Sample Return Missions: The Last Frontier of Solar System Exploration examines the discoveries and results obtained from sample return missions of the past, present, and future. It analyses the results in the context of the current state of knowledge and their relation to the formation and evolution of planetary bodies, as well as to the available technologies and techniques. It provides detailed descriptions of experimental procedures applied to returned samples. Beginning with an overview of previous missions, Sample Return Missions then goes on to provide an overview of facilities throughout the world used to analyze the returned samples. Finally, it addresses techniques for collection, transport, and analysis of the samples, with an additional focus on lessons learned and future perspectives. Providing an in-depth examination of a variety of missions, with both scientific and engineering implications, this book is an important resource for the planetary science community, as well as the experimentalist and engineering communities. Presents sample return results obtained so far in relation to remote sensing measurements, methods and techniques for laboratory analysis, and technology Provides an overview of a variety of sample return missions, from Apollo, to Hayabusa-2, to future missions Examines technological and methodological advances in analyzing returned samples, as well as the resources available globally
Genre: Science, Editor: Elsevier, Pages: 396 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780128183311


The United States possesses a treasure-trove of extraterrestrial samples that were returned to Earth via space missions over the past four decades. Analyses of these previously returned samples have led to major breakthroughs in the understanding of the age, composition, and origin of the solar system. Having the instrumentation, facilities and qualified personnel to undertake analyses of returned samples, especially from missions that take up to a decade or longer from launch to return, is thus of paramount importance if the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is to capitalize fully on the investment made in these missions, and to achieve the full scientific impact afforded by these extraordinary samples. Planetary science may be entering a new golden era of extraterrestrial sample return; now is the time to assess how prepared the scientific community is to take advantage of these opportunities. Strategic Investments in Instrumentation and Facilities for Extraterrestrial Sample Curation and Analysis assesses the current capabilities within the planetary science community for sample return analyses and curation, and what capabilities are currently missing that will be needed for future sample return missions. This report evaluates whether current laboratory support infrastructure and NASA's investment strategy is adequate to meet these analytical challenges and advises how the community can keep abreast of evolving and new techniques in order to stay at the forefront of extraterrestrial sample analysis.
Genre: Science, Editor: National Academies Press, Pages: 138 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780309486699


The Space Studies Board of the National Research Council (NRC) serves as the primary adviser to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on planetary protection policy, the purpose of which is to preserve conditions for future biological and organic exploration of planets and other solar system objects and to protect Earth and its biosphere from potential extraterrestrial sources of contamination. In October 1995 the NRC received a letter from NASA requesting that the Space Studies Board examine and provide advice on planetary protection issues related to possible sample-return missions to near-Earth solar system bodies.
Genre: Science, Editor: National Academies Press, Pages: 58 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780309057332


NASA maintains a planetary protection policy to avoid the forward biological contamination of other worlds by terrestrial organisms, and back biological contamination of Earth from the return of extraterrestrial materials by spaceflight missions. Forward-contamination issues related to Mars missions were addressed in a 2006 National Research Council (NRC) book, Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars. However, it has been more than 10 years since back-contamination issues were last examined. Driven by a renewed interest in Mars sample return missions, this book reviews, updates, and replaces the planetary protection conclusions and recommendations contained in the NRC's 1997 report Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations. The specific issues addressed in this book include the following: The potential for living entities to be included in samples returned from Mars; Scientific investigations that should be conducted to reduce uncertainty in the above assessment; The potential for large-scale effects on Earth's environment by any returned entity released to the environment; Criteria for intentional sample release, taking note of current and anticipated regulatory frameworks; and The status of technological measures that could be taken on a mission to prevent the inadvertent release of a returned sample into Earth's biosphere.
Genre: Science, Editor: National Academies Press, Pages: 90 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780309130738


For the first time since the Apollo program, NASA and space agencies abroad have plans to bring samples to Earth from elsewhere in the solar system. There are missions in various stages of definition to gather material over the next decade from Mars, an asteroid, comets, the satellites of Jupiter, and the interplanetary dust. Some of these targets, most especially Jupiter's satellites Europa and Ganymede, now appear to have the potential for harboring living organisms. This book considers the possibility that life may have originated or existed on a body from which a sample might be taken and the possibility that life still exists on the body either in active form or in a form that could be reactiviated. It also addresses the potential hazard to terrestrial ecosystems from extraterrestrial life if it exists in a returned sample. Released at the time of the Internationl Committee on Space Research General Assembly, the book has already established the basis for plans for small body sample retruns in the international space research community.
Genre: Science, Editor: National Academies Press, Pages: 116 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780309061360


