Science.gov

Sample records for mapping rover mission

  1. Late 2016 Map of NASA Curiosity Mars Rover Mission

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-13

    This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover from the location where it landed in August 2012 to its location in December 2016, which is in the upper half of a geological unit called the Murray formation, on lower Mount Sharp. Blue triangles mark waypoints investigated by Curiosity during the rover's two-year prime mission and first two-year extended mission. The "Hematite Unit" and "Clay Unit" are key destinations for the second two-year extension, through September 2018. An approximate possible route is indicated for studying those layers of the mountain. The base image for the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up. Bagnold Dunes form a band of dark, wind-blown material at the foot of Mount Sharp. The scale bar at lower right represents one kilometer (0.62 mile). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21144

  2. Mid-2017 Map of NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Mission

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-07-11

    This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, from the location where it landed in August 2012 to its location in July 2017, and its planned path to additional geological layers of lower Mount Sharp. The blue star near top center marks "Bradbury Landing," the site where Curiosity arrived on Mars on Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time). Blue triangles mark waypoints investigated by Curiosity on the floor of Gale Crater and, starting with "Pahrump Hills," on Mount Sharp. The Sol 1750 label identifies the rover's location on July 9, 2017, the 1,750th Martian day, or sol, since the landing. In July 2017, the mission is examining "Vera Rubin Ridge" from the downhill side of the ridge. Spectrometry observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have detected hematite, an iron-oxide mineral, in the ridge. Curiosity's planned route continues to the top of the ridge and then to geological units where clay minerals and sulfate minerals have been detected from orbit. The base image for the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up. "Bagnold Dunes" form a band of dark, wind-blown material at the foot of Mount Sharp. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21720

  3. Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara A.

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. The design of the Rover along with the Athena science payload is also described. Photographs of the Gusev Crater and Meridiani rocks are also shown.

  4. Requirements assessment and operational demands for a resource mapping rover mission to the lunar polar regions

    SciTech Connect

    KLARER,PAUL R.; BINDER,ALAN B.; LENARD,ROGER X.

    2000-01-26

    A preliminary set of requirements for a robotic rover mission to the lunar polar region are described and assessed. Tasks to be performed by the rover include core drill sample acquisition, mineral and volatile soil content assay, and significant wide area traversals. Assessment of the postulated requirements is performed using first order estimates of energy, power, and communications throughput issues. Two potential rover system configurations are considered, a smaller rover envisioned as part of a group of multiple rovers, and a larger single rover envisioned along more traditional planetary surface rover concept lines.

  5. Mars Exploration Rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, Joy A.; Adler, Mark; Matijevic, Jacob R.; Squyres, Steven W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Kass, David M.

    2003-10-01

    In January 2004 the Mars Exploration Rover mission will land two rovers at two different landing sites that show possible evidence for past liquid-water activity. The spacecraft design is based on the Mars Pathfinder configuration for cruise and entry, descent, and landing. Each of the identical rovers is equipped with a science payload of two remote-sensing instruments that will view the surrounding terrain from the top of a mast, a robotic arm that can place three instruments and a rock abrasion tool on selected rock and soil samples, and several onboard magnets and calibration targets. Engineering sensors and components useful for science investigations include stereo navigation cameras, stereo hazard cameras in front and rear, wheel motors, wheel motor current and voltage, the wheels themselves for digging, gyros, accelerometers, and reference solar cell readings. Mission operations will allow commanding of the rover each Martian day, or sol, on the basis of the previous sol's data. Over a 90-sol mission lifetime, the rovers are expected to drive hundreds of meters while carrying out field geology investigations, exploration, and atmospheric characterization. The data products will be delivered to the Planetary Data System as integrated batch archives.

  6. Early lunar rover mission studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillespie, Vernon P.

    1993-01-01

    Results of lunar mission studies aimed at developing mission goals and high level requirements are reported. A mission concept to meet the mission requirements was developed and the design of mission hardware was to follow. Mission concepts not only included operations analysis and plans but also fabrication and test planning, quality control measures, and project organization. The design of mission concepts and hardware identified issues that are not easily resolved. Although none of the issues identified appear to be unresolvable, many will be difficult to resolve within Space Exploration Initiative constraints. These issues discussed which appear to have the potential for negative project impact are rover mobility, power, imaging, telemanagment, and remote control.

  7. Early lunar rover mission studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillespie, V. P.

    1993-01-01

    Viewgraphs on Early Lunar Rover Mission studies are included. The chronology of events and study project description are addressed. Issues identified for analysis and basic questions to be addressed are listed. LaRC Early Lunar Mission study results are included.

  8. Photogrammetric processing of rover imagery of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Kaichang; Xu, Fengliang; Wang, Jue; Agarwal, Sanchit; Brodyagina, Evgenia; Li, Rongxing; Matthies, Larry

    In the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, carry identical Athena instrument payloads and engineering cameras for exploration of the Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum landing sites. This paper presents the photogrammetric processing techniques for high accuracy topographic mapping and rover localization at the two landing sites. Detailed discussions about camera models, reference frames, interest point matching, automatic tie point selection, image network construction, incremental bundle adjustment, and topographic product generation are given. The developed rover localization method demonstrated the capability of correcting position errors caused by wheel slippages, azimuthal angle drift and other navigation errors. A comparison was also made between the bundle-adjusted rover traverse and the rover track imaged from the orbit. Mapping products including digital terrain models, orthophotos, and rover traverse maps have been generated for over two years of operations, and disseminated to scientists and engineers of the mission through a web-based GIS. The maps and localization information have been extensively used to support tactical operations and strategic planning of the mission.

  9. The Extended Mission Rover (EMR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shields, W.; Halecki, Anthony; Chung, Manh; Clarke, Ken; Frankle, Kevin; Kassemkhani, Fariba; Kuhlhoff, John; Lenzini, Josh; Lobdell, David; Morgan, Sam

    A key component in ensuring America's status as a leader in the global community is its active pursuit of space exploration. On the twentieth anniversary of Apollo 11, President George Bush challenged the nation to place a man on the moon permanently and to conduct human exploration of Mars in the 21st century. The students of the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering hope to make a significant contribution to this challenge, America's Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), with their participation in the NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program. The project selected by the 1991/1992 Aerospace Design group is the design of an Extended Mission Rover (EMR) for use on the lunar surface. This vehicle will serve as a mobile base to provide future astronauts with a 'shirt-sleeve' living and working environment. Some of the proposed missions are planetary surface exploration, construction and maintenance, hardware setup, and in situ resource experimentation. This vehicle will be put into use in the 2010-2030 time frame.

  10. The Extended Mission Rover (EMR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shields, W.; Halecki, Anthony; Chung, Manh; Clarke, Ken; Frankle, Kevin; Kassemkhani, Fariba; Kuhlhoff, John; Lenzini, Josh; Lobdell, David; Morgan, Sam

    1992-01-01

    A key component in ensuring America's status as a leader in the global community is its active pursuit of space exploration. On the twentieth anniversary of Apollo 11, President George Bush challenged the nation to place a man on the moon permanently and to conduct human exploration of Mars in the 21st century. The students of the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering hope to make a significant contribution to this challenge, America's Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), with their participation in the NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program. The project selected by the 1991/1992 Aerospace Design group is the design of an Extended Mission Rover (EMR) for use on the lunar surface. This vehicle will serve as a mobile base to provide future astronauts with a 'shirt-sleeve' living and working environment. Some of the proposed missions are planetary surface exploration, construction and maintenance, hardware setup, and in situ resource experimentation. This vehicle will be put into use in the 2010-2030 time frame.

  11. Trajectory design for a Mars Rover/Sample Return mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweetser, Theodore H.

    This paper discusses two of the orbit design problems faced in the design of a Mars Rover/Sample Return mission, which is currently being studied at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The first is the problem of interplanetary transfer - what is the best trajectory for getting equipment to Mars and a sample back. Several kinds of trajectories are examined before the conclusion is made that straightforward direct transfers are best. The second orbit design problem is what kind of orbit around Mars is best for making high-resolution maps of sites where the rover could land and gather samples, and how can the same orbiter be used as a relay between a rover on Mars and ground stations on Earth. This question is examined in the context of alternate mission options being considered, and the answer depends on the requirements of the particular mission option.

  12. Rover deployment system for lunar landing mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutoh, Masataku; Hoshino, Takeshi; Wakabayashi, Sachiko

    2017-09-01

    For lunar surface exploration, a deployment system is necessary to allow a rover to leave the lander. The system should be as lightweight as possible and stored retracted when launched. In this paper, two types of retractable deployment systems for lunar landing missions, telescopic- and fold-type ramps, are discussed. In the telescopic-type system, a ramp is stored with the sections overlapping and slides out during deployment. In the fold-type system, it is stored folded and unfolds for the deployment. For the development of these ramps, a design concept study and structural analysis were conducted first. Subsequently, ramp deployment and rover release tests were performed using the developed ramp prototypes. Through these tests, the validity of their design concepts and functions have been confirmed. In the rover release test, it was observed that the developed lightweight ramp was sufficiently strong for a 50-kg rover to descend. This result suggests that this ramp system is suitable for the deployment of a 300-kg-class rover on the Moon, where the gravity is about one-sixth that on Earth. The lightweight and sturdy ramp developed in this study will contribute to both safe rover deployment and increase of lander/rover payload.

  13. Overview of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, M.

    2002-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project is an ambitious mission to land two highly capable rovers at different sites in the equatorial region of Mars. The two vehicles are launched separately in May through July of 2003. Mars surface operations begin on January 4, 2004 with the first landing, followed by the second landing three weeks later on January 25. The useful surface lifetime of each rover will be at least 90 sols. The science objectives of exploring multiple locations within each of two widely separated and scientifically distinct landing sites will be accomplished along with the demonstration of key surface exploration technologies for future missions. The two MER spacecraft are planned to be identical. The rovers are landed using the Mars Pathfinder approach of a heatshield and parachute to slow the vehicle relative to the atmosphere, solid rockets to slow the lander near the surface, and airbags to cushion the surface impacts. During entry, descent, and landing, the vehicles will transmit coded tones directly to Earth, and in the terminal descent phase will also transmit telemetry to the MGS orbiter to indicate progress through the critical events. Once the lander rolls to a stop, a tetrahedral structure opens to right the lander and to reveal the folded rover, which then deploys and later by command will roll off of the lander to begin its exploration. Each six-wheeled rover carries a suite of instruments to collect contextual information about the landing site using visible and thermal infrared remote sensing, and to collect in situ information on the composition, mineralogy, and texture of selected Martian soils and rocks using an arm-mounted microscopic imager, rock abrasion tool, and spectrometers. During their surface missions, the rovers will communicate with Earth directly through the Deep Space Network as well as indirectly through the Odyssey and MGS orbiters. The solar-powered rovers will be commanded in the morning of each Sol, with the

  14. Autonomous Navigation Results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark; Johnson, Andrew; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg; Matthies, Larry H.

    2004-01-01

    In January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. Several autonomous navigation capabilities were employed in space for the first time in this mission. ]n the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase, both landers used a vision system called the, Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) to estimate horizontal velocity during the last 2000 meters (m) of descent, by tracking features on the ground with a downlooking camera, in order to control retro-rocket firing to reduce horizontal velocity before impact. During surface operations, the rovers navigate autonomously using stereo vision for local terrain mapping and a local, reactive planning algorithm called Grid-based Estimation of Surface Traversability Applied to Local Terrain (GESTALT) for obstacle avoidance. ]n areas of high slip, stereo vision-based visual odometry has been used to estimate rover motion, As of mid-June, Spirit had traversed 3405 m, of which 1253 m were done autonomously; Opportunity had traversed 1264 m, of which 224 m were autonomous. These results have contributed substantially to the success of the mission and paved the way for increased levels of autonomy in future missions.

  15. Autonomous Navigation Results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark; Johnson, Andrew; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg; Matthies, Larry H.

    2004-01-01

    In January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. Several autonomous navigation capabilities were employed in space for the first time in this mission. ]n the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase, both landers used a vision system called the, Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) to estimate horizontal velocity during the last 2000 meters (m) of descent, by tracking features on the ground with a downlooking camera, in order to control retro-rocket firing to reduce horizontal velocity before impact. During surface operations, the rovers navigate autonomously using stereo vision for local terrain mapping and a local, reactive planning algorithm called Grid-based Estimation of Surface Traversability Applied to Local Terrain (GESTALT) for obstacle avoidance. ]n areas of high slip, stereo vision-based visual odometry has been used to estimate rover motion, As of mid-June, Spirit had traversed 3405 m, of which 1253 m were done autonomously; Opportunity had traversed 1264 m, of which 224 m were autonomous. These results have contributed substantially to the success of the mission and paved the way for increased levels of autonomy in future missions.

  16. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bass, Deborah; Lauback, Sharon; Mishkin, Andrew; Limonadi, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    A document describes a system of processes involved in planning, commanding, and monitoring operations of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The system is designed to minimize command turnaround time, given that inherent uncertainties in terrain conditions and in successful completion of planned landed spacecraft motions preclude planning of some spacecraft activities until the results of prior activities are known by the ground-based operations team. The processes are partitioned into those (designated as tactical) that must be tied to the Martian clock and those (designated strategic) that can, without loss, be completed in a more leisurely fashion. The tactical processes include assessment of downlinked data, refinement and validation of activity plans, sequencing of commands, and integration and validation of sequences. Strategic processes include communications planning and generation of long-term activity plans. The primary benefit of this partition is to enable the tactical portion of the team to focus solely on tasks that contribute directly to meeting the deadlines for commanding the rover s each sol (1 sol = 1 Martian day) - achieving a turnaround time of 18 hours or less, while facilitating strategic team interactions with other organizations that do not work on a Mars time schedule.

  17. Mars Rover Enters New Phase of Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2010-02-01

    The wandering days for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit appear to be over. Spirit, which has been exploring the planet on a science mission since January 2004, is embedded in sandy soil and will remain at its current location at 14.6°S, 175.5°E, at the “Home Plate” plateau within Gusev crater, through the coming Martian winter and for the rest of its days. Despite NASA's best efforts to extricate the six-wheeled Spirit from the sulfate salt-rich soil for the past 8 months, mission scientists indicated on 26 January that they now believe the rover is stuck for good, aside from minor movements on its four remaining operational wheels and other small adjustments. For the next several weeks, NASA will continue efforts to slightly reposition the robot so that it can better catch the Sun, endure the coming Martian winter in a state of hibernation, and remain at least in infrequent communication with the science team.

  18. Extended mission/lunar rover, executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The design project selected to be undertaken by the 1991/92 Aerospace Design Group was that of conceptually designing an Extended Mission Rover for use on the Lunar Surface. This vehicle would serve the function as a mobile base of sorts, and be able to provide future astronauts with a mobile 'shirt-sleeve' self-sufficient living and working environment. Some of the proposed missions would be planetary surface exploration, construction and maintenance, hardware set-up and in-situ resource experimentation. The need for this type of vehicle has already been declared in the Stafford Group's report on the future of America's Space Program, entitled 'America at the Threshold: America's Space Exploration Initiative'. In the four architectures described within the report, the concept of a pressurized vehicle occurred multiple times. The approximate time frame that this vehicle would be put into use is 2010-2030.

  19. Extended mission/lunar rover, executive summary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The design project selected to be undertaken by the 1991/92 Aerospace Design Group was that of conceptually designing an Extended Mission Rover for use on the Lunar Surface. This vehicle would serve the function as a mobile base of sorts, and be able to provide future astronauts with a mobile 'shirt-sleeve' self-sufficient living and working environment. Some of the proposed missions would be planetary surface exploration, construction and maintenance, hardware set-up and in-situ resource experimentation. The need for this type of vehicle has already been declared in the Stafford Group's report on the future of America's Space Program, entitled 'America at the Threshold: America's Space Exploration Initiative'. In the four architectures described within the report, the concept of a pressurized vehicle occurred multiple times. The approximate time frame that this vehicle would be put into use is 2010-2030.

  20. (abstract) Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cesarone, Robert J.; Hastrup, Rolf C.; Horne, William; McOmber, Robert

    1997-01-01

    Telecommunications plays a key role in all rover and robotic missions to Mars both as a conduit for command information to the mission and for scientific data from the mission. Telecommunications to the Earth may be accomplished using direct-to-Earth links via the Deep Space Network (DSN) or by relay links supported by other missions at Mars. This paper reviews current plans for missions to Mars through the 2005 launch opportunity and their capabilities in support of rover and robotic telecommunications.

  1. (abstract) Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cesarone, Robert J.; Hastrup, Rolf C.; Horne, William; McOmber, Robert

    1997-01-01

    Telecommunications plays a key role in all rover and robotic missions to Mars both as a conduit for command information to the mission and for scientific data from the mission. Telecommunications to the Earth may be accomplished using direct-to-Earth links via the Deep Space Network (DSN) or by relay links supported by other missions at Mars. This paper reviews current plans for missions to Mars through the 2005 launch opportunity and their capabilities in support of rover and robotic telecommunications.

  2. Curiosity Rover Martian Mission, Exaggerated Cross Section

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-13

    This graphic depicts aspects of the driving distance, elevation, geological units and time intervals of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover mission, as of late 2016. The vertical dimension is exaggerated 14-fold compared with the horizontal dimension, for presentation-screen proportions. As of early December 2016, Curiosity had driven 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) since its August 2012 landing on the floor of Gale Crater near the base of Mount Sharp. It had climbed 541 feet (165 meters) in elevation. Elevation values shown on the vertical scale of this chart denote meters below an established zero-elevation level on Mars, which lacks a planetary "sea level." Because Curiosity is below the zero elevation, the numbers are negative. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21145

  3. Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) Mission: Mars Rover Technology Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    A return to the surface of Mars has long been an objective of NASA mission planners. The ongoing Mars Rover and Sample Return (MRSR) mission study represents the latest stage in that interest. As part of NASA's preparation for a possible MRSR mission, a technology planning workshop was held to attempt to define technology requirements, options, and preliminary plans for the principal areas of Mars rover technology. The proceedings of that workshop are presented.

  4. A Mars Rover Mission Simulation on Kilauea Volcano

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; Cuzzi, Jeffery N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission on Mars was performed using the Russian Marsokhod rover deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI in February, 1995. A Russian Marsokhod rover chassis was equipped with American avionics equipment, stereo cameras on a pan and tilt platform, a digital high resolution body-mounted camera, and a manipulator arm on which was mounted a camera with a close-up lens. The six wheeled rover is 2 meters long and has a mass of 120 kg. The imaging system was designed to simulate that used on the planned "Mars Together" mission. The rover was deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI and operated from NASA Ames by a team of planetary geologists and exobiologists. Two modes of mission operations were simulated for three days each: (1) long time delay, low data bandwidth (simulating a Mars mission), and (2) live video, wide-bandwidth data (allowing active control simulating a Lunar rover mission or a Mars rover mission controlled from on or near the Martian surface). Simulated descent images (aerial photographs) were used to plan traverses to address a detailed set of science questions. The actual route taken was determined by the science team and the traverse path was frequently changed in response to the data acquired and to unforeseen operational issues. Traverses were thereby optimized to efficiently answer scientific questions. During the Mars simulation, the rover traversed a distance of 800 m. Based on the time delay between Earth and Mars, we estimate that the same operation would have taken 30 days to perform on Mars. This paper will describe the mission simulation and make recommendations about incorporating rovers into the Mars surveyor program.

  5. A Mars Rover Mission Simulation on Kilauea Volcano

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; Cuzzi, Jeffery N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission on Mars was performed using the Russian Marsokhod rover deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI in February, 1995. A Russian Marsokhod rover chassis was equipped with American avionics equipment, stereo cameras on a pan and tilt platform, a digital high resolution body-mounted camera, and a manipulator arm on which was mounted a camera with a close-up lens. The six wheeled rover is 2 meters long and has a mass of 120 kg. The imaging system was designed to simulate that used on the planned "Mars Together" mission. The rover was deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI and operated from NASA Ames by a team of planetary geologists and exobiologists. Two modes of mission operations were simulated for three days each: (1) long time delay, low data bandwidth (simulating a Mars mission), and (2) live video, wide-bandwidth data (allowing active control simulating a Lunar rover mission or a Mars rover mission controlled from on or near the Martian surface). Simulated descent images (aerial photographs) were used to plan traverses to address a detailed set of science questions. The actual route taken was determined by the science team and the traverse path was frequently changed in response to the data acquired and to unforeseen operational issues. Traverses were thereby optimized to efficiently answer scientific questions. During the Mars simulation, the rover traversed a distance of 800 m. Based on the time delay between Earth and Mars, we estimate that the same operation would have taken 30 days to perform on Mars. This paper will describe the mission simulation and make recommendations about incorporating rovers into the Mars surveyor program.

  6. Launch vehicle accident assessment for Mars Exploration Rover missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yau, M.; Reinhart, L.; Guarro, S.

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents the methodology used in the launch and space vehicle portion of the nuclear risk assessment for the two Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions, which includes the assessment of accident scenarios and associated probabilities.

  7. Mars Rover Sample Return mission delivery and return challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Aaron

    1988-01-01

    The Mars Rover Sample Return mission is a robotic exploration mission culminating in the return of atmospheric and surface samples from Mars to Earth. To accomplish this complex mission requires sophisticated autonomous systems for many time-critical operations associated with the delivery and return phases, since the round trip light times preclude Earth-based control of these operations. In addition, there are significant engineering and technology challenges to be addressed to meet the mission science and exploration objectives.

  8. 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.

  9. MRSR: Rationale for a Mars Rover/Sample Return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1992-01-01

    The Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council has recommended that a Mars Rover/Sample Return mission be launched before the year 2000. The recommendation is consistent with the science objectives as outlined by the National Academy of Sciences committees on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, and Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution. Interest has also focused on Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) missions, because of their crucial role as precursors for human exploration. As a result of this consensus among the advisory groups, a study of an MRSR mission began early in 1987. The study has the following goals: (1) to assess the technical feasibility of the mission; (2) to converge on two or three options for the general architecture of the mission; (3) to determine what new technologies need to be developed in order to implement the mission; (4) to define the different options sufficiently well that preliminary cost estimates can be made; and (5) to better define the science requirements. This chapter briefly describes Mars Rover/Sample Return missions that were examined in the late 1980s. These missions generally include a large (1000 kg) rover and return of over 5 kg of sample.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. A preliminary study of Mars rover/sample return missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) of the NASA Advisory Council recommends that a Mars Sample Return mission be undertaken before the year 2000. Comprehensive studies of a Mars Sample Return mission have been ongoing since 1984. The initial focus of these studies was an integrated mission concept with the surface rover and sample return vehicle elements delivered to Mars on a single launch and landed together. This approach, to be carried out as a unilateral U.S. initiative, is still a high priority goal in an Augmented Program of exploration, as the SSEC recommendation clearly states. With this background of a well-understood mission concept, NASA decided to focus its 1986 study effort on a potential opportunity not previously examined; namely, a Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) mission which would involve a significant aspect of international cooperation. As envisioned, responsibility for the various mission operations and hardware elements would be divided in a logical manner with clearly defined and acceptable interfaces. The U.S. and its international partner would carry out separately launched but coordinated missions with the overall goal of accomplishing in situ science and returning several kilograms of surface samples from Mars. Important considerations for implementation of such a plan are minimum technology transfer, maximum sharing of scientific results, and independent credibility of each mission role. Under the guidance and oversight of a Mars Exploration Strategy Advisory Group organized by NASA, a study team was formed in the fall of 1986 to develop a preliminary definition of a flight-separable, cooperative mission. The selected concept assumes that the U.S. would undertake the rover mission with its sample collection operations and our international partner would return the samples to Earth. Although the inverse of these roles is also possible, this study report focuses on the rover functions of MRSR because rover operations have not

  12. Pressurized Rover for Moon and Mars Surface Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imhof, Barbara; Ransom, Stephen; Mohanty, Susmita; Özdemir, Kürsad; Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Frischauf, Norbert; Hoheneder, Waltraut; Waclavicek, René

    The work described in this paper was done under ESA and Thales Alenia Space contract in the frame of the Analysis of Surface Architecture for European Space Exploration -Element Design. Future manned space missions to the Moon or to Mars will require a vehicle for transporting astronauts in a controlled and protected environment and in relative comfort during surface traverses of these planetary bodies. The vehicle that will be needed is a pressurized rover which serves the astronauts as a habitat, a refuge and a research laboratory/workshop. A number of basic issues influencing the design of such a rover, e.g. habitability, human-machine interfaces, safety, dust mitigation, interplanetary contamination and radiation protection, have been analysed in detail. The results of these analyses were subsequently used in an investigation of various designs for a rover suitable for surface exploration, from which a single concept was developed that satisfied scientific requirements as well as environmental requirements encoun-tered during surface exploration of the Moon and Mars. This concept was named in memory of the late Sir Arthur C. Clark RAMA (Rover for Advanced Mission Applications, Rover for Advanced Moon Applications, Rover for Advanced Mars Applications) The concept design of the pressurized rover meets the scientific and operational requirements defined during the course of the Surface Architecture Study. It is designed for surface missions with a crew of two or three lasting up to approximately 40 days, its source of energy, a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen fuel cell, allowing it to be driven and operated during the day as well as the night. Guidance, navigation and obstacle avoidance systems are foreseen as standard equipment to allow it to travel safely over rough terrain at all times of the day. The rover allows extra-vehicular activity and a remote manipulator is provided to recover surface samples, to deploy surface instruments and equipment and, in general

  13. A Conceptual Venus Rover Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    This concept study demonstrates that a long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by a novel application of advanced RPS technology. General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules would be employed to drive an advanced thermoacoustic Stirling engine, pulse tube cooler and linear alternator that provides electric power and cooling for the rover. The Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) is a system for converting high-temperature heat into acoustic power which then drives linear alternators and a pulse tube cooler to provide both electric power and coolin6g for the rover. A small design team examined this mission concept focusing on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment. A rover design is described that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements on the Venus surface for 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A suite of science instruments is described that collects data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE at under 50 °C.

  14. A conceptual venus rover mission using advanced radioisotope power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    The primary goal of this study is to examine the feasibility of using the novel Advanced RPS-driven Stirling thermoacoustic system to enable extended science operations in the extremely hostile surface environment of Venus. The mission concept entails landing a rover onto the Venus surface, conducting science measurements in different areas on the surface, and returning the science data to Earth. The study focused on developing a rover design to satisfy the science goals with the capability to operate for 60 days. This mission life influences several design parameters, including Earth elevation angle and the maximum communications range to Earth.

  15. A conceptual venus rover mission using advanced radioisotope power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    The primary goal of this study is to examine the feasibility of using the novel Advanced RPS-driven Stirling thermoacoustic system to enable extended science operations in the extremely hostile surface environment of Venus. The mission concept entails landing a rover onto the Venus surface, conducting science measurements in different areas on the surface, and returning the science data to Earth. The study focused on developing a rover design to satisfy the science goals with the capability to operate for 60 days. This mission life influences several design parameters, including Earth elevation angle and the maximum communications range to Earth.

  16. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Kangas, Julie A.; Raofi, Behzad

    2006-01-01

    Starting from approximately 150 candidate Martian landing sites, two distinct sites have been selected for further investigation by sophisticated rovers. The two rovers, named 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity', begin the surface mission respectively to Gusec Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. the rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to research for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. Before this scientific search can commence, precise trajectory targeting and control is necessary to achieve the entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the constraints of the flight system. The maneuver design challenge is to meet or exceed these requirements while maintaining the necessary design flexibility to accommodate additional project concerns. Opportunities to improve performance and reduce risk based on trajectory control characteristics are also evaluated.

  17. Rover traverse science for increased mission science return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.; Estlin, Tara; DeCoste, Dennis; Fisher, Forest; Gaines, Daniel; Mazzoni, Dominic; Judd, Michele

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we will describe out methods for the prioritization of geologic data acquired by an in-situ rover. Our techniques are applicable to a wide range of data modalites, however out initial demonstration is focused on image analysis, as images consume a large volume of the downlink bandwidth for such missions.

  18. A Long Range Science Rover For Future Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayati, Samad

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes the design and implementation currently underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of a long range science rover for future missions to Mars. The small rover prototype, called Rocky 7, is capable of long traverse. autonomous navigation. and science instrument control, carries three science instruments, and can be commanded from any computer platform and any location using the World Wide Web. In this paper we describe the mobility system, the sampling system, the sensor suite, navigation and control, onboard science instruments. and the ground command and control system.

  19. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, J. D.; Schreiner, J. A.

    2005-12-01

    In January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission successfully deployed two robotic geologists - Spirit and Opportunity - to opposite sides of the red planet. Onboard each rover is an array of cameras and scientific instruments that send data back to Earth, where ground-based systems process and store the information. During the height of the mission, a team of about 250 scientists and engineers worked around the clock to analyze the collected data, determine a strategy and activities for the next day and then carefully compose the command sequences that would instruct the rovers in how to perform their tasks. The scientists and engineers had to work closely together to balance the science objectives with the engineering constraints so that the mission achieved its goals safely and quickly. To accomplish this coordinated effort, they adhered to a tightly orchestrated schedule of meetings and processes. To keep on time, it was critical that all team members were aware of what was happening, knew how much time they had to complete their tasks, and could easily access the information they need to do their jobs. Computer scientists and software engineers at NASA Ames Research Center worked closely with the mission managers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create applications that support the mission. One such application, the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), helps mission personnel perform their daily tasks, whether they work inside mission control or the science areas at JPL, or in their homes, schools, or offices. With a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) - client, middleware, and data repository - built using Java and commercial software, CIP provides secure access to mission schedules and to data and images transmitted from the Mars rovers. This services-based approach proved highly effective for building distributed, flexible applications, and is forming the basis for the design of future mission software systems. Almost two

  20. 3D Vision on Mars: Stereo processing and visualizations for NASA and ESA rover missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Ben

    2016-07-01

    Three dimensional (3D) vision processing is an essential component of planetary rover mission planning and scientific data analysis. Standard ground vision processing products are digital terrain maps, panoramas, and virtual views of the environment. Such processing is currently developed for the PanCam instrument of ESA's ExoMars Rover mission by the PanCam 3D Vision Team under JOANNEUM RESEARCH coordination. Camera calibration, quality estimation of the expected results and the interfaces to other mission elements such as operations planning, rover navigation system and global Mars mapping are a specific focus of the current work. The main goals of the 3D Vision team in this context are: instrument design support & calibration processing: Development of 3D vision functionality Visualization: development of a 3D visualization tool for scientific data analysis. 3D reconstructions from stereo image data during the mission Support for 3D scientific exploitation to characterize the overall landscape geomorphology, processes, and the nature of the geologic record using the reconstructed 3D models. The developed processing framework PRoViP establishes an extensible framework for 3D vision processing in planetary robotic missions. Examples of processing products and capabilities are: Digital Terrain Models, Ortho images, 3D meshes, occlusion, solar illumination-, slope-, roughness-, and hazard-maps. Another important processing capability is the fusion of rover and orbiter based images with the support of multiple missions and sensors (e.g. MSL Mastcam stereo processing). For 3D visualization a tool called PRo3D has been developed to analyze and directly interpret digital outcrop models. Stereo image products derived from Mars rover data can be rendered in PRo3D, enabling the user to zoom, rotate and translate the generated 3D outcrop models. Interpretations can be digitized directly onto the 3D surface, and simple measurements of the outcrop and sedimentary features

  1. Autonomous Onboard Science Image Analysis for Future Mars Rover Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulick, V. C.; Morris, R. L.; Ruzon, M. A.; Roush, T. L.

    1999-01-01

    To explore high priority landing sites and to prepare for eventual human exploration, future Mars missions will involve rovers capable of traversing tens of kilometers. However, the current process by which scientists interact with a rover does not scale to such distances. Specifically, numerous command cycles are required to complete even simple tasks, such as, pointing the spectrometer at a variety of nearby rocks. In addition, the time required by scientists to interpret image data before new commands can be given and the limited amount of data that can be downlinked during a given command cycle constrain rover mobility and achievement of science goals. Experience with rover tests on Earth supports these concerns. As a result, traverses to science sites as identified in orbital images would require numerous science command cycles over a period of many weeks, months or even years, perhaps exceeding rover design life and other constraints. Autonomous onboard science analysis can address these problems in two ways. First, it will allow the rover to transmit only "interesting" images, defined as those likely to have higher science content. Second, the rover will be able to anticipate future commands. For example, a rover might autonomously acquire and return spectra of "interesting" rocks along with a high resolution image of those rocks in addition to returning the context images in which they were detected. Such approaches, coupled with appropriate navigational software, help to address both the data volume and command cycle bottlenecks that limit both rover mobility and science yield. We are developing fast, autonomous algorithms to enable such intelligent on-board decision making by spacecraft. Autonomous algorithms developed to date have the ability to identify rocks and layers in a scene, locate the horizon, and compress multi-spectral image data. Output from these algorithms could be used to autonomously obtain rock spectra, determine which images should be

  2. Archiving Data From the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    The two Mars Exploration Rovers will touch down on the red planet in January 2004 and each will operate for at least 90 sols, traversing hundreds of meters across the surface and acquiring data from the Athena Science Payload (mast-based multi-spectral, stereo-imaging data and emission spectra; arm-based in-situ Alpha Particle X-Ray (APXS) and Mössbauer Spectroscopy, microscopic imaging, coupled with use of a rock abrasion tool) at a number of locations. In addition, the rovers will acquire science and engineering data along traverses to characterize terrain properties and perhaps be used to dig trenches. An "Analyst's Notebook" concept has been developed to capture, organize, archive and distribute raw and derived data sets and documentation (http://wufs.wustl.edu/rover). The Notebooks will be implemented in ways that will allow users to "playback" the mission, using executed commands to drive animated views of rover activities, and pop-up windows to show why particular observations were acquired, along with displays of raw and derived data products. In addition, the archive will include standard Planetary Data System files and software for processing to higher-level products. The Notebooks will exist both as an online system and as a set of distributable Digital Video Discs or other appropriate media. The Notebooks will be made available through the Planetary Data System within six months after the end of observations for the relevant rovers.

  3. Path planning for planetary rover using extended elevation map

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Kubota, Takashi; Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo

    1994-01-01

    This paper describes a path planning method for planetary rovers to search for paths on planetary surfaces. The planetary rover is required to travel safely over a long distance for many days over unfamiliar terrain. Hence it is very important how planetary rovers process sensory information in order to understand the planetary environment and to make decisions based on that information. As a new data structure for informational mapping, an extended elevation map (EEM) has been introduced, which includes the effect of the size of the rover. The proposed path planning can be conducted in such a way as if the rover were a point while the size of the rover is automatically taken into account. The validity of the proposed methods is verified by computer simulations.

  4. Path planning for planetary rover using extended elevation map

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Kubota, Takashi; Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo

    1994-10-01

    This paper describes a path planning method for planetary rovers to search for paths on planetary surfaces. The planetary rover is required to travel safely over a long distance for many days over unfamiliar terrain. Hence it is very important how planetary rovers process sensory information in order to understand the planetary environment and to make decisions based on that information. As a new data structure for informational mapping, an extended elevation map (EEM) has been introduced, which includes the effect of the size of the rover. The proposed path planning can be conducted in such a way as if the rover were a point while the size of the rover is automatically taken into account. The validity of the proposed methods is verified by computer simulations.

  5. Mars Exploration Rover surface mission flight thermal performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Phillips, Charles J.; Sunada, Eric T.; Kinsella, Gary M.

    2005-01-01

    NASA launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 as a part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. MER-A (Spirit) landed on Mars in Gusev Crater at 15 degrees South latitude and 175 degree East longitude on January 4, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Dec. 2004)). MER-B (Opportunity) landed on Mars in Terra Meridiani at 2 degrees South latitude and 354 degrees East longitude on January 25, 2004 (Squyres, et al., August 2004) Both rovers have well exceeded their design lifetime (90 Sols) by more than a factor of 4. Spirit and Opportunity are still healthy and continue to execute their roving science missions at the time of this writing. This paper discusses rover flight thermal performance during the surface missions of both vehicles, covering roughly the time from the MER-A landing in late Southern Summer (Ls = 328, Sol 1A) through the Southern Winter solstice (Ls = 90, Sol 255A) to nearly Southern Vernal equinox (Ls = 160 , Sol 398A).

  6. 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.

  7. Rover Traverse Planning to Support a Lunar Polar Volatiles Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldmann, J.L.; Colaprete, A.C.; Elphic, R. C.; Bussey, B.; McGovern, A.; Beyer, R.; Lees, D.; Deans, M. C.; Otten, N.; Jones, H.; Wettergreen, D.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of lunar polar volatile depositsare of interest for scientific purposes to understandthe nature and evolution of the volatiles, and alsofor exploration reasons as a possible in situ resource toenable long term exploration and settlement of theMoon. Both theoretical and observational studies havesuggested that significant quantities of volatiles exist inthe polar regions, although the lateral and horizontaldistribution remains unknown at the km scale and finerresolution. A lunar polar rover mission is required tofurther characterize the distribution, quantity, andcharacter of lunar polar volatile deposits at thesehigher spatial resolutions. Here we present two casestudies for NASA’s Resource Prospector (RP) missionconcept for a lunar polar rover and utilize this missionarchitecture and associated constraints to evaluatewhether a suitable landing site exists to support an RPflight mission.

  8. Rover technology for manned Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, Gail

    1986-01-01

    A set of roving vehicle design requirements were postulated, corresponding to an idealized Mars transport vehicle operational scenario which could serve as a reference for a manned Mars mission. The ability of conventional vehicles to satisfy these requirements were examined. The study indicated that no conventional vehicle could satisfy all of the requirements, as the vehicles are presently configured. Consequently, the requirements have to either be relaxed and/or an alternative, less conventional vehicle design will have to be developed. A possible unconventional vehicle design which has received considerable attention for DARPA and the Army is the walker vehicle. The design issues associated with this vehicle are presented, along with a comparison of the performance capabilities of this technology vs. conventional vehicle technology.

  9. Mars rover/sample return mission requirements affecting space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The possible interfaces between the Space Station and the Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) mission are defined. In order to constrain the scope of the report a series of seven design reference missions divided into three major types were assumed. These missions were defined to span the probable range of Space Station-MRSR interactions. The options were reduced, the MRSR sample handling requirements and baseline assumptions about the MRSR hardware and the key design features and requirements of the Space Station are summarized. Only the aspects of the design reference missions necessary to define the interfaces, hooks and scars, and other provisions on the Space Station are considered. An analysis of each of the three major design reference missions, is reported, presenting conceptual designs of key hardware to be mounted on the Space Station, a definition of weights, interfaces, and required hooks and scars.

  10. FIDO Rover Trials, Silver Lake, California, in Preparation for the Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Baumgartner, E. T.; Blaney, D. L.; Haldemann, A. F.; Klingelhoefer, G.

    2000-01-01

    During field trials in the Mojave Desert, the Mars Sample Return (MSR) prototype rover, FIDO, simulated sampling and exploration activities with a science payload similar to what will be on the MSR rover, validating the mission operations approach.

  11. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Mars on January 4, 2004, for a prime mission designed to last three months (90 sols). After more than six years operating on the surface of Mars, the last communication received from Spirit occurred on Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010). Following the loss of signal, the Mars Exploration Rover Project radiated over 1400 commands to Mars in an attempt to elicit a response from the rover. Attempts were made utilizing Deep Space Network X-Band and UHF relay via both Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Search and recovery efforts concluded on July 13, 2011. It is the MER project's assessment that Spirit succumbed to the extreme environmental conditions experienced during its fourth winter on Mars. Focusing on the time period from the end of the third Martian winter through the fourth winter and end of recovery activities, this report describes possible explanations for the loss of the vehicle and the extent of recovery efforts that were performed. It offers lessons learned and provides an overall mission summary.

  12. Satellite-map position estimation for the Mars rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayashi, Akira; Dean, Thomas

    1989-01-01

    A method for locating the Mars rover using an elevation map generated from satellite data is described. In exploring its environment, the rover is assumed to generate a local rover-centered elevation map that can be used to extract information about the relative position and orientation of landmarks corresponding to local maxima. These landmarks are integrated into a stochastic map which is then matched with the satellite map to obtain an estimate of the robot's current location. The landmarks are not explicitly represented in the satellite map. The results of the matching algorithm correspond to a probabilistic assessment of whether or not the robot is located within a given region of the satellite map. By assigning a probabilistic interpretation to the information stored in the satellite map, researchers are able to provide a precise characterization of the results computed by the matching algorithm.

  13. Rover-based visual target tracking validation and mission infusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Won S.; Steele, Robert D.; Ansar, Adnan I.; Ali, Khaled; Nesnas, Issa

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER'03), Spirit and Opportunity, represent the state of the art in rover operations on Mars. This paper presents validation experiments of different visual tracking algorithms using the rover's navigation camera.

  14. Science Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Squyres, Steven

    2007-10-05

    NASA launched two Mars Exploration Rovers, on June 10 and July 7, 2003, primarily to probe the history of water on the red planet. After landing on Mars in January 2004, the robots began to explore the planet. One of the most important scientific goals of the mission was to find and identify a variety of rocks and soils that provide evidence of the past presence of water on the planet. To obtain this information, Squyres is studying the data obtained on Mars by several sophisticated scientific instruments. In his talk, he will discuss his conclusions about water on Mars and other observations about the nature of the planet.

  15. 1999 Marsokhod Field Experiment: A Simulation of a Mars Rover Science Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, C.; Cabrol, N.; Roush, T.; Gulick, V.; Hovde, G.; Moersch, J.

    1999-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission to Mars was performed in February 1999. This experiment, the latest in a series of rover field experiments, was designed to demonstrate and validate technologies and investigation strategies for high-science, high-technology performance, and cost-effective planetary rover operations.

  16. Mars 2020 Science Rover: Science Goals and Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustard, John F.; Beaty, D.; Bass, D.

    2013-10-01

    The Mars 2020 Science Definition Team (SDT), chartered in January 2013 by NASA, formulated a spacecraft mission concept for a science-focused, highly mobile rover to explore and investigate in detail a site on Mars that likely was once habitable. The mission, based on the Mars Science Laboratory landing and rover systems, would address, within a cost- and time-constrained framework, four objectives: (A) Explore an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars to decipher its geological processes and history, including the assessment of past habitability; (B) Assess the biosignature preservation potential within the selected geological environment and search for potential biosignatures; (C) Demonstrate significant technical progress towards the future return of scientifically selected, well-documented samples to Earth; and (D) provide an opportunity for contributed instruments from Human Exploration or Space Technology Programs. The SDT addressed the four mission objectives and six additional charter-specified tasks independently while specifically looking for synergy among them. Objectives A and B are each ends unto themselves, while Objective A is also the means by which samples are selected for objective B, and together they motivate and inform Objective C. The SDT also found that Objective D goals are well aligned with A through C. Critically, Objectives A, B, and C as an ensemble brought the SDT to the conclusion that exploration oriented toward both astrobiology and the preparation of a returnable cache of scientifically selected, well documented surface samples is the only acceptable mission concept. Importantly the SDT concluded that the measurements needed to attain these objectives were essentially identical, consisting of six types of field measurements: 1) context imaging 2) context mineralogy, 3) fine-scale imaging, 4) fine-scale mineralogy, 5) fine-scale elemental chemistry, and 6) organic matter detection. The mission concept fully addresses

  17. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) : the US 2009 Mars rover mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palluconi, Frank; Tampari, Leslie; Steltzner, Adam; Umland, Jeff

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission is the 2009 United States Mars Exploration Program rover mission. The MSL Project expects to complete its pre-Phase A definition activity this fiscal year (FY2003), investigations in mid-March 2004, launch in 2009, arrive at Mars in 2010 during Northern hemisphere summer and then complete a full 687 day Mars year of surface exploration. MSL will assess the potential for habitability (past and present) of a carefully selected landing region on Mars by exploring for the chemical building blocks of life, and seeking to understand quantitatively the chemical and physical environment with which these components have interacted over the geologic history of the planet. Thus, MSL will advance substantially our understanding of the history of Mars and potentially, its capacity to sustain life.

  18. Opportunity rover localization and topographic mapping at the landing site of Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Rongxing; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Di, Kaichang; Golombek, Matt; Guinn, Joe; Johnson, Andrew; Maimone, Mark; Matthies, Larry H.; Malin, Mike; Parker, Tim; Squyres, Steven W.; Watters, Wesley A.

    2007-02-01

    This paper presents the results of Mars topographic mapping and lander and rover localization for the Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planum during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) 2003 mission. By Sol 458, the Opportunity rover traversed a distance of 5.20 km. We localized the lander using two-way Doppler radio positioning and cartographic triangulation of craters visible in both orbital and ground images. Additional high-resolution orbital images were taken to verify the determined lander position. Visual odometry and bundle adjustment techniques were applied to overcome wheel slippages, azimuthal angle drift, and other navigation errors (as large as 21% within Eagle crater). In addition, orbit-to-ground image-based adjustment was applied to correct rover location errors where bundle adjustment was not applicable. We generated timely topographic products, including orthoimages, digital terrain models (DTMs), three-dimensional (3-D) crater models, and rover traverse maps. In particular, detailed 3-D terrain models of major features, such as Endurance crater, have been generated using multisite panoramic stereo images based on bundle adjustment and wide baseline stereo technique.

  19. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nilsson, C. S.; Andrews, J. C.; Scully-Power, P.; Ball, S.; Speechley, G.; Latham, A. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1980-01-01

    The Tasman Front was delineated by airborne expendable bathythermograph survey; and an Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) IR image on the same day shows the same principal features as determined from ground-truth. It is clear that digital enhancement of HCMM images is necessary to map ocean surface temperatures and when done, the Tasman Front and other oceanographic features can be mapped by this method, even through considerable scattered cloud cover.

  20. Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Entry, Descent, and Landing System Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitcheltree, Robert A.; Lee, Wayne; Steltzner, Adam; SanMartin, Alejanhdro

    2004-01-01

    System validation for a Mars entry, descent, and landing system is not simply a demonstration that the electrical system functions in the associated environments. The function of this system is its interaction with the atmospheric and surface environment. Thus, in addition to traditional test-bed, hardware-in-the-loop, testing, a validation program that confirms the environmental interaction is required. Unfortunately, it is not possible to conduct a meaningful end-to-end test of a Mars landing system on Earth. The validation plan must be constructed from an interconnected combination of simulation, analysis and test. For the Mars Exploration Rover mission, this combination of activities and the logic of how they combined to the system's validation was explicitly stated, reviewed, and tracked as part of the development plan.

  1. Preliminary assessment of rover power systems for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Bents, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    Four isotope power system concepts were presented and compared on a common basis for application to on-board electrical prime power for an autonomous planetary rover vehicle. A representative design point corresponding to the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) preliminary mission requirements (500 W) was selected for comparison purposes. All systems concepts utilize the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) isotope heat source developed by DOE. Two of the concepts employ thermoelectric (TE) conversion: one using the GPHS Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) used as a reference case, the other using an advanced RTG with improved thermoelectric materials. The other two concepts employed are dynamic isotope power systems (DIPS): one using a closed Brayton cycle (CBC) turboalternator, and the other using a free piston Stirling cycle engine/linear alternator (FPSE) with integrated heat source/heater head. Near term technology levels have been assumed for concept characterization using component technology figure-of-merit values taken from the published literature. For example, the CBC characterization draws from the historical test database accumulated from space Brayton cycle subsystems and components from the NASA B engine through the mini-Brayton rotating unit. TE system performance is estimated from Voyager/multihundred Watt (MHW)-RTG flight experience through Mod-RTG performance estimates considering recent advances in TE materials under the DOD/DOE/NASA SP-100 and NASA Committee on Scientific and Technological Information programs. The Stirling DIPS system is characterized from scaled-down Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) data using the GPHS directly incorporated into the heater head.

