Author Topic: NASA/ESA - Mars Sample Return mission's Mars Sample Return Lander (SRL)  (Read 2204 times)

Sample Retrieval Lander (SRL)
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Overview
NASA's Sample Retrieval Lander would touch down on Mars and remain in place to receive a diverse collection of scientifically curated samples of Martian rock already collected and cached by NASA's Perseverance rover.

The lander would be the first ever to bring along a rocket — NASA's Mars Ascent Vehicle — and two helicopters, to help achieve the goal of bringing the samples safely to Earth for study. The Mars Ascent Vehicle would launch off the Red Planet, carrying samples into Mars orbit to meet the Earth Return Orbiter provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). The orbiter would then take the samples the rest of the way to our planet. The two NASA Sample Recovery Helicopters, modified versions of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter that Perseverance brought to Mars, would serve as backups for Perseverance's task of bringing sample tubes to the lander.

In addition, the lander would carry ESA's Sample Transfer Arm to load the sample tubes for return to Earth.

Role in Mars Sample Return Campaign
The Sample Retrieval Lander would play an important role in the safe return of Mars rock and atmosphere samples to Earth, delivering crucial spacecraft and hardware to Mars: the rocket that would launch samples from Mars, the two helicopters, and a robotic arm to transfer the samples into the rocket. Once the samples are on Earth, scientists around the world would examine them using sophisticated instruments too large and complex to send to Mars. The samples would remain available for future generations to study with increasingly advanced technologies. Scientists believe the samples could shed light on whether life has ever existed on Mars.

Quick Facts

This cutout concept illustration of the Mars Sample Retrieval Lander shows five flat multi-sided solar panels, two of its tripod-style legs, a white sample transfer arm mechanism protruding from the left side, and three fueling tanks, plus part of a fourth tank.

Project Name                                       Sample Retrieval Lander
Main Job                                               Receive samples collected by Perseverance rover and prepare them for
                                                            return to Earth
Launch Date                                       Planned launch in 2028
Mars Arrival                                       2030
Sample Return to Earth                       Samples would arrive on Earth in 2033
Landing Site                                       Near the Perseverance rover's landing site in Jezero Crater

Tech Specs
Length                                               About the size of an average two-car garage; tentatively planned to be
                                                            25.4 feet wide (~7.7 meters) and 6.9 feet high (2.1 meters) with solar
                                                            panels deployed
Mass                                                     3,375 kilograms
Weight                                               ~7,440 pounds on Earth (3,375 kilograms)
                                                            ~2,790 pounds on Mars (1,266 kilograms)
Deck Height                                       82.7 inches (210 centimeters)
Robotic Arm Length                               78.7 inches (2 meters) outstretched
Power Source                                       Five solar panels, ~7.2 feet (2.19 meters) in diameter, and a secondary battery to power the lander on the surface of Mars.

                                                                        5 Things to Know
1)Biggest Lander Ever Sent to Mars
The payload mass of the lander is double that of the Perseverance rover (1,241 pounds, or 563 kilograms). The lander's hefty cargo would include a rocket, sample transfer arm, and two helicopters. Each landing leg would be roughly the size of a human adult, with the whole lander standing about as tall as a professional basketball player.

2) Enabling First Launch from Another Planet
The Sample Retrieval Lander would be the first-ever spacecraft to carry a rocket to another planet and launch it from there. The lander would launch the Mars Ascent Vehicle by "tossing" it upward as high as 14.8 feet (4.5 meters) above the lander — or 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) above the Martian surface. Once aloft, the rocket would ignite and fly off to release the container of sample tubes into a stable orbit around Mars for rendezvous with ESA's Earth Return Orbiter.

3) First Mars Vehicle to Carry Two Helicopters
These aerial explorers would be based on the Ingenuity Helicopter carried to the Red Planet by the Perseverance rover. They would have wheels added for agility and a small arm to grab one sample tube at a time, in case the helicopters are needed to help retrieve Mars samples left by Perseverance.

4) Ultra-Precision Landing
The lander needs to be close to the Perseverance rover to facilitate the transfer of Mars samples. It must land within 66 yards (60 meters) of its target site — much closer than previous Mars rovers and landers. The lander would take advantage of an enhanced version of NASA's successful Terrain Relative Navigation that helped land Perseverance safely. The new Enhanced Lander Vision System would, among other improvements, add a second camera, an altimeter, and better capabilities to use propulsion for precision landing.

5) Interactions with Multiple Vehicles
The lander would interact with the Perseverance rover, the Sample Recovery Helicopters (as needed), and the Mars Ascent Vehicle in order to prepare the sample tubes for launch into orbit around Mars. The task requires many highly accurate robotic arm movements, to be performed by ESA's Sample Transfer Arm.