An international consensus policy to prevent the biological cross-contamination of planetary bodies exists and is maintained by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science, which is consultative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Currently, COSPAR's planetary protection policy does not specify the status of sample-return missions from Phobos or Deimos, the moons of Mars. Although the moons themselves are not considered potential habitats for life or of intrinsic relevance to prebiotic chemical evolution, recent studies indicate that a significant amount of material recently ejected from Mars could be present on the surface of Phobos and, to a lesser extent, Deimos. This report reviews recent theoretical, experimental, and modeling research on the environments and physical conditions encountered by Mars ejecta during certain processes. It recommends whether missions returning samples from Phobos and/or Deimos should be classified as "restricted" or "unrestricted" Earth return in the framework of the planetary protection policy maintained by COSPAR. This report also considers the specific ways the classification of sample return from Deimos is a different case than sample return from Phobos.
Genre: Science, Editor: National Academies Press, Pages: 74 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780309488594


The only work to date to collect data gathered during the American and Soviet missions in an accessible and complete reference of current scientific and technical information about the Moon.
Genre: Science, Editor: CUP Archive, Pages: 736 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 0521334446


Primitive Meteorites and Asteroids: Physical, Chemical, and Spectroscopic Observations Paving the Way to Exploration covers the physical, chemical and spectroscopic aspects of asteroids, providing important data and research on carbonaceous chondrites and primitive meteorites. This information is crucial to the success of missions to parent bodies, thus contributing to an understanding of the early solar system. The book offers an interdisciplinary perspective relevant to many fields of planetary science, as well as cosmochemistry, planetary astronomy, astrobiology, geology and space engineering. Including contributions from planetary and missions scientists worldwide, the book collects the fundamental knowledge and cutting-edge research on carbonaceous chondrites and their parent bodies into one accessible resource, thus contributing to the future of space exploration. Presents the most current data and information on the mission-relevant characteristics of primitive asteroids Addresses the physical, chemical and spectral characteristics of carbonaceous chondritic meteorites and the bearings on successful exploration of their parent asteroids Includes chapters on geotechnical properties and resource extraction
Genre: Science, Editor: Elsevier, Pages: 558 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780128133262


Hayabusa2 Asteroid Sample Return Mission: Technological Innovation and Advances covers the second Japanese asteroid sample return mission. The purpose of the mission is to survey the asteroid Ryugu’s surface features, touch down on the asteroid, form an artificial crater by shooting an impactor, and collect sample materials. This book covers these operations, along with everything known about key technologies, hardware and ground systems upon Hayabusa2’s return to Earth in 2020. This book is the definitive reference on the mission and provides space and planetary scientists with information on established technologies to further advance the knowledge and technologies in future space exploration missions. Broadly and comprehensively covers technologies necessary for space exploration missions Provides a unique focus on small body exploration missions Covers landing and impact experiments during the proximity operations of Hayabusa2
Genre: Science, Editor: Elsevier, Pages: 610 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780323997324


One of the highest-priority activities in the planetary sciences identified in published reports of the Space Studies Board's Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) and in reports of other advisory groups is the collection and return of extraterrestrial samples to Earth for study in terrestrial laboratories. In response to recommendations made in such studies, NASA has initiated a vigorous program that will, within the next decade, collect samples from a variety of solar system environments. In particular the Mars Exploration Program is expected to launch spacecraft that are designed to collect samples of martian soil, rocks, and atmosphere and return them to Earth, perhaps as early as 2015. International treaty obligations mandate that NASA conduct such a program in a manner that avoids the cross-contamination of both Earth and Mars. The Space Studies Board's 1997 report Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations examined many of the planetary-protection issues concerning the back contamination of Earth and concluded that, although the probability that martian samples will contain dangerous biota is small, it is not zero.1 Steps must be taken to protect Earth against the remote possibility of contamination by life forms that may have evolved on Mars. Similarly, the samples, collected at great expense, must be protected against contamination by terrestrial biota and other matter. Almost certainly, meeting these requirements will entail opening the sample-return container in an appropriate facility on Earth-presumably a BSL-4 laboratory-where testing, biosafety certification, and quarantine of the samples will be carried out before aliquots are released to the scientific community for study in existing laboratory facilities. The nature of the required quarantine facility, and the decisions required for disposition of samples once they are in it, were regarded as issues of sufficient importance and complexity to warrant a study by the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) in isolation from other topics. (Previous studies have been much broader, including also consideration of the mission that collects samples on Mars and brings them to Earth, atmospheric entry, sample recovery, and transport to the quarantine facility.) The charge to COMPLEX stated that the central question to be addressed in this study is the following: What are the criteria that must be satisfied before martian samples can be released from a quarantine facility?
Genre: Science, Editor: National Academies Press, Pages: 92 in PDF, Epub, Mobi, ISBN: 9780309075718