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Sample records for nasa planetary exploration

  1. 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.

  2. Proceedings of the 2004 NASA/JPL Workshop on Physics for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strayer, Donald M. (Editor); Banerdt, Bruce; Barmatz, M.; Chung, Sang; Chui, Talso; Hamell, R.; Israelsson, Ulf; Jerebets, Sergei; Le, Thanh; Litchen, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    The conference was held April 20-22, 2004, the NASA/JPL Workshop on Physics for Planetary Exploration focused on NASA's new concentration on sending crewed missions to the Moon by 2020 and then to Mars and beyond. However, our ground-based physics experiments are continuing to be funded, and it will be possible to compete for $80-90 million in new money from the NASA exploration programs. Papers presented at the workshop related how physics research can help NASA to prepare for and accomplish this grand scheme of exploration. From sensors for water on the Moon and Mars, to fundamental research on those bodies, and to aids for navigating precisely to landing sites on distant planets, diverse topics were addressed by the Workshop speakers.

  3. NASA Planetary Rover Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lavery, David; Bedard, Roger J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    The NASA Planetary Rover Project was initiated in 1989. The emphasis of the work to date has been on development of autonomous navigation technology within the context of a high mobility wheeled vehicle at the JPL and an innovative legged locomotion concept at Carnegie Mellon University. The status and accomplishments of these two efforts are discussed. First, however, background information is given on the three rover types required for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) whose objective is a manned mission to Mars.

  4. Nasa's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program: Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. A.

    2016-06-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Division supports the geologic mapping of planetary surfaces through a distinct organizational structure and a series of research and analysis (R&A) funding programs. Cartography and geologic mapping issues for NASA's planetary science programs are overseen by the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT), which is an assessment group for cartography similar to the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group (MEPAG) for Mars exploration. MAPSIT's Steering Committee includes specialists in geological mapping, who make up the Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS). I am the GEMS Chair, and with a group of 3-4 community mappers we advise the U.S. Geological Survey Planetary Geologic Mapping Coordinator (Dr. James Skinner) and develop policy and procedures to aid the planetary geologic mapping community. GEMS meets twice a year, at the Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March, and at the Annual Planetary Mappers' Meeting in June (attendance is required by all NASA-funded geologic mappers). Funding programs under NASA's current R&A structure to propose geological mapping projects include Mars Data Analysis (Mars), Lunar Data Analysis (Moon), Discovery Data Analysis (Mercury, Vesta, Ceres), Cassini Data Analysis (Saturn moons), Solar System Workings (Venus or Jupiter moons), and the Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools (PDART) program. Current NASA policy requires all funded geologic mapping projects to be done digitally using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. In this presentation we will discuss details on how geologic mapping is done consistent with current NASA policy and USGS guidelines.

  5. NASA Planetary Visualization Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogan, P.; Kim, R.

    2004-12-01

    NASA World Wind allows one to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging the combination of high resolution LandSat imagery and SRTM elevation data to experience Earth in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there. NASA World Wind combines LandSat 7 imagery with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation data, for a dramatic view of the Earth at eye level. Users can literally fly across the world's terrain from any location in any direction. Particular focus was put into the ease of usability so people of all ages can enjoy World Wind. All one needs to control World Wind is a two button mouse. Additional guides and features can be accessed though a simplified menu. Navigation is automated with single clicks of a mouse as well as the ability to type in any location and automatically zoom to it. NASA World Wind was designed to run on recent PC hardware with the same technology used by today's 3D video games. NASA World Wind delivers the NASA Blue Marble, spectacular true-color imagery of the entire Earth at 1-kilometer-per-pixel. Using NASA World Wind, you can continue to zoom past Blue Marble resolution to seamlessly experience the extremely detailed mosaic of LandSat 7 data at an impressive 15-meters-per-pixel resolution. NASA World Wind also delivers other color bands such as the infrared spectrum. The NASA Scientific Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has produced a set of visually intense animations that demonstrate a variety of subjects such as hurricane dynamics and seasonal changes across the globe. NASA World Wind takes these animations and plays them directly on the world. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) produces a set of time relevant planetary imagery that's updated every day. MODIS catalogs fires, floods, dust, smoke, storms and volcanic activity. NASA World Wind produces an easily customized view of this information and marks them directly on the globe. When one

  6. Refocusing NASA Planetary Science Funding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielinski, Sarah

    2006-10-01

    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.

  7. New NASA Technologies for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is developing new technologies to enable planetary exploration. NASA's Space Launch System is an advance vehicle for exploration beyond LEO. Robotic explorers like the Mars Science Laboratory are exploring Mars, making discoveries that will make possible the future human exploration of the planet. In this presentation, we report on technologies being developed at NASA KSC for planetary exploration.

  8. Future NASA plans for the exploration of the terrestrial and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S.

    1974-01-01

    A brief outline of NASA's space exploration plans for the 1970s is given. Research of the upper atmosphere and near-earth space will slack off in comparison with that which was done in the past, although now missions with very specific tasks will be launched, instead of those intended to get a general picture of these regions. Space Shuttle and Spacelab will open up the possibility of using the ionosphere as a huge plasma laboratory without walls. Exploration of other planets will continue with the Mars Lander and Viking Lander, the Pioneer-Venus program, and flybys of Jupiter and Saturn.

  9. 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.

  10. Planetary Exploration in ESA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwehm, Gerhard H.

    2005-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on planetary exploration in the European Space Agency is shown. The topics include: 1) History of the Solar System Material; 2) ROSETTA: The Comet Mission; 3) A New Name For The Lander: PHILAE; 4) The Rosetta Mission; 5) Lander: Design Characteristics; 6) SMART-1 Mission; 7) MARS Express VENUS Express; 8) Planetary Exploration in ESA The Future.

  11. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

    NASA-Ames is intensively developing virtual-reality (VR) capabilities that can extend and augment computer-generated and remote spatial environments. VR is envisioned not only as a basis for improving human/machine interactions involved in planetary exploration, but also as a medium for the more widespread sharing of the experience of exploration, thereby broadening the support-base for the lunar and planetary-exploration endeavors. Imagery representative of Mars are being gathered for VR presentation at such terrestrial sites as Antarctica and Death Valley.

  12. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

    Exploring planetary environments is central to NASA's missions and goals. A new computing technology called Virtual Reality has much to offer in support of planetary exploration. This technology augments and extends human presence within computer-generated and remote spatial environments. Historically, NASA has been a leader in many of the fundamental concepts and technologies that comprise Virtual Reality. Indeed, Ames Research Center has a central role in the development of this rapidly emerging approach to using computers. This ground breaking work has inspired researchers in academia, industry, and the military. Further, NASA's leadership in this technology has spun off new businesses, has caught the attention of the international business community, and has generated several years of positive international media coverage. In the future, Virtual Reality technology will enable greatly improved human-machine interactions for more productive planetary surface exploration. Perhaps more importantly, Virtual Reality technology will democratize the experience of planetary exploration and thereby broaden understanding of, and support for, this historic enterprise.

  13. 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

  14. Sharing Planetary Exploration: The Education and Public Outreach Program for the NASA MESSENGER Mission to Orbit Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, S. C.; Stockman, S.; Chapman, C. R.; Leary, J. C.; McNutt, R. L.

    2003-12-01

    are active partners in each of the public outreach efforts. MESSENGER fully leverages other NASA EPO programs, including the Solar System Exploration EPO Forum and the Solar System Ambassadors. The overarching goal of the MESSENGER EPO program is to convey the excitement of planetary exploration to students and the lay public throughout the nation.

  15. NASA's Planetary Science Missions and Participations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, James

    2016-04-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Division (PSD) and space agencies around the world are collaborating on an extensive array of missions exploring our solar system. Planetary science missions are conducted by some of the most sophisticated robots ever built. International collaboration is an essential part of what we do. NASA has always encouraged international participation on our missions both strategic (ie: Mars 2020) and competitive (ie: Discovery and New Frontiers) and other Space Agencies have reciprocated and invited NASA investigators to participate in their missions. NASA PSD has partnerships with virtually every major space agency. For example, NASA has had a long and very fruitful collaboration with ESA. ESA has been involved in the Cassini mission and, currently, NASA funded scientists are involved in the Rosetta mission (3 full instruments, part of another), BepiColombo mission (1 instrument in the Italian Space Agency's instrument suite), and the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer mission (1 instrument and parts of two others). In concert with ESA's Mars missions NASA has an instrument on the Mars Express mission, the orbit-ground communications package on the Trace Gas Orbiter (launched in March 2016) and part of the DLR/Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer instruments going onboard the ExoMars Rover (to be launched in 2018). NASA's Planetary Science Division has continuously provided its U.S. planetary science community with opportunities to include international participation on NASA missions too. For example, NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers Programs provide U.S. scientists the opportunity to assemble international teams and design exciting, focused planetary science investigations that would deepen the knowledge of our Solar System. Last year, PSD put out an international call for instruments on the Mars 2020 mission. This procurement led to the selection of Spain and Norway scientist leading two instruments and French scientists providing a significant portion of

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. NASA Exploration Design Challenge

    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...

  2. Aerobots and Hydrobots for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Chris

    2000-01-01

    In this new Millennium, NASA will expand its presence in space. Many new planetary bodies have been discovered, and some previously known bodies are now believed to have oceans. We now know of 66 moons in our own Solar System, one with an atmosphere, 16 with water ice or oceans, and 5 with both. In addition, we now know of 20 extra-solar planets. In order to expand our presence in space and explore in a cost effective manner, we need a repertoire of new types of planetary exploration vehicles to explore both atmospheres and oceans. To address this need a spectrum of new classes of vehicles are being developed. These include aerobots and hydrobots, and incorporate Department of Defense miniaturization developments and smart materials. This paper outlines: the remarkable miniaturization developments applicable to robotic vehicles for the exploration of planetary atmospheres and oceans; Aerobots, the vehicles designed for planetary atmospheric exploration; Hydrobots, those designed for planetary ocean exploration; planetary atmospheric data; and Europa ocean exploration missions.

  3. NASA and the Search for Planetary Systems: An Historical Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dick, S. J.

    2005-08-01

    Historically the search for planetary systems arose in three successive but overlapping contexts at NASA: 1) the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the 1970s; 2) the expansion of planetary science in the 1980s; and 3) studies in the 1990s that coalesced into the program known as the ``Astronomical Search for Origins." What began as workshops and ad hoc discussions in the early 1970s ended a quarter-century later in some of the most complex programs NASA had ever conceived, including detailed designs for real space missions. Under the realm of SETI, planetary detection techniques were discussed in three NASA-sponsored activities in the 1970s: the report of the workshops chaired by Philip Morrison, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (1977), based on two smaller workshops chaired by Jesse Greenstein; David Black's 1976 Project Orion summer study to design a ground-based optical interferometer; and a 1979 workshop on planetary systems run by Black and William Brunk from NASA Headquarters. In the second area, by the mid-1980s, in the wake of the IRAS findings and the Beta Pictoris phenomenon, NASA's planetary science program was attempting to extend its reach from our solar system to other planetary systems. It did this through its own committees and the advisory capacity of the National Academy's Space Science Board (SSB). The NASA publication Planetary Exploration through the Year 2000: An Augmented Program (1986), the SSB's own study published in 1990, and the study known as Toward Other Planetary Systems (TOPS), were particularly important. By 1996 NASA's new ``Origins" program was announced, including NGST, SIM and TPF. Under the Origins program, the search for planetary systems was an integral part of the NASA space science enterprise guiding principle of cosmic evolution, an essential step in the search for life.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Public communication strategy for NASA's planetary protection program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billings, L.

