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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. Surface Systems R&D in NASA's Planetary Exploration Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisbin, C.; Rodriguez, G.

    2000-01-01

    This paper reports on activities being supported by the Surface Systems Thrust of the NASA Cross Enterprise Technology Development Program, a research program whithin the NASA office of Space Science.

  3. NASA/JPL tumbleweed rover for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonsson, J.; Behar, A.; Nicaise, F.; Lorenz, R.

    pagestyle empty begin document Planetary exploration rovers should be tough constructions able to travel swift and long distances on the surface This also means big and heavy something one wants to avoid when launching missions to space The Tumbleweed rover will use a small set of instruments and electronics at the core of its inflatable spherical outer hull Deflated this is a small and light package easily launched to a distant world for instance Mars Well there the hull inflates into a large spherical ball Moving around over rocks and out of craters powered only by the wind the rover makes its scientific measurements The motion can be controlled by the amount of inflation of the hull even stopping by deflation at a certain spot and reaching the ground for sampling The winds on Mars are strong but the atmosphere is also thinner than that of the Earths The force that acts on the Tumbleweed rover from the wind corresponds to the cross-sectional area of the rover the larger the diameter the larger the force The Tumbleweed rover concept is currently under development On Greenland a prototype version was tested and during two days traversed a distance of 130 km over the frozen landscape During the journey the rover sent back data of its position and the environmental conditions through an Iridium satellite network connection In February 2006 another prototype tumbleweed rover will be tested in the desert of Arizona with a new type of inflatable outer hull Wind models will be made with wind anemometers and GPS data which shows the path taken

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGreevy, Michael W.

    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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

    The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Program of the MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury, supported by the NASA Discovery Program, is a full partnership between the project's science and engineering teams and a team of professionals from the EPO community. The Challenger Center for Space Science Education (CCSSE) and the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) are developing sets of MESSENGER Education Modules targeting grade-specific education levels across K-12. These modules are being disseminated through a MESSENGER EPO Website developed at Montana State University, an Educator Fellowship Program managed by CCSSE to train Fellows to conduct educator workshops, additional workshops planned for NASA educators and members of the Minority University - SPace Interdisciplinary Network (MU-SPIN), and existing inner-city science education programs (e.g., the CASE Summer Science Institute in Washington, D.C.). All lessons are mapped to national standards and benchmarks by MESSENGER EPO team members trained by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061, all involve user input and feedback and quality control by the EPO team, and all are thoroughly screened by members of the project science and engineering teams. At the college level, internships in science and engineering are provided to students at minority institutions through a program managed by MU-SPIN, and additional opportunities for student participation across the country are planned as the mission proceeds. Outreach efforts include radio spots (AAAS), museum displays (National Air and Space Museum), posters and traveling exhibits (CASE), general language books (AAAS), programs targeting underserved communities (AAAS, CCSSE, and MU-SPIN), and a documentary highlighting the scientific and technical challenges involved in exploring Mercury and how the MESSENGER team has been meeting these challenges. As with the educational elements, science and engineering team members 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Airships for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony

    2004-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A vision for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    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.

  18. Planetary Exploration with Direct Aerial Robot Explorers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  19. Directed aerial robot explorers for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  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. Physics in NASA Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Callaghan, Fred

    2004-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Aerovehicles for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Nock, K. T.; Jones, J. A.; Rodriguez, G.; Balaram, J.; Powell, G. E.; Synott, S. P.

    1995-01-01

    Planetary aerobots are described. They are a new type of lightweight and low-cost telerobot that use phase change fluids to ascend and descend, thus allowing data acquisition from multiple sites. Potential near-term missions discussed include those to Venus, Mars, and Titan. Similarities are discussed for missions in the Earth atmosphere and deep sea.

  6. The NASA planetary biology internship experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinkle, G.; Margulis, L.

    1991-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Automation and Robotics for space operation and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montemerlo, Melvin D.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a perspective of Automation and Robotics (A&R) research and developments at NASA in terms of its history, its current status, and its future. It covers artificial intelligence, telerobotics and planetary rovers, and it encompasses ground operations, operations in earth orbit, and planetary exploration.

  9. Telescience from NASA planetary spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miner, Ellis D.

    1992-01-01

    Techniques reasonably classified as 'telescience' in NASA missions are discussed. The first interplanetary probe, Mariner 2, was launched towards Venus nearly 30 years ago. Since that time, NASA has successfully completed missions to Mercury (Mariner 10), Venus (Mariners 5 and 10, Pioneers 12 and 13, Galileo, and Magellan), Mars (Mariners 4, 6, 7, and 9, and Vikings 1 and 2), Jupiter (Pioneers 10 and 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, and the approaching Galileo), Saturn (Pioneer 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, and the planned Cassini), Uranus (Voyager 2), and Neptune (Voyager 2). Missions to asteroids (Galileo, CRAF, and Cassini), and to a comet (CRAF) are presently being prepared or underway. Procedures have to be adapted to permit the latest possible updating of the planned observational sequences, to counteract the effects of a 492 minute round trip light time, and to provide automatic fault sensing and correction. Special emphasis is placed on those used for the Voyager encounter with Neptune in Aug. 1989.

  10. Robot Manipulator Technologies for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  11. 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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. A.

    2012-12-01

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

  14. Visualizing NASA's Planetary Data with Google Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  15. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

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

  16. 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 both at the technical and policy level to assure the efficiency and ultimate utility of these efforts to derive educational benefits from the space science and exploration program as a whole.

  17. Public Participation in Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedman, Louis

    2000-07-01

    In the past several years The Planetary Society has created several innovative opportunities for general public participation in the exploration of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life. The conduct of such exploration has traditionally been the province of a few thousand, at most, of professionally involved scientists and engineers. Yet the rationale for spending resources required by broad and far-reaching exploration involves a greater societal interest - it frequently being noted that the rationale cannot rely on science alone. This paper reports on the more notable of the opportunities for general public participation, in particular: 1) Visions of Mars: a CD containing the works of science fiction about Mars, designed to be placed on Mars as the first library to be found by eventual human explorers; 2) MAPEX: a Microelectronics And Photonics Experiment, measuring the radiation environment for future human explorers of Mars, and containing a electron beam lithograph of names of all the members of The Planetary Society at a particular time; 3) Naming of spacecraft: Involvement in the naming of spacecraft: Magellan, Sojourner; 4) The Mars Microphone: the first privately funded instrument to be sent to another world; 5) Red Rover Goes to Mars: the first commercial-education partnership on a planetary mission; 6) Student designed nanoexperiments: to fly on a Mars lander; and 7) SETI@home: a tool permitting millions to contribute to research and data processing in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A brief description of each of the projects will be given, and the opportunity it provided for public participation described. The evolving complexity of these projects suggest that more opportunities will be found, and that the role of public participation can increase at the same time as making substantive contributions to the flight missions. It will be suggested that these projects presage the day that planetary exploration will be truly and global and mass public enterprise, with people in their homes, and in schools, in direct communication, and even control, of robotic devices on other worlds. The effect of this on future human and robotic exploration plans is considered. Specific suggestions and plans for the Mars program will be offered - for the 2003, 2005 planned missions, for rovers, balloons and other aerostats, and for outposts leading to human flight. Partnerships among government and non-government organizations internationally and domestically and among different types of organizations contributing to education and public outreach will be discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Planetary Exploration: An integrated Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandreth, Mark

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-28

    ... following topics: --Planetary Protection at NASA; Issues and Status --Planetary Protection for Cached Mars Samples --Planetary Science Update --Mars Science Laboratory Lessons Learned Status It is imperative...

  8. Human-Robot Planetary Exploration Teams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tyree, Kimberly

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cezzar, Ruknet

    1993-08-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. NASA establishes office of exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a new Office of Exploration that will coordinate agency activities that would “expand the human presence beyond Earth,” particularly to the moon and Mars.Sally K. Ride is serving as the office's acting assistant administrator until mid August. Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, has been in charge of a NASA study to determine a possible new major space goal for the United States. Her study group recently identified four major areas for concentrated examination as possible initiatives for a new national space objective: intensive study of Earth systems for better understanding of how to protect Earth's environment,a stepped-up robotic program to explore the planets, moons, and other solar system bodies,the establishment of a scientific base and a permanent human presence on the moon, andintensive exploration of Mars by robot, followed by human exploration of the planet.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 75 FR 39974 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-13

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

  1. 75 FR 19661 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-15

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

  2. 77 FR 71641 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-03

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-10

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

  4. 75 FR 80850 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-23

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

  5. 76 FR 21411 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-15

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. NASA Propulsion Investments for Exploration and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Flash LIDAR Systems for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dissly, Richard; Weinberg, J.; Weimer, C.; Craig, R.; Earhart, P.; Miller, K.

    2009-01-01

    Ball Aerospace offers a mature, highly capable 3D flash-imaging LIDAR system for planetary exploration. Multi mission applications include orbital, standoff and surface terrain mapping, long distance and rapid close-in ranging, descent and surface navigation and rendezvous and docking. Our flash LIDAR is an optical, time-of-flight, topographic imaging system, leveraging innovations in focal plane arrays, readout integrated circuit real time processing, and compact and efficient pulsed laser sources. Due to its modular design, it can be easily tailored to satisfy a wide range of mission requirements. Flash LIDAR offers several distinct advantages over traditional scanning systems. The entire scene within the sensor's field of view is imaged with a single laser flash. This directly produces an image with each pixel already correlated in time, making the sensor resistant to the relative motion of a target subject. Additionally, images may be produced at rates much faster than are possible with a scanning system. And because the system captures a new complete image with each flash, optical glint and clutter are easily filtered and discarded. This allows for imaging under any lighting condition and makes the system virtually insensitive to stray light. Finally, because there are no moving parts, our flash LIDAR system is highly reliable and has a long life expectancy. As an industry leader in laser active sensor system development, Ball Aerospace has been working for more than four years to mature flash LIDAR systems for space applications, and is now under contract to provide the Vision Navigation System for NASA's Orion spacecraft. Our system uses heritage optics and electronics from our star tracker products, and space qualified lasers similar to those used in our CALIPSO LIDAR, which has been in continuous operation since 2006, providing more than 1.3 billion laser pulses to date.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary Protection for Human Exploration Missions: A Flight Surgeon's Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, J.

    2015-03-01

    Planetary protection will be a challenge for human exploration missions. A collaborative approach that takes into context all the challenges facing human space exploration will benefit both the space medical and planetary protection communities.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  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. The NASA/USGS Planetary Geologic Mapping Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, K.

    NASA's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program (PGM) publishes geologic maps of the planets based on released, geodetically controlled spacecraft data. The general objectives of PGM include (1) production of geologic maps that will greatly increase our knowledge of the materials and processes that have contributed to the evolution of Solar System bodies, and (2) geologic surveys of areas of special interest that may be investigated by future missions. Although most map authors are from U.S. institutions, some European investigators have also served as authors. PGM is sponsored by NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program (PGG) and has been supported by personnel of the Astrogeology Team of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for more than 40 years. PGG also supports the Astrogeology Team to prepare and distribute controlled data products necessary for the production of geologic maps. USGS coordination and outreach activities for PGM include developing new planetary geologic map series, managing existing map series, generating geologic mapping databases and packages for individual mapping investigators, providing oversight and expertise in meeting the requirements of USGS map standards, providing editorial support in map reviews and revisions, supporting map pre-press production, and maintaining an informative planetary geologic mapping web page (http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/Projects/PlanetaryMapping/). The Astrogeology Team also provides a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) web site (Planetary Interactive GIS on the Web Analyzable Database, or PIGWAD) to facilitate distribution and analysis of spatially registered, planetary geologic data primarily in vector form. USGS now publishes planetary geologic map data in GIS format. Geologic maps of planetary bodies published by USGS through 2005 include 80 of the Moon from 1:10K to 1:5M scale, 93 of Mars from 1:500K to 1:15M scale, 18 of Venus at 1:5M and 1:15M scales, 9 of Mercury at 1:5M scale, and 16 of the Galilean satellites at 1:1M to 1:15M scales. Dozens of additional planetary geologic maps overseen by PGM are in progress, including global maps of Io, Europa, and Ganymede and various quadrangles and special regions of Venus, Mars, and the Moon.

  2. 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.

  3. Middle School Adventures in Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration (PEPE)

    SciTech Connect

    Bolton, S. J.; Young, D. T.; Burch, J. L.; Eaker, N.; Nordholt, J. E.; Funsten, H. O.; McComas, D. J.

    1997-01-10

    The Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration (PEPE) is one of the new instrument technologies being demonstrated with the New Millennium Deep Space One mission. PEPE will serve three purposes, (1) the characterization of the environment induced by the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system while validating the feasibility of flying high performance plasma instrumentation on future SEP missions, (2) to carry out state-of-the-art plasma measurements in support of the scientific investigation of an asteroid and comet flyby, and (3) to validate several new plasma sensor technologies needed for future space physics and planetary missions. PEPE's measurement capabilities approach those of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instrument, but with much lower resource requirements, at a lower cost and delivered on a much faster time table. PEPE will provide three dimensional mass-resolved plasma distributions up to 30 keV over 2.8 {pi} ster on a time frame of 64 seconds. PEPE simultaneously measures both ions and electrons and provides energy per charge analysis and time-of-flight measurements to yield high resolution mass analysis. Details of the PEPE design are presented as well as an overview of both the technology and scientifically driven measurement objectives. The potential future applications of PEPE technology are also discussed.

  7. 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 from field school alone. This will enhance their ability to execute, explore and adapt as in-field situations require.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  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. 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...

  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. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility image retrieval and processing system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavney, Susan

    1986-01-01

    The general design and analysis functions of the NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF) image workstation prototype are described. The main functions of the MicroVAX II based workstation will be database searching, digital image retrieval, and image processing and display. The uses of the Transportable Applications Executive (TAE) in the system are described. File access and image processing programs use TAE tutor screens to receive parameters from the user and TAE subroutines are used to pass parameters to applications programs. Interface menus are also provided by TAE.

  15. 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.

  16. Magnetotelluric Sensor Development for Planetary Subsurface Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 common currency for decision making and the allocation of funding. A high level assessment is made of both the knowledge gaps and the system performance gaps across the program s technical project portfolio. This allows decision making that assures proper emphasis areas and provides a key measure of annual technological progress, as exploration mission plans continue to mature.

  2. Developing Advanced Human Support Technologies for Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. 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 rolling mode, i.e. when the rover is a sphere and can steer itself through actuations that shift its center of mass to achieve the desired direction of roll. Case studies that demonstrate the capabilities of the rover in rolling mode and parametric analyses that investigate the dependence of the rover's mobility on its design are presented. This work highlights the contribution of the spherical rolling mode to the enhanced mobility of the TRREx rover and how it could enable challenging surface exploration missions in the future. It represents an important step toward developing a rover capable of traversing a variety of terrains that are impassible by the current fleet of rover designs, and thus has the potential to revolutionize planetary surface exploration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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; Lentz, Dale; Laux, Richard; Nance, Preston

    1992-06-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

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

  16. Planning for Planetary Protection and Contamination Control for In Situ Solar System Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belz, A. P.; Cutts, J. A.

    In-situ missions present new architectural and technical challenges in planetary protection where planetary protection preserves the chemical environment of a target body for future life-detection exploration and in sample return missions protects the Earth from potential extraterrestrial contamination The National Research Council s Decadal Survey of 2003 and the NASA Solar System Exploration Strategic Program roadmap of 2005 calls for a number of missions with in-situ analysis at bodies of interest for life-detection or prebiotic science including Europa Titan and comets These targets present challenges because NASA planetary protection policies specify new requirements for missions to Europa and new guidelines for Titan are anticipated furthermore the comet missions have additional significance because they are envisioned to be sample return missions Many of these challenges differ substantially from those seen on Mars and will require novel approaches and solutions In addition the scientific contamination control requirements are likely to require additional planning and technology development early consideration of these needs may lead to solutions that overlap with planetary protection implementation This presentation summarizes the technical challenges to planetary protection and contamination control for these targets of interest and outlines some of the considerations particularly at the system level in designing an appropriate technology investment strategy for in situ solar system exploration

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 international partners, as well as information about outreach efforts and future opportunities to participate in SSERVI.

  5. 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."

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Planetary exploration with electrically propelled vehicles.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stuhlinger, E.

    1972-01-01

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

  8. Solid state lasers for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greene, Ben; Taubman, Matthew; Watts, Jeffrey; Gaither, Gary

    1991-01-01

    Design and performance data for two laser transmitters for spaceborne laser ranging are presented. The first laser uses a master oscillator/power amplifier configuration consisting of a diode pumped Nd:YAG slab ring and a multipass diode pumped slab amplifier which can operate at 40 Hz for more than ten to the ninth shots. The other laser is a diode pumped Nd:YAG slab standing wave oscillator which operates at 10 Hz for more than 0.6 x 10 exp 9 shots. The lasers were specifically developed for reliability, for use in space exploitation of the Earth and nearby planets. Applications include planetary altimetry of Mars (MOLA) and Earth (GLRS), as well as space geodesy, navigation, and tracking.

  9. 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, Ă…ke; 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 approaches to mitigate global chemical pollution that emphasize a preventative approach; coordinate pollution control and sustainability efforts; and facilitate implementation of multiple (and potentially decentralized) control efforts involving scientists, civil society, government, non-governmental organizations and international bodies. PMID:25679962

  10. Autonomous Sample Acquisition for Planetary and Small Body Explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ghavimi, Ali R.; Serricchio, Frederick; Dolgin, Ben; Hadaegh, Fred Y.

    2000-01-01

    Robotic drilling and autonomous sample acquisition are considered as the key technology requirements in future planetary or small body exploration missions. Core sampling or subsurface drilling operation is envisioned to be off rovers or landers. These supporting platforms are inherently flexible, light, and can withstand only limited amount of reaction forces and torques. This, together with unknown properties of sampled materials, makes the sampling operation a tedious task and quite challenging. This paper highlights the recent advancements in the sample acquisition control system design and development for the in situ scientific exploration of planetary and small interplanetary missions.

  11. Antenna Technologies for Future NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miranda, Felix A.

    2006-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.)

  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 include: Canada, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Discussions are ongoing to bring several more partners into the fold. These partnerships have impacted lunar science in a number of ways, resulting in such efforts and groups as the Pan-European Lunar Science Consortium and the Canadian Sudbury Field School. For more information visit sservi.nasa.gov

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  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 technologies which might address these requirements and help guide future technology development decisions

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

    PubMed Central

    Rummel, J.D.; Horneck, G.

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 77 FR 20851 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-06

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will be held for the purpose of soliciting, from the scientific community and......

  19. 76 FR 69768 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-09

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will be held for the purpose of soliciting, from the scientific community and......

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-21

    ... 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.,...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Lasers in Earth and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    1998-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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 administered in 2013 provides information on the program's impact on trainees' career choices and leadership roles as they pursue their employment in planetary science and related fields. Results will be presented during the session, along with highlights of topics and missions covered since the program's inception.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The Planetary Observer Program. [planning by NASA and scientific community including cost optimization overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blume, W. H.

    1984-01-01

    An overview is presented of NASA's plans for the Planetary Observer Program, whose key element is to control the cost of each mission while establishing a long-term, stable base for the planetary sciences. The SSEC (Solar System Exploration Committee) has endorsed the view that many high science priority inner solar system missions are possible through the use of spacecraft derived from existing earth-orbital spacecraft. It has also recommended the application of space hardware such as that used on the Voyager and Galileo missions, development of both a new modular spacecraft for outer planet, comet, and main-belt asteroid missions (Mariner Mark II Program), and a multi-mission operations system to support future missions after the Venus Radar Mapper (VRM), and Galileo. A set of missions for the SSEC's Core Program has been recommended; they include: the VRM, the Mars Geoscience/Climatology Observer, the Comet Rendezvous/Asteroid Flyby, the Lunar Geoscience Orbiter, the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, the Venus Atmosphere Probe, the Mars Aeronomy Orbiter, the Mars Surface Probe, and the Comet Intercept Sample Return.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. Galileo Avionica's technologies and instruments for planetary exploration.

    PubMed

    Battistelli, E; Falciani, P; Magnani, P; Midollini, B; Preti, G; Re, E

    2006-12-01

    Several missions for planetary exploration, including comets and asteroids, are ongoing or planned by the European Space Agencies: Rosetta, Venus Express, Bepi Colombo, Dawn, Aurora and all Mars Programme (in its past and next missions) are good examples. The satisfaction of the scientific request for the mentioned programmes calls for the development of new instruments and facilities devoted to investigate the body (planet, asteroid or comet) both remotely and by in situ measurements. The paper is an overview of some instruments for remote sensing and in situ planetary exploration already developed or under study by Galileo Avionica Space & Electro-Optics B.U. (in the following shortened as Galileo Avionica) for both the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and for the European Space Agency (ESA). Main technologies and specifications are outlined; for more detailed information please refer to Galileo Avionica's web-site at: http://www.galileoavionica.com . PMID:17120125

  1. 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).

