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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The design of an unmanned Martian polar exploration system is presented. The system elements include subsystems for transportation of material from earth to Mars, study of the Martian north pole, power generation, and communications. Early next century, three Atlas 2AS launch vehicles will be used to insert three Earth-Mars transfer vehicles, or buses, into a low-energy transfer orbit. Capture at Mars will be accomplished by aerobraking into a circular orbit. Each bus contains four landers and a communications satellite. Six of the twelve total landers will be deployed at 60 deg intervals along 80 deg N, and the remaining six landers at 5 deg intervals along 30 deg E from 65 deg N to 90 deg N by a combination of retrorockets and parachutes. The three communications satellites will be deployed at altitudes of 500 km in circular polar orbits that are 120 deg out of phase. These placements maximize the polar coverage of the science and communications subsystems. Each lander contains scientific equipment, two microrovers, power supplies, communications equipment, and a science computer. The lander scientific equipment includes a microweather station, seismometer, thermal probe, x-ray spectrometer, camera, and sounding rockets. One rover, designed for short-range (less than 2 km) excursions from the lander, includes a mass spectrometer for mineral analysis, an auger/borescope system for depth profiling, a deployable thermal probe, and charge coupled device cameras for terrain visualization/navigation. The second rover, designed for longer-range (2-5 km) excursions from the lander, includes radar sounding/mapping equipment, a seismometer, and laser ranging devices. Power for all subsystems is supplied by a combination of solar cells, Ni-H batteries, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators. Communications are sequenced from rovers, sounding rockets, and remote sensors to the lander, then to the satellites, through the Deep Space Network to and from earth.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19950006116.
Accession ID: 95N12529.
- No Copyright.
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