean, UCLA) to provide simultaneous photometric coverage in two bands (0.3-1 and 1-5 microns); this was first demonstrated in October 2011. At longer wavelengths SOFIA will make unique contributions to the characterization of astrochemical processes and molecular contents of planets, exoplanets, and protoplanetary disks with a mid-IR spectrometer, a far-IR imaging spectrometer, and a far-IR camera with grism that are soon to be commissioned.

  7. Explore! To the Moon and Beyond

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Lunar and Planetary Institute

    2010-01-01

    These activities and resources are related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and were developed for use by libraries. The module is part of Lunar and Planetary Institute's Explore! program.

  8. Proposed NASA Budget Includes Asteroid Capture but Cuts Planetary Science and Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-04-01

    The Obama administration's proposed 17.7 billion budget for NASA for fiscal year (FY) 2014 provides 105 million for several asteroid-related initiatives, including preliminary studies for a potential mission that would capture an asteroid and drag it into orbit around the Moon. The agency's total proposed budget is down slightly compared to FY 2012 (see Table ; comparisons are to FY 2012 because government agencies had been operating on a continuing resolution for 2013 and final spending levels for 2013 were not available at the time the president released his proposed 2014 budget).

  9. Attitude determination of planetary exploration rovers using solar panels characteristics and accelerometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishida, Takayuki; Takahashi, Masaki

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we propose a new attitude determination system, which we call Irradiance-based Attitude Determination (IRAD). IRAD employs the characteristics and geometry of solar panels. First, the sun vector is estimated using data from solar panels including current, voltage, temperature, and the normal vectors of each solar panel. Because these values are obtained using internal sensors, it is easy for rovers to provide redundancy for IRAD. The normal vectors are used to apply to various shapes of rovers. Second, using the gravity vector obtained from an accelerometer, the attitude of a rover is estimated using a three-axis attitude determination method. The effectiveness of IRAD is verified through numerical simulations and experiments that show IRAD can estimate all the attitude angles (roll, pitch, and yaw) within a few degrees of accuracy, which is adequate for planetary explorations.

  10. International ultraviolet explorer spectral atlas of planetary nebulae, central stars, and related objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feibelman, Walter A.; Oliversen, Nancy A.; Nicholsbohlin, Joy; Garhart, Matthew P.

    1988-01-01

    The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) archives contain a wealth of information on high quality ultraviolet spectra of approximately 180 planetary nebulae, their central stars, and related objects. Selected are representative low-dispersion IUE spectra in the range 1200 to 3200 A for 177 objects arranged by Right Ascension (RA) for this atlas. For most entries, the combined short wavelength (SWP) (1200to 1900) and long wavelength (LWR) (or LWP, 1900 to 3200 A) regions are shown on 30 cm by 10 cm Calcomp plots on a uniform scale to facilitate intercomparison of the spectra. Each calibrated spectrum is also shown on an expanded vertical scale to bring out some of the weaker features.

  11. A micro seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer technology for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Hai; Carande, Bryce; Tang, Rui; Oiler, Jonathan; Zaitsev, Dmitri; Agafonov, Vadim; Yu, Hongyu

    2013-05-01

    This letter describes an implementation of micromachined seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer (MET) technology. As opposed to a solid inertial mass, MET seismometer senses the movement of liquid electrolyte relative to fixed electrodes. The employment of micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques reduces the internal size of the sensing cell to 1?m and improves the reproducibility of the device. For operating bias of 600 mV, a sensitivity of 809 V /(m/s2) was measured under acceleration of 400?g(g ?9.81m/s2) at 0.32 Hz. A -115 dB (relative to (m /s2)/?Hz ) noise level at 1 Hz was achieved. This work develops an alternative paradigm of seismic sensing device with small size, high sensitivity, low noise floor, high shock tolerance, and independence of installation angle, which is promising for next generation seismometers for planetary exploration.

  12. ExoFly: a flapping wing aerobot for planetary survey and exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zegers, T. E.; Mulder, J. A.; Remes, B.; Berkouwer, W.; Peeters, B.; Lentink, D.; Passchier, C.

    2008-09-01

    ExoFly is a light-weight (20 to 200 g.) flappingwing robotic fly, capable of exploration and scientific observations of the surface and lower atmosphere of planets. It is only in the last years that flapping wing insect flight is fully understood, and the step to robotic flapping-wing concept is very recent [1,2,3]. The concept of ExoFly is based on the DelFly, which has successfully been developed in the last years by the Technical University Delft, Wageningen University and TNO. Flapping winged flight is well suited to the low density and highly viscous Martian atmosphere, but may also be used in a denser atmosphere such as Titan. In any planetary mission, ExoFly would be a highly innovative mission element, technically part of the mission infrastructure, but enabling scientific breakthrough observations with the imaging system and micro-payload.

  13. Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) as a Subsurface Sampler and Sensors Platform for Planetary Exploration Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Sherrit, Stewart; Bao, Xiaoqi; Badescu, Mircea; Aldrich, Jack; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    The search for existing or past life in the Universe is one of the most important objectives of NASA's mission. For this purpose, effective instruments that can sample and conduct in-situ astrobiology analysis are being developed. In support of this objective, a series of novel mechanisms that are driven by an Ultrasonic/Sonic actuator have been developed to probe and sample rocks, ice and soil. This mechanism is driven by an ultrasonic piezoelectric actuator that impacts a bit at sonic frequencies through the use of an intermediate free-mass. Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) devices were made that can produce both core and powdered cuttings, operate as a sounder to emit elastic waves and serve as a platform for sensors. For planetary exploration, this mechanism has the important advantage of requiring low axial force, virtually no torque, and can be duty cycled for operation at low average power. The advantage of requiring low axial load allows overcoming a major limitation of planetary sampling in low gravity environments or when operating from lightweight robots and rovers. The ability to operate at duty cycling with low average power produces a minimum temperature rise allowing for control of the sample integrity and preventing damage to potential biological markers in the acquired sample. The development of the USDC is being pursued on various fronts ranging from analytical modeling to mechanisms improvements while considering a wide range of potential applications. While developing the analytical capability to predict and optimize its performance, efforts are made to enhance its capability to drill at higher power and high speed. Taking advantage of the fact that the bit does not require rotation, sensors (e.g., thermocouple and fiberoptics) were integrated into the bit to examine the borehole during drilling. The sounding effect of the drill was used to emit elastic waves in order to evaluate the surface characteristics of rocks. Since the USDC is driven by piezoelectric actuation mechanism it can designed to operate at extreme temperature environments from very cold as on Titan and Europa to very hot as on Venus. In this paper, a review of the latest development and applications of the USDC will be given.

  14. Argus: A concept study for an Io observer mission from the 2014 NASA/JPL Planetary Science Summer School

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, Patricio; Holstein-Rathlou, Christina; Hays, Lindsay E.; Keane, James T.; Neveu, Marc; Basu, Ko; Davis, Byron; Mendez-Ramos, Eugina; Nelessen, Adam; Fox, Valerie; Herman, Jonathan F.; Parrish, Nathan L.; Hughes, Andrea C.; Marcucci, Emma; Scheinberg, Aaron; Wrobel, Jonathan S.

    2014-11-01

    Jupiter’s moon Io is the ideal target to study extreme tidal heating and volcanism, two major processes shaping the formation and evolution of planetary bodies. In response to the 2009 New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity, we propose an Io Observer mission concept named Argus (after the mythical watchman of Io). This concept was developed by the students of the August 2014 session of NASA’s Planetary Science Summer School, together with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Team X.The science objectives of our mission are: (1) study the physical process of tidal heating and its implications for habitability in the Solar System and beyond; (2) investigate active lava flows on Io as an analog for volcanism on early Earth; (3) analyze the interaction between Io and the Jovian system via material exchange and magnetospheric activity; (4) study Io’s chemistry and geologic history to gain insight into the formation and evolution of the Galilean satellites. Our mission consists of a Jupiter-orbiting spacecraft performing ten close flybys of Io. The orbital inclination of ~31 degrees minimizes the total radiation dose received, at the cost of having to perform fast flybys (13 km/s).The instrument payload includes: (1) IGLOO, a multi-band camera for regional (500 m/pixel) and high-resolution (50 m/pixel) imaging; (2) IoLA, a laser altimeter to measure the triaxial shape and diurnal tidal deformation, and topographic profiles of individual surface features; (3) IGNITERS, a thermal emission radiometer/spectrometer to map nighttime temperatures, thermal inertia, and characterize Io’s atmosphere; (4) IoNIS, a near-infrared spectrometer to map global (10 km/pixel) and local (2 km/pixel) surface composition; (5) IoFLEX, a magnetometer and (6) IoPEX, a plasma particle analyzer to characterize the magnetic environment and understand the nature of Io’s induced and possible intrinsic magnetic fields; (7) IRAGE, a gravity science experiment to probe Io’s interior.Our spacecraft design is powered by solar arrays rather than nuclear MMRTGs, as a result of a careful cost/trade analysis driven by our science objectives.

  15. Interactives: Comets, Orbital Motions, and Virtual Ballooning to Explore Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, R. M.; Johnson, R. M.; Genyuk, J.

    2009-12-01

    We will demonstrate interactives and animations from the Windows to the Universe web site (www.windows.ucar.edu) covering three topics: cometary orbits and tails, orbit shapes and orbital motions, and virtual ballooning to explore planetary atmospheres. The comet interactive illustrates the range of shapes and sizes of cometary orbits, the formation of tails when a comet nears the Sun, and the orientations of the dust and ion tails. Our suite of animations and interactives about orbits and orbital motions help learners understand the shapes (eccentricity) and sizes (semi-major axis) of orbits as well as variations in orbital velocity from perihelion to aphelion. Our Mars orbit interactive illustrates the variations in distance between Earth and Mars as the planets orbit and at successive oppositions (closest approaches), which has influenced the history of both telescopic observations of the Red Planet as well as the timing of space missions to Mars. The virtual ballooning interactive enables students to explore the structures of atmospheres by launching virtual weather balloons that send back data on the variation of pressure and temperature with altitude. Learners set the altitude ranges and sampling frequencies for their balloon-borne virtual instruments and collect data over the course of four flights. Students learn about the pressure variation with altitude, temperature vs. altitude relationships in different atmospheric layers, and how to be thoughtful and selective during experimental data collection. Students can explore the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, and Titan as well as Earth.

  16. Ethical Considerations and Planetary Protection for Future Space Exploration - Starting with the Basics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret

    2012-07-01

    As COSPAR scientists deliberate what types of frameworks and policy approaches may be applicable to future activities by various sectors in space exploration, it also needs to consider the challenging question of what ethical values and foundations should be used in dealing with life, objects and activities in outer space. A 2010 COSPAR Workshop Report on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration recommended that it is appropriate to maintain the existing PP policy aimed at scientific concerns even as we begin to explore various practical approaches to future contamination avoidance policies. It is also appropriate to examine in parallel the ethical considerations applicable to potential indigenous extraterrestrial life, non-living extraterrestrial features and environments, and planned uses and activities involving diverse life from Earth. Since numerous sectors have begun to propose activities raising varied ethical concerns (e.g., protection and management on the moon, strip mining, space synthetic biology, space code of conduct, and commercial space transport), it is timely to initiate serious international discussions about the appropriate ethical foundations and questions applicable to future space exploration. Plans are underway for convening interdisciplinary work groups to explore and deliberate on the values (e.g., intrinsic and instrumental) and ethical foundations that are appropriate for use in deliberations involving potential indigenous extraterrestrial life and the different classes of target objects and environments in our solar system. More than ever, information on bioethics, environmental ethics and geoethics will provide helpful guidance and foundational approaches of relevance to future policy deliberations that seek to go beyond science protection per se.

  17. Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2007

    2007-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) announced by President George W. Bush in 2004 sets NASA and the nation on a bold path to return to the Moon and one day put a human on Mars. The long-term endeavor represented by the VSE is, however, subject to the constraints imposed by annual funding. Given that the VSE may take tens of years to implement,…

  18. Strategic Research to Enable NASA's Exploration Missions Conference and Workshop: Poster Session. Volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nahra, Henry (Compiler)

    2004-01-01

    Reports are presented from volume 2 of the conference titled Strategic Research to Enable NASA's Exploration Missions, poster session. Topics included spacecraft fire suppression and fire extinguishing agents,materials flammability, various topics on the effects of microgravity including crystal growth, fluid mechanics, electric particulate suspension, melting and solidification, bubble formation, the sloshing of liquid fuels, biological studies, separation of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide for Mars ISRU.

  19. Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Panoramic Camera (Pancam) Twilight Image Analysis for Determination of Planetary Boundary Layer and Dust Particle Size Parameters

    E-print Network

    Grounds, Stephanie Beth

    2012-02-14

    MARS EXPLORATION ROVER (MER) PANORAMIC CAMERA (PANCAM) TWILIGHT IMAGE ANALYSIS FOR DETERMINATION OF PLANETARY BOUNDARY LAYER AND DUST PARTICLE SIZE PARAMETERS A Thesis by STEPHANIE BETH GROUNDS Submitted to the Office of Graduate... Camera (Pancam) Twilight Image Analysis for Determination of Planetary Boundary Layer and Dust Particle Size Parameters Copyright 2010 Stephanie Beth Grounds MARS EXPLORATION ROVER (MER) PANORAMIC CAMERA (PANCAM) TWILIGHT IMAGE ANALYSIS...

  20. Architecting the Communication and Navigation Networks for NASA's Space Exploration Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhassin, Kul B.; Putt, Chuck; Hayden, Jeffrey; Tseng, Shirley; Biswas, Abi; Kennedy, Brian; Jennings, Esther H.; Miller, Ron A.; Hudiburg, John; Miller, Dave; Jeffries, Alan; Sartwell, Tom

    2007-01-01

    NASA is planning a series of short and long duration human and robotic missions to explore the Moon and then Mars. A key objective of the missions is to grow, through a series of launches, a system of systems communication, navigation, and timing infrastructure at minimum cost while providing a network-centric infrastructure that maximizes the exploration capabilities and science return. There is a strong need to use architecting processes in the mission pre-formulation stage to describe the systems, interfaces, and interoperability needed to implement multiple space communication systems that are deployed over time, yet support interoperability with each deployment phase and with 20 years of legacy systems. In this paper we present a process for defining the architecture of the communications, navigation, and networks needed to support future space explorers with the best adaptable and evolable network-centric space exploration infrastructure. The process steps presented are: 1) Architecture decomposition, 2) Defining mission systems and their interfaces, 3) Developing the communication, navigation, networking architecture, and 4) Integrating systems, operational and technical views and viewpoints. We demonstrate the process through the architecture development of the communication network for upcoming NASA space exploration missions.