  2. Micro Scanning Laser Range Sensor for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  3. 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, operating now; Kepler, SIM, JWST, and TPF, currently under development; and the vision missions, Life Finder and Planet Imager, which will possibly be constructed in space by astronauts.

  4. 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.

  5. NASA Exploration Design Challenge - Duration: 2 minutes, 15 seconds.

    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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. An evaluation of nuclear electric propulsion for planetary exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nagorski, R. P.; Boain, R. J.

    1981-01-01

    A set of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system parameters for planetary exploration missions is described. Orbiter missions to the planets Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were selected for assessment, and five delivery modes were evaluated. The NEP system envisioned for this application consisted of a nuclear fission reactor with a thermoelectric conversion system and a thrust subsystem comprised of power processors coupled with mercury ion-bombardment thrusters. The results indicate that an NEP system sized at 90-160 kW electrical power rating and operating within a specific impulse range of 4500-5500 sec provides adequate performance for outer planet exploration.

  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. An Optimization Framework for Global Planetary Surface Exploration Campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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;...

  14. 77 FR 66082 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-01

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting AGENCY... Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the ] Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA..., Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW.,...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    NASA requested that a committee under the auspices of the National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board carry out an assessment of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). Organizationally, this program functions under the direction of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and is charged with developing new technologies that will enable NASA to conduct future human and robotic exploration missions, while reducing mission risk and cost. The Committee to Review NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program has been tasked to examine how well the program is aligned with the stated objectives of the President's Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), to identify gaps in the program, and to assess the quality of the research. The full statement of task is given in Appendix A. The committee consists of 25 members and includes a cross section of senior executives, engineers, researchers, and other aerospace professionals drawn from industry, universities, and government agencies with expertise in virtually all the technical fields represented within the program.

  19. 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.

  20. International cooperation in planetary exploration - Past success and future prospects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosendhal, Jeffrey D.

    1987-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  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. Possible applications of time domain reflectometry in planetary exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heckendorn, S.

    1982-01-01

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

  4. The US planetary exploration program opportunities for international cooperation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    Opportunities for international participation in US-sponsored interplanetary missions are discussed on the basis of the recommendations of the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration of the National Academy of Sciences Space Science Board. The initial core missions suggested are a Venus radar mapper, a Mars geoscience/climatology orbiter, a comet-rendezvous/asteroid-flyby mission, and a Titan probe/radar mapper. Subsequent core missions are listed, and the need for cooperation in planning and development stages to facilitate international participation is indicated.

  5. Critical path plan for food and nutrition research required for planetary exploration missions.

    PubMed

    Vodovotz, Y; Bourland, C; Kloeris, V; Lane, H; Smith, S M

    1999-10-01

    In preparation for future planetary exploration, NASA-Johnson Space Center has developed a critical path plan for food and nutrition research needs. The plan highlights the risk factors pertaining to food and nutrition associated with exposure to the space flight environment as well as the possible consequences if no corrective measures are implemented. Included in the plan are the initiating events such as microgravity, remote environment and mission duration, which obviously impact the risk factors. The plan includes points of intervention where mitigating factors can be implemented to avoid outcomes such as malnutrition and unsafe foods. Physiological changes induced by lack of gravity, as well as increased exposure to radiation, may alter nutrient bio-availability, and/or nutrient requirements. An inadequate food system, whether due to technical limitations or nutritional shortcomings, can result in serious consequences. Additionally, microbial and chemical food contamination or psychological factors such as depression may lead to insufficient food intake. Critical questions define areas where further research is required to eliminate or ameliorate the risk from each of those factors. These questions delineate priorities for NASA food and nutrition research for planetary exploration missions. PMID:12182197

  6. 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.

  7. Radar TopoMapper concept for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, Soren N.; Lou, Yun-Ling; Hensley, Scott; Harvey, Wayne L.; McKinnon, William B.

    2004-12-01

    Topographic information is key to interpreting the geology and geophysics of planetary bodies such as the icy Galilean satellites. Traditionally elevation information has been derived from stereo-photogrammetry, but the last couple of decades have offered new techniques, including radar interferometry, photoclinometry (shape from shading) and laser altimetry. Combining synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology with interferometry (InSAR) enables high resolution imaging with elevation information at each image point. With two appropriately spaced antennas on a spacecraft, single-pass imaging radar interferometry can provide wide swath topographic data, independent of solar illumination, as was recently demonstrated on Earth by the Shuttle Topographic Radar Mission (SRTM; www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm). We will present the science requirements, measurement principle, a straw-man"s design, and the predicted performance of a "compact SRTM" which could be flown on NASA missions such as the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). In this paper we discuss challenges, including the calibration strategy and critical technology elements such as the high power RF-amplifier. We expect that the performance, both in terms of elevation accuracy and mapping rate would suffice to 1) determine topography on local and regional scales; 2) search for active geological change on the time scale of JIMO"s orbit around, e.g., Europa (30-60 days); and 3) determine the global tidal amplitude at Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede, which would constitute direct proof of the existence of oceans in all three icy moons.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Autonomous sample selection and acquisition for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pugh, S.; Barnes, D.

    2007-08-01

    Thanks to rapid advances in planetary robotics and scientific instruments, data can now be gathered on the surface of Mars far quicker than can be successfully relayed to Earth. Pauses in activity have to be introduced, so that this additional data can be transmitted back to Earth. These pauses represent an inefficiency in the overall mission value, as value is calculated by dividing the amount of useful scientific data returned by the cost. Scientific data with little value represents a waste of valuable transmission time and thus reduces the overall cost efficiency of the mission. Pauses in activity also have to be introduced during periods when communication with Earth is impossible. A great deal of research is currently being undertaken to try to limit this time wastage through the utilization of an autonomous sample selection and acquisition system. Such a system could initially select high value science targets and then continue its exploration while only useful data is being relayed to Earth for further study, thus increasing mission value. This paper will present a review of the research currently being undertaken to aid in producing an autonomous sample selection and acquisition system for planetary exploration.

  11. SPEX: a multi-angle Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smit, J. M.; Hasekamp, O. P.; Rietjens, J.; Stam, D.; Snik, F.; Van Harten, G.; Verlaan, A.; Voors, R.; Moon, S.; Wielinga, K.

    2011-12-01

    We present SPEX, the Spectropolarimeter for Planetary Exploration, which is a compact, robust and low-mass multi-viewing angle spectropolarimeter designed to operate from an orbiting satellite platform. Its purpose is to simultaneously measure, with high accuracy, the radiance and the state (degree and angle) of linear polarization of sunlight that has been scattered in a planetary atmosphere or reflected by a planetary surface. The degree of linear polarization is extremely sensitive to the microphysical properties of atmospheric or surface particles (such as size, shape, and composition), and to the vertical distribution of atmospheric particles, such as cloud top altitudes. Measurements as those performed by SPEX are therefore crucial and often the only tool for disentangling the many parameters that describe planetary atmospheres and surfaces. SPEX uses a novel, passive method for its radiance and polarization observations that is based on a carefully selected combination of polarization optics. This results in a modulation of the radiance spectrum in both amplitude and phase by the degree and angle of the linear polarization spectrum, respectively. The polarization optics consists of an achromatic quarter-wave retarder, an a-thermal multiple-order retarder, and a polarizing beam splitter. Such a configuration is implemented for a range of viewin directions, which allows sampling the full scattering phase function of each ground pixel under investigation, while orbiting the planetary body. The present design of SPEX is tuned to a Mars mission, as a payload on a satellite in a low orbit. However, the concept is perfectly applicable for Earth remote sensing from an orbiting platform like ISS or a dedicated mission, for which we are developing a breadboard. A similar concepts is under study for a mission to the Jovian system including the Galilean Moons. We will show first test results obtained with recently developed prototype of the SPEX instrument, demonstrating excellent performance and overall behavior as compared with design parameters and SPEX instrument simulator. In addition, we present results of multi-angle spectropolarimetric measurements of the Earth's atmosphere from the ground in conjunction with one of AERONET's sun photometers.

  12. 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. Many LPI Summer Intern graduates have forged geoscience or planetary science careers after this rewarding experience.

  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 address important science questions by determining the form of lunar surface volatiles. Science missions to examine the lunar interior and space weathering will also inform exploration systems with regard to the locations of large moonquakes and the radiation environment. Such examples highlight the Moon as an enabling Solar System science and exploration asset.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 76 FR 18800 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting.

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-05

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a meeting of the Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory...

  18. 75 FR 80081 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-21

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a meeting of the Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory...

  19. 75 FR 40852 - NASA Advisory Council; Exploration Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-14

    ... 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... Propulsion Technology. International Space Cooperation and Other Partnerships. Joint Session with...

  20. NASA Explorer Schools: School Recognition Opportunities - Duration: 107 seconds.

    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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret; Conley, Catharine

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

  2. 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.

  3. The Moon as a way station for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duke, M. B.

    1994-01-01

    The Moon can be on the pathway to the exploration of other planets in the solar system in three distinct ways: science, systems and technology experience, and as a fuel depot. The most important of these from the point of view of near term potential is to provide systems and technology development that increases capability and reduces the cost and risk of Mars exploration. The development of capability for a lunar program, if planned properly, can significantly influence strategies for sending humans to Mars. In conclusion, the exploration of the Moon should come before the exploration of Mars. This is a statement of developmental and operational logic that is almost self evident. Technological advancement could, however, make a different strategy reasonable. Principally, the development of a propulsion capability that could substantially reduce round trip mission times to Mars (to say 6 to 12 months) could eliminate much of the argument that the Moon is an essential stepping stone. This would reduce the problem to one of similitude with current space station program concepts. However, for any reasonably near term program, such technology does not appear likely to be available. Thus, the answer remains that lunar exploration should come first, and the expectation that it will make Mars exploration much more affordable and safe. The use of lunar propellant in an Earth-Mars transportation system is not practical with current propulsion systems; however, the discovery of caches of water ice at a lunar pole could change considerably the strategy for utilization of lunar resources in planetary exploration.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Optimising the Operation and Performance of a Raman Spectroscopy Instrument Developed for Planetary Exploration Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McHugh, M.; Hutchinson, I. B.; Ingley, R.; Nelms, N.; Edwards, H. G. M.

    2014-06-01

    A description of a software based instrument simulator, developed to aid the optimisation of the operation and performance of Raman spectroscopy instruments, for the purposes of planetary exploration.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. NASA launches dual Dynamics Explorer spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    A Delta launch vehicle was used to insert Dynamics Explorer A into a highly elliptical polar orbit, ranging from 675 to 24,945 km, and Dynamics Explorer B satellite into a low polar orbit, ranging from 306 to 1,300 km. The two spacecraft are designed to provide specific knowledge about the interaction of energy, electric currents, electric fields, and plasmas between the magnetosphere, the ionosphere, and the atmosphere.

  12. Planetary protection issues and human exploration of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devincenzi, D. L.

    1991-10-01

    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.

  13. Planetary protection R&D activities in the ESA exploration programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, G.

    Since the begin of the Aurora exploration programme in 2001 the Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration Directorate HME of ESA has invested in research and development activities related to planetary protection Some of these activities are focused on the recently approved ExoMars mission others are applicable to Mars missions in general including MSR the technology development of the latter one being part of the exploration core programme The proposed activities have been approved and initiated An overview of the activities and first results will be presented The main activities are begin itemize item Bioburden and Biodiversity evaluation in S C Facilities this activity will cover a period of almost two years and include the standard assay extension of the standard assay culture conditions identification of isolates using 16S rDNA via PCR and test of a rapid spore assay Protocols are developed in coordination with NASA-JPL item Extension of dry heat microbial reduction process to higher temperatures this activity will include a detailed study of the humidity effect on the inactivation kinetics This activity is in coordination with efforts at NASA-JPL item Validation of a dry heat sterilization process item Development of a low-temperature sterilization method the focus of this activity is on vapor hydrogen peroxide item Robotic capabilities for clean AIV AIT item Decontamination of man-rated systems item Definition of functional requirements for a Mars Sample Return Biological Containment Facility end itemize In

  14. 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.

  15. NASA's future directions in space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odonnell, W. J.

    1983-01-01

    The Presidential policy statement of July 4, 1982 has outlined basic U.S. goals for activities in space which include strengthening security, maintaining space leadership, obtaining economic and scientific benefits, expanding private sector investment and involvement in space-related activities, promoting international cooperative activities, and cooperating with other nations in maintaining freedom of space for activities enhancing the security and welfare of mankind. NASA's priorities include: operational status for a four-Orbiter Shuttle fleet, demonstration of the Shuttle's ability to recover and repair the Solar Maximum Mission Satellite, the first launch of Spacelab, and the 1986 launch of the Space Telescope. Future projects include the Venus Radar Mapper, the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite, and the establishment of large permanent space facilities. It is stated that the United States must take the necessary steps now to achieve an understanding of the potential benefits of continued manned operations in space.

  16. A History of the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) Imaging Node's Map-A-Planet Legacy Web Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, P. A.; Isbell, C. E.; Gaddis, L. R.

    2015-06-01

    NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) Imaging Node’s Map-A-Planet Legacy Web Services have served the planetary data community for more than fifteen years. Here we look back at the evolution and development of the services over the that time.

  17. AI coming of age: NASA uses AI for autonomous space exploration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedberg, S. R.

    1997-06-01

    At the end of the 20th Century, many organizations are rethinking the way they do business and are retooling with the ever-moving target of "new technologies". NASA is no exception. To reduce the cost of space-exploration missions while increasing their number, NASA began the revolutionary New Millennium Program (NMP) in early 1995. At the NMP's center is a push for self-guiding and self-regulating spacecraft. This will change the ground-control staff requirements from the hundreds required now for a major planetary science mission to a mere handful. The vision is to be able to "fire and forget" a whole series of missions that will go about their business of exploring, contacting home only when they find something of scientific interest or need help. Each spacecraft would manage its own travel, malfunctions, and much of the science.

  18. NASA-ESA Joint Mission to Explore Two Worlds of Great Astrobiological Interest - Titan and Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reh, K.; Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J.; Matson, D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Erd, C.; Beauchamp, P.

    2009-04-01

    Rugged shorelines, laced with canyons, leading to ethane/methane seas glimpsed through an organic haze, vast fields of dunes shaped by alien sciroccos… An icy moon festooned with plumes of water-ice and organics, whose warm watery source might be glimpsed through surface cracks that glow in the infrared… The revelations by Cassini-Huygens about Saturn's crown jewels, Titan and Enceladus, have rocked the public with glimpses of new worlds unimagined a decade before. The time is at hand to capitalize on those discoveries with a broad mission of exploration that combines the widest range of planetary science disciplines—Geology, Geophysics, Atmospheres, Astrobiology,Chemistry, Magnetospheres—in a single NASA/ESA collaboration. The Titan Saturn System Mission will explore these exciting new environments, flying through Enceladus' plumes and plunging deep into Titan's atmosphere with instruments tuned to find what Cassini could only hint at. Exploring Titan with an international fleet of vehicles; from orbit, from the surface of a great polar sea, and from the air with the first hot air balloon to ride an extraterrestrial breeze, TSSM will turn our snapshot gaze of these worlds into an epic film. This paper will describe a collaborative NASA-ESA Titan Saturn System Mission that will open a new phase of planetary exploration by projecting robotic presence on the land, on the sea, and in the air of an active, organic-rich world.

  19. 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.

  20. Instrument deployment testbed: For planetary surface geophysical exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  1. NASA Explorer Schools Teachers Selected for 2011 School Recognition Award - Duration: 6 minutes, 2 seconds.

    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...

  2. The Potential of Phased Arrays for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pogorzelski, Ronald J.

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Magnetic Field Measurements As A Tool For Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langlais, B.; Mandea, M.; Menvielle, M.; Tarits, P.; Sotin, C.

    2005-12-01

    In the absence of surface observations, magnetic measurements on-board orbiting satellites provide a unique tool for investigating planetary properties, such as interaction with the solar wind, internal structure, or nature of the magnetic sources. Modelling and interpreting the magnetic fields and and their sources are essential to determine and understand the dynamical properties of planets, as illustrated by the example of the Earth. The core and lithospheric sources of the geomagnetic field can be quite easily separated, considering the knee of the magnetic spectra around degree 13. Assuming that the magnetic sources lie below the core-mantle boundary, a rough estimate of the radius of the outer, liquid core can be computed. Using IGRF-10 model, we find a core radius within 1% of the commonly adopted seismological value. This method is applied to Ganymede and to Mercury. Ganymede's magnetic environment was explored by the Galileo spacecraft. The Jovian satellite was found to possess an internal magnetic field, which origin is still controversial. The origin of the Hermean magnetic field is still not fully confirmed. The Messenger (launch: 2004) and the BepiColombo (launch: 2012) probe measurements are thus eagerly awaited for. The first measurements by these satellites will undoubtedly reveal the nature of the magnetic field. If the internal origin is confirmed, direct conclusion will be the presence of a liquid, conductive, convecting layer inside Mercury. Additional measurements will allow the structure and the temporal variations of the Hermean magnetic field to be modelled. In practice, the measured field by the spacecraft is the sum of the planetary field (of internal and external sources) and on-board generated magnetic fields. Here, we first synthesize different on-board generated magnetic fields as a function of the distance to the satellite body. We then predict what would be the Hermean magnetic field, assuming a fixed value for the liquid core radius. We then add the planetary and satellite contributions, considering different lengths for the magnetometer boom. We finally compute magnetic models, and compare the output to the initial hypothesis.

  4. Mars exploration. Plan for two rovers squeezes NASA budget.

    PubMed

    Lawler, A; MacNeil, J

    2000-08-18

    NASA's decision last week to send two rovers to Mars in 2003 is being hailed by researchers as affirming the agency's commitment to exploring the Red Planet. But once the applause dies down, cash-strapped space science managers will be forced to make tough decisions about how to shoulder the added $200 million cost of a second mission, starting with $96 million that must come out of NASA's 2001 budget. PMID:10970217

  5. NASA Ames and Future of Space Exploration, Science, and Aeronautics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Pushing the frontiers of aeronautics and space exploration presents multiple challenges. NASA Ames Research Center is at the forefront of tackling these issues, conducting cutting edge research in the fields of air traffic management, entry systems, advanced information technology, intelligent human and robotic systems, astrobiology, aeronautics, space, earth and life sciences and small satellites. Knowledge gained from this research helps ensure the success of NASA's missions, leading us closer to a world that was only imagined as science fiction just decades ago.

  6. Using NASA Data on Science on a Sphere: Placing Earth and Planetary Science Data in an Authentic Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, B. L.; Stockman, S.; Henderson, M. A.

    2006-12-01

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has recently installed Science on a Sphere (SOS) at the Visitor Center. This exhibit entails a 9-foot suspended globe with four projectors that project three-dimensional data onto the surface of a planetary body. We have embraced the exhibit as a unique opportunity to project high- resolution NASA data for educational purposes. One of the challenges in using planetary data is the inability to represent the data in an authentic manner. Science on a Sphere has circumvented this dilemma by enabling three-dimensional data to be projected in the proper spherical configuration. Data have been adapted and used from current and old missions including Aura, Cassini, SOHO, and Voyager. These data are used to supplement current education and public outreach efforts for the Aura, MESSENGER, and New Horizons missions. Aura mission scientists have developed an educational air quality program that uses high resolution NO2, ozone, SO2, and aerosol data. These data are used in conjunction with GLOBE atmosphere and Hands on the Land ozone bio-monitoring garden protocols to provide students and educators with a rich educational experience. Those who experience the program are able to see Aura data on a global scale, and when coupled with the GLOBE protocols, are able to relate to those data on a local scale. Coupling data on SOS with local data collection techniques provides an educational experience that neither could accomplish alone. Planetary images from Cassini and Voyager have been adapted for SOS, and are used to supplement the educational package Exploring Ice in the Solar System, developed by Carnegie Institute of Washington for MESSENGER and the NASA Astrobiology Institute. These examples of adaptations of planetary data for SOS are just two of many possible educational applications. In the coming year, the Aura education and public outreach team will be developing a movie for SOS using Aura data which will be distributed to each of the nine education centers that currently use the format.

  7. NASA Virtual Institutes: International Bridges for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Gregory K.

    2016-01-01

    NASA created the first virtual institute, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), in 2009 with an aim toward bringing together geographically disparate and multidisciplinary teams toward the goal of answering broad questions in the then-new discipline of astrobiology. With the success of the virtual institute model, NASA then created the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) in 2008 to address questions of science and human exploration of the Moon, and then the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) in 2012 which addresses key questions in the development of aeronautics technologies. With the broadening of NASA's human exploration targets to include Near Earth Asteroids and the moons of Mars as well as the Moon, the NLSI morphed into the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) in 2012. SSERVI funds domestic research teams to address broad questions at the intersection of science and human exploration, with the underlying principle that science enables human exploration, and human exploration enables science. Nine domestic teams were funded in 2014 for a five-year period to address a variety of different topics, and nine international partners (with more to come) also work with the U.S. teams on a variety of topics of mutual interest. The result is a robust and productive research infrastructure that is not only scientifically productive but can respond to strategic topics of domestic and international interest, and which develops a new generation of researchers. This is all accomplished with the aid of virtual collaboration technologies which enable scientific research at a distance. The virtual institute model is widely applicable to a range of space science and exploration problems.