    The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Planetary Protection Office, in the Office of Space Science, has a long-term initiative under way in communication research and planning. The possibility of extraterrestrial life and efforts to search for evidence of it is one of NASA's key missions, and of great interest to the public. Planetary protection plays a key role in the search for signs of life elsewhere, and as NASA expands its solar system exploration efforts, communication planning for planetary protection must expand to meet growing needs. NASA's Clearly Protection Office has long recognized the importance of communications in accomplishing its goals and objectives. With solar system exploration missions advancing into the era of sample return and with the science of astrobiology changing assumptions about the nature and boundaries of life, the Planetary Protection office is expanding its communication planning efforts and taking first steps toward implementation of a long-term strategy. For the past 10 years, communication research sponsored by the NASA planetary protection program has focused on reaching members of the science community and addressing legal and ethical concerns. In 2003, the program expanded its communication research efforts, initiating the development of a communication strategy based on a participatory model and intended to address the needs of a broad range of extra audiences. The Planetary Protection Office aims to ensure that its scientific, bureaucratic, and other constituencies are fully informed about planetary protection policies and procedures and prepared to communicate with a variety of public audiences about issues relating to planetary protection. This paper will describe NASA's ongoing planetary protection communication research efforts, focusing on development of a participatory communication strategy to enable broadest possible public participation in planning and development of solar system sample

  8. 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

  9. 78 FR 21421 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-10

    .... Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358-4452, fax... Activities --Mars 2020 Planning --Human Exploration Planetary Protection Plan It is imperative that...

  10. 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.

  11. Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, Brian; Matthies, Larry; Gennery, Donald; Cooper, Brian; Nguyen, Tam; Litwin, Todd; Mishkin, Andrew; Stone, Henry

    A program to develop planetary rover technology is underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under sponsorship of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Developmental systems with the necessary sensing, computing, power, and mobility resources to demonstrate realistic forms of control for various missions have been developed, and initial testing has been completed. These testbed systems and the associated navigation techniques used are described. Particular emphasis is placed on three technologies: Computer-Aided Remote Driving (CARD), Semiautonomous Navigation (SAN), and behavior control. It is concluded that, through the development and evaluation of such technologies, research at JPL has expanded the set of viable planetary rover mission possibilities beyond the limits of remotely teleoperated systems such as Lunakhod. These are potentially applicable to exploration of all the solid planetary surfaces in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and the moons of the gas giant planets.

  12. Optical information processing for NASA's space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chao, Tien-Hsin; Ochoa, Ellen; Juday, Richard

    1990-01-01

    The development status of optical processing techniques under development at NASA-JPL, NASA-Ames, and NASA-Johnson, is evaluated with a view to their potential applications in future NASA planetary exploration missions. It is projected that such optical processing systems can yield major reductions in mass, volume, and power requirements relative to exclusively electronic systems of comparable processing capabilities. Attention is given to high-order neural networks for distortion-invariant classification and pattern recognition, multispectral imaging using an acoustooptic tunable filter, and an optical matrix processor for control problems.

  13. 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.

  14. NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devirian, Michael

    2009-01-01

    September 24, 2008 NASA has established the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) to conduct scientific investigations in one of the most exciting new fields of astronomy, the exploration and characterization of planets around other stars in search of those that might show signs of harboring life. In this paper, we will describe that program and how it is expected to work. Key to success in this field is the advancement of optical capabilities to unprecedented levels of precision and stability. The technology program conducted by ExEP will strive to achieve these advancements to enable near-term moderate scale missions and eventually lead to large flagship-class missions that will deeply probe the most promising earth-like planets for signs of biogenic activity. Significant opportunities for community participation in technology development will be available through NASA research solicitations that will call for technology advancements in specific areas. These developments will focus on challenges posed by a strategy for the progression of scientific investigations developed by the science community through bodies such as the Exoplanet Task Force, the Exoplanet Science Forum and ultimately the NRC Decadal Survey. ExEP will be advised in its tactical implementation of this strategy by Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG), which will engage a broad segment of the community in deliberation and then focus its reports through a core group appointed by NASA HQ. The coming decade offers opportunities for continued exoplanet investigations through ground observations, sub-orbital platforms and moderate scale space missions, and the anticipated process and timing of these opportunities will be described. The Exoplanet Exploration Program is managed for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-12-01

    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

  19. Planetary Exploration in the Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slivan, S. M.; Binzel, R. P.

    1997-07-01

    We have developed educational materials to seed a series of undergraduate level exercises on "Planetary Exploration in the Classroom." The goals of the series are to teach modern methods of planetary exploration and discovery to students having both science and non-science backgrounds. Using personal computers in a "hands-on" approach with images recorded by planetary spacecraft, students working through the exercises learn that modern scientific images are digital objects that can be examined and manipulated in quantitative detail. The initial exercises we've developed utilize NIH Image in conjunction with images from the Voyager spacecraft CDs. Current exercises are titled "Using 'NIH IMAGE' to View Voyager Images", "Resolving Surface Features on Io", "Discovery of Volcanoes on Io", and "Topography of Canyons on Ariel." We expect these exercises will be released during Fall 1997 and will be available via 'anonymous ftp'; detailed information about obtaining the exercises will be on the Web at "http://web.mit.edu/12s23/www/pec.html." This curriculum development was sponsored by NSF Grant DUE-9455329.

  20. 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.

  1. 75 FR 33838 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-15

    ... Parham, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of Meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with...

  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. 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.

  4. Planetary Protection Technologies: Technical Challenges for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buxbaum, Karen L.

    2005-01-01

    The search for life in the solar system, using either in situ analysis or sample return, brings with it special technical challenges in the area of planetary protection. Planetary protection (PP) requires planetary explorers to preserve biological and organic conditions for future exploration and to protect the Earth from potential extraterrestrial contamination that could occur as a result of sample return to the Earth-Moon system. In view of the exploration plans before us, the NASA Solar System Exploration Program Roadmap published in May 2003 identified planetary protection as one of 13 technologies for "high priority technology investments." Recent discoveries at Mars and Jupiter, coupled with new policies, have made this planning for planetary protection technology particularly challenging and relevant.New missions to Mars have been formulated, which present significantly greater forward contamination potential. New policies, including the introduction by COSPAR of a Category IVc for planetary protection, have been adopted by COSPAR in response. Some missions may not be feasible without the introduction of new planetary protection technologies. Other missions may be technically possible but planetary protection requirements may be so costly to implement with current technology that they are not affordable. A strategic investment strategy will be needed to focus on technology investments designed to enable future missions and reduce the costs of future missions. This presentation will describe some of the potential technological pathways that may be most protective.

  5. NASA's Solar System Exploration Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, James

    2005-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing NASA's Solar System Exploration Program is shown. The topics include: 1) Solar System Exploration with Highlights and Status of Programs; 2) Technology Drivers and Plans; and 3) Summary

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Evolving directions in NASA's planetary rover requirements and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisbin, C. R.; Montemerlo, Mel; Whittaker, W.

    1993-01-01

    This paper reviews the evolution of NASA's planning for planetary rovers (i.e. robotic vehicles which may be deployed on planetary bodies for exploration, science analysis, and construction) and some of the technology that has been developed to achieve the desired capabilities. The program is comprised of a variety of vehicle sizes and types in order to accommodate a range of potential user needs. This includes vehicles whose weight spans a few kilograms to several thousand kilograms; whose locomotion is implemented using wheels, tracks, and legs; and whose payloads vary from microinstruments to large scale assemblies for construction. We first describe robotic vehicles, and their associated control systems, developed by NASA in the late 1980's as part of a proposed Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission. Suggested goals at that time for such an MRSR mission included navigating for one to two years across hundreds of kilometers of Martian surface; traversing a diversity of rugged, unknown terrain; collecting and analyzing a variety of samples; and bringing back selected samples to the lander for return to Earth. Subsequently, we present the current plans (considerably more modest) which have evolved both from technological 'lessons learned' in the previous period, and modified aspirations of NASA missions. This paper describes some of the demonstrated capabilities of the developed machines and the technologies which made these capabilities possible.

  10. 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.

  11. NASA's Exploration Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tyburski, Timothy

    2006-01-01

    A Bold Vision for Space Exploration includes: 1) Complete the International Space Station; 2) Safely fly the Space Shuttle until 2010; 3) Develop and fly the Crew Exploration Vehicle no later than 2012; 4) Return to the moon no later than 2020; 5) Extend human presence across the solar system and beyond; 6) Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program; 7) Develop supporting innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures; and 8) Promote international and commercial participation in exploration.

  12. NASA planetary data: applying planetary satellite remote sensing data in the classroom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liggett, P.; Dobinson, E.; Sword, B.; Hughes, D.; Martin, M.; Martin, D.

    2002-01-01

    NASA supports several data archiving and distribution mechanisms that provide a means whereby scientists can participate in education and outreach through the use of technology for data and information dissemination. The Planetary Data System (PDS) is sponsored by NASA's Office of Space Science. Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research. In addition, the NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF), an international system of planetary image libraries, maintains photographic and digital data as well as mission documentation and cartographic data.

  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

  14. Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cezzar, Ruknet

    1993-01-01

    The project's main contributions have been in the area of student support. Throughout the project, at least one, in some cases two, undergraduate students have been supported. By working with the project, these students gained valuable knowledge involving the scientific research project, including the not-so-pleasant reporting requirements to the funding agencies. The other important contribution was towards the establishment of a graduate program in computer science at Hampton University. Primarily, the PAPER project has served as the main research basis in seeking funds from other agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, for establishing a research infrastructure in the department. In technical areas, especially in the first phase, we believe the trip to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and gathering together all the pertinent information involving experimental computer architectures aimed for planetary explorations was very helpful. Indeed, if this effort is to be revived in the future due to congressional funding for planetary explorations, say an unmanned mission to Mars, our interim report will be an important starting point. In other technical areas, our simulator has pinpointed and highlighted several important performance issues related to the design of operating system kernels for MIMD machines. In particular, the critical issue of how the kernel itself will run in parallel on a multiple-processor system has been addressed through the various ready list organization and access policies. In the area of neural computing, our main contribution was an introductory tutorial package to familiarize the researchers at NASA with this new and promising field zone axes (20). Finally, we have introduced the notion of reversibility in programming systems which may find applications in various areas of space research.

  15. Using Open Innovation to Solve NASA Planetary Data Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buquo, L.; Galica, C.; Rader, S.; Woolverton, C.; Wolf, A.; Becker, K.; Ching, M.

    2015-06-01

    The Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, a NASA-led, government-wide center of excellence that provides guidance on all aspects of implementing prize competitions will highlight four successful challenges related to planetary data.

  16. Robots and humans: synergy in planetary exploration.

    PubMed

    Landis, Geoffrey A

    2004-12-01

    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. PMID:15795977

  17. Robots and humans: synergy in planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    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. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Robots and Humans: Synergy in Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Evolving directions in NASA's planetary rover requirements and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisbin, C. R.; Montemerlo, Mel; Whittaker, W.

    1993-01-01

    The evolution of NASA's planning for planetary rovers (that is robotic vehicles which may be deployed on planetary bodies for exploration, science analysis, and construction) and some of the technology that was developed to achieve the desired capabilities is reviewed. The program is comprised of a variety of vehicle sizes and types in order to accommodate a range of potential user needs. This includes vehicles whose weight spans a few kilograms to several thousand kilograms; whose locomotion is implemented using wheels, tracks, and legs; and whose payloads vary from microinstruments to large scale assemblies for construction. Robotic vehicles and their associated control systems, developed in the late 1980's as part of a proposed Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission, are described. Goals suggested at the time for such a MRSR mission included navigating for one to two years across hundreds of kilometers of Martian surface; traversing a diversity of rugged, unknown terrain; collecting and analyzing a variety of samples; and bringing back selected samples to the lander for return to Earth. Current plans (considerably more modest) which have evolved both from technological 'lessons learned' in the previous period, and modified aspirations of NASA missions are presented. Some of the demonstrated capabilities of the developed machines and the technologies which made these capabilities possible are described.