  1. NASA Video Catalog. Supplement 12

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This report lists 1878 video productions from the NASA STI Database. This issue of the NASA Video Catalog cites video productions listed in the NASA STI Database. The videos listed have been developed by the NASA centers, covering Shuttle mission press conferences; fly-bys of planets; aircraft design, testing and performance; environmental pollution; lunar and planetary exploration; and many other categories related to manned and unmanned space exploration. Each entry in the publication consists of a standard bibliographic citation accompanied by an abstract. The listing of the entries is arranged by STAR categories. A complete Table of Contents describes the scope of each category. For users with specific information, a Title Index is available. A Subject Term Index, based on the NASA Thesaurus, is also included. Guidelines for usage of NASA audio/visual material, ordering information, and order forms are also available.

  2. NASA Video Catalog. Supplement 15

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This issue of the NASA Video Catalog cites video productions listed in the NASA STI Database. The videos listed have been developed by the NASA centers, covering Shuttle mission press conferences; fly-bys of planets; aircraft design, testing and performance; environmental pollution; lunar and planetary exploration; and many other categories related to manned and unmanned space exploration. Each entry in the publication consists of a standard bibliographic citation accompanied by an abstract. The Table of Contents shows how the entries are arranged by divisions and categories according to the NASA Scope and Coverage Category Guide. For users with specific information, a Title Index is available. A Subject Term Index, based on the NASA Thesaurus, is also included. Guidelines for usage of NASA audio/visual material, ordering information, and order forms are also available.

  3. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1989-1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This is a compilation of selected bibliographic data specifically relating to recent publications submitted by principle investigators and their associates, supported through the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program.

  4. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1986-1987

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    A compilation is presented of selected bibliographic data relating to recent publications submitted by principal investigators and their associates, supported through NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program

  5. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1990-1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    A compilation of selected bibliographic data specifically relating to recent publications submitted by principal investigators and their associates, supported through the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program is presented.

  6. 2010 NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate: Lunabotics Mining Competition Systems Engineering Paper

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2010-01-01

    A fast growing approach in determining the best design concept for a problem is to hold a competition in which the rules are based on requirements similar to the actual problem. By going public with such competitions, sponsoring entities receive some of the most innovative engineering solutions in a fraction of the time and cost it would have taken to develop such concepts internally. Space exploration is a large benefactor of such design competitions as seen by the results of X-Prize Foundation and NASA lunar excavation competitions [1]. The results of NASA's past lunar excavator challenges has led to the need for an effective means of collecting lunar regolith in the absence of human beings. The 2010 Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) Lunar Excavation Challenge was created "to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, in a competitive environment that may result in innovative ideas and solutions, which could be applied to actual lunar excavation for NASA." [2]. The ESMD Challenge calls for "teams to use telerobotics or autonomous operations to excavate at least 10kg of lunar regolith simulant in a 15 minute time limit" [2]. The Systems Engineering approach was used in accordance with Auburn University's mechanical engineering senior design course (MECH 4240-50) to develop a telerobotic lunar excavator, seen in Fig. 1, that fulfilled requirements imposed by the NASA ESMD Competition Rules. The goal of the senior design project was to have a validated lunar excavator that would be used in the NASA ESMD lunar excavation challenge.

  7. Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirley, J. H.; Fairbridge, R. W.

    1997-09-01

    Containing more than 450 entries by some 200 eminent contributors from all over the world, the Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences is the first book to present this information in an authoritative yet approachable way. This encyclopedia deals with the atmospheres, surfaces and interiors of the planets and moons, and with the interplanetary environment of plasma fields, as well as with asteroids and meteorites. Processes such as accretion, differentiation, thermal evolution and impact cratering form another category of entries. Remote sensing techniques employed in investigation and exploration, such as magnetometry, photometry, and spectroscopy are described in separate articles. In addition the Encyclopedia chronicles the history of planetary science, including biographies of pioneering scientists, and detailed descriptions of all major lunar and planetary missions and programs. The Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences is superbly illustrated throughout with over 450 line drawings, 180 black and white photographs, and 63 colour illustrations. It will be a key reference source for planetary scientists, astronomers, and workers in related disciplines such as geophysics, geology and the atmospheric sciences. Included in this book is a PC and Mac compatible CD-ROM containing over 200 relevant planetary and related images available from NASA. This CD-ROM has been specially compiled for the Encyclopedia by The United States National Space Science Data Center.

  8. Exploring medium gravity icy planetary bodies: an opportunity in the Inner System by landing at Ceres high latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poncy, J.; Grasset, O.; Martinot, V.; Tobie, G.

    2009-04-01

    With potentially up to 25% of its mass as H2O and current indications of a differentiated morphology, 950km-wide "dwarf planet" Ceres is holding the promise to be our closest significant icy planetary body. Ceres is within easier reach than the icy moons, allowing for the use of solar arrays and not lying inside the deep gravity well of a giant planet. As such, it would represent an ideal step stone for future in-situ exploration of other airless icy bodies of major interest such as Europa or Enceladus. But when NASA's Dawn orbits Ceres and maps it in 2015, will we be ready to undertake the next logical step: landing? Ceres' gravity at its poles, at about one fifth of the Moon's gravity, is too large for rendezvous-like asteroid landing techniques to apply. Instead, we are there fully in the application domain of soft precision landing techniques such as the ones being developed for ESA's MoonNext mission. These latter require a spacecraft architecture akin to robotic lunar Landers or NASA's Phoenix, and differing from missions to comets and asteroids. If Dawn confirms the icy nature of Ceres under its regolith-covered surface, the potential presence of some ice spots on the surface would call for specific attention. Such spots would indeed be highly interesting landing sites. They are more likely to lie close to the poles of Ceres where cold temperatures should prevent exposed ice from sublimating and/or may limit the thickness of the regolith layer. Also the science and instruments suite should be fitted to study a large body that has probably been or may still be geologically active: its non-negligible gravity field combined with its high volatile mass fraction would then bring Ceres closer in morphology and history to an "Enceladus" or a frozen or near-frozen "Europa" than to a rubble-pile-structured asteroid or a comet nucleus. Thales Alenia Space and the "Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique" of the University of Nantes have carried out a preliminary assessment of a mission to Ceres high latitudes. We present here why we think an in-situ mission to the polar areas of Ceres should be of interest in the near future. We dwell on the environmental factors and challenges for a Lander, both as specificities of Ceres and as a consequence of the high latitude targeted. Factors such as day duration, fine regolith, terrain hazards, optical contrasts, thermal gradients, planetary contamination... are reviewed. We then assess how the soft precision landing technologies being developed for other missions would apply in such an environment. We present a preliminary mission analysis and a concept for the Lander, with preliminary evaluation of mass and power resources for a fixed payload or for a mini-rover. The resulting mission design combines technological maturity and a launch mass that is found compatible with the moderate cost of a Soyuz launcher. Finally we conclude that a Ceres Polar Lander mission should be feasible, covered by automatic missions to the Moon in terms of difficulty of landing and by Dawn for the cruise. Lander missions to medium gravity bodies such as Ceres, Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Iapetus, Triton… in the [0.01-0.15g] range should be accounted for in the development roadmaps of landing techniques and be considered in their return on investment. The synergies with the soft landing missions to come on Mars and Moon should then make a Ceres lander affordable for the agencies within the end of the next decade and pave the way for in-situ missions to more distant icy bodies.

  9. NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program Energy Storage Project Battery Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Concha M.; Miller, Thomas B.; Mercer, Carolyn R.; Jankovsky, Amy L.

    2010-01-01

    Technical Interchange Meeting was held at Saft America s Research and Development facility in Cockeysville, Maryland on Sept 28th-29th, 2010. The meeting was attended by Saft, contractors who are developing battery component materials under contracts awarded through a NASA Research Announcement (NRA), and NASA. This briefing presents an overview of the components being developed by the contractor attendees for the NASA s High Energy (HE) and Ultra High Energy (UHE) cells. The transition of the advanced lithium-ion cell development project at NASA from the Exploration Technology Development Program Energy Storage Project to the Enabling Technology Development and Demonstration High Efficiency Space Power Systems Project, changes to deliverable hardware and schedule due to a reduced budget, and our roadmap to develop cells and provide periodic off-ramps for cell technology for demonstrations are discussed. This meeting gave the materials and cell developers the opportunity to discuss the intricacies of their materials and determine strategies to address any particulars of the technology.

  10. In-Space Propulsion Technology Products for NASA's Future Science and Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered, as well as having broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models: and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA s Discovery, New Frontiers, Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Flagship, and Exploration technology demonstration missions

  11. Refinements in the Design of the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle for NASA's, Exploration Strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Steve

    2008-01-01

    NASA is developing a new launch vehicle fleet to fulfill the national goals of replacing the shuttle fleet, completing the International Space Station (ISS), and exploring the Moon on the way to eventual exploration of Mars and beyond. Programmatic and technical decisions during early architecture studies and subsequent design activities were focused on safe, reliable operationally efficient vehicles that could support a sustainable exploration program. A pair of launch vehicles was selected to support those goals the Ares I crew launch vehicle and the Ares V cargo launch vehicle. They will be the first new human-rated launch vehicles developed by NASA in more than 30 years (Figure 1). Ares I will be the first to fly, beginning space station ferry operations no later than 2015. It will be able to carry up to six astronauts to ISS or support up to four astronauts for expeditions to the moon. Ares V is scheduled to be operational in the 2020 timeframe and will provide the propulsion systems and payload to truly extend human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. (LEO).

  12. NASA Space Engineering Research Center for utilization of local planetary resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramohalli, Kumar; Lewis, John S.

    1991-01-01

    Because of a change in the NASA funding cycle, the present reporting period covers only the six months from March to September 1991. Nevertheless, remarkable progress was made in a number of areas, some of the most noteworthy of which are: (1) Engineering operation of a breadboard CO2 yields O2 demonstration plant that produced over 10 grams of oxygen per day during several runs of over 100 hours each with a single electrolytic cell. Complete automation of controls, monitoring of various inputs/outputs and critical internal variables, diagnostics, and emergency shutdown in an orderly manner were also included. Moreover, 4-cell and 16-cell units, capable of much higher rates of production, were assembled and tested. (2) Demonstration of a 200 percent increase in the carbothermal reduction of ilmenite through vapor deposition of carbon layers on particles of that material. (3) Demonstration of the deposition of strong iron films from carbonyl chemical vapor deposition, establishing the crucial role of additive gases in governing the process. (4) Discovery of an apparent 800 percent increase in the conversion rates of a modified ilmenite simulant in a plasma-augmented reactor, including direct enhancement by solar radiation absorption. (5) Proof that test specimens of lunar soil with small amounts of metallic additives, recrystallized at moderate temperatures, exhibit an improvement of several orders of magnitude in ductility/tensile strength. (6) Experiments establishing the feasibility of producing silicon-based polymers from indigenous lunar materials. (7) Application of CCD technology to the production of maps of TiO2 abundance, defining primary ilmenite deposits, on the disk of the full moon. (8) Attainment of a discovery rate of approximately 3 new near-Earth asteroids per month by Spacewatch, more than doubling the previous global rate. (9) Coordination of industry and university magma electrolysis investigations in a workshop designed to define remaining problem areas and propose critical experiments.

  13. Servant Leadership: How does NASA Serve the Interests of Humankind in Aerospace Exploration and the Role STEM Plays in it?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    This presentation provides a description of technology efforts illustrative of NASA Glenn Research Center Core competencies and which exemplifies how NASA serves the interest of humankind in aerospace exploration. Examples are provided as talking points to illustrate the role that career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) plays in the aforementioned endeavor.

  14. NASA Exploration Launch Projects Overview: The Crew Launch Vehicle and the Cargo Launch Vehicle Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snoddy, Jimmy R.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.; Cook, Stephen A.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration (January 2004) serves as the foundation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) strategic goals and objectives. As the NASA Administrator outlined during his confirmation hearing in April 2005, these include: 1) Flying the Space Shuttle as safely as possible until its retirement, not later than 2010. 2) Bringing a new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) into service as soon as possible after Shuttle retirement. 3) Developing a balanced overall program of science, exploration, and aeronautics at NASA, consistent with the redirection of the human space flight program to focus on exploration. 4) Completing the International Space Station (ISS) in a manner consistent with international partner commitments and the needs of human exploration. 5) Encouraging the pursuit of appropriate partnerships with the emerging commercial space sector. 6) Establishing a lunar return program having the maximum possible utility for later missions to Mars and other destinations. In spring 2005, the Agency commissioned a team of aerospace subject matter experts to perform the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS). The ESAS team performed in-depth evaluations of a number of space transportation architectures and provided recommendations based on their findings? The ESAS analysis focused on a human-rated Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) for astronaut transport and a heavy lift Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) to carry equipment, materials, and supplies for lunar missions and, later, the first human journeys to Mars. After several months of intense study utilizing safety and reliability, technical performance, budget, and schedule figures of merit in relation to design reference missions, the ESAS design options were unveiled in summer 2005. As part of NASA's systems engineering approach, these point of departure architectures have been refined through trade studies during the ongoing design phase leading to the development phase that begins in 2008. Comprehensive reviews of engineering data and business assessments by both internal and independent reviewers serve as decision gates to ensure that systems can fully meet customer and stakeholder requirements. This paper provides the current CLV and CaLV configuration designs and gives examples of the progress being made during the first year of this significant effort. Safe, reliable, cost-effective space transportation systems are a foundational piece of America s future in space and the next step in realizing the plan for revitalizing lunar capabilities on the passageway to the human exploration of Mars. While building on legacy knowledge and heritage hardware for risk reduction, NASA will apply lessons learned from developing these new launch vehicles to the growth path for future missions. The elements for mission success and continued U.S. leadership in space have been assembled over the past year. As NASA designs and develops these two new systems over the next dozen years, visible progress, such as that reported in this paper, may sustain the national will to stay the course across political administrations and weather the inevitable trials that will be experienced during this challenging endeavor.

  15. Planetary Exploration in the Time of Astrobiology: Protecting Against Biological Contamination

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Rummel, J. D. (John D.)

    This article discusses the history and future of planetary-protection restrictions. It begins by addressing the difficulty of discovering (possibly rare) life elsewhere, and then describes the potential difficulties of dealing with alien life that could be discovered on other worlds or in samples returned to the Earth from space. Sections include an introduction, planetary protection heritage, two examples forward and backward contamination, future planetary-protection challenges, and the role of academics.

