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Earth Entry Vehicle for Mars Sample ReturnThe driving requirement for design of a Mars Sample return mission is assuring containment of the returned samples. The impact of this requirement on developmental costs, mass allocation, and design approach of the Earth Entry Vehicle is significant. A simple Earth entry vehicle is described which can meet these requirements and safely transport the Mars Sample Return mission's sample through the Earth's atmosphere to a recoverable location on the surface. Detailed analysis and test are combined with probabilistic risk assessment to design this entirely passive concept that circumvents the potential failure modes of a parachute terminal descent system. The design also possesses features that mitigate other risks during the entry, descent, landing and recovery phases. The results of a full-scale drop test are summarized.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Mitcheltree, R. A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Braun, R. D.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Hughes. S. J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Simonsen, L. C.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 9, 2000
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
51st International Astronautics Federation Congress(Rio de Janeiro)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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