This session is seeking papers that address new mission concepts, instruments and enabling technologies for future planetary science and exploration. In particular, papers describing mission concepts proposed for ESA and international space agency programs are encouraged.

Co-organized by GI6
Convener: Kim Reh | Co-conveners: Maike Brigitte Neuland, Sebastian HettrichECSECS, Stephanie C. Werner
| Attendance Fri, 08 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

Files for download

Download all presentations (228MB)

Chat time: Friday, 8 May 2020, 10:45–12:30

D2545 |
| Highlight
Igor Mitrofanov, Lev Zelenyi, and Vladislav Tretyakov

The most interesting sites for future lunar outposts are thought to be located closely to poles, and South one is found to be more preferable.  But before humans could land there, the sequence of robotic missions should be implemented to study the natural environment at the selected sites, to deliver some supporting systems for ensuring conditions of habitability and also to test the innovated technology for Earth-Moon-Earth round trip.

Therefore, the Russian Lunar Program will be ignited by four robotic missions, which Russian Academy of Science has selected for the initial stage of this Program. Their names Luna-25 -28 were selected taking into account the name of the last Soviet lander Luna-24 of 1976. The objectives of these missions are critically important for accomplishment of the future polar expeditions of humans. The missions will conduct orbital mapping of polar regions with fine spatial resolution, measurements of radiation environment at the selected landing sites, testing of water and space volatiles in the polar regolith, and, in particular – testing presence of complex molecules and pre-biotic molecular complexes, the lunar dust and exosphere, etc. Mobile elements of landing missions will investigate local areas around the landing sites to determine the best spots for the future habitation modules of human missions. In addition, the researches for the basic science will also be accomplished by these missions, such as the experiments for lunar-based astronomy at long wavelengths and at gamma-rays, the experiments for lunar seismology, for monitoring of interplanetary plasma and solar wind, etc.

The talk presents in details the concept of the key mission of the first stage of the Lunar Program, the Luna-28 mission for lunar polar sample return. The mission concept is based on the several basic requirements. The mission should have the return module for direct flight from Moon to Earth. The module should be able to deliver to the Earth a set of samples of polar regolith with the total mass of about 2 kilograms. They should be quarried from different depths of the shallow subsurface from several cm down to 1 meter. Samples should be delivered to the Earth with all volatiles, including water, in the frozen state. Small moonrover “Lunokhod” with mass below 100 kg should be delivered to the Moon by the lander. Before the launch of the return module, the rover could deliver remotely selected stones for return at the nearest vicinity of the lander, after the launch, the rover should conduct scientific studies of the area around the landing site.

The mission of Luna-28 will also be supported by the ground segment for proper curation of delivered samples and for their studies in the leading domestic and international research centers. The complex molecules and organic molecular complexes will be the main objects for these studies.   

How to cite: Mitrofanov, I., Zelenyi, L., and Tretyakov, V.: Luna-28 mission for polar samples return, as the key element of the initial stage of Russian Lunar Program , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8739, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8739, 2020.

D2546 |
| solicited
| Highlight
Seda Ozdemir, Gernot Groemer, and Stefanie Garnitschnigg

Analog missions are the windows to future exploration to different planetary surfaces, e.g., Mars, the Moon, and asteroids, by playing a tremendous role in problem-solving, know-how and lesson learned in space research. AMADEE-20 is the Mars Analog Mission of the Austrian Space Forum (OEWF), will be held in Ramon Crater-Negev Desert, Israel between 15 October and 15 November 2020. The mission is mainly in fields of geosciences, astrobiology, engineering, life sciences, communications, and medical applications. Moreover, it provides data on the limitations and strengths of human-robotic exploration at every stage of the mission and, presents how to combine those two significant components for the scientific explorations. 

Ramon crater provides similarities to various Mars surface features, e.g., typical terrain with a wide range of sand-rocky surface and inclination, for the 13th mission of OeWF. AMADE-20 has already come forward with its mission architecture development and its evolving algorithm “Exploration Cascade” which is defining an efficient deployment sequence, providing a framework for the search of life on Mars (space analogies). It was first demonstrated at the last mission AMADEE-18 (Oman, February 2018) and became a critical methodological tool for AMADEE-20. Notably, this model provides a solid layout for all future analog missions by bridging different parties to avoid the human-robotic missions’ complexities, taking into account instrument requirements, flight planning border conditions, environmental dynamics and (ground-based) data processing pipeline limitations. This workflow defines when and where to deploy instruments, expected data transfer times to the Mission Support Center on Earth and how fast the data processing can lead to knowledge influencing the decision-making processes of the flight planning teams.

Here, we would like to present our upcoming analog mission; AMADEE-20 and discuss the mission development processes with all aspects including the Exploration Cascade.

How to cite: Ozdemir, S., Groemer, G., and Garnitschnigg, S.: Introduction to Mars Analog Mission: AMADEE20 and Exploration Cascade, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12937, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12937, 2020.