  16. A New Heavy-Lift Capability for Space Exploration: NASA's Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sumrall, John P.; McArthur, J. Craig

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing new launch systems and preparing to retire the Space Shuttle by 2010, as directed in the United States (U.S.) Vision for Space Exploration. The Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and the Ares V heavy-lift Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) systems will build upon proven, reliable hardware derived from the Apollo-Saturn and Space Shuttle programs to deliver safe, reliable, affordable space transportation solutions. This approach leverages existing aerospace talent and a unique infrastructure, as well as legacy knowledge gained from nearly 50 years' experience developing space hardware. Early next decade, the Ares I will launch the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to the International Space Station (ISS) or to low-Earth orbit for trips to the Moon and, ultimately, Mars. Late next decade, the Ares V's Earth Departure Stage will carry larger payloads such as the lunar lander into orbit, and the Crew Exploration Vehicle will dock with it for missions to the Moon, where astronauts will explore new territories and conduct science and technology experiments. Both Ares I and Ares V are being designed to support longer future trips to Mars. The Exploration Launch Projects Office is designing, developing, testing, and evaluating both launch vehicle systems in partnership with other NASA Centers, Government agencies, and industry contractors. This paper provides top-level information regarding the genesis and evolution of the baseline configuration for the Ares V heavy-lift system. It also discusses riskbased, management strategies, such as building on powerful hardware and promoting common features between the Ares I and Ares V systems to reduce technical, schedule, and cost risks, as well as development and operations costs. Finally, it summarizes several notable accomplishments since October 2005, when the Exploration Launch Projects effort officially kicked off, and looks ahead at work planned for 2007 and beyond.

  17. NASA's Space Launch System: A New Capability for Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Kimberly F.; Creech, Stephen D.; May, Todd A.

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is directing efforts to build the Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift rocket that will launch the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and other high-priority payloads into deep space. Its evolvable architecture will allow NASA to begin with human missions beyond the Moon and then go on to transport astronauts or robots to distant places such as asteroids and Mars. Developed with the goals of safety, affordability, and sustainability in mind, SLS will start with 10 percent more thrust than the Saturn V rocket that launched astronauts to the Moon 40 years ago. From there it will evolve into the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown, via an upgrade approach that will provide building blocks for future space exploration. This paper will explain how NASA will execute this development within flat budgetary guidelines by using existing engines assets and heritage technology, from the initial 70 metric ton (t) lift capability through a block upgrade approach to an evolved 130-t capability, and will detail the progress that has already been made toward a first launch in 2017. This paper will also explore the requirements needed for human missions to deep-space destinations and for game-changing robotic science missions, and the capability of SLS to meet those requirements and enable those missions, along with the evolution strategy that will increase that capability. The International Space Exploration Coordination Group, representing 12 of the world's space agencies, has worked together to create the Global Exploration Roadmap, which outlines paths towards a human landing on Mars, beginning with capability-demonstrating missions to the Moon or an asteroid. The Roadmap and corresponding NASA research outline the requirements for reference missions for all three destinations. The SLS will offer a robust way to transport international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they would need for extended trips to asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. SLS also offers substantial capability to support robotic science missions, offering benefits such as improved mass margins and radiation mitigation, and reduced mission durations. The SLS rocket, using significantly higher C3 energies, can more quickly and effectively take the mission directly to its destination, reducing trip time and cost. As this paper will explain, the SLS is making measurable progress toward becoming a global infrastructure asset for robotic and human scouts of all nations by providing the robust space launch capability to deliver sustainable solutions for advanced exploration.

  18. NASA's Space Launch System: A New Capability for Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumbly, Christopher M.; May, Todd A.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is directing efforts to build the Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift rocket that will launch the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and other high-priority payloads into deep space. Its evolvable architecture will allow NASA to begin with human missions beyond the Moon and then go on to transport astronauts or robots to distant places such as asteroids and Mars. Developed with the goals of safety, affordability, and sustainability in mind, SLS will start with 10 percent more thrust than the Saturn V rocket that launched astronauts to the Moon 40 years ago. From there it will evolve into the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown, via an upgrade approach that will provide building blocks for future space exploration. This paper will explain how NASA will execute this development within flat budgetary guidelines by using existing engines assets and heritage technology, from the initial 70 metric ton (t) lift capability through a block upgrade approach to an evolved 130-t capability, and will detail the progress that has already been made toward a first launch in 2017. This paper will also explore the requirements needed for human missions to deep-space destinations and for game-changing robotic science missions, and the capability of SLS to meet those requirements and enable those missions, along with the evolution strategy that will increase that capability. The International Space Exploration Coordination Group, representing 12 of the world's space agencies, has worked together to create the Global Exploration Roadmap, which outlines paths towards a human landing on Mars, beginning with capability-demonstrating missions to the Moon or an asteroid. The Roadmap and corresponding NASA research outline the requirements for reference missions for all three destinations. The SLS will offer a robust way to transport international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they would need for extended trips to asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. SLS also offers substantial capability to support robotic science missions, offering benefits such as improved mass margins and radiation mitigation, and reduced mission durations. The SLS rocket, using significantly higher characteristic energy (C3), can more quickly and effectively take the mission directly to its destination, reducing trip time and cost. As this paper will explain, the SLS is making measurable progress toward becoming a global infrastructure asset for robotic and human scouts of all nations by providing the robust space launch capability to deliver sustainable solutions for advanced exploration.

  19. NASA's Space Launch System Takes Shape: Progress Toward Safe, Affordable, Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Askins, Bruce R.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2014-01-01

    Development of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) exploration-class heavy lift rocket has moved from the formulation phase to implementation in 3 years and will make significant progress this year toward its first launch, slated December 2017. SLS represents a safe, affordable, and evolutionary path to development of an unprecedented capability for future human and robotic exploration and use of space. For the United States current development is focused on a configuration with a 70 metric ton (t) payload to low Earth orbit (LEO), more than double any operational vehicle. This version will launch NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) on its first autonomous flight beyond the Moon and back, as well as the first crewed Orion flight. SLS is designed to evolve to a 130 t lift capability that can reduce mission costs, simplify payload design, reduce trip times, and lower overall risk. Each vehicle element completed its respective Preliminary Design Reviews, followed by the SLS Program. The Program also completed the Key Decision Point-C milestone to move from formulation to implementation in 2014. NASA hasthorized the program to proceed to Critical Design Review, scheduled for 2015. Accomplihments to date include: manufacture of core stage test hardware, as well as preparations for testing the world's most powerful solid rocket boosters and main engines that flew 135 successful Space Shuttle missions. The Program's success to date is due to prudent use of existing technology, infrastructure, and workforce; streamlined management approach; and judicious use of new technologies. This paper will discuss SLS Program successes over the past year and examine milestones and challenges ahead. The SLS Program and its elements are managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

  20. Benefits gained and lessons learned from NASA's Small Explorer (SMEX) Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilman, David

    1993-11-01

    NASA's Small Explorer Program (SMEX) is a sustained program of scientific satellites limited in mass to 200-300 kg (depending on orbital inclination) for a 500-km circular orbit. The SMEX program was undertaken to obtain the benefits of scientific yield, short development time, and high flight rate, with the goal to launch a mission every year. NASA also uses the program to train engineers and managers in designing and developing spacecraft. The phases of a SMEX mission life cycle are described including the competitive selection of missions through announcement of opportunity and evaluation of proposals, the definition of mission and system requirements, design and development of the spacecraft, testing, launch, and operations. Program content of some SMEX missions is then reviewed. The first SMEX mission was the Solar, Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer, which confirmed that anomalous cosmic rays are only partially ionized atoms. The Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer was intended to measure the electric, magnetic, and time-variable fields and to record particle flow in the auroral acceleration region. A future mission is the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite to examine low-level molecular transitions.

  1. Integration of planetary protection activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Race, Margaret S.

    1995-01-01

    For decades, NASA has been concerned about the protection of planets and other solar system bodies from biological contamination. Its policies regarding biological contamination control for outbound and inbound planetary spacecraft have evolved to focus on three important areas: (1) the preservation of celestial objects and the space environment; (2) protection of Earth from extraterrestrial hazards; and (3) ensuring the integrity of its scientific investigations. Over the years as new information has been obtained from planetary exploration and research, planetary protection parameters and policies have been modified accordingly. The overall focus of research under this cooperative agreement has been to provide information about non-scientific and societal factors related to planetary protection and use it in the planning and implementation phases of future Mars sample return missions.

  2. Nanobiomimetic Active Shape Control - Fluidic and Swarm-Intelligence Embodiments for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoli, S.

    The concepts of Active Shape Control ( ASC ) and of Generalized Quantum Holography ( GQH ), respectively embodying a closer approach to biomimicry than the current macrophysics-based attempts at bioinspired robotic systems, and realizing a non-connectionistic, life-like kind of information processing that allows increasingly depths of mimicking of the biological structure-function solidarity, which have been formulated in physical terms in previous papers, are here further investigated for application to bioinspired flying or swimming robots for planetary exploration. It is shown that nano-to-micro integration would give the deepest level of biomimicry, and that both low and very low Reynolds number ( Re ) fluidics would involve GQH and Fiber Bundle Topology ( FBT ) for processing information at the various levels of ASC bioinspired robotics. While very low Re flows lend themselves to geometrization of microrobot dynamics and to FBT design, the general design problem is geometrized through GQH , i.e. made independent of dynamic considerations, thus allowing possible problems of semantic dyscrasias in highly complex hierarchical dynamical chains of sensing information processing actuating to be overcome. A roadmap to near- and medium-term nanostructured and nano-to-micro integration realizations is suggested.

  3. A micro seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer technology for planetary exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Hai; Tang, Rui [School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States)] [School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States); Carande, Bryce; Oiler, Jonathan [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States)] [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States); Zaitsev, Dmitri; Agafonov, Vadim [Center of Molecular Electronics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow (Russian Federation)] [Center of Molecular Electronics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow (Russian Federation); Yu, Hongyu [School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States) [School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States); School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States)

    2013-05-13

    This letter describes an implementation of micromachined seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer (MET) technology. As opposed to a solid inertial mass, MET seismometer senses the movement of liquid electrolyte relative to fixed electrodes. The employment of micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques reduces the internal size of the sensing cell to 1{mu}m and improves the reproducibility of the device. For operating bias of 600 mV, a sensitivity of 809 V/(m/s{sup 2}) was measured under acceleration of 400{mu}g(g{identical_to}9.81m/s{sup 2}) at 0.32 Hz. A -115 dB (relative to (m/s{sup 2})/{radical}(Hz)) noise level at 1 Hz was achieved. This work develops an alternative paradigm of seismic sensing device with small size, high sensitivity, low noise floor, high shock tolerance, and independence of installation angle, which is promising for next generation seismometers for planetary exploration.

  4. A Planetary System Exploration Project for Introductory Astronomy and Astrobiology Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rees, Richard F.

    2015-01-01

    I have created three-part projects for the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses at Westfield State University which simulate the exploration of a fictional planetary system. The introductory astronomy project is an initial reconnaissance of the system by a robotic spacecraft, culminating in close flybys of two or three planets. The astrobiology project is a follow-up mission concluding with the landing of a roving lander on a planet or moon. Student responses in earlier parts of each project can be used to determine which planets are targeted for closer study in later parts. Highly realistic views of the planets from space and from their surfaces can be created using programs such as Celestia and Terragen; images and video returned by the spacecraft are thus a highlight of the project. Although designed around the particular needs and mechanics of the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses for non-majors at WSU, these projects could be adapted for use in courses at many different levels.

  5. Development of NASA's Small Fission Power System for Science and Human Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibson, Marc A.; Mason, Lee; Bowman, Cheryl; Poston, David I.; McClure, Patrick R.; Creasy, John; Robinson, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Exploration of our solar system has brought great knowledge to our nation's scientific and engineering community over the past several decades. As we expand our visions to explore new, more challenging destinations, we must also expand our technology base to support these new missions. NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is tasked with developing these technologies for future mission infusion and continues to seek answers to many existing technology gaps. One such technology gap is related to compact power systems (greater than 1 kWe) that provide abundant power for several years where solar energy is unavailable or inadequate. Below 1 kWe, Radioisotope Power Systems have been the workhorse for NASA and will continue, assuming its availability, to be used for lower power applications similar to the successful missions of Voyager, Ulysses, New Horizons, Cassini, and Curiosity. Above 1 kWe, fission power systems become an attractive technology offering a scalable modular design of the reactor, shield, power conversion, and heat transport subsystems. Near term emphasis has been placed in the 1-10kWe range that lies outside realistic radioisotope power levels and fills a promising technology gap capable of enabling both science and human exploration missions. History has shown that development of space reactors is technically, politically, and financially challenging and requires a new approach to their design and development. A small team of NASA and DOE experts are providing a solution to these enabling FPS technologies starting with the lowest power and most cost effective reactor series named "Kilopower" that is scalable from approximately 1-10 kWe.

  6. NASA's Space Launch System Takes Shape: Progress Toward Safe, Affordable Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Askins, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Development of NASA's Space Launch System exploration-class heavy lift rocket has moved from the formulation phase to implementation in 3 years and will make significant progress this year toward its first launch, slated for December 2017. In recognition of the current fiscal realities, SLS represents a safe, affordable, and evolutionary path to development of an unprecedented capability for future human and robotic exploration and use of space. Current development is focused on a configuration with a 70 metric ton (t) payload to low Earth orbit (LEO), more than double any operational vehicle. It is this version that will launch NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) on its first autonomous flight beyond the Moon and back, as well as the first crewed Orion flight. This configuration is also designed to evolve to 130 t lift capability that offers several benefits, such as reduced mission costs, simplified payload design, faster trip times, and lower overall risk for missions of national significance. The SLS Program formally transitioned from the formulation phase to implementation during the past year, passing its Preliminary Design Review in 2013 and completion of Key Decision Point C in early 2014. NASA has authorized the Program to move forward to Critical Design Review, scheduled for 2015. Among the Program's many accomplishments are manufacture of core stage test hardware, as well as preparations for testing the world's most powerful solid rocket boosters and the main engines that flew 135 successful Space Shuttle missions. The Program's success to date is due to prudent use of existing technology, infrastructure, and workforce; streamlined management approach; and judicious use of new technologies. The result is a launch vehicle that will carry human and robotic exploration on the history-making missions in the coming decades. This paper will discuss the program and technical successes over the past year and provide a look at the milestones and challenges ahead.

  7. A Team Approach to the Development of Gamma Ray and x Ray Remote Sensing and in Situ Spectroscopy for Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trombka, J. I.; Floyd, S.; Ruitberg, A.; Evans, L.; Starr, R.; Metzger, A.; Reedy, R.; Drake, D.; Moss, C.; Edwards, B.

    1993-01-01

    An important part of the investigation of planetary origin and evolution is the determination of the surface composition of planets, comets, and asteroids. Measurements of discrete line X-ray and gamma ray emissions from condensed bodies in space can be used to obtain both qualitative and quantitative elemental composition information. The Planetary Instrumentation Definition and Development Program (PIDDP) X-Ray/Gamma Ray Team has been established to develop remote sensing and in situ technologies for future planetary exploration missions.

  8. The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration: NASA's First Step Toward Very High Data Rate Support of Science and Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boroson, Don M.; Robinson, Bryan S.

    2014-12-01

    Future NASA missions for both Science and Exploration will have needs for much higher data rates than are presently available, even with NASA's highly-capable Space- and Deep-Space Networks. As a first step towards this end, for one month in late 2013, NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) successfully demonstrated for the first time high-rate duplex laser communications between a satellite in lunar orbit, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), and multiple ground stations on the Earth. It constituted the longest-range laser communication link ever built and demonstrated the highest communication data rates ever achieved to or from the Moon.