  8. NASA's Planetary Data System: Support for the Delivery of Derived Data Sets at the Atmospheres Node

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanover, Nancy J.; Beebe, Reta; Neakrase, Lynn; Huber, Lyle; Rees, Shannon; Hornung, Danae

    2015-11-01

    NASA’s Planetary Data System is charged with archiving electronic data products from NASA planetary missions that are sponsored by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. This archive, currently organized by science disciplines, uses standards for describing and storing data that are designed to enable future scientists who are unfamiliar with the original experiments to analyze the data, and to do this using a variety of computer platforms, with no additional support. These standards address the data structure, description contents, and media design. The new requirement in the NASA ROSES-2015 Research Announcement to include a Data Management Plan will result in an increase in the number of derived data sets that are being delivered to the PDS. These data sets may come from the Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration and Tools (PDART) program, other Data Analysis Programs (DAPs) or be volunteered by individuals who are publishing the results of their analysis. In response to this increase, the PDS Atmospheres Node is developing a set of guidelines and user tools to make the process of archiving these derived data products more efficient. Here we provide a description of Atmospheres Node resources, including a letter of support for the proposal stage, a communication schedule for the planned archive effort, product label samples and templates in extensible markup language (XML), documentation templates, and validation tools necessary for producing a PDS4-compliant derived data bundle(s) efficiently and accurately.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  11. NASA Radiation Protection Research for Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. NASA radiation protection research for exploration missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J. W.; Cucinotta, F. A.; Tripathi, R. K.; Heinbockel, J. H.; Tweed, J.; Mertens, C. J.; Blattnig, S. R.; Zeitlin, C. J.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Advanced Materials and Cell Components for NASA's Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Concha M.

    2009-01-01

    This is an introductory paper for the focused session "Advanced Materials and Cell Components for NASA's Exploration Missions". This session will concentrate on electrochemical advances in materials and components that have been achieved through efforts sponsored under NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). This paper will discuss the performance goals for components and for High Energy and Ultra High Energy cells, advanced lithium-ion cells that will offer a combination of higher specific energy and improved safety over state-of-the-art. Papers in this session will span a broad range of materials and components that are under development to enable these cell development efforts.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Super Ball Bot - Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration, NIAC Phase 2 Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SunSpiral, Vytas; Agogino, Adrian; Atkinson, David

    2015-01-01

    Small, light-weight and low-cost missions will become increasingly important to NASA's exploration goals. Ideally teams of small, collapsible, light weight robots, will be conveniently packed during launch and would reliably separate and unpack at their destination. Such robots will allow rapid, reliable in-situ exploration of hazardous destination such as Titan, where imprecise terrain knowledge and unstable precipitation cycles make single-robot exploration problematic. Unfortunately landing lightweight conventional robots is difficult with current technology. Current robot designs are delicate, requiring a complex combination of devices such as parachutes, retrorockets and impact balloons to minimize impact forces and to place a robot in a proper orientation. Instead we are developing a radically different robot based on a "tensegrity" structure and built purely with tensile and compression elements. Such robots can be both a landing and a mobility platform allowing for dramatically simpler mission profile and reduced costs. These multi-purpose robots can be light-weight, compactly stored and deployed, absorb strong impacts, are redundant against single-point failures, can recover from different landing orientations and can provide surface mobility. These properties allow for unique mission profiles that can be carried out with low cost and high reliability and which minimizes the inefficient dependance on "use once and discard" mass associated with traditional landing systems. We believe tensegrity robot technology can play a critical role in future planetary exploration.

  17. New Carriers and Sensors for Robotic Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The robotic element of planetary exploration missions does play a crucial role for a successful mission completion. The development of reliable and rugged systems with at the same time low resource requirements and a generous acceptance of harsh environmental conditions is an important constituent of supportive research and development programs. This paper introduces a selection of new technologies developed by ESA support programs to foster the European scientific community and industry. Presented is a focused selection of potential scientific payload carrier modules and its highly integrated scientific instruments designed for in-situ exploration missions to planets and small bodies of our solar system. These developments could serve surface modules with very low resource availability. Low resource requirements and a highly integrated character is an important technology driver of all development plans. The Nanokhod micro-rover is a mobile element capable to explore the surrounding of a stationary lander unit within a radius of 50 meter. Via a tether connection the provision of all communication and power distribution is ensured. The Nanokhod concepts merges the idea of the design of an "as small as possible" mobile element yet keeping the capability to carry a substantial scientific payload suite to analyse the near-by landing site. The engineering model has been build and will undergo a challenging test campaign in the near future. The development of the Geochemistry Instrument Package Facility (GIPF), the payload suite designed for the Nanokhod rover, has been finalized and delivered to ESA. It consists of an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), a Mössbauer spectrometer (MIMOS2) and a micro camera (MIROCAM). The instrument front ends have already been thermally qualified at cryogenic temperatures. Beyond a partial heritage from existing flight models all instruments were modified towards an accommodation in the rover's payload cabin and an increased performance. An alternative payload element for the payload cabin is an extremely small Laser Mass Spectrometer (LMS). A breadboard of this instrument is currently part of an extensive 1 test and evaluation campaign. Also this instrument will be re-designed to fit into the Nanokhod modular payload suite. The Instrumented Mole System (IMS) is based on a device that penetrates regolith down to a depth of 5 meter. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3 ) demonstrates that a scientifically meaningful payload can be integrated into the payload compartment. This package comprises an active temperature measurement module, a densitometer to determine the density of the penetrated regolith and a device to determine the precise location of the mole. An alternative instrument is based on an Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) infrared spectrometer. It will observe and analyse through a window all material adjacent to the hull of the payload compartment within the penetration hole. A newly implemented project is the design and fabrication of a melting probe. This probe enables the subsurface exploration of icy layers. It will be capable to carry scientific instrumentation into depth and decipher the stratigraphy of ice and dust deposition on planetary bodies. The overall goal of all support activities is to analyse, design and built all critical components of a technologies which has no space application so far. Once all technical hurdles have been overcome by the breadboard development, a given instrumentation can rapidly be inserted into a flight model programme. 2

  18. 78 FR 42805 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration Operations Committee; Research Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-17

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration Operations Committee; Research... Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Research Subcommittee of the Human Exploration and Operations Committee (HEOC) of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports...

  19. Planetary protection issues and the future exploration of Mars.

    PubMed

    DeVincenzi, D L

    1992-01-01

    A primary scientific theme for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is the search for life, extant or extinct, on Mars. Because of this, concerns about Planetary Protection (PP), the prevention of biological cross-contamination between Earth and other planets during solar system exploration missions, have arisen. A recent workshop assessed the necessity for, and impact of, PP requirements on the unmanned and human missions to Mars comprising the SEI. The following ground-rules were adopted: 1) information needed for assessing PP issues must be obtained during the unmanned precursor mission phase prior to human landings; 2) returned Mars samples will be considered biologically hazardous until proven otherwise; 3) deposition of microbes on Mars and exposure of the crew to Martian materials are inevitable when humans land; and, 4) human landings are unlikely until it is demonstrated that there is no harmful effect of Martian materials on terrestrial life forms. These ground-rules dictated the development of a conservative PP strategy for precursor missions. Key features of the proposed strategy include: 1) for prevention of forward contamination, all orbiters will follow Mars Observer PP procedures for assembly, trajectory, and lifetime. All landers will follow Viking PP procedures for assembly, microbial load reduction, and bioshield; and, 2) for prevention of back contamination, all sample return missions will have PP requirements which include fail-safe sample sealing, breaking contact chain with the Martian surface, and containment and quarantine analysis in an Earth-based lab. In addition to deliberating on scientific and technical issues, the workshop made several recommendations for dealing with forward and back contamination concerns from non-scientific perspectives. PMID:11538130

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Orbital observatories for planetary science and exoplanets exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. Autonomous Surface Sample Acquisition for Planetary and Lunar Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, D. P.

    2007-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 75 FR 4589 - NASA Advisory Council Exploration Committee Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-28

    ... 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 Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chindgren, Tina M.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Discovering Planetary Nebula Geometries: Explorations with a Hierarchy of Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huyser, Karen A.; Knuth, Kevin H.; Fischer, Bernd; Schumann, Johann; Granquist-Fraser, Domhnull; Hajian, Arsen R.

    2004-01-01

    Astronomical objects known as planetary nebulae (PNe) consist of a shell of gas expelled by an aging medium-sized star as it makes its transition from a red giant to a white dwarf. In many cases this gas shell can be approximately described as a prolate ellipsoid. Knowledge of the physics of ionization processes in this gaseous shell enables us to construct a model in three dimensions (3D) called the Ionization-Bounded Prolate Ellipsoidal Shell model (IBPES model). Using this model we can generate synthetic nebular images, which can be used in conjunction with Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of actual PNe to perform Bayesian model estimation. Since the IBPES model is characterized by thirteen parameters, model estimation requires the search of a 13-dimensional parameter space. The 'curse of dimensionality,' compounded by a computationally intense forward problem, makes forward searches extremely time-consuming and frequently causes them to become trapped in local solutions. We find that both the speed and of the search can be improved by judiciously reducing the dimensionality of the search space. Our basic approach employs a hierarchy of models of increasing complexity that converges to the IBPES model. Earlier studies establish that a hierarchical sequence converges more quickly, and to a better solution, than a search relying only on the most complex model. Here we report results for a hierarchy of five models. The first three models treat the nebula as a 2D image, while the last two models explore its characteristics as a 3D object and enable us to characterize the physics of the nebula. This five-model hierarchy is applied to HST images of ellipsoidal PNe to estimate their geometric properties and gas density profiles.

  10. Raman Spectroscopic Techniques for Planetary Exploration: Detecting Microorganisms through Minerals.

    PubMed

    Verkaaik, Mattheus F C; Hooijschuur, Jan-Hein; Davies, Gareth R; Ariese, Freek

    2015-08-01

    Raman spectroscopy can provide highly specific chemical fingerprints of inorganic and organic materials and is therefore expected to play a significant role in interplanetary missions, especially for the search for life elsewhere in our solar system. A major challenge will be the unambiguous detection of low levels of biomarkers on a mineral background. In addition, these biomarkers may not be present at the surface but rather inside or underneath minerals. Strong scattering may prevent focusing deeper into the sample. In this paper, we report the detection of carotenoid-containing microorganisms behind mineral layers using time-resolved Raman spectroscopy (TRRS). Two extremophiles, the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and the cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis, were detected through translucent and transparent minerals using 440 nm excitation under resonance conditions to selectively enhance the detection of carotenoids. Using 3 ps laser pulses and a 250 ps gated intensified CCD camera provided depth selectivity for the subsurface microorganisms over the mineral surface layer and in addition lowered the contribution of the fluorescent background. Raman spectra of both organisms could be detected through 5 mm of translucent calcite or 20 mm of transparent halite. Multilayered mineral samples were used to further test the applied method. A separate tunable laser setup for resonance Raman and a commercial confocal Raman microscope, both with continuous (non-gated) detection, were used for comparison. This study demonstrates the capabilities of TRRS for the depth-selective analysis through scattering samples, which could be used in future planetary exploration to detect microorganisms or biomarkers within or behind minerals. PMID:26186197

  11. Fission Power System Technology for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee; Houts, Michael

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Breakthrough Capability for the NASA Astrophysics Explorer Program: Reaching the Darkest Sky

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenhouse, Matthew A.; Benson, Scott W.; Falck, Robert D.; Fixsen, Dale J.; Gardner, Joseph P.; Garvin, James B.; Kruk, Jeffrey W.; Oleson, Stephen R.; Thronson, Harley A.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Breakthrough capability for the NASA astrophysics explorer program: reaching the darkest sky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenhouse, Matthew A.; Benson, Scott W.; Falck, Robert D.; Fixsen, Dale J.; Gardner, Jonathan P.; Garvin, James B.; Kruk, Jeffrey W.; Oleson, Steven R.; Thronson, Harley A.

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Review of NASA's(TradeMark) Exploration Technology Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    To meet the objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), NASA must develop a wide array of enabling technologies. For this purpose, NASA established the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). Currently, ETDP has 22 projects underway. In the report accompanying the House-passed version of the FY2007 appropriations bill, the agency was directed to request from the NRC an independent assessment of the ETDP. This interim report provides an assessment of each of the 22 projects including a quality rating, an analysis of how effectively the research is being carried out, and the degree to which the research is aligned with the VSE. To the extent possible, the identification and discussion of various cross-cutting issues are also presented. Those issues will be explored and discussed in more detail in the final report.

  16. NASA Human Spaceflight Architecture Team: Lunar Surface Exploration Strategies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, Rob P.

    2012-01-01

    NASA s agency wide Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) has been developing Design Reference Missions (DRMs) to support the ongoing effort to characterize NASA s future human exploration strategy. The DRM design effort includes specific articulations of transportation and surface elements, technologies and operations required to enable future human exploration of various destinations including the moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and Mars as well as interim cis-lunar targets. In prior architecture studies, transportation concerns have dominated the analysis. As a result, an effort was made to study the human utilization strategy at each specific destination and the resultant impacts on the overall architecture design. In particular, this paper considers various lunar surface strategies as representative scenarios that could occur in a human lunar return, and demonstrates their alignment with the internationally developed Global Exploration Roadmap (GER).

  17. Advanced Fuel Cell System Thermal Management for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A.

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing advanced passive thermal management technology to reduce the mass and improve the reliability of space fuel cell systems for the NASA exploration program. An analysis of a state-of-the-art fuel cell cooling systems was done to benchmark the portion of a fuel cell system s mass that is dedicated to thermal management. Additional analysis was done to determine the key performance targets of the advanced passive thermal management technology that would substantially reduce fuel cell system mass.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. A New NASA Web Site Designed to Assist Planetary Scientists in Setting Up and Doing Education and Outreach Activities.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, P. W.

    2002-09-01

    With the increased emphasis on space scientists' involvement in education and public outreach efforts, many planetary scientists find themselves in a quandry about what to do and how to get started. Even those who have spent many years in such efforts may find themselves wanting to establish more national or global partnerships with E/PO professional organizations, either in formal education or in more public venues. As a part of the 6-year-old NASA Office of Space Science E/PO Support Network, the Solar System Exploration E/PO Forum has recently opened a web site to help make the task less time-consuming and more straightforward. This poster paper will describe the initial contents of the "For Scientists" part of the web site and solicits comments and suggestions to make it more complete and more helpful. It is intended that all useful web links and other resources be readily available through the web site so that it is less difficult to find where to get assistance or whom to ask for help. The site is also intended to assist scientists more experienced in E/PO efforts of their own to expand those efforts to wider audiences. Regional Broker/Facilitators exist in seven regions across the United States. Three other E/PO Forums (Sun-Earth Connection, Astronomical Search for Origins and Planetary Systems, and Structure and Evolution of the Universe) also exist. Contact information for the SSE Forum and the other elements of the Support Network is readily available at the web site, as is information on financial assistance available through NASA for E/PO activities and products. Hot links to other scientist E/PO assistance sites are also included.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Concept of a MWIR spectrometer development for future lunar and planetary explorations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J.; Kim, E.; Seo, H.; Kim, Y.; Lee, J.

    2013-12-01

    There was no mid-wave infrared (MWIR) spectrometer onboard any spacecraft for lunar exploration even though Cassini/VIMS and Deep Impact/HRI-IR observed the Moon during flyby on their ways to the main targets, i. e., Saturn and Comet, respectively. A MWIR spectrometer can provide useful information about the lunar and planetary environment, in particular, the water-ice absorption is observed near 3.1 micron, which can be one of direct evidence for the lunar water presence. We present the concept of a MWIR spectrometer for lunar and planetary explorations in order to discover the direct evidence of lunar water presence and to study on lunar dust and planetary atmosphere. We propose the preliminary specification of a MWIR spectrometer for lunar and planetary which is able to carry out the researches on lunar water and minerals, and planetary atmospheres.

  5. Exploring Planetary System Evolution Through High-Contrast Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. EXPLORING THE HABITABLE ZONE FOR KEPLER PLANETARY CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.

    2011-08-01

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

  7. Bioinspired engineering of exploration systems for NASA and DoD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Bioinspired engineering of exploration systems for NASA and DoD.

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

    A new approach called bioinspired engineering of exploration systems (BEES) and its value for solving pressing NASA and DoD needs are described. Insects (for example honeybees and dragonflies) cope remarkably well with their world, despite possessing a brain containing less than 0.01% as many neurons as the human brain. Although most insects have immobile eyes with fixed focus optics and lack stereo vision, they use a number of ingenious, computationally simple strategies for perceiving their world in three dimensions and navigating successfully within it. We are distilling selected insect-inspired strategies to obtain novel solutions for navigation, hazard avoidance, altitude hold, stable flight, terrain following, and gentle deployment of payload. Such functionality provides potential solutions for future autonomous robotic space and planetary explorers. A BEES approach to developing lightweight low-power autonomous flight systems should be useful for flight control of such biomorphic flyers for both NASA and DoD needs. Recent biological studies of mammalian retinas confirm that representations of multiple features of the visual world are systematically parsed and processed in parallel. Features are mapped to a stack of cellular strata within the retina. Each of these representations can be efficiently modeled in semiconductor cellular nonlinear network (CNN) chips. We describe recent breakthroughs in exploring the feasibility of the unique blending of insect strategies of navigation with mammalian visual search, pattern recognition, and image understanding into hybrid biomorphic flyers for future planetary and terrestrial applications. We describe a few future mission scenarios for Mars exploration, uniquely enabled by these newly developed biomorphic flyers. PMID:12650645

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zucker, Sandy, Comp.; And Others

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Mary S.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Future developments in planetary Fourier transform spectroscopy at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasunas, John C.

    2004-12-01

    Planetary Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS) has a long history at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Rudy Hanel developed a series of such instruments for Earth, Mars and the two Voyager spacecraft. More recently as part of the Cassini mission, the CIRS (Composite Infrared Spectrometer) FTS was launched in 1997 for the 2000-2001 Jupiter flyby and the 2004-2008+ Saturn tour. At about 40 kg, CIRS is both too heavy and too light for future planetary missions. It is too heavy for future Discovery and New Frontier missions, where the emphasis is on low-mass, low-power instrumentation. On the other hand, CIRS could be heavier to take full advantage of future Prometheus missions such as JIMO. Here we discuss future development of CIRS-like FTS"s for both Discovery/New Frontier and for Prometheus flight opportunities. We also briefly discuss possible applications in the Moon/Mars exploration initiative.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  14. Mars Technology Program Planetary Protection Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Ying

    2006-01-01

    The objectives of the NASA Planetary Protection program are to preserve biological and organic conditions of solar-system bodies for future scientific exploration and to protect the Earth from potential hazardous extraterrestrial contamination. As the exploration of solar system continues, NASA remains committed to the implementation of planetary protection policy and regulations. To fulfill this commitment, the Mars Technology Program (MTP) has invested in a portfolio of tasks for developing necessary technologies to meet planetary protection requirements for the next decade missions.

  15. Projected NASA power requirements for space science and exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Pilcher, Carl B.; Smith, William L.

    1992-01-01

    NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications has recently completed its long-range strategic plan which describes a number of exciting space science missions into the early 21st century. In parallel, NASA's new Office of Exploration has begun defining in more detail the architectures of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) for returning to the Moon and going to Mars. Both the space science missions and the SEI missions are dependent upon power sources and energy storage with strong requirements for reliability, long life, ease of assembly, autonomy, and light weight. This paper reviews the currently planned space science and SEI missions and focuses upon the power requirements with a view toward guiding technology developers and power designers.