  1. 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

  2. NASA Budget Focuses on Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielinski, Sarah

    2006-02-01

    NASA has decided to rebalance its priorities following several years of healthy growth for science, turning its focus instead towards expanding support for manned space exploration, explained NASA Administrator Michael Griffin at a 16 February hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science. The Bush Administration has requested $16.8 billion for NASA in Fiscal Year 2007, an increase of 3.2 percent over the previous year. Most of the benefit would go to the exploration program, which would get a 55 percent increase in funding-for a total of $3.9 billion-primarily for the development of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle and Crew Launch Vehicle. The science budget would grow by 1.5 percent in FY2007-to $5.3 billion-and then is projected to grow by just one percent per year in 2008-2011.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. New approaches to planetary exploration - Spacecraft and information systems design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, A. V.; Neugebauer, M.; Stuart, J.; Miller, R. B.

    1983-01-01

    Approaches are recommended for use by the NASA Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) in lowering the costs of planetary missions. The inclusion of off-the-shelf hardware, i.e., configurations currently in use for earth orbits and constructed on a nearly assembly-line basis, is suggested. Alterations would be necessary for the thermal control, power supply, telecommunications equipment, and attitude sensing in order to be serviceable as a planetary observer spacecraft. New technology can be developed only when cost reduction for the entire mission would be realized. The employment of lower-cost boost motors, or even integrated boost motors, for the transfer out of earth orbit is indicated, as is the development of instruments that do not redundantly gather the same data as previous planetary missions. Missions under consideration include a Mars geoscience climatology Orbiter, a lunar geoscience Orbiter, a near-earth asteroid rendezvous, a Mars aeronomy Orbiter, and a Venus atmospheric probe.

  8. Sonar equations for planetary exploration.

    PubMed

    Ainslie, Michael A; Leighton, Timothy G

    2016-08-01

    The set of formulations commonly known as "the sonar equations" have for many decades been used to quantify the performance of sonar systems in terms of their ability to detect and localize objects submerged in seawater. The efficacy of the sonar equations, with individual terms evaluated in decibels, is well established in Earth's oceans. The sonar equations have been used in the past for missions to other planets and moons in the solar system, for which they are shown to be less suitable. While it would be preferable to undertake high-fidelity acoustical calculations to support planning, execution, and interpretation of acoustic data from planetary probes, to avoid possible errors for planned missions to such extraterrestrial bodies in future, doing so requires awareness of the pitfalls pointed out in this paper. There is a need to reexamine the assumptions, practices, and calibrations that work well for Earth to ensure that the sonar equations can be accurately applied in combination with the decibel to extraterrestrial scenarios. Examples are given for icy oceans such as exist on Europa and Ganymede, Titan's hydrocarbon lakes, and for the gaseous atmospheres of (for example) Jupiter and Venus. PMID:27586766

  9. 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.

  10. NASA Planetary Scientist Profile Emily Wilson

    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...

  11. Information architecture for a planetary 'exploration web'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamarra, N.; McVittie, T.

    2002-01-01

    'Web services' is a common way of deploying distributed applications whose software components and data sources may be in different locations, formats, languages, etc. Although such collaboration is not utilized significantly in planetary exploration, we believe there is significant benefit in developing an architecture in which missions could leverage each others capabilities. We believe that an incremental deployment of such an architecture could significantly contribute to the evolution of increasingly capable, efficient, and even autonomous remote exploration.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    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 (ExoPAG). 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-28

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: In... and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of...

  20. NASA Johnson Space Center's Planetary Sample Analysis and Mission Science (PSAMS) Laboratory: A National Facility for Planetary Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draper, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA Johnson Space Center's (JSC's) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, part of the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, houses a unique combination of laboratories and other assets for conducting cutting edge planetary research. These facilities have been accessed for decades by outside scientists, most at no cost and on an informal basis. ARES has thus provided substantial leverage to many past and ongoing science projects at the national and international level. Here we propose to formalize that support via an ARES/JSC Plane-tary Sample Analysis and Mission Science Laboratory (PSAMS Lab). We maintain three major research capa-bilities: astromaterial sample analysis, planetary process simulation, and robotic-mission analog research. ARES scientists also support planning for eventual human ex-ploration missions, including astronaut geological training. We outline our facility's capabilities and its potential service to the community at large which, taken together with longstanding ARES experience and expertise in curation and in applied mission science, enable multi-disciplinary planetary research possible at no other institution. Comprehensive campaigns incorporating sample data, experimental constraints, and mission science data can be conducted under one roof.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Science Case for Planetary Exploration with Planetary CubeSats and SmallSats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Raymond, Carol; Jaumann, Ralf; Vane, Gregg; Baker, John

    2016-07-01

    Nano-spacecraft and especially CubeSats are emerging as viable low cost platforms for planetary exploration. Increasing miniaturization of instruments and processing performance enable smart and small packages capable of performing full investigations. While these platforms are limited in terms of payload and lifetime, their form factor and agility enable novel mission architectures and a refreshed relationship to risk. Leveraging a ride with a mothership to access far away destinations can significantly augment the mission science return at relatively low cost. Depending on resources, the mothership may carry several platforms and act as telecom relay for a distributed network or other forms of fractionated architectures. In Summer 2014 an international group of scientists, engineers, and technologists started a study to define investigations to be carried out by nano-spacecrafts. These applications flow down from key science priorities of interest across space agencies: understanding the origin and organization of the Solar system; characterization of planetary processes; assessment of the astrobiological significance of planetary bodies across the Solar system; and retirement of strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) for Human exploration. This presentation will highlight applications that make the most of the novel architectures introduced by nano-spacecraft. Examples include the low cost reconnaissance of NEOs for science, planetary defense, resource assessment, and SKGs; in situ chemistry measurements (e.g., airless bodies and planetary atmospheres), geophysical network (e.g., magnetic field measurements), coordinated physical and chemical characterization of multiple icy satellites in a giant planet system; and scouting, i.e., risk assessment and site reconnaissance to prepare for close proximity observations of a mothership (e.g., prior to sampling). Acknowledgements: This study is sponsored by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Part of this work is

  5. 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.

  6. Exploring Science with NASA Spacelink.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schack, Markham B.

    1995-01-01

    Describes the use of NASA Spacelink Computer Information Service for Educators to obtain instructional materials and ideas for classroom demonstrations. Uses the free-fall concept of zero gravity as an example. Provides NASA Spacelink contact information. (JRH)

  7. The planetary exploration programme after two decades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, J. N.

    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 then given to the next two missions which are currently authorized and under development, the Galileo Jupiter orbiter and descent probe mission and the International Solar Polar Mission, and to possible missions for the next two decades, which would require additional thrust capabilities, including cometary missions, the Venus Orbiting Imaging Radar mission, a follow-on solar probe mission, a Saturn-Titan dual probe, and a Mars sample return mission.

  8. Advanced flight computers for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, R. Rhoads

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Overview of NASA Finesse (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) Science and Exploration Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Lim, D.S.S.; Hughes, S.; Nawotniak, S. Kobs; Garry, B.; Sears, D.; Neish, C.; Osinski, G. R.; Hodges, K.; Downs, M.; Busto, J.; Cohen, B.; Caldwell, B.; Jones, A. J. P.; Johnson, S.; Kobayashi, L.; Colaprete, A.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) project was selected as a research team by NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). SSERVI is a joint Institute supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD). As such, FINESSE is focused on a science and exploration field-based research program to generate strategic knowledge in preparation for human and robotic exploration of other planetary bodies including our Moon, Mars moons Phobos and Deimos, and near-Earth asteroids. FINESSE embodies the philosophy that "science enables exploration and exploration enables science".

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Explore at NASA Goddard Promo

    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...

  15. Planetary exploration through year 2000: A core Program, part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The Core Program, goals for planetary exploration, continuity and expansion, core program missions, mission implementation, anticipated accomplishments, resource requirements, and near term budget decisions are discussed.

  16. NASA's Space Lidar Measurements of Earth and Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.

    2010-01-01

    A lidar instrument on a spacecraft was first used to measure planetary surface height and topography on the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon in 1971, The lidar was based around a flashlamp-pumped ruby laser, and the Apollo 15-17 missions used them to make a few thousand measurements of lunar surface height from orbit. With the advent of diode pumped lasers in the late 1980s, the lifetime, efficiency, resolution and mass of lasers and space lidar all improved dramatically. These advances were utilized in NASA space missions to map the shape and surface topography of Mars with > 600 million measurements, demonstrate initial space measurements of the Earth's topography, and measured the detailed shape of asteroid. NASA's ICESat mission in Earth orbit just completed its polar ice measurement mission with almost 2 billion measurements of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, and demonstrated measurements to Antarctica and Greenland with a height resolution of a few em. Space missions presently in cruise phase and in operation include those to Mercury and a topographic mapping mission of the Moon. Orbital lidar also have been used in experiments to demonstrate laser ranging over planetary distances, including laser pulse transmission from Earth to Mars orbit. Based on the demonstrated value of the measurements, lidar is now the preferred measurement approach for many new scientific space missions. Some missions planned by NASA include a planetary mission to measure the shape and dynamics of Europa, and several Earth orbiting missions to continue monitoring ice sheet heights, measure vegetation heights, assess atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and to map the Earth surface topographic heights with 5 m spatial resolution. This presentation will give an overview of history, ongoing work, and plans for using space lidar for measurements of the surfaces of the Earth and planets.

  17. 78 FR 64024 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-25

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  18. 76 FR 58303 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting.

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-20

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  19. 76 FR 31641 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-01

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  20. 78 FR 15378 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-11

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  1. 76 FR 7235 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-09

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  2. 78 FR 56246 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-12

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  3. 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 Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will...

  4. 76 FR 64387 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-18

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  5. 75 FR 2892 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-19

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The...

  6. 77 FR 4837 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-31

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  7. 75 FR 50783 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-17

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will...

  8. 77 FR 22807 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-17

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  9. 78 FR 39341 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting.

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-01

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This ] Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will be held...

  10. 76 FR 75914 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-05

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  11. 75 FR 80851 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-23

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will...

  12. 78 FR 77719 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-24

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  13. 77 FR 53919 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-04

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  14. 75 FR 12310 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-15

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The...

  15. 76 FR 62456 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-07

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will...

  16. 76 FR 16841 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-25

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the ] Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will...

  17. Scientific field training for human planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, D. S. S.; Warman, G. L.; Gernhardt, M. L.; McKay, C. P.; Fong, T.; Marinova, M. M.; Davila, A. F.; Andersen, D.; Brady, A. L.; Cardman, Z.; Cowie, B.; Delaney, M. D.; Fairén, A. G.; Forrest, A. L.; Heaton, J.; Laval, B. E.; Arnold, R.; Nuytten, P.; Osinski, G.; Reay, M.; Reid, D.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Shepard, R.; Slater, G. F.; Williams, D.