  2. Preliminary assessment of rover power systems for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    1989-01-01

    Four isotope power system concepts were presented and compared on a common basis for application to on-board electrical prime power for an autonomous planetary rover vehicle. A representative design point corresponding to the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) preliminary mission requirements (500 W) was selected for comparison purposes. All systems concepts utilize the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) isotope heat source developed by DOE. Two of the concepts employ thermoelectric (TE) conversion: one using the GPHS Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) used as a reference case, the other using an advanced RTG with improved thermoelectric materials. The other two concepts employed are dynamic isotope power systems (DIPS): one using a closed Brayton cycle (CBC) turboalternator, and the other using a free piston Stirling cycle engine/linear alternator (FPSE) with integrated heat source/heater head. Near term technology levels have been assumed for concept characterization using component technology figure-of-merit values taken from the published literature. For example, the CBC characterization draws from the historical test database accumulated from space Brayton cycle subsystems and components from the NASA B engine through the mini-Brayton rotating unit. TE system performance is estimated from Voyager/multihundred Watt (MHW)-RTG flight experience through Mod-RTG performance estimates considering recent advances in TE materials under the DOD/DOE/NASA SP-100 and NASA Committee on Scientific and Technological Information programs. The Stirling DIPS system is characterized from scaled-down Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) data using the GPHS directly incorporated into the heater head. The characterization/comparison results presented here differ from previous comparison of isotope power (made for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) applications) because of the elevated background temperature on the Martian surface compared to LEO, and the higher sensitivity of dynamic

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Rover Technology Development and Infusion for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volpe, R.; Peters, S.

    2003-01-01

    After the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Mission, NASA plans to send a larger, longer life Mobile Science Laboratory (MSL) in 2009. This rover is planned to last 500 days, travel ten kilometers, and demonstrate autonomous capabilities that reduce the number of communication cycles now needed to achieve successful completion of activities on the surface.

  5. Lunar Compass: A Rover Mission for Exploration of a Lunar Crustal Magnetic Anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blewett, D. T.; Hurley, D. M.; Denevi, B. W.; Cahill, J. T. S.; Klima, R. L.; Plescia, J. B.; Paranicas, C. P.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Anderson, B. A.; Korth, H.; Ho, G. C.; Nunez, J. I.; Zimmerman, M. I.; Brandt, P. C.

    2016-11-01

    We suggest that a rover mission to a lunar magnetic anomaly could answer key questions in several major fields of planetary science: planetary magnetism, space plasma physics, lunar geology, and space weathering.

  6. The 1999 Marsokhod rover mission simulation at Silver Lake, California: Mission overview, data sets, and summary of results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoker, C. R.; Bishop, J.; Chapman, M.; Clifford, S.; Cockell, C.; Crumpler, L.; Craddock, R.; De Hon, R.; Foster, T.; Gulick, V.; Grin, E.; Horton, K.; Hovde, G.; Johnson, J. R.; Lee, P. C.; Lemmon, M. T.; Marshall, J.; Newsom, H. E.; Ori, G. G.; Reagan, M.; Rice, J. W.; Ruff, S. W.; Schreiner, J.; Sims, M.; Smith, P. H.; Tanaka, K.; Thomas, H. J.; Thomas, G.; Yingst, R. A.

    2001-04-01

    We report on a field experiment held near Silver Lake playa in the Mojave Desert in February 1999 with the Marsokhod rover. The payload (Descent Imager, PanCam, Mini-TES, and Robotic Arm Camera), data volumes, and data transmission/receipt windows simulated those planned for the Mars Surveyor mission selected for 2001. A central mast with a pan and tilt platform at 150 cm height carried a high-resolution color stereo imager to simulate the PanCam and a visible/near-infrared fiberoptic spectrometer (operating range 0.35-2.5 μm). Monochrome stereo navigation cameras were mounted on the mast and the front and rear of the rover near the wheels. A field portable infrared spectroradiometer (operating range 8-14 μm) simulated the Mini-TES. A Robotic Arm Camera, capable of close-up color imaging at 23 μm/pixel resolution, was used in conjunction with the excavation of a trench into the subsurface. The science team was also provided with simulated images from the Mars Descent Imager and orbital panchromatic and multispectral imaging of the site obtained with the French SPOT, airborne Thermal Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, and Landsat Thematic Mapper instruments. Commands sequences were programmed and sent daily to the rover, and data returned were limited to 40 Mbits per communication cycle. During the simulated mission, 12 commands were uplinked to the rover, it traversed ~90 m, six sites were analyzed, 11 samples were collected for laboratory analysis, and over 5 Gbits of data were collected. Twenty-two scientists, unfamiliar with the location of the field site, participated in the science mission from a variety of locations, accessing data via the World Wide Web. Remote science interpretations were compared with ground truth from the field and laboratory analysis of collected samples. Using this payload and mission approach, the science team synergistically interpreted orbital imaging and infrared spectroscopy, descent imaging, rover-based imaging, infrared

  7. The Mars exploration rover: an in situ science mission to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welch, R.; Matijevic, J.; Goldstein, B.

    2001-01-01

    In this paper the concept for a mobile vehicle system which performs an in situ science mission to Mars is described. This rover mission with its requirements for driving, positioning at science selected targets, and remote and in situ measurement will utilize the technologies for hazard avoidance and autonomous navigation supported by ground operation tools which use rover-based imagery for position estimation and motion planning.

  8. Site Selection and Automatically Calculated Rover Traverse for a Lunar Teleoperated Landing Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamps, Oscar; Foing, Bernard; Flahaut, Jessica

    2016-04-01

    With the recent interest for the Moon, and the plans from the ESA side to do a tele-operated mission from Earth or lunar orbit, it is important to target a well-defined location. One of the major topics to study on the Moon is the existence and availability of volatiles and ices. Because no lander ever visited one of the poles on the Moon the theories with respect to water ice are only based on data from orbiters. In a four month research project the data from the orbiters was used for assessing potential landing sites and a rover traverse planning. Mainly data from the Prospector and LRO were used to select regions of interest. The prior selection was based on slope, temperature and a geological map from the USGS. Three sites on both the North as South Pole were used to test a proposed method for rover traverse planning. Besides the scientific interest, the sites where assessed on its accessibility for landing and roving. This assessment was done based on some assumptions what would be possible for landing and roving. For landing sites it was proposed to pick a site larger than 1km in diameter, in a (partial) illuminated area with a slope lower than 5o, which was inside an area which would be accessible for a rover. The requirements to be selected as accessible area was a slope lower than 20o, the largest polygon which meets this requirement was chosen as accessible area. As destination a site in the PSR was selected which was inside the accessible area and had extremely low temperatures. The boundary for extremely low was defined as 54K which is the sublimation temperature of CO2 in lunar atmospheric pressure. As additional target for the rover a site was selected where the temperature difference would be more than 150K to study volatile migration processes. A combination of tools in ArcGIS were used to do the site selection and rover traverse planning. In the end Rozhdestvensky and Amundsen were selected as most accessible and interesting. After comparing both

  9. FIDO Field Trials in Preparation for Mars Rover Exploration and Discovery and Sample Return Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Baumgartner, E. T.; Schenker, P.; Squyres, S. W.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars 2003 Mission may include a rover to acquire remote sensing and in-situ measurements of surface materials, including rock surfaces that have been cleared of dust and coatings by use of an abrasion tool. Mars Sample Return Missions for 2005 and beyond may include rovers with remote sensing and in-situ measurement capabilities. Further, these mobility platforms may have systems to drill into rocks and collect cores, acquire soil samples, and place the rock and soil samples in ascent vehicles. The point of this abstract is to document that these operations have already been shown to be tractable based on continuing field trials of the FIDO Mars prototype rover.

  10. A Wind-powered Rover for a Low-Cost Venus Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benigno, Gina; Hoza, Kathleen; Motiwala, Samira; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Venus, with a surface temperature of 450 C and an atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than that of the Earth, is a difficult target for exploration. However, high-temperature electronics and power systems now being developed make it possible that future missions may be able to operate in the Venus environment. Powering such a rover within the scope of a Discovery class mission will be difficult, but harnessing Venus' surface winds provides a possible way to keep a powered rover small and light. This project scopes out the feasibility of a wind-powered rover for Venus surface missions. Two rover concepts, a land-sailing rover and a wind-turbine-powered rover, were considered. The turbine-powered rover design is selected as being a low-risk and low-cost strategy. Turbine detailed analysis and design shows that the turbine can meet mission requirements across the desired range of wind speeds by utilizing three constant voltage generators at fixed gear ratios.

  11. PDS MSL Analyst's Notebook: Supporting Active Rover Missions and Adding Value to Planetary Data Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, Thomas

    , instruments, and data formats. In addition, observation planning and targeting information is extracted from each sol’s tactical science plan. A number of methods allow user access to the Notebook contents. The mission summary provides a high level overview of science operations. The Sol Summaries are the primary interface to integrated data and documents contained within the Notebooks. Data, documents, and planned observations are grouped for easy scanning. Data products are displayed in order of acquisition, and are grouped into logical sequences, such as a series of image data. Sequences and the individual products that comprise them may be viewed in detail, manipulated, and downloaded. Color composites and anaglyph stereo images may be created on demand. Graphs of some non-image data, such as spectra, may be viewed. Data may be downloaded as zip or gzip files, or as multiband ENVI image files. The Notebook contains a map with the rover traverse plotted on a HiRISE basemap using the raw and corrected drive telemetry provided by the project. Users may zoom and pan the map. Clicking on a traverse location brings up links to corresponding data. Three types of searching through data and documents are available within the Notebook. Free text searching of data set and sol documents are supported. Data are searchable by instrument, acquisition time, data type, and product ID. Results may be downloaded in a single collection or selected individually for detailed viewing. Additional resources include data set documents, references to published mission, links to related web resources, and online help. Finally, feedback is handled through an online forum. Work continues to improve functionality, including locating features of interest and a spectral library search/view/download tool. A number of Notebook functions are based on previous user suggestions, and feedback continues to be sought. The Analyst’s Notebook is available at http://an.rsl.wustl.edu.

  12. Watching Test Drives in California for Rover Mission to Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-11

    Michael Malin, left, principal investigator for three science cameras on NASA Curiosity Mars rover, comments to a news reporter during tests with Curiosity mobility-test stand-in, Scarecrow, on Dumont Dunes in California Mojave Desert.

  13. The Preparation for and Execution of Engineering Operations for the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover mission is the most complex and scientifically packed rover that has ever been operated on the surface of Mars. The preparation leading up to the surface mission involved various tests, contingency planning and integration of plans between various teams and scientists for determining how operation of the spacecraft (s/c) would be facilitated. In addition, a focused set of initial set of health checks needed to be defined and created in order to ensure successful operation of rover subsystems before embarking on a two year science journey. This paper will define the role and responsibilities of the Engineering Operations team, the process involved in preparing the team for rover surface operations, the predefined engineering activities performed during the early portion of the mission, and the evaluation process used for initial and day to day spacecraft operational assessment.

  14. The Preparation for and Execution of Engineering Operations for the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover mission is the most complex and scientifically packed rover that has ever been operated on the surface of Mars. The preparation leading up to the surface mission involved various tests, contingency planning and integration of plans between various teams and scientists for determining how operation of the spacecraft (s/c) would be facilitated. In addition, a focused set of initial set of health checks needed to be defined and created in order to ensure successful operation of rover subsystems before embarking on a two year science journey. This paper will define the role and responsibilities of the Engineering Operations team, the process involved in preparing the team for rover surface operations, the predefined engineering activities performed during the early portion of the mission, and the evaluation process used for initial and day to day spacecraft operational assessment.

  15. BISMARC: a biologically inspired system for map-based autonomous rover control.

    PubMed

    Huntsberger, Terry; Rose, John

    1998-10-01

    As the complexity of the missions to planetary surfaces increases, so too does the need for autonomous rover systems. This need is complicated by the power, mass and computer storage restrictions on such systems (Miller, D. P. (1992). Reducing software mass through behaviour control. In Proceedings SPIE conference on cooperative intelligent robotics in space III (Vol. 1829, pp. 472-475, 1992). Boston, MA. To address these problems, we have recently developed a system called BISMARC (Biologically Inspired System for Map-based Autonomous Rover Control) for planetary missions involving multiple small, lightweight surface rovers (Huntsberger, T. L. (1997). Autonomous multirover system for complex planetary retrieval operations. In P. S. Schenker, and G. T. McKee (Eds.), Proceedings SPIE symposium on sensor fusion and decentralized control in autonomous robotic systems (pp. 221-227). Pittsburgh, PA). BISMARC is capable of cooperative planetary surface retrieval operations such as a multiple cache recovery mission to Mars. The system employs autonomous navigation techniques, behavior-based control for surface retrieval operations, and an action selection mechanism based on a modified form of free flow hierarchy (Rosenblatt, J. K. and Payton, D. W. (1989). A fine-grained alternative to the subsumption architecture for mobile robot control. In Proceedings IEEE/INNS joint conference on neural networks (pp. 317-324). Washington, DC). This paper primarily describes the navigation and map-mapping subsystems of BISMARC. They are inspired by some recent studies of London taxi drivers indicating that the right hippocampal region of the brain is activated for path planning but not for landmark identification (Maguire, E. A. et al. (1997). Recalling routes around London: activation of the right hippocampus in taxi drivers. Journal of Neuroscience, 17(18), 7103-7110). We also report the results of some experimental studies of simulated navigation in planetary environments.

  16. 1999 Marsokhod Field Experiment: A Simulation of a Mars Rover Science Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, C.; Cabrol, N.; Roush, T.; Gulick, V.; Hovde, G.; Moersch, J.

    1999-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission to Mars was performed in February 1999. This experiment, the latest in a series of rover field experiments, was designed to demonstrate and validate technologies and investigation strategies for high-science, high-technology performance, and cost-effective planetary rover operations. Objectives: The experiment objectives were to: (1) train scientists in a mission configuration relevant to Surveyor program rover missions at a terrestrial analog field site simulating the criteria of high-priority candidate landing-sites on Mars; (2) develop optimal exploration strategies; (3) evaluate the effectiveness of imaging and spectroscopy in addressing science objectives; (4) assess the value and limitation of descent imaging in supporting rover operations; and (5) evaluate the ability of a science team to correctly interpret the geology of the field site using rover observations. A field site in the California Mojave Desert was chosen for its relevance to the criteria for landing site selection for the Mars Surveyor program. These criteria are: (1) evidence of past water activity; (2) presence of a mechanism to concentrate life; (3) presence of thermal energy sources; (4) evidence of rapid burial; and (5) excavation mechanisms that could expose traces of life.

  17. Field Experiments using Telepresence and Virtual Reality to Control Remote Vehicles: Application to Mars Rover Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol

    1994-01-01

    This paper will describe a series of field experiments to develop and demonstrate file use of Telepresence and Virtual Reality systems for controlling rover vehicles on planetary surfaces. In 1993, NASA Ames deployed a Telepresence-Controlled Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (TROV) into an ice-covered sea environment in Antarctica. The goal of the mission was to perform scientific exploration of an unknown environment using a remote vehicle with telepresence and virtual reality as a user interface. The vehicle was operated both locally, from above a dive hole in the ice through which it was launched, and remotely over a satellite communications link from a control room at NASA's Ames Research center, for over two months. Remote control used a bidirectional Internet link to the vehicle control computer. The operator viewed live stereo video from the TROV along with a computer-gene rated graphic representation of the underwater terrain showing file vehicle state and other related information. Tile actual vehicle could be driven either from within the virtual environment or through a telepresence interface. In March 1994, a second field experiment was performed in which [lie remote control system developed for the Antarctic TROV mission was used to control the Russian Marsokhod Rover, an advanced planetary surface rover intended for launch in 1998. Marsokhod consists of a 6-wheel chassis and is capable of traversing several kilometers of terrain each day, The rover can be controlled remotely, but is also capable of performing autonomous traverses. The rover was outfitted with a manipulator arm capable of deploying a small instrument, collecting soil samples, etc. The Marsokhod rover was deployed at Amboy Crater in the Mojave desert, a Mars analog site, and controlled remotely from Los Angeles. in two operating modes: (1) a Mars rover mission simulation with long time delay and (2) a Lunar rover mission simulation with live action video. A team of planetary

  18. Field Experiments using Telepresence and Virtual Reality to Control Remote Vehicles: Application to Mars Rover Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol

    1994-01-01

    This paper will describe a series of field experiments to develop and demonstrate file use of Telepresence and Virtual Reality systems for controlling rover vehicles on planetary surfaces. In 1993, NASA Ames deployed a Telepresence-Controlled Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (TROV) into an ice-covered sea environment in Antarctica. The goal of the mission was to perform scientific exploration of an unknown environment using a remote vehicle with telepresence and virtual reality as a user interface. The vehicle was operated both locally, from above a dive hole in the ice through which it was launched, and remotely over a satellite communications link from a control room at NASA's Ames Research center, for over two months. Remote control used a bidirectional Internet link to the vehicle control computer. The operator viewed live stereo video from the TROV along with a computer-gene rated graphic representation of the underwater terrain showing file vehicle state and other related information. Tile actual vehicle could be driven either from within the virtual environment or through a telepresence interface. In March 1994, a second field experiment was performed in which [lie remote control system developed for the Antarctic TROV mission was used to control the Russian Marsokhod Rover, an advanced planetary surface rover intended for launch in 1998. Marsokhod consists of a 6-wheel chassis and is capable of traversing several kilometers of terrain each day, The rover can be controlled remotely, but is also capable of performing autonomous traverses. The rover was outfitted with a manipulator arm capable of deploying a small instrument, collecting soil samples, etc. The Marsokhod rover was deployed at Amboy Crater in the Mojave desert, a Mars analog site, and controlled remotely from Los Angeles. in two operating modes: (1) a Mars rover mission simulation with long time delay and (2) a Lunar rover mission simulation with live action video. A team of planetary

  19. Lander and rover exploration on the lunar surface: a study for Selene-B mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, T.; Sasaki, S.; Sugihara, T.; Saiki, K.; Akiyama, H.; Ohtake, M.; Takeda, H.; Kato, M.; Kubota, T.; Selene-B Rover Science Group

    We have been studying a future lunar landing mission preliminary named as the SELENE-B. In this mission, we propose a scientific investigation plan using a robotic rover. To clarify the origin and evolution of the Moon, early crustal formation probably from the ancient magma ocean should be investigated. A direct geologic investigation at the specific sites of scientific interest has the top priority. The candidate site is the crater central peak, "a window to the interior", where materials from deep interior are exposed and can be directly investigated without drilling down to more than several kilometers. After the pin-point and soft landing around the target site, we propose a corporative mission using a lander and rover. Although both of the lander and rover have scientific instruments and can conduct observation independently, detailed analyses of collected samples from the rover are also returned and conducted at the lander for cleaning and grinding. Primary scientific instruments include a multi-band stereo camera, a gamma-ray spectrometer, a sample corer, and sampling system on the rover, and a multi-spectral narrow angle panoramic camera using AOTF, sampling system, and a sample analysis package with X-ray spectrometer/diffractometer and a multi-spectral macro camera as well as the cleaning and grinding device. .

  20. NEXT Lunar Lander Mission - Overview and Challenges of the Lunar Rover Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allouis, Elie

    Looking ahead at the 2015-2018 timeframe, the European Space Agency (ESA) has recently started the investigation of the Next Exploration Science and Technology missions (NEXT) to demonstrate a number of key technologies for future programmes such as the Mars Sample Return (MSR). This paper provides the first insights into the mobile rover concept investigated as part of the NEXT Lunar Lander Study. Operating at the South Pole of the Moon, the rover will face a very challenging environment. Subjected to 200-hours long cold lunar nights at -200C for an initial mission duration of 1 year, and a total traverse of 20km, the design and operation of the rover requires careful attention. Its design is initially based on the knowledge developed for the ESA ExoMars mission, but the major differences in the environment and operation of the rover, means that most of the systems need a thorough assessment of their capabilities under Lunar condition and, where required, the development of new solutions. From the locomotion system designed to cope with uncertain lunar terrain, the thermal system dealing with gradients of hundreds of degrees, to the navigation through dark shadows, this paper illustrates some of the challenges future missions will face when targeting location such as the south pole on the Moon, but it will also provide details of the enabling technologies leading to the Mars Sample Return Mission and beyond.

  1. Mars methane analogue mission: Mission simulation and rover operations at Jeffrey Mine and Norbestos Mine Quebec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qadi, A.; Cloutis, E.; Samson, C.; Whyte, L.; Ellery, A.; Bell, J. F.; Berard, G.; Boivin, A.; Haddad, E.; Lavoie, J.; Jamroz, W.; Kruzelecky, R.; Mack, A.; Mann, P.; Olsen, K.; Perrot, M.; Popa, D.; Rhind, T.; Sharma, R.; Stromberg, J.; Strong, K.; Tremblay, A.; Wilhelm, R.; Wing, B.; Wong, B.

    2015-05-01

    The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), through its Analogue Missions program, supported a microrover-based analogue mission designed to simulate a Mars rover mission geared toward identifying and characterizing methane emissions on Mars. The analogue mission included two, progressively more complex, deployments in open-pit asbestos mines where methane can be generated from the weathering of olivine into serpentine: the Jeffrey mine deployment (June 2011) and the Norbestos mine deployment (June 2012). At the Jeffrey Mine, testing was conducted over 4 days using a modified off-the-shelf Pioneer rover and scientific instruments including Raman spectrometer, Picarro methane detector, hyperspectral point spectrometer and electromagnetic induction sounder for testing rock and gas samples. At the Norbestos Mine, we used the research Kapvik microrover which features enhanced autonomous navigation capabilities and a wider array of scientific instruments. This paper describes the rover operations in terms of planning, deployment, communication and equipment setup, rover path parameters and instrument performance. Overall, the deployments suggest that a search strategy of “follow the methane” is not practical given the mechanisms of methane dispersion. Rather, identification of features related to methane sources based on image tone/color and texture from panoramic imagery is more profitable.

  2. Twin Rigid-Frames Hexapod Rovers for the Saha Radioastronomic Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genta, G.

    One of the key issues of a radioastronomic and SETI mission in the Saha Crater is a data link which does not contribute to the radio pollution in the moon far side environment. The link must connect the radiotelescope, on the floor of the Saha crater to the radio station on Mare Smithii, 340 km away. If we wait for a permanent outpost to be established on the Moon, there will be little difficulty to lay out the system, but this would greatly delay the scientific return. Five different solutions, which can be implemented in the near future, are studied in the present paper: a tether connecting the two landers, a cable shot from the radiotelescope or deposited by a rover, three laser relay stations deposited by a rover and three laser stations, mounted on small rovers landed at prescribed positions. The last three alternatives can be implemented using walking rovers of the twin rigid-frames type. The paper studies in some detail the issue of designing the relevant rovers and performs a comparison of the various alternatives. As a result the landing of the laser relay stations in a suitable place located not too far from the optimal position for transmitting and receiving and then their precise positioning using walking rovers is found to be the simplest, cheapest and safest way to establish the data link

  3. Distributed Operations for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wick, Justin V.; Callas, John L.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A., III

    2005-01-01

    Due to the length of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, most scientists were unable to stay at the central operations facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This created a need for distributed operations software, in the form of the Distributed Science Activity Planner. The distributed architecture saved a considerable amount of money and increased the number of individuals who could be actively involved in the mission, contributing to its success.

  4. Distributed Operations for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wick, Justin V.; Callas, John L.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A., III

    2005-01-01

    Due to the length of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, most scientists were unable to stay at the central operations facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This created a need for distributed operations software, in the form of the Distributed Science Activity Planner. The distributed architecture saved a considerable amount of money and increased the number of individuals who could be actively involved in the mission, contributing to its success.

  5. First results from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) Field Campaign, a Lunar Polar Rover Mission Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Colaprete, A.; Cook, A.; Deans, M. C.; Elphic, R. C.; Lim, D. S. S.; Skok, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal to produce critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. MVP will feed science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. MVP achieves these goals through a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural and a priori unknown environment within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon. The MVP field site is the Mojave Desert, selected for its low, naturally occurring water abundance. The Mojave typically has on the order of 2-6% water, making it a suitable lunar analog for this field test. MVP uses the Near Infrared and Visible Spectrometer Subsystem (NIRVSS), Neutron Spectrometer Subsystem (NSS), and a downward facing GroundCam camera on the KREX-2 rover to investigate the relationship between the distribution of volatiles and soil crust variation. Through this investigation, we mature robotic in situ instruments and concepts of instrument operations, improve ground software tools for real time science, and carry out publishable research on the water cycle and its connection to geomorphology and mineralogy in desert environments. A lunar polar rover mission is unlike prior space missions and requires a new concept of operations. The rover must navigate 3-5 km of terrain and examine multiple sites in in just ~6 days. Operational decisions must be made in real time, requiring constant situational awareness, data analysis and rapid turnaround decision support tools. This presentation will focus on the first science results and operational architecture findings from the MVP field deployment relevant to a lunar polar rover mission.

  6. Entry Trajectory and Atmosphere Reconstruction Methodologies for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Blanchard, Robert C.; Powell, Richard W.

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission will land two landers on the surface of Mars, arriving in January 2004. Both landers will deliver the rovers to the surface by decelerating with the aid of an aeroshell, a supersonic parachute, retro-rockets, and air bags for safely landing on the surface. The reconstruction of the MER descent trajectory and atmosphere profile will be performed for all the phases from hypersonic flight through landing. A description of multiple methodologies for the flight reconstruction is presented from simple parameter identification methods through a statistical Kalman filter approach.

  7. Real-time science operations to support a lunar polar volatiles rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Mattes, Greg; Ennico, Kimberly; Fritzler, Erin; Marinova, Margarita M.; McMurray, Robert; Morse, Stephanie; Roush, Ted L.; Stoker, Carol R.

    2015-05-01

    Future human exploration of the Moon will likely rely on in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable long duration lunar missions. Prior to utilizing ISRU on the Moon, the natural resources (in this case lunar volatiles) must be identified and characterized, and ISRU demonstrated on the lunar surface. To enable future uses of ISRU, NASA and the CSA are developing a lunar rover payload that can (1) locate near subsurface volatiles, (2) excavate and analyze samples of the volatile-bearing regolith, and (3) demonstrate the form, extractability and usefulness of the materials. Such investigations are important both for ISRU purposes and for understanding the scientific nature of these intriguing lunar volatile deposits. Temperature models and orbital data suggest near surface volatile concentrations may exist at briefly lit lunar polar locations outside persistently shadowed regions. A lunar rover could be remotely operated at some of these locations for the ∼ 2-14 days of expected sunlight at relatively low cost. Due to the limited operational time available, both science and rover operations decisions must be made in real time, requiring immediate situational awareness, data analysis, and decision support tools. Given these constraints, such a mission requires a new concept of operations. In this paper we outline the results and lessons learned from an analog field campaign in July 2012 which tested operations for a lunar polar rover concept. A rover was operated in the analog environment of Hawaii by an off-site Flight Control Center, a rover navigation center in Canada, a Science Backroom at NASA Ames Research Center in California, and support teams at NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We find that this type of mission requires highly efficient, real time, remotely operated rover operations to enable low cost, scientifically relevant exploration of the distribution and nature of lunar polar volatiles. The field

  8. The Magnetospheric Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spence, Harlan E.

    2001-01-01

    This final report describes the efforts accomplished during the grant's period of performance, covering the period of 15 March 1997 to 14 March 2001, of a NASA Space Physics New Mission Concepts grant. We have met and far exceeded the goals set forth in the proposed research objectives. The results of several studies are published in the refereed engineering and scientific literature. In addition, numerous invited and contributed presentations of these studies have been presented at national and international meetings during the performance period. We developed a mission concept that could allow for hundreds of one kilogram spacecraft to be placed in orbit with a single mothership and we used the funding to move rapidly forward with the nanosatellite design needed to envision any large constellation.

  9. Learning from the Mars Rover Mission: Scientific Discovery, Learning and Memory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort. Each mission builds on knowledge from prior missions, and learning is the first step in knowledge production. This paper uses the Mars Exploration Rover mission as a site to explore this process. Approach: Observational study and analysis of the work of the MER science and engineering team during rover operations, to investigate how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and how these representations might be made available for subsequent missions. Findings: Learning occurred in many areas: planning science strategy, using instrumen?s within the constraints of the martian environment, the Deep Space Network, and the mission requirements; using software tools effectively; and running two teams on Mars time for three months. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in individual s memories. It is also encoded in stories, procedures, programming sequences, published reports, and lessons learned databases. Research implications: Shows the earliest stages of knowledge creation in a scientific mission, and demonstrates that knowledge management must begin with an understanding of knowledge creation. Practical implications: Shows that studying learning and knowledge creation suggests proactive ways to capture and use knowledge across multiple missions and generations. Value: This paper provides a unique analysis of the learning process of a scientific space mission, relevant for knowledge management researchers and designers, as well as demonstrating in detail how new learning occurs in a learning organization.

  10. Science Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Squyres, Steven

    2007-10-05

    One of the most important scientific goals of the mission was to find and identify a variety of rocks and soils that provide evidence of the past presence of water on the planet. To obtain this information, Squyres is studying the data obtained on Mars by several sophisticated scientific instruments.

  11. Science Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    ScienceCinema

    Squyres, Steven [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States

    2016-07-12

    One of the most important scientific goals of the mission was to find and identify a variety of rocks and soils that provide evidence of the past presence of water on the planet. To obtain this information, Squyres is studying the data obtained on Mars by several sophisticated scientific instruments.

  12. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

  13. Accumulation mapping at Summit, Greenland using an autonomous rover (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, M. E.; Koenig, L.; Trisca, G.; Marshall, H.

    2013-12-01

    New and advanced technologies in firn studies continue to emerge in both remote sensing tools and the platforms that deploy them. A new autonomous robot, called GROVER, was tested and deployed in May 2013 at Summit, Greenland. The robot operates a 8 GHz bandwidth frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar capable of imaging the near-surface firn at very high vertical resolution (~2 cm). The radar penetrated to depths of ~10 m with identifiable annual layers. Here we briefly describe GROVER's capabilities and applications for firn studies. We present the nearly 25 km of accumulation measurements derived from annual layering in the radar echograms. The GROVER-made measurements are compared to radar-derived accumulation from previous studies using a similar FMCW system in 2009 pulled by a snowmobile, as well as, with airborne laser altimetry and GPS measurements taken over the roved lines. Discrepancies and similarities between the measurement methods are investigated and explained. The robot-based firn echograms are also used to estimate the depth and extent of the 2012 melt layer over the roved lines. Near-surface radars have proven useful for monitoring and calculating snow and firn processes such as SWE and accumulation; moving firn studies onto an autonomous rover can reduce costs and increase spatial coverage for validation of future satellite missions.

  14. Mars Exploration Rover Terminal Descent Mission Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Queen, Eric M.

    2004-01-01

    Because of NASA's added reliance on simulation for successful interplanetary missions, the MER mission has developed a detailed EDL trajectory modeling and simulation. This paper summarizes how the MER EDL sequence of events are modeled, verification of the methods used, and the inputs. This simulation is built upon a multibody parachute trajectory simulation tool that has been developed in POST I1 that accurately simulates the trajectory of multiple vehicles in flight with interacting forces. In this model the parachute and the suspended bodies are treated as 6 Degree-of-Freedom (6 DOF) bodies. The terminal descent phase of the mission consists of several Entry, Descent, Landing (EDL) events, such as parachute deployment, heatshield separation, deployment of the lander from the backshell, deployment of the airbags, RAD firings, TIRS firings, etc. For an accurate, reliable simulation these events need to be modeled seamlessly and robustly so that the simulations will remain numerically stable during Monte-Carlo simulations. This paper also summarizes how the events have been modeled, the numerical issues, and modeling challenges.

  15. Recent Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, S.; Arvidson, R.

    2005-12-01

    The MER rover Opportunity has carried out the first outcrop-scale investigation of ancient sedimentary rocks on Mars. The rocks, exposed in craters and along fissures in Meridiani Planum, are sandstones formed via the erosion and re-deposition of fine grained siliciclastics and evaporites derived from the chemical weathering of olivine basalts by acidic waters. A stratigraphic section more than seven meters thick measured in Endurance crater is dominated by eolian dune and sand sheet facies; the uppermost half meter, however, exhibits festoon cross lamination at a length scale that indicates subaqueous deposition, likely in a playa-like interdune setting. Silicates and sulfate minerals dominate outcrop geochemistry, but hematite and Fe3D3 (another ferric iron phase) make up as much as 11% of the rocks by weight. Jarosite in the outcrop matrix indicates precipitation at low pH. Cements, hematitic concretions, and crystal molds attest to a complex history of early diagenesis, mediated by ambient ground waters. The depositional and early diagenetic paleoenvironment at Meridiani was arid, acidic, and oxidizing, a characterization that places strong constraints on astrobiologial inference. Since leaving Endurance crater, Opportunity has traversed southward approximately 3 km over undulating plains characterized by basaltic sand, a thin surface lag of hematite-rich concretions, and subparallel eolian ripples that have increased in size toward the south. Mottled terrain to the south has now been revealed to consist largely of flat-lying expanses of sulfate-rich bedrock similar to the materials found in Endurance crater. The distribution of hematite in these southern exposures is different, however, with concretions that show a wider diversity of sizes and shapes than at Endurance. Dark 'rinds' on outcrop rock show a distinctive chemistry that is similar to the outcrop in many respects but with changes in the concentrations of some elements likely to be present as salts

  16. Rover imaging system for the Mars rover/sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    In the past year, the conceptual design of a panoramic imager for the Mars Environmental Survey (MESUR) Pathfinder was finished. A prototype camera was built and its performace in the laboratory was tested. The performance of this camera was excellent. Based on this work, we have recently proposed a small, lightweight, rugged, and highly capable Mars Surface Imager (MSI) instrument for the MESUR Pathfinder mission. A key aspect of our approach to optimization of the MSI design is that we treat image gathering, coding, and restoration as a whole, rather than as separate and independent tasks. Our approach leads to higher image quality, especially in the representation of fine detail with good contrast and clarity, without increasing either the complexity of the camera or the amount of data transmission. We have made significant progress over the past year in both the overall MSI system design and in the detailed design of the MSI optics. We have taken a simple panoramic camera and have upgraded it substantially to become a prototype of the MSI flight instrument. The most recent version of the camera utilizes miniature wide-angle optics that image directly onto a 3-color, 2096-element CCD line array. There are several data-taking modes, providing resolution as high as 0.3 mrad/pixel. Analysis tasks that were performed or that are underway with the test data from the prototype camera include the following: construction of 3-D models of imaged scenes from stereo data, first for controlled scenes and later for field scenes; and checks on geometric fidelity, including alignment errors, mast vibration, and oscillation in the drive system. We have outlined a number of tasks planned for Fiscal Year '93 in order to prepare us for submission of a flight instrument proposal for MESUR Pathfinder.

  17. Mars Exploration Rover Science Operations During Cruise, Prime, and Extended Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haldemann, A. F.; Crisp, J. A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.; Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Callas, J. L.

    2004-05-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity landed safely on the martian surface in Gusev crater on January 4th, 2004 and in Meridiani Planum on January 25th, 2004, respectively. Each spacecraft required four trajectory correction maneuvers on their way to Mars after launches on June 10th and July 7th, 2003. Both were successfully guided through energetic interplanetary weather to Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), and both felt the effects of a decaying, mid-December 2003 regional dust storm. The MER science team contributed to cruise targeting decisions and to monitoring of martian weather for EDL. After 12 martian days, or sols, Spirit descended from her lander, and Opportunity accomplished the same after 7 sols. Since then, both have been guided for their prime mission by a daily cycle of overnight science-driven planning. The planning starts in the martian afternoon, using the critical portions of that sol's direct-to-Earth downlink to define that rover's science objectives for the following sol. The engineering team defines the resource boundaries for the operations planning and the science team works within the resources to develop an detailed activity plan for the instrument suite. This plan is checked and refined during the martian night and radiated to the rover after it wakes up in the morning. Two separate teams operate Spirit and Opportunity in Mars local solar time, which differs by some 12 hours between the two rovers. The operations structure is somewhat modified for the extended mission, nevertheless maximizing the science return with a reduced workforce. The MER Science team has met the significant challenge of discovery-driven mobile planetary exploration, operating two rovers simultaneously.

  18. Mars Observer's global mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albee, A. L.; Palluconi, D. F.

    1990-01-01

    The objectives of the Mars Observer global mapping mission are to determine the global elemental and mineralogical character of the Martian surface material, define globally the topography and gravitational field of Mars, establish the nature of Mars's magnetic field, determine the time and space distribution, abundance, sources, and sinks of volatile Martian material and dust over a seasonal cycle, and explore the structure and aspects of the circulation of the Martian atmosphere. The experiments and instruments to be used in this mission are described, and the operations and data analysis are briefly considered.

  19. A Reliable Service-Oriented Architecture for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan; Keely, Leslie; Hehner, Dennis; Chan, Louise

    2005-01-01

    The Collaborative Information Portal (CIP) was enterprise software developed jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's highly successful Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Both MER and CIP have performed far beyond their original expectations. Mission managers and engineers ran CIP inside the mission control room at JPL, and the scientists ran CIP in their laboratories, homes, and offices. All the users connected securely over the Internet. Since the mission ran on Mars time, CIP displayed the current time in various Mars and Earth time zones, and it presented staffing and event schedules with Martian time scales. Users could send and receive broadcast messages, and they could view and download data and image files generated by the rovers' instruments. CIP had a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) based on industry standards, including J2EE and web services, and it integrated commercial off-the-shelf software. A user's interactions with the graphical interface of the CIP client application generated web services requests to the CIP middleware. The middleware accessed the back-end data repositories if necessary and returned results for these requests. The client application could make multiple service requests for a single user action and then present a composition of the results. This happened transparently, and many users did not even realize that they were connecting to a server. CIP performed well and was extremely reliable; it attained better than 99% uptime during the course of the mission. In this paper, we present overviews of the MER mission and of CIP. We show how CIP helped to fulfill some of the mission needs and how people used it. We discuss the criteria for choosing its architecture, and we describe how the developers made the software so reliable. CIP's reliability did not come about by chance, but was the result of several key design decisions. We conclude with some of the important

  20. Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Heat Exchangers for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mastropietro, A. J.; Beatty, John S.; Kelly, Frank P.; Bhandari, Pradeep; Bame, David P.; Liu, Yuanming; Birux, Gajanana C.; Miller, Jennifer R.; Pauken, Michael T.; Illsley, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    The addition of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover requires an advanced thermal control system that is able to both recover and reject the waste heat from the MMRTG as needed in order to maintain the onboard electronics at benign temperatures despite the extreme and widely varying environmental conditions experienced both on the way to Mars and on the Martian surface. Based on the previously successful Mars landed mission thermal control schemes, a mechanically pumped fluid loop (MPFL) architecture was selected as the most robust and efficient means for meeting the MSL thermal requirements. The MSL heat recovery and rejection system (HRS) is comprised of two Freon (CFC-11) MPFLs that interact closely with one another to provide comprehensive thermal management throughout all mission phases. The first loop, called the Rover HRS (RHRS), consists of a set of pumps, thermal control valves, and heat exchangers (HXs) that enables the transport of heat from the MMRTG to the rover electronics during cold conditions or from the electronics straight to the environment for immediate heat rejection during warm conditions. The second loop, called the Cruise HRS (CHRS), is thermally coupled to the RHRS during the cruise to Mars, and provides a means for dissipating the waste heat more directly from the MMRTG as well as from both the cruise stage and rover avionics by promoting circulation to the cruise stage radiators. A multifunctional structure was developed that is capable of both collecting waste heat from the MMRTG and rejecting the waste heat to the surrounding environment. It consists of a pair of honeycomb core sandwich panels with HRS tubes bonded to both sides. Two similar HX assemblies were designed to surround the MMRTG on the aft end of the rover. Heat acquisition is accomplished on the interior (MMRTG facing) surface of each HX while heat rejection is accomplished on the exterior surface of

  1. Rover Family Photo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-02-26

    Members of the Mars Exploration Rovers Assembly, Test and Launch Operations team gather around NASA Rover 2 and its predecessor, a flight spare of the Pathfinder mission Sojourner rover, named Marie Curie.

  2. Rover Family Photo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Members of the Mars Exploration Rovers Assembly, Test and Launch Operations team gather around Rover 2 and its predecessor, a flight spare of the Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover, named Marie Curie.

  3. Rover Family Photo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Members of the Mars Exploration Rovers Assembly, Test and Launch Operations team gather around Rover 2 and its predecessor, a flight spare of the Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover, named Marie Curie.

  4. Middleware and Web Services for the Collaborative Information Portal of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    We describe the design and deployment of the middleware for the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), a mission critical J2EE application developed for NASA's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission. CIP enabled mission personnel to access data and images sent back from Mars, staff and event schedules, broadcast messages and clocks displaying various Earth and Mars time zones. We developed the CIP middleware in less than two years time usins cutting-edge technologies, including EJBs, servlets, JDBC, JNDI and JMS. The middleware was designed as a collection of independent, hot-deployable web services, providing secure access to back end file systems and databases. Throughout the middleware we enabled crosscutting capabilities such as runtime service configuration, security, logging and remote monitoring. This paper presents our approach to mitigating the challenges we faced, concluding with a review of the lessons we learned from this project and noting what we'd do differently and why.

  5. MIMA: Mars Infrared MApper - The Fourier spectrometer for the ESA Pasteur/ExoMars rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzo, G. A.; Bellucci, G.; Fonti, S.; Saggin, B.; Alberti, E.; Altieri, F.; Politi, R.; Zasova, L.; Mima Team

    The MIMA team is developing a FT-IR miniaturized spectrometer to be mounted on the mast of the ExoMars rover Such instrument shall make remote measurements typically a few tens of meters away searching for evidence of water and of water-related processes e g carbonates sulfates clay minerals and if possible organics A survey instrument of this type will be extremely important for any rover mission on Mars especially for the Pasteur payload on the ExoMars mission whose scientific objective is to search for life and or hazards to humans Survey instruments on rover mast could provide necessary guidance if they can identify water evidence of long standing-water clay minerals carbonates sulfates so that detailed studies and drilling can be conducted at the right location The MIMA design is based on the peculiar pendulum optical design already successfully used on ESA PFS for Mars Express and Venus Express missions The wide spectral range 2-25 micron is not covered by means of a double channel as in PFS but using an innovative architecture two different detectors on the same focal plane sharing the same optical path in order to strongly reduce mass and size In this work MIMA technical and scientific issues will be discussed The MIMA team is Giancarlo Bellucci Team Coordinator Francesca Altieri Maria Blecka Roberto Bonsignori Sergio Fonti Giuseppe A Marzo Sandro Meli Jose Juan Lopez Moreno Boris Moshkin GianGabriele Ori Vincenzo Orofino Romolo Politi Giampaolo Preti Andrea Romoli Ted L Roush Bortolino Saggin Maria

  6. Validation of Lithium-ion cell technology for JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, Bugga V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Chin, K. B.; Surampudi, S.

    2004-01-01

    n early 2004 JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling >300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration on the surface of Mars, both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which were designed to aid in the launch, correct anomalies during cruise, and support surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays. The requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20 C to +40 C), withstanding long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted position, and support high currents (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of Lithium-ion technology to meet these stringent requirements, a comprehensive test program was implemented aimed at demonstrating the performance capability of prototype cells fabricated by Lithion, Inc. (Yardney Technical Products, Inc.). The testing performed includes, determining the (a) room temperature cycle life, (b) pulse capability as a function of temperature, (e) self-discharge and storage characteristics mission profile capability, (f) cycle life under mission simulation conditions, (g) impedance characteristics, (h) impact of cell orientation, and (i) performance in 8-cell engineering batteries. As will be discussed, the Lithium-ion prototype cells and batteries were demonstrated to meet, as well as, exceed the requirements defined by the mission.

  7. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ip, Wing-Huen; Yan, Jun; Li, Chun-Lai; Ouyang, Zi-Yuan

    2014-12-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions.

  8. Preliminary Geological Map of the Peace Vallis Fan Integrated with In Situ Mosaics From the Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; Grant, J.; Grotzinger, J.; Hamilton, V.; Hardgrove, C.; Kah, L.; Leveille, R.; Mangold, N.; Rowland, S.; Williams, R.

    2013-01-01

    A geomorphically defined alluvial fan extends from Peace Vallis on the NW wall of Gale Crater, Mars into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landing ellipse. Prior to landing, the MSL team mapped the ellipse and surrounding areas, including the Peace Vallis fan. Map relationships suggest that bedded rocks east of the landing site are likely associated with the fan, which led to the decision to send Curiosity east. Curiosity's mast camera (Mastcam) color images are being used to refine local map relationships. Results from regional mapping and the first 100 sols of the mission demonstrate that the area has a rich geological history. Understanding this history will be critical for assessing ancient habitability and potential organic matter preservation at Gale Crater.

  9. The heat capacity mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Short, N. M.

    1981-01-01

    The first in a series of low cost Atmospheric Explorer Satellites, the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) was designed to evaluate the utility of thermal inertial and other thermal and reflectance data for: (1) discriminating bedrock and unconsolidated regolith types; (2) mapping soil moisture; (3) measuring plant canopy temperatures; (4) examining thermal circulation in large bodies of water; and (5) monitoring urban heat islands. Final reports from the HCMM investigator's program are beginning to define the utility of day/the night thermal data. Under favorable circumstances, some major rock types can be identified, soil moisture in extensive agricultural and alluvial terrains can be detected and at least semiqualitatively assessed; and circulation of currents in large bodies of water can be followed by noting thermal patterns.

  10. 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Robotic Field Geologists for a Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Jan. 4, 2004 and the rover Opportunity arrived on the plains of Meridiani Planum on Jan. 25, 2004. The rovers continue to return new discoveries after 4 continuous Earth years of operations on the surface of the red planet. Spirit has successfully traversed 7.5 km over the Gusev crater plains, ascended to the top of Husband Hill, and entered into the Inner Basin of the Columbia Hills. Opportunity has traveled nearly 12 km over flat plains of Meridiani and descended into several impact craters. Spirit and Opportunity carry an integrated suite of scientific instruments and tools called the Athena science payload. The Athena science payload consists of the 1) Panoramic Camera (Pancam) that provides high-resolution, color stereo imaging, 2) Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) that provides spectral cubes at mid-infrared wavelengths, 3) Microscopic Imager (MI) for close-up imaging, 4) Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for elemental chemistry, 5) Moessbauer Spectrometer (MB) for the mineralogy of Fe-bearing materials, 6) Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) for removing dusty and weathered surfaces and exposing fresh rock underneath, and 7) Magnetic Properties Experiment that allow the instruments to study the composition of magnetic martian materials [1]. The primary objective of the Athena science investigation is to explore two sites on the martian surface where water may once have been present, and to assess past environmental conditions at those sites and their suitability for life. The Athena science instruments have made numerous scientific discoveries over the 4 plus years of operations. The objectives of this paper are to 1) describe the major scientific discoveries of the MER robotic field geologists and 2) briefly summarize what major outstanding questions were not answered by MER that might be addressed by returning samples to our laboratories on Earth.

  11. Chebbi region, Morocco: a testing site for future rover missions to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ángel de Pablo, Miguel; Blanco, Juan Jose; Moya, M. E.; Garcia, M.; Acaso, E.; Rubial, M. J.; Blanco, J. J.

    In the future, new robotic missions will be launch toward Mars with the objective of studying this planet from its surface. Phoenix (2007), Mars Science Laboratory (2009), Mars Sample Return, ExoMars, Astrobiological Field Laboratory or the Deep-drill lander (beyond 2009) are the missions already launched, approved or under planning by NASA for the future exploration of Mars by rovers. These missions involve an important number of different sensors that should be firstly tested on Earth in order to check their correct function and improve their efficiency. Furthermore, the scientific teams can be acquainted with the operations involved previously to receive data from the mission on Mars. On Earth, there are very few sites where the Martian climatic conditions and landscape similarities could be found, as the dry valleys on Antarctica or the volcanic plains forming the inner deserts of Iceland. However, there are other sites on the Earth where the landscape and geomorphological features are similar to the landscapes observed on Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, Sojourner and Mars Exploration Rovers images. One of these sites is the Chebbi region (31o 10'N, 4o 4'W), in Central-south of Morocco. This area is located at the south of the Atlas range, forming the northern edge of the Sahara desert. The main characteristic is the plain landscape with smooth hills and an important dune field composed of different types of dunes. Wind-streaks are also frequent with sizes ranging between centimetres to tens of meters. Aeolian processes like dust storms and dust devils are very often in spring and summer. The region is also characterized by the desertical pavement formed by different size particles from sand to blocks. Decimetres to meters in diameter blocks are also found in the dry channels formed on sporadic floods. Water from floods and rains are quickly evaporated but mud and water-marks are more perdurable. Salts deposits and crusts are visible in different areas related

  12. Planetary protection and back contamination control for a Mars rover sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rummel, John D.