  16. NASA'S RPS Design Reference Mission Set for Solar System Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Tibor S.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Solar discrepancies: Mars exploration and the curious problem of inter-planetary time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirmalek, Zara Lenora

    The inter-planetary work system for the NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission entailed coordinating work between two corporally diverse workgroups, human beings and solar-powered robots, and between two planets with asynchronous axial rotations. The rotation of Mars takes approximately 24 hours and 40 minutes while for Earth the duration is 24 hours, a differential that was synchronized on Earth by setting a clock forward forty minutes every day. The hours of the day during which the solar-powered rovers were operational constituted the central consideration in the relationship between time and work around which the schedule of MER science operations were organized. And, the operational hours for the rovers were precarious for at least two reasons: on the one hand, the possibility of a sudden and inexplicable malfunction was always present; on the other, the rovers were powered by solar-charged batteries that could simply (and would eventually) fail. Thus, the timetable for the inter-planetary work system was scheduled according to the daily cycle of the sun on Mars and a version of clock time called Mars time was used to keep track of the movement of the sun on Mars. While the MER mission was a success, it does not necessarily follow that all aspects of mission operations were successful. One of the central problems that plagued the organization of mission operations was precisely this construct called "Mars time" even while it appeared that the use of Mars time was unproblematic and central to the success of the mission. In this dissertation, Zara Mirmalek looks at the construction of Mars time as a tool and as a social process. Of particular interest are the consequences of certain (ostensibly foundational) assumptions about the relationship between clock time and the conduct of work that contributed to making the relationship between Mars time and work on Earth appear operational. Drawing on specific examples of breakdowns of Mars time as a support technology and of the technologies supporting Mars time, Mirmalek explores some of the effects that follow from failing to recognize time as a socio-cultural construction that emerges, fundamentally, in and through a physical relationship between the environment and the human body. In this investigation of Mars time as a phenomenon comprised of several contradictory logics, Mirmalek takes into account several aspects of the social, technical, and cultural processes constituting the relationship between time and work at NASA and specifically on the MER mission.

  19. NASA's initial flight missions in the Small Explorer Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rasch, Nickolus O.; Brown, William W.

    1989-01-01

    A new component of NASA's Explorer Program has been initiated in order to provide research opportunities characterized by small, quick-turn-around, and frequent space missions. Objectives include the launching of one or two payloads per year, depending on mission cost and availability of funds and launch vehicles. The four missions chosen from the proposals solicited by the Small Explorer Announcement Opportunity are discussed in detail. These include the Solar, Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) designed to carry out energetic particle studies of outstanding questions in the fields of space plasma, solar, heliospheric, cosmic ray, and middle atmospheric physics; the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS), which will conduct both pointed and survey observations of dense galactic molecular clouds; the Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST); and the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. A New Paradigm for Planetary Exploration — The Mars Tumbleweed Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antol, J.; Hajos, G. A.

    2012-06-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center Mars Tumbleweed rover is a concept for a lightweight, spherical, deployable structure that captures the Martian wind for mobility to conduct distributed geophysical and meteorological surveys of broad areas on Mars.

  2. Simulation Based Acquisition for NASA's Office of Exploration Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, Joe

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, President George W. Bush unveiled his vision for NASA to advance U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests through a robust space exploration program. This vision includes the goal to extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon no later than 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations. In response to this vision, NASA has created the Office of Exploration Systems (OExS) to develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures to explore and support decisions about human exploration destinations, including the development of a new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). Within the OExS organization, NASA is implementing Simulation Based Acquisition (SBA), a robust Modeling & Simulation (M&S) environment integrated across all acquisition phases and programs/teams, to make the realization of the President s vision more certain. Executed properly, SBA will foster better informed, timelier, and more defensible decisions throughout the acquisition life cycle. By doing so, SBA will improve the quality of NASA systems and speed their development, at less cost and risk than would otherwise be the case. SBA is a comprehensive, Enterprise-wide endeavor that necessitates an evolved culture, a revised spiral acquisition process, and an infrastructure of advanced Information Technology (IT) capabilities. SBA encompasses all project phases (from requirements analysis and concept formulation through design, manufacture, training, and operations), professional disciplines, and activities that can benefit from employing SBA capabilities. SBA capabilities include: developing and assessing system concepts and designs; planning manufacturing, assembly, transport, and launch; training crews, maintainers, launch personnel, and controllers; planning and monitoring missions; responding to emergencies by evaluating effects and exploring solutions; and communicating across the OExS enterprise, within the Government, and with the general public. The SBA process features empowered collaborative teams (including industry partners) to integrate requirements, acquisition, training, operations, and sustainment. The SBA process also utilizes an increased reliance on and investment in M&S to reduce design risk. SBA originated as a joint Industry and Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to define and integrate an acquisition process that employs robust, collaborative use of M&S technology across acquisition phases and programs. The SBA process was successfully implemented in the Air Force s Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernstein, Max; Richey, Christina; Rall, Jonathan

    2015-11-01

    Introduction: NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) solicits its research and analysis (R&A) programs each year in Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES). Beginning with the 2014 ROSES solicitation, PSD changed the structure of the program elements under which the majority of planetary science R&A is done. Major changes included the creation of five core research program elements aligned with PSD’s strategic science questions, the introduction of several new R&A opportunities, new submission requirements, and a new timeline for proposal submission.ROSES and NSPIRES: ROSES contains the research announcements for all of SMD. Submission of ROSES proposals is done electronically via NSPIRES: http://nspires.nasaprs.com. We will present further details on the proposal submission process to help guide younger scientists. Statistical trends, including the average award size within the PSD programs, selections rates, and lessons learned, will be presented. Information on new programs will also be presented, if available.Review Process and Volunteering: The SARA website (http://sara.nasa.gov) contains information on all ROSES solicitations. There is an email address (SARA@nasa.gov) for inquiries and an area for volunteer reviewers to sign up. The peer review process is based on Scientific/Technical Merit, Relevance, and Level of Effort, and will be detailed within this presentation.ROSES 2015 submission changes: All PSD programs will continue to use a two-step proposal submission process. A Step-1 proposal is required and must be submitted electronically by the Step-1 due date. The Step-1 proposal should include a description of the science goals and objectives to be addressed by the proposal, a brief description of the methodology to be used to address the science goals and objectives, and the relevance of the proposed research to the call submitted to.

  4. Horses for courses: analytical tools to explore planetary boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Vuuren, D. P.; Lucas, P. L.; Häyhä, T.; Cornell, S. E.; Stafford-Smith, M.

    2015-09-01

    There is a need for further integrated research on developing a set of sustainable development objectives, based on the proposed framework of planetary boundaries indicators. The relevant research questions are divided in this paper into four key categories, related to the underlying processes and selection of key indicators, understanding the impacts of different exposure levels and influence of connections between different types of impacts, a better understanding of different response strategies and the available options to implement changes. Clearly, different categories of scientific disciplines and associated models exist that can contribute to the necessary analysis, noting that the distinctions between them are fuzzy. In the paper, we both indicate how different models relate to the four categories of questions but also how further insights can be obtained by connecting the different disciplines (without necessarily fully integrating them). Research on integration can support planetary boundary quantification in a credible way, linking human drivers and social and biophysical impacts.

  5. The Global Exploration Roadmap and its significance for NASA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  6. Transition in the Human Exploration of Space at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, Carla A.; Cabana, Robert

    2011-01-01

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

  7. NASA thesaurus: Astronomy vocabulary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, Richard S.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Cull, Ronald C.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, Sandy

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richey, Christina; Bernstein, Max; Rall, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Cytochemical studies of planetary microorganisms explorations in exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levinthal, E. C.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephan, Ryan A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephan, Ryan A.

    2009-01-01

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

  16. NASA Center for Intelligent Robotic Systems for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  17. NASA SSERVI Contributions to Lunar Science and Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Brad; Pendleton, Yvonne; Schmidt, Gregory

    2015-04-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration that will enable deeper understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies as we move further out of low-Earth orbit. The new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) will focus on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars. The Institute focuses on interdisciplinary, exploration-related science centered around all airless bodies targeted as potential human destinations. Areas of study reported here will represent the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences encompassing investigations of the surface, interior, exosphere, and near-space environments as well as science uniquely enabled from these bodies. We will provide a detailed look at research being conducted by each of the 9 domestic US teams as well as our 7 international partners. The research profile of the Institute integrates investigations of plasma physics, geology/geochemistry, technology integration, solar system origins/evolution, regolith geotechnical properties, analogues, volatiles, ISRU and exploration potential of the target bodies.

  18. NASA SSERVI Contributions to Lunar Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Yvonne J.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration that will enable deeper understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies as we move further out of low-Earth orbit. The new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) will focus on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars. The Institute focuses on interdisciplinary, exploration-related science centered around all airless bodies targeted as potential human destinations. Areas of study reported here will represent the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences encompassing investigations of the surface, interior, exosphere, and near-space environments as well as science uniquely enabled from these bodies. We will provide a detailed look at research being conducted by each of the 9 domestic US teams as well as our 7 international partners. The research profile of the Institute integrates investigations of plasma physics, geology/geochemistry, technology integration, solar system origins/evolution, regolith geotechnical properties, analogues, volatiles, ISRU and exploration potential of the target bodies.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Planetary rover technology development requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedard, Roger J., Jr.; Muirhead, Brian K.; Montemerlo, Melvin D.; Hirschbein, Murray S.

    1989-01-01

    Planetary surface (including lunar) mobility and sampling capability is required to support proposed future National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) solar system exploration missions. The NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) is addressing some of these technology needs in its base research and development program, the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) and a new technology initiative entitled Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Planetary Rover (PPR) and Sample Acquisition, Analysis and Preservation (SAAP) programs will develop and validate the technologies needed to enable both robotic and piloted rovers on various planetary surfaces. The technology requirements for a planetary roving vehicle and the development plans of the PPR and SAAP programs are discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGreevy, Michael W.

    2005-01-01

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

  3. NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Kimberly F.; Hefner, Keith; Hitt, David

    2015-01-01

    Designed to enable human space exploration missions, including eventually 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. The vehicle will be able to deliver greater mass to orbit than any contemporary launch vehicle. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Evaluation of Dual Pressurized Rover Operations During Simulated Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: A pair of small pressurized rovers (Space Exploration Vehicles, or SEVs) is at the center of the Global Point-of-Departure architecture for future human planetary exploration. Simultaneous operation of multiple crewed surface assets should maximize productive crew time, minimize overhead, and preserve contingency return paths. Methods: A 14-day mission simulation was conducted in the Arizona desert as part of NASA?s 2010 Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS). The simulation involved two SEV concept vehicles performing geological exploration under varied operational modes affecting both the extent to which the SEVs must maintain real-time communications with mission control ("Continuous" vs. "Twice-a-Day") and their proximity to each other ("Lead-and-Follow" vs. "Divide-and-Conquer"). As part of a minimalist lunar architecture, no communications relay satellites were assumed. Two-person crews consisting of an astronaut and a field geologist operated each SEV, day and night, throughout the entire 14-day mission, only leaving via the suit ports to perform simulated extravehicular activities. Standard metrics enabled quantification of the habitability and usability of all aspects of the SEV concept vehicles throughout the mission, as well as comparison of the extent to which the operating modes affected crew productivity and performance. Practically significant differences in the relevant metrics were prospectively defined for the testing of all hypotheses. Results and Discussion: Data showed a significant 14% increase in available science time (AST) during Lead-and-Follow mode compared with Divide-and-Conquer, primarily because of the minimal overhead required to maintain communications during Lead-and-Follow. In Lead-and-Follow mode, there was a non-significant 2% increase in AST during Twice-a-Day vs. Continuous communications. Situational awareness of the other vehicle?s location, activities, and contingency return constraints were enhanced during Lead-and-Follow and Twice-a-Day communications modes due to line-of-sight and direct SEV-to-SEV communication. Preliminary analysis of Scientific Data Quality and Observation Quality metrics showed no significant differences between modes.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Nuclear power technology requirements for NASA exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomfield, Harvey S.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorsey, John T.

    2011-01-01

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

  10. NASA: Engineering Space Exploration - Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malone, Roy

    2009-01-01

    This presentation reviews NASA's program of space exploration, including information about NASA's mission, the human urge to explore, the timeline for the development of the exploration, and what NASA plans to explore and prove during the return to the moon. Also include are views of the planned vehicles, and a review of progress to date in the design and construction of the vehicles. Some of the benefits of space exploration are also reviewed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Enabling the Space Exploration Initiative - NASA's Exploration Technology Program in space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Cull, Ronald C.

    1991-01-01

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

  13. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Combining Science and Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  17. 77 FR 6825 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-09

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting AGENCY... Administration announces a meeting of the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council..., 300 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20546, 202-358-2245; bette.siegel@nasa.gov ....

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Robotic Assistance for Human Planetary and Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tyree, Kimberly S.

    2004-01-01

    Human exploration of space will need robotic assistance in many areas. The type and functionality of such robots needs to be more clearly defined as we resume human missions to the moon and begin human missions to Mars. This paper will identify possible robotic assistants, including their control modes, workplaces, and physical attributes. Current JSC human-robot interaction projects are described, and lessons learned from extensive field tests are given. Future scenario considerations are then detailed. Earth-based testing of varied robotic assistants will provide a means of defining what capabilities are needed for future exploration.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. NASA's Space Launch System: A Cornerstone Capability for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.

    2014-01-01

    Under construction today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS), managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, will provide a robust new capability for human and robotic exploration beyond Earth orbit. The vehicle's initial configuration, scheduled for first launch in 2017, will enable human missions into lunar space and beyond, as well as provide game-changing benefits for space science missions, including offering substantially reduced transit times for conventionally designed spacecraft. From there, the vehicle will undergo a series of block upgrades via an evolutionary development process designed to expedite mission capture as capability increases. The Space Launch System offers multiple benefits for a variety of utilization areas. From a mass-lift perspective, the initial configuration of the vehicle, capable of delivering 70 metric tons (t) to low Earth orbit (LEO), will be the world's most powerful launch vehicle. Optimized for missions beyond Earth orbit, it will also be the world's only exploration-class launch vehicle capable of delivering 25 t to lunar orbit. The evolved configuration, with a capability of 130 t to LEO, will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown. From a volume perspective, SLS will be compatible with the payload envelopes of contemporary launch vehicles, but will also offer options for larger fairings with unprecedented volume-lift capability. The vehicle's mass-lift capability also means that it offers extremely high characteristic energy for missions into deep space. This paper will discuss the impacts that these factors - mass-lift, volume, and characteristic energy - have on a variety of mission classes, particularly human exploration and space science. It will address the vehicle's capability to enable existing architectures for deep-space exploration, such as those documented in the Global Exploration Roadmap, a capabilities-driven outline for future deep-space voyages created by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, which represents 12 of the world's space agencies. In addition, this paper will detail this new rocket's capability to support missions beyond the human exploration roadmap, including robotic precursor missions to other worlds or uniquely high-mass space operation facilities in Earth orbit. As this paper will explain, the SLS Program is currently building a global infrastructure asset that will provide robust space launch capability to deliver sustainable solutions for exploration.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Addressing critical astrophysical problems with NASA's small explorer (SMEX) missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinan, Edward F.; Ribas, Ignasi

    The Small Explorer (SMEX) program of NASA was initiated during the late 1980s to provide frequent, cost-effective opportunities to carry out sharply focused and relatively space science missions. The SMEX program together with the Mid-size Explorer (MIDEX) program were timely reactions to the increasingly long development times and cost over-runs for a number of large space missions during the previous decades. SMEX spacecrafts are typically 180 to 250 kg with orbit-averaged power consumptions of 50-200 watts. Frequently innovative or novel technologies and instrumentation are employed to achieve important results. The current cost cap (which includes cost of launch vehicle, development and operations) is 75M (Fiscal Year 2000 US). For comparison, the cost cap of the MIDEX mission is $135M. Both SMEX and MIDEX are solicited Principal Investigator (PI) missions that are peer-reviewed before selection. The SMEX program is supported by the NASA's Office of Space Research (OSS) and a wide spectrum of science is addressed. The themes include Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets, the Structure and Evolution of the Universe, and the Sun-Earth Connection. Within these major themes, the missions may also focus on fundamental laws of physics as they relate to astrophysics and cosmology. So far, seven SMEX missions have been flown or are approved for flight within one or two years. In this paper, the past, current, and possible future SMEX missions are discussed and evaluated. Some highlights and important scientific returns from the current and approved missions are also included.

  5. Technical Readiness of Japanese lunar penetrator and its application to the future planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiraishi, H.; Tanaka, S.; Kobayashi, N.; Murakami, H.; Fujimura, A.; Hayakawa, H.

    2011-10-01

    We have developed a hard landing probe "penetrator" for the investigation of lunar interior. In these years, we have been continuing to make an effort to improve the reliability and robustness. In this paper, we report the technical readiness of lunar penetrator and future prospect for the planetary exploration.

  6. 78 FR 20696 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Research Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-05

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Research Subcommittee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY... Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Research Subcommittee of the...

  7. PDS and NASA Tournament Laboratory Progress in Engaging Developers to Provide New Access to the Nation’s Planetary Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raugh, Anne C.; LaMora, A.; Erickson, K.; Gordon, M.; Grayzeck, E. J.; Morgan, T. H.; Showalter, M.; Knopf, W.

    2013-10-01

    The Planetary Data System (PDS), working through the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) and TopCoder® , used challenge-based competition to generate an optimized data base and API for comet data at the PDS Small Bodies Node (SBN). Additional, follow-on contests challenged the competitors to create new, transparent, agile tools for public access to NASA’s planetary data, where “public” includes not just researchers, but also students and educators. Since the initial start-up last year, the installation at SBN now provides ready access to the comet data holdings of the SBN, and has introduced new users and new developers to PDS data. We report on recent developments arising from that first success. Specifically, the experience gained in that process is being applied to establishing a second installation at the PDS Planetary Rings Node (Rings), to serve as the basis for a new series of challenges - this time to develop similar access tools at Rings to make the growing archive of CASSINI images available through the API; and to develop a crowd-sourcing project with eventual application across the PDS holdings.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  10. NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Kimberly F.; Hefner, Keith; Hitt, David

    2015-01-01

    Designed to enable human space exploration missions, including eventually 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 "proving ground" of lunar-vicinity space to enabling high-energy transits through the outer solar system. 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). Preparations are also underway to evolve the vehicle into more powerful configurations, culminating with the capability to deliver more than 130 metric tons to LEO. Even the initial configuration of SLS will be able to deliver greater mass to orbit than any contemporary launch vehicle, and the evolved configuration will have greater performance 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. The basic capabilities of SLS have been driven by studies on the requirements of human deep-space exploration missions, and continue to be validated by maturing analysis of Mars mission options, including the Global Exploration Roadmap. Early collaboration with science teams planning future decadal-class missions have contributed to a greater understanding of the vehicle's potential range of utilization. As SLS draws closer to its first launch, the Program is maturing concepts for future capability upgrades, which could begin being available within a decade. These upgrades, from multiple unique payload accommodations to an upper stage providing more power for inspace propulsion, have ramifications for a variety of missions, from human exploration to robotic science.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. A nuclear electric propulsion vehicle for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pawlik, E. V.; Phillips, W. M.

    1976-01-01

    A study is currently underway at JPL to design a nuclear electric-propulsion vehicle capable of performing detailed exploration of the outer planets. Evaluation of the design indicates that it is also applicable to orbit raising. Primary emphasis is on the power subsystem. Work on the design of the power system, the mission rationale, and preliminary spacecraft design are summarized. A propulsion system at a 400-kWe power level with a specific weight goal of no more than 25-kg/kW was selected for this study. The results indicate that this goal can be realized along with compatibility with the shuttle launch-vehicle constraints.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minow, Joseph I.

    2007-01-01

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

  15. U.S. planetary exploration program technology implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, A. V.; Rea, D. G.

    1984-01-01

    As a consequence of the widespread acceptance of the recommendations of the Solar System Exploration Committee, the U.S. Program for exploring the planets has entered a new phase. The objectives to be pursued involve a reduction of costs, while maintaining a high level of scientific return. Plans for the activities to be conducted in this new phase are related to a Core Program and to 'augmentation missions'. One part of the Core Program is concerned with the utilization of the technology, developed for earth-orbiting spacecraft, in missions within the inner solar system to targets ranging from Venus to the inner portion of the asteroid belt. However, modified earth-orbiting buses are not suitable for missions outside the inner solar system. For the second part of the Core Program, which is concerned with the outer solar system and small bodies, a modularized spacecraft based on Viking, Voyager, and Galileo technology will be developed. 'Augmentation missions' will be conducted when possible or desirable.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Enhanced Multi-Modal Access to Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamarra, Norm; Doyle, Richard; Wyatt, Jay

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Combining Open-Source Packages for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Albrecht; Grieger, Björn; Völk, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    The science planning of the ESA Rosetta mission has presented challenges which were addressed with combining various open-source software packages, such as the SPICE toolkit, the Python language and the Web graphics library three.js. The challenge was to compute certain parameters from a pool of trajectories and (possible) attitudes to describe the behaviour of the spacecraft. To be able to do this declaratively and efficiently, a C library was implemented that allows to interface the SPICE toolkit for geometrical computations from the Python language and process as much data as possible during one subroutine call. To minimise the lines of code one has to write special care was taken to ensure that the bindings were idiomatic and thus integrate well into the Python language and ecosystem. When done well, this very much simplifies the structure of the code and facilitates the testing for correctness by automatic test suites and visual inspections. For rapid visualisation and confirmation of correctness of results, the geometries were visualised with the three.js library, a popular Javascript library for displaying three-dimensional graphics in a Web browser. Programmatically, this was achieved by generating data files from SPICE sources that were included into templated HTML and displayed by a browser, thus made easily accessible to interested parties at large. As feedback came and new ideas were to be explored, the authors benefited greatly from the design of the Python-to-SPICE library which allowed the expression of algorithms to be concise and easier to communicate. In summary, by combining several well-established open-source tools, we were able to put together a flexible computation and visualisation environment that helped communicate and build confidence in planning ideas.