    2010-05-01

    Forthcoming human planetary exploration will require increased scientific return (both in real time and post-mission), longer surface stays, greater geographical coverage, longer and more frequent EVAs, and more operational complexities than during the Apollo missions. As such, there is a need to shift the nature of astronauts' scientific capabilities to something akin to an experienced terrestrial field scientist. To achieve this aim, the authors present a case that astronaut training should include an Apollo-style curriculum based on traditional field school experiences, as well as full immersion in field science programs. Herein we propose four Learning Design Principles (LDPs) focused on optimizing astronaut learning in field science settings. The LDPs are as follows: LDP#1: Provide multiple experiences: varied field science activities will hone astronauts' abilities to adapt to novel scientific opportunities LDP#2: Focus on the learner: fostering intrinsic motivation will orient astronauts towards continuous informal learning and a quest for mastery LDP#3: Provide a relevant experience - the field site: field sites that share features with future planetary missions will increase the likelihood that astronauts will successfully transfer learning LDP#4: Provide a social learning experience - the field science team and their activities: ensuring the field team includes members of varying levels of experience engaged in opportunities for discourse and joint problem solving will facilitate astronauts' abilities to think and perform like a field scientist. The proposed training program focuses on the intellectual and technical aspects of field science, as well as the cognitive manner in which field scientists experience, observe and synthesize their environment. The goal of the latter is to help astronauts develop the thought patterns and mechanics of an effective field scientist, thereby providing a broader base of experience and expertise than could be achieved

  18. 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.

  19. Space Networking Demonstrated for Distributed Human-Robotic Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bizon, Thomas P.; Seibert, Marc A.

    2003-01-01

    Communications and networking experts from the NASA Glenn Research Center designed and implemented an innovative communications infrastructure for a simulated human-robotic planetary mission. The mission, which was executed in the Arizona desert during the first 2 weeks of September 2002, involved a diverse team of researchers from several NASA centers and academic institutions.

  20. Future NASA solar system exploration activities: A framework for international cooperation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    French, Bevan M.; Ramlose, Terri; Briggs, Geoffrey A.

    1992-01-01

    The goals and approaches for planetary exploration as defined for the NASA Solar System Exploration Program are discussed. The evolution of the program since the formation of the Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) in 1980 is reviewed and the primary missions comprising the program are described.

  1. Planetary Exploration Panel PEX: Support for lunar exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2010-05-01

    The new era of space exploration will be international, human-centric, transdisciplinary and participatory. It will also provide an opportunity to inspire, motivate, and involve an ever increasing number of countries. The objective of the COSPAR Panel on Space Exploration (PEX) is to provide the best, independent, input to support the development of worldwide space exploration programs and to safeguard the scientific assets of solar system objects. The input will be drawn from expertise provided via the contacts maintained by COSPAR's various Associates within the international community and scientific entities. For lunar exploration, the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) and the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), as well as other committees, represent important foci for an even broader base of expertise. Seven NASA Lunar Science Institute nodes are actively supporting space exploration in the US. In addition, the International Space Exploration Coordination group ISECG was established to implement the Global Exploration Strategy GES, contained in a document that was elaborated by representatives of 14 space agencies. PEX provides synergies of existing documents and roadmaps of each of these bodies to support existing space exploration groups, foster transnational alliances and support joint research and education.

  2. Advanced Sensors for NASA's Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lal, Ravindra B.; Clinton, R. G.; Frazier, Donald

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a variety of advanced sensors needed for NASA's space exploration. The topics include: 1) The vision of the President of the United States of America for Space Exploration; 2) The report of the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy; 3) Exploration Systems Interim Report; 4) Major areas of sensor needs; 5) Classes of material; and 6) Variety of Sensors for Space Exploration.

  3. 76 FR 69768 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-09

    ..., FL 32899. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate, NASA... . The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics: --Mars Missions: Status and Plans... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee Planetary Protection Subcommittee;...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schurmeier, H. M.

    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 a look at some of the planetary mission opportunities for the next decade are presented. A case is made for the value to civilization of ongoing planetary exploration. The pioneering U.S. planetary explorers, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter, are discussed in the second part of the work. Launch velocity, navigation, the remote system, the earth base, and management technology are considered in the third part. Authorized near-term U.S. planetary projects and opportunities of the next decade are described in the last section.

  5. 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.

  6. NASA Explorer Schools: School Recognition Opportunities

    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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. NASA: Innovate, Explore, Discover, Inspire

    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...

  11. 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.

  12. Developing Advanced Support Technologies for Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berdich, Debra P.; Campbel, 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 systems 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Feasibility study of an automatic vehicle for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerli, C.; Murolo, A.; Mugnuolo, R.; Gallo, E.; Cantatore, F.; Giardino, L.

    1993-01-01

    A study with the following objectives is reported: definition of the scientific objectives of a planetary exploration using a rover; definition of the planetary rover requirements; identification and characterization of the main subsystems of the rover; definition and critical areas and technological risks; and verification of the possibility on international cooperation on a planetary mission. The use of such a rover to investigate the Moon and Mars is focused upon.

  16. 76 FR 69292 - NASA Advisory Council Science Committee Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-08

    .... A notice was published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 64387 on October 18, 2011 announcing the... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council Science Committee Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces that the meeting of the Planetary Science...

  17. 76 FR 10626 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-25

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will be held...

  18. Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwin, Lionel Ernest

    All planetary surface exploration missions thus far have employed traditional rovers with a rocker-bogie suspension. These rovers can navigate moderately rough and flat terrain, but are not designed to traverse rugged terrain with steep slopes. The fact is, however, that many scientifically interesting missions require exploration platforms with capabilities for navigating such types of chaotic terrain. This issue motivates the development of new kinds of rovers that take advantage of the latest advances in robotic technologies to traverse rugged terrain efficiently. This dissertation proposes and analyses one such rover concept called the Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) that is principally aimed at addressing the above issue. Biologically inspired by the way the armadillo curls up into a ball when threatened, and the way the golden wheel spider uses the dynamic advantages of a sphere to roll down hills when escaping danger, the novel TRREx rover can traverse like a traditional 6-wheeled rover over conventional terrain, but can also transform itself into a sphere, when necessary, to travel down steep inclines, or navigate rough terrain. This work presents the proposed design architecture and capabilities followed by the development of mathematical models and experiments that facilitate the mobility analysis of the TRREx in the rolling mode. The ability of the rover to self-propel in the rolling mode in the absence of a negative gradient increases its versatility and concept value. Therefore, a dynamic model of a planar version of the problem is first used to investigate the feasibility and value of such self-propelled locomotion - 'actuated rolling'. Construction and testing of a prototype Planar/Cylindrical TRREx that is capable of demonstrating actuated rolling is presented, and the results from the planar dynamic model are experimentally validated. This planar model is then built upon to develop a mathematical model of the spherical TRREx in the

  19. NASA Explorer Schools Teachers Selected for 2011 School Recognition Award

    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...

  20. NASA'S Robotic Mars Exploration Program: 2010 - 2020

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCleese, D.; Garvin, J.

    Exploration of Mars is currently a high priority for all space-faring nations. NASA has received initial Presidential approval for an aggressive program of Mars exploration extending until at least 2030. Among the central elements of this program are frequent visits by robotic missions. Following the Viking missions, NASA's robotic exploration of Mars was restarted in the mid-1990s with the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder. Today, six spacecraft in that program are operating at Mars. This paper describes NASA's plan for a discovery-driven program of robotic exploration in the next decade (2010 -- 2020). New opportunities are described for the worldwide science community to utilize orbiters, rovers and sample return missions for Mars research,

  1. NASA Ames Sustainability Initiatives: Aeronautics, Space Exploration, and Sustainable Futures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grymes, Rosalind A.

    2015-01-01

    In support of the mission-specific challenges of aeronautics and space exploration, NASA Ames produces a wealth of research and technology advancements with significant relevance to larger issues of planetary sustainability. NASA research on NexGen airspace solutions and its development of autonomous and intelligent technologies will revolutionize both the nation's air transporation systems and have applicability to the low altitude flight economy and to both air and ground transporation, more generally. NASA's understanding of the Earth as a complex of integrated systems contributes to humanity's perception of the sustainability of our home planet. Research at NASA Ames on closed environment life support systems produces directly applicable lessons on energy, water, and resource management in ground-based infrastructure. Moreover, every NASA campus is a 'city'; including an urbanscape and a workplace including scientists, human relations specialists, plumbers, engineers, facility managers, construction trades, transportation managers, software developers, leaders, financial planners, technologists, electricians, students, accountants, and even lawyers. NASA is applying the lessons of our mission-related activities to our urbanscapes and infrastructure, and also anticipates a leadership role in developing future environments for living and working in space.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Planetary surface exploration MESUR/autonomous lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  5. Instrument Design and In Orbit Performance of Planetary L1dars at NASA GSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Cavanaugh, John F.; Smith, James C.; Abshire, James B.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2012-01-01

    Space lidars provides a unique and powerful tool in earth environment monitoring and planetary exploration. Lidars operate at a much shorter wavelength than radars and can have a much narrower beam and much smaller transmitter and receiver. Lidars carry their own light sources and can continue measurement day and night, and over polar regions, where the passive instruments cannot observe. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has developed several space lidars, three of them on planetary missions. These were the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on the Mars Observer and Mars Global Surveyor missions, the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on the MErcury Surface Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission and the Lunar Orbital Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance (LRO) mission. These lidars all use similar technologies but with major improvement from one instrument In the next in size, power, measurement capability and operating environment.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. NASA's Small Explorer Program: Review Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasan, H.

    1998-01-01

    NASA's Small Explorer Program is a level of effort program within the Office of Space Science (OSS). Solicitations for proposals are issued through Announcements of Opportunity. OSS intends to launch a Small Explorer mission every twelve months within the Small Explorer funding profile (\\$69M in FY97 dollars.) All proposals go through an extensive review process before a final selection is made. This paper summarizes various steps in the review process which consists of peer review of proposals for scientific and technical excellence, feasibility of mission execution, cost, and education and public outreach activities. The peer reviews are followed by categorization of proposals within NASA Headquarters. An oversight committee consisting of senior NASA officials reviews the entire process, before the proposals are presented to the Board of Directors for final selection by the Associate Administrator.

  9. Mission operations systems for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclaughlin, William I.; Wolff, Donna M.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of the paper is twofold: (1) to present an overview of the processes comprising planetary mission operations as conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and (2) to present a project-specific and historical context within which this evolving process functions. In order to accomplish these objectives, the generic uplink and downlink functions are described along with their specialization to current flight projects. Also, new multimission capabilities are outlined, including prototyping of advanced-capability software for subsequent incorporation into more automated future operations. Finally, a specific historical ground is provided by listing some major operations software plus a genealogy of planetary missions beginning with Mariner 2 in 1962.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. MIDAS: Advanced Remote Sensing for Planetary Science and Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delory, G. T.; de Pater, I.; Manga, M.; Lipps, J.; Dalton, J.; Pitman, J.; UCB CIPS Collaboration; MIDAS Team

    2005-12-01

    The Multiple Instrument Distributed Aperture Sensor (MIDAS) is a revolutionary approach to planetary remote sensing. The integration of optical interferometric techniques and distributed aperture technology enables MIDAS to perform as a diffraction-limited, wide-field imaging spectrometer with simultaneous high spatial and spectral resolution. Here we describe the results of a science and technical feasibility study of MIDAS prototypes funded under the NASA High Capability Instrument Concepts and Technology (HCICT) program as a potential science payload for missions to the outer planets and their moons. Activities include testbed demonstrations in the lab during which the spatial and spectral capabilities of MIDAS-derived approaches have been explored, using both source imagery and materials relevant to outer planet environments. The high spatial resolution capabilities of MIDAS combined with nm spectral resolution will greatly advance our understanding of surface composition in terms of minerals, organics, volatiles, and their mixtures. Utilizing cm scale spatial resolution in the visible from a 100 km orbit, features such as crack movements and other indicators of tidal forcing could be resolved on the surface of Europa. At higher altitudes MIDAS engages in global, high resolution imaging spectroscopy with meter-scale resolution. Beyond traditional remote sensing, MIDAS is well suited to active techniques including remote Raman, Flourescence, and IR illumination investigations in order to resolve surface composition and explore otherwise dim regions. Other applications for MIDAS include remote sensing measurements on the Moon and Mars, where orders of magnitude advances beyond the resolutions of current data sets are possible.