    1989-01-01

    A commitment to avoid the harmful contamination of outer space and avoid adverse changes in the environment of the earth has been long reflected in NASA's Planetary Protection policy. Working under guidelines developed by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), NASA has implemented the policy in an interactive process that has included the recommendations of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Measures taken to prevent the contamination of earth during the Apollo missions were perhaps the most visible manifestations of this policy, and provided numerous lessons for future sample return opportunities. This paper presents the current status of planetary protection policy within NASA, and a prospectus on how planetary protection issues might be addressed in relation to a Mars Rover Sample Return mission.

  13. Site selection and traverse planning to support a lunar polar rover mission: A case study at Haworth Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Bussey, Ben; McGovern, Andrew; Beyer, Ross; Lees, David; Deans, Matt

    2016-10-01

    Studies of lunar polar volatile deposits are of interest for scientific purposes to understand the nature and evolution of the volatiles, and also for exploration reasons as a possible in situ resource to enable long term human exploration and settlement of the Moon. Both theoretical and observational studies have suggested that significant quantities of volatiles exist in the polar regions, although the lateral and horizontal distribution remains unknown at the km scale and finer resolution. A lunar polar rover mission is required to further characterize the distribution, quantity, and character of lunar polar volatile deposits at these higher spatial resolutions. Here we present a case study for NASA's Resource Prospector (RP) mission concept for a lunar polar rover and utilize this mission architecture and associated constraints to evaluate whether a suitable landing site exists to support an RP flight mission. We evaluate the landing site criteria to characterize the Haworth Crater region in terms of expected hydrogen abundance, surface topography, and prevalence of shadowed regions, as well as solar illumination and direct to Earth communications as a function of time to develop a notional rover traverse plan that addresses both science and engineering requirements. We also present lessons-learned regarding lunar traverse path planning focusing on the critical nature of landing site selection, the influence of illumination patterns on traverse planning, the effects of performing shadowed rover operations, the influence of communications coverage on traverse plan development, and strategic planning to maximize rover lifetime and science at end of mission. Here we present a detailed traverse path scenario for a lunar polar volatiles rover mission and find that the particular site north of Haworth Crater studied here is suitable for further characterization of polar volatile deposits.

  14. Preliminary Results of a New Type of Surface Property Measurement Ideal for a Future Mars Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buhler, C. R.; Calle, C. I.; Mantovani, J. G.; Buehler, M. G.; Nowicki, A. W.; Ritz, M.

    2004-01-01

    The success of the recent rover missions to Mars has stressed the importance of acquiring the maximum amount of geological information with the least amount of data possible. We have designed, tested and implemented special sensors mounted on a rover s wheel capable of detecting minute changes in surface topology thus eliminating the need for specially- made science platforms. These sensors, based on the previously designed, flight qualified Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Electrometer, measure the static electricity (triboelectricity) generated between polymer materials and the Martian regolith during rover transverses. The sensors are capable of detecting physical changes in the soil that may not be detectable by other means, such as texture, size and moisture content. Although triboelectricity is a surface phenomenon, the weight of a rover will undoubtedly protrude the sensors below the dust covered layers, exposing underlying regolith whose properties may not be detectable through other means.

  15. Preliminary Results of a New Type of Surface Property Measurement Ideal for a Future Mars Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buhler, C. R.; Calle, C. I.; Mantovani, J. G.; Buehler, M. G.; Nowicki, A. W.; Ritz, M.

    2004-01-01

    The success of the recent rover missions to Mars has stressed the importance of acquiring the maximum amount of geological information with the least amount of data possible. We have designed, tested and implemented special sensors mounted on a rover s wheel capable of detecting minute changes in surface topology thus eliminating the need for specially- made science platforms. These sensors, based on the previously designed, flight qualified Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Electrometer, measure the static electricity (triboelectricity) generated between polymer materials and the Martian regolith during rover transverses. The sensors are capable of detecting physical changes in the soil that may not be detectable by other means, such as texture, size and moisture content. Although triboelectricity is a surface phenomenon, the weight of a rover will undoubtedly protrude the sensors below the dust covered layers, exposing underlying regolith whose properties may not be detectable through other means.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  17. CLUPI: CLose-UP Imager on.board the ExoMars Mission Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Josset, Jean-Luc

    The CLose-UP Imager (CLUPI) imaging experiment is designed to obtain high-resolution colour and stereo images of rocks from the ExoMars rover (Pasteur payload). The close-up imager is a robotic equivalent of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the rover will be active on Mars. The purpose of the Close-up imager is to look an area of about 4 cm x 2.6 cm of the rocks at a focus distance of 10 cm. With a resolution of approx. 15 micrometer/pixel, many kinds of rock surface and internal structures can be visualized: crystals in igneous rocks, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sediment components, sedimentary structures, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be seen, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes. CLUPI is a powerful highly integrated miniaturized (¡208g) low-power robust imaging system with no mobile part, able to operate at very low temperature (-120° C). The opto-mechanical interfaces will be a smart assembly in titanium sustaining wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions. . . The close-up imager CLUPI on the ExoMars Rover will be described together with its capabilities to provide important information significantly contributing to the understanding of the geological environment and could identify outstanding potential biofabrics (stromatolites...) of past life on Mars.

  18. a Performance Comparison of Feature Detectors for Planetary Rover Mapping and Localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, W.; Peng, M.; Xing, Y.; Wang, Y.; Liu, Z.; Di, K.; Teng, B.; Mao, X.; Zhao, Q.; Xin, X.; Jia, M.

    2017-07-01

    Feature detection and matching are key techniques in computer vision and robotics, and have been successfully implemented in many fields. So far there is no performance comparison of feature detectors and matching methods for planetary mapping and rover localization using rover stereo images. In this research, we present a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of six feature detectors, including Moravec, Förstner, Harris, FAST, SIFT and SURF, aiming for optimal implementation of feature-based matching in planetary surface environment. To facilitate quantitative analysis, a series of evaluation criteria, including distribution evenness of matched points, coverage of detected points, and feature matching accuracy, are developed in the research. In order to perform exhaustive evaluation, stereo images, simulated under different baseline, pitch angle, and interval of adjacent rover locations, are taken as experimental data source. The comparison results show that SIFT offers the best overall performance, especially it is less sensitive to changes of image taken at adjacent locations.

  19. Designing and Implementing a Distributed System Architecture for the Mars Rover Mission Planning Software (Maestro)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldgof, Gregory M.

    2005-01-01

    Distributed systems allow scientists from around the world to plan missions concurrently, while being updated on the revisions of their colleagues in real time. However, permitting multiple clients to simultaneously modify a single data repository can quickly lead to data corruption or inconsistent states between users. Since our message broker, the Java Message Service, does not ensure that messages will be received in the order they were published, we must implement our own numbering scheme to guarantee that changes to mission plans are performed in the correct sequence. Furthermore, distributed architectures must ensure that as new users connect to the system, they synchronize with the database without missing any messages or falling into an inconsistent state. Robust systems must also guarantee that all clients will remain synchronized with the database even in the case of multiple client failure, which can occur at any time due to lost network connections or a user's own system instability. The final design for the distributed system behind the Mars rover mission planning software fulfills all of these requirements and upon completion will be deployed to MER at the end of 2005 as well as Phoenix (2007) and MSL (2009).

  20. Two dogs, new tricks: A two-rover mission simulation using K9 and FIDO at Black Rock Summit, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Roush, Ted L.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Bresina, John L.; Bualat, Maria G.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Flueckiger, Lorenzo J.; Washington, Richard M.; Nguyen, Laurent A.; Thomas, Hans; Wright, Anne R.

    2002-11-01

    An experiment illustrating two rovers cooperatively exploring a field site was performed at Black Rock Summit, Nevada, in May 2000. The rovers FIDO and K9 are mechanically identical prototype planetary rovers designed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. FIDO carried high-resolution false-color infrared and low-resolution monochrome stereo cameras and an infrared point spectrometer on a mast-mounted pointable platform, a manipulator arm equipped with a color microscopic imager, and a coring drill for sample collection. K9 carried on a mast-mounted pointable platform high-resolution color and low-resolution monochrome stereo cameras, and a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer for standoff elemental analysis. A team located at Jet Propulsion Laboratory commanded the two rovers for 3 days. K9 obtained stereo images of targets, and three-dimensional models were constructed to determine the best locations for FIDO to obtain core samples. A drilling target was selected 1.5 m from the starting position of FIDO. Six command cycles and 2 m of traversing were required for FIDO to reach, drill into, and place an instrument on the target. K9 required 11 command cycles to traverse 60 m and obtain full-coverage stereo images of two rock targets along its route. Virtual reality-based visualization software called Viz provided situational awareness of the environment for both rovers. Commands to K9 were planned using Viz, resulting in improved rover performance. The results show that two rovers can be used synergistically to achieve science goals, but further testing is needed to completely explore the value of two-rover missions.

  1. Mars Exploration Rover Surface Mission: Thermal Performance for More Than an Entire Martian Year

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith; Porter, Dan; Phillips, Charles; Sunada, Eric; Kinsella, Gary

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the thermal performance of the Mars Exploration Rovers. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project landed two identical roving science vehicles on Mars in January 2004; they have continued to perform geological science data collection well beyond their surface design lifetime of 90 sols. The design of the thermal system is described. Pictures from the rovers are also included,

  2. The RIMFAX GPR Instrument Development for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamran, S.-E.; Amundsen, H. E. F.; Asak, L.; Berger, T.; Brovoll, S.; Buskenes, J. I.; Carter, L.; Damsgård, L.; Diaz, C.; Ghent, R.; Helleren, Ø.; Kohler, J.; Mellon, M.; Nunez, D.; Paige, D.; Plettemeier, D.; Rowe, K.; Russell, P.; Sagsveen, B.; Ødegaard, N.; Øyan, M. J.

    2016-10-01

    The Radar Imager for Mars' subsurface eXperiment (RIMFAX) ground penetrating radar (GPR) experiment for the Mars 2020 Rover will add a new dimension to the rover's toolset by providing the capability to image the shallow subsurface beneath the rover.

  3. Performance Testing of Lithium Li-ion Cells and Batteries in Support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2007-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration on the surface of Mars, both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which were designed to aid in the launch, correct anomalies during cruise, and support surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays. The requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20(super 0)C to +40(super 0)C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., including pre-launch and cruise period), operate in an inverted position, and support high currents (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the inability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 8 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The primary focus of this paper is to communicate the latest results regarding Mars surface operation mission simulation testing, as well as, the corresponding performance capacity loss and impedance characteristics as a function of temperature and life. As will be discussed, the lithium-ion batteries (fabricated by Yardney Technical Products, Inc.) have been demonstrated to far exceed the requirements defined by the mission, being able to support the operation of the rovers for over three years, and are projected to support an even further extended mission.

  4. Potential scientific objectives for a 2018 2-rover mission to Mars and implications for the landing site and landed operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, J. A.; Westall, F.; Beaty, D.; Cady, S. L.; Carr, M. H.; Ciarletti, V.; Coradini, A.; Elfving, A.; Glavin, D.; Goesmann, F.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Ori, G. G.; Phillips, R. J.; Salvo, C.; Sephton, M.; Syvertson, M.; Vago, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    A study sponsored by MEPAG has defined the possibilities for cooperative science using two rovers under consideration for launch to Mars in 2018 (ESA’s ExoMars, and a NASA-sourced rover concept for which we use the working name of MAX-C). The group considered collaborative science opportunities both without change to either proposed rover, as well as with some change allowed. Planning focused on analysis of shared and separate objectives, with concurrence on two high priority shared objectives that could form the basis of highly significant collaborative exploration activity. The first shared objective relates to sending the proposed rovers to a site interpreted to contain evidence of past environments with high habitability potential, and with high preservation potential for physical and chemical biosignatures where they would evaluate paleoenvironmental conditions, assess the potential for preservation of biotic and/or prebiotic signatures, and search for possible evidence of past life and prebiotic chemistry. The second shared objective relates to the collection, documentation, and suitable packaging of a set of samples by the rovers that would be sufficient to achieve the scientific objectives of a possible future sample return mission. Achieving cooperative science with the two proposed rovers implies certain compromises that might include less time available for pursuing each rover’s independent objectives, implementation of some hardware modifications, and the need to share a landing site that may not be optimized for either rover. Sharing a landing site has multiple implications, including accepting a common latitude restriction, accepting the geological attributes of the common landing site, and creation of a potential telecommunications bottleneck. Moreover, ensuring a safe landing with the sky crane and pallet system envisioned for the mission would likely result in landing terrain engineering requirements more constraining than those for MSL

  5. Geologic overview of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission at the Kimberley, Gale crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Melissa S.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Treiman, Allan H.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Calef, Fred; Edgar, Lauren A.; Grotzinger, John; Lanza, Nina; Le Deit, Laetitia; Lasue, Jeremie; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Vasavada, Ashwin; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Joshua

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover completed a detailed investigation at the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater from sols 571-634 using its full science instrument payload. From orbital images examined early in the Curiosity mission, the Kimberley region had been identified as a high-priority science target based on its clear stratigraphic relationships in a layered sedimentary sequence that had been exposed by differential erosion. Observations of the stratigraphic sequence at the Kimberley made by Curiosity are consistent with deposition in a prograding, fluvio-deltaic system during the late Noachian to early Hesperian, prior to the existence of most of Mount Sharp. Geochemical and mineralogic analyses suggest that sediment deposition likely took place under cold conditions with relatively low water-to-rock ratios. Based on elevated K2O abundances throughout the Kimberley formation, an alkali feldspar protolith is likely one of several igneous sources from which the sediments were derived. After deposition, the rocks underwent multiple episodes of diagenetic alteration with different aqueous chemistries and redox conditions, as evidenced by the presence of Ca-sulfate veins, Mn-oxide fracture fills, and erosion-resistant nodules. More recently, the Kimberley has been subject to significant aeolian abrasion and removal of sediments to create modern topography that slopes away from Mount Sharp, a process that has continued to the present day.

  6. A Simulated Geochemical Rover Mission to the Taurus-Littrow Valley of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korotev, Randy L.; Haskin, Larry A.; Jolliff, Bradley L.

    1995-01-01

    We test the effectiveness of using an alpha backscatter, alpha-proton, X ray spectrometer on a remotely operated rover to analyze soils and provide geologically useful information about the Moon during a simulated mission to a hypothetical site resembling the Apollo 17 landing site. On the mission, 100 soil samples are "analyzed" for major elements at moderate analytical precision (e.g., typical relative sample standard deviation from counting statistics: Si[11%], Al[18%], Fe[6%], Mg[20%], Ca[5%]). Simulated compositions of soils are generated by combining compositions of components representing the major lithologies occurring at the site in known proportions. Simulated analyses are generated by degrading the simulated compositions according to the expected analytical precision of the analyzer. Compositions obtained from the simulated analyses are modeled by least squares mass balance as mixtures of the components, and the relative proportions of those components as predicted by the model are compared with the actual proportions used to generate the simulated composition. Boundary conditions of the modeling exercise are that all important lithologic components of the regolith are known and are represented by model components, and that the compositions of these components are well known. The effect of having the capability of determining one incompatible element at moderate precision (25%) is compared with the effect of the lack of this capability. We discuss likely limitations and ambiguities that would be encountered, but conclude that much of our knowledge about the Apollo 17 site (based on the return samples) regarding the distribution and relative abundances of lithologies in the regolith could be obtained. This success requires, however, that at least one incompatible element be determined.

  7. A Simulated Geochemical Rover Mission to the Taurus-Littrow Valley of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korotev, Randy L.; Haskin, Larry A.; Jolliff, Bradley L.

    1995-07-01

    We test the effectiveness of using an alpha backscatter, alpha-proton, X ray spectrometer on a remotely operated rover to analyze soils and provide geologically useful information about the Moon during a simulated mission to a hypothetical site resembling the Apollo 17 landing site. On the mission, 100 soil samples are "analyzed" for major elements at moderate analytical precision (e.g., typical relative sample standard deviation from counting statistics: Si[11%], Al[18%], Fe[6%], Mg[20%], Ca[5%]). Simulated compositions of soils are generated by combining compositions of components representing the major lithologies occurring at the site in known proportions. Simulated analyses are generated by degrading the simulated compositions according to the expected analytical precision of the analyzer. Compositions obtained from the simulated analyses are modeled by least squares mass balance as mixtures of the components, and the relative proportions of those components as predicted by the model are compared with the actual proportions used to generate the simulated composition. Boundary conditions of the modeling exercise are that all important lithologic components of the regolith are known and are represented by model components, and that the compositions of these components are well known. The effect of having the capability of determining one incompatible element at moderate precision (25%) is compared with the effect of the lack of this capability. We discuss likely limitations and ambiguities that would be encountered, but conclude that much of our knowledge about the Apollo 17 site (based on the return samples) regarding the distribution and relative abundances of lithologies in the regolith could be obtained. This success requires, however, that at least one incompatible element be determined.

  8. The WISDOM Radar onboard the Rover of the ExoMars mission (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciarletti, V.; Corbel, C.; Plettemeier, D.; Clifford, S. M.; Cais, P.; Hamran, S.

    2009-12-01

    The most fundamental and basic aspect of the geologic characterization of any environment is understanding its stratigraphy and structure - which provides invaluable insights into its origin, the processes and events by which it evolved, and (through the examination of superpositional and cross-cutting relationships) their relative timing. The WISDOM GPR onboard the Rover of the ESA ExoMars mission (2016) has the ability to investigate and characterize the nature of the subsurface remotely, providing high-resolution (several cm-scale) data on subsurface stratigraphy, structure, and the magnitude and scale of spatial heterogeneity, to depths in excess of 3 m. Unlike traditional imaging systems or spectrometers, which are limited to characterization of the visible surface, WISDOM can access what lies beneath - providing an understanding of the 3-dimensional geologic context of the landing site along the Rover path. WISDOM will address a variety of high-priority scientific objectives: (1) Understand the geology and geologic evolution of the landing site, including local lithology, stratigraphy and structure. (2) Characterize the 3-D electromagnetic properties of the Landing Site - including the scale and magnitude of spatial heterogeneity - for comparison with those measured at larger scales by MARSIS, SHARAD and any future orbital radars. (3) Understand the local distribution and state of shallow subsurface H2O and other volatiles, including the potential presence of segregated ground ice (as ice lenses and wedges), the persistent or transient occurrence of liquid water/brine, and deposits of methane hydrate and (4) identify the most promising locations for drilling that combine targets of high scientific interest. In addition to these objectives, there are also clear scientific and operational benefits when WISDOM is operated in concert with the rover’s drill and its associated analytical instruments, which will determine the compositional and physical properties

  9. Self-Directed Cooperative Planetary Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zilberstein, Shlomo; Morris, Robert (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    The project is concerned with the development of decision-theoretic techniques to optimize the scientific return of planetary rovers. Planetary rovers are small unmanned vehicles equipped with cameras and a variety of sensors used for scientific experiments. They must operate under tight constraints over such resources as operation time, power, storage capacity, and communication bandwidth. Moreover, the limited computational resources of the rover limit the complexity of on-line planning and scheduling. We have developed a comprehensive solution to this problem that involves high-level tools to describe a mission; a compiler that maps a mission description and additional probabilistic models of the components of the rover into a Markov decision problem; and algorithms for solving the rover control problem that are sensitive to the limited computational resources and high-level of uncertainty in this domain.

  10. Rover Slip Validation and Prediction Algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Jeng

    2009-01-01

    A physical-based simulation has been developed for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission that applies a slope-induced wheel-slippage to the rover location estimator. Using the digital elevation map from the stereo images, the computational method resolves the quasi-dynamic equations of motion that incorporate the actual wheel-terrain speed to estimate the gross velocity of the vehicle. Based on the empirical slippage measured by the Visual Odometry software of the rover, this algorithm computes two factors for the slip model by minimizing the distance of the predicted and actual vehicle location, and then uses the model to predict the next drives. This technique, which has been deployed to operate the MER rovers in the extended mission periods, can accurately predict the rover position and attitude, mitigating the risk and uncertainties in the path planning on high-slope areas.

  11. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stack, Kathryn M.; Edwards, Christopher; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D.; Edgar, Lauren; Fraeman, A.; Jacob, S.; LeDeit, L.; Lewis, K.W.; Rice, M.S.; Rubin, D.; Calef, F.; Edgett, K.; Williams, R.M.E.; Williford, K.H.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides the first systematic comparison of orbital facies maps with detailed ground-based geology observations from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover to examine the validity of geologic interpretations derived from orbital image data. Orbital facies maps were constructed for the Darwin, Cooperstown, and Kimberley waypoints visited by the Curiosity rover using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. These maps, which represent the most detailed orbital analysis of these areas to date, were compared with rover image-based geologic maps and stratigraphic columns derived from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Results show that bedrock outcrops can generally be distinguished from unconsolidated surficial deposits in high-resolution orbital images and that orbital facies mapping can be used to recognize geologic contacts between well-exposed bedrock units. However, process-based interpretations derived from orbital image mapping are difficult to infer without known regional context or observable paleogeomorphic indicators, and layer-cake models of stratigraphy derived from orbital maps oversimplify depositional relationships as revealed from a rover perspective. This study also shows that fine-scale orbital image-based mapping of current and future Mars landing sites is essential for optimizing the efficiency and science return of rover surface operations.

  12. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stack, K. M.; Edwards, C. S.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D. Y.; Calef, F. J.; Edgar, L. A.; Edgett, K. S.; Fraeman, A. A.; Jacob, S. R.; Le Deit, L.; Lewis, K. W.; Rice, M. S.; Rubin, D.; Williams, R. M. E.; Williford, K. H.

    2016-12-01

    This study provides the first systematic comparison of orbital facies maps with detailed ground-based geology observations from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover to examine the validity of geologic interpretations derived from orbital image data. Orbital facies maps were constructed for the Darwin, Cooperstown, and Kimberley waypoints visited by the Curiosity rover using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. These maps, which represent the most detailed orbital analysis of these areas to date, were compared with rover image-based geologic maps and stratigraphic columns derived from Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Results show that bedrock outcrops can generally be distinguished from unconsolidated surficial deposits in high-resolution orbital images and that orbital facies mapping can be used to recognize geologic contacts between well-exposed bedrock units. However, process-based interpretations derived from orbital image mapping are difficult to infer without known regional context or observable paleogeomorphic indicators, and layer-cake models of stratigraphy derived from orbital maps oversimplify depositional relationships as revealed from a rover perspective. This study also shows that fine-scale orbital image-based mapping of current and future Mars landing sites is essential for optimizing the efficiency and science return of rover surface operations.

  13. Automated science target selection for future Mars rovers: A machine vision approach for the future ESA ExoMars 2018 rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Yu; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2013-04-01

    The ESA ExoMars 2018 rover is planned to perform autonomous science target selection (ASTS) using the approaches described in [1]. However, the approaches shown to date have focused on coarse features rather than the identification of specific geomorphological units. These higher-level "geoobjects" can later be employed to perform intelligent reasoning or machine learning. In this work, we show the next stage in the ASTS through examples displaying the identification of bedding planes (not just linear features in rock-face images) and the identification and discrimination of rocks in a rock-strewn landscape (not just rocks). We initially detect the layers and rocks in 2D processing via morphological gradient detection [1] and graph cuts based segmentation [2] respectively. To take this further requires the retrieval of 3D point clouds and the combined processing of point clouds and images for reasoning about the scene. An example is the differentiation of rocks in rover images. This will depend on knowledge of range and range-order of features. We show demonstrations of these "geo-objects" using MER and MSL (released through the PDS) as well as data collected within the EU-PRoViScout project (http://proviscout.eu). An initial assessment will be performed of the automated "geo-objects" using the OpenSource StereoViewer developed within the EU-PRoViSG project (http://provisg.eu) which is released in sourceforge. In future, additional 3D measurement tools will be developed within the EU-FP7 PRoViDE2 project, which started on 1.1.13. References: [1] M. Woods, A. Shaw, D. Barnes, D. Price, D. Long, D. Pullan, (2009) "Autonomous Science for an ExoMars Rover-Like Mission", Journal of Field Robotics Special Issue: Special Issue on Space Robotics, Part II, Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 358-390. [2] J. Shi, J. Malik, (2000) "Normalized Cuts and Image Segmentation", IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume 22. [3] D. Shin, and J.-P. Muller (2009

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

    PubMed

    2010-03-01

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

  15. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.

    1991-01-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems.

  16. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.

    1991-07-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems.

  17. Ground testing of the Li-ion batteries in support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, M. C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Chin, K. B.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2005-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration on the surface of Mars, both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which were designed to aid in the launch, correct anomalies during cruise, and support surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays. The requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20(deg)C to +4O(deg)C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted position, and support high currents (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit (RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 8 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The testing performed includes, (a) performing initial characterization tests (discharge capacity at different temperatures), (b) simulating the launch conditions, (c) simulating the cruise phase conditions (including trajectory corrections), (d) simulating the entry, decent, and landing pulse load profile (if required to support the pyros) (e) simulating the Mars surface operation mission simulation conditions, as well as, (f) assessing performance capacity loss and impedance characteristics as a function of temperature and life. As will be discussed, the lithium-ion batteries (fabricated by LithiodYardney, Inc.) were demonstrated to far exceed the requirements defined by the mission, and are projected to support an extended mission (> 2 years) with margin to spare.

  18. High Viewpoint for 11-Year-Old Rover Mission on Mars Stereo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-01-22

    NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity gained this stereo vista from the top of a raised segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. The view appears three-dimensional when seen through 3D glasses with red lens on the left.

  19. Mars Observer Mission: Mapping the Martian World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The 1992 Mars Observer Mission is highlighted in this video overview of the mission objectives and planning. Using previous photography and computer graphics and simulation, the main objectives of the 687 day (one Martian year) consecutive orbit by the Mars Observer Satellite around Mars are explained. Dr. Arden Albee, the project scientist, speaks about the pole-to-pole mapping of the Martian surface topography, the planned relief maps, the chemical and mineral composition analysis, the gravity fields analysis, and the proposed search for any Mars magnetic fields.

  20. Mars Observer Mission: Mapping the Martian World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The 1992 Mars Observer Mission is highlighted in this video overview of the mission objectives and planning. Using previous photography and computer graphics and simulation, the main objectives of the 687 day (one Martian year) consecutive orbit by the Mars Observer Satellite around Mars are explained. Dr. Arden Albee, the project scientist, speaks about the pole-to-pole mapping of the Martian surface topography, the planned relief maps, the chemical and mineral composition analysis, the gravity fields analysis, and the proposed search for any Mars magnetic fields.

  1. Piloted rover technology study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thrasher, D. L.

    1990-01-01

    This is the May 25, 1990 summary report for Space Transfer Concepts and Analyses (STCA) Study, special study task 9.1, Piloted Rovers Technology Study. Piloted rover concepts, mission scenarios, and the requirements necessary for completion of these missions resulting in the establishment of a lunar base. These tasks were intended to lead to a logical conclusion concerning which piloted rovers technologies are needed to accomplish the various missions, along with a recommended schedule for the development of these technologies.

  2. Tumbleweed Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behar, Alberto; Jones, Jack; Carsey, Frank; Matthews, Jaret

    2005-01-01

    Tumbleweed rovers, now undergoing development, are lightweight, inflatable, approximately spherical exploratory robotic vehicles designed to roll across terrain, using only wind for propulsion. Tumbleweed rovers share many features with beach-ball rovers, which were discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles. Conceived for use in exploring remote planets, tumbleweed rovers could also be used for exploring relatively inaccessible terrain on Earth. A fully developed tumbleweed rover would consist of an instrumentation package suspended in an inflated twolayer (nylon/polypropylene) ball. The total mass of the rover would be of the order of 10 kg, the diameter of the ball when inflated would be 2 meters, and the minimum wind speed needed for propulsion would be about 5 m/s. The instrumentation package would contain a battery power supply, sensors, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a radio transmitter that would send the sensor readings and the GPS position and time readings to a monitoring station via a satellite communication system. Depending on the specific exploratory mission, the sensors could include a thermometer, a barometer, a magnetometer (for studying the terrestrial magnetic field and/or detecting buried meteorites), a subsurface radar system (for measuring ice thickness and/or detecting buried meteorites), and/or one or two diametrally opposed cameras that would take the part of sending two side-looking images out. In the planned Antarctic field test, a prototype tumbleweed rover was released at a location near the South Pole. Using the global Iridium satellite network to send information about its position, the rover transmitted temperature, pressure, humidity, and light intensity data to NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The rover reached speeds of 30 km per hour over the Antarctic ice cap, and traveled at an average speed of about 6 km per hour. The test was designed to confirm the rover s long-term durability in an extremely

  3. Tracking the Lunar Rover vehicle with very long baseline interferometry techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shnidman, D.

    1972-01-01

    The principles of operation of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) are discussed. The application of VLBI techniques for tracking lunar rover vehicles during the Apollo 16 and 17 missions is reported. A map of the Apollo 16 lunar rover track is provided. Charts are developed to show the incremental motion of the lunar vehicle during the mission.

  4. Determining Wheel-Soil Interaction Loads Using a Meshfree Finite Element Approach Assisting Future Missions with Rover Wheel Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contreras, Michael T.; Peng, Chia-Yen; Wang, Dongdong; Chen, Jiun-Shyan

    2012-01-01

    A wheel experiencing sinkage and slippage events poses a high risk to rover missions as evidenced by recent mobility challenges on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. Because several factors contribute to wheel sinkage and slippage conditions such as soil composition, large deformation soil behavior, wheel geometry, nonlinear contact forces, terrain irregularity, etc., there are significant benefits to modeling these events to a sufficient degree of complexity. For the purposes of modeling wheel sinkage and slippage at an engineering scale, meshfree finite element approaches enable simulations that capture sufficient detail of wheel-soil interaction while remaining computationally feasible. This study demonstrates some of the large deformation modeling capability of meshfree methods and the realistic solutions obtained by accounting for the soil material properties. A benchmark wheel-soil interaction problem is developed and analyzed using a specific class of meshfree methods called Reproducing Kernel Particle Method (RKPM). The benchmark problem is also analyzed using a commercially available finite element approach with Lagrangian meshing for comparison. RKPM results are comparable to classical pressure-sinkage terramechanics relationships proposed by Bekker-Wong. Pending experimental calibration by future work, the meshfree modeling technique will be a viable simulation tool for trade studies assisting rover wheel design.

  5. Determining Wheel-Soil Interaction Loads Using a Meshfree Finite Element Approach Assisting Future Missions with Rover Wheel Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contreras, Michael T.; Peng, Chia-Yen; Wang, Dongdong; Chen, Jiun-Shyan

    2012-01-01

    A wheel experiencing sinkage and slippage events poses a high risk to rover missions as evidenced by recent mobility challenges on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. Because several factors contribute to wheel sinkage and slippage conditions such as soil composition, large deformation soil behavior, wheel geometry, nonlinear contact forces, terrain irregularity, etc., there are significant benefits to modeling these events to a sufficient degree of complexity. For the purposes of modeling wheel sinkage and slippage at an engineering scale, meshfree finite element approaches enable simulations that capture sufficient detail of wheel-soil interaction while remaining computationally feasible. This study demonstrates some of the large deformation modeling capability of meshfree methods and the realistic solutions obtained by accounting for the soil material properties. A benchmark wheel-soil interaction problem is developed and analyzed using a specific class of meshfree methods called Reproducing Kernel Particle Method (RKPM). The benchmark problem is also analyzed using a commercially available finite element approach with Lagrangian meshing for comparison. RKPM results are comparable to classical pressure-sinkage terramechanics relationships proposed by Bekker-Wong. Pending experimental calibration by future work, the meshfree modeling technique will be a viable simulation tool for trade studies assisting rover wheel design.

  6. FIDO Analyst's Notebook: An Approach to Integrating Science Data for Rover Mission Playback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, T. C.; Arvidson, R. E.

    2003-03-01

    The FIDO Analyst's Notebook is an online resource that serves as the primary data archive and provides a mechanism for "playing back" FIDO rover field trials held between Oct 1999 and Aug 2002. Science data and documentation are integrated into a standard interface for easy browsing and retrieval.

  7. The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markley, F. Landis; Andrews, Stephen F.; ODonnell, James R., Jr.; Ward, David K.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe mission is designed to produce a map of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the entire celestial sphere by executing a fast spin and a slow precession of its spin axis about the Sun line to obtain a highly interconnected set of measurements. The spacecraft attitude is sensed and controlled using an inertial reference unit, two star trackers, a digital sun sensor, twelve coarse sun sensors, three reaction wheel assemblies, and a propulsion system. This paper presents an overview of the design of the attitude control system to carry out this mission and presents some early flight experience.

  8. The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markley, F. Landis; Andrews, Stephen F.; ODonnell, James R., Jr.; Ward, David K.; Ericsson, Aprille J.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe mission is designed to produce a map of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the entire celestial sphere by executing a fast spin and a slow precession of its spin axis about the Sun line to obtain a highly interconnected set of measurements. The spacecraft attitude is sensed and controlled using an Inertial Reference Unit, two Autonomous Star Trackers, a Digital Sun Sensor, twelve Coarse Sun Sensors, three Reaction Wheel Assemblies, and a propulsion system. This paper describes the design of the attitude control system that carries out this mission and presents some early flight experience.

  9. Working on Mars: Understanding How Scientists, Engineers and Rovers Interacted Across Space and Time during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wales, Roxana C.

    2005-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation summarizes the scheduling and planning difficulties inherent in operating the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) during the overlapping terrestrial day and Martian sol. The presentation gives special empahsis to communication between the teams controlling the rovers from Earth, and keeping track of time on the two planets.

  10. Spirit rover localization and topographic mapping at the landing site of Gusev crater, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Li, R.; Archinal, B.A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.; Christensen, P.; Crumpler, L.; Des Marais, D.J.; Di, K.; Duxbury, T.; Golombek, M.P.; Grant, J. A.; Greeley, R.; Guinn, J.; Johnson, Aaron H.; Kirk, R.L.; Maimone, M.; Matthies, L.H.; Malin, M.; Parker, T.; Sims, M.; Thompson, S.; Squyres, S. W.; Soderblom, L.A.

    2006-01-01

    By sol 440, the Spirit rover has traversed a distance of 3.76 km (actual distance traveled instead of odometry). Localization of the lander and the rover along the traverse has been successfully performed at the Gusev crater landing site. We localized the lander in the Gusev crater using two-way Doppler radio positioning and cartographic triangulations through landmarks visible in both orbital and ground images. Additional high-resolution orbital images were used to verify the determined lander position. Visual odometry and bundle adjustment technologies were applied to compensate for wheel slippage, azimuthal angle drift, and other navigation errors (which were as large as 10.5% in the Husband Hill area). We generated topographic products, including 72 ortho maps and three-dimensional (3-D) digital terrain models, 11 horizontal and vertical traverse profiles, and one 3-D crater model (up to sol 440). Also discussed in this paper are uses of the data for science operations planning, geological traverse surveys, surveys of wind-related features, and other science applications. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. Spirit rover localization and topographic mapping at the landing site of Gusev crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Rongxing; Archinal, Brent A.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Bell, Jim; Christensen, Philip; Crumpler, Larry; Des Marais, David J.; Di, Kaichang; Duxbury, Tom; Golombek, Matt; Grant, John; Greeley, Ronald; Guinn, Joe; Johnson, Andrew; Kirk, Randolph L.; Maimone, Mark; Matthies, Larry H.; Malin, Mike; Parker, Tim; Sims, Mike; Thompson, Shane; Squyres, Steven W.; Soderblom, Larry A.

    2006-01-01

    By sol 440, the Spirit rover has traversed a distance of 3.76 km (actual distance traveled instead of odometry). Localization of the lander and the rover along the traverse has been successfully performed at the Gusev crater landing site. We localized the lander in the Gusev crater using two-way Doppler radio positioning and cartographic triangulations through landmarks visible in both orbital and ground images. Additional high-resolution orbital images were used to verify the determined lander position. Visual odometry and bundle adjustment technologies were applied to compensate for wheel slippage, azimuthal angle drift, and other navigation errors (which were as large as 10.5% in the Husband Hill area). We generated topographic products, including 72 ortho maps and three-dimensional (3-D) digital terrain models, 11 horizontal and vertical traverse profiles, and one 3-D crater model (up to sol 440). Also discussed in this paper are uses of the data for science operations planning, geological traverse surveys, surveys of wind-related features, and other science applications.

  12. The MAP Autonomous Mission Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breed, Juile; Coyle, Steven; Blahut, Kevin; Dent, Carolyn; Shendock, Robert; Rowe, Roger

    2000-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) mission is the second mission in NASA's Office of Space Science low-cost, Medium-class Explorers (MIDEX) program. The Explorers Program is designed to accomplish frequent, low cost, high quality space science investigations utilizing innovative, streamlined, efficient management, design and operations approaches. The MAP spacecraft will produce an accurate full-sky map of the cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations with high sensitivity and angular resolution. The MAP spacecraft is planned for launch in early 2001, and will be staffed by only single-shift operations. During the rest of the time the spacecraft must be operated autonomously, with personnel available only on an on-call basis. Four (4) innovations will work cooperatively to enable a significant reduction in operations costs for the MAP spacecraft. First, the use of a common ground system for Spacecraft Integration and Test (I&T) as well as Operations. Second, the use of Finite State Modeling for intelligent autonomy. Third, the integration of a graphical planning engine to drive the autonomous systems without an intermediate manual step. And fourth, the ability for distributed operations via Web and pager access.

  13. "Where On Mars?": A Web Map Visualisation of the ExoMars 2018 Rover Candidate Landing Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manaud, N.; Boix, O.; Vago, J.; Hill, A.; Iriberri, C.; Carrión, D.

    2015-10-01

    The ExoMars 2018 mission will deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars. Armed with a drill that can bore 2 metres into rock, the ExoMars rover will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life, past or present. But where on Mars to land? - The search for a suitable ExoMars rover landing site began in December 2013, when the planetary science community was asked to propose candidates. Eight proposals were considered during a workshop held by the ExoMars Landing Site Selection Working Group (LSSWG). By the end of the workshop, there were four clear front-runners. Following additional review, the four sites have now been formally recommended for further detailed analysis [1]: Mawrth Vallis, Oxia Planum, Hypanis Vallis and Aram Dorsum. Scientists will continue working on the characterisation of these four sites until they provide their final recommendation in October 2017.

  14. Preliminary assessment of the power requirements of a manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.; Cataldo, Robert; Bloomfield, Harvey

    1990-01-01

    A preliminary study to determine the total mass and power requirements of a manned Mars rover is presented. Estimates of the power requirements for the nuclear reactor power system are determined as functions of the number of crew members, the emergency return trip scenario in case of a total malfunction of the reactor system, the cruising speed and range of the vehicle, and the specific mass of the power system. It is shown that the cruising speed of the vehicle and the soil traction factor significantly affect the traversing power requirement and therefore the mass of the nuclear power system. The cruising speed of the vehicle must be limited to 14.5 and 24 km/hr for power system specific masses of 150 kg/kWe and 50 kg/kWe, respectively, for the nuclear power system mass not to exceed 50 percent of the total mass of the rover.

  15. Pancam: A Multispectral Imaging Investigation on the NASA 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, J. F., III; Squyres, S. W.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Maki, J.; Schwochert, M.; Dingizian, A.; Brown, D.; Morris, R. V.; Arneson, H. M.; Johnson, M. J.

    2003-01-01

    One of the six science payload elements carried on each of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER; Figure 1) is the Panoramic Camera System, or Pancam. Pancam consists of three major components: a pair of digital CCD cameras, the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA), and a radiometric calibration target. The PMA provides the azimuth and elevation actuation for the cameras as well as a 1.5 meter high vantage point from which to image. The calibration target provides a set of reference color and grayscale standards for calibration validation, and a shadow post for quantification of the direct vs. diffuse illumination of the scene. Pancam is a multispectral, stereoscopic, panoramic imaging system, with a field of regard provided by the PMA that extends across 360 of azimuth and from zenith to nadir, providing a complete view of the scene around the rover in up to 12 unique wavelengths. The major characteristics of Pancam are summarized.

  16. FIDO Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover is being used in ongoing NASA field tests to simulate driving conditions on Mars. FIDO is at a geologically interesting site in central Nevada while it is controlled from the mission control room at JPL's Planetary Robotics Laboratory in Pasadena. FIDO uses a robot arm to manipulate science instruments and it has a new mini-corer or drill to extract and cache rock samples. Several camera systems onboard allow the rover to collect science and navigation images by remote-control. The rover is about the size of a coffee table and weighs as much as a St. Bernard, about 70 kilograms (150 pounds). It is approximately 85 centimeters (about 33 inches) wide, 105 centimeters (41 inches) long, and 55 centimeters (22 inches) high. The rover moves up to 300 meters an hour (less than a mile per hour) over smooth terrain, using its onboard stereo vision systems to detect and avoid obstacles as it travels 'on-the-fly.' During these tests, FIDO is powered by both solar panels that cover the top of the rover and by replaceable, rechargeable batteries.

  17. Simulated Mars Rover Mission to Hydrothermal Vents, Ka'u Desert, Hawai'i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Arvidson, R. E.; Doty, A. M.; Davies, N.; de St. Maurice, A.; Griggs, L. E.; Gross, M. E.; Ishida, C. C.; Izsak, G. M.; Deal, K. S.; Snider, N. O.

    2002-12-01

    Observations and measurements were made in the field and samples returned for laboratory study from the Ka'u Desert, Hawai'i. The site includes recent lava flows and flanking older flows, wind-blown and variably altered ash deposits, and alteration associated with sulfurous volcanic vents. The site is an analogue for the type being proposed for the NASA Mars Mobile Geobiology Explorer Mission. Experiments and observations included tripod-based color stereo imaging, thermal imaging, and reflectance spectrometry to map topography, thermal properties, and mineralogy associated with flow and ash-deposit alteration stages and hydrothermal deposits. Laboratory analyses include mineralogy, elemental compositions, and biological analysis of returned samples for ground truth and for comparison to what can be learned from field observations. Integrated studies include comparison of VIS-IR spectra obtained on the ground and observed lithologic endmembers to remotely sensed data and spectral endmembers (Deal et al., this Conf.), development of a topographic model from stereo imaging, alteration of basalts and relationships between ash deposits and basalts, including formation of duricrusts, thermal imaging and development of a thermal model, and characterization of extant and fossilized biological activity associated with sulfurous hydrothermal vents. Analyses to examine active biology at the hydrothermal vents include DNA amplification and identification using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) methods and FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridization). Morphological evidence of entombment of microbes will be sought in mineralized crusts associated with the hydrothermal deposits. Video documentation of field work coupled with results of field observations and laboratory analyses will be used to better understand and define the essential measurements to make during future Mars missions, with implications for procedures and protocols for eventual sample returns.

  18. Three Dimensional Rover/Lander/Orbiter Mission-Planning (3D-ROMPS) System: A Modern Approach to Mission Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scharfe, Nathan D.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's current mission planning system is based on point design, two-dimensional display, spread sheets, and report technology. This technology does not enable engineers to analyze the results of parametric studies of missions plans. This technology will not support the increased observational complexity and data volume of missions like Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), and Mars Sample Return (MSR). The goal of the 3D-ROMPS task has been to establish a set of operational mission planning and analysis tools in the Image Processing Laboratory (IPL) Mission Support Area (MSA) that will respond to engineering requirements for planning future Solar System Exploration (SSE) missions using a three-dimensional display.

  19. Three Dimensional Rover/Lander/Orbiter Mission-Planning (3D-ROMPS) System: A Modern Approach to Mission Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scharfe, Nathan D.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's current mission planning system is based on point design, two-dimensional display, spread sheets, and report technology. This technology does not enable engineers to analyze the results of parametric studies of missions plans. This technology will not support the increased observational complexity and data volume of missions like Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), and Mars Sample Return (MSR). The goal of the 3D-ROMPS task has been to establish a set of operational mission planning and analysis tools in the Image Processing Laboratory (IPL) Mission Support Area (MSA) that will respond to engineering requirements for planning future Solar System Exploration (SSE) missions using a three-dimensional display.

  20. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) Notification Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    To encourage wide use of the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) data, especially among the scientific community, special notifications were prepared to inform them about the data's availability, its form, and the procedures for obtaining them. To achieve the widest distribution to the primary audiences of interest, mailings were made to scientists associated with the OSTA Resource Observation Division programs and to scientific and professional societies and journals. Accompanying the notifications to the societies and journals were samples of the HCMM imagery and a description of the image's predominant characteristics. A follow-up survey was completed to determine the effectiveness of the HCMM notifications.

  1. Mineralogic Context of the Circum-Chryse Planitia Candidate Landing Sites for the ExoMars Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, John; Loizeau, Damien; Quantin, Cathy; Balme, Matt; Poulet, Francois; Gupta, Sanjeev; Vago, Jorge; Bibring, Jean-Pierre

    2015-04-01

    The ExoMars rover mission [1] will sample ancient, aqueously altered terrains to search for traces of extinct life and characterize the water history of Early Mars. These objectives translate into site-specific constraints in order to maximize the opportunity to access morphological and/or chemical markers for past aqueous environments and possibly life [2]. Currently, four candidate landing sites are being considered, all located on the margin of Chryse Planitia and all exhibiting hydrous clays within or near the ellipse. Assessing the composition and morphologic/stratigraphic context of these clays is necessary to narrow down possible formation scenarios and help rank the sites according to their relevance to the science goals. This work investigates the aqueous mineralogy of the circum-Chyrse region -where the LS are proposed-, in order to provide a framework for future in-depth investigations. Regional mapping of the clay mineralogy was performed using the OMEGA and CRISM NIR imaging spectrometers [3,4]. Global coverage of the circum-Chryse margin was achieved with OMEGA while detailed mapping was carried out locally with OMEGA and CRISM. Over 250 observations with pixel scales ranging 20 m - 4 km were investigated. Additionally, detailed analysis of the clay chemical composition was carried out using linear unmixing which provided the relative abundances of several Fe/Mg-rich phyllosilicate endmembers in the region. The analysis revealed large exposures of dominantly Fe/Mg-rich phyllosilicates over most of the preserved Noachian-aged margins of Chryse Planitia. These minerals have spectral features which are generally similar to what is found elsewhere on Mars [5], consistent with either vermiculites or smectite-bearing mixed-layered clays [6,7]. A regional outlier exists at and around the Mawrth Vallis LS: the most common clay there is likely Fe-rich nontronite associated with Al-rich phyllosilicates within layered deposits [8,9], indicating a different

  2. CLUPI, a high-performance imaging system on the rover of the 2018 mission to discover biofabrics on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Josset, J.-L.; Westall, F.; Hofmann, B. A.; Spray, J. G.; Cockell, C.; Kempe, S.; Griffiths, A. D.; Coradini, A.; Colangeli, L.; Koschny, D.; Pullan, D.; Föllmi, K.; Diamond, L.; Josset, M.; Javaux, E.; Esposito, F.

    2011-10-01

    The scientific objectives of the 2018 ExoMars rover mission are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 ExoMars rover payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ExoMars Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (<700g) low-power robust imaging system, able to operate at very low temperatures (-120°C). CLUPI has a working distance from 10cm to infinite providing outstanding pictures with a color detector of 2652x1768. At 10cm, the resolution is 7 micrometer/pixel in color. The optical-mechanical interface is a smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… In a typical field scenario, the geologist will use his/her eyes to make an overview of an area and the outcrops within it to determine sites of particular interest for more detailed study. In the ExoMars scenario, the PanCam wide angle cameras (WACS) will be used for this task. After having made a preliminary general evaluation, the geologist will approach a particular outcrop for closer observation of structures at the decimetre to subdecimeter scale (ExoMars' High Resolution Camera) before finally getting very close up to the surface with a hand lens (ExoMars' CLUPI), and/or taking a hand specimen, for detailed observation of textures and minerals. Using structural, textural and preliminary compositional analysis, the geologist identifies the materials and makes a decision as to whether they are of

  3. An Ontology for Requesting Distant Robotic Action: A Case Study in Naming and Action Identification for Planning on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wales, Roxana C.; Shalin, Valerie L.; Bass, Deborah S.

