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Groundbreaking Mars Sample Return for Science and Human Exploration
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Author and Affiliation:
Cohen, Barbara(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States);
Draper, David(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States);
Eppler, Dean(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States);
Treiman, Allan
Abstract: Partnerships between science and human exploration have recent heritage for the Moon (Lunar Precursor Robotics Program, LPRP) and nearearth objects (Exploration Precursor Robotics Program, xPRP). Both programs spent appreciable time and effort determining measurements needed or desired before human missions to these destinations. These measurements may be crucial to human health or spacecraft design, or may be desired to better optimize systems designs such as spacesuits or operations. Both LPRP and xPRP recommended measurements from orbit, by landed missions and by sample return. LPRP conducted the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) missions, providing high-resolution visible imagery, surface and subsurface temperatures, global topography, mapping of possible water ice deposits, and the biological effects of radiation [1]. LPRP also initiated a landed mission to provide dust and regolith properties, local lighting conditions, assessment of resources, and demonstration of precision landing [2]. This mission was canceled in 2006 due to funding shortfalls. For the Moon, adequate samples of rocks and regolith were returned by the Apollo and Luna programs to conduct needed investigations. Many near-earth asteroids (NEAs) have been observed from the Earth and several have been more extensively characterized by close-flying missions and landings (NEAR, Hayabusa, Rosetta). The current Joint Robotic Precursor Activity program is considering activities such as partnering with the New Frontiers mission OSIRIS-Rex to visit a NEA and return a sample to the Earth. However, a strong consensus of the NEO User Team within xPRP was that a dedicated mission to the asteroid targeted by humans is required [3], ideally including regolith sample return for more extensive characterization and testing on the Earth.
Publication Date: Jun 10, 2012
Document ID:
20120015348
(Acquired Nov 01, 2012)
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION
Report/Patent Number: M12-1940, M12-1941
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Explorations 2012; 10-12 Jun. 2012; Houston, TX; United States
Meeting Sponsor: Lunar and Planetary Inst.; Houston, TX, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL, United States
Organization Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL, United States
Description: 8p; In English; Original contains black and white illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: MARS SAMPLE RETURN MISSIONS; ROBOTICS; MANNED MARS MISSIONS; MANNED SPACE FLIGHT; MARS EXPLORATION; AEROSPACE SCIENCES; HEALTH PHYSICS; LESSONS LEARNED; LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER; MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Miscellaneous Notes: PDF includes Conference paper and oral/visual presentation
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