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Sample acquisition and caching using detachable scoops for mars sample return

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8 Author(s)
Younse, P. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA ; Stroupe, A. ; Huntsberger, T. ; Garrett, M.
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Future Mars sample return missions would require technology to robotically acquire and cache multiple samples for delivery back to Earth. Anticipating the need to acquire samples and prevent cross-contamination, individual detachable scoops and caching boxes were designed for use with a rover. Four sample scoop/cache assemblies were mounted onto the back of Mars technology rover Sample Return Rover 2000 (SRR2K) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A robotic arm on the rover was used to open and close the cache boxes. A clamping mechanism designed for the end effector of the robotic arm attached and detached individual scoops and performed the scooping for sample collection. The spring-loaded cache boxes had a labyrinth seal incorporated into the lid to provide a bio-barrier from external contaminants. The sample collection and caching system was tested, along with a cleaning protocol, to ensure cleanliness of the samples for life-detection studies August 2008 in Svalbard, Norway during the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE).

Published in:

Aerospace conference, 2009 IEEE

Date of Conference:

7-14 March 2009