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Research Tasks

Planetary Sample Sealing for Caching

Planetary Sample Sealing for Caching
Current working design of a Mars sample caching subsystem.
We will seek to make advances in three areas: caching subsystem design, individual sample sealing, and scientific viability of cached samples. Sample caching for Mars missions means to store samples in a container that is left on Mars for retrieval and use by a subsequent mission. The subsequent mission might not retrieve the container for a decade or more. An example of such missions potentially includes the currently planned 2018 MAX-C Mars Rover mission that may leave the container on the surface of Mars for use by a later Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. This scenario of coordinated missions could be very valuable to NASA in that the cost and risk of sample acquisition could be greatly reduced for MSR or another mission that retrieves the sample container.
Point of Contact: Paul Backes