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on the development and use of the abbreviated names as well as an emergent ontology associated with making requests for action of a distant robotic rover during the 2003-2004 NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, run by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The infancy of the domain of Martian telerobotic science, in which specialists request work from a rover moving through the landscape, as well as the need to consider the interdisciplinary teams involved in the work required an empirical approach. The formulation of this ontology is grounded in human behavior and work practice. The purpose of this paper is to identify general issues for an ontology of action (specifically for requests for action), while maintaining sensitivity to the users, tools and the work system within a specific technical domain. We found that this ontology of action must take into account a dynamic environment, changing in response to the movement of the rover, changes on the rover itself, as well as be responsive to the purposeful intent of the science requestors. Analysis of MER mission events demonstrates that the work practice and even robotic tool usage changes over time. Therefore, an ontology must adapt and represent both incremental change and revolutionary change, and the ontology can never be more than a partial agreement on the conceptualizations involved. Although examined in a rather unique technical domain, the general issues pertain to the control of any complex, distributed work system as well as the archival record of its accomplishments.

  4. Overview of the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover Mission to Meridiani Planum: Eagle Crater to Purgatory Ripple

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bollen, D.; Bell, J. F.; Brückner, J.; Cabrol, N. A.; Calvin, W. M.; Carr, M. H.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. C.; Crumpler, L.; Des Marais, D. J.; d'Uston, C.; Economou, T.; Farmer, J.; Farrand, W. H.; Folkner, W.; Gellert, R.; Glotch, T. D.; Golombek, M.; Gorevan, S.; Grant, J. A.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hviid, S.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Knoll, A. H.; Landis, G.; Lemmon, M.; Li, R.; Madsen, M. B.; Malin, M. C.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Ming, D. W.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R. V.; Parker, T.; Rice, J. W.; Richter, L.; Rieder, R.; Schröder, C.; Sims, M.; Smith, M.; Smith, P.; Soderblom, L. A.; Sullivan, R.; Tosca, N. J.; Wänke, H.; Wdowiak, T.; Wolff, M.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity touched down at Meridiani Planum in January 2004 and since then has been conducting observations with the Athena science payload. The rover has traversed more than 5 km, carrying out the first outcrop-scale investigation of sedimentary rocks on Mars. The rocks of Meridiani Planum are sandstones formed by eolian and aqueous reworking of sand grains that are composed of mixed fine-grained siliciclastics and sulfates. The siliciclastic fraction was produced by chemical alteration of a precursor basalt. The sulfates are dominantly Mg-sulfates and also include Ca-sulfates and jarosite. The stratigraphic section observed to date is dominated by eolian bedforms, with subaqueous current ripples exposed near the top of the section. After deposition, interaction with groundwater produced a range of diagenetic features, notably the hematite-rich concretions known as ``blueberries.'' The bedrock at Meridiani is highly friable and has undergone substantial erosion by wind-transported basaltic sand. This sand, along with concretions and concretion fragments eroded from the rock, makes up a soil cover that thinly and discontinuously buries the bedrock. The soil surface exhibits both ancient and active wind ripples that record past and present wind directions. Loose rocks on the soil surface are rare and include both impact ejecta and meteorites. While Opportunity's results show that liquid water was once present at Meridiani Planum below and occasionally at the surface, the environmental conditions recorded were dominantly arid, acidic, and oxidizing and would have posed some significant challenges to the origin of life.

  5. Acid Sulfate Weathering on Mars: Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, R. V.; Golden, D. C.

    2006-01-01

    Sulfur has played a major role in the formation and alteration of outcrops, rocks, and soils at the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites on Meridiani Planum and in Gusev crater. Jarosite, hematite, and evaporite sulfates (e.g., Mg and Ca sulfates) occur along with siliciclastic sediments in outcrops at Meridiani Planum. The occurrence of jarosite is a strong indicator for an acid sulfate weathering environment at Meridiani Planum. Some outcrops and rocks in the Columbia Hills in Gusev crater appear to be extensively altered as suggested by their relative softness as compared to crater floor basalts, high Fe(3+)/FeT, iron mineralogy dominated by nanophase Fe(3+) oxides, hematite and/or goethite, corundum-normative mineralogies, and the presence of Mg- and Casulfates. One scenario for aqueous alteration of these rocks and outcrops is that vapors and/or fluids rich in SO2 (volcanic source) and water interacted with rocks that were basaltic in bulk composition. Ferric-, Mg-, and Ca-sulfates, phosphates, and amorphous Si occur in several high albedo soils disturbed by the rover's wheels in the Columbia Hills. The mineralogy of these materials suggests the movement of liquid water within the host material and the subsequent evaporation of solutions rich in Fe, Mg, Ca, S, P, and Si. The presence of ferric sulfates suggests that these phases precipitated from highly oxidized, low-pH solutions. Several hypotheses that invoke acid sulfate weathering environments have been suggested for the aqueous formation of sulfate-bearing phases on the surface of Mars including (1) the oxidative weathering of ultramafic igneous rocks containing sulfides; (2) sulfuric acid weathering of basaltic materials by solutions enriched by volcanic gases (e.g., SO2); and (3) acid fog (i.e., vapors rich in H2SO4) weathering of basaltic or basaltic-derived materials.

  6. The SuperCam Remote-Sensing Instrument Suite for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Clegg, S. M.; Rull, F.; Sharma, S. K.; Anderson, R. B.; Beyssac, O.; Bonal, L.; DeFlores, L. P.; Dromart, G.; Fischer, W. W.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Johnson, J. R.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Mangold, N.; McLennan, S. M.; Montmessin, F.

    2015-12-01

    The SuperCam remote-sensing instrument suite in development for the Mars 2020 rover represents a significant advance from its precursor, ChemCam, by adding Raman spectroscopy (to 12 m distance) and visible and near-infrared (VISIR) reflectance spectroscopy. For Raman spectroscopy the LIBS Nd:YAG laser is frequency-doubled to 532 nm (green Raman). A transmission spectrometer with an intensified CCD covers 150-4400 cm-1 spectral range at a resolution of 10 cm-1. The system is adjustably time-gated, removing much of the mineral fluorescence from the Raman spectra and also facilitating time-resolved fluorescence studies. The infrared range covers 1.3-2.6 microns in addition to the existing 400-840 nm range on ChemCam. Additional upgrades include doubling the LIBS resolution in the 535-860 nm range and adding color to the Remote Micro-Imager (RMI), which is the highest resolution remote imager on the rover. A large-scale effort is being applied to the on-board standards, being led by U. Valladolid in Spain, with targets contributed by many institutions. The number of geological targets will be increased from 8 (on ChemCam) to 22, planned to include end-member plagioclase feldspars, hi- and low-Ca pyroxene, olivines, several fine-grained basalts, hematite, jarosite, carbonates, apatite, and several synthetic targets doped with trace elements. Three Spectralon targets are planned for IR calibration and several color bands for the RMI. All but the Spectralon and color bands should be available for LIBS calibration, and many are also being designed for Raman and VISIR calibration. For LIBS this collection of standards will significantly improve the accuracy relative to ChemCam; other precision improvements are anticipated to come from correcting for variable plasma temperature. The presentation will illustrate how Mars datasets will be significantly improved via this multi-technique approach and will give a first look at prototype SuperCam spectra.

  7. Mobile Payload Element (MPE): Concept study for a sample fetching rover for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haarmann, R.; Jaumann, R.; Claasen, F.; Apfelbeck, M.; Klinkner, S.; Richter, L.; Schwendner, J.; Wolf, M.; Hofmann, P.

    2012-12-01

    In late 2010, the DLR Space Administration invited the German industry to submit a proposal for a study about a Mobile Payload Element (MPE), which could be a German national contribution to the ESA Lunar Lander Mission. Several spots in the south polar region of the moon come into consideration as landing site for this mission. All possible spots provide sustained periods of solar illumination, interrupted by darkness periods of several 10 h. The MPE is outlined to be a small, autonomous, innovative vehicle in the 10 kg class for scouting and sampling the environment in the vicinity of the lunar landing site. The novel capabilities of the MPE will be to acquire samples of lunar regolith from surface, subsurface as well as shadowed locations, define their geological context and bring them back to the lander. This will enable access to samples that are not contaminated by the lander descent propulsion system plumes to increase the chances of detecting any indigenous lunar volatiles contained within the samples. Kayser-Threde, as prime industrial contractor for Phase 0/A, has assembled for this study a team of German partners with relevant industrial and institutional competence in space robotics and lunar science. The primary scientific objective of the MPE is to acquire clearly documented samples and to bring them to the lander for analysis with the onboard Lunar Dust Analysis Package (L-DAP) and Lunar Volatile Resources Analysis Package (L-VRAP). Due to the unstable nature of volatiles, which are of particular scientific interest, the MPE design needs to provide a safe storage and transportation of the samples to the lander. The proposed MPE rover concept has a four-wheeled chassis configuration with active suspension, being a compromise between innovation and mass efficiency. The suspension chosen allows a compact stowage of the MPE on the lander as well as precise alignment of the solar generators and instruments. Since therefore no further complex mechanics are

  8. Overview of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover Mission to Gusev Crater: Landing Site to Backstay Rock in the Columbia Hills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W,; Anderson, R. C.; Bell, J. F., III; Blaney, D.; Brueckner, J.; Cabrol, N. A.; Calvin, W. M.; Carr, M. H.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. C.; Crumpler, L.; Des Marais, D. J.; deSouza, P. A., Jr.; d'Uston, C.; Economou, T.

    2005-01-01

    Spirit landed on the floor of Gusev Crater and conducted initial operations on soil covered, rock-strewn cratered plains underlain by olivine-bearing basalts. Plains surface rocks are covered by wind-blown dust and show evidence for surface enrichment of soluble species as vein and void-filling materials and coatings. The surface enrichment is the result of a minor amount of transport and deposition by aqueous processes. Layered granular deposits were discovered in the Columbia Hills, with outcrops that tend to dip conformably with the topography. The granular rocks are interpreted to be volcanic ash and/or impact ejecta deposits that have been modified by aqueous fluids during and/or after emplacement. Soils consist of basaltic deposits that are weakly cohesive, relatively poorly sorted, and covered by a veneer of wind blown dust. The soils have been homogenized by wind transport over at least the several kilometer length scale traversed by the rover. Mobilization of soluble species has occurred within at least two soil deposits examined. The presence of mono-layers of coarse sand on wind-blown bedforms, together with even spacing of granule-sized surface clasts, suggest that some of the soil surfaces encountered by Spirit have not been modified by wind for some time. On the other hand, dust deposits on the surface and rover deck have changed during the course of the mission. Detection of dust devils, monitoring of the dust opacity and lower boundary layer, and coordinated experiments with orbiters provided new insights into atmosphere-surface dynamics.

  9. Panoramic camera on the Yutu lunar rover of the Chang'e-3 mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jian-Feng; Li, Chun-Lai; Xue, Bin; Ruan, Ping; Gao, Wei; Qiao, Wei-Dong; Lu, Di; Ma, Xiao-Long; Li, Fu; He, Ying-Hong; Li, Ting; Ren, Xin; Yan, Xing-Tao

    2015-11-01

    The Chang'e-3 panoramic camera, which is composed of two cameras with identical functions, performances and interfaces, is installed on the lunar rover mast. It can acquire 3D images of the lunar surface based on the principle of binocular stereo vision. By rotating and pitching the mast, it can take several photographs of the patrol area. After stitching these images, panoramic images of the scenes will be obtained. Thus the topography and geomorphology of the patrol area and the impact crater, as well as the geological structure of the lunar surface, will be analyzed and studied. In addition, it can take color photographs of the lander using the Bayer color coding principle. It can observe the working status of the lander by switching between static image mode and dynamic video mode with automatic exposure time. The focal length of the lens on the panoramic camera is 50 mm and the field of view is 19.7° × 14.5°. Under the best illumination and viewing conditions, the largest signal-to-noise ratio of the panoramic camera is 44 dB. Its static modulation transfer function is 0.33. A large number of ground testing experiments and on-orbit imaging results show that the functional interface of the panoramic camera works normally. The image quality of the panoramic camera is satisfactory. All the performance parameters of the panoramic camera satisfy the design requirements.

  10. Recent developments in aerocapture for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willcockson, W. H.

    A mission-enabling technology for the MRSRM is the use of aerocapture to inject the vehicle into Mars orbit. Using an aerodeceleration device, savings of 20-30 percent of effective vehicle mass can be achieved over an all-propulsive capture approach. Recent IR&D progress in the area of aerocapture for this mission is examined with particular attention given to developments in guidance, navigation, and control. Consideration is given to the following areas of study: load relief guidance, density shear sensitivity analysis, and coupled navigation and guidance simulations.

  11. Risk analysis of earth return options for the Mars rover/sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Four options for return of a Mars surface sample to Earth were studied to estimate the risk of mission failure and the risk of a sample container breach that might result in the release of Martian life forms, should such exist, in the Earth's biosphere. The probabilities calculated refer only to the time period from the last midcourse correction burn to possession of the sample on Earth. Two extreme views characterize this subject. In one view, there is no life on Mars, therefore there is no significant risk and no serious effort is required to deal with back contamination. In the other view, public safety overrides any desire to return Martian samples, and any risk of damaging contamination greater than zero is unacceptable. Zero risk requires great expense to achieve and may prevent the mission as currently envisioned from taking place. The major conclusion is that risk of sample container breach can be reduced to a very low number within the framework of the mission as now envisioned, but significant expense and effort, above that currently planned is needed. There are benefits to the public that warrant some risk. Martian life, if it exists, will be a major discovery. If it does not, there is no risk.

  12. Lunar polar rover science operations: Lessons learned and mission architecture implications derived from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) terrestrial field campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Lim, Darlene; Deans, Matthew; Cook, Amanda; Roush, Ted; Skok, J. R.; Button, Nicole E.; Karunatillake, S.; Stoker, Carol; Marquez, Jessica J.; Shirley, Mark; Kobayashi, Linda; Lees, David; Bresina, John; Hunt, Rusty

    2016-08-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal of producing critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. Specifically, MVP focuses on studying a lunar mission analog to characterize the form and distribution of lunar volatiles. Although lunar volatiles are known to be present near the poles of the Moon, the three dimensional distribution and physical characteristics of lunar polar volatiles are largely unknown. A landed mission with the ability to traverse the lunar surface is thus required to characterize the spatial distribution of lunar polar volatiles. NASA's Resource Prospector (RP) mission is a lunar polar rover mission that will operate primarily in sunlit regions near a lunar pole with near-real time operations to characterize the vertical and horizontal distribution of volatiles. The MVP project was conducted as a field campaign relevant to the RP lunar mission to provide science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. To achieve these goals, the MVP project conducted a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural environment with an unknown volatile distribution within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon.

  13. Activity Scratchpad Prototype: Simplifying the Rover Activity Planning Cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abramyan, Lucy

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover mission depends on the Science Activity Planner as its primary interface to the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. Scientists alternate between a series of mouse clicks and keyboard inputs to create a set of instructions for the rovers. To accelerate planning by minimizing mouse usage, a rover planning editor should receive the majority of inputted commands from the keyboard. Thorough investigation of the Eclipse platform's Java editor has provided the understanding of the base model for the Activity Scratchpad. Desirable Eclipse features can be mapped to specific rover planning commands, such as auto-completion for activity titles and content assist for target names. A custom editor imitating the Java editor's features was created with an XML parser for experimenting purposes. The prototype editor minimized effort for redundant tasks and significantly improved the visual representation of XML syntax by highlighting keywords, coloring rules, folding projections, and providing hover assist, templates and an outline view of the code.

  14. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    A small-scaled model of NASA's Curiosity rover is seen at a public event observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  15. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) arrives at Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) arrives at Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  16. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane lifts the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle from its stand to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane lifts the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle from its stand to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  17. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane is in place to lift the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane is in place to lift the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  18. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - With help from workers, the overhead crane lowers the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - With help from workers, the overhead crane lowers the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  19. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The overhead crane settles the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The overhead crane settles the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  20. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane moves the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle across the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane moves the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle across the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  1. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility help guide the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility help guide the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  2. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions. Final Report, Feb. 1989 - Nov. 1990

    SciTech Connect

    El-genk, M.S.; Morley, N.J.

    1991-07-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems.

  3. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F.; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T.E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Haberle, R.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J.A.; Iagnemma, K.D.; Jolliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knoll, A.H.; Knudson, A.T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S.M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rice, M.S.; Schroder, C.; Soderblom, L.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R.J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date.

  4. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, J. W.; Bell, J. F.; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T. E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, R.; Golombek, M. P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Guinness, E. A.; Haberle, R. M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J. A.; Iagnemma, K. D.; Jolliff, B. L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Knoll, A. H.; Knudson, A. T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S. M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Parker, T. J.; Rice, M. S.; Schröder, C.; Soderblom, L. A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2011-02-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date.

  5. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F.; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T.E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Haberle, R.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J.A.; Iagnemma, K.D.; Jolliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knoll, A.H.; Knudson, A.T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S.M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rice, M.S.; Schroder, C.; Soderblom, L.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R.J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  6. Lunar rover navigation concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, James D.

    1993-01-01

    With regard to the navigation of mobile lunar vehicles on the surface, candidate techniques are reviewed and progress of simulations and experiments made up to now are described. Progress that can be made through precursor investigations on Earth is considered. In the early seventies the problem was examined in a series of relevant tests made in the California desert. Meanwhile, Apollo rovers made short exploratory sorties and robotic Lunokhods traveled over modest distances on the Moon. In these early missions some of the required methods were demonstrated. The navigation problem for a lunar traverse can be viewed in three parts: to determine the starting point with enough accuracy to enable the desired mission; to determine the event sequence required to reach the site of each traverse objective; and to redetermine actual positions enroute. The navigator's first tool is a map made from overhead imagery. The Moon was almost completely photographed at moderate resolution by spacecraft launched in the sixties, but that data set provides imprecise topographic and selenodetic information. Therefore, more advanced orbital missions are now proposed as part of a resumed lunar exploration program. With the mapping coverage expected from such orbiters, it will be possible to use a combination of visual landmark navigation and external radio and optical references (Earth and Sun) to achieve accurate surface navigation almost everywhere on the near side of the Moon. On the far side and in permanently dark polar areas, there are interesting exploration targets where additional techniques will have to be used.

  7. Mapping Venus: Modeling the Magellan Mission.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Doug

    1997-01-01

    Provides details of an activity designed to help students understand the relationship between astronomy and geology. Applies concepts of space research and map-making technology to the construction of a topographic map of a simulated section of Venus. (DDR)

  8. Mapping Venus: Modeling the Magellan Mission.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Doug

    1997-01-01

    Provides details of an activity designed to help students understand the relationship between astronomy and geology. Applies concepts of space research and map-making technology to the construction of a topographic map of a simulated section of Venus. (DDR)

  9. Instrument Deployment for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pedersen, Liam; Bualat, Maria; Kunz, C.; Lee, Susan; Sargent, Randy; Washington, Rich; Wright, Anne; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Future Mars rovers, such as the planned 2009 MSL rover, require sufficient autonomy to robustly approach rock targets and place an instrument in contact with them. It took the 1997 Sojourner Mars rover between 3 and 5 communications cycles to accomplish this. This paper describes the technologies being developed and integrated onto the NASA Ames K9 prototype Mars rover to both accomplish this in one cycle, and to extend the complexity and duration of operations that a Mars rover can accomplish without intervention from mission control.

  10. EXPLORING MARS WITH SOLAR-POWERED ROVERS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project landed two solar-powered rovers, "Spirit" and "Opportunity," on the surface of Mars in January of 2003. This talk reviews the history of solar-powered missions to Mars and looks at the science mission of the MER rovers, focusing on the solar energy and array performance.

  11. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  12. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The second stage of the Delta II rocket is raised off the transporter for its lift up the launch tower on Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be mated to the first stage in preparation for the launch of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-A). The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet’s past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for this first of NASA’s two Mars Exploration Rover missions is scheduled June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-28

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The second stage of the Delta II rocket is raised off the transporter for its lift up the launch tower on Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be mated to the first stage in preparation for the launch of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-A). The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet’s past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for this first of NASA’s two Mars Exploration Rover missions is scheduled June 5.

  13. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, answers a question at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  14. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  15. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Prasun Desai, acting director, Strategic Integration, NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  16. NASA Planetary Rover Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  17. An Update of the Ground Testing of the Li-ion Batteries in Support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2006-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration (>9 months), both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which have enabled operation for over 854 and 834 Sols of operation, respectively, to date. Given that the batteries were required to support the mission for 90 Sols of operation by design, it is significant that the batteries have demonstrated over a nine fold increase in life over mission objectives. In addition to supporting the surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays, the batteries were designed to aid in the launch and the EDL pyros, and allow for anomalies during cruise. In summary, the requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20 C to +30 C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted orientation, and support high current pulses (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit (RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 10 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The testing includes, (a) performing initial characterization tests (discharge capacity at different temperatures), (b) simulating the launch conditions, (c) simulating the cruise phase conditions (including trajectory correction maneuvers), (d) simulating the entry, decent, and landing (EDL) pulse load profile (required to support the pyros) (e) simulating the Mars surface operation mission simulation conditions, as well as, (f) assessing capacity loss and impedance characteristics as

  18. An Update of the Ground Testing of the Li-ion Batteries in Support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2006-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration (>9 months), both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which have enabled operation for over 854 and 834 Sols of operation, respectively, to date. Given that the batteries were required to support the mission for 90 Sols of operation by design, it is significant that the batteries have demonstrated over a nine fold increase in life over mission objectives. In addition to supporting the surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays, the batteries were designed to aid in the launch and the EDL pyros, and allow for anomalies during cruise. In summary, the requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20 C to +30 C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted orientation, and support high current pulses (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit (RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 10 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The testing includes, (a) performing initial characterization tests (discharge capacity at different temperatures), (b) simulating the launch conditions, (c) simulating the cruise phase conditions (including trajectory correction maneuvers), (d) simulating the entry, decent, and landing (EDL) pulse load profile (required to support the pyros) (e) simulating the Mars surface operation mission simulation conditions, as well as, (f) assessing capacity loss and impedance characteristics as

  19. Mission opportunity maps for rendezvous with earth-crossing asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Chen-Wan L.

    1989-01-01

    Rendezvous missions to earth-crossing asteroids are of interest to NASA, for scientific purposes as well as for technological applications and ecological implications. To provide a comprehensive data base for planners of such missions, a mission opportunity map (MOM) has been created for eight relatively easy-to-access asteroids. A MOM presents such mission data as launch dates, flight times, and launch and postlaunch delta V requirements for all useful mission opportunities. The merits of a MOM are: (1) searches for all useful mission oportunities are completed in the process of generating a MOM, and (2) a MOM provides a clear view of good and bad opportunities, the extent of performance variations, and the repeatability of the missions.

  20. Mission opportunity maps for rendezvous with earth-crossing asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, C.-W. L.

    1984-01-01

    Rendezvous missions for earth-crossing asteroids are of interest to NASA, for scientific purposes as well as for technological applications and ecological implications. To provide a comprehensive data base for planners of such missions, a mission opportunity map (MOM) has been created for eight relatively easy-to-access asteroids. A MOM presents such mission data as launch dates, flight times, and launch and postlaunch delta-V requirements for all useful mission opportunities. The merits of a MOM are: (1) searches for all useful mission opportunities are completed in the process of generating a MOM, and (2) a clear view of good and bad opportunities, the extent of performance variations, and the repeatability of the missions.

  1. Scooped Material on Rover Observation Tray

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-10-25

    Sample material from the fourth scoop of Martian soil collected by NASA Mars rover Curiosity is on the rover observation tray in this image taken during the mission 78th Martian sol, Oct. 24, 2012 by Curiosity left Navigation Camera.

  2. Field trial of a dual-wavelength fluorescent emission (L.I.F.E.) instrument and the Magma White rover during the MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Abstract We have developed a portable dual-wavelength laser fluorescence spectrometer as part of a multi-instrument optical probe to characterize mineral, organic, and microbial species in extreme environments. Operating at 405 and 532 nm, the instrument was originally designed for use by human explorers to produce a laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) spectral database of the mineral and organic molecules found in the microbial communities of Earth's cryosphere. Recently, our team had the opportunity to explore the strengths and limitations of the instrument when it was deployed on a remote-controlled Mars analog rover. In February 2013, the instrument was deployed on board the Magma White rover platform during the MARS2013 Mars analog field mission in the Kess Kess formation near Erfoud, Morocco. During these tests, we followed tele-science work flows pertinent to Mars surface missions in a simulated spaceflight environment. We report on the L.I.F.E. instrument setup, data processing, and performance during field trials. A pilot postmission laboratory analysis determined that rock samples acquired during the field mission exhibited a fluorescence signal from the Sun-exposed side characteristic of chlorophyll a following excitation at 405 nm. A weak fluorescence response to excitation at 532 nm may have originated from another microbial photosynthetic pigment, phycoerythrin, but final assignment awaits development of a comprehensive database of mineral and organic fluorescence spectra. No chlorophyll fluorescence signal was detected from the shaded underside of the samples.

  3. Where Boron? Mars Rover Detects It

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-13

    This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover (blue line) and locations where the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument detected the element boron (dots, colored by abundance of boron according to the key at right). The main map shows the traverse from landing day (Sol 0) in August 2012 to the rover's location in September 2016, with boron detections through September 2015. The inset at upper left shows a magnified version of the most recent portion of that traverse, with boron detections during that portion. Overlapping dots represent cases when boron was detected in multiple ChemCam observation points in the same target and non-overlapping dots represent cases where two different targets in the same location have boron. Most of the mission's detections of boron have been made in the most recent seven months (about 200 sols) of the rover's uphill traverse. The base image for the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up. The scale bar at lower right represents one kilometer (0.62 mile). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21150

  4. Enhanced Engineering Cameras (EECAMs) for the Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maki, J. N.; McKinney, C. M.; Sellar, R. G.; Copley-Woods, D. S.; Gruel, D. C.; Nuding, D. L.; Valvo, M.; Goodsall, T.; McGuire, J.; Litwin, T. E.

    2016-10-01

    The Mars 2020 Rover will be equipped with a next-generation engineering camera imaging system that represents an upgrade over the previous Mars rover engineering cameras flown on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission.

  5. A lunar L2-Farside exploration and science mission concept with the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and a teleoperated lander/rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, Jack O.; Kring, David A.; Hopkins, Joshua B.; Norris, Scott; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Kasper, Justin

    2013-07-01

    A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts aboard the Orion Crew Vehicle would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such a mission would serve as a first step beyond low Earth orbit and prove out operational spaceflight capabilities such as life support, communication, high speed re-entry, and radiation protection prior to more difficult human exploration missions. On this proposed mission, the crew would teleoperate landers/rovers on the unexplored lunar farside, which would obtain samples from the geologically interesting farside and deploy a low radio frequency telescope. Sampling the South Pole-Aitken basin, one of the oldest impact basins in the solar system, is a key science objective of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Observations at low radio frequencies to track the effects of the Universe's first stars/galaxies on the intergalactic medium are a priority of the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Such telerobotic oversight would also demonstrate capability for human and robotic cooperation on future, more complex deep space missions such as exploring Mars.

  6. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  7. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Sam Scimemi, director, NASA's International Space Station Program, speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  8. Science considerations for an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wychgram, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    A radar mapping mission to Venus is under consideration by NASA for the 1980s. The science objectives of the mission are to determine the geologic history of the planet; map the major topographic features and provide limited detailed geologic and terrain analysis of potential probe landing sites. Because of the thick Venusian atmosphere, a synthetic-aperture side-looking radar system has been selected as the most practical remote sensing instruments to use. Topographic data are the most useful for achieving the science goals of the mission. The radar system variables and mission parameters must be specified to maximize topographic data returns while being compatible with engineering and cost restraints. A baseline imaging resolution of 100 meters, with ability to obtain some higher-resolution coverage, is acceptable. Total planet coverage is desirable but the primary science objectives can be achieved if at least one entire hemisphere is imaged.

  9. The Magellan Venus radar mapping mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, R. S.; Pettengill, G. H.; Arvidson, R. E.; Sjogren, W. L.; Johnson, W. T. K.; Pieri, L.

    1990-06-01

    The NASA Magellan Venus Radar Mapper spacecraft, which will be placed into orbit around Venus on August 10, 1990, is described and its mission is discussed. The orbiter's 12-cm wavelength, multimode radar system is examined and the applications of its modes are addressed. In the SAR mode, it can image most of the Venus surface at a resolution of better than 300 m, approaching 120 m over more than half the planet. In the altimeter mode, the radar will determine topographic relief to a vertical accuracy of better than 50 m averaged over a surface resolution cell approximately 10 km in diameter. In the radiometer mode, the radar receiver can determine the surface radio emission brightness temperature with an absolute accuracy of 20 K, at a resolution of 2 K. The nature of the data products and the archiving plans are also considered.

  10. Mars Rover RTG Study

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1989-11-27

    This report summarizes the results of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) design study conducted by Fairchild Space Company at the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of the Mars Rover and Sample Return mission under investigation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Presented at the 40th Congress of the IAF, Oct. 7-13, 1989 in Torremolinos, Malaga-Spain. The paper describes the design and analysis of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for powering the Mars Rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). The RTG design study was conducted by Fairchild Space for the U.S. DOE in support of the JPL MRSR Project. The paper briefly describes a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and activity pattern on Mars, and its power system requirements and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. It summarizes the baseline RTG's mass breakdown, and presents a detailed description of its thermal, thermoelectric, and electrical analysis. The results presented show the RTG performance achievable with current technology, and the performance improvements that would be achievable with various technology developments. It provides a basis for selecting the optimum strategy for meeting the Mars Rover design goals with minimal programmatic risk and cost. Cross Reference CID #7135 dated 10/1989. There is a duplicate copy. This document is not relevant to the OSTI Library. Do not send.

  11. Test Rover Aids Preparations in California for Curiosity Rover on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-11

    NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission team members ran mobility tests on the test rover called Scarecrow on sand dunes near Death Valley, Ca. in early May 2012 in preparation for operating the Curiosity rover, currently en route to Mars.

  12. A Lunar L2-Farside Exploration and Science Mission Concept with the ORion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and a Teleoperated Lander/Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O.; Kring, David; Norris, Scott; Hopkins, Josh; Lazio, Joseph; Kasper, Justin

    2012-01-01

    A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such missions would validate the Orion MPCV's life support systems, would demonstrate the high-speed re-entry capability needed for return from deep space, and would measure astronauts' radiation dose from cosmic rays and solar flares to verify that Orion would provide sufficient protection, as it is designed to do. On this proposed mission, the astronauts would teleoperate landers and rovers on the unexplored lunar farside, which would obtain samples from the geologically interesting farside and deploy a low radio frequency telescope. Sampling the South Pole-Aitkin basin (one of the oldest impact basins in the solar system) is a key science objective of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Observations of the Universe's first stars/galaxies at low radio frequencies are a priority of the 2010 Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Such telerobotic oversight would also demonstrate capability for human and robotic cooperation on future, more complex deep space missions.

  13. A Lunar L2-Farside Exploration and Science Mission Concept with the ORion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and a Teleoperated Lander/Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O.; Kring, David; Norris, Scott; Hopkins, Josh; Lazio, Joseph; Kasper, Justin

    2012-01-01

    A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such missions would validate the Orion MPCV's life support systems, would demonstrate the high-speed re-entry capability needed for return from deep space, and would measure astronauts' radiation dose from cosmic rays and solar flares to verify that Orion would provide sufficient protection, as it is designed to do. On this proposed mission, the astronauts would teleoperate landers and rovers on the unexplored lunar farside, which would obtain samples from the geologically interesting farside and deploy a low radio frequency telescope. Sampling the South Pole-Aitkin basin (one of the oldest impact basins in the solar system) is a key science objective of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Observations of the Universe's first stars/galaxies at low radio frequencies are a priority of the 2010 Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Such telerobotic oversight would also demonstrate capability for human and robotic cooperation on future, more complex deep space missions.

  14. Opportunity Rover Nears Mars Marathon Feat

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-02-10

    In February 2015, NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is approaching a cumulative driving distance on Mars equal to the length of a marathon race. This map shows the rover position relative to where it could surpass that distance.

  15. A comparison of energy conversion systems for meeting the power requirements of manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas; Cataldo, Robert; Bloomfield, Harvey

    1990-01-01

    Several types of conversion systems of interest for a nuclear Mars manned application are examined, including: free-piston Stirling engines (FPSE), He/Xe closed Brayton cycle (CBC), CO2 open Brayton, and SiGe/GaP thermoelectric systems. Optimization studies were conducted to determine the impact of the conversion system on the overall mass of the nuclear power system and the mobility power requirement of the rover vehicle. The results of an analysis of a manned Mars rover equipped with a nuclear reactor power system show that the free-piston Stirling engine and the He/Xe closed Brayton cycle are the best available options for minimizing the overall mass and electric power requirements of the rover vehicle. While the current development of Brayton technology is further advanced than that of FPSE, the FPSE could provide approximately 13.5 percent lower mass than the He/Xe closed Brayton system. Results show that a specific mass of 160 is achievable with FPSE, for which the mass of the radiation shield (2.8 tons) is about half that for He/Xe CBC (5 tons).

  16. A comparison of energy conversion systems for meeting the power requirements of manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas; Cataldo, Robert; Bloomfield, Harvey

    1990-01-01

    Several types of conversion systems of interest for a nuclear Mars manned application are examined, including: free-piston Stirling engines (FPSE), He/Xe closed Brayton cycle (CBC), CO2 open Brayton, and SiGe/GaP thermoelectric systems. Optimization studies were conducted to determine the impact of the conversion system on the overall mass of the nuclear power system and the mobility power requirement of the rover vehicle. The results of an analysis of a manned Mars rover equipped with a nuclear reactor power system show that the free-piston Stirling engine and the He/Xe closed Brayton cycle are the best available options for minimizing the overall mass and electric power requirements of the rover vehicle. While the current development of Brayton technology is further advanced than that of FPSE, the FPSE could provide approximately 13.5 percent lower mass than the He/Xe closed Brayton system. Results show that a specific mass of 160 is achievable with FPSE, for which the mass of the radiation shield (2.8 tons) is about half that for He/Xe CBC (5 tons).

  17. Rover tracks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Tracks made by the Sojourner rover are visible in this image, taken by one of the cameras aboard Sojourner on Sol 3. The tracks represent the rover maneuvering towards the rock dubbed 'Barnacle Bill.' The rover, having exited the lander via the rear ramp, first traveled towards the right portion of the image, and then moved forward towards the left where Barnacle Bill sits. The fact that the rover was making defined tracks indicates that the soil is made up of particles on a micron scale.

    Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  18. Rover Tracks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-07

    Tracks made by the Sojourner rover are visible in this image, taken by one of the cameras aboard Sojourner on Sol 3. The tracks represent the rover maneuvering towards the rock dubbed "Barnacle Bill." The rover, having exited the lander via the rear ramp, first traveled towards the right portion of the image, and then moved forward towards the left where Barnacle Bill sits. The fact that the rover was making defined tracks indicates that the soil is made up of particles on a micron scale. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00633

  19. NASA OMG Mission Maps Sea Floor Depth off Greenland Coast

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-03-08

    This image shows a region of the sea floor off the coast of northwest Greenland mapped as part of NASA Oceans Melting Greenland OMG mission. The data shown here will be used to understand the pathways by which warm water can reach glacier edges.

  20. Parametric study of the factors affecting wheel slip and sinkage for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, J.; Kulchitsky, A. V.; Duvoy, P.; Arvidson, R. E.; Iagnemma, K.; Senatore, C.

    2013-12-01

    In 2004 two rovers landed on Mars to conduct scientific investigations of the Martian surface in an effort to better understand its surface geology, climate, and potential to support life. During the mission, both rovers experienced events of severe rover wheel sinkage and slip in the highly variable Martian regolith. Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity experienced high wheel slip and sinkage when it attempted to cross a series of wind-blown ripples. MER rover Spirit became immobilized after breaking through a soil crust into highly deformable poorly sorted sands. Events of MER rover wheel high-sinkage and slip make mobility difficult, creating challenges for rover drive planners and increasing the risk of ending a mission early due to a lack of rover mobility. The ARTEMIS (Adams- based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator) MER rover simulation tool was developed in an effort to improve the ability to simulate rover mobility on planetary surfaces to aid planning of rover drives and to extract a rover if it becomes embedded in soil [1]. While ARTEMIS has demonstrated its ability to simulate a wide variety of rover mobility scenarios using a library of empirically based terramechanics subroutines and high-resolution digital elevation maps of Mars, it has had less success at simulating the high-sinkage, high-slip conditions that pose the highest risk to rover mobility. To improve ARTEMIS's high-slip, high-sinkage terramechanics subroutines, the COUPi discrete element method (DEM) model of MER rover wheel motion under conditions of high-sinkage and slip is being used to examine the effects of soil particle size distribution (PSD), shape, and bulk density. DEM simulations of MER wheel digging tests and the resistance forces of penetrometers in soil have demonstrated the importance of particle shape and bulk density on soil strength [2, 3]. Simulations of the densification of particle beds as functions of the spread (ratio of largest to smallest

  1. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Closeout

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-11-10

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission rover, Curiosity, is prepared for final integration into the complete NASA spacecraft in this photograph taken inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

  2. Arusha Rover Deployable Medical Workstation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boswell, Tyrone; Hopson, Sonya; Marzette, Russell; Monroe, Gilena; Mustafa, Ruqayyah

    2014-01-01

    The NSBE Arusha rover concept offers a means of human transport and habitation during long-term exploration missions on the moon. This conceptual rover calls for the availability of medical supplies and equipment for crew members in order to aid in mission success. This paper addresses the need for a dedicated medical work station aboard the Arusha rover. The project team investigated multiple options for implementing a feasible deployable station to address both the medical and workstation layout needs of the rover and crew. Based on layout specifications and medical workstation requirements, the team has proposed a deployable workstation concept that can be accommodated within the volumetric constraints of the Arusha rover spacecraft

  3. Multi-resolution mapping using surface, descent and orbit images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, C.; Matthies, L.; Xiong, Y.; Li, R.; Ma, F.

    2001-01-01

    Our objective is to produce high-accuracy maps of the terrain elevation at landing sites on planetary bodies through the use of all available image data. These technologies are important for performing rover navigation in future space missions and the maps provide a tool for coordinating rovers in a robotic colony.

  4. Multi-resolution mapping using surface, descent and orbit images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, C.; Matthies, L.; Xiong, Y.; Li, R.; Ma, F.

    2001-01-01

    Our objective is to produce high-accuracy maps of the terrain elevation at landing sites on planetary bodies through the use of all available image data. These technologies are important for performing rover navigation in future space missions and the maps provide a tool for coordinating rovers in a robotic colony.

  5. Size Comparison: Three Generations of Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Full-scale models of three generations of NASA Mars rovers show the increase in size from the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder project that landed on Mars in 1997 (center), to the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed in 2004 (left), to the Mars Science Laboratory rover for a mission to land in 2010 (right).

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover is about 9 feet wide, 10 feet long (not counting its robotic arm) and 7 feet tall.

    This image was taken in May 2008 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which has built the real Mars rovers and managed the rover missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  6. Size Comparison: Three Generations of Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Full-scale models of three generations of NASA Mars rovers show the increase in size from the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder project that landed on Mars in 1997 (center), to the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed in 2004 (left), to the Mars Science Laboratory rover for a mission to land in 2010 (right).

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover is about 9 feet wide, 10 feet long (not counting its robotic arm) and 7 feet tall.

    This image was taken in May 2008 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which has built the real Mars rovers and managed the rover missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  7. Mars Rovers, Past and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muirhead, Brian K.

    2004-01-01

    This paper discusses the history of planetary rovers, including research vehicles, from the initial concepts in the early 1960's to the present. General characteristics and their evolution are discussed including mission drivers, technology limitations, controls approach, mobility and overall performance. Special emphasis is given to the next generation mission of rovers, the Mars Science Laboratory rover. This vehicle is being designed for a 2009 launch with the capability to operate over 80% of the surface of Mars for a full Martian year (687 days). It is designed to visit numerous sites, with a science payload capable of making measurements that will enable understanding the past or present habitability of Mars.

  8. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Next Target for Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image shows the area where the Sojourner rover is currently exploring. Having just investigated the Mermaid Dune, at left center, the rover is now heading toward the assemblage of large rocks at right.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and managed the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  11. Next Target for Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image shows the area where the Sojourner rover is currently exploring. Having just investigated the Mermaid Dune, at left center, the rover is now heading toward the assemblage of large rocks at right.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and managed the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  12. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Bio-Inspired Technologies and Systems (BITS) are a very natural result of thinking about Nature's way of solving problems. Knowledge of animal behaviors an be used in developing robotic behaviors intended for planetary exploration. This is the expertise of the JFL BITS Group and has served as a philosophical model for NMSU RioRobolab. Navigation is a vital function for any autonomous system. Systems must have the ability to determine a safe path between their current location and some target location. The MER mission, as well as other JPL rover missions, uses a method known as dead-reckoning to determine position information. Dead-reckoning uses wheel encoders to sense the wheel's rotation. In a sandy environment such as Mars, this method is highly inaccurate because the wheels will slip in the sand. Improving positioning error will allow the speed of an autonomous navigating rover to be greatly increased. Therefore, local navigation based upon landmark tracking is desirable in planetary exploration. The BITS Group is developing navigation technology based upon landmark tracking. Integration of the current rover architecture with a cerebellar neural network tracking algorithm will demonstrate that this approach to navigation is feasible and should be implemented in future rover and spacecraft missions.

  13. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Bio-Inspired Technologies and Systems (BITS) are a very natural result of thinking about Nature's way of solving problems. Knowledge of animal behaviors an be used in developing robotic behaviors intended for planetary exploration. This is the expertise of the JFL BITS Group and has served as a philosophical model for NMSU RioRobolab. Navigation is a vital function for any autonomous system. Systems must have the ability to determine a safe path between their current location and some target location. The MER mission, as well as other JPL rover missions, uses a method known as dead-reckoning to determine position information. Dead-reckoning uses wheel encoders to sense the wheel's rotation. In a sandy environment such as Mars, this method is highly inaccurate because the wheels will slip in the sand. Improving positioning error will allow the speed of an autonomous navigating rover to be greatly increased. Therefore, local navigation based upon landmark tracking is desirable in planetary exploration. The BITS Group is developing navigation technology based upon landmark tracking. Integration of the current rover architecture with a cerebellar neural network tracking algorithm will demonstrate that this approach to navigation is feasible and should be implemented in future rover and spacecraft missions.

  14. Geoscientific Mapping of Vesta by the Dawn Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaumann, R.; Pieters, C. M.; Neukum, G.; Mottola, S.; DeSanctis, M. C.; Russell, C. T.; Raymond, C. A.; McSween, H. Y.; Roatsch, T.; Nathues, A.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The geologic objectives of the Dawn Mission are to derive Vesta's shape, map the surface geology, understand the geological context and contribute to the determination of the asteroids' origin and evolution. Geomorphology and distribution of surface features will provide evidence for impact cratering, tectonic activity, volcanism, and regolith processes. Spectral measurements of the surface will provide evidence of the compositional characteristics of geological units. Age information, as derived from crater size-frequency distributions, provides the stratigraphic context for the structural and compositional mapping results into the stratigraphic context and thusrevealing the geologic history of Vesta.

  15. Mars Rover Missions and Science Education: A Decade of Education and Public Outreach Using the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubele, J. C.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2014-07-01

    New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science exhibits and educational programming related to the MER mission reached over two million museum visitors through exhibits and over 15,000 participants in targeted educational programs.

  16. The Clementine Mission: Initial Results from lunar mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spudis, P. D.; Shoemaker, E.; Acton, C.; Burratti, B.; Duxbury, T.; Baker, D.; Smith, D.; Blamont, J.; Davies, M.; Eliason, E.

    1994-01-01

    Clementine was a mission designed to test the space-worthiness of a variety of advanced sensors for use on military surveillance satellites while, at the same time, gathering useful scientific information on the composition and structure of the Moon and a near-Earth asteroid. Conducted jointly by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO, formerly the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization) of the US Department of Defense and NASA, Clementine was dispatched for an extended stay in the vicinity of Earth's moon on 25 January 1994 and arrived at the Moon on 20 February 1994. The spacecraft started systematic mapping on 26 February, completed mapping on 22 April, and left lunar orbit on 3 May. The entire Clementine project, from conception through end-of-mission, lasted approximately 3 years.

  17. Geochemical mapping of the lunar surface using laser-induced ion mass spectrometry from landers and rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funsten, H. O.; Elphic, R. C.; Blacic, J. D.; Borovsky, J. E.; McComas, D. J.; Nordholt, J. E.

    In-situ lunar geochemical assessment is essential when remotely prospecting for lunar resources or characterizing the mineralogy of a lunar site. We discuss a technique for lunar geochemical mapping from landed platforms using Laser-induced Ion Mass Spectrometry (LIMS). In this technique, a focused diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser on an lunar lander or rover vaporizes a thin layer of a soil or rock target located at a range of 1 to 100 m. The vapor is ionized through electron heating by inverse Bremsstrahlung, and the expanding plasma cloud contains information about the target composition. Ions in this plasma are analyzed using specialized time-of-flight ion mass spectrometry, providing detailed composition analysis of the lunar surface. In considering this technique, we discuss the effects on the ion trajectories of ambient electric and magnetic fields and present a high sensitivity, high mass-resolution mass spectrometer that is capable of detecting low atomic mass abundances, trace elements, and isotopic variations.

  18. Geochemical mapping of the lunar surface using laser-induced ion mass spectrometry from landers and rovers

    SciTech Connect

    Funsten, H.O.; Elphic, R.C.; Blacic, J.D.; Borovsky, J.E.; McComas, D.J.; Nordholt, J.E.

    1992-12-01

    In-situ lunar geochemical assessment is essential when remotely prospecting for lunar resources or characterizing the mineralogy of a lunar site. We discuss a technique for lunar geochemical mapping from landed platforms using Laser-induced Ion Mass Spectrometry (LIMS). In this technique, a focused diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser on an lunar lander or rover vaporizes a thin layer of a soil or rock target located at a range of 1 to 100 m. The vapor is ionized through electron heating by inverse Bremsstrahlung, and the expanding plasma cloud contains information about the target composition. Ions in this plasma are analyzed using specialized time-of-flight ion mass spectrometry, providing detailed composition analysis of the lunar surface. In considering this technique, we discuss the effects on the ion trajectories of ambient electric and magnetic fields and present a high sensitivity, high mass-resolution mass spectrometer that is capable of detecting low atomic mass abundances, trace elements, and isotopic variations.

  19. Geochemical mapping of the lunar surface using laser-induced ion mass spectrometry from landers and rovers

    SciTech Connect

    Funsten, H.O.; Elphic, R.C.; Blacic, J.D.; Borovsky, J.E.; McComas, D.J.; Nordholt, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    In-situ lunar geochemical assessment is essential when remotely prospecting for lunar resources or characterizing the mineralogy of a lunar site. We discuss a technique for lunar geochemical mapping from landed platforms using Laser-induced Ion Mass Spectrometry (LIMS). In this technique, a focused diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser on an lunar lander or rover vaporizes a thin layer of a soil or rock target located at a range of 1 to 100 m. The vapor is ionized through electron heating by inverse Bremsstrahlung, and the expanding plasma cloud contains information about the target composition. Ions in this plasma are analyzed using specialized time-of-flight ion mass spectrometry, providing detailed composition analysis of the lunar surface. In considering this technique, we discuss the effects on the ion trajectories of ambient electric and magnetic fields and present a high sensitivity, high mass-resolution mass spectrometer that is capable of detecting low atomic mass abundances, trace elements, and isotopic variations.

  20. A Classroom Martian Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Todd; Brown, Katrina

    2008-03-01

    Simulating actual space missions beyond computer programs is a challenge for school programs. NASA's current and highly successful Mars Exploration Rovers allows for a classroom equivalent to be made to provide an inexpensive and informative demonstration concerning the perils of extreme off road navigation by remote control. The classroom rover provides an additional opportunity for teachers to easily simulate the perils of alien terrain analysis, the need for stereo (3-D) vision as well as demonstrate the need for teamwork and advance planning. I used a mock Mars Rover in my introductory natural science course geared towards non-science majors at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. It provided a laboratory-like ending to my section about Solar System exploration.