  5. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Science and Technology for Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Greg; Bailey, Brad; Gibbs, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is a virtual institute focused on research at the intersection of science and exploration, training the next generation of lunar scientists, and development and support of the international community. As part of its mission, SSERVI acts as a hub for opportunities that engage the larger scientific and exploration communities in order to form new interdisciplinary, research-focused collaborations. The nine domestic SSERVI teams that comprise the U.S. complement of the Institute engage with the international science and exploration communities through workshops, conferences, online seminars and classes, student exchange programs and internships. SSERVI represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration enabling a deeper, integrated understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies as human exploration moves beyond low Earth orbit. SSERVI centers on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars, with additional aspects of related technology development, including a major focus on human exploration-enabling efforts such as resolving Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs). The Institute focuses on interdisciplinary, exploration-related science focused on airless bodies targeted as potential human destinations. Areas of study represent the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences encompassing investigations of the surface, interior, exosphere, and near-space environments as well as science uniquely enabled from these bodies. This research profile integrates investigations of plasma physics, geology/geochemistry, technology integration, solar system origins/evolution, regolith geotechnical properties, analogues, volatiles, ISRU and exploration potential of the target bodies. New opportunities for both domestic and international partnerships are continually generated through these research and community development efforts, and SSERVI can further serve as a model for joint international scientific efforts through its creation of bridges across disciplines and between countries. Since the inception of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (SSERVIs predecessor), it has and will continue to contribute in many ways toward the advancement of lunar science and the eventual human exploration of the Moon.

  6. NASA Advanced Explorations Systems: Advancements in Life Support Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shull, Sarah A.; Schneider, Walter F.

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Life Support Systems (LSS) project strives to develop reliable, energy-efficient, and low-mass spacecraft systems to provide environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) critical to enabling long duration human missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Highly reliable, closed-loop life support systems are among the capabilities required for the longer duration human space exploration missions assessed by NASA's Habitability Architecture Team (HAT). The LSS project is focused on four areas: architecture and systems engineering for life support systems, environmental monitoring, air revitalization, and wastewater processing and water management. Starting with the international space station (ISS) LSS systems as a point of departure (where applicable), the mission of the LSS project is three-fold: 1. Address discrete LSS technology gaps 2. Improve the reliability of LSS systems 3. Advance LSS systems towards integrated testing on the ISS. This paper summarized the work being done in the four areas listed above to meet these objectives. Details will be given on the following focus areas: Systems Engineering and Architecture- With so many complex systems comprising life support in space, it is important to understand the overall system requirements to define life support system architectures for different space mission classes, ensure that all the components integrate well together and verify that testing is as representative of destination environments as possible. Environmental Monitoring- In an enclosed spacecraft that is constantly operating complex machinery for its own basic functionality as well as science experiments and technology demonstrations, it's possible for the environment to become compromised. While current environmental monitors aboard the ISS will alert crew members and mission control if there is an emergency, long-duration environmental monitoring cannot be done in-orbit as current methodologies rely largely on sending environmental samples back to Earth. The LSS project is developing onboard analysis capabilities that will replace the need to return air and water samples from space for ground analysis. Air Revitalization- The air revitalization task is comprised of work in carbon dioxide removal, oxygen generation and recovery and trace contamination and particulate control. The CO2 Removal and associated air drying development efforts under the LSS project are focused both on improving the current SOA technology on the ISS and assessing and examining the viability of other sorbents and technologies available in academia and industry. The Oxygen Generation and Recovery technology development area encompasses several sub-tasks in an effort to supply O2 to the crew at the required conditions, to recover O2 from metabolic CO2, and to recycle recovered O2 back to the cabin environment. Current state-of-the-art oxygen generation systems aboard space station are capable of generating or recovering approximately 40% of required oxygen; for exploration missions this percentage needs to be greatly increased. A spacecraft cabin trace contaminant and particulate control system serves to keep the environment below the spacecraft maximum allowable concentration (SMAC) for chemicals and particulates. Both passive (filters) and active (scrubbers) methods contribute to the overall TC & PC design. Work in the area of trace contamination and particulate control under the LSS project is focused on making improvements to the SOA TC & PC systems on ISS to improve performance and reduce consumables. Wastewater Processing and Water Management- A major goal of the LSS project is the development of water recovery systems to support long duration human exploration beyond LEO. Current space station wastewater processing and water management systems distill urine and wastewater to recover water from urine and humidity condensate in the spacecraft at a approximately 74% recovery rate. For longer, farther missions into deep space, that recovery rate must be greatly increased so that astronauts can journey for months without resupply cargo ships from Earth.

  7. Back to the future: the role of the ISS and future space stations in planetary exploration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, Christian; Moreau, Didier

    2010-05-01

    Space stations as stepping stones to planets appear already in the1954 Disney-von Braun anticipation TV show but the first study with a specific planetary scientific objective was the ANTEUS project of 1978. This station was an evolution of SPACELAB hardware and was designed to analyse Mars samples with better equipment than the laboratory of the VIKING landers. It would have played the role of the reception facility present in the current studies of Mars sample return, after analysis, the "safe" samples would have been returned to earth by the space shuttle. This study was followed by the flights of SPACELAB and MIR. Finally after 35 years of development, the International Space Station reaches its final configuration in 2010. Recent developments of the international agreement between the space agencies indicate a life extending to 2025, it is already part of the exploration programme as its crews prepare the long cruise flights and missions to the exploration targets. It is now time to envisage also the use of this stable 350 tons spacecraft for planetary and space sciences. Planetary telescopes are an obvious application; the present SOLAR payload on COLUMBUS is an opportunity to use the target pointing capabilities from the ISS. The current exposure facilities are also preparing future planetary protection procedures. Other applications have already been previously considered as experimental collision and impact studies in both space vacuum and microgravity. Future space stations at the Lagrange points could simultaneously combine unique observation platforms with an actual intermediate stepping stone to Mars.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombano, Silvano P.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephan, Ryan A.

    2011-01-01

    The now-cancelled Constellation Program included the Orion, Altair, and Lunar Surface Systems project offices. The first two elements, Orion and Altair, were planned to be manned space vehicles while the third element was much more diverse and included several sub-elements. Among other things, these sub-elements were Rovers and a Lunar Habitat. The planned missions involving these systems and vehicles included several risks and design challenges. Due to the unique thermal operating environment, many of these risks and challenges were associated with the vehicles thermal control system. NASA s Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) consisted of various technology development projects. The project chartered with mitigating the aforementioned thermal risks and design challenges was the Thermal Control System Development for Exploration Project. These risks and design challenges were being addressed through a rigorous technology development process that was planned to culminate with an integrated thermal control system test. Although the technologies being developed were originally aimed towards mitigating specific Constellation risks, the technology development process is being continued within a new program. This continued effort is justified by the fact that many of the technologies are generically applicable to future spacecraft thermal control systems. The current paper summarizes the development efforts being performed by the technology development project. The development efforts involve heat acquisition and heat rejection hardware including radiators, heat exchangers, and evaporators. The project has also been developing advanced phase change material heat sinks and performing a material compatibility assessment for a promising thermal control system working fluid. The to-date progress and lessons-learned from these development efforts will be discussed throughout the paper.

  10. NASA Selects Mars Exploration Program Rover for 2003 Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leptoukh, Gregory

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Successfully Engaging Scientists in NASA Education and Public Outreach: Examples from a Teacher Professional Development Workshop Series and a Planetary Analog Festival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Bleacher, L.; Shaner, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Lunar Workshops for Educators are a series of weeklong workshops for grade 6-9 science teachers focused on lunar science and exploration, sponsored by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). These workshops have been held across the country for the past five years, in places underserved with respect to NASA workshops and at LRO team member institutions. MarsFest is a planetary analog festival that has been held annually in Death Valley National Park since 2012, made possible with support from the Curiosity (primarily the Sample Analysis at Mars) Education and Public Outreach team, NASA's Ames Research Center, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the SETI Institute, and Death Valley National Park. Both the Lunar Workshops for Educators and MarsFest rely strongly on scientist engagement for their success. In the Lunar Workshops, scientists and engineers give talks for workshop participants, support facility tours and field trips, and, where possible, have lunch with the teachers to interact with them in a less formal setting. Teachers have enthusiastically appreciated and benefited from all of these interactions, and the scientists and engineers also provide positive feedback about their involvement. In MarsFest, scientists and engineers give public presentations and take park visitors on field trips to planetary analog sites. The trips are led by scientists who do research at the field trip sites whenever possible. Surveys of festival participants indicate an appreciation for learning about scientific research being conducted in the park from the people involved in that research, and scientists and engineers report enjoying sharing their work with the public through this program. The key to effective scientist engagement in all of the workshops and festivals has been a close relationship and open communication between the scientists and engineers and the activity facilitators. I will provide more details about both of these programs, how scientists and engineers are involved in them, and offer suggestions for others who would like to engage scientists and engineers in similar activities.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  16. 78 FR 20358 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-04

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the... Advancement of Science in Space/Status of Research Subcommittee --Status of Exploration Systems...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yano, H.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nahra, Henry (Compiler)

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 75 FR 33838 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-15

    .... Asteroid detection, warning, response, and concepts for deflection. International coordination on planetary defense against asteroids. The meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Development of a biochip dedicated to planetary exploration. First step: resistance studies to space conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Postollec, A.; Dobrijevic, M.; Incerti, S.; Moretto, Ph.; Seznec, H.; Desorgher, L.; Santin, G.; Nieminen, P.; Dartnell, L.; Vandenabeele-Trambouze, O.; Coussot, G.

    2007-07-01

    For upcoming exploration missions, space agencies advocate the development of a new promising technique to search for traces of extent or extinct life: the biochip use. As space is a hazardous environment, a main concern relies on the resistance of this device to a panel of harsh constraints. Within the framework of the BiOMAS (Biochip for Organic Matter Analysis in Space) project, our team is currently developing a biochip especially designed for planetary exploration. We present here the methodology adopted and the beginning experiments to select the best constituents, to determine resistance levels and to define well-adapted protection for the biochip.

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

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  4. Explore at NASA Goddard Promo - Duration: 54 seconds.

    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...

  5. The development of the human exploration demonstration project (HEDP), a planetary systems testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chevers, Edward S.; Korsmeyer, David J.

    1993-01-01

    The Human Exploration Demonstration Project (HEDP) is an ongoing task at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center to address the advanced technology requirements necessary to implement an integrated working and living environment for a planetary surface habitat. The integrated environment will consist of life support systems, physiological monitoring of project crew, a virtual environment workstation, and centralized data acquisition and habitat systems health monitoring. There will be several robotic systems on a simulated planetary landscape external to the habitat environment to provide representative work loads for the crew. This paper describes the status of the HEDP after one year, the major facilities composing the HEDP, the project's role as an Ames Research Center testbed, and the types of demonstration scenarios that will be run to showcase the technologies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, C.

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

  7. Argus: An Io observer mission concept study from the 2014 NASA/JPL Planetary Science Summer School

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hays, L. E.; Holstein-Rathlou, C.; Becerra, P.; Basu, K.; Davis, B.; Fox, V. K.; Herman, J. F. C.; Hughes, A. C. G.; Keane, J. T.; Marcucci, E.; Mendez-Ramos, E.; Nelessen, A.; Neveu, M.; Parrish, N. L.; Scheinberg, A. L.; Wrobel, J. S.

    2014-12-01

    Jupiter's satellite Io represents the ideal target for studying extreme tidal heating and volcanism, two of the most important processes in the formation and evolution of planetary bodies. The 2011 Planetary Decadal Survey identified an Io Observer as a high-priority New Frontiers class mission to be considered for the decade 2013-2022. In response to the 2009 New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity, we propose a mission concept for an Io Observer mission, named Argus (after the mythical watchman of Io), developed by the students of the August 2014 session of the Planetary Science Summer School hosted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, together with JPL's Team X. The goals of our mission are: (i) Study the effects of tidal heating and its implications for habitability in the Solar System and beyond; (ii) Investigate active lava flows on Io as an analog for early Earth; (iii) Analyze the interaction of Io with the Jovian system through material exchange and magnetospheric activity; (iv) Study the internal structure of Io, as well as its chemical and tectonic history in order to gain insight into its formation and that of the other Galilean satellites.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connolly, John

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Exploring NASA GES DISC Data with Interoperable Services

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Peisheng; Yang, Wenli; Hegde, Mahabal; Wei, Jennifer C.; Kempler, Steven; Pham, Long; Teng, William; Savtchenko, Andrey

    2015-01-01

    Overview of NASA GES DISC (NASA Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Services Center) data with interoperable services: Open-standard and Interoperable Services Improve data discoverability, accessibility, and usability with metadata, catalogue and portal standards Achieve data, information and knowledge sharing across applications with standardized interfaces and protocols Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Data Services and Specifications Web Coverage Service (WCS) -- data Web Map Service (WMS) -- pictures of data Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) --- pictures of data tiles Styled Layer Descriptors (SLD) --- rendered styles.

  10. Development of In Situ Instruments for Planetary Exploration - Unique Challenges in Design, Development, and Execution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krabach, Timothy; Beauchamp, Patricia

    2006-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing in situ instruments for NASA missions is shown. The topics include: 1) In Situ Instrumentation; 2) Planetary Extremes; 3) Mars Surface Environment; 4) Lunar Precursor Mission Environment; 5) Europa Surface Analogue; 6) Other Parameters; 7) Space In Situ Instrumentation still in its Infancy; 8) Needed Capabilities For In Situ Science; 9) Framework For Putting The Pieces Together; 10) The Wild World of Astrobiology; 11) Timeline; 12) Example: MOD; 13) In Situ Sample Analysis Laboratories are more complex; 14) technologies In Situ Sample Analysis Requires Integration of Many Emerging Advanced Concepts; 15) Supporting technologies for In Situ Laboratories; 16) Micro-laboratory example; 17) In Situ Instrument Classes; and 18) Key for Analytical Instrument:Sample Preparation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Highly Sensitive Tunable Diode Laser Spectrometers for In Situ Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasudev, Ram; Mansour, Kamjou; Webster, Christopher R.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes highly sensitive tunable diode laser spectrometers suitable for in situ planetary exploration. The technology developed at JPL is based on wavelength modulated cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy. It is capable of sensitively detecting chemical signatures of life through the abundance of biogenic molecules and their isotopic composition, and chemicals such as water necessary for habitats of life. The technology would be suitable for searching for biomarkers, extinct life, potential habitats of extant life, and signatures of ancient climates on Mars; and for detecting biomarkers, prebiotic chemicals and habitats of life in the outer Solar System. It would be useful for prospecting for water on the Moon and asteroids, and characterizing its isotopic composition. Deployment on the Moon could provide ground truth to the recent remote measurements and help to uncover precious records of the early bombardment history of the inner Solar System buried at the shadowed poles, and elucidate the mechanism for the generation of near-surface water in the illuminated regions. The technology would also be useful for detecting other volatile molecules in planetary atmospheres and subsurface reservoirs, isotopic characterization of planetary materials, and searching for signatures of extinct life preserved in solid matrices.

  13. NASA Planetary Scientist Profile Emily Wilson - Duration: 2 minutes, 48 seconds.

    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...

  14. 78 FR 42110 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-15

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-462, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Committee reports to the...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandor, Aniko; Holden, Kritina L.

    2007-01-01

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

  16. NASA Shows Progress of President's Space Exploration Vision - Duration: 2 minutes, 47 seconds.

    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...

  17. NASA Now: MMSEV: The Future of Robotic Exploration - Duration: 6 minutes, 11 seconds.

    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...

  18. 76 FR 41307 - NASA Advisory Council; Space Operations Committee and Exploration Committee; Joint Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-13

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a joint meeting of the Space Operations Committee and Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory...

  19. 76 FR 63663 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-13

    ...In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a meeting of the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, V.; Ballarini, F.; Battistoni, G.; Campanella, M.; Carboni, M.; Cerutti, F.; Elkhayari, N.; Empl, A.; Fasso, A.; Ferrari, A.; Gadoli, E.; Gazelli, M. V.; LeBourgeois, M.; Lee, K. T.; Mayes, B.; Muraro, S.; Ottolenghi, A.; Pelliccioni, M.; Pinsky, L. S.; Rancati, T.; Ranft, J.; Roesler, S.; Sala, P. R.; Scannocchio, D.; Smirnov, G.

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Analytical model of the contact interaction between the components of a special percussive mechanism for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vila, Luis J.; Malla, Ramesh B.

    2016-01-01

    Special percussive mechanisms, e.g. Auto Gopher and UltraSonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) have been developed by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms, Corp. to address some of the limitations of current drilling techniques for planetary exploration. The percussive mechanism consists of an ultrasonic horn, a free mass (hammer) and the drill rod. This paper presents the analysis of the interaction between these three components. The impact between the components (i.e. ultrasonic horn and free mass, and free mass and drill rod) is analyzed using solid body collision analysis applying the principle of conservation of momentum. The drill rod is modeled for both undamped and damped cases with equivalent generalized single degree of freedom system. Various values are used for the coefficient of restitution to account for energy loss during impact. The energy transferred to the drill rod by the free mass is obtained determining the change in kinetic energy due to impact. It is observed that the free mass converts the high frequency of oscillation of the ultrasonic horn into lower frequency impacts on the drill rod. A decrease in the coefficient of restitution results in a decrease in the number of impacts, impulse imparted to the drill rod and energy transferred to the drill rod by the impact of the free mass.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Development of Spacecraft to Exploit Electric Propulsion for Outer Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roche, Joseph M. (Technical Monitor); Noland, Jonathan

    2005-01-01

    Outer planetary exploration spacecraft have relied on Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) to provide power. This is necessary as solar power is not useful beyond the inner planets. For propulsion these spacecraft have made use of chemical systems. A study was undertaken to look at the possibility of designing a spacecraft for outer planetary exploration that would use an RPS in combination with Electric Propulsion. That is, the RPS would be the sole power provider to the EP system. Recent improvements in RPS s have made Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) more of a possibility. The combined power and propulsion technologies of REP and a direct trajectory would potentially enable a new class of missions - high delta V, beyond Mars orbit for a small spacecraft primarily suited for small body capture (orbit capture or co-orbit). A study was undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of a REP spacecraft for a selected representative mission of this type. To evaluate the potential of these technologies, a design reference mission was established and a conceptual design of a spacecraft developed. The following paper describes the Ion Propulsion System, one particular subsystem onboard of the spacecraft.

  5. Solar system exploration from the Moon: Synoptic and comparative study of bodies in our Planetary system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruston, P.; Mumma, M. J.

    1994-01-01

    An observational approach to Planetary Sciences and exploration from Earth applies to a quite limited number of targets, but most of these are spatially complex, and exhibit variability and evolution on a number of temporal scales which lie within the scope of possible observations. Advancing our understanding of the underlying physics requires the study of interactions between the various elements of such systems, and also requires study of the comparative response of both a given object to various conditions and of comparable objects to similar conditions. These studies are best conducted in 'campaigns', i.e. comprehensive programs combining simultaneous coherent observations of every interacting piece of the puzzle. The requirements include both imaging and spectroscopy over a wide spectral range, from UV to IR. While temporal simultaneity of operation in various modes is a key feature, these observations are also conducted over extended periods of time. The moon is a prime site offering long unbroken observation times and high positional stability, observations at small angular separation from the sun, comparative studies of planet Earth, and valuable technical advantages. A lunar observatory should become a central piece of any coherent set of planetary missions, supplying in-situ explorations with the synoptic and comparative data necessary for proper advance planning, correlative observations during the active exploratory phase, and follow-up studies of the target body or of related objects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  8. Operational Support Issues for the new NASA Exploration Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  9. Current NASA studies for a Far Ultraviolent Spectrographic Explorer (FUSE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linsky, J.; Boggess, A.; Bowyer, S.; Caldwell, J.; Cash, W.; Cohen, J.; Dupree, A.; Green, R.; Jenkins, E.; Jura, M.

    1982-01-01

    The NASA plans for FUSE, a satellite which obtains spectra with resolutions between 100,000 and 100 in the spectral regions from 912 to 1216A and 100 to 912A, are outlined. Scientific problems which can be tackled by FUSE, but not by IUE or the Space Telescope, are discussed. A grazing incidence echelle and a hybrid echelle design are presented. They have high throughput, large simultaneous spectral range, and low background photon counting statistics. The satellite operational organization is similar to that of IUE.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manzo, Michelle A.; Reid, Concha M.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramohalli, Kumar; Lewis, John S.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Video Gallery

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Doherty, M.P.

