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A Sample Caching Subsystem (SCS) concept that provides transfer and storage of core and soil samples for planetary missions has been developed. The SCS could be carried on a rover and a rover arm-mounted coring tool could acquire samples and deposit the samples in the SCS. The SCS would transfer the samples into a sample container, with each sample in a separate sleeve. Important to the SCS design is the ability to seal each sleeve, and the sample with it, to isolate it from other samples and from the external environment. Sealing of the samples will allow for maintaining the integrity of organic materials over many years thereby allowing the samples to be analyzed in later missions or after a return trip to Earth.
Date of Publication: July 2007