  1. Autonomous Rovers for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Corin; Bresina, John; Golden, Keith; Smith, David E.; Smith, Trey; Washington, Richard; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Rovers will play a critical role in the exploration of Mars. Near-term mission plans call for long traverses over unknown terrain, robust navigation and instrument placement, and reliable operations for extended periods of time. Longer-term missions may visit multiple science sites in a single day and perform opportunistic science data collection, as well as complex scouting, construction, and maintenance tasks in preparation for an eventual human presence. The Pathfinder mission demonstrated the potential for robotic Mars exploration but at the same time indicated the need for more rover autonomy. The highly ground-intensive control with infrequent communication and high latency limited the effectiveness of the Sojourner rover. When failures occurred, Sojourner often sat idle for extended periods of time, awaiting further commands from earth. In future missions, the tasks will be more complex and extended; hence there will be even more situations where things do not go exactly as planned. Significant advances in rover autonomy are needed to cope with increasing task complexity and greater execution uncertainty. Towards this end, we have designed an on-board executive architecture that incorporates robust operation, resource utilization, and failure recovery. In addition, we have designed ground tools to produce and refine contingent schedules that take advantage of the on-board architecture's flexible execution characteristics. Together, the on-board executive and the ground tools constitute an integrated rover autonomy architecture. This work draws from our experience with the Deep Space One autonomy experiment, with enhancements to ensure robust operation in the face of the unpredictable, complex environment that the rover will encounter on Mars. The rover autonomy architecture is currently being developed and deployed on the Marsokhod rover platform at NASA Ames Research Center. The capabilities of the rover autonomy architecture to support autonomous

  2. United States planetary rover status: 1989

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pivirotto, Donna L. S.; Dias, William C.

    1990-01-01

    A spectrum of concepts for planetary rovers and rover missions, is covered. Rovers studied range from tiny micro rovers to large and highly automated vehicles capable of traveling hundreds of kilometers and performing complex tasks. Rover concepts are addressed both for the Moon and Mars, including a Lunar/Mars common rover capable of supporting either program with relatively small modifications. Mission requirements considered include both Science and Human Exploration. Studies include a range of autonomy in rovers, from interactive teleoperated systems to those requiring and onboard System Executive making very high level decisions. Both high and low technology rover options are addressed. Subsystems are described for a representative selection of these rovers, including: Mobility, Sample Acquisition, Science, Vehicle Control, Thermal Control, Local Navigation, Computation and Communications. System descriptions of rover concepts include diagrams, technology levels, system characteristics, and performance measurement in terms of distance covered, samples collected, and area surveyed for specific representative missions. Rover development schedules and costs are addressed for Lunar and Mars exploration initiatives.

  3. Rover 2

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-11-07

    In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the lander petals of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 MER-2 have been reopened and its solar panels deployed to allow technicians access to the spacecraft to remove one of its circuit boards.

  4. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are free of the tower (right) and ready for launch. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are free of the tower (right) and ready for launch. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  5. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch tower rolls back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for another launch attempt. The first two attempts, June 8 and June 9, were postponed due to weather concerns. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch tower rolls back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for another launch attempt. The first two attempts, June 8 and June 9, were postponed due to weather concerns. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  6. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The launch tower (right) on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, has been rolled back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload (left) in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-09

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The launch tower (right) on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, has been rolled back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload (left) in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  7. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload waits for rollback of the launch tower in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-09

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload waits for rollback of the launch tower in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  8. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch tower begins to roll back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for another launch attempt. The first two attempts were postponed due to weather concerns. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch tower begins to roll back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for another launch attempt. The first two attempts were postponed due to weather concerns. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  9. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Blue sky and sun give a dramatic backdrop for the launch of the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Blue sky and sun give a dramatic backdrop for the launch of the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  10. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Surrounded by smoke and steam, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload hurtles through it into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Surrounded by smoke and steam, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload hurtles through it into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  11. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - With smoke and steam billowing beneath, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload leaps off the launch pad into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - With smoke and steam billowing beneath, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload leaps off the launch pad into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  12. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload breaks forth from the smoke and steam into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload breaks forth from the smoke and steam into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25

  13. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload leaps off the launch pad into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload leaps off the launch pad into the blue sky to begin its journey to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  14. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Leaving smoke and steam behind, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload lifts off the pad on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Leaving smoke and steam behind, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload lifts off the pad on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  15. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Amid billows of smoke and steam, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload lifts off the pad on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Amid billows of smoke and steam, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload lifts off the pad on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  16. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch tower begins to roll back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-09

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch tower begins to roll back from the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  17. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-A) are ready for the third launch attempt after weather concerns postponed earlier attempts. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-A) are ready for the third launch attempt after weather concerns postponed earlier attempts. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  18. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload is viewed from under the launch tower as it moves away on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This will be a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-09

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload is viewed from under the launch tower as it moves away on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This will be a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  19. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The launch tower on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, clears the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-09

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The launch tower on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, clears the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  20. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are viewed as the launch tower overhead rolls back. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are viewed as the launch tower overhead rolls back. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  1. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are free of the tower and ready for launch. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are free of the tower and ready for launch. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  2. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are in the clear after tower rollback in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-09

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are in the clear after tower rollback in preparation for a second attempt at launch. The first attempt on June 8, 2003, was scrubbed due to bad weather in the vicinity. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  3. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are free of the tower and ready for launch. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket and its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload are free of the tower and ready for launch. This will be the third launch attempt in as many days after weather concerns postponed the launches June 8 and June 9. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  4. The Scale of Exploration: Planetary Missions Set in the Context of Tourist Destinations on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, L. V.; Bleacher, J. E.; Petro, N. E.; Mest, S. C.; Williams, S. H.

    2012-03-01

    What if the Apollo astronauts explored Washington, DC, or the Mars Exploration Rovers explored Disney World? We present educational versions of the traverse maps for Apollo and MER missions set in the context of popular tourist destinations on Earth.

  5. Mars dust mineralogy and structure obtained by a simple Mars rover instrumentation development - suggestions for future missions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nørnberg, Per

    2016-04-01

    Selective spectroscopic observations of the dust on the surface of Mars have neither been possible from Earth nor from orbiters as ESA, Mars Express or NASA, MRO. Even in surface soil sampling detailed chemical or mineralogical information about Martian dust cannot be separated from the soil. Remote spectroscopic data contain a mixture of mineralogical components which do not provide any specific information on the dust. Information about chemical composition and mineralogy of the Martian airborne dust was derived from APXS and Mössbauer data from the MER rovers by Goetz et al. (2005). This paper concluded that magnetite and not maghemite is the magnetic phase of the dust, and also that the presence of olivine indicates that liquid water did not play a dominant role in the formation of atmospheric dust. The dust is most likely formed by mechanical comminution comparable to the fine fractions of dust in dune sand on Earth (Nørnberg, P. 2002). Our Mars dust model operates with particles (2-3 μm) that inside consists of primary minerals which are either oxidized down to tenths of nm below the surface or have captured electrically charged nanoparticles of hematite on the surface giving the dust its red colour. Experiments done by Merrison, J.P. et al. ( 2010) showed that mechanical tumbling (abrasion)of a mixture of 10g quartz and 1 g magnetite in a dry process in a Martian atmosphere transformed magnetite to hematite. This experiment supports the dry comminution process indicated by Goetz et al (2005). The XRD analyses on the NASA, MSL are done on a mixture of soil material in which the dust accounts for only a minor part. However, if dust could have been captured separately from the atmosphere e.g. by magnets on the MSL and taken off by e.g. tape or another mechanism that could be transferred into the target holder of the XRD diffractometer on the rover, it could by Rietveld analyses have provided valuable quantitative information on the mineral content of the

  6. Mars Rover RTG Study

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1989-10-01

    Presented at the 40th Congress of the IAF, Oct. 7-13, 1989 in Torremolinos, Malaga-Spain. The paper describes the design and analysis of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for powering the Mars Rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). The RTG design study was conducted by Fairchild Space for the U.S. DOE in support of the JPL MRSR Project. The paper briefly describes a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and activity pattern on Mars, and its power system requirements and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. It summarizes the baseline RTG's mass breakdown, and presents a detailed description of its thermal, thermoelectric, and electrical analysis. The results presented show the RTG performance achievable with current technology, and the performance improvements that would be achievable with various technology developments. It provides a basis for selecting the optimum strategy for meeting the Mars Rover design goals with minimal programmatic risk and cost. There is a duplicate copy and three copies in the file.

  7. Dust Aerosol, Clouds, and the Atmospheric Optical Depth Record over 5 Mars Years of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Wolff, Michael J.; Bell, James F., III; Smith, Michael D.; Cantor, Bruce A.; Smith, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Dust aerosol plays a fundamental role in the behavior and evolution of the Martian atmosphere. The first five Mars years of Mars Exploration Rover data provide an unprecedented record of the dust load at two sites. This record is useful for characterization of the atmosphere at the sites and as ground truth for orbital observations. Atmospheric extinction optical depths have been derived from solar images after calibration and correction for time-varying dust that has accumulated on the camera windows. The record includes local, regional, and globally extensive dust storms. Comparison with contemporaneous thermal infrared data suggests significant variation in the size of the dust aerosols, with a 1 micrometer effective radius during northern summer and a 2 micrometer effective radius at the onset of a dust lifting event. The solar longitude (L (sub s)) 20-136 degrees period is also characterized by the presence of cirriform clouds at the Opportunity site, especially near LS = 50 and 115 degrees. In addition to water ice clouds, a water ice haze may also be present, and carbon dioxide clouds may be present early in the season. Variations in dust opacity are important to the energy balance of each site, and work with seasonal variations in insolation to control dust devil frequency at the Spirit site.

  8. Circuit Boards on Rover 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    April 15, 2003Prelaunch at Kennedy Space Center

    In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians remove one of the circuit boards on the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). To gain access to the spacecraft, its lander petals were reopened and its solar panels deployed. A concern arose during prelaunch testing regarding how the spacecraft interprets signals sent from its main computer to peripherals in the cruise stage, lander and small deep space transponder. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers set to launch in June 2003. The problem will be fixed on both rovers.

  9. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Jason Townsend, NASA's Deputy Social Media Manager, asks a question on behalf of a NASA Twitter follower at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  10. Anomalistic Disturbance Torques during the Entry Phase of the Mars Exploration Rover Missions: A Telemetry and Mars-Surface Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tolson, Robert H.; Willcockson, William H.; Desai, Prasun N.; Thomas, Paige

    2006-01-01

    Shortly after landing on Mars, post-flight analysis of the "Spirit" entry data suggested that the vehicle experienced large, anomalistic oscillations in angle-of-attack starting at about M=6. Similar analysis for "Opportunity " found even larger oscillations starting immediately after maximum dynamic pressure at M=14. Where angles-of-attack of 1-2 degrees were expected from maximum dynamic pressure to drogue deployment, the reconstructions suggested 4 to 9 degrees. The next Mars lander, 2007 Phoenix project, was concerned enough to recommend further exploration of the anomalies. Detailed analysis of "Opportunity" data found significant anomalies in the hypersonic aerodynamic torques. The analysis showed that these torques were essentially fixed in the spinning vehicle. Nearly a year after landing, the "Oportunity" rover took pictures of its aeroshell on the surface, which showed that portions of the aeroshell thermal blanket assembly still remained. This blanket assembly was supposed to burn off very early in the entry. An analysis of the aeroshell photographs led to an estimate of the aerodynamic torques that the remnants could have produced. A comparison of two estimates of the aerodynamic torque perturbations (one extracted from telemetry data and the other from Mars surface photographs) showed exceptional agreement. Trajectory simulations using a simple data derived torque perturbation model provided rigid body motions similar to that observed during the "Opportunity" entry. Therefore, the case of the anomalistic attitude behavior for the "Opportunity" EDL is now considered closed and a suggestion is put forth that a similar event occurred for the "Spirit" entry as well.

  11. A new planetary mapping for future space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karachevtseva, Irina; Kokhanov, Alexander; Rodionova, Janna; Zubarev, Anatoliy; Nadezhdina, Irina; Kreslavsky, Mikhail; Oberst, Jürgen

    2015-04-01

    The wide studies of Solar system, including different planetary bodies, were announced by new Russian space program. Their geodesy and cartography support provides by MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (http://mexlab.miigaik.ru/eng) in frames of the new project "Studies of Fundamental Geodetic Parameters and Topography of Planets and Satellites". The objects of study are satellites of the outer planets (satellites of Jupiter - Europa, Calisto and Ganymede; Saturnine satellite Enceladus), some planets (Mercury and Mars) and the satellites of the terrestrial planets - Phobos (Mars) and the Moon (Earth). The new research project, which started in 2014, will address the following important scientific and practical tasks: - Creating new three-dimensional geodetic control point networks of satellites of the outer planets using innovative photogrammetry techniques; - Determination of fundamental geodetic parameters and study size, shape, and spin parameters and to create the basic framework for research of their surfaces; - Studies of relief of planetary bodies and comparative analysis of general surface characteristics of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, as well as studies of morphometric parameters of volcanic formations on the Moon and Mars; - Modeling of meteoritic bombardment of celestial bodies and the study of the dynamics of particle emissions caused by a meteorite impacts; - Development of geodatabase for studies of planetary bodies, including creation of object catalogues, (craters and volcanic forms, etc.), and thematic mapping using GIS technology. The significance of the project is defined both by necessity of obtaining fundamental characteristics of the Solar System bodies, and practical tasks in preparation for future Russian and international space missions to the Jupiter system (Laplace-P and JUICE), the Moon (Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource), Mars (Exo-Mars), Mercury (Bepi-Colombo), and possible mission to Phobos (project Boomerang). For cartographic support of

  12. Mars Rover RTG Study

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1989-08-25

    This report summarizes the results of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) design study conducted by Fairchild Space Company at the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of SpecialApplications, in suppport of the Mars Rover and Sample Return mission under investigation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The report is a rearranged, updated, and significantly expanded amalgam of three interrelated papers presented at the 24th Intersocity Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC) at Arlington, Virginia, on August 10, 1989.

  13. Robotic Arm and Rover Actuator Systems for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, L.; Brawn, D.; Noon, D.

    1999-01-01

    Missions such as the Sojourner Rover, the Robotic Arm for Mars Polar Lander, and the 2003 Mars Rover, Athena, use numerous actuators that must operate reliably in extreme environments for long periods of time.

  14. Ground water applications of the heat capacity mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heilman, J. L.; Moore, D. G.

    1981-01-01

    The paper discusses the ground water portion of a hydrologic investigation of eastern South Dakota using data from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) satellite. The satellite carries a two-channel radiometer (0.5-1.1 and 10.5-12.5 microns) in a sun synchronous orbit and collects data at approximately 0230 and 1330 local standard time with repeat coverage of 5 to 16 days depending on latitude. It is shown that HCMM data acquired at appropriate periods of the diurnal and annual temperature cycle can provide useful information on shallow ground water.

  15. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission investigation no. 25 (Tellus project)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deparatesi, S. G. (Principal Investigator); Reiniger, P. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    The TELLUS pilot project, utilizing 0.5 to 1.1 micron and 10.5 to 12.5 micron day and/or night imagery from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission, is described. The application of remotely sensed data to synoptic evaluation of evapotranspiration and moisture in agricultural soils was considered. The influence of topography, soils, land use, and meteorology on surface temperature distribution was evaluated. Anthropogenic heat release was investigated. Test areas extended from semi-arid land in southern Italy to polders in the Netherlands, and from vine-growing hills in the Rhineland to grasslands in Buckinghamshire.

  16. Modeling and matching of landmarks for automation of Mars Rover localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jue

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, begun in January 2004, has been extremely successful. However, decision-making for many operation tasks of the current MER mission and the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission is performed on Earth through a predominantly manual, time-consuming process. Unmanned planetary rover navigation is ideally expected to reduce rover idle time, diminish the need for entering safe-mode, and dynamically handle opportunistic science events without required communication to Earth. Successful automation of rover navigation and localization during the extraterrestrial exploration requires that accurate position and attitude information can be received by a rover and that the rover has the support of simultaneous localization and mapping. An integrated approach with Bundle Adjustment (BA) and Visual Odometry (VO) can efficiently refine the rover position. However, during the MER mission, BA is done manually because of the difficulty in the automation of the cross-sitetie points selection. This dissertation proposes an automatic approach to select cross-site tie points from multiple rover sites based on the methods of landmark extraction, landmark modeling, and landmark matching. The first step in this approach is that important landmarks such as craters and rocks are defined. Methods of automatic feature extraction and landmark modeling are then introduced. Complex models with orientation angles and simple models without those angles are compared. The results have shown that simple models can provide reasonably good results. Next, the sensitivity of different modeling parameters is analyzed. Based on this analysis, cross-site rocks are matched through two complementary stages: rock distribution pattern matching and rock model matching. In addition, a preliminary experiment on orbital and ground landmark matching is also briefly introduced. Finally, the reliability of the cross-site tie points selection is validated by fault detection, which

  17. The geological mapping project of the Mars Express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ori, G. G.; di Iorio, A.

    2003-04-01

    The ESA mission Mars Express will send three instruments with geological mapping capability: HRSC, OMEGA, and MARSIS. The HRSC is a camera that will provide medium to high-resolution images (about 10m/pixel to 2m/pixel) in colour and stereo. OMEGA will provide maps of the surface mineralogy. MARSIS is a subsurface penetrating radar that will bring back data at depth in excess of 2000 metres. The data of Mars Express will provide a good opportunity to match different geological data sets including the subsurface geology. ESA through a peer-reviewed open competition has selected a project dealing with the geological mapping of the Mars Express data and their distribution in electronic formats. The aim of the project is to perform the geological mapping of the surface and subsurface data from HRSC, OMEGA, and MARSIS. The mapping operations will be coordinated by a scientific panel that will take care of the distribution among the scientific community of the tasks, the standardization of the geological nomenclature and of the interpretation of the data sets, and the evaluation and validation of the final products. The distribution of the tasks to the mapping teams will be done through a peer-reviewed process by the scientific panel. In order to have in Europe a community ready for such a kind of large-scale planetary project, a continuing educational programme is under way. This programme is financed by the Commission of the European Union, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. Short Courses, summer schools, and workshop have been organized in 2001 and 2002 and more will be held in the next two years. The response to this activity has been positive and the interested community has grown up to cover a large number of scientists from State members of the European Union and other European Countries. The current activity of the project deals with two tasks. The first one is to provide the proper electronic configurations and formats (hardware and

  18. What We Might Know About Gusev Crater if the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Mission were Coupled with a Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

    The science instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit have provided an enormous amount of chemical and mineralogical data during more than 1450 sols of exploration at Gusev crater. The Moessbauer (MB) instrument identified 10 Fe-bearing phases at Gusev Crater: olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, chromite, and magnetite as primary igneous phases and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx), goethite, hematite, a ferric sulfate, and pyrite/marcusite as secondary phases. The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) identified some of these Fe-bearing phases (olivine and pyroxene), non- Fe-bearing phases (e.g., feldspar), and an amorphous high-SiO2 phase near Home Plate. Chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) provided the framework for rock classification, chemical weathering/alteration, and mineralogical constraints. APXS-based mineralogical constraints include normative calculations (with Fe(3+)/FeT from MB), elemental associations, and stoichiometry (e.g., 90% SiO2 implicates opalline silica). If Spirit had cached a set of representative samples and if those samples were returned to the Earth for laboratory analysis, what value is added by Mars Sample return (MSR) over and above the mineralogical and chemical data provided by MER?

  19. Mapping Hydration with the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Pancam Instruments: Recent Results from Opportunity at Endeavour Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Melissa S.; Bell, James F., III; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Farrand, William H.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Rice, James W.; Ruff, Steven W.; Squyres, Steven W.; Wang, Alian

    2013-04-01

    Using the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Panoramic Camera (Pancam) instruments, we have developed a "hydration signature" for mapping H2O- and/or OH-bearing materials at Mars landing sites with multispectral visible to near-infrared (Vis-NIR) images. Pancam's 13 narrowband geology filters cover 11 unique wavelengths in the visible and near infrared (434 to 1009 nm) [1-2]. The hydration signature is based on a negative slope from 934 to 1009 nm [3] that characterizes the spectra of hydrated silica-rich rocks and soils observed by MER Spirit; this feature is likely due to the 2ν1 + ν3 H2O combination band and/or the 3νOH overtone centered near ~1000 nm, whose positions vary slightly depending on bonding to nearest-neighbor atoms [4]. The hydration signature is sensitive to many - but not all - hydrated minerals, including silica, gypsum and water ice. At Gusev Crater, the hydration signature is widespread along Spirit's traverse in the Columbia Hills, which adds to the growing body of evidence that aqueous alteration has played a significant role in the complex geologic history of this site [4]. At Meridiani Planum, the hydration signature is associated with a specific stratigraphic layer ("Smith") exposed within the walls of Victoria Crater [5], in addition to light-toned veins composed of calcium sulfate at Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater [6]. Recently, Opportunity has completed a traverse loop at Matijevic Hill at the southern end of Cape York and has encountered numerous small, light-toned, fracture-filling veins that may be indicative of fluid flow. Spectra of these veins are also consistent with hydrated materials, as are spectra of "Whitewater Lake" outcrops at Matijevic Hill, which may contain phyllosilicate minerals [7-8]. Here we also discuss limitations to the use of the hydration signature, which can give false detections under specific viewing geometries. For example, the Pancam calibration model assumes that the calibration target behaves as a

  20. Science Operations for Onboard Autonomous Rover Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estlin, T.; Castano, R.; Haldemann, A. F.; McHenry, M.; Bornstein, B.; Gaines, D.; Burl, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Powell, M.; Shu, I.; Farr, T.; Nesnas, I.; Jain, A.; Judd, M.

    2006-12-01

    Onboard autonomous science represents one means to balance the large amounts of scientific data that current and future rovers can acquire with the limited ability to download it to Earth. Several systems are under development to perform autonomous rover science. The use of such systems represents a departure from standard operations, which closely resemble batch tele-operation. It is important for the science operations team to understand the capabilities and limitations of the onboard system to effectively use the tool of autonomous onboard science to increase overall mission science return, however it is difficult for the science team to get a feel for the onboard system without hands on experience in an operational system setting. This past year, the OASIS (Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System) team has been working with the SOOPS (Science Operations On Planetary Surfaces) task to investigate how science returns for surface missions can be improved through the use of science autonomy. A limited version of OASIS was tested at the system level. The test involved a high-fidelity software simulation of a rover exploring a remote terrain using realistic operational interfaces. By using the simulation environment it is feasible to run many more experiments than testing with physical rover. Further, the simulation environment combined with the integrated operational system provides situational awareness for the science operations team along with greater flexibility and control over experiments to help answer "what if" questions that can lead to identifying the most effective ways to use the onboard system. In the tests, OASIS applied predetermined criteria provided by the scientists to prioritize which data collected during a traverse to send home, given specified bandwidth constraints. In addition, rock summary information (which requires very little bandwidth) was returned and provided as both a table and a map to the science team. We discuss the results

  1. Euclid Mission: Mapping the Geometry of the Dark Universe. Mission and Consortium Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, Jason

    2011-01-01

    Euclid concept: (1) High-precision survey mission to map the geometry of the Dark Universe (2) Optimized for two complementary cosmological probes: (2a) Weak Gravitational Lensing (2b) Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations (2c) Additional probes: clusters, redshift space distortions, ISW (3) Full extragalactic sky survey with 1.2m telescope at L2: (3a) Imaging: (3a-1) High precision imaging at visible wavelengths (3a-2) Photometry/Imaging in the near-infrared (3b) Near Infrared Spectroscopy (4) Synergy with ground based surveys (5) Legacy science for a wide range of in astronomy

  2. Euclid Mission: Mapping the Geometry of the Dark Universe. Mission and Consortium Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, Jason

    2011-01-01

    Euclid concept: (1) High-precision survey mission to map the geometry of the Dark Universe (2) Optimized for two complementary cosmological probes: (2a) Weak Gravitational Lensing (2b) Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations (2c) Additional probes: clusters, redshift space distortions, ISW (3) Full extragalactic sky survey with 1.2m telescope at L2: (3a) Imaging: (3a-1) High precision imaging at visible wavelengths (3a-2) Photometry/Imaging in the near-infrared (3b) Near Infrared Spectroscopy (4) Synergy with ground based surveys (5) Legacy science for a wide range of in astronomy

  3. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20°C to -1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle.

  4. Strategic Map for Enceladus Plume Biosignature Sample Return Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherwood, Brent; Yano, Hajime

    The discovery of jets emitting salty water from the interior of Saturn’s small moon Enceladus is one of the most astounding results of the Cassini mission to date. The measured presence of organic species in the resulting plume, the finding that the jet activity is valved by tidal stretching at apochrone, and the modeled lifetime of E-ring particles, all indicate that the textbook conditions for habitability are met at Enceladus today: liquid water, biologically available elements, and source of energy, longevity of conducive conditions. Enceladus may be the best place in our solar system to search for direct evidence of biomarkers, and the plume provides a way to sample for and even return them to Earth for detailed analysis. It is straightforward to imagine a Stardust-like, fly-through, plume particle and gas collection and return mission for Enceladus. An international team (LIFE, Life Investigation For Enceladus) has dedicated itself to pursuing such a flight project. Concept engineering and evaluation indicate that the associated technical, programmatic, regulatory, and cost issues are quite unlike the Stardust precedent however, not least because of such a mission’s Category-V, Restricted Earth Return, classification. The paper presents a strategic framework that systematically integrates the cultivation of science advocacy, resolution of diverse stakeholder issues, development of verifiable and affordable technical solutions, validation of cost estimation methods, alignment with other candidate astrobiology missions, complementarity of international agency goals, and finally the identification of appropriate research and flight-mission opportunities. Resolving and using this map is essential if we are to know the astrobiological state of Enceladus in our lifetime.

  5. Design issues for Mars planetary rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Gordon K. F.; Dejarnette, Fred R.; Walberg, Gerald D.

    1993-01-01

    The paper presents some of the design issues and vehicle requirements that need to be addressed for the Mars planetary rovers. Some of the designs currently being investigated, including the JPL rover, the Martin Marietta vehicle, and the French Space Agency's VAP project, are examined. The rover must satisfy such mission requirements as surveying the terrain, preparing the landing sites, loading and unloading components for base operations, and aiding in the recovery of in situ materials.

  6. Landing site rationality scaling for subsurface sampling on Mars—Case study for ExoMars Rover-like missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kereszturi, Akos

    2012-11-01

    Subsurface sampling will be important in the robotic exploration of Mars in the future, and this activity requires a somewhat different approach in landing site selection than earlier, surface analysis focused missions. In this work theoretical argumentation for the selection of ideal sites is summarized, including various parameters that were defined as examples for the earlier four candidate landing sites of Mars Science Laboratory. The aim here was to compare interesting sites; the decision on the final site does not affect this work. Analyzing the theoretical background, to identify ideal locations for subsurface analysis, several factors could be identified by remote sensing, including the dust and dune coverage, the cap layer distribution as well as the location of probable important outcrops. Beyond the fact that image based information on the rock hardness on Mars is lacking, more work would be also useful to put the interesting sites into global context and to understand the role of secondary cratering in age estimation. More laboratory work would be also necessary to improve our knowledge on the extraction and preservation of organic materials under different conditions. Beyond the theoretical argumentation mentioned above, the size and accessibility of possible important shallow subsurface materials were analyzed at the four earlier candidate landing sites of Mars Science Laboratory. At the sample terrains, interesting but inaccessible, interesting and sideward accessible, and interesting and from above accessible outcrops were identified. Surveying these outcrop types at the sample terrains, the currently available datasets showed only 3-9% of exposed strata over the entire analyzed area is present at Eberswalde and Holden crater, and individual outcrops have an average diameter between 100 and 400 m there. For Gale crater and Mawrth Valles region, these parameters were 46-35% of exposed strata, with an average outcrop diameter of ˜300 m. In the case

  7. Mare Imbrium Regolith and Rock Information Retrieved from Imaging Spectrometer and Panorama Cameras onboard the Yutu Rover of Chang'E 3 Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hao; Jin, Weidong; Yuan, Ye; Yang, Yazhou; Wang, Ziwei; Xiao, Long

    2014-11-01

    The Chang’E 3 mission successfully landed on the Mare Imbrium region on December 14, 2013 and deployed the Yutu Rover to roam near the Chang’E A Crater. Although the rover roamed just over 100 meters before its premature failure, its onboard visible and near-infrared (VisNIR) imaging spectrometer was able to collect 4 spectra at 4 different sites which are the first in-situ lunar surface spectra ever taken. The onboard panorama cameras (PCAM) also photographed large amount of surface features since the Apollo era and some images have clearly shown the lunar opposition effect. The VisNIR spectrometer spans the wavelength from 450 to 2395 nm with a step of 5 nm. By performing radiometric and photometric calibrations, the absolute reflectance are obtained and it is found that the in-situ spectra are much bighter than that of the same area measured by the M3 instrument. The in-situ spectra also have a much deeper 1 μm absorption feature than that of the M3 spectra measured remotely. We conjecture that such differences are caused by the fact that the lander’s descent engines must have blown away the top-most layers which are much more mature than the exposed underlying layers. A comparison of the continuum-removed in-situ spectra with that of the mineral spectral library gives the concentrations of major lunar rock-forming minerals including olivine, pyroxenes and plagioclase at these 4 different sites. The phase curve retrieved from the PCAM shows a strong opposition surge below 10-deg phase angle and the phase reddening effect. We attempt to retrieve the regolith physical properties using both the Hapke and Shkuratov photometric models. At a close distance the PCAM also captured high resolution images of a 4-meter across boulder at the edge of the Chang’E A Crater. Centimeter-sized bright clasts on its surface may indicate its basaltic nature. By comparing the VisNIR spectra of its nearby regoliths with that of the Apollo samples, we believe this boulder

  8. Rover concepts for lunar exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connolly, John F.

    1993-01-01

    The paper describes the requirements and design concepts developed for the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) and the follow-on lunar missions by the Human Planet Surface Project Office at the Johnson Space Center, which include inputs from scientists, technologists, operators, personnel, astronauts, mission designers, and program managers. Particular attention is given to the requirements common to all rover concepts, the precursor robotic missions, the FLO scenario and capabilities, and the FLO evolution.

  9. Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Brian; Hartman, Frank; Maxwell, Scott; Yen, Jeng; Wright, John; Balacuit, Carlos

    2005-01-01

    The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) is the software tool for use in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission for planning rover operations and generating command sequences for accomplishing those operations. RSVP combines three-dimensional (3D) visualization for immersive exploration of the operations area, stereoscopic image display for high-resolution examination of the downlinked imagery, and a sophisticated command-sequence editing tool for analysis and completion of the sequences. RSVP is linked with actual flight-code modules for operations rehearsal to provide feedback on the expected behavior of the rover prior to committing to a particular sequence. Playback tools allow for review of both rehearsed rover behavior and downlinked results of actual rover operations. These can be displayed simultaneously for comparison of rehearsed and actual activities for verification. The primary inputs to RSVP are downlink data products from the Operations Storage Server (OSS) and activity plans generated by the science team. The activity plans are high-level goals for the next day s activities. The downlink data products include imagery, terrain models, and telemetered engineering data on rover activities and state. The Rover Sequence Editor (RoSE) component of RSVP performs activity expansion to command sequences, command creation and editing with setting of command parameters, and viewing and management of rover resources. The HyperDrive component of RSVP performs 2D and 3D visualization of the rover s environment, graphical and animated review of rover-predicted and telemetered state, and creation and editing of command sequences related to mobility and Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) operations. Additionally, RoSE and HyperDrive together evaluate command sequences for potential violations of flight and safety rules. The products of RSVP include command sequences for uplink that are stored in the Distributed Object Manager (DOM) and predicted rover

  10. Aerokats and Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bland, G.; Miles, T.; Nagchaudhuri, A.; Henry, A.; Coronado, P.; Smith, S.; Bydlowski, D.; Gaines, J.; Hartman, C.

    2015-12-01

    Two novel tools are being developed for team-based environmental and science observations suitable for use in Middle School through Undergraduate settings. Partnerships with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center are critical for this work, and the concepts and practices are aimed at providing affordable and easy-to-field hardware to the classroom. The Advanced Earth Research Observation Kites and Atmospheric and Terrestrial Sensors (AEROKATS) system brings affordable and easy-to-field remote sensing and in-situ measurements within reach for local-scale Earth observations and data gathering. Using commercial kites, a wide variety of sensors, and a new NASA technology, AEROKATS offers a quick-to-learn method to gather airborne remote sensing and in-situ data for classroom analysis. The Remotely Operated Vehicle for Education and Research (ROVER) project introduces team building for mission operations and research, using modern technologies for exploring aquatic environments. ROVER projects use hobby-type radio control hardware and common in-water instrumentation, to highlight the numerous roles and responsibilities needed in real-world research missions, such as technology, operations, and science disciplines. NASA GSFC's partnerships have enabled the fielding of several AEROKATS and ROVER prototypes, and results suggest application of these methods is feasible and engaging.

  11. NASA Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Since August 2012, the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has been operating on the Martian surface. The primary goal of the MSL mission is to assess whether Mars ever had an environment suitable for life. MSL Science Team member Dr. Tim Olson will provide an overview of the rover's capabilities and the major findings from the mission so far. He will also share some of his experiences of what it is like to operate Curiosity's science cameras and explore Mars as part of a large team of scientists and engineers.

  12. Mars Exploration Rover 2 Fairing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the second half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) arrives at the top level, next to the first half of the fairing. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch on a Delta II rocket. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  13. Soil moisture applications of the heat capacity mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heilman, J. L.; Moore, D. G.

    1981-01-01

    Results are presented of ground, aircraft and satellite investigations conducted to evaluate the potential of the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) to monitor soil moisture and the depth of shallow ground water. The investigations were carried out over eastern South Dakota to evaluate the relation between directly measured soil temperatures and water content at various stages of canopy development, aircraft thermal scanner measurements of apparent canopy temperature and the reliability of actual HCMM data. The results demonstrate the possibility of evaluating soil moisture on the basis of HCMM apparent canopy temperature and day-night soil temperature difference measurements. Limitations on the use of thermal data posed by environmental factors which influence energy balance interactions, including phase transformations, wind patterns, topographic variations and atmospheric constituents are pointed out.

  14. Opportunity Mars Rover Mission: Overview and Selected Results from Leaving Purgatory Ripple to Traverses Toward Endeavour Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Athena Team

    2010-12-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the plains of Meridiani since January 25, 2004, acquiring remote sensing and in-situ observations of soils, cobbles, and bedrock, together with atmospheric observations. This paper provides an overview of discoveries between sols 511 (July 1, 2005) and 2300 (July 13, 2010), complementing a similar paper by Squyres et al., [2006] covering results from the initial phase of the mission. Use of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer to measure atmospheric argon shows the importance of the southern seasonal ice cap in controlling atmospheric dynamics, with inter-annual variations evident over the three Mars years of observations. The plains are partially covered by aeolian ripples produced by easterly winds during a previous epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation. During the current climatic regime, fine-grained particles continue to be reworked locally and trapped. Ripple surfaces are composed of basaltic sand mixed with varying amounts of dust and hematitic concretions. Cobbles examined by Opportunity include iron and stony iron meteorites and both sedimentary and basaltic impact ejecta. Hematite-rich deposits in fractures within ejecta from Concepcion crater, together with iron oxide deposits on meteorites, imply on-going aqueous alteration at low rates. Measurements of sulfate-rich rock strata within the walls of Erebus and Victoria craters provide compelling evidence of sand deposition by wind, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes. We continue to search for the lacustrine facies that would confirm or refute the hypothesis that the sands were produced in an acid-sulfate evaporitic environment. Rocks examined in the upper walls of Victoria and Endurance craters also show enrichment of Cl and a decrease in Mg and S with increasing depth. This pattern implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Opportunity has been traversing toward the rim of the 20 km wide Endeavour crater

  15. MEP (Mars Environment Package): toward a package for studying environmental conditions at the surface of Mars from future lander/rover missions.

    PubMed

    Chassefière, E; Bertaux, J-L; Berthelier, J-J; Cabane, M; Ciarletti, V; Durry, G; Forget, F; Hamelin, M; Leblanc, F; Menvielle, M; Gerasimov, M; Korablev, O; Linkin, S; Managadze, G; Jambon, A; Manhès, G; Lognonné, Ph; Agrinier, P; Cartigny, P; Giardini, D; Pike, T; Kofman, W; Herique, A; Coll, P; Person, A; Costard, F; Sarda, Ph; Paillou, Ph; Chaussidon, M; Marty, B; Robert, F; Maurice, S; Blanc, M; d'Uston, C; Sabroux, J-Ch; Pineau, J-F; Rochette, P

    2004-01-01

    In view to prepare Mars human exploration, it is necessary to promote and lead, at the international level, a highly interdisciplinary program, involving specialists of geochemistry, geophysics, atmospheric science, space weather, and biology. The goal of this program will be to elaborate concepts of individual instruments, then of integrated instrumental packages, able to collect exhaustive data sets of environmental parameters from future landers and rovers of Mars, and to favour the conditions of their implementation. Such a program is one of the most urgent need for preparing human exploration, in order to develop mitigation strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of human explorers, and minimizing risk for surface operations. A few main areas of investigation may be listed: particle and radiation environment, chemical composition of atmosphere, meteorology, chemical composition of dust, surface and subsurface material, water in the subsurface, physical properties of the soil, search for an hypothesized microbial activity, characterization of radio-electric properties of the Martian ionosphere. Scientists at the origin of the present paper, already involved at a high degree of responsibility in several Mars missions, and actively preparing in situ instrumentation for future landed platforms (Netlander--now cancelled, MSL-09), express their readiness to participate in both ESA/AURORA and NASA programs of Mars human exploration. They think that the formation of a Mars Environment working group at ESA, in the course of the AURORA definition phase, could act positively in favour of the program, by increasing its scientific cross-section and making it still more focused on human exploration. c2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  16. MEP (Mars Environment Package): toward a package for studying environmental conditions at the surface of Mars from future lander/rover missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chassefière, E.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Cabane, M.; Ciarletti, V.; Durry, G.; Forget, F.; Hamelin, M.; Leblanc, F.; Menvielle, M.; Gerasimov, M.; Korablev, O.; Linkin, S.; Managadze, G.; Jambon, A.; Manhès, G.; Lognonné, Ph.; Agrinier, P.; Cartigny, P.; Giardini, D.; Pike, T.; Kofman, W.; Herique, A.; Coll, P.; Person, A.; Costard, F.; Sarda, Ph.; Paillou, Ph.; Chaussidon, M.; Marty, B.; Robert, F.; Maurice, S.; Blanc, M.; d'Uston, C.; Sabroux, J.-Ch.; Pineau, J.-F.; Rochette, P.

    2004-01-01

    In view to prepare Mars human exploration, it is necessary to promote and lead, at the international level, a highly interdisciplinary program, involving specialists of geochemistry, geophysics, atmospheric science, space weather, and biology. The goal of this program will be to elaborate concepts of individual instruments, then of integrated instrumental packages, able to collect exhaustive data sets of environmental parameters from future landers and rovers of Mars, and to favour the conditions of their implementation. Such a program is one of the most urgent need for preparing human exploration, in order to develop mitigation strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of human explorers, and minimizing risk for surface operations. A few main areas of investigation may be listed: particle and radiation environment, chemical composition of atmosphere, meteorology, chemical composition of dust, surface and subsurface material, water in the subsurface, physical properties of the soil, search for an hypothesized microbial activity, characterization of radio-electric properties of the Martian ionosphere. Scientists at the origin of the present paper, already involved at a high degree of responsibility in several Mars missions, and actively preparing in situ instrumentation for future landed platforms (Netlander—now cancelled, MSL-09), express their readiness to participate in both ESA/AURORA and NASA programs of Mars human exploration. They think that the formation of a Mars Environment working group at ESA, in the course of the AURORA definition phase, could act positively in favour of the program, by increasing its scientific cross-section and making it still more focused on human exploration.

  17. Rover Team Decides: Safety First

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recorded this view while approaching the northwestern edge of 'Home Plate,' a circular plateau-like area of bright, layered outcrop material roughly 80 meters (260 feet) in diameter. The images combined into this mosaic were taken by Spirit's navigation camera during the rover's 746th, 748th and 750th Martian days, or sols (Feb. 7, 9 and 11, 2006).

    With Martian winter closing in, engineers and scientists working with NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit decided to play it safe for the time being rather than attempt to visit the far side of Home Plate in search of rock layers that might show evidence of a past watery environment. This feature has been one of the major milestones of the mission. Though it's conceivable that rock layers might be exposed on the opposite side, sunlight is diminishing on the rover's solar panels and team members chose not to travel in a counterclockwise direction that would take the rover to the west and south slopes of the plateau. Slopes in that direction are hidden from view and team members chose, following a long, thorough discussion, to have the rover travel clockwise and remain on north-facing slopes rather than risk sending the rover deeper into unknown terrain.

    In addition to studying numerous images from Spirit's cameras, team members studied three-dimensional models created with images from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Globel Surveyor orbiter. The models showed a valley on the southern side of Home Plate, the slopes of which might cause the rover's solar panels to lose power for unknown lengths of time. In addition, images from Spirit's cameras showed a nearby, talus-covered section of slope on the west side of Home Plate, rather than exposed rock layers scientists eventually hope to investigate.

    Home Plate has been on the rover's potential itinerary since the early days of the mission, when it stood out in images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera shortly after

  18. Rover Team Decides: Safety First

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recorded this view while approaching the northwestern edge of 'Home Plate,' a circular plateau-like area of bright, layered outcrop material roughly 80 meters (260 feet) in diameter. The images combined into this mosaic were taken by Spirit's navigation camera during the rover's 746th, 748th and 750th Martian days, or sols (Feb. 7, 9 and 11, 2006).

    With Martian winter closing in, engineers and scientists working with NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit decided to play it safe for the time being rather than attempt to visit the far side of Home Plate in search of rock layers that might show evidence of a past watery environment. This feature has been one of the major milestones of the mission. Though it's conceivable that rock layers might be exposed on the opposite side, sunlight is diminishing on the rover's solar panels and team members chose not to travel in a counterclockwise direction that would take the rover to the west and south slopes of the plateau. Slopes in that direction are hidden from view and team members chose, following a long, thorough discussion, to have the rover travel clockwise and remain on north-facing slopes rather than risk sending the rover deeper into unknown terrain.

    In addition to studying numerous images from Spirit's cameras, team members studied three-dimensional models created with images from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Globel Surveyor orbiter. The models showed a valley on the southern side of Home Plate, the slopes of which might cause the rover's solar panels to lose power for unknown lengths of time. In addition, images from Spirit's cameras showed a nearby, talus-covered section of slope on the west side of Home Plate, rather than exposed rock layers scientists eventually hope to investigate.

    Home Plate has been on the rover's potential itinerary since the early days of the mission, when it stood out in images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera shortly after

  19. Lunar rover developments at JPL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, James D.; Bickler, Donald B.; Pivirotto, Donna L.

    1990-01-01

    Results of previous JPL developments are summarized and the current work related to lunar roving missions is discussed. Objectives of a long lunar transverse are reviewed and include lunar resource prospecting and base site surveys. Rover design criteria are presented, noting that payload instrumentation would include both television cameras for driving and cameras producing panoramic facsimile for high-fidelity scientific imaging and landmark navigation, as well as a multipurpose imaging system with multispectral, close-up, and microscopic capabilities. Instrumentation providing for chemical and mineral analysis, a gravimeter, and a magnetometer are also important. Rover performance requirements include a capability to support a 50 kg payload mass with a rover mass of 500 to 600 kg, powering and supporting the payload, managing the on-board resources available to each instrument, and handling all of the mission data. Desert tests of lunar roving navigation and field geology are discussed.

  20. Mars 2001 Orbiter, Lander and Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars 2001 mission is well equipped to analyze the surface of Mars. The mission: 1) completes MO objectives with gamma ray spectrometer elemental mapping, 2) explores a new region of the Martian surface, and 3) is the first in the combined Mars strategy of the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) and Space Science Enterprises of NASA. The mission demonstrates technologies and collects environmental data that provide the basis for permanent outposts or a decision to send humans to Mars. Potential sites include ancient crust and ancient aqueous environments. The orbiter carries the gamma ray spectrometer, a thermal emission spectrometer (THEMIS) and imager that will map the mineral abundance at selected sites and a radiation experiment, Marie, to assess radiation hazards. The lander carries a suite of Space Science and HEDS instruments including a robotic arm with camera. The arm will deploy a Moessbauer spectrometer to determine the state of iron in the soil. The arm will deploy the rover and dig up to 0.5 m to deliver soil to MECA, the soil and dust characterization experiments. The Mars In Situ Propellant Precursor Experiment (MIP) will assess in situ propellant production technology and produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The landed Marie radiation experiment will assess radiation hazards on the surface. The lander carries a panoramic camera bore-sighted with a thermal emission spectrometer (PanCam/MiniTES) to allow comparison between mineralogical data and elemental data. The descent imaging system (MARDI) will image from parachute deployment to the surface. The rover is Sojourner class, with an upgraded Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) experiment carefully calibrated on Earth and on Mars. The instruments will be operated in an integrated mode to provide maximum capability to explore and characterize a new region on Mars. MSP-01 is a NASA/JPL Mission.

  1. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20C to -1C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection-Contamination-Habitability-Haughton Crater-Mars. Astrobiology

  2. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (−20°C to −1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12–18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection

  3. NASA Mars Rover Curiosity at JPL, Side View

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-04-06

    The rover for NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission, named Curiosity, is about 3 meters 10 feet long, not counting the additional length that the rover arm can be extended forward. The front of the rover is on the left in this side view.

  4. Measuring planetary field parameters by scattered cubes from the Husar-5 rover: educational space probe construction for a field work mission with great number of 5 cm sized sensorcube units launched from the rover.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, A.; Kocsis, A.; Gats, J.

    2015-10-01

    The Hunveyor-Husar project tries to keep step with the main trends in the space research, in our recent case with the so called MSSM (Micro Sized Space- Mothership) and NPSDR (Nano, Pico Space Devices and Robots). [1]Of course, we do not want to scatter the smaller probe-cubes from a mothership, but from the Husar rover, and to do it on the planetary surface after landing.

  5. Electrostatic Charging of the Pathfinder Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siebert, Mark W.; Kolecki, Joseph C.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission will send a lander and a rover to the martian surface. Because of the extremely dry conditions on Mars, electrostatic charging of the rover is expected to occur as it moves about. Charge accumulation may result in high electrical potentials and discharge through the martian atmosphere. Such discharge could interfere with the operation of electrical elements on the rover. A strategy was sought to mitigate this charge accumulation as a precautionary measure. Ground tests were performed to demonstrate charging in laboratory conditions simulating the surface conditions expected at Mars. Tests showed that a rover wheel, driven at typical rover speeds, will accumulate electrical charge and develop significant electrical potentials (average observed, 110 volts). Measurements were made of wheel electrical potential, and wheel capacitance. From these quantities, the amount of absolute charge was estimated. An engineering solution was developed and recommended to mitigate charge accumulation. That solution has been implemented on the actual rover.

  6. MSLICE Science Activity Planner for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark W.; Shams, Khawaja S.; Wallick, Michael N.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Crockett, Thomas M.; Fox, Jason M.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Kurien, James A.; McCurdy, Michael P.; Pyrzak, Guy; Aghevli, Arash; Bachmann, Andrew G.