    1993-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Doherty, M.P. )

    1993-01-10

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

  18. Engaging Students, Teachers, and the Public with NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Assets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, P. V.; Foxworth, S.; Kascak, A.; Luckey, M. K.; Mcinturff, B.; Runco, S.; Willis, K. J.

    2016-01-01

    Engaging students, teachers, and the public with NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) assets, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) experts and NASA curation astromaterial samples, provides an extraordinary opportunity to connect citizens with authentic aspects unique to our nation's space program. Effective engagement can occur through both virtual connections such as webcasts and in-person connections at educator workshops and public outreach events. Access to NASA ARES assets combined with adaptable resources and techniques that engage and promote scientific thinking helps translate the science and research being facilitated through NASA exploration, elicits a curiosity that aims to carry over even after a given engagement, and prepares our next generation of scientific explorers.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

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

  20. News and Views: Good publicity? Astrophysicists win Kavli Prizes; Maps for the planetary explorer; Small galaxies reveal property of dark matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-10-01

    The inaugural Kavli Prizes, including the Astrophysics award, were marked by a ceremony in Oslo in 9 September, celebrating international scientific success. Planetary explorers may have the equivalent of SatNav to guide them, but to avoid ending up in the space equivalent of a double-decker bus wedged under a low bridge, they need proper maps. And the topographer who is mapping exploration targets has received an Exceptional Achievement medal from NASA for the quality of his work. How big is the smallest galaxy? About 10 million solar masses, according to researchers mapping the small faint galaxies around the Milky Way. And they think that this figure might indicate something about dark matter.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Identifying mechanical property parameters of planetary soil using in-situ data obtained from exploration rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Haibo; Liu, Zhen; Deng, Zongquan; Liu, Guangjun

    2015-12-01

    Identifying the mechanical property parameters of planetary soil based on terramechanics models using in-situ data obtained from autonomous planetary exploration rovers is both an important scientific goal and essential for control strategy optimization and high-fidelity simulations of rovers. However, identifying all the terrain parameters is a challenging task because of the nonlinear and coupling nature of the involved functions. Three parameter identification methods are presented in this paper to serve different purposes based on an improved terramechanics model that takes into account the effects of slip, wheel lugs, etc. Parameter sensitivity and coupling of the equations are analyzed, and the parameters are grouped according to their sensitivity to the normal force, resistance moment and drawbar pull. An iterative identification method using the original integral model is developed first. In order to realize real-time identification, the model is then simplified by linearizing the normal and shearing stresses to derive decoupled closed-form analytical equations. Each equation contains one or two groups of soil parameters, making step-by-step identification of all the unknowns feasible. Experiments were performed using six different types of single-wheels as well as a four-wheeled rover moving on planetary soil simulant. All the unknown model parameters were identified using the measured data and compared with the values obtained by conventional experiments. It is verified that the proposed iterative identification method provides improved accuracy, making it suitable for scientific studies of soil properties, whereas the step-by-step identification methods based on simplified models require less calculation time, making them more suitable for real-time applications. The models have less than 10% margin of error comparing with the measured results when predicting the interaction forces and moments using the corresponding identified parameters.

  4. Time-resolved stand-off UV-Raman spectroscopy for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skulinova, M.; Lefebvre, C.; Sobron, P.; Eshelman, E.; Daly, M.; Gravel, J.-F.; Cormier, J.-F.; Châteauneuf, F.; Slater, G.; Zheng, W.; Koujelev, A.; Léveillé, R.

    2014-03-01

    The exploration of Mars, Europa and Enceladus has provided evidence that support the existence of present or past potentially habitable environments, which may shelter signatures of extinct or extant life. A search for further evidence for habitability or for life requires the development of sophisticated instruments and techniques that enable detailed investigations of locations, which are of great interest to planetary scientists and astrobiologists. Raman spectroscopy is a powerful and versatile technique; a rover based Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) operating at 532 nm excitation wavelength has been selected for the 2018 ExoMars mission. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of the utilisation of a time-resolved stand-off UV-Raman prototype for the detection and identification of pure organics, organics mixed in a quartz matrix and minerals that have been selected based on their potential relevance to astrobiology and planetary exploration. The samples of organics (β-carotene, L-ascorbic acid, thiamine hydrochloride, L-alanine, L-serine, thymine), carbonates (calcite, dolomite), sulfates (gypsum), silicates (quartz), and natural rock (an altered meta-volcanic rock featuring quartz inclusions) were analyzed at a distance of 6 m using a 355 nm excitation source and a gated intensified charged-coupled device (ICCD) as the detector. We were able to obtain spectra with clear Raman signals enabling unequivocal identification of all selected samples. We assert for the first time, that such an instrument can effectively identify minerals and a wide range of organics that may serve as geo- and biomarkers thus showing great potential for the exploration of planets and astrobiology.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. A remote Raman system for planetary exploration: evaluating remote Raman efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stopar, Julie D.; Lucey, Paul G.; Sharma, Shiv K.; Misra, Anupam K.; Hubble, Hugh W.

    2004-02-01

    Landers and rovers are important to solar system exploration, and we are designing and analyzing a remote Raman system for a planetary mission. Raman spectroscopy is a common and powerful technique for materials analysis. We have developed a system that enables Raman spectroscopic measurements at distances of more than 50 meters. In order to design a flight instrument, we need to quantitatively understand the Raman efficiency of natural surfaces. We define remote Raman efficiency as the ratio of radiant exitance leaving a natural surface to the irradiance of the incident laser. The radiant exitance of a natural surface is the product of the sample radiance (minus background), the projected solid angle in steradians, and the spectral bandwidth of the spectrometer. The laser irradiance is the product of the energy of the laser (mJ/pulse) and the pulse rate (Hz), divided by the area of the laser spot. We have determined the remote Raman efficiency for several minerals and rocks: dolomite marble, dacite, milky quartz, anorthosite, calcite, biotite granite, magnesite, chert, gypsum (selenite), fibrous gypsum, and sandstone. By quantifying the remote Raman efficiency, we will be able to determine the number and quality of spectra that a remote Raman system can acquire on a planetary surface where available power is limited. Studies on hematite indicate that Raman shift (and thus remote Raman efficiency) depends on laser wavelength.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Julie A.; Thomas, Donald A.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  11. Human Exploration System Test-Bed for Integration and Advancement (HESTIA) Support of Future NASA Deep-Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marmolejo, Jose; Ewert, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The Engineering Directorate at the NASA - Johnson Space Center is outfitting a 20-Foot diameter hypobaric chamber in Building 7 to support future deep-space Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS) research as part of the Human Exploration System Test-bed for Integration and Advancement (HESTIA) Project. This human-rated chamber is the only NASA facility that has the unique experience, chamber geometry, infrastructure, and support systems capable of conducting this research. The chamber was used to support Gemini, Apollo, and SkyLab Missions. More recently, it was used to conduct 30-, 60-, and 90-day human ECLSS closed-loop testing in the 1990s to support the International Space Station and life support technology development. NASA studies show that both planetary surface and deep-space transit crew habitats will be 3-4 story cylindrical structures driven by human occupancy volumetric needs and launch vehicle constraints. The HESTIA facility offers a 3-story, 20-foot diameter habitat consistent with the studies' recommendations. HESTIA operations follow stringent processes by a certified test team that including human testing. Project management, analysis, design, acquisition, fabrication, assembly and certification of facility build-ups are available to support this research. HESTIA offers close proximity to key stakeholders including astronauts, Human Research Program (who direct space human research for the agency), Mission Operations, Safety & Mission Assurance, and Engineering Directorate. The HESTIA chamber can operate at reduced pressure and elevated oxygen environments including those proposed for deep-space exploration. Data acquisition, power, fluids and other facility resources are available to support a wide range of research. Recently completed HESTIA research consisted of unmanned testing of ECLSS technologies. Eventually, the HESTIA research will include humans for extended durations at reduced pressure and elevated oxygen to demonstrate very high reliability of critical ECLSS and other technologies.

  12. The TMT International Observatory: A quick overview of future opportunities for planetary science exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumas, Christophe; Dawson, Sandra; Otarola, Angel; Skidmore, Warren; Squires, Gordon; Travouillon, Tony; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Li, Jian-Yang; Lu, Junjun; Marchis, Frank; Meech, Karen J.; Wong, Michael H.

    2015-11-01

    The construction of the Thirty-Meter-Telescope International Observatory (TIO) is scheduled to take about eight years, with first-light currently planned for the horizon 2023/24, and start of science operations soon after. Its innovative design, the unequalled astronomical quality of its location, and the scientific capabilities that will be offered by its suite of instruments, all contribute to position TIO as a major ground-based facility of the next decade.In this talk, we will review the expected observing performances of the facility, which will combine adaptive-optics corrected wavefronts with powerful imaging and spectroscopic capabilities. TMT will enable ground-based exploration of our solar system - and planetary systems at large - at a dramatically enhanced sensitivity and spatial resolution across the visible and near-/thermal- infrared regimes. This sharpened vision, spanning the study of planetary atmospheres, ring systems, (cryo-)volcanic activity, small body populations (asteroids, comets, trans-Neptunian objects), and exoplanets, will shed new lights on the processes involved in the formation and evolution of our solar system, including the search for life outside the Earth, and will expand our understanding of the physical and chemical properties of extra-solar planets, complementing TIO's direct studies of planetary systems around other stars.TIO operations will meet a wide range of observing needs. Observing support associated with "classical" and "queue" modes will be offered (including some flavors of remote observing). The TIO schedule will integrate observing programs so as to optimize scientific outputs and take into account the stringent observing time constraints often encountered for observations of our solar system such as, for instance, the scheduling of target-of-oportunity observations, the implementation of short observing runs, or the support of long-term "key-science" programmes.Complementary information about TIO, and the opportunities it offers for planetary science research, will be presented at this meeting by Otarola et al., in addition to the TMT Solar System Town Hall event on Tuesday.

  13. Examining Metasomatism in Low fO2 Environments: Exploring Sulfidation Reactions in Various Planetary Bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, P.; Shearer, C. K.; McCubbin, F. M.; Bell, A. S.; Agee, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    Hydrothermal systems are common on Earth in a variety of tectonic environments and at different temperature and pressure conditions. These systems are commonly dominated by H2O, and they are responsible for element transport and the production of ore deposits. Unlike the Earth (fO2FMQ), many other planetary bodies (e.g., Moon and asteroids) have fO2 environments that are more reduced (IW+/-2), and H2O is not the important solvent responsible for element transport. One example of a texture that could result from element transport and metasomatism, which appears to occur on numerous planetary bodies, is sulfide-silicate intergrowths. These subsolidus assemblages are interpreted to form as a result of sulfidation reactions from a S-rich fluid phase. The composition of fluids may vary within and among parent bodies and could be sourced from magmatic (e.g. Moon) or impact processes (e.g. HED meteorites and Moon). For example, it has been previously demonstrated on the Moon that the interaction of olivine with a hydrogen- and sulfur-bearing vapor phase altered primary mineral assemblages, producing sulfides (e.g. troilite) and orthopyroxene. Formation of these types of "sulfidation" assemblages can be illustrated with the following reaction: Fe2SiO4(ol) + 1/2 S(2 system) = FeS(troi)+ FeSiO3(opx) + 1/2 O2 system. The products of this reaction, as seen in lunar rocks, is a vermicular or "worm-like" texture of intergrown orthopyroxene and troilite. Regardless of the provenance of the S-bearing fluid, the minerals in these various planetary environments reacted in the same manner to produce orthopyroxene and troilite. Although similar textures have been identified in a variety of parent bodies, a comparative study on the compositions and the origins of these sulfide-silicate assemblages has yet to be undertaken. The intent of this study is to examine and compare sulfide-silicate intergrowths from various planetary bodies to explore their petrogenesis and examine the nature of low fO2 (IW+/-2) element migration and sulfidation reactions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  15. NASA astrophysics - Optical systems to explore the universe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  16. International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite observations of seven high-excitation planetary nebulae.

    PubMed

    Aller, L H; Keyes, C D

    1980-03-01

    Observations of seven high-excitation planetary nebulae secured with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite were combined with extensive ground-based data to obtain electron densities, gas kinetic temperatures, and ionic concentrations. We then employed a network of theoretical model nebulae to estimate the factors by which observed ionic concentrations must be multiplied to obtain elemental abundances. Comparison with a large sample of nebulae for which extensive ground-based observations have been obtained shows nitrogen to be markedly enhanced in some of these objects. Possibly most, if not all, high-excitation nebulae evolve from stars that have higher masses than progenitors of nebulae of low-to-moderate excitation. PMID:16592781

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  18. International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite observations of seven high-excitation planetary nebulae

    PubMed Central

    Aller, L. H.; Keyes, C. D.

    1980-01-01

    Observations of seven high-excitation planetary nebulae secured with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite were combined with extensive ground-based data to obtain electron densities, gas kinetic temperatures, and ionic concentrations. We then employed a network of theoretical model nebulae to estimate the factors by which observed ionic concentrations must be multiplied to obtain elemental abundances. Comparison with a large sample of nebulae for which extensive ground-based observations have been obtained shows nitrogen to be markedly enhanced in some of these objects. Possibly most, if not all, high-excitation nebulae evolve from stars that have higher masses than progenitors of nebulae of low-to-moderate excitation. PMID:16592781

  19. Study of a thermal drill head for the exploration of subsurface planetary ice layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, P.; Yung, K. L.; Ng, T. C.; Kömle, N.; Kargl, G.; Kaufmann, E.

    2008-07-01

    The recently discovered water vapor plumes on Saturn's moon Enceladus, the polar caps of planet Mars and the possible ice volcanism on the Jovian satellites call for suitable techniques to explore deep ice layers of the solar system bodies. This paper presents a novel approach to deliver scientific probes into deeper layers of planetary ice. Several existing locomotion concepts and techniques for such probes are presented. After studying the mathematical framework of the melting locomotion process, melting tests with different head forms were done to evaluate the influence of the head's geometry on the melting process. This work led to a novel concept of a thermal drill head, using heat and mechanical drill in combination to penetrate the ice. We compare the performance of such a hybrid concept versus the melting penetration alone by a mathematical model and tests in ice with a prototype of the melting drill head.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  1. Refining the Ares V Design to Carry Out NASA's Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Steve

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Ares V cargo launch vehicle is part of an overall architecture for u.S. space exploration that will span decades. The Ares V, together with the Ares I crew launch vehicle, Orion crew exploration vehicle and Altair lunar lander, will carry out the national policy goals of retiring the Space Shuttle, completing the International Space Station program, and expanding exploration of the Moon as a steps toward eventual human exploration of Mars. The Ares fleet (Figure 1) is the product of the Exploration Systems Architecture study which, in the wake of the Columbia accident, recommended separating crew from cargo transportation. Both vehicles are undergoing rigorous systems design to maximize safety, reliability, and operability. They take advantage of the best technical and operational lessons learned from the Apollo, Space Shuttle and more recent programs. NASA also seeks to maximize commonality between the crew and cargo vehicles in an effort to simplify and reduce operational costs for sustainable, long-term exploration.

  2. Exploring NASA Satellite Data with High Resolution Visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Exploring NASA OMI Level 2 Data With Visualization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wei, Jennifer C.; Yang, Wenli; Johnson, James; Zhao, Peisheng; Gerasimov, Irina; Pham, Long; Vincente, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    Satellite data products are important for a wide variety of applications that can bring far-reaching benefits to the science community and the broader society. These benefits can best be achieved if the satellite data are well utilized and interpreted, such as model inputs from satellite, or extreme events (such as volcano eruptions, dust storms, etc.).Unfortunately, this is not always the case, despite the abundance and relative maturity of numerous satellite data products provided by NASA and other organizations. Such obstacles may be avoided by allowing users to visualize satellite data as images, with accurate pixel-level (Level-2) information, including pixel coverage area delineation and science team recommended quality screening for individual geophysical parameters. We present a prototype service from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) supporting Aura OMI Level-2 Data with GIS-like capabilities. Functionality includes selecting data sources (e.g., multiple parameters under the same scene, like NO2 and SO2, or the same parameter with different aggregation methods, like NO2 in OMNO2G and OMNO2D products), user-defined area-of-interest and temporal extents, zooming, panning, overlaying, sliding, and data subsetting, reformatting, and reprojection. The system will allow any user-defined portal interface (front-end) to connect to our backend server with OGC standard-compliant Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) calls. This back-end service should greatly enhance its expandability to integrate additional outside data-map sources.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-04-01

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

  5. The NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Mitchell, Doyce P.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John; Power, Kevin P.

    2015-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation NTP system could provide high thrust at a specific impulse (Isp) above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of a first generation NTP in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation systems.

  6. Interactives: Comets, Orbital Motions, and Virtual Ballooning to Explore Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, R. M.; Johnson, R. M.; Genyuk, J.

    2009-12-01

    We will demonstrate interactives and animations from the Windows to the Universe web site (www.windows.ucar.edu) covering three topics: cometary orbits and tails, orbit shapes and orbital motions, and virtual ballooning to explore planetary atmospheres. The comet interactive illustrates the range of shapes and sizes of cometary orbits, the formation of tails when a comet nears the Sun, and the orientations of the dust and ion tails. Our suite of animations and interactives about orbits and orbital motions help learners understand the shapes (eccentricity) and sizes (semi-major axis) of orbits as well as variations in orbital velocity from perihelion to aphelion. Our Mars orbit interactive illustrates the variations in distance between Earth and Mars as the planets orbit and at successive oppositions (closest approaches), which has influenced the history of both telescopic observations of the Red Planet as well as the timing of space missions to Mars. The virtual ballooning interactive enables students to explore the structures of atmospheres by launching virtual weather balloons that send back data on the variation of pressure and temperature with altitude. Learners set the altitude ranges and sampling frequencies for their balloon-borne virtual instruments and collect data over the course of four flights. Students learn about the pressure variation with altitude, temperature vs. altitude relationships in different atmospheric layers, and how to be thoughtful and selective during experimental data collection. Students can explore the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, and Titan as well as Earth.

  7. Benefit assessment of NASA space technology goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

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

  8. Ethical Considerations and Planetary Protection for Future Space Exploration - Starting with the Basics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret

    2012-07-01

    As COSPAR scientists deliberate what types of frameworks and policy approaches may be applicable to future activities by various sectors in space exploration, it also needs to consider the challenging question of what ethical values and foundations should be used in dealing with life, objects and activities in outer space. A 2010 COSPAR Workshop Report on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration recommended that it is appropriate to maintain the existing PP policy aimed at scientific concerns even as we begin to explore various practical approaches to future contamination avoidance policies. It is also appropriate to examine in parallel the ethical considerations applicable to potential indigenous extraterrestrial life, non-living extraterrestrial features and environments, and planned uses and activities involving diverse life from Earth. Since numerous sectors have begun to propose activities raising varied ethical concerns (e.g., protection and management on the moon, strip mining, space synthetic biology, space code of conduct, and commercial space transport), it is timely to initiate serious international discussions about the appropriate ethical foundations and questions applicable to future space exploration. Plans are underway for convening interdisciplinary work groups to explore and deliberate on the values (e.g., intrinsic and instrumental) and ethical foundations that are appropriate for use in deliberations involving potential indigenous extraterrestrial life and the different classes of target objects and environments in our solar system. More than ever, information on bioethics, environmental ethics and geoethics will provide helpful guidance and foundational approaches of relevance to future policy deliberations that seek to go beyond science protection per se.