  13. NASA Laboratory Analysis for Manned Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krihak, Michael (Editor); Shaw, Tianna

    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. SUMMARY The NASA Exploration Laboratory Analysis project seeks to develop capability to diagnose anticipated space exploration medical conditions on future manned missions. To achieve

  14. NASA Lunar Robotics for Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara A.; Lavoie, Anthony R.; Gilbert, Paul A.; Horack, John M.

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the robotic missions that NASA and the international partnership are undertaking to investigate the moon to support science and exploration objectives. These missions include the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), Moon Mineralogy Mapper (MMM), Lunar Atmosphere, Dust and Environment Explorer (LADEE), and the International Lunar Network (ILN). The goals and instrumentation of these missions are reviewed.

  15. Power Goals for the NASA Exploration Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeevarajan, J.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the requirements for electrical power for future NASA exploration missions to the lunar surface. A review of the Constellation program is included as an introduction to the review of the batteries required for safe and reliable power for the ascent stage of the Altair Lunar Lander module.

  16. 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.

  17. 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."

  18. 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.

  19. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendleton, Yvonne J.

    2015-11-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration, and was created to enable a deeper understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies. SSERVI is supported jointly by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The institute currently focuses on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars, but the institute goals may expand, depending on NASA's needs, in the future. The 9 initial teams, selected in late 2013 and funded from 2014-2019, have expertise across the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences. Their research includes various aspects of the surface, interior, exosphere, near-space environments, and dynamics of these bodies.NASA anticipates a small number of additional teams to be selected within the next two years, with a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) likely to be released in 2016. Calls for proposals are issued every 2-3 years to allow overlap between generations of institute teams, but the intent for each team is to provide a stable base of funding for a five year period. SSERVI's mission includes acting as a bridge between several groups, joining together researchers from: 1) scientific and exploration communities, 2) multiple disciplines across a wide range of planetary sciences, and 3) domestic and international communities and partnerships.The SSERVI central office is located at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The administrative staff at the central office forms the organizational hub for the domestic and international teams and enables the virtual collaborative environment. Interactions with geographically dispersed teams across the U.S., and global partners, occur easily and frequently in a collaborative virtual environment. This poster will provide an overview of the 9 current US teams and

  20. NASA Ames Arc Jets and Range, Capabilities for Planetary Entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fretter, Ernest F.

    2005-01-01

    NASA is pursuing innovative technologies and concepts as part of America's Vision for Space Exploration. The rapidly emerging field of nanotechnology has led to new concepts for multipurpose shields to prevent catastrophic loss of vehicles and crew against the triple threats of aeroheating during atmospheric entry, radiation (Solar and galactic cosmic rays) and Micrometorid/Orbital Debris (MMOD) strikes. One proposed concept is the Thermal Radiation Impact Protection System (TRIPS) using carbon nanotubes, hydrogenated carbon nanotubes, and ceramic coatings as a multi-use TPS. The Thermophysics Facilities Branch of the Space Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center provides testing services for the development and validation of the present and future concepts being developed by NASA and national and International research firms. The Branch operates two key facilities - the Range Complex and the Arc Jets. The Ranges include both the Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) and the Hypervelocity Free Flight (HFF) gas guns best suited for MMOD investigations. Test coupons can be installed in the AVGR or HFF and subjected to particle impacts from glass or metal particles from micron to _ inch (6.35-mm) diameters and at velocities from 5 to 8 kilometers per second. The facility can record high-speed data on film and provide damage assessment for analysis by the Principle Investigator or Ames personnel. Damaged articles can be installed in the Arc Jet facility for further testing to quantify the effects of damage on the heat shield s performance upon entry into atmospheric environments.

  1. 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

  2. Exploring the planetary boundary for chemical pollution.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Miriam L; de Wit, Cynthia A; Molander, Sverker; Scheringer, Martin; Backhaus, Thomas; Lohmann, Rainer; Arvidsson, Rickard; Bergman, Åke; Hauschild, Michael; Holoubek, Ivan; Persson, Linn; Suzuki, Noriyuki; Vighi, Marco; Zetzsch, Cornelius

    2015-05-01

    Rockström et al. (2009a, 2009b) have warned that humanity must reduce anthropogenic impacts defined by nine planetary boundaries if "unacceptable global change" is to be avoided. Chemical pollution was identified as one of those boundaries for which continued impacts could erode the resilience of ecosystems and humanity. The central concept of the planetary boundary (or boundaries) for chemical pollution (PBCP or PBCPs) is that the Earth has a finite assimilative capacity for chemical pollution, which includes persistent, as well as readily degradable chemicals released at local to regional scales, which in aggregate threaten ecosystem and human viability. The PBCP allows humanity to explicitly address the increasingly global aspects of chemical pollution throughout a chemical's life cycle and the need for a global response of internationally coordinated control measures. We submit that sufficient evidence shows stresses on ecosystem and human health at local to global scales, suggesting that conditions are transgressing the safe operating space delimited by a PBCP. As such, current local to global pollution control measures are insufficient. However, while the PBCP is an important conceptual step forward, at this point single or multiple PBCPs are challenging to operationalize due to the extremely large number of commercial chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that cause myriad adverse effects to innumerable species and ecosystems, and the complex linkages between emissions, environmental concentrations, exposures and adverse effects. As well, the normative nature of a PBCP presents challenges of negotiating pollution limits amongst societal groups with differing viewpoints. Thus, a combination of approaches is recommended as follows: develop indicators of chemical pollution, for both control and response variables, that will aid in quantifying a PBCP(s) and gauging progress towards reducing chemical pollution; develop new technologies and technical and social

  3. The Pluto System in the Context of Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The NASA New Horizons mission will conduct a 6-month long reconnaissance flyby of the Pluto system from January to July 2015. In this presentation, I will set the scientific context for the mission by summarizing the revolution in planetary science brought about by the Kuiper Belt, then summarize the key science objectives of the mission, and the briefly review the payload capabilities aboard New Horizons to carry out these objetives. I will close with an overview of the encoutner timeline.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Applications of Nanosats to Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klesh, Andrew T.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.

    2012-01-01

    NanoSat technology has opened Earth orbit to extremely low-cost science missions through a common interface that provides greater launch accessibility. A natural question is the role that CubeSat-derived NanoSats could play to increase the science return of deep space missions. We do not consider single instrument nano-satellites as likely to complete entire Discovery-class missions alone, but believe that nano-satellites could augment larger missions to significantly increase science return. The key advantages offered by these mini-spacecrafts over previous planetary probes is the common availability of advanced subsystems that open the door to a large variety of science experiments, including new guidance, navigation and control capabilities. In this paper, multiple NanoSat science applications are suggested that could take advantage of these features. We also address the significant challenges and questions that remain as obstacles to the use of nano-satellites in deep space missions. Finally, we provide some thoughts on a development roadmap toward interplanetary usage of NanoSpacecraft.

  7. 75 FR 57520 - NASA Advisory Council; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Supporting Research and Technology Working...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-21

    ... Technology Working Group; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of... Technology Working Group of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. DATED: Wednesday... the meeting will include: Presentation of Working Group Process. Discussion of Role of NASA HQ...

  8. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Merging Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Y. J.; Schmidt, G. K.; Bailey, B. E.; Minafra, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration, and was created to enable a deeper understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies. SSERVI is supported jointly by NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The institute currently focuses on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars, but the institute goals may expand, depending on NASA's needs, in the future. The 9 initial teams, selected in late 2013 and funded from 2014-2019, have expertise across the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences. Their research includes various aspects of the surface, interior, exosphere, near-space environments, and dynamics of these bodies. NASA anticipates a small number of additional teams to be selected within the next two years, with a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) likely to be released in 2016. Calls for proposals are issued every 2-3 years to allow overlap between generations of institute teams, but the intent for each team is to provide a stable base of funding for a five year period. SSERVI's mission includes acting as a bridge between several groups, joining together researchers from: 1) scientific and exploration communities, 2) multiple disciplines across a wide range of planetary sciences, and 3) domestic and international communities and partnerships. The SSERVI central office is located at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The administrative staff at the central office forms the organizational hub for the domestic and international teams and enables the virtual collaborative environment. Interactions with geographically dispersed teams across the U.S., and global partners, occur easily and frequently in a collaborative virtual environment. This poster will provide an overview of the 9 current US teams and

  9. 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

  10. Student Planetary Investigators: A Program to Engage Students in Authentic Research Using NASA Mission Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallau, K.; Turney, D.; Beisser, K.; Edmonds, J.; Grigsby, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Student Planetary Investigator (PI) Program engages students in authentic scientific research using NASA mission data. This student-focused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program combines problem-based learning modules, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum, and live interactive webinars with mission scientists to create authentic research opportunities and career-ready experiences that prepare and inspire students to pursue STEM occupations. Primarily for high school students, the program employs distance-learning technologies to stream live presentations from mission scientists, archive those presentations to accommodate varied schedules, and collaborate with other student teams and scientists. Like its predecessor, the Mars Exploration Student Data Team (MESDT) program, the Student PI is free and open to teams across the country. To date, students have drafted research-based reports using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mini-RF instrument and the MESSENGER Mercury orbiter, with plans to offer similar programs aligned with additional NASA missions in the future pending available funding. Overall, the program has reached about 600 students and their educators. Assessments based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered for each Student PI program have shown that students gain new understanding about the scientific process used by real-world scientists as well as gaining enthusiasm for STEM. Additionally, it is highly adaptable to other disciplines and fields. The Student PI program was created by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Space Department Education and Public Outreach office with support from NASA mission and instrument science and engineering teams.

  11. Titan Explorer: A Future NASA Flagship Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leary, J.; Lorenz, R. D.; Waite, J. H.; Lockwood, M.

    2007-12-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission has provided startling new results at Titan - lakes, dunes, organic aerosol formation in the ionosphere, cryovolcanoes - just to name a view. The science is rich and compelling, but as is usually the case more new questions are raised than old ones answered. We propose a new NASA Flagship class mission, which will explore the Earth-like Organic-rich World of Titan. TITAN EXPLORER is configured as a three element mission: an orbiter, a lander, and a balloon designed to provide a multi-scale study of the intimately coupled interior-surface-atmosphere-magnetosphere system with special emphasis on the production and fate of organics. The full mission complement has 25 instruments ranging from radar altimeters to a surface chemical analysis package. TITAN EXPLORER will orbit Titan for 4 years, returning orders of magnitude more data than Cassini, whose flybys add up to only 4 days. The operations of the balloon and lander are planned to provide data for the first year of the mission. The multi-element nature of the mission presents many options for foreign teaming and cost containment : even an orbiter-only floor mission offers a striking scientific return. The results of the funded NASA study conducted by APL, JPL, Langley, and with science support from SwRI and other institutions are presented in this poster and include the scientific objectives, proposed payload, spacecraft elements and mission design.

  12. Titan Explorer: A Future NASA Flagship Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waite, J. H.; Lorenz, R.; Leary, J.; Lockwood, M. K.