    2009-01-01

    MSLICE (Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE) is the tool used by scientists and engineers on the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission to visualize the data returned by the rover and collaboratively plan its activities. It enables users to efficiently and effectively search all mission data to find applicable products (e.g., images, targets, activity plans, sequences, etc.), view and plan the traverse of the rover in HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) images, visualize data acquired by the rover, and develop, model, and validate the activities the rover will perform. MSLICE enables users to securely contribute to the mission s activity planning process from their home institutions using off-the-shelf laptop computers. This software has made use of several plug-ins (software components) developed for previous missions [e.g., Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Phoenix Mars Lander (PHX)] and other technology tasks. It has a simple, intuitive, and powerful search capability. For any given mission, there is a huge amount of data and associated metadata that is generated. To help users sort through this information, MSLICE s search interface is provided in a similar fashion as major Internet search engines. With regard to the HiRISE visualization of the rover s traverse, this view is a map of the mission that allows scientists to easily gauge where the rover has been and where it is likely to go. The map also provides the ability to correct or adjust the known position of the rover through the overlaying of images acquired from the rover on top of the HiRISE image. A user can then correct the rover s position by collocating the visible features in the overlays with the same features in the underlying HiRISE image. MSLICE users can also rapidly search all mission data for images that contain a point specified by the user in another image or panoramic mosaic. MSLICE allows the creation of targets, which provides a way for scientists to collaboratively name

  7. Installing SAM Instrument into Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-01-18

    In this photograph, technicians and engineers inside a clean room at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., position NASA Sample Analysis at Mars SAM above the mission Mars rover, Curiosity, for installing the instrument.

  8. Lowering SAM Instrument into Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-01-18

    In this photograph, technicians and engineers inside a clean room at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., position NASA Sample Analysis at Mars SAM above the mission Mars rover, Curiosity, for installing the instrument.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Rover, Airbags & Martian Terrain

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-04

    This picture from Mars Pathfinder was taken at 9:30 AM in the martian morning (2:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time), after the spacecraft landed earlier today (July 4, 1997). The Sojourner rover is perched on one of three solar panels. The rover is 65 cm (26 inches) long by 18 cm (7 inches) tall; each of its wheels is about 13 cm (5 inches) high. The white material to the left of the front of the rover is part of the airbag system used to cushion the landing. Many rocks of different of different sizes can be seen, set in a background of reddish soil. The landing site is in the mouth of an ancient channel carved by water. The rocks may be primarily flood debris. The horizon is seen towards the top of the picture. The light brown hue of the sky results from suspended dust. Pathfinder, a low-cost Discovery mission, is the first of a new fleet of spacecraft that are planned to explore Mars over the next ten years. Mars Global Surveyor, already en route, arrives at Mars on September 11 to begin a two year orbital reconnaissance of the planet's composition, topography, and climate. Additional orbiters and landers will follow every 26 months. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00608

  12. Quantifying mesoscale soil moisture with the cosmic-ray rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrisman, B.; Zreda, M.

    2013-06-01

    Soil moisture governs the surface fluxes of mass and energy and is a major influence on floods and drought. Existing techniques measure soil moisture either at a point or over a large area many kilometers across. To bridge these two scales we used the cosmic-ray rover, an instrument similar to the recently developed COSMOS probe, but bigger and mobile. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for mapping soil moisture over large areas using the cosmic-ray rover. In 2012, soil moisture was mapped 22 times in a 25 km × 40 km survey area of the Tucson Basin at 1 km2 resolution, i.e., a survey area extent comparable to that of a pixel for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite mission. The soil moisture distribution is dominated by climatic variations, notably by the North American monsoon, that results in a systematic increase in the standard deviation, observed up to 0.022 m3 m-3, as a function of the mean, between 0.06 and 0.14 m3 m-3. Two techniques are explored to use the cosmic-ray rover data for hydrologic applications: (1) interpolation of the 22 surveys into a daily soil moisture product by defining an approach to utilize and quantify the observed temporal stability producing an average correlation coefficient of 0.82 for the soil moisture distributions that were surveyed and (2) estimation of soil moisture profiles by combining surface moisture from satellite microwave sensors with deeper measurements from the cosmic-ray rover. The interpolated soil moisture and soil moisture profile estimates allow for basin-wide mass balance calculation of evapotranspiration, totaling 241 mm for the year 2012. Generating soil moisture maps with cosmic-ray rover at this intermediate scale may help in the calibration and validation of satellite campaigns and may also aid in various large scale hydrologic studies.

  13. Pressurized lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar

    1992-05-01

    The pressurized lunar rover (PLR) consists of a 7 m long, 3 m diameter cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, directional lighting, cameras, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The PLR shell is constructed of a layered carbon-fiber/foam composite. The rover has six 1.5 m diameter wheels on the main body and two 1.5 m diameter wheels on the trailer. The wheels are constructed of composites and flex to increase traction and shock absorption. The wheels are each attached to a double A-arm aluminum suspension, which allows each wheel 1 m of vertical motion. In conjunction with a 0.75 m ground clearance, the suspension aids the rover in negotiating the uneven lunar terrain. The 15 N-m torque brushless electric motors are mounted with harmonic drive units inside each of the wheels. The rover is steered by electrically varying the speeds of the wheels on either side of the rover. The PLR trailer contains a radiosotope thermoelectric generator providing 6.7 kW. A secondary back-up energy storage system for short-term high-power needs is provided by a bank of batteries. The trailer can be detached to facilitate docking of the main body with the lunar base via an airlock located in the rear of the PLR. The airlock is also used for EVA operation during missions. Life support is a partly regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center. The water absorbs any damaging radiation, allowing the command center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. Guidance, navigation, and control are supplied by a strapdown inertial measurement unit that works with the on-board computer. Star mappers provide periodic error correction.

  14. Pressurized Lunar Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; Mcclure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar

    1992-01-01

    The pressurized lunar rover (PLR) consists of a 7 m long, 3 m diameter cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, directional lighting, cameras, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The PLR shell is constructed of a layered carbon-fiber/foam composite. The rover has six 1.5 m diameter wheels on the main body and two 1.5 m diameter wheels on the trailer. The wheels are constructed of composites and flex to increase traction and shock absorption. The wheels are each attached to a double A-arm aluminum suspension, which allows each wheel 1 m of vertical motion. In conjunction with a 0.75 m ground clearance, the suspension aids the rover in negotiating the uneven lunar terrain. The 15 N-m torque brushless electric motors are mounted with harmonic drive units inside each of the wheels. The rover is steered by electrically varying the speeds of the wheels on either side of the rover. The PLR trailer contains a radiosotope thermoelectric generator providing 6.7 kW. A secondary back-up energy storage system for short-term high-power needs is provided by a bank of batteries. The trailer can be detached to facilitate docking of the main body with the lunar base via an airlock located in the rear of the PLR. The airlock is also used for EVA operation during missions. Life support is a partly regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center. The water absorbs any damaging radiation, allowing the command center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. Guidance, navigation, and control are supplied by a strapdown inertial measurement unit that works with the on-board computer. Star mappers provide periodic error correction. The PLR is capable of voice, video, and data transmission. It is equipped with two 5 W X-band transponder

  15. Targeting and Localization for Mars Rover Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark W.; Crockett, Thomas; Fox, Jason M.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Rabe, Kenneth J.; McCurdy, Michael; Pyrzak, Guy

    2006-01-01

    In this work we discuss how the quality of localization knowledge impacts the remote operation of rovers on the surface of Mars. We look at the techniques of localization estimation used in the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover missions. We examine the motivation behind the modes of targeting for different types of activities, such as navigation, remote science, and in situ science. We discuss the virtues and shortcomings of existing approaches and new improvements in the latest operations tools used to support the Mars Exploration Rover missions and rover technology development tasks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We conclude with future directions we plan to explore in improving the localization knowledge available for operations and more effective targeting of rovers and their instrument payloads.

  16. Launch Lock Mechanism for Resource Prospector Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamasy, Gabor J.; Smith, Jonathan D.; Mueller, Robert P.; Townsend, Ivan I., III

    2016-01-01

    The Resource Prospector Rover is being designed to carry the RESOLVE (Regolith Environment Science, and Oxygen Lunar Volatile Extraction) payload on a mission to the Moon to prospect for water ice. This is a joint project between KSC Swamp Works UB-R1 and JSC. JSC is building the Resource Prospector 2015 (RP15) rover and KSC designed and fabricated a Launch-Lock (LL) hold down mechanism for the rover. The LL mechanism will attach and support the rover on a Lunar Lander during launch and transit to the moon, then release the RP15 rover after touchdown on the lunar surface. This report presents the design and development of the LL mechanism and its unique features which make it suitable for this lunar exploration mission. An EDU (engineering development unit) prototype of the LL has been built and tested at KSC which is the subject of this paper.

  17. Targeting and Localization for Mars Rover Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark W.; Crockett, Thomas; Fox, Jason M.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Rabe, Kenneth J.; McCurdy, Michael; Pyrzak, Guy

    2006-01-01

    In this work we discuss how the quality of localization knowledge impacts the remote operation of rovers on the surface of Mars. We look at the techniques of localization estimation used in the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover missions. We examine the motivation behind the modes of targeting for different types of activities, such as navigation, remote science, and in situ science. We discuss the virtues and shortcomings of existing approaches and new improvements in the latest operations tools used to support the Mars Exploration Rover missions and rover technology development tasks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We conclude with future directions we plan to explore in improving the localization knowledge available for operations and more effective targeting of rovers and their instrument payloads.

  18. Autonomous Path Tracking Steering Controller for Extraterrestrial Terrain Exporation Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Sonsalla, Roland; Kirchner, Frank

    Extraterrestrial surface missions typically use a robotic rover platform to carry the science instrumentation (e.g.,the twin MER rovers). Due to the risks in the rover path (i.e. low trafficability of unrecognized soil patches), it is proposed in the FASTER footnote{\\url{https://www.faster-fp7-space.eu}} project that two rovers should be used. A micro scout rover is used for determining the traversability of the terrain and collaborate with a primary rover to lower the risk of entering hazardous areas. That will improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration. This paper presents the design and implementation of the path following controller for micro scout rover. The objective to synthesize a control law which allows the rover to autonomously follow a desired path in a stable manner. Furthermore, the software architecture controlling the rover and all its subsystems is depicted. The performance of the designed controller is discussed and demonstrated with realistic simulations and experiments, conclusions and an outlook of future work are also given. Key words: Micro Rover, Scout Rover, Mars Exploration, Multi-Rover Team, Mobile, All-Terrain, Hybrid-Legged Wheel, Path Following, Automatic Steer, nonlinear systems.

  19. Mission Statements--Rhetoric, Reality, or Road Map to Success?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeling, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Mission statements are expected elements of business plans and corporate communications. Yet, practice in creating them and monitoring their impact varies and skeptics wonder about their usefulness. A survey of business literature provides a context for school library mission statements. Mission statements define the nature, purpose, and role of…

  20. Mission Statements--Rhetoric, Reality, or Road Map to Success?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeling, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Mission statements are expected elements of business plans and corporate communications. Yet, practice in creating them and monitoring their impact varies and skeptics wonder about their usefulness. A survey of business literature provides a context for school library mission statements. Mission statements define the nature, purpose, and role of…

  1. A study of an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus. Volume 1: Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A preliminary design of a Venus radar mapping orbiter mission and spacecraft was developed. The important technological problems were identified and evaluated. The study was primarily concerned with trading off alternate ways of implementing the mission and examining the most attractive concepts in order to assess technology requirements. Compatible groupings of mission and spacecraft parameters were analyzed by examining the interaction of their functioning elements and assessing their overall cost effectiveness in performing the mission.

  2. Pathfinder Rover Atop Mermaid Dune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder Lander camera image of Sojourner Rover atop the Mermaid 'dune' on Sol 30. Note the dark material excavated by the rover wheels. These, and other excavations brought materials to the surface for examination and allowed estimates of mechanical properties of the deposits.

    NOTE: original caption as published in Science Magazine

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  3. Pathfinder Rover Atop Mermaid Dune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder Lander camera image of Sojourner Rover atop the Mermaid 'dune' on Sol 30. Note the dark material excavated by the rover wheels. These, and other excavations brought materials to the surface for examination and allowed estimates of mechanical properties of the deposits.

    NOTE: original caption as published in Science Magazine

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  4. Rover localization results for the FIDO rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baumgartner, E. T.; Aghazarian, H.; Trebi-Ollennu, A.

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a two-tier state estimation approach for NASA/JPL's FIDO Rover that utilizes wheel odometry, inertial measurement sensors, and a sun sensor to generate accurate estimates of the rover's position and attitude throughout a rover traverse.

  5. Design of a Mars Rover Mobility System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trunins, J.; Curley, A.; Osborne, B.

    Future space exploration requires close study of extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars. The Mars micro-rover proposal was configured to closely meet the requirements of scientists and budget criteria. Due to the hostility of the Martian environment a reliable mobility system must be integrated to the rover concept. This project demonstrates the feasibility of such a design drawing on current data. The design was governed by the operational lifespan of the vehicle, a period of one Martian year at latitude of 30 degrees. The project provides a step-by-step simulation of the rover's mobility system design. Furthermore the design provides and integrates all vital sub-systems required for successful operation of the Mars rover. A primary consideration during the design process of the rover was ease of integration with an array of different payloads. Potential payloads are constrained by the mass of 1067 g., space availability of 110 by 100 by 45 mm and the availability of power 85.4 W. Although only a conceptual design, this report summarises of all required design parameters for future rover development.Today Mars exploration is one of the most popular areas of research. Different methodologies are implemented accord- ingly to various mission requirements. Observation satellite use can give wide area cover, while surface landing probes give accurate details. Mobile vehicles allow achieving both, how- ever at a cost to pay. The mission that involves mobile rover is extremely costly and requires high reliability.The use of small size rovers will allow minimising expenditure on a project. The design of the multi-purpose rover with possibility to use different payloads will give higher mission safety. This will be achieved by utilisation of the same structure bus.This project will present preliminary studies for the concep- tual design of Mars micro rover mobility system. Furthermore, it will summarise the steps required for the rover sub-system architecture. It is proposed

  6. Antenna Designs for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spacecraft, Lander, and Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vacchione, Joseph; Thelen, Michael; Brown, Paula; Huang, John; Kelly, Ken; Krishnan, Satish

    2001-01-01

    This presentation focuses on the design of antennas for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Specific topics covered include: MER spacecraft architecture, the evolution of an antenna system, MER cruise stage antennas, antenna stacks, the heat-shield/back shell antenna, and lander and rover antennas. Additionally, the mission's science objectives are reviewed.

  7. International testing of a Mars rover prototype

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kemurjian, Alexsandr Leonovich; Linkin, V.; Friedman, L.

    1993-01-01

    Tests on a prototype engineering model of the Russian Mars 96 Rover were conducted by an international team in and near Death Valley in the United States in late May, 1992. These tests were part of a comprehensive design and testing program initiated by the three Russian groups responsible for the rover development. The specific objectives of the May tests were: (1) evaluate rover performance over different Mars-like terrains; (2) evaluate state-of-the-art teleoperation and autonomy development for Mars rover command, control and navigation; and (3) organize an international team to contribute expertise and capability on the rover development for the flight project. The range and performance that can be planned for the Mars mission is dependent on the degree of autonomy that will be possible to implement on the mission. Current plans are for limited autonomy, with Earth-based teleoperation for the nominal navigation system. Several types of television systems are being investigated for inclusion in the navigation system including panoramic camera, stereo, and framing cameras. The tests used each of these in teleoperation experiments. Experiments were included to consider use of such TV data in autonomy algorithms. Image processing and some aspects of closed-loop control software were also tested. A micro-rover was tested to help consider the value of such a device as a payload supplement to the main rover. The concept is for the micro-rover to serve like a mobile hand, with its own sensors including a television camera.

  8. Mars Exploration Rovers: 4 Years on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    This January, the Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" are starting their fifth year of exploring the surface of Mars, well over ten times their nominal 90-day design lifetime. This lecture discusses the Mars Exploration Rovers, presents the current mission status for the extended mission, some of the most results from the mission and how it is affecting our current view of Mars, and briefly presents the plans for the coming NASA missions to the surface of Mars and concepts for exploration with robots and humans into the next decade, and beyond.

  9. Autonomous Rock Tracking and Acquisition from a Mars Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maimone, Mark W.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Das, Hari

    1999-01-01

    Future Mars exploration missions will perform two types of experiments: science instrument placement for close-up measurement, and sample acquisition for return to Earth. In this paper we describe algorithms we developed for these tasks, and demonstrate them in field experiments using a self-contained Mars Rover prototype, the Rocky 7 rover. Our algorithms perform visual servoing on an elevation map instead of image features, because the latter are subject to abrupt scale changes during the approach. 'This allows us to compensate for the poor odometry that results from motion on loose terrain. We demonstrate the successful grasp of a 5 cm long rock over 1m away using 103-degree field-of-view stereo cameras, and placement of a flexible mast on a rock outcropping over 5m away using 43 degree FOV stereo cameras.

  10. Autonomous Rock Tracking and Acquisition from a Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark W.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Das, Hari

    1999-01-01

    Future Mars exploration missions will perform two types of experiments: science instrument placement for close-up measurement, and sample acquisition for return to Earth. In this paper we describe algorithms we developed for these tasks, and demonstrate them in field experiments using a self-contained Mars Rover prototype, the Rocky 7 rover. Our algorithms perform visual servoing on an elevation map instead of image features, because the latter are subject to abrupt scale changes during the approach. 'This allows us to compensate for the poor odometry that results from motion on loose terrain. We demonstrate the successful grasp of a 5 cm long rock over 1m away using 103-degree field-of-view stereo cameras, and placement of a flexible mast on a rock outcropping over 5m away using 43 degree FOV stereo cameras.

  11. The Mars Exploration Rover Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, S. W.

    2001-12-01

    In mid-2003 NASA will launch two identical rovers to Mars. The Mars Exploration Rovers will be delivered using cruise, entry, and landing systems with Mars Pathfinder heritage. After landing in January of 2004, the rovers will use their set of instruments -- the Athena Science Payload -- to test hypotheses for the presence of past water at two separate sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable for life. Particular emphasis will be placed on assessing environmental conditions at the time of water activity. The landing sites are being selected on the basis of community-wide study of orbital data collected by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and other missions. Possibilities include former lakebeds or hydrothermal deposits. The Athena Science Payload includes two mast-mounted remote-sensing instruments: a color stereo imager (Pancam) and a thermal emission infrared point spectrometer (Mini-TES). Mounted on the end of a five degree-of-freedom robotic arm are three more in-situ instruments: an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, a Mössbauer Spectrometer, and a Microscopic Imager. A Rock Abrasion Tool is also mounted on the arm, and will be used to remove the surface layers of rocks and expose underlying material for investigation. The rovers are substantially larger than Mars Pathfinder's Sojourner rover. They have substantial onboard autonomy capability, and can traverse many tens of meters per martian day. The combined capabilities of the MER rovers and the Athena payload will make these rovers the first robotic field geologists to operate on another planet.

  12. Robust Coordination for Large Sets of Simple Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian

    2006-01-01

    The ability to coordinate sets of rovers in an unknown environment is critical to the long-term success of many of NASA;s exploration missions. Such coordination policies must have the ability to adapt in unmodeled or partially modeled domains and must be robust against environmental noise and rover failures. In addition such coordination policies must accommodate a large number of rovers, without excessive and burdensome hand-tuning. In this paper we present a distributed coordination method that addresses these issues in the domain of controlling a set of simple rovers. The application of these methods allows reliable and efficient robotic exploration in dangerous, dynamic, and previously unexplored domains. Most control policies for space missions are directly programmed by engineers or created through the use of planning tools, and are appropriate for single rover missions or missions requiring the coordination of a small number of rovers. Such methods typically require significant amounts of domain knowledge, and are difficult to scale to large numbers of rovers. The method described in this article aims to address cases where a large number of rovers need to coordinate to solve a complex time dependent problem in a noisy environment. In this approach, each rover decomposes a global utility, representing the overall goal of the system, into rover-specific utilities that properly assign credit to the rover s actions. Each rover then has the responsibility to create a control policy that maximizes its own rover-specific utility. We show a method of creating rover-utilities that are "aligned" with the global utility, such that when the rovers maximize their own utility, they also maximize the global utility. In addition we show that our method creates rover-utilities that allow the rovers to create their control policies quickly and reliably. Our distributed learning method allows large sets rovers be used unmodeled domains, while providing robustness against

  13. Robust Coordination for Large Sets of Simple Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian

    2006-01-01

    The ability to coordinate sets of rovers in an unknown environment is critical to the long-term success of many of NASA;s exploration missions. Such coordination policies must have the ability to adapt in unmodeled or partially modeled domains and must be robust against environmental noise and rover failures. In addition such coordination policies must accommodate a large number of rovers, without excessive and burdensome hand-tuning. In this paper we present a distributed coordination method that addresses these issues in the domain of controlling a set of simple rovers. The application of these methods allows reliable and efficient robotic exploration in dangerous, dynamic, and previously unexplored domains. Most control policies for space missions are directly programmed by engineers or created through the use of planning tools, and are appropriate for single rover missions or missions requiring the coordination of a small number of rovers. Such methods typically require significant amounts of domain knowledge, and are difficult to scale to large numbers of rovers. The method described in this article aims to address cases where a large number of rovers need to coordinate to solve a complex time dependent problem in a noisy environment. In this approach, each rover decomposes a global utility, representing the overall goal of the system, into rover-specific utilities that properly assign credit to the rover s actions. Each rover then has the responsibility to create a control policy that maximizes its own rover-specific utility. We show a method of creating rover-utilities that are "aligned" with the global utility, such that when the rovers maximize their own utility, they also maximize the global utility. In addition we show that our method creates rover-utilities that allow the rovers to create their control policies quickly and reliably. Our distributed learning method allows large sets rovers be used unmodeled domains, while providing robustness against

  14. Mars Exploration Rover engineering cameras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maki, J.N.; Bell, J.F.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Kiely, A.; Klimesh, M.; Schwochert, M.; Litwin, T.; Willson, R.; Johnson, Aaron H.; Maimone, M.; Baumgartner, E.; Collins, A.; Wadsworth, M.; Elliot, S.T.; Dingizian, A.; Brown, D.; Hagerott, E.C.; Scherr, L.; Deen, R.; Alexander, D.; Lorre, J.

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission will place a total of 20 cameras (10 per rover) onto the surface of Mars in early 2004. Fourteen of the 20 cameras are designated as engineering cameras and will support the operation of the vehicles on the Martian surface. Images returned from the engineering cameras will also be of significant importance to the scientific community for investigative studies of rock and soil morphology. The Navigation cameras (Navcams, two per rover) are a mast-mounted stereo pair each with a 45?? square field of view (FOV) and an angular resolution of 0.82 milliradians per pixel (mrad/pixel). The Hazard Avoidance cameras (Hazcams, four per rover) are a body-mounted, front- and rear-facing set of stereo pairs, each with a 124?? square FOV and an angular resolution of 2.1 mrad/pixel. The Descent camera (one per rover), mounted to the lander, has a 45?? square FOV and will return images with spatial resolutions of ???4 m/pixel. All of the engineering cameras utilize broadband visible filters and 1024 x 1024 pixel detectors. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  15. Mars Exploration Rover Engineering Cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maki, J. N.; Bell, J. F.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Kiely, A.; Klimesh, M.; Schwochert, M.; Litwin, T.; Willson, R.; Johnson, A.; Maimone, M.; Baumgartner, E.; Collins, A.; Wadsworth, M.; Elliot, S. T.; Dingizian, A.; Brown, D.; Hagerott, E. C.; Scherr, L.; Deen, R.; Alexander, D.; Lorre, J.

    2003-12-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission will place a total of 20 cameras (10 per rover) onto the surface of Mars in early 2004. Fourteen of the 20 cameras are designated as engineering cameras and will support the operation of the vehicles on the Martian surface. Images returned from the engineering cameras will also be of significant importance to the scientific community for investigative studies of rock and soil morphology. The Navigation cameras (Navcams, two per rover) are a mast-mounted stereo pair each with a 45° square field of view (FOV) and an angular resolution of 0.82 milliradians per pixel (mrad/pixel). The Hazard Avoidance cameras (Hazcams, four per rover) are a body-mounted, front- and rear-facing set of stereo pairs, each with a 124° square FOV and an angular resolution of 2.1 mrad/pixel. The Descent camera (one per rover), mounted to the lander, has a 45° square FOV and will return images with spatial resolutions of ~4 m/pixel. All of the engineering cameras utilize broadband visible filters and 1024 × 1024 pixel detectors.

  16. Newest is Biggest: Three Generations of NASA Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Full-scale models of three generations of NASA Mars rovers show the increase in size from the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder project that landed on Mars in 1997 (center), to the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed in 2004 (left), to the Mars Science Laboratory rover for a mission to land in 2012 (right).

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover is about 9 feet wide, 10 feet long (not counting its robotic arm) and 7 feet tall.

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover will have a mass of about 875 kilograms (1,929 pounds), compared with 174 kilograms (384 pounds) for each of the Mars Exploration Rovers and with 11 kilograms (24 pounds) for Sojourner. The main reason for the growth is to carry a larger payload of science instruments: about 83 kilograms (183 pounds) for the Mars Science Laboratory rover compared with 16 kilograms (35 pounds) for the Mars Exploration Rover and 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) for Sojourner.

    This image was taken in May 2008 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which has built the real Mars rovers and managed the rover missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  17. Mission maps for use in the choice of specific impulse for manned Mars missions

    SciTech Connect

    Madsen, W.W.; Neuman, J.E.; Olson, T.S.; Siahpush, A.S.

    1991-01-01

    The choice of engine concept for the initial manned missions to Mars should be driven by what can be feasibly built and flight qualified in the near term, and by the level of engine performance that is required for these missions. This paper addresses how mission requirements affect the choice of specific impulse, and consequently what values of the specific impulse best serve these missions. Broad mission surveys and sensitivity studies were performed to determine the specific impulse values that allow for fast transfer times and wide launch windows. We find that a specific impulse of around 1000 to 1200 sec is sufficient. Choosing an engine concept that has a higher specific impulse value is not justified for these missions because the modest reduction in propellant requirements and further widening of the launch windows does not compensate for the substantially greater technical risk. 3 refs., 8 figs.

  18. Analytic investigation of the AEM-A/HCMM attitude control system performance. [Application Explorer Missions/Heat Capacity Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lerner, G. M.; Huang, W.; Shuster, M. D.

    1977-01-01

    The Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), scheduled for launch in 1978, will be three-axis stabilized relative to the earth in a 600-kilometer altitude, polar orbit. The autonomous attitude control system consists of three torquing coils and a momentum wheel driven in response to error signals computed from data received from an infrared horizon sensor and a magnetometer. This paper presents a simple model of the attitude dynamics and derives the equations that determine the stability of the system during both attitude acquisition (acquisition-mode) and mission operations (mission-mode). Modifications to the proposed mission-mode control laws which speed the system's response to transient attitude errors and reduce the steady-state attitude errors are suggested. Numerical simulations are performed to validate the results obtained with the simple model.

  19. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a crane is in place to lift the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A). The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a crane is in place to lift the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A). The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  20. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is lifted up the launch tower. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is lifted up the launch tower. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  1. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) reaches the top of the launch tower. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) reaches the top of the launch tower. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  2. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - After arriving at Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the second half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is lifted off its transporter. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - After arriving at Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the second half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is lifted off its transporter. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  3. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is moved inside the launch tower. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5..

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is moved inside the launch tower. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5..

  4. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is lifted off the transporter. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) is lifted off the transporter. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  5. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back at Launch Complex 17A to reveal a Delta II rocket ready to launch the Mars Exploration Rover-A mission. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-A, with the rover Spirit aboard, is scheduled to launch on June 8 at 2:06 p.m. EDT, with two launch opportunities each day during a launch period that closes on June 24.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-08

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back at Launch Complex 17A to reveal a Delta II rocket ready to launch the Mars Exploration Rover-A mission. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-A, with the rover Spirit aboard, is scheduled to launch on June 8 at 2:06 p.m. EDT, with two launch opportunities each day during a launch period that closes on June 24.

  6. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back at Space Launch Complex 17B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, to reveal the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle ready for launch of the Mars Exploration Rover-B (MER-B) mission, with the rover "Opportunity" aboard. The second of twin rovers being sent to Mars, it is equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow it to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-B is scheduled to launch on June 28 at one of two available times, 11:56:16 p.m. EDT or 12:37:59 a.m. EDT on June 29.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-28

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back at Space Launch Complex 17B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, to reveal the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle ready for launch of the Mars Exploration Rover-B (MER-B) mission, with the rover "Opportunity" aboard. The second of twin rovers being sent to Mars, it is equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow it to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-B is scheduled to launch on June 28 at one of two available times, 11:56:16 p.m. EDT or 12:37:59 a.m. EDT on June 29.

  7. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the second Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, is poised for launch after rollback of the Mobile Service Tower. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the second Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, is poised for launch after rollback of the Mobile Service Tower. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  8. Extreme Mapping: Looking for Water on the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    There are many challenges when exploring extreme environments. Gathering accurate data to build maps about places that you cannot go is incredibly complex. NASA supports scientists by remotely operating robotic rovers to explore uncharted territories. One potential upcoming mission is to look for water near a lunar pole (the Resource Prospector mission). Learn about the technical hurdles and research steps that NASA takes before the mission. NASA practices on Earth with Mission Analogs which simulate the proposed mission. This includes going to lunar-type landscapes, building field networks, testing out rovers, instruments and operational procedures. NASA sets up remote science back rooms just as there are for actual missions. NASA develops custom Ground Data Systems software to support scientific mission planning and monitoring over variable time delays, and separate commanding software and infrastructure to operate the rovers.

  9. Planning for rover opportunistic science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaines, Daniel M.; Estlin, Tara; Forest, Fisher; Chouinard, Caroline; Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recently set a record for the furthest distance traveled in a single sol on Mars. Future planetary exploration missions are expected to use even longer drives to position rovers in areas of high scientific interest. This increase provides the potential for a large rise in the number of new science collection opportunities as the rover traverses the Martian surface. In this paper, we describe the OASIS system, which provides autonomous capabilities for dynamically identifying and pursuing these science opportunities during longrange traverses. OASIS uses machine learning and planning and scheduling techniques to address this goal. Machine learning techniques are applied to analyze data as it is collected and quickly determine new science gods and priorities on these goals. Planning and scheduling techniques are used to alter the behavior of the rover so that new science measurements can be performed while still obeying resource and other mission constraints. We will introduce OASIS and describe how planning and scheduling algorithms support opportunistic science.

  10. THERMAL-INERTIA MAPPING IN VEGETATED TERRAIN FROM HEAT CAPACITY MAPPING MISSION SATELLITE DATA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watson, Ken; Hummer-Miller, Susanne

    1984-01-01

    Thermal-inertia data, derived from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) satellite, were analyzed in areas of varying amounts of vegetation cover. Thermal differences which appear to correlate with lithologic differences have been observed previously in areas of substantial vegetation cover. However, the energy exchange occurring within the canopy is much more complex than that used to develop the methods employed to produce thermal-inertia images. Because adequate models are lacking at present, the interpretation is largely dependent on comparison, correlation, and inference. Two study areas were selected in the western United States: the Richfield, Utah and the Silver City, Arizona-New Mexico, 1 degree multiplied by 2 degree quadrangles. Many thermal-inertia highs were found to be associated with geologic-unit boundaries, faults, and ridges. Lows occur in valleys with residual soil cover.

  11. Supporting Increased Autonomy for a Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Dan; Bornstein, Ben; Judd, Michele; Anderson, Robert C.; Nesnas, Issa

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an architecture and a set of technology for performing autonomous science and commanding for a planetary rover. The MER rovers have outperformed all expectations by lasting over 1100 sols (or Martian days), which is an order of magnitude longer than their original mission goal. The longevity of these vehicles will have significant effects on future mission goals, such as objectives for the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission (scheduled to fly in 2009) and the Astrobiology Field Lab rover mission (scheduled to potentially fly in 2016). Common objectives for future rover missions to Mars include the handling of opportunistic science, long-range or multi-sol driving, and onboard fault diagnosis and recovery. To handle these goals, a number of new technologies have been developed and integrated as part of the CLARAty architecture. CLARAty is a unified and reusable robotic architecture that was designed to simplify the integration, testing and maturation of robotic technologies for future missions. This paper focuses on technology comprising the CLARAty Decision Layer, which was designed to support and validate high-level autonomy technologies, such as automated planning and scheduling and onboard data analysis.

  12. Supporting Increased Autonomy for a Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Dan; Bornstein, Ben; Judd, Michele; Anderson, Robert C.; Nesnas, Issa

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an architecture and a set of technology for performing autonomous science and commanding for a planetary rover. The MER rovers have outperformed all expectations by lasting over 1100 sols (or Martian days), which is an order of magnitude longer than their original mission goal. The longevity of these vehicles will have significant effects on future mission goals, such as objectives for the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission (scheduled to fly in 2009) and the Astrobiology Field Lab rover mission (scheduled to potentially fly in 2016). Common objectives for future rover missions to Mars include the handling of opportunistic science, long-range or multi-sol driving, and onboard fault diagnosis and recovery. To handle these goals, a number of new technologies have been developed and integrated as part of the CLARAty architecture. CLARAty is a unified and reusable robotic architecture that was designed to simplify the integration, testing and maturation of robotic technologies for future missions. This paper focuses on technology comprising the CLARAty Decision Layer, which was designed to support and validate high-level autonomy technologies, such as automated planning and scheduling and onboard data analysis.

  13. First Astronaut- Rover Interaction Field Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kosmo, Joseph J.; Ross, Amy; Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2000-01-01

    The first Astronaut - Rover (ASRO) Interaction field test was conducted successfully on February 22-27, 1999, in Silver Lake, Mojave Desert, California in a representative planetary surface terrain. This test was a joint effort between the NASA Ames Research Center , Moffett Field, California and the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. As prototype advanced planetary surface space suit and rover technologies are being developed for human planetary surface exploration , it has been determined that it is important to better understand the potential interaction and benefits of an EVA astronaut interacting with a robotic rover . This interaction between an EVA astronaut and a robotic rover is seen as complementary and can greatly enhance the productivity and safety of surface excursions . This test also identified design requirements and options in an advanced space suit and robotic rover. The test objectives were: 1. To identify the operational domains where the EVA astronauts and rover are complementary and can interact and thus collaborate in a safe , productive and cost- effective way, 2. To identify preliminary requirements and recommendations for advanced space suits and rovers that facilitate their cooperative and complementary interaction, 3. To develop operational procedures for the astronaut-rover teams in the identified domains, 4. To test these procedures during representative mission scenarios during field tests by simulating the exploration of a planetary surface by an EVA crew interacting with a robotic rover, 5. To train a space suited test subject, simulated Earth-based and l or lander-based science teams, and robotic vehicle operators in mission configurations, and 6. To evaluate and understand socio-technical aspects of the astronaut - rover interaction experiment in order to guide future technologies and designs. Test results and areas for future research in the design of planetary space suits will be discussed .

  14. Viking '79 Rover study. Volume 1: Summary report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The results of a study to define a roving vehicle suitable for inclusion in a 1979 Viking mission to Mars are presented. The study focused exclusively on the 1979 mission incorporating a rover that would be stowed on and deployed from a modified Viking lander. The overall objective of the study was to define a baseline rover, the lander/rover interfaces, a mission operations concept, and a rover development program compatible with the 1979 launch opportunity. During the study, numerous options at the rover system and subsystem levels were examined and a baseline configuration was selected. Launch vehicle, orbiter, and lander performance capabilities were examined to ensure that the baseline rover could be transported to Mars using minimum-modified Viking '75 hardware and designs.

  15. Concept for coring from a low-mass rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul G.; Khatib, Oussama; Diaz-Calderon, Antonio; Warren, James; Collins, Curtis; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    Future Mars missions, such as the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, may benefit from core sample acquisition from a low-mass rover where the rover cannot be assumed to be stationary during a coring operation. Manipulation from Mars rovers is currently done under the assumption that the rover acts as a stationary, stable platform for the arm. An MSR mission scenario with a low-mass rover has been developed and the technology needs have been investigated. Models for alternative types of coring tools and tool-environment interaction have been developed and input along with wheel-soil interaction models into the Stanford Simulation & Active Interfaces (SAI) simulation environment to enable simulation of coring operations from a rover. Coring tests using commercial coring tools indicate that the quality of the core is a critical criterion in the system design. Current results of the models, simulation, and coring tests are provided.

  16. Concept for coring from a low-mass rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul G.; Khatib, Oussama; Diaz-Calderon, Antonio; Warren, James; Collins, Curtis; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    Future Mars missions, such as the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, may benefit from core sample acquisition from a low-mass rover where the rover cannot be assumed to be stationary during a coring operation. Manipulation from Mars rovers is currently done under the assumption that the rover acts as a stationary, stable platform for the arm. An MSR mission scenario with a low-mass rover has been developed and the technology needs have been investigated. Models for alternative types of coring tools and tool-environment interaction have been developed and input along with wheel-soil interaction models into the Stanford Simulation & Active Interfaces (SAI) simulation environment to enable simulation of coring operations from a rover. Coring tests using commercial coring tools indicate that the quality of the core is a critical criterion in the system design. Current results of the models, simulation, and coring tests are provided.

  17. Electric Propulsion Options for a Magnetospheric Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Russell, Chris; Hack, Kurt; Riehl, John

    1998-01-01

    The Twin Electric Magnetospheric Probes Exploring on Spiral Trajectories mission concept was proposed as a Middle Explorer class mission. A pre-phase-A design was developed which utilizes the advantages of electric propulsion for Earth scientific spacecraft use. This paper presents propulsion system analyses performed for the proposal. The proposed mission required two spacecraft to explore near circular orbits 0.1 to 15 Earth radii in both high and low inclination orbits. Since the use of chemical propulsion would require launch vehicles outside the Middle Explorer class a reduction in launch mass was sought using ion, Hall, and arcjet electric propulsion system. Xenon ion technology proved to be the best propulsion option for the mission requirements requiring only two Pegasus XL launchers. The Hall thruster provided an alternative solution but required two larger, Taurus launch vehicles. Arcjet thrusters did not allow for significant launch vehicle reduction in the Middle Explorer class.

  18. Unmanned lunar rovers: Utilization for exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plescia, J. B.; Lane, A. L.; Miller, D. P.

    1993-01-01

    A small lunar rover and its use for lunar exploration are described. Constraints on a rover mission in the fields of communications, power, speed, navigation/hazard avoidance, and operational time are discussed. The rover design concept consistent with the constraints is described. The instruments to be used, again constrained by mass and power requirements, are listed. Three mission objectives are examined: geological exploration; resource assessment; and a geotechnical survey. It was determined that a small rover, with a mass of less than 60 kg and which would be compatible with being carried on the first Artemis lunar lander, could be built and could accomplish significant scientific exploration or the collection of engineering information.

  19. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabrol, N. A.a; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.

    2005-01-01

    The Life In The Atacama (LITA) project develops and field tests a long-range, solarpowered, automated rover platform (Zo ) and a science payload assembled to search for microbial life in the Atacama desert. Life is barely detectable over most of the driest desert on Earth. Its unique geological, climatic, and biological evolution have created a unique training site for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the robotic search for life on Mars.

  20. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Desai, Prasun N.; Michelltree, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rover missions landed successfully on Mars surface in January of 2004. Both missions used a parachute system to slow the rover s descent rate from supersonic to subsonic speeds. Shortly after parachute deployment, the heat shield, which protected the rover during the hypersonic entry phase of the mission, was jettisoned using push-off springs. Mission designers were concerned about the heat shield recontacting the lander after separation, so a separation analysis was conducted to quantify risks. This analysis was used to choose a proper heat shield ballast mass to ensure successful separation with low probability of recontact. This paper presents the details of such an analysis, its assumptions, and the results. During both landings, the radar was able to lock on to the heat shield, measuring its distance, as it descended away from the lander. This data is presented and is used to validate the heat shield separation/recontact analysis.

  1. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Newly Deployed Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This 8-image mosaic was acquired during the late afternoon (near 5pm LST, note the long shadows) on Sol 2 as part of the predeploy 'insurance panorama' and shows the newly deployed rover sitting on the Martian surface. This color image was generated from images acquired at 530,600, and 750 nm. The insurance panorama was designed as 'insurance' against camera failure upon deployment. Had the camera failed, the losslessly-compressed, multispectral insurance panorama would have been the main source of image data from the IMP.

    However, the camera deployment was successful, leaving the insurance panorama to be downlinked to Earth several weeks later. Ironically enough, the insurance panorama contains some of the best quality image data because of the lossless data compression and relatively dust-free state of the camera and associated lander/rover hardware on Sol 2.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The IMP was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal investigator.

  3. Newly Deployed Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This 8-image mosaic was acquired during the late afternoon (near 5pm LST, note the long shadows) on Sol 2 as part of the predeploy 'insurance panorama' and shows the newly deployed rover sitting on the Martian surface. This color image was generated from images acquired at 530,600, and 750 nm. The insurance panorama was designed as 'insurance' against camera failure upon deployment. Had the camera failed, the losslessly-compressed, multispectral insurance panorama would have been the main source of image data from the IMP.

    However, the camera deployment was successful, leaving the insurance panorama to be downlinked to Earth several weeks later. Ironically enough, the insurance panorama contains some of the best quality image data because of the lossless data compression and relatively dust-free state of the camera and associated lander/rover hardware on Sol 2.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The IMP was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal investigator.

  4. Overview of the technical and scientific status of the EnMAP imaging spectroscopy mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guanter, L.; Segl, K.; Foerster, S.; Hollstein, A.; Kaufmann, H.; Rossner, G.; Chlebek, C.; Mueller, A.; Storch, T.; Sang, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) is a spaceborne imaging spectroscopy mission being developed by a consortium of German Earth observation institutions. EnMAP will contribute to the development and exploitation of spaceborne imaging spectroscopy applications by making high-quality data freely available to scientific users worldwide. The core payload of EnMAP consists of a dual-spectrometer instrument measuring in the optical spectral range between 420 and 2450 nm. EnMAP images will cover a 30 km wide area in the across-track direction with a ground sampling distance of 30 m. An across-track tilted observation capability will enable a target revisit time of up to 4 days at Equator and better at high latitudes. EnMAP is currently scheduled for launch in 2018, with an expected mission lifetime of 5 years. An overview of the main characteristics and current status of the mission will be provided in this contribution. Among others, this presentation will cover on-going activities such as the implementation of the EnMAP end-to-end scene simulator and the development of a collection of scientific algorithms to be made available to the user community as part of the EnMAP-BOX software. We will discuss the potential of the data acquired during the U.S. NASA Remote Measurement Science Campaign deployed for the preparation for the future HyspIRI mission as an input for on-going EnMAP activities.

  5. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as ``Rove First.`` A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  6. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as Rove First.'' A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  7. Terrain Modelling for Immersive Visualization for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, J.; Hartman, F.; Cooper, B.; Maxwell, S.; Yen, J.; Morrison, J.

    2004-01-01

    Immersive environments are being used to support mission operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This technology contributed to the Mars Pathfinder Mission in planning sorties for the Sojourner rover and is being used for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. The stereo imagery captured by the rovers is used to create 3D terrain models, which can be viewed from any angle, to provide a powerful and information rich immersive visualization experience. These technologies contributed heavily to both the mission success and the phenomenal level of public outreach achieved by Mars Pathfinder and MER. This paper will review the utilization of terrain modelling for immersive environments in support of MER.

  8. Rover, airbags, & surrounding rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of the Martian surface was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) before sunset on July 4 (Sol 1), the spacecraft's first day on Mars. The airbags have been partially retracted, and portions the petal holding the undeployed rover Sojourner can be seen at lower left. The rock in the center of the image may be a future target for chemical analysis. The soil in the foreground has been disturbed by the movement of the airbags as they retracted.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.

  9. Automated Targeting for the MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Gaines, Daniel; de Granville, Charles; Thompson, David; Burl, Michael; Chien, Steve; Judd, Michele

    2009-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science System (AEGIS) will soon provide automated targeting for remote sensing instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, which currently which currently has two rovers exploring the surface of Mars. Currently, targets for rover remote-sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission ChemCam Spectrometer), must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. AEGIS enables the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. In this paper, we first provide some background information on the larger autonomous science framework in which AEGIS was developed. We then describe how AEGIS was specifically developed and tested on the JPL FIDO rover. Finally we discuss how AEGIS will be uploaded and used on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission in early 2009.

  10. Using SFOC to fly the Magellan Venus mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bucher, Allen W.; Leonard, Robert E., Jr.; Short, Owen G.

    1993-01-01

    Traditionally, spacecraft flight operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been performed by teams of spacecraft experts utilizing ground software designed specifically for the current mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory set out to reduce the cost of spacecraft mission operations by designing ground data processing software that could be used by multiple spacecraft missions, either sequentially or concurrently. The Space Flight Operations Center (SFOC) System was developed to provide the ground data system capabilities needed to monitor several spacecraft simultaneously and provide enough flexibility to meet the specific needs of individual projects. The Magellan Spacecraft Team utilizes the SFOC hardware and software designed for engineering telemetry analysis, both real-time and non-real-time. The flexibility of the SFOC System has allowed the spacecraft team to integrate their own tools with SFOC tools to perform the tasks required to operate a spacecraft mission. This paper describes how the Magellan Spacecraft Team is utilizing the SFOC System in conjunction with their own software tools to perform the required tasks of spacecraft event monitoring as well as engineering data analysis and trending.

  11. Magellan - Early results from the Venus mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1991-01-01

    Some results obtained with the Magellan Venus Radar Mapper are presented. Mapping was initiated on October 26, 1990 and has completed over 714 orbits of image data, covering 40 percent of the surface of Venus. Mapping began at 330 deg east longitude, mapping from the north pole to about 78 deg south latitude. Included are the regions of Ishtar Terra, Sedna, Guinevere and Lavinia Planitiae, and Lada Terra. Features discernable from the mapping include high and lowland plains, evidence of volcanic activity, and impact craters from 6 km to over 50 km across. Some Magellan scientific discoveries are listed, including evidence of a predominant role of ballistic volcanism, extensive and intensive tectonics, a moderate rate of volcanic and tectonic resurfacing, and a low rate of weathering and wind erosion. Other discoveries concerning techntonics, volcanism, impact cratering, and exogenous resurfacing are also listed. Magellan image coverage is discussed, and a chronology of the development of VOIR and Magellan is provided.

  12. The Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (J-MAPS) Mission: Introduction and Science Goals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaume, Ralph A., Jr.; Dorland, B.; Hennessy, G.; Dudik, R.; Bartlett, J.; Dugan, Z.; Zacharias, N.; Johnston, K.; Makarov, V.

    2009-01-01

    The Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (J-MAPS) mission is a small, space-based, all-sky visible wavelength astrometric and photometric survey for 2nd through 15th magnitude stars with a 2012 launch goal. The primary mission goal for J-MAPS is the generation of a nearly 40 million star astrometric catalog with better than 1 milliarcsecond positional accuracy, and photometry to the 1% accuracy level, or better. A 1-mas (or better) all-sky survey will have a significant impact on our current understanding of galactic and stellar astrophysics. J-MAPS will impact our understanding of the origins of nearby young stars, provide insight into the dynamics of star formation regions and associations, investigate the dynamics and membership of nearby open clusters, and discover the smallest brown dwarfs at distances up to 5pc after a 2 year mission, and Jupiter-like planets out to 3pc after 4 years. J-MAPS will provide critical milliarcsecond level parallaxes of tens of millions of stars in the difficult 8-15th magnitude range, which when combined with stellar spectroscopy and relative radii determined from exoplanet transit surveys, allows a determination of stellar radii and exoplanet densities. In addition, the 20 year baseline between the groundbreaking Hipparcos mission and the J-MAPS mission allows the combination of J-MAPS and Hipparcos catalogs to produce common proper motions on the order of 50-100 microarcseconds per year.

  13. The Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (J-MAPS) Mission: Introduction and Science Goals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaume, Ralph A., Jr.; Dorland, B.; Hennessy, G.; Dudik, R.; Barrett, P.; Dugan, Z.; Veillette, D.; Dieck, C.; Bartlett, J.; Zacharias, N.; Johnston, K.; Makarov, V.

    2009-05-01

    J-MAPS is a small, funded, space-based, all-sky visible wavelength astrometric and photometric survey mission for 0th through 14th V-band magnitude stars with a 2012 launch. The primary objective of the J-MAPS mission is the generation of an astrometric star catalog with better than 1 milliarcsecond positional accuracy and photometry to the 1 percent accuracy level or better for 1st to 12th mag stars. A 1-mas all-sky survey will have a significant impact on our current understanding of galactic and stellar astrophysics. J-MAPS will improve our understanding of the origins of nearby young stars, provide insight into the dynamics of star formation regions and associations, investigate the dynamics and membership of nearby open clusters, and discover the smallest brown dwarfs at distances up to 5 pc after a 2-year mission, and Jupiter-like planets out to 3 pc after 4 years. J-MAPS will provide critical milliarcsecond-level parallaxes of tens of millions of stars in the difficult 8-14th magnitude range, which when combined with stellar spectroscopy and relative radii determined from exoplanet transit surveys, allows a determination of stellar radii and exoplanet densities. In addition, the 20-year baseline between the groundbreaking Hipparcos mission and the J-MAPS mission allows a combination of the J-MAPS and Hipparcos catalogs to produce common proper motions on the order of 50-100 microarcseconds per year.