More at: https://mars.nasa.gov/msr/spacecraft/sample-retrieval-lander/
« Last Edit: 01/06/2023 07:55 am by Chinakpradhan »


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The mission to return martian samples back to Earth will see a European 2.5 metre-long robotic arm pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery.

The sophisticated robot, known as the Sample Transfer Arm or STA, will play a crucial role in the success of the Mars Sample Return campaign.

The Sample Transfer Arm is conceived to be autonomous, highly reliable and robust. The robot can perform a large range of movements with seven degrees of freedom, assisted by two cameras and a myriad of sensors. It features a gripper – akin to a hand – that can capture and handle the sample tubes at different angles.

The robotic arm will land on Mars to retrieve the sample tubes NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently collecting from the surface. Able to “see”, “feel” and take autonomous decisions, its high level of dexterity allows the arm to extract the tubes from the rover, pick them up from the martian ground, insert them into a container and close the lid before lifting-off from Mars.

ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) will rendezvous with the container filled with martian samples and bring the material back to Earth.

The joint endeavour between NASA and ESA aims to bring back martian samples to the best labs in our planet by 2033.

Follow the latest news about Mars Sample Return on Twitter and read all about it on the blog To Mars and Back.

More about the Sample Transfer Arm

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A helping hand for Mars
19/07/2022
11026 VIEWS
120 LIKES
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration
The mission to return martian samples back to Earth will see a European 2.5 metre-long robotic arm pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery.

The sophisticated robot, known as the Sample Transfer Arm or STA, will play a crucial role in the success of the Mars Sample Return campaign. The joint endeavour between NASA and ESA aims to bring back martian samples to the best labs in our planet by 2033.

The robotic arm will land on Mars to retrieve the sample tubes NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently collecting from the surface. Able to “see”, “feel” and take autonomous decisions, the Sample Transfer Arm will identify, pick up and transfer the tubes into the first rocket fired off another planet – the Mars Launch System.

Only after the robot closes the container’s lid, the martian samples will be launched for rendezvous with ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) and bring the material back to Earth.

A European robotic arm for Mars
A European robotic arm for Mars
“Handling the precious martian samples and getting them ready for delivery on an extraordinary trip from Mars to Earth is an amazing feat,” says David Parker, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration.

Following a successful study and prototyping phase, the Italian aerospace company Leonardo will design, manufacture, integrate and test the Sample Transfer Arm.

“From its inception to the first moves on Mars, this robotic arm is a testament to the enormous amount of expertise and knowhow we have in Europe. The Sample Transfer Arm will be the helping hand that will take planetary science to a new level,” adds David Parker.

A handy robot
The Sample Transfer Arm is a jewel-in-the-crown of space robotics. It is conceived to be autonomous, highly reliable and robust.

Its architecture mimics a human arm with a shoulder, elbow and wrist, and has its own built-in brain and eyes. The robot can perform a large range of movements with seven degrees of freedom.

A European robotic arm for Mars
A European robotic arm for Mars
A high level of dexterity allows the arm to extract the tubes from the rover, pick them up from the martian ground, insert them into a container and close the lid before lifting-off from Mars.

Two cameras and a myriad of sensors have a hand to decide the best course of action and coordinate movements accordingly. Challenges related to the harsh martian environment, such as the copious dust and extreme temperatures (-130°C/+70°C) will be taken into account while designing and building the robotic arm.

 

European industrial handshake
Today at the Farnborough International Airshow ESA signed a contract with Leonardo to design, manufacture, integrate and test the Sample Transfer Arm for the Mars Sample Return programme.

Mars alliance
Mars alliance
Leonardo is leading a European industrial consortium with companies from Spain, France, Romania, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) has supported the project since the beginning. “Our investments allow us today to affirm the leading role that Italy will have in the exploration of Mars and, in particular, in the Mars Sample Return programme,” said ASI’s president Giorgio Saccoccia.

“This contract reinforces our leadership in space robotics, an important technology for planetary exploration and orbital operations,” said Gabriele Pieralli, managing director of Leonardo’s Electronics Division.

Shaking hands for Mars
Shaking hands for Mars
The European companies involved in building the arm with Leonardo are AVS Added Value Solutions (Spain), ALTER Technology (France), COMOTI (Romania), the Danish Technological Institute (Denmark), EMTech Space (Greece), GMV Aerospace & Defence SAU (Spain), GMV Innovating Solution (Romania), Maxon (Switzerland), S.A.B. Aerospace s.r.o. (Czech Republic), and 3D PLUS (France). In the breadboarding phase, OHB Italia (Italy) developed the end effector and the mechanical ground support equipment.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2023 03:03 am by Chinakpradhan »

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