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Is Mars Sample Return Required Prior to Sending Humans to Mars?Prior to potentially sending humans to the surface of Mars, it is fundamentally important to return samples from Mars. Analysis in Earth's extensive scientific laboratories would significantly reduce the risk of human Mars exploration and would also support the science and engineering decisions relating to the Mars human flight architecture. The importance of measurements of any returned Mars samples range from critical to desirable, and in all cases these samples will would enhance our understanding of the Martian environment before potentially sending humans to that alien locale. For example, Mars sample return (MSR) could yield information that would enable human exploration related to 1) enabling forward and back planetary protection, 2) characterizing properties of Martian materials relevant for in situ resource utilization (ISRU), 3) assessing any toxicity of Martian materials with respect to human health and performance, and 4) identifying information related to engineering surface hazards such as the corrosive effect of the Martian environment. In addition, MSR would be engineering 'proof of concept' for a potential round trip human mission to the planet, and a potential model for international Mars exploration.
Document ID
20130009341
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Carr, Michael (Geological Survey Albany, NY, United States)
Abell, Paul (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Allwood, Abigail (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Baker, John (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Barnes, Jeff (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bass, Deborah (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Beaty, David (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Boston, Penny (New Mexico Tech NM, United States)
Brinkerhoff, Will (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Budney, Charles (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Charles, John (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Delory, Greg (California Univ. Berkeley, CA, United States)
Desai, Prasun (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
DesMarais, David (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Drake, Brett (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Hamilton, Victoria (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Head, Jim (Brown Univ. United States)
Heldmann, Jen (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Hoffman, Steve (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Kass, David (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Lim, Darlene (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Meyer, Michael (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Munk, Michelle (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Murchie, Scott (Johns Hopkins Univ. MD, United States)
Rivkin, Andy (Johns Hopkins Univ. MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
May 22, 2012
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
GLEX-2012-08.2.5x12751
Meeting Information
Global Space Exploration Conference(Washington, D.C.)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
biohazards
Mars recources
planetary protection
in situ resource utilization (ISRU)
humans to Mars