  9. The NASA Exploration Design Team; Blueprint for a New Design Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oberto, Robert E.; Nilsen, Erik; Cohen, Ron; Wheeler, Rebecca; DeFlorio, Paul

    2005-01-01

    NASA has chosen JPL to deliver a NASA-wide rapid-response real-time collaborative design team to perform rapid execution of program, system, mission, and technology trade studies. This team will draw on the expertise of all NASA centers and external partners necessary. The NASA Exploration Design Team (NEDT) will be led by NASA Headquarters, with field centers and partners added according to the needs of each study. Through real-time distributed collaboration we will effectively bring all NASA field centers directly inside Headquarters. JPL's Team X pioneered the technique of real time collaborative design 8 years ago. Since its inception, Team X has performed over 600 mission studies and has reduced per-study cost by a factor of 5 and per-study duration by a factor of 10 compared to conventional design processes. The Team X concept has spread to other NASA centers, industry, academia, and international partners. In this paper, we discuss the extension of the JPL Team X process to the NASA-wide collaborative design team. We discuss the architecture for such a process and elaborate on the implementation challenges of this process. We further discuss our current ideas on how to address these challenges.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Sherrit, Stewart; Bao, Xiaoqi; Badescu, Mircea; Aldrich, Jack; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    The search for existing or past life in the Universe is one of the most important objectives of NASA's mission. For this purpose, effective instruments that can sample and conduct in-situ astrobiology analysis are being developed. In support of this objective, a series of novel mechanisms that are driven by an Ultrasonic/Sonic actuator have been developed to probe and sample rocks, ice and soil. This mechanism is driven by an ultrasonic piezoelectric actuator that impacts a bit at sonic frequencies through the use of an intermediate free-mass. Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) devices were made that can produce both core and powdered cuttings, operate as a sounder to emit elastic waves and serve as a platform for sensors. For planetary exploration, this mechanism has the important advantage of requiring low axial force, virtually no torque, and can be duty cycled for operation at low average power. The advantage of requiring low axial load allows overcoming a major limitation of planetary sampling in low gravity environments or when operating from lightweight robots and rovers. The ability to operate at duty cycling with low average power produces a minimum temperature rise allowing for control of the sample integrity and preventing damage to potential biological markers in the acquired sample. The development of the USDC is being pursued on various fronts ranging from analytical modeling to mechanisms improvements while considering a wide range of potential applications. While developing the analytical capability to predict and optimize its performance, efforts are made to enhance its capability to drill at higher power and high speed. Taking advantage of the fact that the bit does not require rotation, sensors (e.g., thermocouple and fiberoptics) were integrated into the bit to examine the borehole during drilling. The sounding effect of the drill was used to emit elastic waves in order to evaluate the surface characteristics of rocks. Since the USDC is driven by piezoelectric actuation mechanism it can designed to operate at extreme temperature environments from very cold as on Titan and Europa to very hot as on Venus. In this paper, a review of the latest development and applications of the USDC will be given.

  13. NASA's "Eyes On The Solar System:" A Real-time, 3D-Interactive Tool to Teach the Wonder of Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussey, K.

    2014-12-01

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is using video game technology to immerse students, the general public and mission personnel in our solar system and beyond. "Eyes on the Solar System," a cross-platform, real-time, 3D-interactive application that can run on-line or as a stand-alone "video game," is of particular interest to educators looking for inviting tools to capture students interest in a format they like and understand. (eyes.nasa.gov). It gives users an extraordinary view of our solar system by virtually transporting them across space and time to make first-person observations of spacecraft, planetary bodies and NASA/ESA missions in action. Key scientific results illustrated with video presentations, supporting imagery and web links are imbedded contextually into the solar system. Educators who want an interactive, game-based approach to engage students in learning Planetary Science will see how "Eyes" can be effectively used to teach its principles to grades 3 through 14.The presentation will include a detailed demonstration of the software along with a description/demonstration of how this technology is being adapted for education. There will also be a preview of coming attractions. This work is being conducted by the Visualization Technology Applications and Development Group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the same team responsible for "Eyes on the Earth 3D," and "Eyes on Exoplanets," which can be viewed at eyes.nasa.gov/earth and eyes.nasa.gov/exoplanets.

  14. NASA Video Catalog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandor, Aniko; Holden, Kritina

    2007-01-01

    The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) that will travel to the moon and Mars, and all future Exploration vehicles and habitats will be highly computerized, necessitating an accurate method of interaction with the computers. The design of a cursor control device will have to take into consideration g-forces, vibration, gloved operations, and the specific types of tasks to be performed. The study described here is being undertaken to begin identifying characteristics of cursor control devices that will work well for the unique Exploration mission environments. The objective of the study is not to identify a particular device, but to begin identifying design characteristics that are usable and desirable for space missions. Most cursor control devices have strengths and weaknesses; they are more appropriate for some tasks and less suitable for others. The purpose of this study is to collect some initial usability data on a large number of commercially available and proprietary cursor control devices. A software test battery was developed for this purpose. Once data has been collected using these low-level, basic point/click/drag tasks, higher fidelity, scenario-driven evaluations will be conducted with a reduced set of devices. The standard tasks used for testing cursor control devices are based on a model of human movement known as Fitts law. Fitts law predicts that the time to acquire a target is logarithmically related to the distance over the target size. To gather data for analysis with this law, fundamental, low-level tasks are used such as dragging or pointing at various targets of different sizes from various distances. The first four core tasks for the study were based on the ISO 9241-9:(2000) document from the International Organization for Standardization that contains the requirements for non-keyboard input devices. These include two pointing tasks, one dragging and one tracking task. The fifth task from ISO 9241-9, the circular tracking task was not used because it is a movement that is not applicable to most of the applications used on aviation displays. Additionally, we opted to add a multi-size and multi-distance pointing task, and two ecologically more valid tasks which included text selection, and interaction with drop down menus, sliders, and checkboxes. The Visual Basic test battery tracks the task and trial numbers, measures the pointing, tracking or dragging time, as well as the number and types of errors. The testing session includes a practice set for each input device, then the randomized 7 tasks, and finally a questionnaire about the device. This is repeated for all the devices tested within a session. The experiment is a within-subjects design, with participants returning for multiple sessions to test additional devices. The input devices will be compared based on objective performance data from the tasks, as well as subjective feedback and ratings on the questionnaire.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garner, Lesley

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Planetary Surface Exploration Using Time-Resolved Laser Spectroscopy on Rovers and Landers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blacksberg, Jordana; Alerstam, Erik; Maruyama, Yuki; Charbon, Edoardo; Rossman, George

    2013-04-01

    Planetary surface exploration using laser spectroscopy has become increasingly relevant as these techniques become a reality on Mars surface missions. The ChemCam instrument onboard the Curiosity rover is currently using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on a mast-mounted platform to measure elemental composition of target rocks. The RLS Raman Spectrometer is included on the payload for the ExoMars mission to be launched in 2018 and will identify minerals and organics on the Martian surface. We present a next-generation instrument that builds on these widely used techniques to provide a means for performing both Raman spectroscopy and LIBS in conjunction with microscopic imaging. Microscopic Raman spectroscopy with a laser spot size smaller than the grains of interest can provide surface mapping of mineralogy while preserving morphology. A very small laser spot size (~ 1 µm) is often necessary to identify minor phases that are often of greater interest than the matrix phases. In addition to the difficulties that can be posed by fine-grained material, fluorescence interference from the very same material is often problematic. This is particularly true for many of the minerals of interest that form in environments of aqueous alteration and can be highly fluorescent. We use time-resolved laser spectroscopy to eliminate fluorescence interference that can often make it difficult or impossible to obtain Raman spectra. As an added benefit, we have found that with small changes in operating parameters we can include microscopic LIBS using the same hardware. This new technique relies on sub-ns, high rep-rate lasers with relatively low pulse energy and compact solid state detectors with sub-ns time resolution. The detector technology that makes this instrument possible is a newly developed Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) sensor array based on Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The use of this solid state time-resolved detector offers a significant reduction in size, weight, power, and overall complexity - making time resolved detection feasible for planetary applications. We will discuss significant advances leading to the feasibility of a compact time-resolved spectrometer. We will present results on planetary analog minerals to demonstrate the instrument performance including fluorescence rejection and combined Raman-LIBS capability.

  19. Astrobiological and Planetary Exploration Implications of Microbial Ichnofossils in Terrestrial Basaltic Glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridge, N. J.; Izawa, M. M.; Banerjee, N. R.; Flemming, R. L.; Schultz, C.

    2009-05-01

    Over the past decade, studies have demonstrated that terrestrial basaltic glass in pillow rims and hyaloclastites are suitable microbial habitats. Microbes rapidly begin colonizing the glassy surfaces along fractures and cracks that have been exposed to water. Microbial colonization of basaltic glass leads to the alteration and modification of the rocks to produce characteristic granular and/or tubular bioalteration textures. The early precipitation of sub-micron titanite grains within the biologically etched alteration structures serves as an agent for preservation that may persist for geologically extended periods of time in the absence of later penetrative deformation. These microbial alteration structures have been observed in several Archean greenstone belts including the Abitibi greenstone belt (2.7 Ga), Pilbara craton (3.35 Ga), and the Barberton greenstone belt (3.5 Ga). Archean subaqueous volcanic rocks provide an excellent analogue for a potential habitat for possible early Martian life, given that basaltic rocks are a major component of the Martian crust. A wide variety of recent evidence strongly suggests the long-term existence of abundant liquid water on ancient Mars. Recent orbiter, lander, and rover missions have found evidence for the presence of transient liquid water on Mars, perhaps persisting to the present day. Beyond Mars, other solar system bodies, notably Europa, Enceladus, and other icy satellites, may well host subaqueous basaltic glasses. We will explore the implications of the newly discovered geological record of basaltic glass bioalteration and basaltic glass as a microbial habitat for planetary exploration and astrobiology.

  20. Submission of Earth-based ring occultation observations to the NASA planetary data system rings discipline node

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    French, Richard G.

    1993-01-01

    This is a technical report summarizing our progress in our program of contributing high quality Earth-based occultation observations to NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) Rings Node. During our first year of funding, we selected five data sets for eventual inclusion in the PDS Rings Node. These were Uranus occultation observations obtained by the PI and co-workers from the IRTF of event stars U34 (26 April 1986), U1052 (5 May 1988), U65 (21 June 1990), U7872 (25 June 1991), and U7808 (28 June 1991). In our original proposal, we described four tasks: data sets to a common format; documentation of the occultation observations and associated calibrations; calculation of the occultation geometry for each event; establish prototype PDS templates. As discussed in our renewal proposal, submitted 8 June 1993, we have completed the first three tasks, and are working on the fourth. As an indication of our progress to date, we provide information about each of the data sets, their formats, the documentation, and the method used for reconstructing the occultation geometry.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1993-01-01

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

  2. Propulsion Controls and Diagnostics Research in Support of NASA Aeronautics and Exploration Mission Programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garg, Sanjay

    2011-01-01

    The Controls and Dynamics Branch (CDB) at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio, is leading and participating in various projects in partnership with other organizations within GRC and across NASA, the U.S. aerospace industry, and academia to develop advanced propulsion controls and diagnostics technologies that will help meet the challenging goals of NASA programs under the Aeronautics Research and Exploration Systems Missions. This paper provides a brief overview of the various CDB tasks in support of the NASA programs. The programmatic structure of the CDB activities is described along with a brief overview of each of the CDB tasks including research objectives, technical challenges, and recent accomplishments. These tasks include active control of propulsion system components, intelligent propulsion diagnostics and control for reliable fault identification and accommodation, distributed engine control, and investigations into unsteady propulsion systems.

  3. Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirley, J. H.; Fairbridge, R. W.

    1997-09-01

    Containing more than 450 entries by some 200 eminent contributors from all over the world, the Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences is the first book to present this information in an authoritative yet approachable way. This encyclopedia deals with the atmospheres, surfaces and interiors of the planets and moons, and with the interplanetary environment of plasma fields, as well as with asteroids and meteorites. Processes such as accretion, differentiation, thermal evolution and impact cratering form another category of entries. Remote sensing techniques employed in investigation and exploration, such as magnetometry, photometry, and spectroscopy are described in separate articles. In addition the Encyclopedia chronicles the history of planetary science, including biographies of pioneering scientists, and detailed descriptions of all major lunar and planetary missions and programs. The Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences is superbly illustrated throughout with over 450 line drawings, 180 black and white photographs, and 63 colour illustrations. It will be a key reference source for planetary scientists, astronomers, and workers in related disciplines such as geophysics, geology and the atmospheric sciences. Included in this book is a PC and Mac compatible CD-ROM containing over 200 relevant planetary and related images available from NASA. This CD-ROM has been specially compiled for the Encyclopedia by The United States National Space Science Data Center.

  4. NASA's M and S Accreditation Process Plan and Specification for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Neil, David; Hale, Joe

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) is implementing a management approach for modeling and simulation (M&S) that will provide decision-makers information on the model's fidelity, credibility, and quality. This information will allow the decision-maker to understand the risks involved in using a model's results in the decision-making process. This presentation will discuss NASA's overall approach to achieving formal accreditation of its models or simulations supporting space exploration. The development of a formal Accreditation Plan is a key component in the preliminary activities for modeling and simulation (M&S) assessment. This presentation will describe NASA's process for identifying risks associated with M&S use and the associated M&S assessments that will dictate the level of data certification and M&S verification and validation (V&V) activities required to support the decision-making process. The M&S Accreditation Plan and Report templates for ESMD will also be illustrated.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramohalli, Kumar; Lewis, John S.

    1991-01-01

    Because of a change in the NASA funding cycle, the present reporting period covers only the six months from March to September 1991. Nevertheless, remarkable progress was made in a number of areas, some of the most noteworthy of which are: (1) Engineering operation of a breadboard CO2 yields O2 demonstration plant that produced over 10 grams of oxygen per day during several runs of over 100 hours each with a single electrolytic cell. Complete automation of controls, monitoring of various inputs/outputs and critical internal variables, diagnostics, and emergency shutdown in an orderly manner were also included. Moreover, 4-cell and 16-cell units, capable of much higher rates of production, were assembled and tested. (2) Demonstration of a 200 percent increase in the carbothermal reduction of ilmenite through vapor deposition of carbon layers on particles of that material. (3) Demonstration of the deposition of strong iron films from carbonyl chemical vapor deposition, establishing the crucial role of additive gases in governing the process. (4) Discovery of an apparent 800 percent increase in the conversion rates of a modified ilmenite simulant in a plasma-augmented reactor, including direct enhancement by solar radiation absorption. (5) Proof that test specimens of lunar soil with small amounts of metallic additives, recrystallized at moderate temperatures, exhibit an improvement of several orders of magnitude in ductility/tensile strength. (6) Experiments establishing the feasibility of producing silicon-based polymers from indigenous lunar materials. (7) Application of CCD technology to the production of maps of TiO2 abundance, defining primary ilmenite deposits, on the disk of the full moon. (8) Attainment of a discovery rate of approximately 3 new near-Earth asteroids per month by Spacewatch, more than doubling the previous global rate. (9) Coordination of industry and university magma electrolysis investigations in a workshop designed to define remaining problem areas and propose critical experiments.

  6. NASA Exploration Team (NExT) In-Space Transportation Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, Bret G.; Cooke, Douglas R.; Kos, Larry D.; Brady, Hugh J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This presentation provides an overview of NASA Exploration Team's (NEXT) vision of in-space transportation in the future. Hurdles facing in-space transportation include affordable power sources, crew health and safety, optimized robotic and human operations and space systems performance. Topics covered include: exploration of Earth's neighborhood, Earth's neighborhood architecture and elements, Mars mission trajectory options, delta-v variations, Mars mission duration options, Mars mission architecture, nuclear electric propulsion advantages and miscellaneous technology needs.

  7. NASA Instrument Cost Model for Explorer-Like Mission Instruments (NICM-E)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Habib-Agahi, Hamid; Fox, George; Mrozinski, Joe; Ball, Gary

    2013-01-01

    NICM-E is a cost estimating relationship that supplements the traditional NICM System Level CERs for instruments flown on NASA Explorer-like missions that have the following three characteristics: 1) fly on Class C missions, 2) major development led and performed by universities or research foundations, and 3) have significant level of inheritance.

  8. 77 FR 38680 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-28

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-462, as amended, the National Aeronautics and...

  9. 78 FR 70963 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-27

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-462, as amended, the National Aeronautics and...

  10. "Festival of Flight Special": Opening Space for Next Generation Explorers. NASA CONNECT[TM]. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, VA. Langley Research Center.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch Initiative (SLI) Program will ultimately move from the explorations of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle missions to a new period of pioneering in which people and businesses are more routinely traveling, working, and living in space. (Author/NB)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Advances in Laser/Lidar Technologies for NASA's Science and Exploration Mission's Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Kavaya, Michael J.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Laser Risk Reduction Program, begun in 2002, has achieved many technology advances in only 3.5 years. The recent selection of several lidar proposals for Science and Exploration applications indicates that the LRRP goal of enabling future space-based missions by lowering the technology risk has already begun to be met.

  16. Enabling Laser and Lidar Technologies for NASA's Science and Exploration Mission's Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Kavaya, Michael J.

    2005-01-01

    NASA s Laser Risk Reduction Program, begun in 2002, has achieved many technology advances in only 3.5 years. The recent selection of several lidar proposals for Science and Exploration applications indicates that the LRRP goal of enabling future space-based missions by lowering the technology risk has already begun to be met.

  17. SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION: A More Cautious NASA Sets Plans for Mars.

    PubMed

    Lawler, A

    2000-11-01

    Twice burned by mission failures last year, NASA managers last week unveiled a new 15-year blueprint for Mars exploration. The revamped strategy allows for doing more science, but at a slower pace, while delaying a sample return until well into the next decade. PMID:17749180

  18. Exploring medium gravity icy planetary bodies: an opportunity in the Inner System by landing at Ceres high latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poncy, J.; Grasset, O.; Martinot, V.; Tobie, G.

    2009-04-01

    With potentially up to 25% of its mass as H2O and current indications of a differentiated morphology, 950km-wide "dwarf planet" Ceres is holding the promise to be our closest significant icy planetary body. Ceres is within easier reach than the icy moons, allowing for the use of solar arrays and not lying inside the deep gravity well of a giant planet. As such, it would represent an ideal step stone for future in-situ exploration of other airless icy bodies of major interest such as Europa or Enceladus. But when NASA's Dawn orbits Ceres and maps it in 2015, will we be ready to undertake the next logical step: landing? Ceres' gravity at its poles, at about one fifth of the Moon's gravity, is too large for rendezvous-like asteroid landing techniques to apply. Instead, we are there fully in the application domain of soft precision landing techniques such as the ones being developed for ESA's MoonNext mission. These latter require a spacecraft architecture akin to robotic lunar Landers or NASA's Phoenix, and differing from missions to comets and asteroids. If Dawn confirms the icy nature of Ceres under its regolith-covered surface, the potential presence of some ice spots on the surface would call for specific attention. Such spots would indeed be highly interesting landing sites. They are more likely to lie close to the poles of Ceres where cold temperatures should prevent exposed ice from sublimating and/or may limit the thickness of the regolith layer. Also the science and instruments suite should be fitted to study a large body that has probably been or may still be geologically active: its non-negligible gravity field combined with its high volatile mass fraction would then bring Ceres closer in morphology and history to an "Enceladus" or a frozen or near-frozen "Europa" than to a rubble-pile-structured asteroid or a comet nucleus. Thales Alenia Space and the "Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique" of the University of Nantes have carried out a preliminary assessment of a mission to Ceres high latitudes. We present here why we think an in-situ mission to the polar areas of Ceres should be of interest in the near future. We dwell on the environmental factors and challenges for a Lander, both as specificities of Ceres and as a consequence of the high latitude targeted. Factors such as day duration, fine regolith, terrain hazards, optical contrasts, thermal gradients, planetary contamination... are reviewed. We then assess how the soft precision landing technologies being developed for other missions would apply in such an environment. We present a preliminary mission analysis and a concept for the Lander, with preliminary evaluation of mass and power resources for a fixed payload or for a mini-rover. The resulting mission design combines technological maturity and a launch mass that is found compatible with the moderate cost of a Soyuz launcher. Finally we conclude that a Ceres Polar Lander mission should be feasible, covered by automatic missions to the Moon in terms of difficulty of landing and by Dawn for the cruise. Lander missions to medium gravity bodies such as Ceres, Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Iapetus, Triton… in the [0.01-0.15g] range should be accounted for in the development roadmaps of landing techniques and be considered in their return on investment. The synergies with the soft landing missions to come on Mars and Moon should then make a Ceres lander affordable for the agencies within the end of the next decade and pave the way for in-situ missions to more distant icy bodies.

  19. PRo3D - a tool for remote exploration and visual analysis of multi-resolution planetary terrains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traxler, C.; Hesina, G.; Ortner, T.

    2015-10-01

    This paper describes a viewer called PRo3D that enables planetary scientists to explore and analyze accurate reconstructions of planetary terrains. These reconstructions, derived from 3D-processing of images obtained by rovers, landers, and satellites, provide access to the corresponding planetary surfaces on Earth in a virtual space. PRo3D allows zooming through a broad range of geometric scales to study geologic structures from far away to microscopic close-up. The viewer provides various measurement tools to derive the true dimension of surface features and let scientists place annotations in 3D space. PRo3D is a component of the FP7-PRoViDE tool set.

  20. A Planetary System Exploration Project for Introductory Astronomy and Astrobiology Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rees, Richard F.

    2015-01-01

    I have created three-part projects for the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses at Westfield State University which simulate the exploration of a fictional planetary system. The introductory astronomy project is an initial reconnaissance of the system by a robotic spacecraft, culminating in close flybys of two or three planets. The astrobiology project is a follow-up mission concluding with the landing of a roving lander on a planet or moon. Student responses in earlier parts of each project can be used to determine which planets are targeted for closer study in later parts. Highly realistic views of the planets from space and from their surfaces can be created using programs such as Celestia and Terragen; images and video returned by the spacecraft are thus a highlight of the project. Although designed around the particular needs and mechanics of the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses for non-majors at WSU, these projects could be adapted for use in courses at many different levels.