  9. Extensions to the Visual Odometry Pipeline for the Exploration of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furgale, Paul Timothy

    Mars represents one of the most important targets for space exploration in the next 10 to 30 years, particularly because of evidence of liquid water in the planet's past. Current environmental conditions dictate that any existing water reserves will be in the form of ice; finding and sampling these ice deposits would further the study of the planet's climate history, further the search for evidence of life, and facilitate in-situ resource utilization during future manned exploration missions. This thesis presents a suite of algorithms to help enable a robotic ice-prospecting mission to Mars. Starting from visual odometry---the estimation of a rover's motion using a stereo camera as the primary sensor---we develop the following extensions: (i) a coupled surface/subsurface modelling system that provides novel data products to scientists working remotely, (ii) an autonomous retrotraverse system that allows a rover to return to previously visited places along a route for sampling, or to return a sample to an ascent vehicle, and (iii) the extension of the appearance-based visual odometry pipeline to an actively illuminated light detection and ranging sensor that provides data similar to a stereo camera but is not reliant on consistent ambient lighting, thereby enabling appearance-based vision techniques to be used in environments that are not conducive to passive cameras, such as underground mines or permanently shadowed craters on the moon. All algorithms are evaluated on real data collected using our field robot at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, or at a planetary analogue site on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic.

  10. Planetary Society

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    The Planetary Society is a nonprofit, nongovernmental space advocacy group dedicated to involving the public in space exploration through outreach, projects, and education. The organization's web site provides information on its initiatives: supporting and funding innovative and novel research and development projects that may lead to future planetary exploration; lobbying governments around the world in support of space exploration; providing coverage of current robotic space missions; and supporting educational activities about the exploration of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life. Site materials include news articles and announcements, a weblog, links to Planetary Radio weekly podcasts of interviews with scientists and advocates, membership information, and other resources.

  11. A New Heavy-Lift Capability for Space Exploration: NASA's Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2006-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing new launch systems in preparation for the retirement of the Space Shuttle by 2010, as directed in the United States (U.S.) Vision for Space Exploration. The Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and the Ares V heavy-lift Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) systems will build upon proven, reliable hardware derived from the Apollo Saturn (1961 to 1975) and Space Shuttle (1972 to 2010) programs to deliver safe, reliable, affordable space transportation solutions. This approach leverages existing aerospace talent and a unique infrastructure, as well as the vast amount of legacy knowledge gained from almost a half-century of hard-won experience in the space enterprise. Beginning early next decade, the Ares I will launch the new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to the International Space Station (ISS) or to low-Earth orbit for trips to the Moon and, ultimately, Mars. Late next decade, the Ares V's Earth Departure Stage will carry larger payloads such as the lunar lander into orbit, and the Crew Exploration Vehicle will dock with it for missions to the Moon, where astronauts will explore new territories and conduct science and technology experiments. Both the Ares I and Ares V systems are being designed to support longer future trips to Mars. The Exploration Launch Projects Office, located at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, is designing, developing, testing, and evaluating both launch vehicle systems in partnership with other NASA Centers, Government agencies, and industry contractors. This paper provides top-level information regarding the genesis and evolution of the baseline configuration for the Ares V heavy-lift system. It also touches on risk-based management strategies, such as building on powerful hardware and promoting common features between the Ares I and Ares V systems to reduce technical, schedule, and cost risks, as well as development and operations costs. Finally, it gives a summary of several notable accomplishments over the past year, since the Exploration Launch Projects effort officially kicked off in October 2005, and looks ahead at work planned for 2007 and beyond.

  12. An Interactive Virtual 3D Tool for Scientific Exploration of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traxler, Christoph; Hesina, Gerd; Gupta, Sanjeev; Paar, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    In this paper we present an interactive 3D visualization tool for scientific analysis and planning of planetary missions. At the moment scientists have to look at individual camera images separately. There is no tool to combine them in three dimensions and look at them seamlessly as a geologist would do (by walking backwards and forwards resulting in different scales). For this reason a virtual 3D reconstruction of the terrain that can be interactively explored is necessary. Such a reconstruction has to consider multiple scales ranging from orbital image data to close-up surface image data from rover cameras. The 3D viewer allows seamless zooming between these various scales, giving scientists the possibility to relate small surface features (e.g. rock outcrops) to larger geological contexts. For a reliable geologic assessment a realistic surface rendering is important. Therefore the material properties of the rock surfaces will be considered for real-time rendering. This is achieved by an appropriate Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) estimated from the image data. The BRDF is implemented to run on the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) to enable realistic real-time rendering, which allows a naturalistic perception for scientific analysis. Another important aspect for realism is the consideration of natural lighting conditions, which means skylight to illuminate the reconstructed scene. In our case we provide skylights from Mars and Earth, which allows switching between these two modes of illumination. This gives geologists the opportunity to perceive rock outcrops from Mars as they would appear on Earth facilitating scientific assessment. Besides viewing the virtual reconstruction on multiple scales, scientists can also perform various measurements, i.e. geo-coordinates of a selected point or distance between two surface points. Rover or other models can be placed into the scene and snapped onto certain location of the terrain. These are important features to support the planning of rover paths. In addition annotations can be placed directly into the 3D scene, which also serve as landmarks to aid navigation. The presented visualization and planning tool is a valuable asset for scientific analysis of planetary mission data. It complements traditional methods by giving access to an interactive virtual 3D reconstruction, which is realistically rendered. Representative examples and further information about the interactive 3D visualization tool can be found on the FP7-SPACE Project PRoViDE web page http://www.provide-space.eu/interactive-virtual-3d-tool/. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 312377 'PRoViDE'.

  13. Nonlinear adaptive formation control for a class of autonomous holonomic planetary exploration rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganji, Farid

    This dissertation presents novel nonlinear adaptive formation controllers for a heterogeneous group of holonomic planetary exploration rovers navigating over flat terrains with unknown soil types and surface conditions. A leader-follower formation control architecture is employed. In the first part, using a point-mass model for robots and a Coulomb-viscous friction model for terrain resistance, direct adaptive control laws and a formation speed-adaptation strategy are developed for formation navigation over unknown and changing terrain in the presence of actuator saturation. On-line estimates of terrain frictional parameters compensate for unknown terrain resistance and its variations. In saturation events over difficult terrain, the formation speed is reduced based on the speed of the slowest saturated robot, using internal fleet communication and a speed-adaptation strategy, so that the formation error stays bounded and small. A formal proof for asymptotic stability of the formation system in non-saturated conditions is given. The performance of robot controllers are verified using a modular 3-robot formation simulator. Simulations show that the formation errors reduce to zero asymptotically under non-saturated conditions as is guaranteed by the theoretical proof. In the second part, the proposed adaptive control methodology is extended for formation control of a class of omnidirectional rovers with three independently-driven universal holonomic rigid wheels, where the rovers' rigid-body dynamics, drive-system electromechanical characteristics, and wheel-ground interaction mechanics are incorporated. Holonomic rovers have the ability to move simultaneously and independently in translation and rotation, rendering great maneuverability and agility, which makes them suitable for formation navigation. Novel nonlinear adaptive control laws are designed for the input voltages of the three wheel-drive motors. The motion resistance, which is due to the sinkage of rover wheels in soft planetary terrain, is modeled using classical terramechanics theory. The unknown system parameters for adaptive estimation pertain to the rolling resistance forces and scrubbing resistance torques at the wheel-terrain interfaces. Novel terramechanical formulas for terrain resistance forces and torques are derived via considering the universal holonomic wheels as rigid toroidal wheels moving forward and/or sideways as well as turning on soft ground. The asymptotic stability of the formation control system is rigorously proved using Lyapunov's direct method.

  14. Review of NASA approach to space radiation risk assessments for Mars exploration.

    PubMed

    Cucinotta, Francis A

    2015-02-01

    Long duration space missions present unique radiation protection challenges due to the complexity of the space radiation environment, which includes high charge and energy particles and other highly ionizing radiation such as neutrons. Based on a recommendation by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, a 3% lifetime risk of exposure-induced death for cancer has been used as a basis for risk limitation by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for low-Earth orbit missions. NASA has developed a risk-based approach to radiation exposure limits that accounts for individual factors (age, gender, and smoking history) and assesses the uncertainties in risk estimates. New radiation quality factors with associated probability distribution functions to represent the quality factor's uncertainty have been developed based on track structure models and recent radiobiology data for high charge and energy particles. The current radiation dose limits are reviewed for spaceflight and the various qualitative and quantitative uncertainties that impact the risk of exposure-induced death estimates using the NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) model. NSCR estimates of the number of "safe days" in deep space to be within exposure limits and risk estimates for a Mars exploration mission are described. PMID:25551493

  15. Fuel Cell Development for NASA's Human Exploration Program: Benchmarking with "The Hydrogen Economy"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, John H.

    2007-01-01

    The theoretically high efficiency and low temperature operation of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells has motivated them to be the subject of much study since their invention in the 19th Century, but their relatively high life cycle costs kept them as a "solution in search of a problem" for many years. The first problem for which fuel cells presented a truly cost effective solution was that of providing a power source for NASA's human spaceflight vehicles in the 1960 s. NASA thus invested, and continues to invest, in the development of fuel cell power plants for this application. This development program continues to place its highest priorities on requirements for minimum system mass and maximum durability and reliability. These priorities drive fuel cell power plant design decisions at all levels, even that of catalyst support. However, since the mid-1990's, prospective environmental regulations have driven increased governmental and industrial interest in "green power" and the "Hydrogen Economy." This has in turn stimulated greatly increased investment in fuel cell development for a variety of commercial applications. This investment is bringing about notable advances in fuel cell technology, but, as these development efforts place their highest priority on requirements for minimum life cycle cost and field safety, these advances are yielding design solutions quite different at almost every level from those needed for spacecraft applications. This environment thus presents both opportunities and challenges for NASA's Human Exploration Program

  16. Lidar Past, Present, and Future in NASA's Earth and Space Science Programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Einaudi, Franco; Schwemmer, Geary K.; Gentry, Bruce M.; Abshire, James B.

    2004-01-01

    Lidar is firmly entrenched in the family of remote sensing technologies that NASA is developing and using. Still a relatively new technology, lidar should continue to experience significant advances and progress. Lidar is used in each one of the major research themes, including planetary exploration, in the Earth Sciences Directorate at Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA has and will continue to generate new lidar applications from ground, air and space for both Earth science and planetary exploration.

  17. NASA's First Year Progress with Fuel Cell Advanced Development in Support of the Exploration Vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark

    2007-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), in collaboration with Johnson Space Center (JSC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and industry partners, is leading a proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) advanced development effort to support the vision for Exploration. This effort encompasses the fuel cell portion of the Energy Storage Project under the Exploration Technology Development Program, and is directed at multiple power levels for both primary and regenerative fuel cell systems. The major emphasis is the replacement of active mechanical ancillary components with passive components in order to reduce mass and parasitic power requirements, and to improve system reliability. A dual approach directed at both flow-through and non flow-through PEMFC system technologies is underway. A brief overview of the overall PEMFC project and its constituent tasks will be presented, along with in-depth technical accomplishments for the past year. Future potential technology development paths will also be discussed.

  18. Saga, A Small Advanced Geochemistry Assembly With Micro-rover For The Exploration Of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brueckner, J.; Saga Team

    During future lander missions on Mars, Moon, or Mercury, it is highly advisable to extend the reach of instruments and to bring them to the actual sites of interest to measure in-situ selected surface samples (rocks, soils, or regolith). Particularly, geo- chemical measurements (determination of chemistry, mineralogy, and surface texture) are of utmost importance, because they provide key data on the nature of the sur- face samples. The obtained data will contribute to the classification of these samples. On Mars, weathering processes can also be studied provided some grinding tools are available. Also, the existence of ancient water activities, if any, can be searched for (e.g. sediments, hydroxides, hydrated minerals, or evaporates). The combined geo- chemical data sets of several samples and one/or several landing sites provide an im- portant base for the understanding of planetary surface processes and, hence, plan- etary evolution. A light-weight integrated instrument package and a micro-rover is proposed for future geochemical investigations. SAGA (Small Advanced Geochem- istry Assembly) will consist of several small geochemistry instruments and a tool that are packaged in a compact payload cab: the chemical Alpha Particle X-Ray Spec- trometer (APXS), the mineralogical Mössbauer Spectrometer (MIMOS), the textural close-up camera (MIROCAM), and a blower/grinder tool. These instruments have or will get flight heritage on upcoming ESA and NASA missions. The modularity of the concept permits to attach SAGA to any deployment device, specially, to the pro- posed small, lightweight micro-rover (dubbed SAGA?XT). Micro-rover technology has been developed for many years in Europe. One of the most advanced concepts is the tracked micro-rover SNanokhodT, developed recently in the frame of ESASs & cedil; Technology Research Programme (TRP). It has a total mass of about 3.5 kg (includ- ing payload and parts on the lander). This micro-rover is designed to drive to different target sites in the vicinity of a (small) lander. In the framework of the upcoming ESA Aurora programme, the further development of surface-mobile robots will be an im- portant technology area to improve control, navigation, and guidance of a micro-rover and the accurate docking of its instruments on selected targets.

  19. Key Issues for Navigation and Time Dissemination in NASA's Space Exploration Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, R. A.; Brodsky, B.; Oria, A. J.; Connolly, J. W.; Sands, O. S.; Welch, B. W.; Ely T.; Orr, R.; Schuchman, L.

    2006-01-01

    The renewed emphasis on robotic and human missions within NASA's space exploration program warrants a detailed consideration of how the positions of objects in space will be determined and tracked, whether they be spacecraft, human explorers, robots, surface vehicles, or science instrumentation. The Navigation Team within the NASA Space Communications Architecture Working Group (SCAWG) has addressed several key technical issues in this area and the principle findings are reported here. For navigation in the vicinity of the Moon, a variety of satellite constellations have been investigated that provide global or regional surface position determination and timely services analogous to those offered by GPS at Earth. In the vicinity of Mars, there are options for satellite constellations not available at the Moon due to the gravitational perturbations from Earth, such as two satellites in an aerostationary orbit. Alternate methods of radiometric navigation as considered, including one- and two-way signals, as well as autonomous navigation. The use of a software radio capable of receiving all available signal sources, such as GPS, pseudolites, and communication channels, is discussed. Methods of time transfer and dissemination are also considered in this paper.

  20. "NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute"; - Expanded Goals and New Teams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daou, D.; Schmidt, G. K.; Pendleton, Y.; Bailey, B. E.

