Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Mars Exploration News .




MARSDAILY
Los Alamos Laser Selected for 2020 Mars Mission
by Staff Writers
Los Alamos NM (SPX) Aug 01, 2014


File image.

NASA has announced that laser technology originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been selected for its new Mars mission in 2020.

"We are extremely excited to be going to Mars again," said Los Alamos National Laboratory planetary scientist Roger Wiens, Principal Investigator of the newly selected SuperCam team and current principal investigator of the Curiosity Rover's ChemCam Team.

"More importantly for the mission, I know SuperCam is the very best remote sensor that NASA can have aboard."

SuperCam builds upon the successful capabilities demonstrated aboard the Curiosity Rover during NASA's current Mars Mission. SuperCam will allow researchers to sample rocks and other targets from a distance using a laser.

In addition to harnessing Los-Alamos developed Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technology-which can determine the elemental composition of the target from more than 20 feet away-SuperCam adds another spectrum to its laser for Raman and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy: A technique partially refined at Los Alamos and the University of Hawaii that provides the molecular makeup of a target, therefore allowing geologists to determine mineralogy and search for organic materials.

The enhancements provided by these two institutions include the successful demonstration of performing these measurements at long distances and in miniaturization of the instrumentation.

SuperCam also will add color to its high-resolution visible imaging capability as well as visible and infrared spectroscopy. The updates make SuperCam the perfect instrument to provide fine-scale mineralogy, chemistry, organic detection, and color images, with the added bonus of being able to dust off a surface via laser blasts.

The new instrument will occupy a similar volume on the upcoming rover as the ChemCam instrument does aboard Curiosity and will weigh nearly the same as well.

In addition, Los Alamos will build the detector electronics for the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument.

SHERLOC is a spectrometer that will provide fine-scale imaging and use an ultraviolet (UV) laser to determine fine-scale mineralogy and detect organic compounds. SHERLOC will be the first UV Raman spectrometer to fly to the surface of Mars and will provide complementary measurements with other instruments in the payload.

Tony Nelson of Los Alamos's Space Electronics and Signal Processing Group will lead the efforts in constructing the electronics. Los Alamos laser scientists Sam Clegg of Los Alamos's Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy Group and Wiens are part of the SHERLOC instrument science team.

SuperCam is a continuing effort between Los Alamos and the IRAP research institution in Toulouse France, and the French Space Agency (CNES), with additional collaboration from the University of Hawaii and the University of Valladolid (UVA) in Spain.

According to NASA, agency managers made the instrument selections for the upcoming mission out of 58 proposals received in January from researchers and engineers worldwide. Proposals received were twice the usual number submitted for instrument competitions in the recent past.

The Mars 2020 mission will be based on the design of the highly successful Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which landed almost two years ago, and currently is operating on Mars.

The new rover will carry more sophisticated, upgraded hardware and new instruments to conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the potential habitability of the environment, and directly search for signs of ancient Martian life.

Scientists will use the Mars 2020 rover to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth by a future mission. The Mars 2020 mission is responsive to the science objectives recommended by the National Research Council's 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey.

The Mars 2020 rover also will help advance knowledge of how future human explorers could use natural resources available on the surface of the Red Planet. An ability to live off the Martian land would transform future exploration of the planet.

Designers of future human expeditions can use this mission to understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate technology to process carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to produce oxygen. These experiments will help engineers learn how to use Martian resources to produce oxygen for human respiration and potentially oxidizer for rocket fuel.

.


Related Links
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MARSDAILY
NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload to Explore the Red Planet as Never Before
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 01, 2014
The next rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 will carry seven carefully-selected instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet. NASA announced the selected Mars 2020 rover instruments Thursday at the agency's headquarters in Washington. Managers made the selections out of 58 proposals received in January from researchers and engin ... read more


MARSDAILY
Tidal forces gave moon its shape

Riddle of bulging Moon solved at last

China's biggest moon challenge: returning to earth

Lunar Pits Could Shelter Astronauts, Reveal Details of How 'Man in the Moon' Formed

MARSDAILY
China's Circumlunar Spacecraft Unmasked

China to launch HD observation satellite this year

Lunar rock collisions behind Yutu damage

China's Fast Track To Circumlunar Mission

MARSDAILY
Europe's Fifth and Final Resupply Ship Launches to Station

Science and Spacesuit Work While ATV-5 Preps for Launch

Russian Cargo Craft Launches for 6-Hour Trek to ISS

ISS Crew Opens Cargo Ship Hatch, Preps for CubeSat Deployment

MARSDAILY
Putting It All Together

Annual Checkout Makes for Great Pluto Preparation

In exactly one year, NASA's New Horizons probe will reach Pluto

What If Voyager Had Explored Pluto?

MARSDAILY
Titan Offers Clues to Atmospheres of Hazy Planets

MIPT-based researcher models Titan's atmosphere

Saturn's moon Titan has a very salty ocean

Cassini Celebrates 10 Years Exploring Saturn

MARSDAILY
NASA's IceCube No Longer On Ice

New NASA Studies to Examine Climate/Vegetation Links

Quiet Year Expected for Amazon Forest Fires in 2014

OCO-2 Data to Lead Scientists Forward into the Past

MARSDAILY
Perlan partners with Airbus to fly glider to edge of space

First synthetic biological leaf could allow humans to colonize space

NASA's IBEX and Voyager spacecraft drive advances in outer heliosphere research

Orion Tests Set Stage for Mission

MARSDAILY
Young binary star system may form planets with weird and wild orbits

Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets

Astronomers come up dry in search for water on exoplanets

Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.