    2007-10-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission has provided startling new results at Titan - lakes, dunes, organic aerosol formation in the ionosphere, cryovolcanoes - just to name a view. The science is rich and compelling, but as is usually the case more new questions are raised than old ones answered. We propose a new NASA Flagship class mission, which will explore the Earth-like Organic-rich World of Titan. TITAN EXPLORER is configured as a three element mission: an orbiter, a lander, and a balloon designed to provide a multi-scale study of the intimately coupled interior-surface-atmosphere-magnetosphere system with special emphasis on the production and fate of organics. The full mission complement has 25 instruments ranging from radar altimeters to a surface chemical analysis package. TITAN EXPLORER will orbit Titan for 4 years, returning orders of magnitude more data than Cassini, whose flybys add up to only 4 days. The operations of the balloon and lander are planned to provide data for the first year of the mission. The multi-element nature of the mission presents many options for foreign teaming and cost containment. The results of the funded NASA study conducted by APL, JPL, Langeley, and with science support from SwRI and other institutions are presented in this poster and include the scientific objectives, proposed payload, spacecraft elements and mission design.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Power Goals for NASA's Exploration Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeevarajan, Judith A.

    2009-01-01

    Exciting Future Programs ahead for NASA. Power is needed for all Exploration vehicles and for the missions. For long term missions as in Lunar and Mars programs, safe, high energy/ultra high energy batteries are required. Safety is top priority for human-rated missions. Two-fault tolerance to catastrophic failures is required for human-rated safety To meet power safety goals -inherent cell safety may be required; it can lessen complexity of external protective electronics and prevents dependency on hardware that may also have limitations. Inherent cell safety will eliminate the need to carry out screening of all cells (X-rays, vibration, etc.)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. NASA's Planetary Science Summer School: Training Future Mission Leaders in a Concurrent Engineering Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, K. L.; Lowes, L. L.; Budney, C. J.; Sohus, A.

    2014-12-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Summer School (PSSS) is an intensive program for postdocs and advanced graduate students in science and engineering fields with a keen interest in planetary exploration. The goal is to train the next generation of planetary science mission leaders in a hands-on environment involving a wide range of engineers and scientists. It was established in 1989, and has undergone several incarnations. Initially a series of seminars, it became a more formal mission design experience in 1999. Admission is competitive, with participants given financial support. The competitively selected trainees develop an early mission concept study in teams of 15-17, responsive to a typical NASA Science Mission Directorate Announcement of Opportunity. They select the mission concept from options presented by the course sponsors, based on high-priority missions as defined by the Decadal Survey, prepare a presentation for a proposal authorization review, present it to a senior review board and receive critical feedback. Each participant assumes multiple roles, on science, instrument and project teams. They develop an understanding of top-level science requirements and instrument priorities in advance through a series of reading assignments and webinars help trainees. Then, during the five day session at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they work closely with concurrent engineers including JPL's Advanced Projects Design Team ("Team X"), a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. All are mentored and assisted directly by Team X members and course tutors in their assigned project roles. There is a strong emphasis on making difficult trades, simulating a real mission design process as accurately as possible. The process is intense and at times dramatic, with fast-paced design sessions and late evening study sessions. A survey of PSSS alumni

  19. Planetary Protection: Organisation, Requirements and Needs for Future Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debus, A.

    2004-04-01

    According to the United Nations (UN) Space Treaties and in line with the COSPAR recommendations, the exploration of the Solar System needs to comply with planetary protection constraints in order to avoid the contamination of extraterrestrial bodies (particularly the biological contamination by terrestrial microorganisms), and to protect our Earth from an eventual contamination carried by return systems or return samples. Indirectly, it is also required to preserve the properties of extraterrestrial samples in order to conduct exobiological investigations with the maximum degree of confidence. These constraints impose unusual tasks based principally on sterilisation, sterile and ultraclean integration, microbiological and cleanliness control, the use of high reliability systems in order to avoid crashs, and to implement them during each concerned project development and operation. In the frame of future planetary missions, taking into past experience, the main needs can now been defined in order to conduct European missions in compliance with planetary protection regulations.

  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. Planetary protection issues in advance of human exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Davis, Wanda L.

    1989-01-01

    The major planetary quarantine issues associated with human exploration of Mars, which is viewed as being more likely to harbor indigenous life than is the moon, are discussed. Special attention is given to the environmental impact of human missions to Mars due to contamination and mechanical disturbances of the local environment, the contamination issues associated with the return of humans, and the planetary quarantine strategy for a human base. It is emphasized that, in addition to the question of indigenous life, there may be some concern of returning to earth the earth microorganisms that have spent some time in the Martian environment. It is suggested that, due to the fact that a robot system can be subjected to more stringent controls and protective treatments than a mission involving humans, a robotic sample return mission can help to eliminate many planetary-quarantine concerns about returning samples.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Comparing Apollo and Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Operations Paradigms for Human Exploration During NASA Desert-Rats Science Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yingst, R. A.; Cohen, B. A.; Ming, D. W.; Eppler, D. B.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) field test is one of several analog tests that NASA conducts each year to combine operations development, technology advances and science under planetary surface conditions. The D-RATS focus is testing preliminary operational concepts for extravehicular activity (EVA) systems in the field using simulated surface operations and EVA hardware and procedures. For 2010 hardware included the Space Exploration Vehicles, Habitat Demonstration Units, Tri-ATHLETE, and a suite of new geology sample collection tools, including a self-contained GeoLab glove box for conducting in-field analysis of various collected rock samples. The D-RATS activities develop technical skills and experience for the mission planners, engineers, scientists, technicians, and astronauts responsible for realizing the goals of exploring planetary surfaces.

  9. Planetary protection issues in advance of human exploration of Mars.

    PubMed

    McKay, C P; Davis, W L

    1989-01-01

    Current planetary quarantine considerations focus on robotic missions and attempt a policy of no biological contamination. The presence of humans on Mars, however, will inevitably result in biological contamination and physical alteration of the local environment. The focus of planetary quarantine must therefore shift toward defining and minimizing the inevitable contamination associated with humans. This will involve first determining those areas that will be affected by the presence of a human base, then verifying that these environments do not harbor indigenous life nor provide sites for Earth bacteria to grow. Precursor missions can provide salient information that can make more efficient the planning and design of human exploration missions. In particular, a robotic sample return mission can help to eliminate the concern about returning samples with humans or the return of humans themselves from a planetary quarantine perspective. Without a robotic return the cost of quarantine that would have to be added to a human mission may well exceed the cost of a robotic return mission. Even if the preponderance of scientific evidence argues against the presence of indigenous life, it must be considered as part of any serious planetary quarantine analysis for missions to Mars. If there is life on Mars, the question of human exploration assumes an ethical dimension. PMID:11537372

  10. 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.

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-25

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space... Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council. DATES: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Local Time. ADDRESSES: NASA Headquarters, Glennan Conference Room (1Q39); 300 E Street, SW.,...

  12. The NASA Infrared Telescope Facility: A Dedicated Telescope for Planetary Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokunaga, A. T.; Bus, S. J.; Connelley, M. S.; Rayner, J. T.

    2011-10-01

    The NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) is a dedicated 3.0-m infrared telescope for planetary science. It is located at the summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii. Important capabilities of the IRTF include: (1) Remote observing from any location, including Europe; (2) Instrument changes during the night can be accommodated; (3) Observing periods as short as one hour can be scheduled; (4) Daytime observing is supported; and (5) Unique instrumentation for planetary science are available. Providing groundbased support of planetary missions is the main objective of this facility.

  13. 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.

  14. A Review of the Approach of NASA Projects to Planetary Protection Compliance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barengoltz, Jack B.

    2005-01-01

    NASA planetary protection, formerly planetary quarantine, is a set of regulations for extraterrestrial space missions which addresses applicable COSPAR resolutions, and ultimately derives from a 1967 United Nations treaty (the "Moon treaty"). The purpose of the NASA regulations is set forth in a basic policy, NPD 8020.7E (Ref. 1). The purposes are: to protect extraterrestrial objects from terrestrial biological contamination that may interfere with the search for extant life or its remnants or its precursors; and to protect the Earth from the possible hazards of an extraterrestrial sample return.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. NASA's Space Launch System Mission Capabilities for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Crumbly, Christopher M.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2015-01-01

    Designed to enable human space exploration missions, including eventual landings on Mars, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) represents a unique launch capability with a wide range of utilization opportunities, from delivering habitation systems into the lunar vicinity to high-energy transits through the outer solar system. Developed with the goals of safety, affordability and sustainability in mind, SLS is a foundational capability for NASA's future plans for exploration, along with the Orion crew vehicle and upgraded ground systems at the agency's Kennedy Space Center. Substantial progress has been made toward the first launch of the initial configuration of SLS, which will be able to deliver more than 70 metric tons of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO), greater mass-to-orbit capability than any contemporary launch vehicle. The vehicle will then be evolved into more powerful configurations, culminating with the capability to deliver more than 130 metric tons to LEO, greater even than the Saturn V rocket that enabled human landings on the moon. SLS will also be able to carry larger payload fairings than any contemporary launch vehicle, and will offer opportunities for co-manifested and secondary payloads. Because of its substantial mass-lift capability, SLS will also offer unrivaled departure energy, enabling mission profiles currently not possible. Early collaboration with science teams planning future decadal-class missions have contributed to a greater understanding of the vehicle's potential range of utilization. This presentation will discuss the potential opportunities this vehicle poses for the planetary sciences community, relating the vehicle's evolution to practical implications for mission capture. As this paper will explain, SLS will be a global launch infrastructure asset, employing sustainable solutions and technological innovations to deliver capabilities for space exploration to power human and robotic systems beyond our Moon and in to deep space.

  18. 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).

  19. 76 FR 18800 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting.

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-05

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting. AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of Meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory... the Exploration Program Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical...

  20. Overview of NASA FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) Science and Exploration Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Lim, Darlene S. S.; Hughes, S.; Kobs, S.; Garry, B.; Osinski, G. R.; Hodges, K.; Kobayashi, L.; Colaprete, A.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) project is focused on a science and exploration field-based research program to generate strategic knowledge in preparation for human and robotic exploration of other planetary bodies including our moon, Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos, and near-Earth asteroids. Scientific study focuses on planetary volcanism (e.g., the formation of volcanoes, evolution of magma chambers and the formation of multiple lava flow types, as well as the evolution and entrapment of volatile chemicals) and impact cratering (impact rock modification, cratering mechanics, and the chronologic record). FINESSE conducts multiple terrestrial field campaigns (Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho for volcanics, and West Clearwater Impact Structure in Canada for impact studies) to study such features as analogs relevant to our moon, Phobos, Deimos, and asteroids. Here we present the science and exploration results from two deployments to Idaho (2014, 2015) and our first deployment to Canada (2014). FINESSE was selected as a research team by NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). SSERVI is a joint effort by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  1. Overview of NASA FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) Science and Exploration Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Lim, D. S. S.; Hughes, S. S.; Kobs-Nawotniak, S. E.; Garry, W. B.; Osinski, G. R.; Hodges, K. V.; Kobayashi, L.; Colaprete, A.