    2014-04-01

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) has been pursuing international partnerships since its inception as the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), in order to both leverage the science being done by its domestic member institutions as well as to help lunar science and exploration become a greater global endeavor. The international partners of the Institute have pursued a broad program of lunar science stimulated by scientific partnerships enabled by the SSERVI community. Furthermore, regional partnerships have been formed such as the new pan-European lunar science consortium, which promises both new scientific approaches and mission concepts. International partner membership requires long-term commitment from both the partner and SSERVI, together with tangible and specific plans for scientific interaction that will produce results of mutual benefit to both the institute's U.S. Teams and the international partner. International partners are invited to participate in all aspects of the Institute's activities and programs, on a basis of no exchange of funds. Through these activities, SSERVI researchers and international partners participate in sharing ideas, information, and data arising from their respective research efforts, and contribute to the training of young scientists. This talk will present an overview of the Institute and the international nodes. We will also discuss the various processes to become a SSERVI partner as well as the opportunities available for collaborations with the SSERVI national teams.

  1. NASA Learning Technologies

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    NASA's Learning Technologies Project (LTP) is NASA's educational technology incubator. LTP provides interactive learning products that combine technology with content from NASA research projects and space missions. These materials use interactivity, virtual presence, and other immersive technologies together with NASA content from aerospace technology, Earth science, human space flight, biological and physical research, and space science. They include World Wind, a 3D interactive that lets users zoom in from satellite altitude to any location on Earth; the Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS), a collection of global-scale animations; MathTrax, an interactive graphing calculator; the Virtual Lab, which emulates a scanning electron microscope; What's the Difference, a compare-and-contrast tool for students; and Celestia, an interactive planetary exploration activity.

  2. Design and Evaluation of a Fiber Optic Probe as a means of Subsurface Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilgrim, Robert Paul

    The Optical Probe for Regolith Analysis (OPRA) is an instrumentation concept designed to provide spectroscopic analysis of the near subsurface of unconsolidated regolith on bodies such as moons, asteroids and planets. Below a chemically altered surface may lay the geological history in the form of stratigraphy that is shielded from degradation due to harsh external environments. Most of what we know about our solar system comes from remote platforms, such as satellites that are deployed into orbit around the target body. In the case of Mars, we have had several successful landers and rovers however, with the exception of the Mars Science Laboratory that just drilled its first hole, the complexity of subsurface excavation has limited the extent of subsurface exploration to simple scoops deployed on the ends of robotic arms which, by their very nature, will erase any stratigraphy that it may be digging into. The OPRA instrumentation concept allows for an integrated, lightweight and simple apparatus for subsurface exploration via a small, spike like structure which contains integrated optical fibers coupled to small windows running down the length of the probe. Each window is connected to a spectrometer housed onboard the deploying spacecraft. Each window is separately interrogated via the spectrometer over the wavelength range 1-2.5 nm to produce a spectroscopic profile as a function of depth. This project takes the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the OPRA instrumentation concept to level 3, which is defined by NASA to be the demonstration either analytically or experimentally of the proof of concept for critical functions of the proposed instrument. Firstly, to demonstrate that optical fibers are feasible for this type of application, we report on the techniques used by NASA to space qualify optical fibers. We investigate the optical performance of several fiber optic bundle configurations, both experimentally and numerically, to help optimize bundle performance. Optical bundles were then spectrally validated via a series of spectral comparisons between standardized reflectance spectroscopy targets and spectra obtained with the bundles. We also report on the integration of fiber optical bundles into other research and experimental results from several other groups within our research teams to obtain spectra under a more "space like" environment. Finally, the probe housing structural performance was investigated via finite element analysis, using probe penetration forces derived from data analysis of experimentation conducted by the Apollo lunar missions, and investigations into a mechanical analogue for the Martian regolith.

  3. A bibliography of planetary geology principal investigators and their associates, 1982 - 1983

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plescia, J. B.

    1984-01-01

    This bibliography cites recent publications by principal investigators and their associates, supported through NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, Earth and Planetary Exploration Division, Planetary Geology Program. It serves as a companion piece to NASA TM-85127, ""Reports of Planetary Programs, 1982". Entries are listed under the following subject areas: solar system, comets, asteroids, meteorites and small bodies; geologic mapping, geomorphology, and stratigraphy; structure, tectonics, and planetary and satellite evolutions; impact craters; volcanism; fluvial, mass wasting, glacial and preglacial studies; Eolian and Arid climate studies; regolith, volatiles, atmosphere, and climate, radar; remote sensing and photometric studies; and cartography, photogrammetry, geodesy, and altimetry. An author index is provided.

  4. Exploring the architectural trade space of NASAs Space Communication and Navigation Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, M.; Selva, D.; Cameron, B.; Crawley, E.; Seas, A.; Seery, B.

    NASAs Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) Program is responsible for providing communication and navigation services to space missions and other users in and beyond low Earth orbit. The current SCaN architecture consists of three independent networks: the Space Network (SN), which contains the TDRS relay satellites in GEO; the Near Earth Network (NEN), which consists of several NASA owned and commercially operated ground stations; and the Deep Space Network (DSN), with three ground stations in Goldstone, Madrid, and Canberra. The first task of this study is the stakeholder analysis. The goal of the stakeholder analysis is to identify the main stakeholders of the SCaN system and their needs. Twenty-one main groups of stakeholders have been identified and put on a stakeholder map. Their needs are currently being elicited by means of interviews and an extensive literature review. The data will then be analyzed by applying Cameron and Crawley's stakeholder analysis theory, with a view to highlighting dominant needs and conflicting needs. The second task of this study is the architectural tradespace exploration of the next generation TDRSS. The space of possible architectures for SCaN is represented by a set of architectural decisions, each of which has a discrete set of options. A computational tool is used to automatically synthesize a very large number of possible architectures by enumerating different combinations of decisions and options. The same tool contains models to evaluate the architectures in terms of performance and cost. The performance model uses the stakeholder needs and requirements identified in the previous steps as inputs, and it is based in the VASSAR methodology presented in a companion paper. This paper summarizes the current status of the MIT SCaN architecture study. It starts by motivating the need to perform tradespace exploration studies in the context of relay data systems through a description of the history NASA's space communicati- n networks. It then presents the generalities of possible architectures for future space communication and navigation networks. Finally, it describes the tools and methods being developed, clearly indicating the architectural decisions that have been taken into account as well as the systematic approach followed to model them. The purpose of this study is to explore the SCaN architectural tradespace by means of a computational tool. This paper describes the tool, while the tradespace exploration is underway.

  5. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture Based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NED Mitigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James; Dominquez, Jesus

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this NIAC study is to identify those volatile and mineral resources that are available on asteroids, comets, moons and planets in the solar system, and investigate methods to transform these resources into forms of power that will expand the capabilities of future robotic and human exploration missions to explore planetary bodies beyond the Moon and will mitigate hazards from NEOs. The sources of power used for deep space probe missions are usually derived from either solar panels for electrical energy, radioisotope thermal generators for thermal energy, or fuel cells and chemical reactions for chemical energy and propulsion.

  6. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Reeves, David; Drake, Bret; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth- Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. The scientific and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a mission to a NEA using NASA s proposed exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  7. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture Based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NED Mitigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James G.

    2011-01-01

    Volatile solids occur naturally on most planetary bodies including the Moon, Mars, asteroids and comets. Examples of recent discoveries include water ice, frozen carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. The ability to utilize readily available resources for in-space propulsion and for powering surface systems during a planetary mission will help minimize the overall cost and extend the op.erational life of a mission. The utilization of volatile solids to achieve these goals is attractive for its simplicity. We have investigated the potential of subliming in situ volatiles and silicate minerals to power propulsion engines for a wide range of in-space applications where environmental conditions are favorable. This paper addresses the' practicality of using planetary solid volatiles as a power source for propulsion and surface systems by presenting results of modeling involving thermodynamic and physical mechanics calculations, and laboratory testing to measure the thrust obtained from ,a volatile solid engine (VSE). Applications of a VSE for planetary exploration are discussed as a means for propulsion and for mechanical actuators and surface mobility platforms.

  8. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: A Step Toward Interstellar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; James, Bonnie; Baggett, Randy; Montgomery, Sandy

    2005-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space. The maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. By developing the capability to support mid-term robotic mission needs, the program is laying the technological foundation for travel to nearby interstellar space. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program s technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next-generation ion propulsion systems operating in the 5-10 kW range, to solar sail propulsion, substantial advances in spacecraft propulsion performance are anticipated. Some of the most promising technologies for achieving these goals use the environment of space itself for energy and propulsion and are generically called "propellantless" because they do not require onboard fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations, such as solar sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of those propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies that will most significantly advance our exploration of deep space.

  9. Progress Made in Lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization Under NASA's Exploration Technology and Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Larson, William E.

    2012-01-01

    Incorporation of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and the production of mission critical consumables for 9 propulsion, power, and life support into mission architectures can greatly reduce the mass, cost, and risk of missions 10 leading to a sustainable and affordable approach to human exploration beyond Earth. ISRU and its products can 11 also greatly affect how other exploration systems are developed, including determining which technologies are 12 important or enabling. While the concept of lunar ISRU has existed for over 40 years, the technologies and systems 13 had not progressed much past simple laboratory proof-of-concept tests. With the release of the Vision for Space 14 Exploration in 2004 with the goal of harnessing the Moon.s resources, NASA initiated the ISRU Project in the 15 Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) to develop the technologies and systems needed to meet 16 this goal. In the five years of work in the ISRU Project, significant advancements and accomplishments occurred in 17 several important areas of lunar ISRU. Also, two analog field tests held in Hawaii in 2008 and 2010 demonstrated 18 all the steps in ISRU capabilities required along with the integration of ISRU products and hardware with 19 propulsion, power, and cryogenic storage systems. This paper will review the scope of the ISRU Project in the 20 ETDP, ISRU incorporation and development strategies utilized by the ISRU Project, and ISRU development and 21 test accomplishments over the five years of funded project activity.

  10. NASA Exploration Launch Projects Systems Engineering Approach for Astronaut Missions to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Stephen A.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration directs NASA to design and develop a new generation of safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation systems to hlfill the Nation s strategic goals and objectives. These launch vehicles will provide the capability for astronauts to conduct scientific exploration that yields new knowledge from the unique vantage point of space. American leadership in opening new fi-ontiers will improve the quality of life on Earth for generations to come. The Exploration Launch Projects office is responsible for delivering the Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) that will loft the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) into low-Earth orbit (LEO) early next decade, and for the heavy lift Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV) that will deliver the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) to LEO for astronaut return trips to the Moon by 2020 in preparation for the eventual first human footprint on Mars. Crew travel to the International Space Station will be made available as soon possible after the Space Shuttle retires in 2010.

  11. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1983 - 1984

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witbeck, N. E. (editor)

    1984-01-01

    A compilation is given of selected bibliographic data specifically relating to recent publications submitted by principle investigators and their associates, supported through NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program. Topics include the solar system, asteroids, volcanoes, stratigraphy, remote sensing, and planetary craters.

  12. From Paper to Production to Test: An Update on NASA's J-2X Engine for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kynard, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The NASA/industry team responsible for developing the J-2X upper stage engine for the Space Launch System (SLS) Program has made significant progress toward moving beyond the design phase and into production, assembly, and test of development hardware. The J-2X engine exemplifies the SLS Program goal of using proven technology and experience from more than 50 years of United States spaceflight experience combined with modern manufacturing processes and approaches. It will power the second stage of the fully evolved SLS Program launch vehicle that will enable a return to human exploration of space beyond low earth orbit. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) is under contract to develop and produce the engine, leveraging its flight-proven LH2/LOX, gas generator cycle J-2 and RS-68 engine capabilities, recent experience with the X-33 aerospike XRS-2200 engine, and development knowledge of the J-2S tap-off cycle engine. The J- 2X employs a gas generator operating cycle designed to produce 294,000 pounds of vacuum thrust in primary operating mode with its full nozzle extension. With a truncated nozzle extension suitable to support engine clustering on the stage, the nominal vacuum thrust level in primary mode is 285,000 pounds. It also has a secondary mode, during which it operates at 80 percent thrust by altering its mixture ratio. The J-2X development philosophy is based on proven hardware, an aggressive development schedule, and early risk reduction. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and PWR began development of the J-2X in June 2006. The government/industry team of more than 600 people within NASA and PWR successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) in November 2008, following extensive risk mitigation testing. Assembly of the first development engine was completed in May 2011 and the first engine test was conducted at the NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC), test stand A2, on 14 July 2011. Testing of the first development engine will continue through the autumn of 2011, be paused for test stand modifications to the passive diffuser, and then restart in the spring of 2012. This testing will be followed by specialized powerpack testing intended to examine the design and operating margins of the engine turbomachinery. The development plan beyond this point leads through more system-level, engine testing of several samples, analytical model validation activities, functional and performance verification, and then ultimate certification to support human spaceflight. This paper will discuss the J-2X development background, provide top-level information on design and development planning, and will explore some of the development challenges and mitigation activities pursued to date.

  13. The NASA Solar System Exploration Virtual Institute: International Efforts in Advancing Lunar Science with Prospects for the Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Gregory

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), originally chartered in 2008 as the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), is chartered to advance both the scientific goals needed to enable human space exploration, as well as the science enabled by such exploration. NLSI and SSERVI have in succession been “institutes without walls,” fostering collaboration between domestic teams (7 teams for NLSI, 9 for SSERVI) as well as between these teams and the institutes’ international partners, resulting in a greater global endeavor. SSERVI teams and international partners participate in sharing ideas, information, and data arising from their respective research efforts, and contribute to the training of young scientists and bringing the scientific results and excitement of exploration to the public. The domestic teams also respond to NASA’s strategic needs, providing community-based responses to NASA needs in partnership with NASA’s Analysis Groups. Through the many partnerships enabled by NLSI and SSERVI, scientific results have well exceeded initial projections based on the original PI proposals, proving the validity of the virtual institute model. NLSI and SSERVI have endeavored to represent not just the selected and funded domestic teams, but rather the entire relevant scientific community; this has been done through many means such as the annual Lunar Science Forum (now re-named Exploration Science Forum), community-based grass roots Focus Groups on a wide range of topics, and groups chartered to further the careers of young scientists. Additionally, NLSI and SSERVI have co-founded international efforts such as the pan-European lunar science consortium, with an overall goal of raising the tide of lunar science (and now more broadly exploration science) across the world.

  14. Publications of the planetary biology program for 1975: A special bibliography. [on NASA programs and research projects on extraterrestrial life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A. (compiler); Young, R. S. (compiler)

    1976-01-01

    The Planetary Biology Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the first and only integrated program to methodically investigate the planetary events which may have been responsible for, or related to, the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe. Research supported by this program is divided into the seven areas listed below: (1) chemical evolution, (2) organic geochemistry, (3) life detection, (4) biological adaptation, (5) bioinstrumentation, (6) planetary environments, and (7) origin of life. The arrangement of references in this bibliography follows the division of research described above. Articles are listed alphabetically by author under the research area with which they are most closely related. Only those publications which resulted from research supported by the Planetary Biology Program and which bear a 1975 publication date have been included. Abstracts and theses are not included because of the preliminary and abbreviated nature of the former and the frequent difficulty of obtaining the latter.