  14. Rover Pre-Turn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image shows the view from the front hazard avoidance cameras on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit before the rover begins a crucial 3-point turn to face in a west direction and roll off the lander.

  15. Opportunity Rover Full Marathon-Length Traverse

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-03-24

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, working on Mars since January 2004, passed marathon distance in total driving on March 24, 2015, during the mission's 3,968th Martian day, or sol. A drive of 153 feet (46.5 meters) on Sol 3968 brought Opportunity's total odometry to 26.221 miles (42.198 kilometers). Olympic marathon distance is 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometers). The gold line on this image shows Opportunity's route from the landing site inside Eagle Crater, in upper left, to its location after the Sol 3968 drive. The mission has been investigating on the western rim of Endeavour Crater since August 2011. This crater spans about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. The mapped area is all within the Meridiani Planum region of equatorial Mars, which was chosen as Opportunity's landing area because of earlier detection of the mineral hematite from orbit. North is up. The base image for the map is a mosaic of images taken by the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19154

  16. Mars Sample Return mission: Two alternate scenarios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Two scenarios for accomplishing a Mars Sample Return mission are presented herein. Mission A is a low cost, low mass scenario, while Mission B is a high technology, high science alternative. Mission A begins with the launch of one Titan IV rocket with a Centaur G' upper stage. The Centaur performs the trans-Mars injection burn and is then released. The payload consists of two lander packages and the Orbital Transfer Vehicle, which is responsible for supporting the landers during launch and interplanetary cruise. After descending to the surface, the landers deploy small, local rovers to collect samples. Mission B starts with 4 Titan IV launches, used to place the parts of the Planetary Transfer Vehicle (PTV) into orbit. The fourth launch payload is able to move to assemble the entire vehicle by simple docking routines. Once complete, the PTV begins a low thrust trajectory out from low Earth orbit, through interplanetary space, and into low Martian orbit. It deploys a communication satellite into a 1/2 sol orbit and then releases the lander package at 500 km altitude. The lander package contains the lander, the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), two lighter than air rovers (called Aereons), and one conventional land rover. The entire package is contained with a biconic aeroshell. After release from the PTV, the lander package descends to the surface, where all three rovers are released to collect samples and map the terrain.

  17. Rover Panorama Taken Amid Murray Buttes on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-10-03

    Original Caption Released with Image: This 360-degree panorama was acquired by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover while the rover was in an area called "Murray Buttes" on lower Mount Sharp, one of the most scenic landscapes yet visited by any Mars rover. The view stitches together many individual images taken by Mastcam's left-eye camera on Sept. 4, 2016, during the 1,451st Martian day, or sol, of the mission. North is at both ends and south is in the center. The rover's location when it recorded this scene was the site it reached in its Sol 1448 drive. (See map at http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=8015.) The dark, flat-topped mesa near the center of the scene rises to about 39 feet (about 12 meters) above the surrounding plain. From the rover's position, the top of this mesa is about 131 feet (about 40 meters) away, and the beginning of the debris apron at the base of the mesa is about 98 feet (about 30 meters) away. In the left half of the image, the dark butte that appears largest sits eastward from the rover and about 33 feet (about 10 meters) high. From the rover's position, the top of this butte is about 85 feet (about 26 meters) away, and the beginning of the debris apron at its base is about 33 feet (about 10 meters) away. An upper portion of Mount Sharp appears on the horizon to the right of it. The relatively flat foreground is part of a geological layer called the Murray formation, which includes lakebed mud deposits. The buttes and mesas rising above this surface are eroded remnants of ancient sandstone that originated when winds deposited sand after lower Mount Sharp had formed. They are capped by material that is relatively resistant to erosion, just as is the case with many similarly shaped buttes and mesas on Earth. The area's informal naming honors Bruce Murray (1931-2013), a Caltech planetary scientist and director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The scene is presented with a color

  18. Update on Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Brian; Hartman, Frank; Maxwell, Scott; Yen, Jeng; Wright, John; Balacuit, Carlos

    2005-01-01

    The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) has been updated. RSVP was reported in Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (NPO-30845), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 4 (April 2005), page 38. To recapitulate: The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) is the software tool to be used in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission for planning rover operations and generating command sequences for accomplishing those operations. RSVP combines three-dimensional (3D) visualization for immersive exploration of the operations area, stereoscopic image display for high-resolution examination of the downlinked imagery, and a sophisticated command-sequence editing tool for analysis and completion of the sequences. RSVP is linked with actual flight code modules for operations rehearsal to provide feedback on the expected behavior of the rover prior to committing to a particular sequence. Playback tools allow for review of both rehearsed rover behavior and downlinked results of actual rover operations. These can be displayed simultaneously for comparison of rehearsed and actual activities for verification. The primary inputs to RSVP are downlink data products from the Operations Storage Server (OSS) and activity plans generated by the science team. The activity plans are high-level goals for the next day s activities. The downlink data products include imagery, terrain models, and telemetered engineering data on rover activities and state. The Rover Sequence Editor (RoSE) component of RSVP performs activity expansion to command sequences, command creation and editing with setting of command parameters, and viewing and management of rover resources. The HyperDrive component of RSVP performs 2D and 3D visualization of the rover s environment, graphical and animated review of rover predicted and telemetered state, and creation and editing of command sequences related to mobility and Instrument Deployment Device (robotic arm) operations. Additionally, RoSE and

  19. Registration of Heat Capacity Mapping Mission day and night images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, K.; Hummer-Miller, S.; Sawatzky, D. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1982-01-01

    Neither iterative registration, using drainage intersection maps for control, nor cross correlation techniques were satisfactory in registering day and night HCMM imagery. A procedure was developed which registers the image pairs by selecting control points and mapping the night thermal image to the daytime thermal and reflectance images using an affine transformation on a 1300 by 1100 pixel image. The resulting image registration is accurate to better than two pixels (RMS) and does not exhibit the significant misregistration that was noted in the temperature-difference and thermal-inertia products supplied by NASA. The affine transformation was determined using simple matrix arithmetic, a step that can be performed rapidly on a minicomputer.

  20. Human and Robotic Mission to Small Bodies: Mapping, Planning and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neffian, Ara V.; Bellerose, Julie; Beyer, Ross A.; Archinal, Brent; Edwards, Laurence; Lee, Pascal; Colaprete, Anthony; Fong, Terry

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the requirements, performs a gap analysis and makes a set of recommendations for mapping products and exploration tools required to support operations and scientific discovery for near- term and future NASA missions to small bodies. The mapping products and their requirements are based on the analysis of current mission scenarios (rendezvous, docking, and sample return) and recommendations made by the NEA Users Team (NUT) in the framework of human exploration. The mapping products that sat- isfy operational, scienti c, and public outreach goals include topography, images, albedo, gravity, mass, density, subsurface radar, mineralogical and thermal maps. The gap analysis points to a need for incremental generation of mapping products from low (flyby) to high-resolution data needed for anchoring and docking, real-time spatial data processing for hazard avoidance and astronaut or robot localization in low gravity, high dynamic environments, and motivates a standard for coordinate reference systems capable of describing irregular body shapes. Another aspect investigated in this study is the set of requirements and the gap analysis for exploration tools that support visualization and simulation of operational conditions including soil interactions, environment dynamics, and communications coverage. Building robust, usable data sets and visualisation/simulation tools is the best way for mission designers and simulators to make correct decisions for future missions. In the near term, it is the most useful way to begin building capabilities for small body exploration without needing to commit to specific mission architectures.

  1. Mars Exploration Rover Operations with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeffrey S. Norris; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A.; Backes, Paul G.; Wick, Justin V.

    2005-01-01

    The Science Activity Planner (SAP) is the primary science operations tool for the Mars Exploration Rover mission and NASA's Software of the Year for 2004. SAP utilizes a variety of visualization and planning capabilities to enable the mission operations team to direct the activities of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. This paper outlines some of the challenging requirements that drove the design of SAP and discusses lessons learned from the development and use of SAP in mission operations.

  2. Mars Exploration Rover Operations with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeffrey S. Norris; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A.; Backes, Paul G.; Wick, Justin V.

    2005-01-01

    The Science Activity Planner (SAP) is the primary science operations tool for the Mars Exploration Rover mission and NASA's Software of the Year for 2004. SAP utilizes a variety of visualization and planning capabilities to enable the mission operations team to direct the activities of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. This paper outlines some of the challenging requirements that drove the design of SAP and discusses lessons learned from the development and use of SAP in mission operations.

  3. NASA Soil Moisture Mission Produces First Global Radiometer Map

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-04-21

    With its antenna now spinning at full speed, NASA new Soil Moisture Active Passive SMAP observatory has successfully re-tested its science instruments and generated its first global maps, a key step to beginning routine science operations in May, 2015

  4. NASA Soil Moisture Mission Produces First Global Radar Map

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-04-21

    With its antenna now spinning at full speed, NASA new Soil Moisture Active Passive SMAP observatory has successfully re-tested its science instruments and generated its first global maps, a key step to beginning routine science operations in May, 2015

  5. Mars rover 1988 concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pivirotto, Donna Shirley; Penn, Thomas J.; Dias, William C.

    1989-01-01

    Results of FY88 studies of a sample-collecting Mars rover are presented. A variety of rover concepts are discussed which include different technical approaches to rover functions. The performance of rovers with different levels of automation is described and compared to the science requirement for 20 to 40 km to be traversed on the Martian surface and for 100 rock and soil samples to be collected. The analysis shows that a considerable amount of automation in roving and sampling is required to meet this requirement. Additional performance evaluation shows that advanced RTG's producing 500 W and 350 WHr of battery storage are needed to supply the rover.

  6. Exploration Rover Concepts and Development Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakrajsek, James J.; McKissock, David B.; Woytach, Jeffrey M.; Zakrajsek, June F.; Oswald, Fred B.; McEntire, Kelly J.; Hill, Gerald M.; Abel, Phillip; Eichenberg, Dennis J.; Goodnight, Thomas W.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of exploration rover concepts and the various development challenges associated with each as they are applied to exploration objectives and requirements for missions on the Moon and Mars. A variety of concepts for surface exploration vehicles have been proposed since the initial development of the Apollo-era lunar rover. This paper provides a brief description of the rover concepts, along with a comparison of their relative benefits and limitations. In addition, this paper outlines, and investigates a number of critical development challenges that surface exploration vehicles must address in order to successfully meet the exploration mission vision. These include: mission and environmental challenges, design challenges, and production and delivery challenges. Mission and environmental challenges include effects of terrain, extreme temperature differentials, dust issues, and radiation protection. Design methods are discussed that focus on optimum methods for developing highly reliable, long-life and efficient systems. In addition, challenges associated with delivering a surface exploration system is explored and discussed. Based on all the information presented, modularity will be the single most important factor in the development of a truly viable surface mobility vehicle. To meet mission, reliability, and affordability requirements, surface exploration vehicles, especially pressurized rovers, will need to be modularly designed and deployed across all projected Moon and Mars exploration missions.

  7. An Astronaut Assistant Rover for Martian Surface Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-01-01

    Lunar exploration, recent field tests, and even on-orbit operations suggest the need for a robotic assistant for an astronaut during extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks. The focus of this paper is the design of a 300-kg, 2 cubic meter, semi-autonomous robotic rover to assist astronauts during Mars surface exploration. General uses of this rover include remote teleoperated control, local EVA astronaut control, and autonomous control. Rover size, speed, sample capacity, scientific payload and dexterous fidelity were based on known Martian environmental parameters,- established National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) standards, the NASA Mars Exploration Reference Mission, and lessons learned from lunar and on-orbit sorties. An assumed protocol of a geological, two astronaut EVA performed during daylight hours with a maximum duration of tour hour dictated the following design requirements: (1) autonomously follow the EVA team over astronaut traversable Martian terrain for four hours; (2) retrieve, catalog, and carry 12 kg of samples; (3) carry tools and minimal in-field scientific equipment; (4) provide contingency life support; (5) compile and store a detailed map of surrounding terrain and estimate current position with respect to base camp; (6) provide supplemental communications systems; and (7) carry and support the use of a 7 degree - of- freedom dexterous manipulator.

  8. Essential Autonomous Science Inference on Rovers (EASIR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roush, Ted L.; Shipman, Mark; Morris, Robert; Gazis, Paul; Pedersen, Liam

    2003-01-01

    Existing constraints on time, computational, and communication resources associated with Mars rover missions suggest on-board science evaluation of sensor data can contribute to decreasing human-directed operational planning, optimizing returned science data volumes, and recognition of unique or novel data. All of which act to increase the scientific return from a mission. Many different levels of science autonomy exist and each impacts the data collected and returned by, and activities of, rovers. Several computational algorithms, designed to recognize objects of interest to geologists and biologists, are discussed. The algorithms represent various functions that producing scientific opinions and several scenarios illustrate how the opinions can be used.

  9. Mars pathfinder Rover egress deployable ramp assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spence, Brian R.; Sword, Lee F.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder Program is a NASA Discovery Mission, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to launch and place a small planetary Rover for exploration on the Martian surface. To enable safe and successful egress of the Rover vehicle from the spacecraft, a pair of flight-qualified, deployable ramp assemblies have been developed. This paper focuses on the unique, lightweight deployable ramp assemblies. A brief mission overview and key design requirements are discussed. Design and development activities leading to qualification and flight systems are presented.

  10. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, B. H.; Gennery, D. B.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1989-01-01

    A Mars rover sample return mission has been proposed for the late 1990's. Due to the long speed-of-light delays between earth and Mars, some autonomy on the rover is highly desirable. JPL has been conducting research in two possible modes of rover operation, Computer-Aided Remote Driving and Semiautonomous Navigation. A recently-completed research program used a half-scale testbed vehicle to explore several of the concepts in semiautonomous navigation. A new, full-scale vehicle with all computational and power resources on-board will be used in the coming year to demonstrate relatively fast semiautonomous navigation. The computational and power requirements for Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance are discussed.

  11. Two Years Onboard the MER Opportunity Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Burl, Michael; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Daniel; Judd, Michele; Thompson, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) system provides automated data collection for planetary rovers. AEGIS is currently being used onboard the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission's Opportunity to provide autonomous targeting of the MER Panoramic camera. Prior to AEGIS, targeted data was collected in a manual fashion where targets were manually identified in images transmitted to Earth and the rover had to remain in the same location for one to several communication cycles. AEGIS enables targeted data to be rapidly acquired with no delays for ground communication. Targets are selected by AEGIS through the use of onboard data analysis techniques that are guided by scientist-specified objectives. This paper provides an overview of the how AEGIS has been used on the Opportunity rover, focusing on usage that occurred during a 21 kilometer historic trek to the Mars Endeavour crater.

  12. The Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (J-MAPS) Mission: Application for Space Situational Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaume, R.; Dorland, B.

    Rapid and accurate threat assessment and characterization are key elements in the quest for space superiority. These often depend on rapid orbit determination, accurate orbit propagation and object characterization. Threat scenarios involving new launches or vehicle maneuvers demand rapid and precise position metrics to determine and propagate new orbital elements. Existing and planned ground and space-based optical surveillance systems are optimized for the detection of Resident Space Objects (RSOs), which unfortunately, compromises their ability to determine position metrics at the highest possible accuracy levels. A Space Situational Awareness (SSA) architecture would potentially benefit from supplementing existing and planned detection assets with a dedicated high metric accuracy orbit determination asset or assets, with the potential for 24/7 taskability and near-real time capability. By optimizing an instrument to perform position measurement rather than detection, significant improvement may be realized in rapid orbit determination vs. current and envisioned systems, enabling rapid and accurate threat assessment and characterization. The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) is developing the space-based J-MAPS mission to support current and future star catalog and star tracker requirements. By its very nature, USNO's J-MAPS mission, a microsatellite designed to take very high precision measurements of star positions (astrometry), is ideally suited to make high metric accuracy measurements for brighter GEO RSOs. The J-MAPS mission will demonstrate novel and innovative measurement techniques and technologies, including new focal plane technologies such as CMOSHybrid active pixel sensors. The J-MAPS baseline also includes a novel filter-grating wheel, of interest in the area of non-resolved object characterization. We discuss the status of the J-MAPS mission, including the current mission baseline, and discuss Space Situational Awareness applications of the J-MAPS

  13. New space missions for mapping the Earth's gravity field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balmino, Georges

    The knowledge of the gravity field of the Earth and of an associated reference surface of altitudes (the geoid) is necessary for geodesy, for improving theories of the physics of the planet interior and for modeling the ocean circulation in absolute. This knowledge comes from several observing techniques but, although it benefited from the artificial satellite approach, it remains incomplete and erroneous in places. Within a reasonable future, a substantial improvement can only come from new space techniques. Thanks to the intense lobbying by the concerned geoscientists, the coming decade will see the advent of three techniques already proposed in the seventies and to be implemented by different space agencies; these are the CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE missions.

  14. Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisbin, Charles R.

    1998-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL's) Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), responds to opportunities presented by NASA space missions and systems, and seeds commerical applications of the emerging robotics technology. The scope of the JPL Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program comprises three major segments of activity: NASA robotic systems for planetary exploration, robotic technology and terrestrial spin-offs, and technology for non-NASA sponsors. Significant technical achievements have been reached in each of these areas, including complete telerobotic system prototypes that have built and tested in realistic scenarios relevant to prospective users. In addition, the program has conducted complementary basic research and created innovative technology and terrestrial applications, as well as enabled a variety of commercial spin-offs.

  15. Rover Soil Experiments Near Yogi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Sojourner, while on its way to the rock Yogi, performed several soil mechanics experiments. Piles of loose material churned up from the experiment are seen in front of and behind the Rover. The rock Pop-Tart is visible near the front right rover wheel. Yogi is at upper right. The image was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  16. Zephyr: A Landsailing Rover for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; Grantier, David

    2014-01-01

    With an average temperature of 450C and a corrosive atmosphere at a pressure of 90 bars, the surface of Venus is the most hostile environment of any planetary surface in the solar system. Exploring the surface of Venus would be an exciting goal, since Venus is a planet with significant scientific mysteries, and interesting geology and geophysics. Technology to operate at the environmental conditions of Venus is under development. A rover on the surface of Venus with capability comparable to the rovers that have been sent to Mars would push the limits of technology in high-temperature electronics, robotics, and robust systems. Such a rover would require the ability to traverse the landscape on extremely low power levels. We have analyzed an innovative concept for a planetary rover: a sail-propelled rover to explore the surface of Venus. Such a rover can be implemented with only two moving parts; the sail, and the steering. Although the surface wind speeds are low (under 1 m/s), at Venus atmospheric density even low wind speeds develop significant force. Under funding by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts office, a conceptual design for such a rover has been done. Total landed mass of the system is 265 kg, somewhat less than that of the MER rovers, with a 12 square meter rigid sail. The rover folds into a 3.6 meter aeroshell for entry into the Venus atmosphere and subsequent parachute landing on the surface. Conceptual designs for a set of hightemperature scientific instruments and a UHF communication system were done. The mission design lifetime is 50 days, allowing operation during the sunlit portion of one Venus day. Although some technology development is needed to bring the high-temperature electronics to operational readiness, the study showed that such a mobility approach is feasible, and no major difficulties are seen.

  17. Engineering Feasibility and Trade Studies for the NASA/VSGC MicroMaps Space Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdelkhalik, Ossama O.; Nairouz, Bassem; Weaver, Timothy; Newman, Brett

    2003-01-01

    Knowledge of airborne CO concentrations is critical for accurate scientific prediction of global scale atmospheric behavior. MicroMaps is an existing NASA owned gas filter radiometer instrument designed for space-based measurement of atmospheric CO vertical profiles. Due to programmatic changes, the instrument does not have access to the space environment and is in storage. MicroMaps hardware has significant potential for filling a critical scientific need, thus motivating concept studies for new and innovative scientific spaceflight missions that would leverage the MicroMaps heritage and investment, and contribute to new CO distribution data. This report describes engineering feasibility and trade studies for the NASA/VSGC MicroMaps Space Mission. Conceptual studies encompass: 1) overall mission analysis and synthesis methodology, 2) major subsystem studies and detailed requirements development for an orbital platform option consisting of a small, single purpose spacecraft, 3) assessment of orbital platform option consisting of the International Space Station, and 4) survey of potential launch opportunities for gaining assess to orbit. Investigations are of a preliminary first-order nature. Results and recommendations from these activities are envisioned to support future MicroMaps Mission design decisions regarding program down select options leading to more advanced and mature phases.

  18. Mars Exploration Rover surface operations: driving spirit at Gusev Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leger, Chris; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Wright, John; Maxwell, Scott; Bonitz, Bob; Biesiadecki, Jeff; Hartman, Frank; Cooper, Brian; Baumgartner, Eric; Maimone, Mark

    2005-01-01

    Spirit is one of two rovers, that landed on Mars in January 2004 as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers mission. Since then, Spirit has traveled over 4 kilometers accross the Martian surface while investigating rocks and soils, digging trenches to examine the subsurface environment, and climbing hills to reach outcrops of bedrock.

  19. The use of harmonic drives on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishnan, S.; Voorhees, C.

    2001-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission will send two 185 kg rovers to Mars in 2003 to continue the scientific community's search for evidence of past water on Mars. These twin robotic vehicles will carry harmonic drives and their performance will be characterized at various temperatures, speeds and loads.

  20. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  1. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-07-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  2. Microscopic Mapping of Minerals and Organics: A Modular Pulsed Raman Spectrometer Adaptable to Both Small and Large Landed Planetary Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blacksberg, J.; Alerstam, E.; Maruyama, Y.; Cochrane, C.; Rossman, G. R.

    2016-12-01

    Raman spectroscopy combined with microscopic imaging is a powerful technique used to interrogate geological materials. In the laboratory, Raman spectroscopy is commonly used in the geosciences for mapping both major and minor mineral and organic constituents on a fine scale. This technique has proven valuable in analyzing planetary materials, including meteorites and lunar samples. By simultaneously analyzing microtexture and mineralogy, micro-Raman spectroscopy can provide essential information for inferring geologic processes by which planetary surfaces have evolved. Because Raman can perform these capabilities in a way that is non-destructive, requiring no sample preparation, it is extremely well suited for deployment on a planetary lander or rover arm. The pulsed Raman spectrometer presented here has been designed for maximum flexibility using miniaturized modular components in order to remain easily adaptable and relevant to numerous planetary surface missions (e.g. asteroids, comets, Mars, Mars' moons, Europa, Titan). Building on the widely used 532 nm laser Raman technique, the pulsed Raman spectrometer takes advantage of recent developments in miniaturized pulsed lasers and detectors; the instrument uses sub-ns time gating to remove pervasive background interference caused by fluorescence inherent in many minerals and organics. This technique ensures acquisition of diagnostic Raman spectra, even in environments that have been known to severely challenge conventional methods (e.g. aqueously-formed minerals from similar environments on Earth). We present the architecture and performance of the pulsed Raman spectrometer, which relies on our single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detector synchronized with our high-speed microchip laser, both custom-built for this application. It is these key technological developments that now make time-gated Raman spectroscopy possible for applications where miniaturization is crucial. We then discuss recent progress in laser

  3. Mission (im)possible - mapping the brain becomes a reality.

    PubMed

    Eberle, Anna Lena; Selchow, Olaf; Thaler, Marlene; Zeidler, Dirk; Kirmse, Robert

    2015-02-01

    Charting and understanding the full wiring diagram of complex neuronal structures such as the central nervous system or the brain (Connectomics) is one of the big remaining challenges in life sciences. Although at first it appears nearly impossible to map out a full diagram of, e.g., a mouse brain with sufficient resolution to identify each and every connection between neurons, recent technological advances move such an ambitious undertaking into the realms of possibility without spending decades at a microscope. However there are still many challenges to address in order to pave the way for fast and systematic neurobiological understanding of whole networks. These challenges range from a more robust and reproducible sample preparation to automated image data acquisition, more efficient data storage strategies and powerful data analysis tools. Here we will review novel imaging techniques developed for the challenge of mapping out the full connectome of a nervous system, brain or eye to name just a few examples. The imaging techniques reviewed cover light sheet illumination methods, single and multi-beam scanning electron microscopy, and we will briefly mention the possible combination of both light and electron microscopy. In particular we will review 'clearing' and in vivo methods that can be performed with light sheet fluroescence microscopes such as the ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1. We will then focus on scanning electron microscopy with single and multi-beam instruments including methods such as serial blockface imaging and array tomography methods.

  4. Ongoing Mars Missions: Extended Mission Plans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurek, Richard; Diniega, Serina; Crisp, Joy; Fraeman, Abigail; Golombek, Matt; Jakosky, Bruce; Plaut, Jeff; Senske, David A.; Tamppari, Leslie; Thompson, Thomas W.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2016-10-01

    Many key scientific discoveries in planetary science have been made during extended missions. This is certainly true for the Mars missions both in orbit and on the planet's surface. Every two years, ongoing NASA planetary missions propose investigations for the next two years. This year, as part of the 2016 Planetary Sciences Division (PSD) Mission Senior Review, the Mars Odyssey (ODY) orbiter project submitted a proposal for its 7th extended mission, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B) Opportunity submitted for its 10th, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) for its 4th, and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MVN) orbiter for their 2nd extended missions, respectively. Continued US participation in the ongoing Mars Express Mission (MEX) was also proposed. These missions arrived at Mars in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2014, and 2003, respectively. Highlights of proposed activities include systematic observations of the surface and atmosphere in twilight (early morning and late evening), building on a 13-year record of global mapping (ODY); exploration of a crater rim gully and interior of Endeavour Crater, while continuing to test what can and cannot be seen from orbit (MER-B); refocused observations of ancient aqueous deposits and polar cap interiors, while adding a 6th Mars year of change detection in the atmosphere and the surface (MRO); exploration and sampling by a rover of mineralogically diverse strata of Mt. Sharp and of atmospheric methane in Gale Crater (MSL); and further characterization of atmospheric escape under different solar conditions (MVN). As proposed, these activities follow up on previous discoveries (e.g., recurring slope lineae, habitable environments), while expanding spatial and temporal coverage to guide new detailed observations. An independent review panel evaluated these proposals, met with project representatives in May, and made recommendations to NASA in June 2016. In this

  5. Exobiology and Future Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Christopher P. (Editor); Davis, Wanda, L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    Scientific questions associated with exobiology on Mars were considered and how these questions should be addressed on future Mars missions was determined. The mission that provided a focus for discussions was the Mars Rover/Sample Return Mission.

  6. A CubeSat Mission for Mapping Spot Beams of Geostationary Communications Satellites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-26

    81 Figure 25: Space/Ground 3D Map with "less informative" data collects. Cfg: 450km, 68deg inc, 1 day, 5 sec data rate, 1 plane, 1 sat...Attitude knowledge error effects on GEO position error covariance determination. .................107 Figure 44: 3D View of bearing estimates from...24]. NASA is also investigating a rather sporting lunar mapping project using CubeSats, known as the Lunar Flashlight mission, in an effort to

  7. JPL-20170801-MSLf-0001-Rover POV Five Years of Curiosity on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-08-02

    Five years of images from the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity's Hazard Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) were used to create this time-lapse movie. An inset map shows the rover's location in Mars' Gale Crater.

  8. Operation and Performance of the Mars Exploration Rover Imaging System on the Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maki, Justin N.; Litwin, Todd; Herkenhoff, Ken

    2005-01-01

    This slide presentation details the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) imaging system. Over 144,000 images have been gathered from all Mars Missions, with 83.5% of them being gathered by MER. Each Rover has 9 cameras (Navcam, front and rear Hazcam, Pancam, Microscopic Image, Descent Camera, Engineering Camera, Science Camera) and produces 1024 x 1024 (1 Megapixel) images in the same format. All onboard image processing code is implemented in flight software and includes extensive processing capabilities such as autoexposure, flat field correction, image orientation, thumbnail generation, subframing, and image compression. Ground image processing is done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory using Video Image Communication and Retrieval (VICAR) while stereo processing (left/right pairs) is provided for raw image, radiometric correction; solar energy maps,triangulation (Cartesian 3-spaces) and slope maps.

  9. Quantifying mesoscale soil moisture with the cosmic-ray rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrisman, B.; Zreda, M.

    2013-12-01

    Soil moisture governs the surface fluxes of mass and energy and is a major influence on floods and drought. Existing techniques measure soil moisture either at a point or over a large area many kilometers across. To bridge these two scales we used the cosmic-ray rover, an instrument similar to the recently developed COSMOS probe, but bigger and mobile. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for mapping soil moisture over large areas using the cosmic-ray rover. In 2012, soil moisture was mapped 22 times in a 25 km × 40 km survey area of the Tucson Basin at an average of 1.7 km2 resolution, i.e., a survey area extent comparable to that of a pixel for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite mission. The soil moisture distribution is dominated by climatic variations, notably by the North American monsoon, that results in a systematic increase in the standard deviation, observed up to 0.022 m3 m-3, as a function of the mean, between 0.06 m3 m-3 and 0.14 m3 m-3. Two techniques are explored to use the cosmic-ray rover data for hydrologic applications: (1) interpolation of the 22 surveys into a daily soil moisture product by defining an approach to utilize and quantify the observed temporal stability producing an average correlation coefficient of 0.82 for the soil moisture distributions that were surveyed, and (2) estimation of soil moisture profiles by combining surface moisture from satellite microwave sensors (SMOS) with deeper measurements from the cosmic-ray rover. The interpolated soil moisture and soil moisture profiles allow for basin-wide mass balance calculation of evapotranspiration, which amounted to 241 mm in 2012. Generating soil moisture maps with a cosmic-ray rover at this intermediate scale may help in the calibration and validation of satellite soil moisture data products and may also aid in various large-scale hydrologic studies.

  10. Science Activity Planner for the MER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norris, Jeffrey S.; Crockett, Thomas M.; Fox, Jason M.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Powell, Mark W.; Shams, Khawaja S.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Wallick, Michael N.; Mittman, David S.

    2008-01-01

    The Maestro Science Activity Planner is a computer program that assists human users in planning operations of the Mars Explorer Rover (MER) mission and visualizing scientific data returned from the MER rovers. Relative to its predecessors, this program is more powerful and easier to use. This program is built on the Java Eclipse open-source platform around a Web-browser-based user-interface paradigm to provide an intuitive user interface to Mars rovers and landers. This program affords a combination of advanced display and simulation capabilities. For example, a map view of terrain can be generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Explorer instrument aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and overlaid with images from a navigation camera (more precisely, a stereoscopic pair of cameras) aboard a rover, and an interactive, annotated rover traverse path can be incorporated into the overlay. It is also possible to construct an overhead perspective mosaic image of terrain from navigation-camera images. This program can be adapted to similar use on other outer-space missions and is potentially adaptable to numerous terrestrial applications involving analysis of data, operations of robots, and planning of such operations for acquisition of scientific data.

  11. WISDOM GPR subsurface investigations in the Atacama desert during the SAFER rover operation simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorizon, Sophie; Ciarletti, Valérie; Vieau, André-Jean; Plettemeier, Dirk; Benedix, Wolf-Stefan; Mütze, Marco; Hassen-Kodja, Rafik; Humeau, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    SAFER (Sample Acquisition Field Experiment with a Rover) is a field trial that occured from 7th to 13th October 2013 in the Atacama desert, Chile. This trial was designed to gather together scientists and engineers in a context of a real spatial mission with a rover. This is ESA's opportunity to validate operations procedures for the ExoMars 2018 mission, since a rover, provided by Astrium, was equipped with three ExoMars payload instruments, namely the WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposits Observations on Mars) Ground Penetrating Radar, PANCAM (Panoramic Camera) and CLUPI (Close-UP Imager), and was used to experiment the real context of a Martian rover mission. The test site was located close to the Paranal ESO's Observatory (European Southern Observatorys) while the operations were conducted in the Satellite Applications Catapult remote Center in Harwell, UK. The location was chosen for its well-known resemblance with Mars' surface and its arid dryness. To provide the best from this trial, geologists, engineers and instrumentation scientists teams collaborated by processing and analyzing the data, planning in real time the next trajectories for the Bridget rover, as well as the sites of interest for WISDOM subsurface investigations. This WISDOM GPR has been designed to define the geological context of the ExoMars 2018 landing site by characterizing the shallow subsurface in terms of electromagnetic properties and structures. It will allow to lead the drill to locations of potential exobiologocal interest. WISDOM is a polarimetric step frequency radar operating from 0.5GHz to 3GHz, which allows a vertical resolution of a few centimeters over a few meters depth. Provided with a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) and a low-resolution map to assist the team with the rover's operations, several soudings with WISDOM were done over the area. The WISDOM data allowed, in collaboration with the SCISCYS team, to map the electromagnetic contrasts into the subsurface underneath

  12. Application of Monte-Carlo Analyses for the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mesarch, Michael A.; Rohrbaugh, David; Schiff, Conrad; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) is the third launch in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) a Medium Class Explorers (MIDEX) program. MAP will measure, in greater detail, the cosmic microwave background radiation from an orbit about the Sun-Earth-Moon L2 Lagrangian point. Maneuvers will be required to transition MAP from it's initial highly elliptical orbit to a lunar encounter which will provide the remaining energy to send MAP out to a lissajous orbit about L2. Monte-Carlo analysis methods were used to evaluate the potential maneuver error sources and determine their effect of the fixed MAP propellant budget. This paper will discuss the results of the analyses on three separate phases of the MAP mission - recovering from launch vehicle errors, responding to phasing loop maneuver errors, and evaluating the effect of maneuver execution errors and orbit determination errors on stationkeeping maneuvers at L2.

  13. Activity Planning for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bresina, John L.; Jonsson, Ari K.; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    2004-01-01

    Operating the Mars Exploration Rovers is a challenging, time-pressured task. Each day, the operations team must generate a new plan describing the rover activities for the next day. These plans must abide by resource limitations, safety rules, and temporal constraints. The objective is to achieve as much science as possible, choosing from a set of observation requests that oversubscribe rover resources. In order to accomplish this objective, given the short amount of planning time available, the MAPGEN (Mixed-initiative Activity Plan GENerator) system was made a mission-critical part of the ground operations system. MAPGEN is a mixed-initiative system that employs automated constraint-based planning, scheduling, and temporal reasoning to assist operations staff in generating the daily activity plans. This paper describes the adaptation of constraint-based planning and temporal reasoning to a mixed-initiative setting and the key technical solutions developed for the mission deployment of MAPGEN.

  14. The NASA Langley Mars Tumbleweed Rover Prototype

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Chattin, Richard L.; Copeland, Benjamin M.; Krizann, Shawn A.

    2005-01-01

    Mars Tumbleweed is a concept for an autonomous rover that would achieve mobility through use of the natural winds on Mars. The wind-blown nature of this vehicle make it an ideal platform for conducting random surveys of the surface, scouting for signs of past or present life as well as examining the potential habitability of sites for future human exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has been studying the dynamics, aerodynamics, and mission concepts of Tumbleweed rovers and has recently developed a prototype Mars Tumbleweed Rover for demonstrating mission concepts and science measurement techniques. This paper will provide an overview of the prototype design, instrumentation to be accommodated, preliminary test results, and plans for future development and testing of the vehicle.

  15. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; Mcclure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    1992-01-01

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  16. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  17. Accuracy of mapping the Earth's gravity field fine structure with a spaceborne gravity gradiometer mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, W. D.

    1984-01-01

    The spaceborne gravity gradiometer is a potential sensor for mapping the fine structure of the Earth's gravity field. Error analyses were performed to investigate the accuracy of the determination of the Earth's gravity field from a gravity field satellite mission. The orbital height of the spacecraft is the dominating parameter as far as gravity field resolution and accuracies are concerned.

  18. 4. "X15 TYPICAL MISSION." A photo of a map graphic ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. "X-15 TYPICAL MISSION." A photo of a map graphic showing a flight path from Wendover to Edwards, with an inset graphic showing the landing pattern turns. - Edwards Air Force Base, X-15 Engine Test Complex, Rogers Dry Lake, east of runway between North Base & South Base, Boron, Kern County, CA

  19. Pancam Imaging of the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, J. F., III; Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Arneson, H. M.; Bass, D.; Cabrol, N.; Calvin, W.; Farmer, J.; Farrand, W. H.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers carry four Panoramic Camera (Pancam) instruments (two per rover) that have obtained high resolution multispectral and stereoscopic images for studies of the geology, mineralogy, and surface and atmospheric physical properties at both rover landing sites. The Pancams are also providing significant mission support measurements for the rovers, including Sun-finding for rover navigation, hazard identification and digital terrain modeling to help guide long-term rover traverse decisions, high resolution imaging to help guide the selection of in situ sampling targets, and acquisition of education and public outreach imaging products.

  20. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload Sample Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Kminek, G.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Rohr, T.; Trautner, R.; Vago, J.

    The ExoMars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA including an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. The ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover will travel several kilometres searching for sites warranting further investigation. The Rover includes a drill and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System which will be used to collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface. The Rover systems and instruments, in particular those located inside the Analytical Laboratory Drawer must meet many stringent requirements to be compatible with exobiologic investigations: the samples must be maintained in a cold and uncontaminated environment, requiring sterile and ultraclean preparation of the instruments, to preserve volatile materials and to avoid false positive results. The value of the coordinated observations suggests that a significant return on investment is to be expected from this complex development. We will present the challenges facing the ExoMars PPL, and the plans for sending a robust exobiology laboratory to Mars in 2018.

  1. Airbags and Sojourner Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-05

    This image from the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) camera shows the rear part of the Sojourner rover, the rolled-up rear ramp, and portions of the partially deflated airbags. The Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer instrument is protruding from the rear (right side) of the rover. The airbags behind the rover are presently blocking the ramp from being safely unfurled. The ramps are a pair of deployable metal reels that will provide a track for the rover as it slowly rolls off the lander, and onto the surface of Mars, once Pathfinder scientists determine it is safe to do so. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00614

  2. Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-05

    The scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle operates on an electric motor, powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The back section opens and serves as a laboratory which can disconnect for autonomous research. While this exact rover is not expected to operate on Mars, one or more of its elements could make its way into a rover astronauts will drive on the Red Planet. The "Summer of Mars" promotion is designed to provide guests with a better understanding of NASA's studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.

  3. X-Ray Instrument for Mars 2020 Rover is PIXL

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-07-31

    This diagram depicts the sensor head of the Planetary Instrument for X-RAY Lithochemistry, or PIXL, which has been selected as one of seven investigations for the payload of NASA Mars 2020 rover mission.

  4. Preliminary Results of Hydrogen Prospecting with a Planetary Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Utz, H.; Allan, M.; Bualat, M.; Deans, M.; Fong, T.; Kobayashi, L.; Lee, S.; To, V.

    2008-03-01

    We have used the HYDRA miniature neutron spectrometer integrated onto a NASA Ames K10 rover to field test mobile robotic prospecting for hydrogen enhancements, as would be carried out in a future landed lunar polar robotic mission.

  5. Ultraviolet Instrument for Mars 2020 Rover is SHERLOC

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-07-31

    This illustration depicts the mechanism and conceptual research targets for an instrument named SHERLOC, which has been selected as one of seven investigations for the payload of NASA Mars 2020 rover mission.

  6. Machine learning challenges in Mars rover traverse science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castano, R.; Judd, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Estlin, T.

    2003-01-01

    The successful implementation of machine learning in autonomous rover traverse science requires addressing challenges that range from the analytical technical realm, to the fuzzy, philosophical domain of entrenched belief systems within scientists and mission managers.

  7. Animation of Curiosity Rover's First 'Touch and Go'

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Animation shows NASA's Mars Curiosity rover touching a rock with aninstrument on its arm, then stowing the arm and driving on.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech› Curiosity's mission site › Related s...

  8. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newlin, L.; Barengoltz, J.; Chung, S.; Kirschner, L.; Koukol, R.; Morales, F.

    2002-01-01

    Planetary protection for Mars missions is described, and the approach being taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Project is discussed. Specific topics include alcohol wiping, dry heat microbial reduction, microbiological assays, and the Kennedy Space center's PHSF clean room.

  9. Machine learning challenges in Mars rover traverse science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castano, R.; Judd, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Estlin, T.

    2003-01-01

    The successful implementation of machine learning in autonomous rover traverse science requires addressing challenges that range from the analytical technical realm, to the fuzzy, philosophical domain of entrenched belief systems within scientists and mission managers.

  10. Arm and Mast of NASA Mars Rover Curiosity

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-04-06

    The arm and the remote sensing mast of the Mars rover Curiosity each carry science instruments and other tools for NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission. This image shows the arm on the left and the mast just right of center.

  11. 78 FR 19742 - Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-02

    ... technologies or application of existing storage technologies in unique ways for application in extreme space..., Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration... SPACE ADMINISTRATION Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge AGENCY: National Aeronautics and...

  12. Curiosity Destinations for Second Extended Mission

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-10-03

    This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover from the location where it landed in August 2012 to its location in September 2016 at "Murray Buttes," and the path planned for reaching destinations at "Hematite Unit" and "Clay Unit" on lower Mount Sharp. Blue triangles mark waypoints investigated by Curiosity during the rover's two-year prime mission and first two-year extended mission. The Hematite Unit and Clay Unit are key destinations for the second two-year extension, through September 2018. The base image for the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up. Bagnold Dunes form a band of dark, wind-blown material at the foot of Mount Sharp. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20846

  13. Ground-Based Localization of Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey

    2006-01-01

    The document discusses a procedure for localizing the Mars rovers in site frame, a locally defined reference frame on the Martian surface. MER onboard position within a site frame is estimated onboard and is based on wheel odometry. Odometry estimation of rover position is only reliable over relatively short distances assuming no wheel slip, sinkage, etc. As the rover traverses, its onboard estimate of position in the current site frame accumulates errors and will need to be corrected on occasions via relocalization on the ground (mission operations). The procedure provides a systematic process for ground operators to localize the rover. The method focuses on analysis of acquired images used to declare a site frame and images acquired post-drive. Target selection is performed using two main steps. In the first step, the user identifies features of interest from the images used to declare the current site. Each of the selected target s position in site frame is recorded. In the second step, post-traverse measurements of the selected features positions are recorded again, this time in rover frame, using images acquired post-traverse. In the third step, we transform the post-traverse target s positions to local level frame. In the fourth step, we compute the delta differences in the pre- and post-traverse target s position. In the fifth step, we analyze the delta differences with techniques that compute their statistics to determine the rover s position in the site frame.

  14. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knocke, Philip C.; Wawrzyniak, Geoffrey G.; Kennedy, Brian M.; Desai, Prasun N.; Parker, TImothy J.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Duxbury, Thomas C.; Kass, David M.

    2004-01-01

    Landing dispersion estimates for the Mars Exploration Rover missions were key elements in the site targeting process and in the evaluation of landing risk. This paper addresses the process and results of the landing dispersion analyses performed for both Spirit and Opportunity. The several contributors to landing dispersions (navigation and atmospheric uncertainties, spacecraft modeling, winds, and margins) are discussed, as are the analysis tools used. JPL's MarsLS program, a MATLAB-based landing dispersion visualization and statistical analysis tool, was used to calculate the probability of landing within hazardous areas. By convolving this with the probability of landing within flight system limits (in-spec landing) for each hazard area, a single overall measure of landing risk was calculated for each landing ellipse. In-spec probability contours were also generated, allowing a more synoptic view of site risks, illustrating the sensitivity to changes in landing location, and quantifying the possible consequences of anomalies such as incomplete maneuvers. Data and products required to support these analyses are described, including the landing footprints calculated by NASA Langley's POST program and JPL's AEPL program, cartographically registered base maps and hazard maps, and flight system estimates of in-spec landing probabilities for each hazard terrain type. Various factors encountered during operations, including evolving navigation estimates and changing atmospheric models, are discussed and final landing points are compared with approach estimates.

  15. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover, currently operating on Mars, contains flight software onboard to autonomously handle aspects of system fault protection. Over 1000 monitors and 39 responses are present in the flight software. Orchestrating these behaviors is the flight software's fault protection engine. In this paper, we discuss the engine's design, responsibilities, and present some lessons learned for future missions.

  16. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover, currently operating on Mars, contains flight software onboard to autonomously handle aspects of system fault protection. Over 1000 monitors and 39 responses are present in the flight software. Orchestrating these behaviors is the flight software's fault protection engine. In this paper, we discuss the engine's design, responsibilities, and present some lessons learned for future missions.

  17. Structural Design Challenges for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenker, Paul; Hickey, Gregory S.

    1997-01-01

    On July 4, 1997 the Pathfinder Mission Successfully began a new era of robotic exploration of Mars. The primary scientific payload of the Pathfinder Lander is the Sojourner Truth Mars Rover, an autonomous robotic vehicle, which is exploring and conducting scientific measurements on the Mars surface.

  18. Observing a Rover Pivot Test

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-07-16

    Rover team members Kim Lichtenberg and Joseph Carsten watch motions of a test rover at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., as the rover carries out commands for driving forward with an arc toward the right.

  19. Computer-Design Drawing for NASA 2020 Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-07-15

    NASA's 2020 Mars rover mission will go to a region of Mars thought to have offered favorable conditions long ago for microbial life, and the rover will search for signs of past life there. It will also collect and cache samples for potential return to Earth, for many types of laboratory analysis. As a pioneering step toward how humans on Mars will use the Red Planet's natural resources, the rover will extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. This 2016 image comes from computer-assisted-design work on the 2020 rover. The design leverages many successful features of NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, but it adds new science instruments and a sampling system to carry out the new goals for the mission. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20759

  20. The Effects of Clock Drift on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled S.; Vanelli, C. Anthony

    2012-01-01

    All clocks drift by some amount, and the mission clock on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is no exception. The mission clock on both MER rovers drifted significantly since the rovers were launched, and it is still drifting on the Opportunity rover. The drift rate is temperature dependent. Clock drift causes problems for onboard behaviors and spacecraft operations, such as attitude estimation, driving, operation of the robotic arm, pointing for imaging, power analysis, and telecom analysis. The MER operations team has techniques to deal with some of these problems. There are a few techniques for reducing and eliminating the clock drift, but each has drawbacks. This paper presents an explanation of what is meant by clock drift on the rovers, its relationship to temperature, how we measure it, what problems it causes, how we deal with those problems, and techniques for reducing the drift.

  1. The Mars Exploration Rovers : hitting the road on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cox, Nagin

    2005-01-01

    Since the beginning of time, people have been fascinated by Mars. From the earliest mission to now-Mars has been (and is) a challenging destination. The Rovers were developed at a breakneck pace in 3 years and landed successfully on Mars in January 2004. This paper will discuss how the Mars Rover mission fits into the overall Mars Program and NASA's program of planetary exploration. Building the rovers in such a short time period created some difficult design challenges that were mainly schedule driven. in addition, it will cover the process of selecting the rover landing sites as well as the engineering challenges faced in the entry, descent and landing process. The rovers have a great deal of autonomous control ability on the surface and the process of developing and testing those was part of the challenge of doing this in 3 years.

  2. The Effects of Clock Drift on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled S.; Vanelli, C. Anthony

    2012-01-01

    All clocks drift by some amount, and the mission clock on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is no exception. The mission clock on both MER rovers drifted significantly since the rovers were launched, and it is still drifting on the Opportunity rover. The drift rate is temperature dependent. Clock drift causes problems for onboard behaviors and spacecraft operations, such as attitude estimation, driving, operation of the robotic arm, pointing for imaging, power analysis, and telecom analysis. The MER operations team has techniques to deal with some of these problems. There are a few techniques for reducing and eliminating the clock drift, but each has drawbacks. This paper presents an explanation of what is meant by clock drift on the rovers, its relationship to temperature, how we measure it, what problems it causes, how we deal with those problems, and techniques for reducing the drift.