    2015-12-01

    NASA's FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) project is focused on a science and exploration field-based research program to generate strategic knowledge in preparation for human and robotic exploration of other planetary bodies including our moon, Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos, and near-Earth asteroids. Scientific study focuses on planetary volcanism (e.g., the formation of volcanoes, evolution of magma chambers and the formation of multiple lava flow types, as well as the evolution and entrapment of volatile chemicals) and impact cratering (impact rock modification, cratering mechanics, and the chronologic record). FINESSE conducts multiple terrestrial field campaigns (Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho for volcanics, and West Clearwater Impact Structure in Canada for impact studies) to study such features as analogs relevant to our moon, Phobos, Deimos, and asteroids. Here we present the science and exploration results from two deployments to Idaho (2014, 2015) and our first deployment to Canada (2014). FINESSE was selected as a research team by NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). SSERVI is a joint effort by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  2. Aerodynamic Decelerators for Planetary Exploration: Past, Present, and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruz, Juna R.; Lingard, J. Stephen

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, aerodynamic decelerators are defined as textile devices intended to be deployed at Mach numbers below five. Such aerodynamic decelerators include parachutes and inflatable aerodynamic decelerators (often known as ballutes). Aerodynamic decelerators play a key role in the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) of planetary exploration vehicles. Among the functions performed by aerodynamic decelerators for such vehicles are deceleration (often from supersonic to subsonic speeds), minimization of descent rate, providing specific descent rates (so that scientific measurements can be obtained), providing stability (drogue function - either to prevent aeroshell tumbling or to meet instrumentation requirements), effecting further aerodynamic decelerator system deployment (pilot function), providing differences in ballistic coefficients of components to enable separation events, and providing height and timeline to allow for completion of the EDL sequence. Challenging aspects in the development of aerodynamic decelerators for planetary exploration missions include: deployment in the unusual combination of high Mach numbers and low dynamic pressures, deployment in the wake behind a blunt-body entry vehicle, stringent mass and volume constraints, and the requirement for high drag and stability. Furthermore, these aerodynamic decelerators must be qualified for flight without access to the exotic operating environment where they are expected to operate. This paper is an introduction to the development and application of aerodynamic decelerators for robotic planetary exploration missions (including Earth sample return missions) from the earliest work in the 1960s to new ideas and technologies with possible application to future missions. An extensive list of references is provided for additional study.

  3. 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.

  4. First results in terrain mapping for a roving planetary explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krotkov, E.; Caillas, C.; Hebert, M.; Kweon, I. S.; Kanade, Takeo

    1989-01-01

    To perform planetary exploration without human supervision, a complete autonomous rover must be able to model its environment while exploring its surroundings. Researchers present a new algorithm to construct a geometric terrain representation from a single range image. The form of the representation is an elevation map that includes uncertainty, unknown areas, and local features. By virtue of working in spherical-polar space, the algorithm is independent of the desired map resolution and the orientation of the sensor, unlike other algorithms that work in Cartesian space. They also describe new methods to evaluate regions of the constructed elevation maps to support legged locomotion over rough terrain.

  5. SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION: NASA Blasted for Rising Costs, Cancellations.

    PubMed

    Lawler, A

    2000-12-01

    When NASA cancelled a project last month that would have sent a tiny rover crawling over an asteroid, the community of planetary scientists issued a public tongue lashing of the agency. Its letter warned of larger problems in the U.S. program caused by spiraling costs and recommended a sweeping reexamination of the outer solar system effort. PMID:17798199

  6. 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.

  7. Current Fault Management Trends in NASA's Planetary Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesq, Lorraine M.

    2009-01-01

    The key product of this three-day workshop is a NASA White Paper that documents lessons learned from previous missions, recommended best practices, and future opportunities for investments in the fault management domain. This paper summarizes the findings and recommendations that are captured in the White Paper.

  8. The Science Goals of NASA's Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, Jonathan P.; Grunsfeld, John

    2004-01-01

    The recently released policy directive, "A Renewed Spirit of Discovery: The President's Vision for U. S. Space Exploration," seeks to advance the U. S. scientific, security and economic interest through a program of space exploration which will robotically explore the solar system and extend human presence to the Moon, Mars and beyond. NASA's implementation of this vision will be guided by compelling questions of scientific and societal importance, including the origin of our Solar System and the search for life beyond Earth. The Exploration Roadmap identifies four key targets: the Moon, Mars, the outer Solar System, and extra-solar planets. First, a lunar investigation will set up exploration test beds, search for resources, and study the geological record of the early Solar System. Human missions to the Moon will serve as precursors for human missions to Mars and other destinations, but will also be driven by their support for furthering science. The second key target is the search for past and present water and life on Mars. Following on from discoveries by Spirit and Opportunity, by the end of the decade there will have been an additional rover, a lander and two orbiters studying Mars. These will set the stage for a sample return mission in 2013, increasingly complex robotic investigations, and an eventual human landing. The third key target is the study of underground oceans, biological chemistry, and their potential for life in the outer Solar System. Beginning with the arrival of Cassini at Saturn in July 2004 and a landing on Titan in 2006, the next decade will see an extended investigation of the Jupiter icy moons by a mission making use of Project Prometheus, a program to develop space nuclear power and nuclear-electric propulsion. Finally, the search for Earth-like planets and life includes a series of telescopic missions designed to find and characterize extra-solar planets and search them for evidence of life. These missions include HST and Spitzer

  9. 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

  10. 75 FR 43565 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-26

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and...

  11. 75 FR 15742 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-30

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and...

  12. 75 FR 39974 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-13

    .... Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358-4452, fax... up to the capacity of the room. The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics: --Mars Mission: Status and Plans. --Cassini Extended Mission Implementation Plan. --Agency Planetary...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Planetary protection and humans missions to Mars: summary results from two workshops sponsored by NASA and NASA/ESA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, M. S.; Kminek, G.; Rummel, J. D.; Nasa; Nasa/Esa Workshop Participants

    Planetary Protection PP requirements will strongly influence mission and spacecraft designs for future human missions to Mars particularly those related to the operation of advanced life support systems ALS extravehicular activities EVA laboratory and in situ sampling operations and systems for environmental monitoring and control EMC In order to initiate communication understanding and working relations between the ALS EVA EMC and PP communities in both NASA and ESA two separate workshops were held to focus on mission-specific PP issues during future human missions to Mars The NASA Life Support and Habitation and Planetary Protection Workshop was held in Houston TX Center for Advanced Space Studies April 2005 and The Mars PP and Human Systems Research and Technology Joint NASA ESA Workshop was held at ESA ESTEC Noordwijk Netherlands May 2005 This poster presentation summarizes the findings of both workshops and their associated recommendations which are summarized as follows The NASA workshop developed a tentative conceptual approach consistent with current PP requirements to provide preliminary guidance in the assessment of EVA ALS EMC and other aspects of human missions The workshop report identified the need for development of a comprehensive classification and zoning system for Mars to minimize contamination and guide operations particularly in relation to COSPAR Special Region and protection of science and environmental conditions Critical research and technology

  16. 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.

  17. International cooperation in planetary exploration: Past success and future prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosendhal, Jeffrey D.

    A review is given of the ways in which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has participated in international efforts to explore the solar system. Past examples of successful international cooperative programs are described. Prospects for future cooperative efforts are discussed with emphasis placed on current events, issues, and trends which are likely to affect possibilities for cooperation over the next 5 to 10 years. Key factors which will play a major role in shaping future prospects for cooperation include the move towards balancing the budget in the United States and the impact of the Challenger accident on the NASA program.

  18. Rovers as Geological Helpers for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Rovers can be used to perform field science on other planetary surfaces and in hostile and dangerous environments on Earth. Rovers are mobility systems for carrying instrumentation to investigate targets of interest and can perform geologic exploration on a distant planet (e.g. Mars) autonomously with periodic command from Earth. For nearby sites (such as the Moon or sites on Earth) rovers can be teleoperated with excellent capabilities. In future human exploration, robotic rovers will assist human explorers as scouts, tool and instrument carriers, and a traverse "buddy". Rovers can be wheeled vehicles, like the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner, or can walk on legs, like the Dante vehicle that was deployed into a volcanic caldera on Mt. Spurr, Alaska. Wheeled rovers can generally traverse slopes as high as 35 degrees, can avoid hazards too big to roll over, and can carry a wide range of instrumentation. More challenging terrain and steeper slopes can be negotiated by walkers. Limitations on rover performance result primarily from the bandwidth and frequency with which data are transmitted, and the accuracy with which the rover can navigate to a new position. Based on communication strategies, power availability, and navigation approach planned or demonstrated for Mars missions to date, rovers on Mars will probably traverse only a few meters per day. Collecting samples, especially if it involves accurate instrument placement, will be a slow process. Using live teleoperation (such as operating a rover on the Moon from Earth) rovers have traversed more than 1 km in an 8 hour period while also performing science operations, and can be moved much faster when the goal is simply to make the distance. I will review the results of field experiments with planetary surface rovers, concentrating on their successful and problematic performance aspects. This paper will be accompanied by a working demonstration of a prototype planetary surface rover.

  19. NASA's Exploration of the Red Planet: An Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Naderi, Firouz M.

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews NASA's plans for the exploration of Mars. The reasons for the choice of Mars for exploration are reviewed: launch opportunity every 26 months, the closest planet, and potential extraterrestrial life.

  20. NASA Now: Earth Science Week: Exploring Energy

    NASA Video Gallery

    During this installment of NASA Now, you’ll see some of the ways NASA studies Earth. You’ll meet Eric Brown de Colstoun, a physical scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbel...

  1. From H.G. Wells to Unmanned Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyd, John W.

    2005-01-01

    The possibility of planetary exploration has been a dream of the human race since Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter in 1610. Visual sightings of bodies entering Earth s atmosphere have been made by Earth s inhabitants over the centuries. Over time, the many meteor showers (Leonid, Perseid) have provided dramatic evidence of the intense heat generated by a body entering Earth s atmosphere at hypervelocity speeds. More recently (in 1908), few viewed the Tunguska meteor that impacted in Siberia, but the destructive power on the countryside was awesome.

  2. 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.

  3. NASA's Planetary Science E/PO Forum: Reflections on Five Years of Effort to Support an E/PO Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipp, S. S.; Shebby, S.; Buxner, S.; Boonstra, D.; Cobabe-Ammann, E. A.; Cobb, W. H.; Dalton, H.; Grier, J.; Klug Boonstra, S. L.; LaConte, K.; Ristvey, J.; Shupla, C. B.; Weeks, S.; Wessen, A. S.; Zimmerman-Brachman, R.

    2014-12-01

    Over the past decade, NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has funded four education and public outreach (E/PO) forums, aligned with each of its science divisions, including Astrophysics, Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science. Together, these forums help organize individual division E/PO programs into a coordinated, effective, efficient, nationwide effort that shares the scientific discoveries of NASA across a broad array of audiences. In the past four-and-a-half years, the Planetary Science Division's Forum - in collaboration with the other three Forums - has worked to support its community of education professionals and scientists involved in E/PO to communicate, collaborate, and strengthen their efforts. The Forum's work encompasses identification of best practices based on educational research, increasing understanding of needs through audience-based working groups, the development of strategic collaborations and partnerships to increase programmatic reach, and the creation of strategic resources to support community members in their E/PO work (e.g., an online workspace for the community to communicate, collaborate, and share practices; recommendations to scientists for increasing impact in educational settings; a one-stop shop for NASA SMD classroom and informal education products, http://nasawavelength.org). Drawing on evaluation data, the presentation will explore what resources and support mechanisms are valued by the community, ways the community uses the available resources, and the outcomes of the effort to date.

  4. 75 FR 15743 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-30

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics... meeting of the Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council. DATES: Monday, April 26, 2010, 1 p.m.-5... Space Administration Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, 202-358-1715;...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregg, T. K.