  15. NASA's Small Explorer spacecraft - Flight proven, high performance, reliable, and still small

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watzin, James G.

    1993-01-01

    NASA's Small Explorer (SMEX) project has developed a series of highly capable small satellites that are being used to support astrophysics and space physics investigations. These satellites, while both small and economical, give up nothing in performance and versatility to the larger satellites developed over the past 15 years within the Explorer program. Innovative engineering and new technology advances have increased the potential scientific return of the SMEX spacecraft to a level comparable to larger carriers. The design has struck a balance between mission risk and cost that has allowed for the development of an extremely capable spacecraft. The first SMEX mission, Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), has been in orbit since July 1992 and is continuing to perform well. It has proven the merits of this design approach. This paper describes the fundamental strategies and technologies used in developing the design. It outlines the key elements of the system architecture and describes the capabilities and merits of the major subsystems. Major design trade-offs are highlighted. Emphasis is placed on the innovative attitude control system which was developed for the SAMPEX mission. The paper also describes the unique SMEX approach to mission operations.

  16. Testing of the Crew Exploration Vehicle in NASA Langley's Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Kelly J.; Borg, Stephen E.; Watkins, Anthony N.; Cole, Daniel R.; Schwartz, Richard J.

    2007-01-01

    As part of a strategic, multi-facility test program, subscale testing of NASA s Crew Exploration Vehicle was conducted in both legs of NASA Langley s Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel. The objectives of these tests were to generate aerodynamic and surface pressure data over a range of supersonic Mach numbers and reentry angles of attack for experimental and computational validation and aerodynamic database development. To provide initial information on boundary layer transition at supersonic test conditions, transition studies were conducted using temperature sensitive paint and infrared thermography optical techniques. To support implementation of these optical diagnostics in the Unitary Wind Tunnel, the experiment was first modeled using the Virtual Diagnostics Interface software. For reentry orientations of 140 to 170 degrees (heat shield forward), windward surface flow was entirely laminar for freestream unit Reynolds numbers equal to or less than 3 million per foot. Optical techniques showed qualitative evidence of forced transition on the windward heat shield with application of both distributed grit and discreet trip dots. Longitudinal static force and moment data showed the largest differences with Mach number and angle of attack variations. Differences associated with Reynolds number variation and/or laminar versus turbulent flow on the heat shield were very small. Static surface pressure data supported the aforementioned trends with Mach number, Reynolds number, and angle of attack.

  17. Probability of Loss of Crew Achievability Studies for NASA's Exploration Systems Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyer, Roger L.; Bigler, Mark; Rogers, James H.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last few years, NASA has been evaluating various vehicle designs for multiple proposed design reference missions (DRM) beyond low Earth orbit in support of its Exploration Systems Development (ESD) programs. This paper addresses several of the proposed missions and the analysis techniques used to assess the key risk metric, probability of loss of crew (LOC). Probability of LOC is a metric used to assess the safety risk as well as a design requirement. These risk assessments typically cover the concept phase of a DRM, i.e. when little more than a general idea of the mission is known and are used to help establish "best estimates" for proposed program and agency level risk requirements. These assessments or studies were categorized as LOC achievability studies to help inform NASA management as to what "ball park" estimates of probability of LOC could be achieved for each DRM and were eventually used to establish the corresponding LOC requirements. Given that details of the vehicles and mission are not well known at this time, the ground rules, assumptions, and consistency across the programs become the important basis of the assessments as well as for the decision makers to understand.

  18. NASA's LADEE Mission: Opportunities for Citizen Science and Student Participatory Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, B. H.

    2010-12-01

    NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is scheduled to launch in early 2013. Its goals include: 1. Determine the global density, composition, and time variability of the fragile lunar atmosphere before it is perturbed by further human activity. 2. Determine the size, charge, and spatial distribution of electrostatically transported dust grains. 3. Test laser communication capabilities. 4. Demonstrate a low-cost lunar mission utilizing a simple multi-mission modular bus design and a low-cost launch vehicle. Most students and adults today grew up learning that the Moon has no atmosphere. The fact that it does have an atmosphere provides an excellent opportunity for learning. The lunar surface boundary exosphere represents the most common type of atmosphere in the solar system. Mercury, the larger asteroids, some of the larger moons of other planets, and larger Kuiper Belt Objects likely have surface boundary exospheres. Yet in spite of being so common, these types of atmospheres are poorly understood. Fortunately, with the Moon, we have one in our own backyard to study. LADEE Education and public outreach will provide opportunities for students and citizen scientists to be direct participants in the science supporting the mission.

  19. Layered Metals Fabrication Technology Development for Support of Lunar Exploration at NASA/MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Kenneth G.; Good, James E.; Gilley, Scott D.

    2007-01-01

    NASA's human exploration initiative poses great opportunity and risk for missions to the Moon and beyond. In support of these missions, engineers and scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center are developing technologies for ground-based and in-situ fabrication capabilities utilizing provisioned and locally-refined materials. Development efforts are pushing state-of-the art fabrication technologies to support habitat structure development, tools and mechanical part fabrication, as well as repair and replacement of ground support and space mission hardware such as life support items, launch vehicle components and crew exercise equipment. This paper addresses current fabrication technologies relative to meeting targeted capabilities, near term advancement goals, and process certification of fabrication methods.

  20. Middleware and Web Services for the Collaborative Information Portal of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    We describe the design and deployment of the middleware for the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), a mission critical J2EE application developed for NASA's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission. CIP enabled mission personnel to access data and images sent back from Mars, staff and event schedules, broadcast messages and clocks displaying various Earth and Mars time zones. We developed the CIP middleware in less than two years time usins cutting-edge technologies, including EJBs, servlets, JDBC, JNDI and JMS. The middleware was designed as a collection of independent, hot-deployable web services, providing secure access to back end file systems and databases. Throughout the middleware we enabled crosscutting capabilities such as runtime service configuration, security, logging and remote monitoring. This paper presents our approach to mitigating the challenges we faced, concluding with a review of the lessons we learned from this project and noting what we'd do differently and why.

  1. Evaluation of Advanced Composite Structures Technologies for Application to NASA's Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tenney, Darrel R.

    2008-01-01

    AS&M performed a broad assessment survey and study to establish the potential composite materials and structures applications and benefits to the Constellation Program Elements. Trade studies were performed on selected elements to determine the potential weight or performance payoff from use of composites. Weight predictions were made for liquid hydrogen and oxygen tanks, interstage cylindrical shell, lunar surface access module, ascent module liquid methane tank, and lunar surface manipulator. A key part of this study was the evaluation of 88 different composite technologies to establish their criticality to applications for the Constellation Program. The overall outcome of this study shows that composites are viable structural materials which offer from 20% to 40% weight savings for many of the structural components that make up the Major Elements of the Constellation Program. NASA investment in advancing composite technologies for space structural applications is an investment in America's Space Exploration Program.

  2. NASA Workshop on Technology for Human Robotic Exploration and Development of Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mankins, J. C.; Marzwell, N.; Mullins, C. A.; Christensen, C. B.; Howell, J. T.; O'Neil, D. A.

    2004-01-01

    Continued constrained budgets and growing interests in the industrialization and development of space requires NASA to seize every opportunity for assuring the maximum return on space infrastructure investments. This workshop provided an excellent forum for reviewing, evaluating, and updating pertinent strategic planning, identifying advanced concepts and high-risk/high-leverage research and technology requirements, developing strategies and roadmaps, and establishing approaches, methodologies, modeling, and tools for facilitating the commercial development of space and supporting diverse exploration and scientific missions. Also, the workshop addressed important topic areas including revolutionary space systems requiring investments in innovative advanced technologies; achieving transformational space operations through the insertion of new technologies; revolutionary science in space through advanced systems and new technologies enabling experiments to go anytime to any location; and, innovative and ambitious concepts and approaches essential for promoting advancements in space transportation. Details concerning the workshop process, structure, and results are contained in the ensuing report.

  3. Overview of the NASA Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis Exploration Feed-Forward Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DwyerCianciolo, Alicia M.; Zang, Thomas A.; Sostaric, Ronald R.; McGuire, M. Kathy

    2011-01-01

    Technology required to land large payloads (20 to 50 mt) on Mars remains elusive. In an effort to identify the most viable investment path, NASA and others have been studying various concepts. One such study, the Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDLSA) Study [1] identified three potential options: the rigid aeroshell, the inflatable aeroshell and supersonic retropropulsion (SRP). In an effort to drive out additional levels of design detail, a smaller demonstrator, or exploration feed-forward (EFF), robotic mission was devised that utilized two of the three (inflatable aeroshell and SRP) high potential technologies in a configuration to demonstrate landing a two to four metric ton payload on Mars. This paper presents and overview of the maximum landed mass, inflatable aeroshell controllability and sensor suite capability assessments of the selected technologies and recommends specific technology areas for additional work.

  4. Features of Ground Penetrating Radars for the exploration of planetary subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burghignoli, P.; Cereti, A.; Fiore, E.; Galli, A.; Pajewski, L.; Pettinelli, E.; Pisani, A.; Schettini, G.; Ticconi, F.

    2003-04-01

    Among the various applications of Surface or Ground Penetrating Radars (GPRs), the possibility of achieving useful information about the characterization of planetary soils represents a topic which has deserved particular interest in recent times [1]. The present work intends to analyze various critical aspects related to the GPR capability of properly investigating the subsurface structure, also emphasizing what kind of practical solutions seem to be more suitable to this purpose. Some basic aspects have to be considered, which are peculiar of this type of problem, e.g.: i) the poor information achievable up to now on both the composition and the stratigraphy of planet soils; ii) the typical bulk and weight limitations for instruments when used in onboard rovers for in-situ measurements. As regards the first aspect, additional knowledge should generally be required on the electromagnetic parameters (permittivity, permeability, and conductivity) of the upper subsoil layers in order to extract useful information from the GPR data. The use of different types of sensors, which can be integrated in an overall "sounding package" [1], is a useful way of characterizing more precisely such electromagnetic parameters. Consequently, GPR can primarily be used to get data on the unknown stratigraphy. The second aspect implies fundamental constraints in the design of GPR, involving the choice of the type of radar, the relevant electronic equipment for signal processing, the antenna design, etc. In addition to standard types of "pulsed" GPR, a specific study has been performed on "step-frequency" GPRs, which appear to be attractive due to their low-cost and simple electronic circuitry. As concerns the choice of the radiating elements, the most suitable configurations of GPR antennas have been investigated and compared in terms of dimensions and radiation parameters. New specific antenna configurations have been proposed, designed, and tested. Finally, numerical simulations have been performed concerning the radargram data measured by GPR to detect the subsurface structure. In addition to conventional models used for pulse radars, we have characterized the propagation problem also for step-frequency radars. The relevant results are discussed, which illustrate the pros and cons of the different solutions. References [1] G. Vannaroni et al.: "Multisensor soil electromagnetic sounding (Muses) for Mars exploration," Proc. 2nd European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology, ESA SP-518, pp. 32--330, Nov. 2002.

  5. Period lengthening of the penetrator seismometer response and application to the future planetary explorations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiraishi, Hiroaki; Yamada, Ryuhei; Kobayashi, Naoki; Murakami, Hideki; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Tanaka, Satoshi; Fujimura, Akio

    A short-period passive seismometer onboard the lunar penetrator is modified as two different types of long-period active sensors; one is a conventional force-balanced accelerometer, and the other is a so-called PID-controlled feedback velocity sensor. The former adopts the forcebalance principle, which means that the external force on the sensor mass is compensated by an electro-magnetic force in the opposite direction, using a displacement transducer to sense the mass motion. The latter has a broader frequency response in velocity output, by an additional installation of integrator/derivator circuits. The original short-period seismometer is a classical electro-magnetic type one with velocity output consisted of signal coils as a pendulum mass suspended by a pair of diaphragm springs and magnetic circuits fixed to the reference frame. Because it was developed for the former LUNAR-A penetrator mission, it has the shock-durability up to 10,000G at a high-speed impact process and it demonstrates to work well even under low temperature condition. When several little modifications are made for this short-period seismometer, the sensor performance in the frequency ranges of 10 to 20 seconds is considerably improved and appropriate for detection of the longer body waves and possible surface waves on any other terrestrial planets. However, the present lunar penetrator can not install both the active-type seismometers for a long-lived observation, because of the strict limitation of power consumption. If some more electrical power is supplied, we will be able to apply either of these improved versions for lunar soft-lander. And also, if the possible Martian penetrator with an after-body structure would be continuously operated by the solar power battery, we could do just the same. In this paper, we present some results of laboratory and field tests and compare them with the original short-period sensor, and then we describe the future prospects for application on the lunar and planetary explorations.

  6. The Case of the Great Space Exploration: An Educator Guide with Activities in Mathematics, Science, and Technology. The NASA SCI Files. EG-2004-09-12-LARC

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricles, Shannon; Jaramillo, Becky; Fargo, Michelle

    2004-01-01

    In this companion to the "NASA SCI Files" episode "The Case of the Great Space Exploration," the tree house detectives learn about NASA's new vision for exploring space. In four segments aimed at grades 3-5, students learn about a variety of aspects of space exploration. Each segment of the guide includes an overview, a set of objectives,…

  7. TOPS: Toward Other Planetary Systems. A report by the solar system exploration division

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    This report describes a general plan and the pertinent technological requirements for TOPS (Toward Other Planetary Systems), a staged program to ascertain the prevalence and character of other planetary systems and to construct a definitive picture of the formation of stars and their planets. The first stages focus on discovering and studying a significant number of fully formed planetary systems, as well as expanding current studies of protoplanetary systems. As the TOPS Program evolves, emphasis will shift toward intensive study of the discovered systems and of individual planets. Early stages of the TOPS Program can be undertaken with ground-based observations and space missions comparable in scale to those now being performed. In the long term, however, TOPS will become an ambitious program that challenges our capabilities and provides impetus for major space initiatives and new technologies.

  8. NASA's Space Launch System: A Flagship for Exploration Beyond Earth's Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, Todd A.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) Program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, is making progress toward delivering a new capability for exploration beyond Earth orbit in an austere economic climate. This fact drives the SLS team to find innovative solutions to the challenges of designing, developing, fielding, and operating the largest rocket in history. To arrive at the current SLS plan, government and industry experts carefully analyzed hundreds of architecture options and arrived at the one clear solution to stringent requirements for safety, affordability, and sustainability over the decades that the rocket will be in operation. This paper will explore ways to fit this major development within the funding guidelines by using existing engine assets and hardware now in testing to meet a first launch by 2017. It will explain the SLS Program s long-range plan to keep the budget within bounds, yet evolve the 70 metric ton (t) initial lift capability to 130-t lift capability after the first two flights. To achieve the evolved configuration, advanced technologies must offer appropriate return on investment to be selected through a competitive process. For context, the SLS will be larger than the Saturn V that took 12 men on 6 trips for a total of 11 days on the lunar surface over 4 decades ago. Astronauts train for long-duration voyages on the International Space Station, but have not had transportation to go beyond Earth orbit in modern times, until now. NASA is refining its mission manifest, guided by U.S. Space Policy and the Global Exploration Roadmap. Launching the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle s (MPCV s) first autonomous certification flight in 2017, followed by a crewed flight in 2021, the SLS will offer a robust way to transport international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they need for extended trips to asteroids, Lagrange Points, and Mars. In addition, the SLS will accommodate high-priority science experiments. SLS affordability initiatives include streamlining interfaces, applying risk-based insight into contracted work, centralizing systems engineering and integration, and nurturing a learning culture that continually benchmarks its performance against successful ventures. As this paper will explain, the SLS is making measurable progress toward becoming a global infrastructure asset for robotic and human scouts of all nations by harnessing business and technological innovations to deliver sustainable solutions for space exploration.