  3. Delta II Heavy launch of "Opportunity" MER-B Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  4. Design Concept for a Nuclear Reactor-Powered Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliott, John; Poston, Dave; Lipinski, Ron

    2007-01-01

    A report presents a design concept for an instrumented robotic vehicle (rover) to be used on a future mission of exploration of the planet Mars. The design incorporates a nuclear fission power system to provide long range, long life, and high power capabilities unachievable through the use of alternative solar or radioisotope power systems. The concept described in the report draws on previous rover designs developed for the 2009 Mars Science laboratory (MSL) mission to minimize the need for new technology developments.

  5. Advanced Radioisotope Power System Enabled Titan Rover Concept with Inflatable Wheels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Schriener, Timothy M.; Shirley, James H.

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews study into exploration of Titan. Including a possible Titan Rover that would use the advanced radioisotope power system (RPS). The goal of the study is to demonstrate a simple, credible and affordable rover mission concept for Titan in-situ exploration, enabled by an Advanced RPS. The presentation reviews the possible launch vehicle, and trajectory options; desired instrumentation that would be aboard the rover; and considerations for the design of the rover.

  6. Application Explorer Mission-A heat capacity mapping mission. [Bavaria, Germany and Marrakech, Morocco

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Fine orogenic sediments, not detectable on the images recorded within the visible wavelength region, can be clearly recognized on all night IR-images. The area of glaciation in the northern foreland of the Alps can be partially identified on the basis of night-IR data. The terminal moraine of various glacierization phases can be mapped and the relative dry and unsorted moraine material consisting of crystalline components can be located through the vegetation cover. The eastern part of the glaciation area can be traced because of reverse temperature effect. In addition to the upper Bavarian lakes, the night-IR images clearly indicate the distribution of high soil moisture areas such as swamps and bogs. The geological border of the upper fresh water molasse in the northern part of the basin north of Munich is identifiable on night IR-imagery. Drift peat areas can be located on day-IR images of the dry season of the year.

  7. Spirit Mars Rover Mission: Overview and selected results from the northern Home Plate Winter Haven to the side of Scamander crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F.; Bellutta, P.; Cabrol, N. A.; Catalano, J. G.; Cohen, J.; Crumpler, L. S.; Des Marais, D. J.; Estlin, T. A.; Farrand, W. H.; Gellert, R.; Grant, J. A.; Greenberger, R. N.; Guinness, E. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J. A.; Iagnemma, K. D.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Li, R.; Lichtenberg, K. A.; Maxwell, S. A.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Rice, M. S.; Ruff, S. W.; Shaw, A.; Siebach, K. L.; de Souza, P. A.; Stroupe, A. W.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R. J.; Talley, K. P.; Townsend, J. A.; Wang, A.; Wright, J. R.; Yen, A. S.

    2010-09-01

    This paper summarizes Spirit Rover operations in the Columbia Hills, Gusev crater, from sol 1410 (start of the third winter campaign) to sol 2169 (when extrication attempts from Troy stopped to winterize the vehicle) and provides an overview of key scientific results. The third winter campaign took advantage of parking on the northern slope of Home Plate to tilt the vehicle to track the sun and thus survive the winter season. With the onset of the spring season, Spirit began circumnavigating Home Plate on the way to volcanic constructs located to the south. Silica-rich nodular rocks were discovered in the valley to the north of Home Plate. The inoperative right front wheel drive actuator made climbing soil-covered slopes problematical and led to high slip conditions and extensive excavation of subsurface soils. This situation led to embedding of Spirit on the side of a shallow, 8 m wide crater in Troy, located in the valley to the west of Home Plate. Examination of the materials exposed during embedding showed that Spirit broke through a thin sulfate-rich soil crust and became embedded in an underlying mix of sulfate and basaltic sands. The nature of the crust is consistent with dissolution and precipitation in the presence of soil water within a few centimeters of the surface. The observation that sulfate-rich deposits in Troy and elsewhere in the Columbia Hills are just beneath the surface implies that these processes have operated on a continuing basis on Mars as landforms have been shaped by erosion and deposition.

  8. Rovers as Geological Helpers for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Rovers as Geological Helpers for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Sources Sought for Innovative Scientific Instrumentation for Scientific Lunar Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, C.

    1993-01-01

    Lunar rovers should be designed as integrated scientific measurement systems that address scientific goals as their main objective. Scientific goals for lunar rovers are presented. Teleoperated robotic field geologists will allow the science team to make discoveries using a wide range of sensory data collected by electronic 'eyes' and sophisticated scientific instrumentation. rovers need to operate in geologically interesting terrain (rock outcrops) and to identify and closely examine interesting rock samples. Enough flight-ready instruments are available to fly on the first mission, but additional instrument development based on emerging technology is desirable. Various instruments that need to be developed for later missions are described.

  12. Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-05

    Crowds gather around the scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It is a part of the "Summer of Mars" program designed to provide a survey of NASA's studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.

  13. Design of a pressurized lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric; Wirz, Richard

    1992-01-01

    A pressurized lunar rover is necessary for future long-term habitation of the moon. The rover must be able to safely perform many tasks, ranging from transportation and reconnaissance to exploration and rescue missions. Numerous designs were considered in an effort to maintain a low overall mass and good mobility characteristics. The configuration adopted consists of two cylindrical pressure hulls passively connected by a pressurized flexible passageway. The vehicle has an overall length of 11 meters and a total mass of seven metric tons. The rover is driven by eight independently powered two meter diameter wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows a combination of articulated frame and double Ackermann steering for executing turns. In an emergency, the individual drive motors allow the option of skid steering as well. Two wheels are connected to either side of each cylinder through a pinned bar which allows constant ground contact. Together, these systems allow the rover to easily meet its mobility requirements. A dynamic isotope power system (DIPS), in conjunction with a closed Brayton cycle, supplied the rover with a continuous supply of 8.5 kW. The occupants are all protected from the DIPS system's radiation by a shield of tantalum. The large amount of heat produced by the DIPS and other rover systems is rejected by thermal radiators. The thermal radiators and solar collectors are located on the top of the rear cylinder. The solar collectors are used to recharge batteries for peak power periods. The rover's shell is made of graphite-epoxy coated with multi-layer insulation (MLI). The graphite-epoxy provides strength while the thermally resistant MLI gives protection from the lunar environment. An elastomer separates the two materials to compensate for the thermal mismatch. The communications system allows for communication with the lunar base with an option for direct communication with earth via a lunar satellite link. The various links are combined into one

  14. Design of a pressurized lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric; Wirz, Richard

    1992-04-01

    A pressurized lunar rover is necessary for future long-term habitation of the moon. The rover must be able to safely perform many tasks, ranging from transportation and reconnaissance to exploration and rescue missions. Numerous designs were considered in an effort to maintain a low overall mass and good mobility characteristics. The configuration adopted consists of two cylindrical pressure hulls passively connected by a pressurized flexible passageway. The vehicle has an overall length of 11 meters and a total mass of seven metric tons. The rover is driven by eight independently powered two meter diameter wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows a combination of articulated frame and double Ackermann steering for executing turns. In an emergency, the individual drive motors allow the option of skid steering as well. Two wheels are connected to either side of each cylinder through a pinned bar which allows constant ground contact. Together, these systems allow the rover to easily meet its mobility requirements. A dynamic isotope power system (DIPS), in conjunction with a closed Brayton cycle, supplied the rover with a continuous supply of 8.5 kW. The occupants are all protected from the DIPS system's radiation by a shield of tantalum. The large amount of heat produced by the DIPS and other rover systems is rejected by thermal radiators. The thermal radiators and solar collectors are located on the top of the rear cylinder. The solar collectors are used to recharge batteries for peak power periods. The rover's shell is made of graphite-epoxy coated with multi-layer insulation (MLI). The graphite-epoxy provides strength while the thermally resistant MLI gives protection from the lunar environment. An elastomer separates the two materials to compensate for the thermal mismatch.

  15. "Name the Rovers" contest

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-08

    Sofi Collis, the third grade student winner of the "Name the Rovers" contest, poses with a model of a rover. The names she proposed -- Spirit and Opportunity -- were announced today in a press conference held by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-A, with the rover Spirit aboard, is scheduled to launch on June 8 at 2:06 p.m. EDT, with two launch opportunities each day during a launch period that closes on June 24.

  16. Path planning and execution monitoring for a planetary rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gat, Erann; Slack, Marc G.; Miller, David P.; Firby, R. James

    1990-01-01

    A path planner and an execution monitoring planner that will enable the rover to navigate to its various destinations safely and correctly while detecting and avoiding hazards are described. An overview of the complete architecture is given. Implementation and testbeds are described. The robot can detect unforseen obstacles and take appropriate action. This includes having the rover back away from the hazard and mark the area as untraversable in the in the rover's internal map. The experiments have consisted of paths roughly 20 m in length. The architecture works with a large variety of rover configurations with different kinematic constraints.

  17. Route Planning Software for Lunar Polar Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunningham, C.; Jones, H.; Amato, J.; Holst, I.; Otten, N.; Kitchell, F.; Whittaker, W.; Horchler, A.

    2016-11-01

    Rover mission planning on the lunar poles is challenging due to the long, time-varying shadows. This abstract presents software for efficiently planning traverses while balancing competing demands of science goals, rover energy constraints, and risk.

  18. Shark as viewed by Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This close-up image of Shark, in the Bookshelf at the back of the Rock Garden, was taken by Sojourner Rover on Sol 75. Also in the image are Half Dome (right) and Desert Princess (lower right). At the bottom left, a thin 'crusty' soil layer has been disturbed by the rover wheels.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  19. Shark as viewed by Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This close-up image of Shark, in the Bookshelf at the back of the Rock Garden, was taken by Sojourner Rover on Sol 75. Also in the image are Half Dome (right) and Desert Princess (lower right). At the bottom left, a thin 'crusty' soil layer has been disturbed by the rover wheels.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  20. Autonomous navigation and control of a Mars rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, D. P.; Atkinson, D. J.; Wilcox, B. H.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1990-01-01

    A Mars rover will need to be able to navigate autonomously kilometers at a time. This paper outlines the sensing, perception, planning, and execution monitoring systems that are currently being designed for the rover. The sensing is based around stereo vision. The interpretation of the images use a registration of the depth map with a global height map provided by an orbiting spacecraft. Safe, low energy paths are then planned through the map, and expectations of what the rover's articulation sensors should sense are generated. These expectations are then used to ensure that the planned path is correctly being executed.

  1. Manipulator control for rover planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-11-01

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

  2. The real-time control of planetary rovers through behavior modification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, David P.

    1991-01-01

    It is not yet clear of what type, and how much, intelligence is needed for a planetary rover to function semi-autonomously on a planetary surface. Current designs assume an advanced AI system that maintains a detailed map of its journeys and the surroundings, and that carefully calculates and tests every move in advance. To achieve these abilities, and because of the limitations of space-qualified electronics, the supporting rover is quite sizable, massing a large fraction of a ton, and requiring technology advances in everything from power to ground operations. An alternative approach is to use a behavior driven control scheme. Recent research has shown that many complex tasks may be achieved by programming a robot with a set of behaviors and activation or deactivating a subset of those behaviors as required by the specific situation in which the robot finds itself. Behavior control requires much less computation than is required by tradition AI planning techniques. The reduced computation requirements allows the entire rover to be scaled down as appropriate (only down-link communications and payload do not scale under these circumstances). The missions that can be handled by the real-time control and operation of a set of small, semi-autonomous, interacting, behavior-controlled planetary rovers are discussed.

  3. Planetary micro-rover operations on Mars using a Bayesian framework for inference and control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Post, Mark A.; Li, Junquan; Quine, Brendan M.

    2016-03-01

    With the recent progress toward the application of commercially-available hardware to small-scale space missions, it is now becoming feasible for groups of small, efficient robots based on low-power embedded hardware to perform simple tasks on other planets in the place of large-scale, heavy and expensive robots. In this paper, we describe design and programming of the Beaver micro-rover developed for Northern Light, a Canadian initiative to send a small lander and rover to Mars to study the Martian surface and subsurface. For a small, hardware-limited rover to handle an uncertain and mostly unknown environment without constant management by human operators, we use a Bayesian network of discrete random variables as an abstraction of expert knowledge about the rover and its environment, and inference operations for control. A framework for efficient construction and inference into a Bayesian network using only the C language and fixed-point mathematics on embedded hardware has been developed for the Beaver to make intelligent decisions with minimal sensor data. We study the performance of the Beaver as it probabilistically maps a simple outdoor environment with sensor models that include uncertainty. Results indicate that the Beaver and other small and simple robotic platforms can make use of a Bayesian network to make intelligent decisions in uncertain planetary environments.

  4. Mission Mapping

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-07

    robust k-clique because it does not exhibit pseudo- heredity . Heredity and pseudo- heredity describe a property p and how it behaves in a dynamic...pseudo-heriditary if any subsetS’ of a subgraph S with property p also has property p. To exhibit heredity , the property must remain upon removal of a...do not focus on the induced subgraph may · demonstrate pseudo- heredity without heredity . While heredity is more ideal since the group is more This

  5. VIMS spectral mapping observations of Titan during the Cassini prime mission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, J.W.; Soderblom, J.M.; Brown, R.H.; Buratti, B.J.; Sotin, C.; Baines, K.H.; Clark, R.N.; Jaumann, R.; McCord, T.B.; Nelson, R.; Le, Mouelic S.; Rodriguez, S.; Griffith, C.; Penteado, P.; Tosi, F.; Pitman, K.M.; Soderblom, L.; Stephan, K.; Hayne, P.; Vixie, G.; Bibring, J.-P.; Bellucci, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Cerroni, P.; Coradini, A.; Cruikshank, D.P.; Drossart, P.; Formisano, V.; Langevin, Y.; Matson, D.L.; Nicholson, P.D.; Sicardy, B.

    2009-01-01

    This is a data paper designed to facilitate the use of and comparisons to Cassini/visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) spectral mapping data of Saturn's moon Titan. We present thumbnail orthographic projections of flyby mosaics from each Titan encounter during the Cassini prime mission, 2004 July 1 through 2008 June 30. For each flyby we also describe the encounter geometry, and we discuss the studies that have previously been published using the VIMS dataset. The resulting compliation of metadata provides a complementary big-picture overview of the VIMS data in the public archive, and should be a useful reference for future Titan studies. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Mission: Status at the Initiation of the Science Mapping Phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.; Asmar, Sami W.; Alomon; Konopliv, Alexander S.; Lemoine, Frank G.; Melosh, H. Jay; Neumann, Gregory A.; Phillips. Roger J.; Solomon, Sean C.; Watkins, Michael M.; Wieczorek, Mark A.; Williams, James G.

    2012-01-01

    The Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, a component of NASA's Discovery Program, launched successfully from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 10, 2011. The dual spacecraft traversed independent, low-energy trajectories to the Moon via the EL-1 Lagrange point and inserted into elliptical, 11.5-hour polar orbits around the Moon on December 31, 2011, and January 1, 2012. The spacecraft are currently executing a series of maneuvers to circularize their orbits at 55-km mean altitude. Once the mapping orbit is achieved, the spacecraft will undergo additional maneuvers to align them into mapping configuration. The mission is on track to initiate the Science Phase on March 8, 2012.

  7. Hyperspectral imaging—An advanced instrument concept for the EnMAP mission (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Programme)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuffler, Timo; Förster, Klaus; Hofer, Stefan; Leipold, Manfred; Sang, Bernhard; Kaufmann, Hermann; Penné, Boris; Mueller, Andreas; Chlebek, Christian

    2009-10-01

    In the upcoming generation of satellite sensors, hyperspectral instruments will play a significant role. This payload type is considered world-wide within different future planning. Our team has now successfully finalized the Phase B study for the advanced hyperspectral mission EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Programme), Germans next optical satellite being scheduled for launch in 2012. GFZ in Potsdam has the scientific lead on EnMAP, Kayser-Threde in Munich is the industrial prime. The EnMAP instrument provides over 240 continuous spectral bands in the wavelength range between 420 and 2450 nm with a ground resolution of 30 m×30 m. Thus, the broad science and application community can draw from an extensive and highly resolved pool of information supporting the modeling and optimization process on their results. The performance of the hyperspectral instrument allows for a detailed monitoring, characterization and parameter extraction of rock/soil targets, vegetation, and inland and coastal waters on a global scale supporting a wide variety of applications in agriculture, forestry, water management and geology. The operation of an airborne system (ARES) as an element in the HGF hyperspectral network and the ongoing evolution concerning data handling and extraction procedures, will support the later inclusion process of EnMAP into the growing scientist and user communities.

  8. Small-RPS Enabled Mars Rover Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Tibor S.

    2005-02-01

    Both the MER and the Mars Pathfinder rovers operated on Mars in an energy-limited mode, since the solar panels generated power during daylight hours only. At other times the rovers relied on power stored in batteries. In comparison, Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) offer a power-enabled paradigm, where power can be generated for long mission durations (measured in years), independently from the Sun, and on a continuous basis. A study was performed at JPL to assess the feasibility of a small-RPS enabled MER-class rover concept and any associated advantages of its mission on Mars, The rover concept relied on design heritage from MER with two significant changes. First, the solar panels were replaced with two single GPHS module based small-RPSs. Second, the Mossbauer spectroscope was substituted with a laser Raman spectroscope, in order to move towards MEPAG defined astrobiology driven science goals. The highest power requirements were contributed to mobility and telecommunication type operating modes, hence influencing power system sizing. The resulting hybrid power system included two small-RPSs and two batteries. Each small-RPS was assumed to generate 50 We of power or 620 Wh/sol of energy (BOL), comparable to that of MER. The two 8 Ah batteries were considered available during peak power usage. Mission architecture, power trades, science instruments, data, communication, thermal and radiation environments, mobility, and mass issues were also addressed. The study demonstrated that a new set of RPS-enabled rover missions could be envisioned for Mars exploration within the next decade, targeting astrobiology oriented science objectives, while powered by 2 to 4 GPHS modules.

  9. COBRAS/SAMBA: The European space mission to map the CBRanisotropy

    SciTech Connect

    Bersanelli, M.; Mandolesi, N.; Cesarsky, C.; Danese, L.; Efstathiou, G.; Griffin, M.; Lamarre, J.M.; NorgaardNielsen, H.U.; Pace,O.; Puget, J.L.; Raisanen, A.; Smoot, G.F.; Tauber, J.; Volonte, S.

    1996-01-01

    COBRAS/SAMBA is an ESA mission designed for extensive, accurate mapping of the anisotropies of the Cosmic Background Radiation, with angular sensitivity from sub-degree scales up to and overlapping with the COBE-DMR resolution. This will allow a fun identification of the primordial density perturbations which grew to form the large-scale structures observed in the present universe. Here we present the scientific goals and the key characteristics of the model payload and observation strategy.

  10. Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-05

    The scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle operates on an electric motor, powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The rover separates in the middle with the front area designed for scouting and equipped with a radio and navigation provided by the Global Positioning System. The back section serves as a full laboratory which can disconnect for autonomous research. The "Summer of Mars" promotion is designed to provide guests with a better understanding of NASA's studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.

  11. An Overview of Trajectory Design Operations for the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuevas, Osvaldo O.; Newman-Kraft, Lauri; Mesarch, Michael A.; Woodard, Mark A.; Bauer, Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The main science objective of the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) mission is to produce an accurate full-sky map of the cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations - anisotropy. MAP will collect these measurements from a lissajous orbit about the Sun-Earth/Moon L2 Lagrange Point. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Flight Dynamics Analysis Branch provided mission analysis, maneuver planning and maneuver calibration for the MAP spacecraft. This paper will provide an overview of the MAP trajectory design, a summary of the maneuvers executed. Differences from the pre-launch nominal plan will also be discussed. During the MAP phasing loops, MAP performed three calibration maneuvers in order to characterize the performance of the primary sets of thrusters - +X, +Z, and -Z. The calibration maneuvers were designed to minimize their impact on the trajectory. Four maneuvers were performed to set up the gravity assist of the Moon - required to propel MAP out to its orbit about L2. These maneuvers were performed at the three phasing loop perigees and at 18 hours after the final perigee. It became necessary to alter some of the perigee maneuvers in order to shape the gravity assist. This shaping was done to help meet some mission goals. In particular, the gravity assist was changed slightly in order to remove lunar shadows in both the cruise out to L2 and in the first revolution about L2. This amounted to a change in the phasing loop AV of less than 1 m/s. After the gravity assist, two mid-course correction (MCC) maneuvers were performed in order to fine-tune the trajectory. MCC1 was used to clean up and errors which resulted from the gravity assist. MCC2 was performed in order to mitigate a large stationkeeping maneuver following a crucial instrument calibration period during the cruise phase. MAP executed it's first stationkeeping maneuver in January 16th and is ready for a second calibration period during late Winter / early Spring. Further information

  12. An Overview of Trajectory Design Operations for the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuevas, Osvaldo O.; Newman-Kraft, Lauri; Mesarch, Michael A.; Woodard, Mark A.; Bauer, Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The main science objective of the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) mission is to produce an accurate full-sky map of the cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations - anisotropy. MAP will collect these measurements from a lissajous orbit about the Sun-Earth/Moon L2 Lagrange Point. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Flight Dynamics Analysis Branch provided mission analysis, maneuver planning and maneuver calibration for the MAP spacecraft. This paper will provide an overview of the MAP trajectory design, a summary of the maneuvers executed. Differences from the pre-launch nominal plan will also be discussed. During the MAP phasing loops, MAP performed three calibration maneuvers in order to characterize the performance of the primary sets of thrusters - +X, +Z, and -Z. The calibration maneuvers were designed to minimize their impact on the trajectory. Four maneuvers were performed to set up the gravity assist of the Moon - required to propel MAP out to its orbit about L2. These maneuvers were performed at the three phasing loop perigees and at 18 hours after the final perigee. It became necessary to alter some of the perigee maneuvers in order to shape the gravity assist. This shaping was done to help meet some mission goals. In particular, the gravity assist was changed slightly in order to remove lunar shadows in both the cruise out to L2 and in the first revolution about L2. This amounted to a change in the phasing loop AV of less than 1 m/s. After the gravity assist, two mid-course correction (MCC) maneuvers were performed in order to fine-tune the trajectory. MCC1 was used to clean up and errors which resulted from the gravity assist. MCC2 was performed in order to mitigate a large stationkeeping maneuver following a crucial instrument calibration period during the cruise phase. MAP executed it's first stationkeeping maneuver in January 16th and is ready for a second calibration period during late Winter / early Spring. Further information

  13. Student Participation in Rover Field Trials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowman, C. D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Nelson, S. V.; Sherman, D. M.; Squyres, S. W.

    2001-12-01

    The LAPIS program was developed in 1999 as part of the Athena Science Payload education and public outreach, funded by the JPL Mars Program Office. For the past three years, the Athena Science Team has been preparing for 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission operations using the JPL prototype Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover in extended rover field trials. Students and teachers participating in LAPIS work with them each year to develop a complementary mission plan and implement an actual portion of the annual tests using FIDO and its instruments. LAPIS is designed to mirror an end-to-end mission: Small, geographically distributed groups of students form an integrated mission team, working together with Athena Science Team members and FIDO engineers to plan, implement, and archive a two-day test mission, controlling FIDO remotely over the Internet using the Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) and communicating with each other by email, the web, and teleconferences. The overarching goal of LAPIS is to get students excited about science and related fields. The program provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in school, such as geometry and geology, to a "real world" situation and to explore careers in science and engineering through continuous one-on-one interactions with teachers, Athena Science Team mentors, and FIDO engineers. A secondary goal is to help students develop improved communication skills and appreciation of teamwork, enhanced problem-solving skills, and increased self-confidence. The LAPIS program will provide a model for outreach associated with future FIDO field trials and the 2003 Mars mission operations. The base of participation will be broadened beyond the original four sites by taking advantage of the wide geographic distribution of Athena team member locations. This will provide greater numbers of students with the opportunity to actively engage in rover testing and to explore the possibilities of

  14. Trajectory design for a lunar mapping and near-Earth-asteroid flyby mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunham, David W.; Farquhar, Robert W.

    1993-01-01

    In August, 1994, the unusual asteroid (1620) Geographos will pass very close to the Earth. This provides one of the best opportunities for a low-cost asteroid flyby mission that can be achieved with the help of a gravity assist from the Moon during the years 1994 and 1995. A Geographos flyby mission, including a lunar orbiting phase, was recommended to the Startegic Defense Initiative (SDI) Office when they were searching for ideas for a deep-space mission to test small imaging systems and other lightweight technologies. The goals for this mission, called Clementine, were defined to consist of a comprehensive lunar mapping phase before leaving the Earth-Moon system to encounter Geographos. This paper describes how the authors calculated a trajectory that met the mission goals within a reasonable total Delta-V budget. The paper also describes some refinements of the initially computed trajectory and alternative trajectories were investigated. The paper concludes with a list of trajectories to fly by other near-Earth asteroids during the two years following the Geographos opportunity. Some of these could be used if the Geographos schedule can not be met. If the 140 deg phase angle of the Geographos encounter turns out to be too risky, a flyby of (2120) Tantalus in January, 1995, has a much more favorable approach illumination. Tantalus apparently can be reached from the same lunar orbit needed to get to Geographos. However, both the flyby speed and distance from the Earth are much larger for Tantalus than for Geographos.

  15. Trajectory design for a lunar mapping and near-Earth-asteroid flyby mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunham, David W.; Farquhar, Robert W.

    1993-01-01

    In August, 1994, the unusual asteroid (1620) Geographos will pass very close to the Earth. This provides one of the best opportunities for a low-cost asteroid flyby mission that can be achieved with the help of a gravity assist from the Moon during the years 1994 and 1995. A Geographos flyby mission, including a lunar orbiting phase, was recommended to the Startegic Defense Initiative (SDI) Office when they were searching for ideas for a deep-space mission to test small imaging systems and other lightweight technologies. The goals for this mission, called Clementine, were defined to consist of a comprehensive lunar mapping phase before leaving the Earth-Moon system to encounter Geographos. This paper describes how the authors calculated a trajectory that met the mission goals within a reasonable total Delta-V budget. The paper also describes some refinements of the initially computed trajectory and alternative trajectories were investigated. The paper concludes with a list of trajectories to fly by other near-Earth asteroids during the two years following the Geographos opportunity. Some of these could be used if the Geographos schedule can not be met. If the 140 deg phase angle of the Geographos encounter turns out to be too risky, a flyby of (2120) Tantalus in January, 1995, has a much more favorable approach illumination. Tantalus apparently can be reached from the same lunar orbit needed to get to Geographos. However, both the flyby speed and distance from the Earth are much larger for Tantalus than for Geographos.

  16. FIDO Rover Retracted Arm and Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover extends the large mast that carries its panoramic camera. The FIDO is being used in ongoing NASA field tests to simulate driving conditions on Mars. FIDO is controlled from the mission control room at JPL's Planetary Robotics Laboratory in Pasadena. FIDO uses a robot arm to manipulate science instruments and it has a new mini-corer or drill to extract and cache rock samples. Several camera systems onboard allow the rover to collect science and navigation images by remote-control. The rover is about the size of a coffee table and weighs as much as a St. Bernard, about 70 kilograms (150 pounds). It is approximately 85 centimeters (about 33 inches) wide, 105 centimeters (41 inches) long, and 55 centimeters (22 inches) high. The rover moves up to 300 meters an hour (less than a mile per hour) over smooth terrain, using its onboard stereo vision systems to detect and avoid obstacles as it travels 'on-the-fly.' During these tests, FIDO is powered by both solar panels that cover the top of the rover and by replaceable, rechargeable batteries.

  17. Social network analysis and dual rover communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litaker, Harry L.; Howard, Robert L.

    2013-10-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) refers to the collection of techniques, tools, and methods used in sociometry aiming at the analysis of social networks to investigate decision making, group communication, and the distribution of information. Human factors engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted a social network analysis on communication data collected during a 14-day field study operating a dual rover exploration mission to better understand the relationships between certain network groups such as ground control, flight teams, and planetary science. The analysis identified two communication network structures for the continuous communication and Twice-a-Day Communication scenarios as a split network and negotiated network respectfully. The major nodes or groups for the networks' architecture, transmittal status, and information were identified using graphical network mapping, quantitative analysis of subjective impressions, and quantified statistical analysis using Sociometric Statue and Centrality. Post-questionnaire analysis along with interviews revealed advantages and disadvantages of each network structure with team members identifying the need for a more stable continuous communication network, improved robustness of voice loops, and better systems training/capabilities for scientific imagery data and operational data during Twice-a-Day Communications.

  18. Reading the Rover Tracks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-08-29

    The straight lines in Curiosity zigzag track marks are Morse code for JPL. The footprint is an important reference mark that the rover can use to drive more precisely via a system called visual odometry.

  19. 2016 ROVER CHALLENGE EVENTS

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-01-08

    2016 ROVER CHALLENGE EVENTS AT THE U.S. SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER IN HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COME TOGETHER TO TEST THEIR ENGINEERING SKILLS OVER A SIMULATED OUTER PLANET OBSTACLE COURSE.

  20. The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) on the Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hecht, M. H.; Hoffman, J. A.; Moxie Team

    2016-10-01

    The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) is a technology experiment on the Mars 2020 Rover mission that will demonstrate the production of oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide as a precursor to a future human mission.

  1. Test Rover at JPL During Preparation for Mars Rover Low-Angle Selfie

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-08-19

    This view of a test rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, results from advance testing of arm positions and camera pointings for taking a low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. This rehearsal in California led to a dramatic Aug. 5, 2015, selfie of Curiosity, online at PIA19807. Curiosity's arm-mounted Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera took 92 of component images that were assembled into that mosaic. The rover team positioned the camera lower in relation to the rover body than for any previous full self-portrait of Curiosity. This practice version was taken at JPL's Mars Yard in July 2013, using the Vehicle System Test Bed (VSTB) rover, which has a test copy of MAHLI on its robotic arm. MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19810

  2. Curiosity Mars Rover Route from Landing to Pahrump Hills

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-09-25

    This map shows the route driven by NASA Curiosity Mars rover from the Bradbury Landing location where it landed in August 2012 to the Pahrump Hills outcrop where it drilled into the lowest part of Mount Sharp.

  3. Lunar Resource Exploitation with Team Hakuto Swarm Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acierno, Kyle

    2016-07-01

    While much research has been done on the exploration, extraction and utilization of the Moon's resources, little attention has been given to exploring the economic opportunities that exist in the exploitation of those resources with the use of swam rovers. In order to develop a holistic view of lunar resources, this paper will first investigate the most important volatiles and minerals that are known to exist on the Moon. Next, Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Hakuto's technology and current robotic set up will be given. Finally, TEAM HAKUTO's 2017 Lunar mission plan will be outlined, providing an overview of future architectures using future swarm robotics to search for, map and eventually exploit the resources and volatiles.

  4. The Maneuver Planning Process for the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mesarch, Michael A.; Andrews, Stephen; Bauer, Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center's Eastern Range on June 30, 2001. MAP will measure the cosmic microwave background as a follow up to NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission from the early 1990's. MAP will take advantage of its mission orbit about the Sun-Earth/Moon L2 Lagrangian point to produce results with higher resolution, sensitivity, and accuracy than COBE. A strategy comprising highly eccentric phasing loops with a lunar gravity assist was utilized to provide a zero-cost insertion into a lissajous orbit about L2. Maneuvers were executed at the phasing loop perigees to correct for launch vehicle errors and to target the lunar gravity assist so that a suitable orbit at L2 was achieved. This paper will discuss the maneuver planning process for designing, verifying, and executing MAP's maneuvers. A discussion of the tools and how they interacted will also be included. The maneuver planning process was iterative and crossed several disciplines, including trajectory design, attitude control, propulsion, power, thermal, communications, and ground planning. Several commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) packages were used to design the maneuvers. STK/Astrogator was used as the trajectory design tool. All maneuvers were designed in Astrogator to ensure that the Moon was met at the correct time and orientation to provide the energy needed to achieve an orbit about L2. The Mathworks Matlab product was used to develop a tool for generating command quaternions. The command quaternion table (CQT) was used to drive the attitude during the perigee maneuvers. The MatrixX toolset, originally written by Integrated Systems, Inc., now distributed by Mathworks, was used to create HiFi, a high fidelity simulator of the MAP attitude control system. HiFi was used to test the CQT and to make sure that all attitude requirements were met during the maneuver. In addition, all ACS data plotting and output were generated in

  5. The Maneuver Planning Process for the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mesarch, Michael A.; Andrews, Stephen; Bauer, Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center's Eastern Range on June 30, 2001. MAP will measure the cosmic microwave background as a follow up to NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission from the early 1990's. MAP will take advantage of its mission orbit about the Sun-Earth/Moon L2 Lagrangian point to produce results with higher resolution, sensitivity, and accuracy than COBE. A strategy comprising highly eccentric phasing loops with a lunar gravity assist was utilized to provide a zero-cost insertion into a lissajous orbit about L2. Maneuvers were executed at the phasing loop perigees to correct for launch vehicle errors and to target the lunar gravity assist so that a suitable orbit at L2 was achieved. This paper will discuss the maneuver planning process for designing, verifying, and executing MAP's maneuvers. A discussion of the tools and how they interacted will also be included. The maneuver planning process was iterative and crossed several disciplines, including trajectory design, attitude control, propulsion, power, thermal, communications, and ground planning. Several commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) packages were used to design the maneuvers. STK/Astrogator was used as the trajectory design tool. All maneuvers were designed in Astrogator to ensure that the Moon was met at the correct time and orientation to provide the energy needed to achieve an orbit about L2. The Mathworks Matlab product was used to develop a tool for generating command quaternions. The command quaternion table (CQT) was used to drive the attitude during the perigee maneuvers. The MatrixX toolset, originally written by Integrated Systems, Inc., now distributed by Mathworks, was used to create HiFi, a high fidelity simulator of the MAP attitude control system. HiFi was used to test the CQT and to make sure that all attitude requirements were met during the maneuver. In addition, all ACS data plotting and output were generated in

  6. Scout Rover Applications for Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonsalla, R.; Ahmed, M.; Fritsche, M.; Akpo, J.; Voegele, T.

    2014-04-01

    As opposed to the present mars exploration missions future mission concepts ask for a fast and safe traverse through vast and varied expanses of terrain. As seen during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission the rovers suffered a lack of detailed soil and terrain information which caused Spirit to get permanently stuck in soft soil. The goal of the FASTER1 EU-FP7 project is to improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration by determining the traversability of the terrain and lowering the risk to enter hazardous areas. To achieve these goals, a scout rover will be used for soil and terrain sensing ahead of the main rover. This paper describes a highly mobile, and versatile micro scout rover that is used for soil and terrain sensing and is able to co-operate with a primary rover as part of the FASTER approach. The general reference mission idea and concept is addressed within this paper along with top-level requirements derived from the proposed ESA/NASA Mars Sample Return mission (MSR) [4]. Following the mission concept and requirements [3], a concept study for scout rover design and operations has been performed [5]. Based on this study the baseline for the Coyote II rover was designed and built as shown in Figure 1. Coyote II is equipped with a novel locomotion concept, providing high all terrain mobility and allowing to perform side-to-side steering maneuvers which reduce the soil disturbance as compared to common skid steering [6]. The rover serves as test platform for various scout rover application tests ranging from locomotion testing to dual rover operations. From the lessons learned from Coyote II and for an enhanced design, a second generation rover (namely Coyote III) as shown in Figure 2 is being built. This rover serves as scout rover platform for the envisaged FASTER proof of concept field trials. The rover design is based on the test results gained by the Coyote II trials. Coyote III is equipped with two

  7. The MOMENT Magnetic-Mapping Mission: A Nanosatellite for the Scientific Exploration of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eagleson, S.; Mauthe, S.; Sarda, K.; Spencer, H.; Zee, R. E.; Arkani-Hammed, J.

    2008-08-01

    MOMENT (Magnetic Observations of Mars Enabled by Nanosatellite Technology) is a nanosatellite that will obtain high-resolution maps of remnant magnetic fields present in the southern highlands of Mars. A European-developed magnetometer accurate to bet- ter than 0.5 nT and employed in a highly elliptical orbit with a relatively low, 100 km night-side, periapsis will provide much greater spatial resolution and delineation of local magnetic anomalies than is available from the initial surveys performed by Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). During the aerobraking phase of the MGS mission, low-altitude measurements were corrupted by solar wind because they were acquired under sunlit conditions where solar winds interacted with the crustal magnetic fields. During the mapping phase of the mission, spatial resolution was limited to about 400 km. Both of these issues will be overcome by MOMENT's low-altitude, night-side, observing strategy. The resulting magnetic-field maps, for the key areas of interest, will allow detailed studies of regional tectonics and the history of the planet's now- inactive core dynamo. MOMENT's design is based on the Space Flight Laboratory's Generic Nanosatellite Bus (GNB), which is also being developed for the BRITE space-astronomy and CanX-4&5 formation- flight missions. Nominally a 30 x 30 x 30 cm cube on the order of 10 kg mass, MOMENT uses as much GNB technology as possible to provide a rapid and cost-effective mission. The implementation of the mission requires payload space on a larger carrier spacecraft and the use of existing and future Martian communication relays for the transfer of information to and from Earth, necessitating a high level of international co-operation. MOMENT is otherwise fully independent and autonomous, even during scientific operations. This paper describes the conceptual (Canadian Space Agency funded) MOMENT mission and presents a strong case for the use of nanosatellite technology as a relatively simple and cost

  8. A study of an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus. Volume 2: Configuration comparisons and systems evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Configuration comparisons and systems evaluation for the orbital radar mapping mission of the planet Venus are discussed. Designs are recommended which best satisfy the science objectives of the Venus radar mapping concept. Attention is given to the interaction and integration of those specific mission-systems recommendations with one another, and the final proposed designs are presented. The feasibility, cost, and scheduling of these configurations are evaluated against assumptions of reasonable state-of-the-art growth and space funding expectations.

  9. Measuring Total Surface Moisture with the COSMOS Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrisman, B. B.; Zreda, M.; Franz, T. E.; Rosolem, R.

    2012-12-01

    The COSMOS rover is the mobile application of the cosmic-ray soil moisture probe. By quantifying the relative amount of the hydrogen molecules within the instrument's support volume (~335 m radius in air, 10-70 cm depth in soil) the instrument makes an area-average surface moisture measurement. We call this measurement "total surface moisture". Quantifying hydrogen in all major stocks (soils, infrastructure, vegetation, and water vapor) allows for an isolation of the volumetric fraction of the exchangeable surface moisture. By isolating the hydrogen molecule we can measure the exchangeable surface moisture over all land cover types including those with built-up infrastructure and dense vegetation; two environments which have been challenging to existing technologies. . The cosmic-ray rover has the capability to improve hydrologic, climate, and weather models by parameterizing the exchangeable surface moisture status over complex landscapes. It can also fill a gap in the verification and development processes of surface moisture satellite missions, such as SMOS and SMAP. In our current research program, 2D transects are produced twice a week and 3D maps are produced once a week during the 2012 monsoon season (July-September) within the Tucson Basin. The 40 km x 40 km area includes four land cover classes; developed, scrub (natural Sonoran Desert), crops, and evergreen forest. The different land cover types show significant differences in their surface moisture behavior with irrigation acting as the largest controlling factor in the developed and crop areas. In addition we investigated the use of the cosmic-ray rover data to verify/compare with satellite derived soil moisture. A Maximum Entropy model is being used to create soil moisture profiles from shallow surface measurements (SMOS data). With the cosmic-ray penetration depth and weighting function known, the satellite measurement can be interpolated, weighted and compared with the cosmic-ray measurement when the

  10. Terrain Adaptive Navigation for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthies, Larry H.; Helmick, Daniel M.; Angelova, Anelia; Livianu, Matthew

    2007-01-01

    A navigation system for Mars rovers in very rough terrain has been designed, implemented, and tested on a research rover in Mars analog terrain. This navigation system consists of several technologies that are integrated to increase the capabilities compared to current rover navigation algorithms. These technologies include: goodness maps and terrain triage, terrain classification, remote slip prediction, path planning, high-fidelity traversability analysis (HFTA), and slip-compensated path following. The focus of this paper is not on the component technologies, but rather on the integration of these components. Results from the onboard integration of several of the key technologies described here are shown. Additionally, the results from independent demonstrations of several of these technologies are shown. Future work will include the demonstration of the entire integrated system described here.

  11. Terrain Adaptive Navigation for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthies, Larry H.; Helmick, Daniel M.; Angelova, Anelia; Livianu, Matthew

    2007-01-01

    A navigation system for Mars rovers in very rough terrain has been designed, implemented, and tested on a research rover in Mars analog terrain. This navigation system consists of several technologies that are integrated to increase the capabilities compared to current rover navigation algorithms. These technologies include: goodness maps and terrain triage, terrain classification, remote slip prediction, path planning, high-fidelity traversability analysis (HFTA), and slip-compensated path following. The focus of this paper is not on the component technologies, but rather on the integration of these components. Results from the onboard integration of several of the key technologies described here are shown. Additionally, the results from independent demonstrations of several of these technologies are shown. Future work will include the demonstration of the entire integrated system described here.

  12. Decision-Theoretic Control of Planetary Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zilberstein, Shlomo; Washington, Richard; Bernstein, Daniel S.; Mouaddib, Abdel-Illah; Morris, Robert (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Planetary rovers are small unmanned vehicles equipped with cameras and a variety of sensors used for scientific experiments. They must operate under tight constraints over such resources as operation time, power, storage capacity, and communication bandwidth. Moreover, the limited computational resources of the rover limit the complexity of on-line planning and scheduling. We describe two decision-theoretic approaches to maximize the productivity of planetary rovers: one based on adaptive planning and the other on hierarchical reinforcement learning. Both approaches map the problem into a Markov decision problem and attempt to solve a large part of the problem off-line, exploiting the structure of the plan and independence between plan components. We examine the advantages and limitations of these techniques and their scalability.

  13. Operational Experience with Long Duration Wildfire Mapping: UAS Missions Over the Western United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Philip; Cobleigh, Brent; Buoni, Greg; Howell, Kathleen

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States Forest Service, and National Interagency Fire Center have developed a partnership to develop and demonstrate technology to improve airborne wildfire imaging and data dissemination. In the summer of 2007, a multi-spectral infrared scanner was integrated into NASA's Ikhana Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) (a General Atomics Predator-B) and launched on four long duration wildfire mapping demonstration missions covering eight western states. Extensive safety analysis, contingency planning, and mission coordination were key to securing an FAA certificate of authorization (COA) to operate in the national airspace. Infrared images were autonomously geo-rectified, transmitted to the ground station by satellite communications, and networked to fire incident commanders within 15 minutes of acquisition. Close coordination with air traffic control ensured a safe operation, and allowed real-time redirection around inclement weather and other minor changes to the flight plan. All objectives of the mission demonstrations were achieved. In late October, wind-driven wildfires erupted in five southern California counties. State and national emergency operations agencies requested Ikhana to help assess and manage the wildfires. Four additional missions were launched over a 5-day period, with near realtime images delivered to multiple emergency operations centers and fire incident commands managing 10 fires.

  14. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.

    2007-08-01

    Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully operated on the Earth's moon and on Mars. In particular, the two NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) ,Spirit' and ,Opportunity' are still in sustained daily operations at two sites on Mars more than 3 years after landing there. Currently, several new planetary rover missions are in development targeting Mars (the US Mars Science Lab vehicle for launch in 2009 and ESA's ExoMars rover for launch in 2013), with lunar rover missions under study by China and Japan for launches around 2012. Moreover, the US Constellation program is preparing pre-development of lunar rovers for initially unmanned and, subsequently, human missions to the Moon with a corresponding team dedicated to mobility system development having been set up at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Given this dynamic environment, it was found timely to establish an expert group on off-the-road mobility as relevant for robotic vehicles that would involve individuals representing the various on-going efforts on the different continents. This was realized through the International Society of Terrain-Vehicle Systems (ISTVS), a research organisation devoted to terramechanics and to the ,science' of off-the-road vehicle development which as a result is just now establishing a Technical Group on Terrestrial and Planetary Rovers. Members represent space-related as well as military research institutes and universities from the US, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The group's charter for 2007 is to define its objectives, functions, organizational structure and recommended research objectives to support planetary rover design and development. Expected areas of activity of the ISTVS-sponsored group include: the problem of terrain specification for planetary rovers; identification of limitations in modelling of rover mobility; a survey of existing rover mobility testbeds; the consolidation of mobility predictive models and their state of validation; sensing and real

  15. Preliminary Surface Thermal Design of the Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Jason G.; Redmond, Matthew J.; Bhandari, Pradeep

    2015-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover, scheduled for launch in July 2020, is currently being designed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Mars 2020 rover design is derived from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, which has been exploring the surface of Mars in Gale Crater for over 2.5 years. The Mars 2020 rover will carry a new science payload made up of 7 instruments. In addition, the Mars 2020 rover is responsible for collecting a sample cache of Mars regolith and rock core samples that could be returned to Earth in a future mission. Accommodation of the new payload and the Sampling Caching System (SCS) has driven significant thermal design changes from the original MSL rover design. This paper describes the similarities and differences between the heritage MSL rover thermal design and the new Mars 2020 thermal design. Modifications to the MSL rover thermal design that were made to accommodate the new payload and SCS are discussed. Conclusions about thermal design flexibility are derived from the Mars 2020 preliminary thermal design experience.

  16. Testing Planetary Rovers: Technologies, Perspectives, and Lessons Learned

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, Hans; Lau, Sonie (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Rovers are a vital component of NASA's strategy for manned and unmanned exploration of space. For the past five years, the Intelligent Mechanisms Group at the NASA Ames Research Center has conducted a vigorous program of field testing of rovers from both technology and science team productivity perspective. In this talk, I will give an overview of the the last two years of the test program, focusing on tests conducted in the Painted Desert of Arizona, the Atacama desert in Chile, and on IMG participation in the Mars Pathfinder mission. An overview of autonomy, manipulation, and user interface technologies developed in response to these missions will be presented, and lesson's learned in these missions and their impact on future flight missions will be presented. I will close with some perspectives on how the testing program has affected current rover systems.

  17. Design Concept for a Nuclear Reactor-Powered Mars Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, John O.; Lipinski, Ronald J.; Poston, David I.

    2003-01-01

    A study was recently carried out by a team from JPL and the DOE to investigate the utility of a DOE-developed 3 kWe surface fission power system for Mars missions. The team was originally tasked to perform a study to evaluate the usefulness and feasibility of incorporation of such a power system into a landed mission. In the course of the study it became clear that the application of such a power system was enabling to a wide variety of potential missions. Of these, two missions were developed, one for a stationary lander and one for a reactor-powered rover. This paper discusses the design of the rover mission, which was developed around the concept of incorporating the fission power system directly into a large rover chassis to provide high power, long range traverse capability. The rover design is based on a minimum extrapolation of technology, and adapts existing concepts developed at JPL for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, lander and EDL systems. The small size of the reactor allowed its incorporation directly into an existing large MSL rover chassis design, allowing direct use of MSL aeroshell and pallet lander elements, beefed up to support the significantly greater mass involved in the nuclear power system and its associated shielding. This paper describes the unique design challenges encountered in the development of this mission architecture and incorporation of the fission power system in the rover, and presents a detailed description of the final design of this innovative concept for providing long range, long duration mobility on Mars.

  18. Using Multi-Core Systems for Rover Autonomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clement, Brad; Estlin, Tara; Bornstein, Benjamin; Springer, Paul; Anderson, Robert C.

    2010-01-01

    Task Objectives are: (1) Develop and demonstrate key capabilities for rover long-range science operations using multi-core computing, (a) Adapt three rover technologies to execute on SOA multi-core processor (b) Illustrate performance improvements achieved (c) Demonstrate adapted capabilities with rover hardware, (2) Targeting three high-level autonomy technologies (a) Two for onboard data analysis (b) One for onboard command sequencing/planning, (3) Technologies identified as enabling for future missions, (4)Benefits will be measured along several metrics: (a) Execution time / Power requirements (b) Number of data products processed per unit time (c) Solution quality

  19. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment.

    The rover is about 9 feet wide and 10 feet long.

    Viewing progress on the assembly are, from left: NASA Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and JPL Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success Tom Gavin.

    JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  20. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment.

    The rover is about 9 feet wide and 10 feet long.

    Viewing progress on the assembly are, from left: NASA Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and JPL Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success Tom Gavin.

    JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.