    2008-12-01

    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, the students are not housed together, but are paired, one-on-one, with a PI at his or her home institution. PGGURP interns have worked at sites ranging from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Through NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program, the interns' travel and lodging costs are covered, as are a cost-of-living stipend. Approximately 30% of the undergraduate PGGURP participants continue on to graduate school in the planetary sciences. We consider this to be an enormous success, because the participants are among the best and brightest undergraduates in the country with a wide range of declared majors (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, as well as geology). Furthermore, those students that do continue tend to excel, and point to the internship as a turning point in their scientific careers. The NASA PIs who serve as mentors agree that this is a valuable experience for them, too, and many of them have been hosting interns annually for well over a decade. The PI obtains enthusiastic and intelligent undergraduate, free of charge, for a summer, while having the opportunity to work closely with today's students who are the future of planetary science. The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX, also sponsors a summer undergraduate internship. Approximately 12 students are selected to live together in apartments located near the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Johnson Space Center. Similar to PGGURP, the LPI interns are carefully selected to work one-on-one for ~10 weeks during the summer with one of the LPI staff scientists

  6. Planetary Science Enabled by High Power Ion Propulsion Systems from NASA's Prometheus Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, John

    2004-11-01

    NASA's Prometheus program seeks to develop new generations of spacecraft nuclear-power and ion propulsion systems for applications to future planetary missions. The Science Definition Team for the first mission in the Prometheus series, the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), has defined science objectives for in-situ orbital exploration of the icy Galilean moons (Europa, Ganymede, Callisto) and the Jovian magnetosphere along with remote observations of Jupiter's atmosphere and aurorae, the volcanic moon Io, and other elements of the Jovian system. Important to this forum is that JIMO power and propulsion systems will need to be designed to minimize magnetic, radio, neutral gas, and plasma backgrounds that might otherwise interfere with achievement of mission science objectives. Another potential Prometheus mission of high science interest would be an extended tour of primitive bodies in the solar system, including asteroids, Jupiter family comets, Centaurs, and Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO). The final landed phase of this mission might include an active keplerian experiment for detectable (via downlink radio doppler shift) acceleration of a small kilometer-size Centaur or KBO object, likely the satellite of a larger object observable from Earth. This would have obvious application to testing of mitigation techniques for Earth impact hazards.

  7. MICROWAVE REMOTE SENSING OF PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES: THE 50 YEARS FROM MARINER 2 TO NASA-JUNO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    2013-10-01

    In November 2012, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of spacecraft-based exploration of planets and satellites other our own. The first successful interplanetary mission (Mariner 2) included the first spaceborne microwave radiometer for studying planetary atmospheres which measured the 1.3 and 2.0 cm emission spectrum of Venus (also known as the Cytherean spectrum), These measurements, plus accompanying earth-based observations of the centimeter-wavelength spectrum were used to establish early models of the composition and structure of Venus. Shortly thereafter, measurements of the microwave emission spectrum of Jupiter (also known as the Jovian spectrum) from 1.18 to 1.58 cm were conducted. In both sets of observations, wavelengths near the 1.35 cm water-vapor resonance were selected in hope of detecting the spectral signature of water vapor, but none was found. Thus the question remained, “where’s the water?” The NASA-Juno mission is the first mission since Mariner 2 to carry a microwave radiometer instrument designed specifically for atmospheric sensing. It is expected to finally detect water in the Jovian atmosphere.

  8. 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.

  9. NASA Flight Tests Explore Supersonic Laminar Flow

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  10. NASA Now: Exploring Asteroids: An Analog Mission

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO, project lead Bill Todd describes this analog mission and how aquanauts living and working in an undersea habitat are helping NASA prepare ...

  11. 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

  12. Current Status of a NASA High-Altitude Balloon-Based Observatory for Planetary Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varga, Denise M.; Dischner, Zach

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that progress can be made on over 20% of the key questions called out in the current Planetary Science Decadal Survey by a high-altitude balloon-borne observatory. Therefore, NASA has been assessing concepts for a gondola-based observatory that would achieve the greatest possible science return in a low-risk and cost-effective manner. This paper addresses results from the 2014 Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science (BOPPS) mission, namely successes in the design and performance of the Fine Pointing System. The paper also addresses technical challenges facing the new Gondola for High Altitude Planetary Science (GHAPS) reusable platform, including thermal control for the Optical Telescope Assembly, power generation and management, and weight-saving considerations that the team will be assessing in 2015 and beyond.

  13. Exploration of the Moon to Enable Lunar and Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neal, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Moon represents an enabling Solar System exploration asset because of its proximity, resources, and size. Its location has facilitated robotic missions from 5 different space agencies this century. The proximity of the Moon has stimulated commercial space activity, which is critical for sustainable space exploration. Since 2000, a new view of the Moon is coming into focus, which is very different from that of the 20th century. The documented presence of volatiles on the lunar surface, coupled with mature ilmenite-rich regolith locations, represent known resources that could be used for life support on the lunar surface for extended human stays, as well as fuel for robotic and human exploration deeper into the Solar System. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to explore the terrestrial planets and Solar System processes. For example, it is an end-member in terrestrial planetary body differentiation. Ever since the return of the first lunar samples by Apollo 11, the magma ocean concept was developed and has been applied to both Earth and Mars. Because of the small size of the Moon, planetary differentiation was halted at an early (primary?) stage. However, we still know very little about the lunar interior, despite the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments, and to understand the structure of the Moon will require establishing a global lunar geophysical network, something Apollo did not achieve. Also, constraining the impact chronology of the Moon allows the surfaces of other terrestrial planets to be dated and the cratering history of the inner Solar System to be constrained. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to study space weathering of airless bodies. It is apparent, then, that human and robotic missions to the Moon will enable both science and exploration. For example, the next step in resource exploration is prospecting on the surface those deposits identified from orbit to understand the yield that can be expected. Such prospecting will also

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. High-Performance Micro-Rover for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Y.; Chen, X.

    2009-04-01

    Planetary robotic missions rely on rovers to produce surface mobility for multiple sites sampling and exploration. For example, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) have been extremely successful in the exploring a wide area of the Martian surface in the past four years. Each of the MER has the size of a golf car and weights ~170 kg. They both result in a massive launch of nearly 1100 kg. Small rovers (5-30 kg) can help to provide moderate surface traverse and greatly reduce cost of the mission, e.g. the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder mission. There is a growing interest in the micro-rover design and how to maximize performance of a miniaturized system. For example, the rover traversability and locomotion capability will be compromised if the objective is to reduce the size of the vehicle. Undoubtedly, this affects the rover performance in terms of mobility and usefulness to the mission. We propose to overcome this problem by investigating a new generation of rover chassis design to maximize its terrian capability. This paper presents a chassis concept suited for a micro-rover system and negotiating with different planetary terrains such as the Moon and Mars. The proposed tracked-wheel is motivated by bringing together advantages of wheels and tracks, in the same time keeping the design simple and easy to implement. The chassis is built based on four tracked-wheels and offers 10 DOF for the vehicle. Analysis based on Bekker theories suggests this design can generate larger tractive effort (drawbar pull) compared to the wheeled design for the same rover dimensions. As a result, a more effective and efficent chassis can be achieved and leave a large design margin for the science payload.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret; Conley, Catharine

    discussed by the study participants to date have set the agenda for additional work that will continue for at least another year, culminating in a final report that should be useful to current and new nations and partnerships in planning human missions beyond LEO. In addition, over the past two years, NASA has made progress in integrating planetary protection considerations into mission designs along with other important human, environmental and science needs. Details about planetary protection have also been incorporated into the latest Addendum of the Design Reference Architecture (DRA) for human missions to Mars. Other ongoing studies of Mars human mission architecture, technologies and operations have likewise been integrating PP requirements and guidelines into cross-cutting measures of various types. An important objective of all these studies is to proactively gather and communicate PP information to the broad community of planners, engineers and assorted partners who are facing the challenges of future human exploration missions. By analyzing ways to integrate PP provisions effectively into early mission phases in synergism with other needs, these projects and studies will help ensure that all institutions and organizations avoid releasing harmful contamination on bodies with biological potential, thereby ensuring protection of the Earth and astronauts throughout their missions and safeguarding the integrity of science exploration—all in compliance with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

  19. Data Assimilation Technology Transfer from Planetary Exploration to Terrestrial Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard

    2005-01-01

    Data assimilation can be a valuable tool for discovery and exploration. Planetary missions--principally polar orbiting spacecraft--are now capable of returning enough information to constrain global dynamical models. However, such missions operate under a number of severe constraints: there is no ground truth to calibrate and validate either the models or the data: and there are limited computational resources available, particularly onboard the spacecraft, for the near real-time processing that is required for aerobraking and other semi-autonomous maneuvers. A modified data assimilation approach, in which the prime analysis variable is the observed quantity (i.e., infrared radiances), has been found to be effective in deriving global meteorology from Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data. It may also be useful in a number of terrestrial applications (e.g. aerosol assimilation).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Future NASA plans for exobiology and solar system exploration. [Abstract only

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rummel, John D.; Meyer, Michael A.

    1994-01-01

    The prominence of exobiology as a part of the NASA program in solar system exploration reached its peak during the Viking missions of the mid-1970's. Even before those missions were finished, the Exobiology Program had been transferred out of the Division responsible for solar system exploration, and many of the direct ties to future missions became more difficult to make, providing a bureaucratic impediment to the conduct of exobiology research in space. Early in 1993, the Exobiology Program was brought back in to the Solar System Exploration Division, as an integral part of NASA's program to study this and other solar systems. As such, the Program stands to gain from an overall broad investment in missions that will study Mars, small bodies such as asteroids and comets, and outer planetary bodies such as Saturn, Titan, and even Pluto. Additional opportunities may be forthcoming on the Moon and elsewhere in Earth-orbit. Ground-based studies will continue to be an important foundation for work in space, while additional effects will be continue to use ground-based astronomical instruments to study other planetary systems, and to search for life on planets around other stars. This paper provides a current planning and budgetary prospectus on the future of Exobiology in NASA.

  4. 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

  5. NASA Shows Progress of President's Space Exploration Vision

    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...

  6. NASA's Mars Exploration Program: Scientific Strategy 1996 2020

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvin, J. B.; McCleese, D. J.

    2003-07-01

    This paper describes a roadmap to the next ~20 years of Mars exploration from the NASA viewpoint. The design of the newly restructured strategy is attentive to risks and a major attempt to instill resiliency in the program.

  7. NASA Now: MMSEV: The Future of Robotic Exploration

    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. 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.

  9. Exploring NASA Human Spaceflight and Pioneering Scenarios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar; Wilhite, Alan

    2015-01-01

    The life cycle cost analysis of space exploration scenarios is explored via a merger of (1) scenario planning, separating context and (2) modeling and analysis of specific content. Numerous scenarios are presented, leading to cross-cutting recommendations addressing life cycle costs, productivity, and approaches applicable to any scenarios. Approaches address technical and non-technical factors.

  10. MATISSE: A novel tool to access, visualize and analyse data from planetary exploration missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinzi, A.; Capria, M. T.; Palomba, E.; Giommi, P.; Antonelli, L. A.

    2016-04-01

    The increasing number and complexity of planetary exploration space missions require new tools to access, visualize and analyse data to improve their scientific return. ASI Science Data Center (ASDC) addresses this request with the web-tool MATISSE (Multi-purpose Advanced Tool for the Instruments of the Solar System Exploration), allowing the visualization of single observation or real-time computed high-order products, directly projected on the three-dimensional model of the selected target body. Using MATISSE it will be no longer needed to download huge quantity of data or to write down a specific code for every instrument analysed, greatly encouraging studies based on joint analysis of different datasets. In addition the extremely high-resolution output, to be used offline with a Python-based free software, together with the files to be read with specific GIS software, makes it a valuable tool to further process the data at the best spatial accuracy available. MATISSE modular structure permits addition of new missions or tasks and, thanks to dedicated future developments, it would be possible to make it compliant to the Planetary Virtual Observatory standards currently under definition. In this context the recent development of an interface to the NASA ODE REST API by which it is possible to access to public repositories is set.