  9. NASA's Space Launch System: A Flagship for Exploration Beyond Earth's Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, Todd

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) Program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, is making progress toward delivering a new capability for exploration beyond Earth orbit in an austere economic climate. This fact drives the SLS team to find innovative solutions to the challenges of designing, developing, fielding, and operating the largest rocket in history. To arrive at the current SLS plan, government and industry experts carefully analyzed hundreds of architecture options and arrived at the one clear solution to stringent requirements for safety, affordability, and sustainability over the decades that the rocket will be in operation. This paper will explore ways to fit this major development within the funding guidelines by using existing engine assets and hardware now in testing to meet a first launch by 2017. It will explain the SLS Program s long-range plan to keep the budget within bounds, yet evolve the 70 metric ton (t) initial lift capability to 130-t lift capability after the first two flights. To achieve the evolved configuration, advanced technologies must offer appropriate return on investment to be selected through a competitive process. For context, the SLS will be larger than the Saturn V that took 12 men on 6 trips for a total of 11 days on the lunar surface over 4 decades ago. Astronauts train for long-duration voyages on the International Space Station, but have not had transportation to go beyond Earth orbit in modern times, until now. NASA is refining its mission manifest, guided by U.S. Space Policy and the Global Exploration Roadmap. Launching the Orion Multi-Purpose Cargo Vehicle s first autonomous certification flight in 2017, followed by a crewed flight in 2021, the SLS will offer a robust way to transport international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they need for extended trips to asteroids, Lagrange Points, and Mars. In addition, the SLS will accommodate high-priority science experiments. SLS affordability initiatives include streamlining interfaces, applying risk-based insight into contracted work, centralizing systems engineering and integration, and nurturing a learning culture that continually benchmarks its performance against successful ventures. As this paper will explain, the SLS is making measurable progress toward becoming a global infrastructure asset for robotic and human scouts of all nations by harnessing business and technological innovations to deliver sustainable solutions for space exploration.

  10. Mission control team structure and operational lessons learned from the 2009 and 2010 NASA desert RATS simulated lunar exploration field tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Ernest R.; Badillo, Victor; Coan, David; Johnson, Kieth; Ney, Zane; Rosenbaum, Megan; Smart, Tifanie; Stone, Jeffry; Stueber, Ronald; Welsh, Daren; Guirgis, Peggy; Looper, Chris; McDaniel, Randall

    2013-10-01

    The NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is an annual field test of advanced concepts, prototype hardware, and potential modes of operation to be used on human planetary surface space exploration missions. For the 2009 and 2010 NASA Desert RATS field tests, various engineering concepts and operational exercises were incorporated into mission timelines with the focus of the majority of daily operations being on simulated lunar geological field operations and executed in a manner similar to current Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. The field test for 2009 involved a two week lunar exploration simulation utilizing a two-man rover. The 2010 Desert RATS field test took this two week simulation further by incorporating a second two-man rover working in tandem with the 2009 rover, as well as including docked operations with a Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM). Personnel for the field test included the crew, a mission management team, engineering teams, a science team, and the mission operations team. The mission operations team served as the core of the Desert RATS mission control team and included certified NASA Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) flight controllers, former flight controllers, and astronaut personnel. The backgrounds of the flight controllers were in the areas of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), onboard mechanical systems and maintenance, robotics, timeline planning (OpsPlan), and spacecraft communicator (Capcom). With the simulated EVA operations, mechanized operations (the rover), and expectations of replanning, these flight control disciplines were especially well suited for the execution of the 2009 and 2010 Desert RATS field tests. The inclusion of an operations team has provided the added benefit of giving NASA mission operations flight control personnel the opportunity to begin examining operational mission control techniques, team compositions, and mission scenarios. This also gave the mission operations team the opportunity to gain insight into functional hardware requirements via lessons learned from executing the Desert RATS field test missions. This paper will detail the mission control team structure that was used during the 2009 and 2010 Desert RATS Lunar analog missions. It will also present a number of the lessons learned by the operations team during these field tests. Major lessons learned involved Mission Control Center (MCC) operations, pre-mission planning and training processes, procedure requirements, communication requirements, and logistic support for analogs. This knowledge will be applied to future Desert RATS field tests, and other Earth based analog testing for space exploration, to continue the evolution of manned space operations in preparation for human planetary exploration. It is important that operational knowledge for human space exploration missions be obtained during Earth-bound field tests to the greatest extent possible. This allows operations personnel the ability to examine various flight control and crew operations scenarios in preparation for actual space missions.

  11. Back to the future: the role of the ISS and future space stations in planetary exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Christian Muller; Didier Moreau

    2010-01-01

    Space stations as stepping stones to planets appear already in the1954 Disney-von Braun anticipation TV show but the first study with a specific planetary scientific objective was the ANTEUS project of 1978. This station was an evolution of SPACELAB hardware and was designed to analyse Mars samples with better equipment than the laboratory of the VIKING landers. It would have

  12. Evolutionary Strategy for the Use of Nuclear Electric Propulsion in Planetary Exploration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Muriel Noca; James E. Polk; Roger Lenard

    * Abstract. Given the recent advancements in power generation, waste heat rejection systems and electric propulsion, a reassessment of the benefits of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) is provided. Six different planetary missions are evaluated: a Pluto rendezvous, a Europa rendezvous, a TitadSaturn sample return, a Europa sample return, a fast Mars piloted mission and a fast Neptune piloted mission. These

  13. NASA's Space Launch System: A Flagship for Exploration Beyond Earth's Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, Todd A.; Creech, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA s) Space Launch System (SLS) Program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, is making measurable progress toward delivering a new capability for human and scientific exploration. To arrive at the current plan, government and industry experts carefully analyzed hundreds of architecture options and selected the one clear solution to stringent requirements for safety, affordability, and sustainability over the decades that the rocket will be in operation. Slated for its maiden voyage in 2017, the SLS will provide a platform for further cooperation in space based on the International Space Station model. This briefing will focus on specific progress that has been made by the SLS team in its first year, as well as provide a framework for evolving the vehicle for far-reaching missions to destinations such as near-Earth asteroids, Lagrange Points, and Mars. As this briefing will show, the SLS will serve as an infrastructure asset for robotic and human scouts of all nations by harnessing business and technological innovations to deliver sustainable solutions for space exploration.

  14. Field geologic observation and sample collection strategies for planetary surface exploration: Insights from the 2010 Desert RATS geologist crewmembers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurtado, José M.; Young, Kelsey; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Rice, James W.

    2013-10-01

    Observation is the primary role of all field geologists, and geologic observations put into an evolving conceptual context will be the most important data stream that will be relayed to Earth during a planetary exploration mission. Sample collection is also an important planetary field activity, and its success is closely tied to the quality of contextual observations. To test protocols for doing effective planetary geologic fieldwork, the Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) project deployed two prototype rovers for two weeks of simulated exploratory traverses in the San Francisco volcanic field of northern Arizona. The authors of this paper represent the geologist crewmembers who participated in the 2010 field test. We document the procedures adopted for Desert RATS 2010 and report on our experiences regarding these protocols. Careful consideration must be made of various issues that impact the interplay between field geologic observations and sample collection, including time management; strategies related to duplication of samples and observations; logistical constraints on the volume and mass of samples and the volume/transfer of data collected; and paradigms for evaluation of mission success. We find that the 2010 field protocols brought to light important aspects of each of these issues, and we recommend best practices and modifications to training and operational protocols to address them. Underlying our recommendations is the recognition that the capacity of the crew to "flexibly execute" their activities is paramount. Careful design of mission parameters, especially field geologic protocols, is critical for enabling the crews to successfully meet their science objectives.

  15. The Scale of Exploration: Planetary Missions Set in the Context of Tourist Destinations on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, L. V.; Bleacher, J. E.; Petro, N. E.; Mest, S. C.; Williams, S. H.

    2012-03-01

    What if the Apollo astronauts explored Washington, DC, or the Mars Exploration Rovers explored Disney World? We present educational versions of the traverse maps for Apollo and MER missions set in the context of popular tourist destinations on Earth.

  16. NASA Now: Earth Science Week: Exploring Energy - Duration: 7:32.

    NASA Video Gallery

    During this installment of NASA Now, youâ??ll see some of the ways NASA studies Earth. Youâ??ll meet Eric Brown de Colstoun, a physical scientist at NASAâ??s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbel...

  17. On-Board Perception System For Planetary Aerobot Balloon Navigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balaram, J.; Scheid, Robert E.; T. Salomon, Phil

    1996-01-01

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is implementing the Planetary Aerobot Testbed to develop the technology needed to operate a robotic balloon aero-vehicle (Aerobot). This earth-based system would be the precursor for aerobots designed to explore Venus, Mars, Titan and other gaseous planetary bodies. The on-board perception system allows the aerobot to localize itself and navigate on a planet using information derived from a variety of celestial, inertial, ground-imaging, ranging, and radiometric sensors.

  18. The NASA Solar System Exploration Virtual Institute: International Efforts in Advancing Lunar Science with Prospects for the Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Gregory K.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), originally chartered in 2008 as the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), is chartered to advance both the scientific goals needed to enable human space exploration, as well as the science enabled by such exploration. NLSI and SSERVI have in succession been "institutes without walls," fostering collaboration between domestic teams (7 teams for NLSI, 9 for SSERVI) as well as between these teams and the institutes' international partners, resulting in a greater global endeavor. SSERVI teams and international partners participate in sharing ideas, information, and data arising from their respective research efforts, and contribute to the training of young scientists and bringing the scientific results and excitement of exploration to the public. The domestic teams also respond to NASA's strategic needs, providing community-based responses to NASA needs in partnership with NASA's Analysis Groups. Through the many partnerships enabled by NLSI and SSERVI, scientific results have well exceeded initial projections based on the original PI proposals, proving the validity of the virtual institute model. NLSI and SSERVI have endeavored to represent not just the selected and funded domestic teams, but rather the entire relevant scientific community; this has been done through many means such as the annual Lunar Science Forum (now re-named Exploration Science Forum), community-based grass roots Focus Groups on a wide range of topics, and groups chartered to further the careers of young scientists. Additionally, NLSI and SSERVI have co-founded international efforts such as the pan-European lunar science consortium, with an overall goal of raising the tide of lunar science (and now more broadly exploration science) across the world.

  19. A Reliable Service-Oriented Architecture for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan; Keely, Leslie; Hehner, Dennis; Chan, Louise

    2005-01-01

    The Collaborative Information Portal (CIP) was enterprise software developed jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's highly successful Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Both MER and CIP have performed far beyond their original expectations. Mission managers and engineers ran CIP inside the mission control room at JPL, and the scientists ran CIP in their laboratories, homes, and offices. All the users connected securely over the Internet. Since the mission ran on Mars time, CIP displayed the current time in various Mars and Earth time zones, and it presented staffing and event schedules with Martian time scales. Users could send and receive broadcast messages, and they could view and download data and image files generated by the rovers' instruments. CIP had a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) based on industry standards, including J2EE and web services, and it integrated commercial off-the-shelf software. A user's interactions with the graphical interface of the CIP client application generated web services requests to the CIP middleware. The middleware accessed the back-end data repositories if necessary and returned results for these requests. The client application could make multiple service requests for a single user action and then present a composition of the results. This happened transparently, and many users did not even realize that they were connecting to a server. CIP performed well and was extremely reliable; it attained better than 99% uptime during the course of the mission. In this paper, we present overviews of the MER mission and of CIP. We show how CIP helped to fulfill some of the mission needs and how people used it. We discuss the criteria for choosing its architecture, and we describe how the developers made the software so reliable. CIP's reliability did not come about by chance, but was the result of several key design decisions. We conclude with some of the important lessons we learned form developing, deploying, and supporting the software.

  20. This is NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Highlights of NASA's first 20 years are described including the accomplishments of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from its creation in 1915 until its absorption into NASA in 1958. Current and future activities are assessed in relation to the Federal R&D research plan for FY 1980 and to U.S. civil space policy. A NASA organization chart accompanies descriptions of the responsibilities of Headquarters, its various offices, and field installations. Directions are given for contacting the agency for business activities or contracting purposes; for obtaining educational publications and other media, and for tours. Manpower statistics are included with a list of career opportunities. Special emphasis is given to manned space flight, space launch vehicles, space shuttle, planetary exploration, and investigations of the stars and the solar system.

  1. Our Place in Space: Exploring the Earth-Moon System and Beyond with NASA's CINDI E\\/PO Program

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. L. Urquhart; M. R. Hairston

    2010-01-01

    Where does space begin? How far is the Moon? How far is Mars? How does our dynamic star, the Sun, affect its family of planets? All of these questions relate to exploration of our Solar System, and are also part of the Education\\/Public Outreach (E\\/PO) Program for NASA's CINDI project, a space weather mission of opportunity. The Coupled Ion Neutral

  2. Exploring Extrasolar Planetary Systems: New Observations of Extrasolar Planets Enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The search for extrasolar planets has been increasingly success over the last few years. In excess of 700 systems are now known, and Kepler has approx.2500 additional candidate systems, yet to be confirmed. Recently, progress has also been made in directly imaging extrasolar planets, both from the ground and in space. In this presentation will discuss the techniques employed to discover planetary systems, and highlight the capabilities, enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST is a large 6.5 meter aperture infrared telescope that is scheduled for launch in 2018, and will allow us to transition to characterizing the properties of these extrasolar planets and the planetary systems in which they reside.

  3. Continued development of the radio science technique as a tool for planetary and solar system exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A possible alternative to a spacecraft monostatic radar system for surface studies of Titan is introduced. The results of a short study of the characteristics of a bistatic radar investigation of Titan's surface, presented in terms of the Voyager 1 flyby and a proposed Galileo orbiter of Saturn are outlined. The critical factors which need to be addressed in order to optimize the radio occultation technique for the study of clouds and cloud regions in planetary atmospheres are outlined. Potential improvements in the techniques for measuring small-scale structures in planetary atmospheres and ionospheres are addressed. The development of a technique for vastly improving the radial resolution from the radio occultation measurements of the rings of Saturn is discussed.

