For applications from analyzing the chirality of amino acids on icy moons to measuring carbon-cycle gases on the run, researchers in the Solar System Exploration Division are developing advanced technologies to get the job done.
Researchers: Emily Wilson Steel (Code 694)
Stephanie Getty (Code 699)
Daniel Glavin (Code 699)
Today we heard that the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission was selected as the next New Frontiers class mission. OSIRIS-Rex is a sample return mission to an asteroid that will launch in 2016, and spend over a year exploring 1999 RQ36, acquire samples while providing geologic context, and return to Earth in 2023. GSFC will manage the mission and provide the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) instrument.
Paul Mahaffy will be presenting a seminar at Howard University's Department of Physics and Astronomy on March 30, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. The subject for the seminar is "A New Generation of Science on the Surface of Mars with the Curiosity Rover."
Nature News interviewed Danny Glavin (699) on his research that some carbon rich meteorites are high in left-handed amino acids, while others contain an equal balance between these and their mirror-image counterparts.
Three members of the Planetary Environments Laboratory are in the arctic participating in the AMASE field campaign. Amy McAdam, Inge ten Kate, and Jennifer Stern are in this unique analog site testing instruments site that either have similar capabilities to SAM, or are under development for future "Search for Life" missions to Mars. Svalbard�s unique carbonate deposits which formed when a volcano erupted under glacial ice are strikingly similar to those found in the Martian meteorite ALH84001.
Follow along on Inge's blog to see what the crew is up to!
NASA selected three proposals as candidates under the New Frontiers program, and Goddard has a role in two of them.
One of the proposals selected for study was the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer mission (OSIRIS-REx). The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft would rendezvous and orbit a primitive asteroid. After extensive measurements, instruments would collect a pristine sample from the asteroid's surface for return to Earth.
The other proposal selected with a Goddard component was the Surface and Atmosphere Geochemical Explorer, or SAGE, mission to Venus. SAGE would release a probe to descend through the planet's atmosphere and obtain meteorological data. The probe then would land on the surface of Venus to measure its composition and mineralogy. Goddard's Dr. Paul Mahaffy and Dr. William Brinckerhoff (Code 699) are co-investigators for a Goddard-led instrument on this mission.