A potential future in-situ lander mission to the surface of Enceladus could be the lowest cost mission to determine if life exists beyond Earth since material from the subsurface ocean, where the presence of hydrothermal activity has been strongly suggested by the Cassini mission, is available on its surface after being ejected by plumes and then settling on the surface. In addition, the low radiation environment of Enceladus would not significantly alter the chemical makeup of samples recently deposited on the surface. A study was conducted to explore various sampling devices that could be used by an in-situ lander mission to provide 1cc to 5cc volume samples to instruments. In addition to temperature and vacuum environmental conditions, the low surface gravity of Enceladus (1% of Earth gravity) represents a new challenge for surface sampling that is not met by sampling systems developed for microgravity (e.g., comets and asteroids) or higher gravity (e.g., Europa 13%g, Moon 16%g, or Mars 38%g) environments. It is desired to acquire surface plume material that has accumulated in the top 1cm to ensure acquisition of the least processed material. Several sampling devices were developed or adapted and then tested in simulated conditions that resemble the Enceladus surface properties. These devices and test results are presented in this paper.

Sampling tool concepts for Enceladus lander in-situ analysis / Badescu, Mircea; Backes, Paul; Moreland, Scott; Brinkman, Alex; Riccobono, Dario; Dotson, Matthew; Csomay-Shanklin, Noel; Ubellacker, Samuel; Molaro, Jamie; Choukroun, Mathieu; Genta, Giancarlo. - ELETTRONICO. - (2019). ((Intervento presentato al convegno IEEE Aerospace Conference 2019 tenutosi a Big Sky (Montana, USA) nel 2-9 Marzo 2019 [10.1109/AERO.2019.8741568].

Sampling tool concepts for Enceladus lander in-situ analysis

RICCOBONO, DARIO;Giancarlo Genta
2019

Abstract

A potential future in-situ lander mission to the surface of Enceladus could be the lowest cost mission to determine if life exists beyond Earth since material from the subsurface ocean, where the presence of hydrothermal activity has been strongly suggested by the Cassini mission, is available on its surface after being ejected by plumes and then settling on the surface. In addition, the low radiation environment of Enceladus would not significantly alter the chemical makeup of samples recently deposited on the surface. A study was conducted to explore various sampling devices that could be used by an in-situ lander mission to provide 1cc to 5cc volume samples to instruments. In addition to temperature and vacuum environmental conditions, the low surface gravity of Enceladus (1% of Earth gravity) represents a new challenge for surface sampling that is not met by sampling systems developed for microgravity (e.g., comets and asteroids) or higher gravity (e.g., Europa 13%g, Moon 16%g, or Mars 38%g) environments. It is desired to acquire surface plume material that has accumulated in the top 1cm to ensure acquisition of the least processed material. Several sampling devices were developed or adapted and then tested in simulated conditions that resemble the Enceladus surface properties. These devices and test results are presented in this paper.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11583/2741892
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