  4. Robonaut 2 Maps The Way For Human Exploration - Duration: 2:43.

    NASA Video Gallery

    Robonaut 2 is one of the advanced robotic capabilities being developed by NASA to survey deep space and planetary surfaces, and to map the way for future human exploration. From working onboard the...

  5. CanSat Competition: Contributing to the Development of NASA's Vision for Robotic Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, Joshua; Berman, Timothy; Billheimer, Thomas; Biclmer. Elizabeth; Hood, Stuart; Neas, Charles

    2007-01-01

    CanSat is an international student design-build-launch competition organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The competition is also sponsored by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The CanSat competition is designed for college, university and high school students wanting to participate in an applicable space-related competition. The objective of the CanSat competition is to complete space exploration missions by designing a specific system for a small sounding rocket payload which will follow and perform to a specific set of rules and guidelines for each year's competition. The competition encompasses a complete life-cycle of one year which includes all phases of design, integration, testing, judging and competition. The mission guidelines are based from space exploration missions and include bonus requirement options which teams may choose to participate in. The fundamental goal of the competition is to educate future engineers and scientists. This is accomplished by students applying systems engineering practices to a development project that incorporates an end-to-end life cycle, from requirements analysis, through preliminary design, integration and testing, an actual flight of the CanSat, and concluding with a post-mission debrief. This is done specifically with space related missions to bring a unique aspect of engineering and design to the competition. The competition has been progressing since its creation in 2005. The competition was originally meant to purely convey the engineering and design process to its participants, but through many experiences the competition has also undergone a learning experience with respect to systems engineering process and design. According

  6. Portable Diagnostics Technology Assessment for Space Missions. Part 1; General Technology Capabilities for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Emily S.; Chait, Arnon

    2010-01-01

    The changes in the scope of NASA s mission in the coming decade are profound and demand nimble, yet insightful, responses. On-board clinical and environmental diagnostics must be available for both mid-term lunar and long-term Mars exploration missions in an environment marked by scarce resources. Miniaturization has become an obvious focus. Despite solid achievements in lab-based devices, broad-based, robust tools for application in the field are not yet on the market. The confluence of rapid, wide-ranging technology evolution and internal planning needs are the impetus behind this work. This report presents an analytical tool for the ongoing evaluation of promising technology platforms based on mission- and application-specific attributes. It is not meant to assess specific devices, but rather to provide objective guidelines for a rational down-select of general categories of technology platforms. In this study, we have employed our expertise in the microgravity operation of fluidic devices, laboratory diagnostics for space applications, and terrestrial research in biochip development. A rating of the current state of technology development is presented using the present tool. Two mission scenarios are also investigated: a 30-day lunar mission using proven, tested technology in 5 years; and a 2- to 3-year mission to Mars in 10 to 15 years.

  7. Solar system exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, Clark R.; Ramlose, Terri (editor)

    1989-01-01

    The goal of planetary exploration is to understand the nature and development of the planets, as illustrated by pictures from the first two decades of spacecraft missions and by the imaginations of space artists. Planets, comets, asteroids, and moons are studied to discover the reasons for their similarities and differences and to find clues that contain information about the primordial process of planet origins. The scientific goals established by the National Academy of Sciences as the foundation of NASA's Solar System Exploration Program are covered: to determine the nature of the planetary system, to understand its origin and evolution, the development of life on Earth, and the principles that shape present day Earth.

  8. Human Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Current Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Larman, K. T.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010.

  9. Students and Teachers Exploring Live the Limits of Life on Earth with a Nasa/seti Expedition to the Highest Lakes on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Grigsby, B. H.

    2004-12-01

    "Life at the Extreme" is an education and public outreach (E/PO) project that engaged teachers and 4-12th grade students (an in part, Prek-3rd grade students) in an internet-based, virtual expedition with scientists as they conducted experiments in a unique planetary analog environment in the Bolivian High-Andes at nearly 6,000 m (~20,000ft). Through high altitude diving and sampling, they explored the Licancabur volcano summit lake, which is one of the closest analogs to ancient lakes on Mars. Their goal was to characterize the environment and to study the defense strategies of life against extreme physical conditions in order to understand the biological potential of Mars and prepare future planetary missions. This "virtual field" was in the form of an interactive web site, live interactive discussions, a live video webcast with the San Francisco Exploratorium, and videotapes. Through this medium, about 2,700 students, 90 schools and teachers were able to directly participate and extend their knowledge of scientific processes as they explored an extreme and unique terrestrial environment. In the weeks leading up to the expedition, and during in-the-field activities, students were able to communicate with scientists as they prepared for and conducted scientific investigations. The general public could follow the expedition as well on the web. Overall, the website received ~70,000 hits from all over the world during the time of the expedition. Allowing this access to scientists as they performed their investigations proved invaluable as students understood the implications of scientific work. The broader impact of this experience provided ground work for other educational institutions to conduct similar activities with leading scientists and bridge the gap that often exists between scientists and education. The project was conducted in partnership with the NASA's Ames Research Center's expedition to the Licancabur volcano, located on the border between Chile and Bolivia and is the location of one of the least explored lakes in the world. K-12 educators played a key roll in the development and implementation of curriculum for this project. In 2002, a teacher accompanied the scientific team to the summit to document their research for the benefit of all k-12 educators both as the exploration occurs and as an ongoing educational enquiry. The virtual field experience was funded through an IDEAS (The Initiative to Develop Education through Astronomy and Space Science) grant. The 2002-03, and 2003-04 virtual field experience can be found at: http://www.extremeenvironment.com.

  10. Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Planetary Instruments, part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Appleby, John F. (editor)

    1993-01-01

    This meeting was conceived in response to new challenges facing NASA's robotic solar system exploration program. This volume contains papers presented at the Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Planetary Instruments on 28-30 Apr. 1993. This meeting was conceived in response to new challenges facing NASA's robotic solar system exploration program. Over the past several years, SDIO has sponsored a significant technology development program aimed, in part, at the production of instruments with these characteristics. This workshop provided an opportunity for specialists from the planetary science and DoD communities to establish contacts, to explore common technical ground in an open forum, and more specifically, to discuss the applicability of SDIO's technology base to planetary science instruments.

  11. Evaluating Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Technology in Planetary Exploration: Demonstrating Instrument Stability and Understanding Analytical Constraints and Limits for Basaltic Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, K. E.; Hodges, K. V.; Evans, C. A.

    2012-01-01

    While large-footprint X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments are reliable providers of elemental information about geologic samples, handheld XRF instruments are currently being developed that enable the collection of geochemical data in the field in short time periods (approx.60 seconds) [1]. These detectors are lightweight (1.3kg) and can provide elemental abundances of major rock forming elements heavier than Na. While handheld XRF detectors were originally developed for use in mining, we are working with commercially available instruments as prototypes to explore how portable XRF technology may enable planetary field science [2,3,4]. If an astronaut or robotic explorer visited another planetary surface, the ability to obtain and evaluate geochemical data in real-time would be invaluable, especially in the high-grading of samples to determine which should be returned to Earth. We present our results on the evaluation of handheld XRF technology as a geochemical tool in the context of planetary exploration.

  12. Planetary Protection for the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) Mission Candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erd, Christian

    2012-07-01

    The JUICE mission is being studied by ESA in the framework of its Cosmic Vision programme, addressing the topical questions ``What are the conditions for planet formation and emergence of life?'' and ``How does the Solar System work?''. Jupiter can be seen as a paradigm of planetary systems forming a mini-solar system on its own. By investigating its diverse satellites, the understanding of the formation and evolution such of systems would be advanced. The question of whether possible habitats of life are provided underneath the surfaces of the icy satellites Callisto, Ganymede and Europa would be addressed by remote sensing and in situ observations of their surfaces, their compositions and their interiors, including the characterizations of subsurface liquid water oceans, including targeting of recently active regions on Europa for inferring the minimal thickness of the icy crust. JUICE would furthermore provide observations of Jupiter's atmosphere addressing open questions on the circulation at mid-latitudes, and also including coverage of the polar region from a distance of about 29~R_J (see also L. Fletcher et al. in meeting C3.1 "Planetary Atmospheres"). JUICE would study the properties of the magnetosphere and would provide extensive monitoring of Jupiter's plasma environment at distances ranging from more than 100 to 8.5~R_J, which is the distance of Europa. The unique magnetic and plasma interactions between the Jupiter environment and Ganymede would be target to focused investigations, from orbit around Ganymede (see also A. Coates et al in session C3.2 ``Planetary Upper Atmospheres, Ionospheres and Magnetospheres''). The magnetic field and its potential habitability of Ganymede makes it a unique target for specific investigation. The presentation will briefly describe the science objectives of the JUICE mission (see also C.~Erd et al. in session B0.3 ``Active Natural Satellites in the Solar System''), and will then discuss the baseline mission profile, which includes two Europa flybys, causing the mission to be in Planetary Protection Category III, requiring the probability of deposition of a viable organism to be <10^{-4}. The intended approach for complying with the planetary protection requirements is to avoid active sterilization measures by ensuring that the spacecraft's probability for critical failure is sufficiently low. The duration of critical contamination of Europa is limited by the fact that that the spacecraft's trajectory needs to be actively modified towards Europa for the flybys, and afterwards the spacecraft will be on a trajectory with higher pericenter, significantly reducing any accidental collision. The presentation will specifically discuss plans on mitigating the risk of contamination of Europa. It is intended as early information for planetary protection group and to seek comments and feed-back on the approach. At the time of writing the JUCE mission is still in competition with two other missions (ATHENA, NGO) for the L1 launch slot in ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme. The decision on which mission to be carried forward to Definition Phase is expected to be taken in April 2012, and will be reported at the meeting. The current status of the development and next steps will be summarized too.

  13. Robotic Thin Section Sample Preparation Device for In Situ Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreyer, C. B.; Zacny, K.; Skok, J.; Steele, J.; Paulsen, G.; Nakagawa, M.; Schwendeman, J.; Carrell, T.; Szczesiak, M.

    2008-12-01

    Petrographic thin sections are used on Earth to identify minerals. The data from thin sections together with chemical rock data could result in a much better interpretation of planetary geology. A petrographic thin section is a well polished thin (~30 micron) sample of rock mounted on a glass slide. When viewed under a polarizing microscope one can quickly observe minerals from the interference colors. With unpolarized light some textural and structural features can be identified. Making of thin section is an art that takes many years of experience to acquire. All thin sections on Earth have been done manually. The Colorado School of Mines and Honeybee Robotics have been developing a robotic thin section device that one day may be used on planetary surface missions to autonomously slice, grind and polish a piece of rock. In particular, we have been developing methods for rough cutting, epoxy/slide application, and grinding/polishing of a rock to thin section quality. Examination of rock surface finish was done quantitatively using surface roughness measurement and qualitatively by a thin section expert. Here we report on the progress to date.

  14. Exploring Extra-Solar Planetary Interiors: New Chemistry at Extreme Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spaulding, Dylan

    2011-06-01

    The physical and transport properties of silicate and oxide melts at extreme pressures and temperatures are critical for understanding early planetary evolution and the aftermath of late-stage giant impacts such as that believed to have formed the Moon. Here we report on a suite of laser-driven shock experiments on major mineral phases of significance to the terrestrial mantle and extra-solar rocky planets SiO2, MgO and MgSiO3. Experiments on two polymorphs of SiO2 were used to validate experimental technique and are compared to previous results. We extend Hugoniot equation of state measurements for MgO and MgSiO3 to 6.4 and 9.5 Mbar, respectively, constraining controversial predications for the ultra-high pressure melt curves. Experiments on amorphous and crystalline MgSiO3 starting materials show the first evidence of a liquid-liquid phase transition with a volume reduction of 5-8% near 3.5 Mbar and over a range of temperature of at least 7000 K, suggesting the potential for unexpectedly complex chemistry in silicate liquids. Transport properties are extracted from time-resolved optical reflectivity data and imply that the distinction between silicate and metallic constituents are blurred in deep planetary interiors with potential implications for coupling across the present-day core-mantle boundary.

  15. An Evaluation of Novel Cleaning Techniques for Planetary Protection Applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Fei Chen; G. Kazarians; R. Beaudet; R. Kern

    2008-01-01

    NASA has an aggressive plan for exploring Mars. Future in situ life detection and sample return missions will rely on clean and effectively sterile spacecraft to ensure reliable, valid science measurements. These spacecraft levy substantial requirements for planetary protection. Here, we report the results of a comparative analysis of the efficacy of three different cleaning approaches to remove bacterial spores

  16. NASA program plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Major facts are given for NASA'S planned FY-1981 through FY-1985 programs in aeronautics, space science, space and terrestrial applications, energy technology, space technology, space transportation systems, space tracking and data systems, and construction of facilities. Competition and cooperation, reimbursable launchings, schedules and milestones, supporting research and technology, mission coverage, and required funding are considered. Tables and graphs summarize new initiatives, significant events, estimates of space shuttle flights, and major missions in astrophysics, planetary exploration, life sciences, environmental and resources observation, and solar terrestrial investigations. The growth in tracking and data systems capabilities is also depicted.

  17. JSC-1 Lunar Simulant http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/HumanExplore/Exploration/EXLibrary/DOCS/EIC050.HTML 1 of 11 5/24/2005 7:30 AM

    E-print Network

    Rathbun, Julie A.

    of 11 5/24/2005 7:30 AM Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV American Society of CivilJSC-1 Lunar Simulant http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/HumanExplore/Exploration/EXLibrary/DOCS/EIC050.HTML 1 developed and characterized under the auspices of the NASA Johnson Space Center. This simulant was produced

  18. Reference Mission Version 3.0 Addendum to the Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team. Addendum; 3.0

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, Bret G. (Editor)

    1998-01-01

    This Addendum to the Mars Reference Mission was developed as a companion document to the NASA Special Publication 6107, "Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team." It summarizes changes and updates to the Mars Reference Missions that were developed by the Exploration Office since the final draft of SP 6107 was printed in early 1999. The Reference Mission is a tool used by the exploration community to compare and evaluate approaches to mission and system concepts that could be used for human missions to Mars. It is intended to identify and clarify system drivers, significant sources of cost, performance, risk, and schedule variation. Several alternative scenarios, employing different technical approaches to solving mission and technology challenges, are discussed in this Addendum. Comparing alternative approaches provides the basis for continual improvement to technology investment plan and a general understanding of future human missions to Mars. The Addendum represents a snapshot of work in progress in support of planning for future human exploration missions through May 1998.

  19. Far Travelers: The Exploring Machines.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicks, Oran W.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) program of lunar and planetary exploration produced a flood of scientific information about the moon, planets and the environment of interplanetary space. This book is an account of the people, machines, and the events of this scientific enterprise. It is a story of organizations,…

  20. The Exploration of Mars. Educational Brief: Planetary Science, Grades 8-12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    This booklet gives a history of human observations of Mars, including observations made from U.S. unmanned spacecraft. Also included is a discussion, "Encountering a New World: How to Explore a Planet," which contains classroom discussion questions and four classroom activities. The classroom activities include: (1) How to explore a planet; (2)…