  1. Nanobiomimetic Active Shape Control - Fluidic and Swarm-Intelligence Embodiments for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoli, S.

    The concepts of Active Shape Control ( ASC ) and of Generalized Quantum Holography ( GQH ), respectively embodying a closer approach to biomimicry than the current macrophysics-based attempts at bioinspired robotic systems, and realizing a non-connectionistic, life-like kind of information processing that allows increasingly depths of mimicking of the biological structure-function solidarity, which have been formulated in physical terms in previous papers, are here further investigated for application to bioinspired flying or swimming robots for planetary exploration. It is shown that nano-to-micro integration would give the deepest level of biomimicry, and that both low and very low Reynolds number ( Re ) fluidics would involve GQH and Fiber Bundle Topology ( FBT ) for processing information at the various levels of ASC bioinspired robotics. While very low Re flows lend themselves to geometrization of microrobot dynamics and to FBT design, the general design problem is geometrized through GQH , i.e. made independent of dynamic considerations, thus allowing possible problems of semantic dyscrasias in highly complex hierarchical dynamical chains of sensing information processing actuating to be overcome. A roadmap to near- and medium-term nanostructured and nano-to-micro integration realizations is suggested.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Hai; Tang, Rui; Carande, Bryce; Oiler, Jonathan; Zaitsev, Dmitri; Agafonov, Vadim; Yu, Hongyu; School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287

    2013-05-13

    This letter describes an implementation of micromachined seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer (MET) technology. As opposed to a solid inertial mass, MET seismometer senses the movement of liquid electrolyte relative to fixed electrodes. The employment of micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques reduces the internal size of the sensing cell to 1{mu}m and improves the reproducibility of the device. For operating bias of 600 mV, a sensitivity of 809 V/(m/s{sup 2}) was measured under acceleration of 400{mu}g(g{identical_to}9.81m/s{sup 2}) at 0.32 Hz. A -115 dB (relative to (m/s{sup 2})/{radical}(Hz)) noise level at 1 Hz was achieved. This work develops an alternative paradigm of seismic sensing device with small size, high sensitivity, low noise floor, high shock tolerance, and independence of installation angle, which is promising for next generation seismometers for planetary exploration.

  3. Calibration of carbonate composition using micro-Raman analysis: application to planetary surface exploration.

    PubMed

    Rividi, Nicolas; van Zuilen, Mark; Philippot, Pascal; Ménez, Bénédicte; Godard, Gaston; Poidatz, Emmanuel

    2010-04-01

    Stromatolite structures in Early Archean carbonate deposits form an important clue for the existence of life in the earliest part of Earth's history. Since Mars is thought to have had similar environmental conditions early in its history, the question arises as to whether such stromatolite structures also evolved there. Here, we explore the capability of Raman spectroscopy to make semiquantitative estimates of solid solutions in the Ca-Mg-Fe(+Mn) carbonate system, and we assess its use as a rover-based technique for stromatolite characterization during future Mars missions. Raman microspectroscopy analysis was performed on a set of carbonate standards (calcite, ankerite, dolomite, siderite, and magnesite) of known composition. We show that Raman band shifts of siderite-magnesite and ankerite-dolomite solid solutions display a well-defined positive correlation (r(2) > 0.9) with the Mg# = 100 x Mg/(Mg + Fe + Mn + Ca) of the carbonate analyzed. Raman shifts calibrated as a function of Mg# were used in turn to evaluate the chemical composition of carbonates. Raman analysis of a suite of carbonates (siderite, sidero-magnesite, ankerite, and dolomite) of hydrothermal and sedimentary origin from the ca. 3.2 Ga old Barite Syncline, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, and from the ca. 3.5 Ga old Dresser Formation, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, show good compositional agreement with electron microprobe analyses. These results indicate that Raman spectroscopy can provide direct information on the composition and structure of carbonates on planetary surfaces. PMID:20446870

  4. TALARIS project update: Overview of flight testing and development of a prototype planetary surface exploration hopper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Christopher; Cunio, Phillip M.; Alibay, Farah; Morrow, Joe; Nothnagel, Sarah L.; Steiner, Ted; Han, Christopher J.; Lanford, Ephraim; Hoffman, Jeffrey A.

    2012-12-01

    The TALARIS (Terrestrial Artificial Lunar And Reduced GravIty Simulator) project is intended to test GNC (Guidance, Navigation, and Control) algorithms on a prototype planetary surface exploration hopper in a dynamic environment with simulated reduced gravity. The vehicle is being developed by the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in support of efforts in the Google Lunar X-Prize contest. This paper presents progress achieved since September 2010 in vehicle development and flight testing. Upgrades to the vehicle are described, including a redesign of the power train for the gravity-offset propulsion system and a redesign of key elements of the spacecraft emulator propulsion system. The integration of flight algorithms into modular flight software is also discussed. Results are reported for restricted degree of freedom (DOF) tests used to tune GNC algorithms on the path to a full 6-DOF hover-hop flight profile. These tests include 3-DOF tests on flat surfaces restricted to horizontal motion, and 2-DOF vertical tests restricted to vertical motion and 1-DOF attitude control. The results of tests leading up to full flight operations are described, as are lessons learned and future test plans.

  5. Compact Neutron Generators for Medical Home Land Security andPlanetary Exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Reijonen, J.

    2005-05-11

    The Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed various types of advanced D-D (neutron energy 2.5 MeV), D-T (14 MeV) and T-T (0-9 MeV) neutron generators for wide range of applications. These applications include medical (Boron Neutron Capture Therapy), homeland security (Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis, Fast Neutron Activation Analysis and Pulsed Fast Neutron Transmission Spectroscopy) and planetary exploration with a sub-surface material characterization on Mars. These neutron generators utilize RF induction discharge to ionize the deuterium/tritium gas. This discharge method provides high plasma density for high output current, high atomic species from molecular gases, long life operation and versatility for various discharge chamber geometries. Four main neutron generator developments are discussed here: high neutron output co-axial neutron generator for BNCT applications, point neutron generator for security applications, compact and sub-compact axial neutron generator for elemental analysis applications. Current status of the neutron generator development with experimental data will be presented.

  6. Extensions to the Visual Odometry Pipeline for the Exploration of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furgale, Paul Timothy

    Mars represents one of the most important targets for space exploration in the next 10 to 30 years, particularly because of evidence of liquid water in the planet's past. Current environmental conditions dictate that any existing water reserves will be in the form of ice; finding and sampling these ice deposits would further the study of the planet's climate history, further the search for evidence of life, and facilitate in-situ resource utilization during future manned exploration missions. This thesis presents a suite of algorithms to help enable a robotic ice-prospecting mission to Mars. Starting from visual odometry---the estimation of a rover's motion using a stereo camera as the primary sensor---we develop the following extensions: (i) a coupled surface/subsurface modelling system that provides novel data products to scientists working remotely, (ii) an autonomous retrotraverse system that allows a rover to return to previously visited places along a route for sampling, or to return a sample to an ascent vehicle, and (iii) the extension of the appearance-based visual odometry pipeline to an actively illuminated light detection and ranging sensor that provides data similar to a stereo camera but is not reliant on consistent ambient lighting, thereby enabling appearance-based vision techniques to be used in environments that are not conducive to passive cameras, such as underground mines or permanently shadowed craters on the moon. All algorithms are evaluated on real data collected using our field robot at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, or at a planetary analogue site on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. An Interactive Virtual 3D Tool for Scientific Exploration of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traxler, Christoph; Hesina, Gerd; Gupta, Sanjeev; Paar, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    In this paper we present an interactive 3D visualization tool for scientific analysis and planning of planetary missions. At the moment scientists have to look at individual camera images separately. There is no tool to combine them in three dimensions and look at them seamlessly as a geologist would do (by walking backwards and forwards resulting in different scales). For this reason a virtual 3D reconstruction of the terrain that can be interactively explored is necessary. Such a reconstruction has to consider multiple scales ranging from orbital image data to close-up surface image data from rover cameras. The 3D viewer allows seamless zooming between these various scales, giving scientists the possibility to relate small surface features (e.g. rock outcrops) to larger geological contexts. For a reliable geologic assessment a realistic surface rendering is important. Therefore the material properties of the rock surfaces will be considered for real-time rendering. This is achieved by an appropriate Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) estimated from the image data. The BRDF is implemented to run on the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) to enable realistic real-time rendering, which allows a naturalistic perception for scientific analysis. Another important aspect for realism is the consideration of natural lighting conditions, which means skylight to illuminate the reconstructed scene. In our case we provide skylights from Mars and Earth, which allows switching between these two modes of illumination. This gives geologists the opportunity to perceive rock outcrops from Mars as they would appear on Earth facilitating scientific assessment. Besides viewing the virtual reconstruction on multiple scales, scientists can also perform various measurements, i.e. geo-coordinates of a selected point or distance between two surface points. Rover or other models can be placed into the scene and snapped onto certain location of the terrain. These are important features to support the planning of rover paths. In addition annotations can be placed directly into the 3D scene, which also serve as landmarks to aid navigation. The presented visualization and planning tool is a valuable asset for scientific analysis of planetary mission data. It complements traditional methods by giving access to an interactive virtual 3D reconstruction, which is realistically rendered. Representative examples and further information about the interactive 3D visualization tool can be found on the FP7-SPACE Project PRoViDE web page http://www.provide-space.eu/interactive-virtual-3d-tool/. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 312377 'PRoViDE'.

  9. Nonlinear adaptive formation control for a class of autonomous holonomic planetary exploration rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganji, Farid

    This dissertation presents novel nonlinear adaptive formation controllers for a heterogeneous group of holonomic planetary exploration rovers navigating over flat terrains with unknown soil types and surface conditions. A leader-follower formation control architecture is employed. In the first part, using a point-mass model for robots and a Coulomb-viscous friction model for terrain resistance, direct adaptive control laws and a formation speed-adaptation strategy are developed for formation navigation over unknown and changing terrain in the presence of actuator saturation. On-line estimates of terrain frictional parameters compensate for unknown terrain resistance and its variations. In saturation events over difficult terrain, the formation speed is reduced based on the speed of the slowest saturated robot, using internal fleet communication and a speed-adaptation strategy, so that the formation error stays bounded and small. A formal proof for asymptotic stability of the formation system in non-saturated conditions is given. The performance of robot controllers are verified using a modular 3-robot formation simulator. Simulations show that the formation errors reduce to zero asymptotically under non-saturated conditions as is guaranteed by the theoretical proof. In the second part, the proposed adaptive control methodology is extended for formation control of a class of omnidirectional rovers with three independently-driven universal holonomic rigid wheels, where the rovers' rigid-body dynamics, drive-system electromechanical characteristics, and wheel-ground interaction mechanics are incorporated. Holonomic rovers have the ability to move simultaneously and independently in translation and rotation, rendering great maneuverability and agility, which makes them suitable for formation navigation. Novel nonlinear adaptive control laws are designed for the input voltages of the three wheel-drive motors. The motion resistance, which is due to the sinkage of rover wheels in soft planetary terrain, is modeled using classical terramechanics theory. The unknown system parameters for adaptive estimation pertain to the rolling resistance forces and scrubbing resistance torques at the wheel-terrain interfaces. Novel terramechanical formulas for terrain resistance forces and torques are derived via considering the universal holonomic wheels as rigid toroidal wheels moving forward and/or sideways as well as turning on soft ground. The asymptotic stability of the formation control system is rigorously proved using Lyapunov's direct method.

  10. A Team Approach to the Development of Gamma Ray and x Ray Remote Sensing and in Situ Spectroscopy for Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trombka, J. I.; Floyd, S.; Ruitberg, A.; Evans, L.; Starr, R.; Metzger, A.; Reedy, R.; Drake, D.; Moss, C.; Edwards, B.

    1993-01-01

    An important part of the investigation of planetary origin and evolution is the determination of the surface composition of planets, comets, and asteroids. Measurements of discrete line X-ray and gamma ray emissions from condensed bodies in space can be used to obtain both qualitative and quantitative elemental composition information. The Planetary Instrumentation Definition and Development Program (PIDDP) X-Ray/Gamma Ray Team has been established to develop remote sensing and in situ technologies for future planetary exploration missions.

  11. Integration of planetary protection activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Race, Margaret S.

    1995-01-01

    For decades, NASA has been concerned about the protection of planets and other solar system bodies from biological contamination. Its policies regarding biological contamination control for outbound and inbound planetary spacecraft have evolved to focus on three important areas: (1) the preservation of celestial objects and the space environment; (2) protection of Earth from extraterrestrial hazards; and (3) ensuring the integrity of its scientific investigations. Over the years as new information has been obtained from planetary exploration and research, planetary protection parameters and policies have been modified accordingly. The overall focus of research under this cooperative agreement has been to provide information about non-scientific and societal factors related to planetary protection and use it in the planning and implementation phases of future Mars sample return missions.

  12. Mars Sample Return Feedforward of Potential Planetary Protection Technology/Knowledge to Human Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hays, L. E.; Beaty, D. W.; Jones, M. A.

    2015-03-01

    Planetary protection considerations for Mars Sample Return and Human Extraterrestrial Missions clearly have significant overlap. What are some of the ways that considerations for the former may or may not feed forward to the latter?

  13. A Subjective Assessment of Alternative Mission Architecture Operations Concepts for the Human Exploration of Mars at NASA Using a Three-Dimensional Multi-Criteria Decision Making Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tavana, Madjid

    2003-01-01

    The primary driver for developing missions to send humans to other planets is to generate significant scientific return. NASA plans human planetary explorations with an acceptable level of risk consistent with other manned operations. Space exploration risks can not be completely eliminated. Therefore, an acceptable level of cost, technical, safety, schedule, and political risks and benefits must be established for exploratory missions. This study uses a three-dimensional multi-criteria decision making model to identify the risks and benefits associated with three alternative mission architecture operations concepts for the human exploration of Mars identified by the Mission Operations Directorate at Johnson Space Center. The three alternatives considered in this study include split, combo lander, and dual scenarios. The model considers the seven phases of the mission including: 1) Earth Vicinity/Departure; 2) Mars Transfer; 3) Mars Arrival; 4) Planetary Surface; 5) Mars Vicinity/Departure; 6) Earth Transfer; and 7) Earth Arrival. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and subjective probability estimation are used to captures the experts belief concerning the risks and benefits of the three alternative scenarios through a series of sequential, rational, and analytical processes.

  14. Adaptive Bio-Inspired Wireless Network Routing for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alena, Richard I.; Lee, Charles

    2004-01-01

    Wireless mobile networks suffer connectivity loss when used in a terrain that has hills, and valleys when line of sight is interrupted or range is exceeded. To resolve this problem and achieve acceptable network performance, we have designed an adaptive, configurable, hybrid system to automatically route network packets along the best path between multiple geographically dispersed modules. This is very useful in planetary surface exploration, especially for ad-hoc mobile networks, where computational devices take an active part in creating a network infrastructure, and can actually be used to route data dynamically and even store data for later transmission between networks. Using inspiration from biological systems, this research proposes to use ant trail algorithms with multi-layered information maps (topographic maps, RF coverage maps) to determine the best route through ad-hoc network at real time. The determination of best route is a complex one, and requires research into the appropriate metrics, best method to identify the best path, optimizing traffic capacity, network performance, reliability, processing capabilities and cost. Real ants are capable of finding the shortest path from their nest to a food source without visual sensing through the use of pheromones. They are also able to adapt to changes in the environment using subtle clues. To use ant trail algorithms, we need to define the probability function. The artificial ant is, in this case, a software agent that moves from node to node on a network graph. The function to calculate the fitness (evaluate the better path) includes: length of the network edge, the coverage index, topology graph index, and pheromone trail left behind by other ant agents. Each agent modifies the environment in two different ways: 1) Local trail updating: As the ant moves between nodes it updates the amount of pheromone on the edge; and 2) Global trail updating: When all ants have completed a tour the ant that found the shortest route updates the edges in its path.

  15. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1986-1987

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    A compilation is presented of selected bibliographic data relating to recent publications submitted by principal investigators and their associates, supported through NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program

  16. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1989-1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This is a compilation of selected bibliographic data specifically relating to recent publications submitted by principle investigators and their associates, supported through the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program.

  17. A bibliography of planetary geology and geophysics principal investigators and their associates, 1990-1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    A compilation of selected bibliographic data specifically relating to recent publications submitted by principal investigators and their associates, supported through the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program is presented.

  18. Design and Evaluation of a Fiber Optic Probe as a means of Subsurface Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilgrim, Robert Paul

    The Optical Probe for Regolith Analysis (OPRA) is an instrumentation concept designed to provide spectroscopic analysis of the near subsurface of unconsolidated regolith on bodies such as moons, asteroids and planets. Below a chemically altered surface may lay the geological history in the form of stratigraphy that is shielded from degradation due to harsh external environments. Most of what we know about our solar system comes from remote platforms, such as satellites that are deployed into orbit around the target body. In the case of Mars, we have had several successful landers and rovers however, with the exception of the Mars Science Laboratory that just drilled its first hole, the complexity of subsurface excavation has limited the extent of subsurface exploration to simple scoops deployed on the ends of robotic arms which, by their very nature, will erase any stratigraphy that it may be digging into. The OPRA instrumentation concept allows for an integrated, lightweight and simple apparatus for subsurface exploration via a small, spike like structure which contains integrated optical fibers coupled to small windows running down the length of the probe. Each window is connected to a spectrometer housed onboard the deploying spacecraft. Each window is separately interrogated via the spectrometer over the wavelength range 1-2.5 nm to produce a spectroscopic profile as a function of depth. This project takes the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the OPRA instrumentation concept to level 3, which is defined by NASA to be the demonstration either analytically or experimentally of the proof of concept for critical functions of the proposed instrument. Firstly, to demonstrate that optical fibers are feasible for this type of application, we report on the techniques used by NASA to space qualify optical fibers. We investigate the optical performance of several fiber optic bundle configurations, both experimentally and numerically, to help optimize bundle performance. Optical bundles were then spectrally validated via a series of spectral comparisons between standardized reflectance spectroscopy targets and spectra obtained with the bundles. We also report on the integration of fiber optical bundles into other research and experimental results from several other groups within our research teams to obtain spectra under a more "space like" environment. Finally, the probe housing structural performance was investigated via finite element analysis, using probe penetration forces derived from data analysis of experimentation conducted by the Apollo lunar missions, and investigations into a mechanical analogue for the Martian regolith.

  19. NASA Langley Research Center Systems Analysis & Concepts Directorate Participation in the Exploration Systems Architecture Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keyes, Jennifer; Troutman, Patrick A.; Saucillo, Rudolph; Cirillo, William M.; Cavanaugh, Steve; Stromgren, Chel

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Systems Analysis & Concepts Directorate (SACD) began studying human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) in the year 1999. This included participation in NASA s Decadal Planning Team (DPT), the NASA Exploration Team (NExT), Space Architect studies and Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) architecture studies that were used in formulating the new Vision for Space Exploration. In May of 2005, NASA initiated the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS). The primary outputs of the ESAS activity were concepts and functional requirements for the Crewed Exploration Vehicle (CEV), its supporting launch vehicle infrastructure and identification of supporting technology requirements and investments. An exploration systems analysis capability has evolved to support these functions in the past and continues to evolve to support anticipated future needs. SACD had significant roles in supporting the ESAS study team. SACD personnel performed the liaison function between the ESAS team and the Shuttle/Station Configuration Options Team (S/SCOT), an agency-wide team charged with using the Space Shuttle to complete the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. The most significant of the identified issues involved the ability of the Space Shuttle system to achieve the desired number of flights in the proposed time frame. SACD with support from the Kennedy Space Center performed analysis showing that, without significant investments in improving the shuttle processing flow, that there was almost no possibility of completing the 28-flight sequence by the end of 2010. SACD performed numerous Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) trades to define top level element requirements and establish architecture propellant needs. Configuration trades were conducted to determine the impact of varying degrees of segmentation of the living capabilities of the combined descent stage, ascent stage, and other elements. The technology assessment process was developed and implemented by SACD as the ESAS architecture was refined. SACD implemented a rigorous and objective process which included (a) establishing architectural functional needs, (b) collection, synthesis and mapping of technology data, and (c) performing an objective decision analysis resulting in technology development investment recommendations. The investment recommendation provided budget, schedule, and center/program allocations to develop required technologies for the exploration architecture, as well as the identification of other investment opportunities to maximize performance and flexibility while minimizing cost and risk. A summary of the trades performed and methods utilized by SACD for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESAS) activity is presented along with how SACD is currently supporting the implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration.

  20. Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2007

    2007-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) announced by President George W. Bush in 2004 sets NASA and the nation on a bold path to return to the Moon and one day put a human on Mars. The long-term endeavor represented by the VSE is, however, subject to the constraints imposed by annual funding. Given that the VSE may take tens of years to implement,…