The Enceladus Surface Sample Acquisition for In Situ Measurements task is developing an end-to-end sample acquisition and handling system applicable to an Enceladus lander mission. The system would acquire samples and transfer them to in-situ instruments which would analyze material that was ejected by plumes and settled on the surface. It is desired to acquire material from only the top 1cm since this represents the freshest material. The one-percent Earth gravity environment presents challenges including low allowed sampling reacted forces and lack of gravity-based constraints on the sample. The wide range of potential surface material strength and surface topography represent additional challenges.
Paul Backes - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Research and Technology Development Program