D2547 |
| Highlight
Bernard Foing and the ILEWG EuroMoonMars Team

EuroMoonMars is an ILEWG programme  following up ICEUM declarations as a collaboration between ILEWG, space agencies, academia, universities and research institutions and industries. The ILEWG EuroMoonMars programme includes research activities for data analysis, instruments tests and development, field tests in MoonMars analogue, pilot projects , training and hands-on workshops , and outreach activities. EuroMoonMars includes a programme of grants for Young Professional Researchers.  EuroMoonMars field campaigns have been organised in specific locations of technical, scientific and exploration interest. Field tests have been conducted in ESTEC, EAC, at Utah MDRS station , Eifel, Rio Tinto, Iceland, La Reunion,  LunAres base at Pila Poland , and HiSEas base in Hawaii. These were organised by ILEWG in partnership with ESTEC, VU Amsterdam, NASA Ames, GWU in Utah MDRS (EuroGeoMars 2009, and then yearly for EuroMoonMars 2010-2013). Other EuroMoonMars analogue field campaigns using selected instruments from ExoGeoLab suite were conducted in other MoonMars extreme analogues such as Eifel volcano, Rio Tinto, Iceland, La Reunion, Hawaii. 

EuroMoonMars field campaigns started with EuroGeoMars2009  (Utah MDRS, 24 Jan-1 Mar 2009) with ILEWG, ESA ESTEC , NASA Ames, VU Amsterdam , GWU  and continued with yearly EuroMoonMars Field campaigns in Utah (2010-2014), and in other Moon-Mars terrestrial analogues (Eifel volcanic area, Rio Tinto, Iceland, La Reunion,  LunAres base in  Poland , and HiSEAS base in Hawaii ). 

EMMIHS campaigns (EuroMoonMars-IMA International Moonbase Alliance- HiSEAS): EuroMoonMars 2018-19 supported field campaigns at  IMA HISEAS base on Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii . The Hawaii - Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) habitat is located at 8,200’ (2,500 meters) in elevation on the largest mountain in the world, Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawai'i. As of 2018, the International Moonbase Alliance (IMA), an organization dedicated to building sustainable settlements on the Moon, has been organising regular simulated missions to the Moon, Mars or other planetary bodies at HI-SEAS.  In 2019, the EuroMoonMars campaigns were launched at HI-SEAS. Six scientists, engineers, journalists and photographers spent two weeks at the HI-SEAS station performing research relevant to both the Moon and Mars there.  Furthermore, the research and technological experiments conducted at HI-SEAS are going to be used to help build a Moonbase in Hawai’i, and ultimately to create an actual Moonbase on the Moon, as part of IMA’s major goals. The campaigns were remote;y supported from Blue Planet Lab (; support@ BluePlanet/IMA: Ponthieux, Cox, Rogers, Foing et al ) & ESTEC/ILEWG/VU Amsterdam (Ageli, Foing, Beniest, Sitnikova, Preusterink et al ) and had analog astronaut crew: 2018 EMMIHS0 EMM-IMA-HISEAS  scouting campaign May 2018  ( Crew: Rogers H&A, Foing, Wilhite, Machida); 2019 EMMIHS1 February (crew: Musilova, Sirikan, Mulder, Weert, Burstein, Pothier); 2019 EMMIHS2  8-22 December in Moonbase , (crew: Musilova, Kerber, Castro, Wanske, Pouwels, d’Angelo) ; 2020 EMMIHS3   18 Jan- 1 Feb  in Moonbase, (crew: Heemskerk M&H, Rajkakati, Musilova, Brasileiro, Edison); 2020 EMMIHS4    1-15 Feb in MoonbaseEMMIHS0 , (crew: Boross, Musilova, Neidlinger, Pantazidis, Sheini) . 

Other EuroMoonMars 2020 campaigns are planned in ESTEC, Lunares Poland , Iceland ,  Etna (ARCHES with DLR/ESA) & IMA HISEAS.

How to cite: Foing, B. and the ILEWG EuroMoonMars Team: EuroMoonMars programme & field campaigns, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20691, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20691, 2020.

D2548 |
| Highlight
Sabrina Kerber, Ariane Wanske, Michaela Musilova, and Bernard Foing

Concepts for designs of extra-terrestrial habitats are experiencing a growing importance in the space industry. New technologies and innovative materials bring the need for novel spatial arrangements in these habitats. Two of the most important components to improve habitability in extra-terrestrial habitats - the situation of privacy and color application - have been addressed in a lunar simulation (EMMIHS-II) at the Hawai´i Space Exploration Analog and Simulations (HI-SEAS) habitat. This analog astronaut mission was initiated by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) EuroMoonMars (EMM) and International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) in cooperation with the International MoonBase Alliance (IMA).
The question of how much privacy is necessary to create a liveable environment in an extra-terrestrial habitat has engaged space architects for the last decades. [1] The same keen interest has been attributed to the importance of color in guiding architectural conceptions in the often colour-less environment of outer space. [2] 
Less attention has been paid to the issue of semi-private space. Past analog astronaut missions at the HI-SEAS facility came across not only a lack of private space but also a scarcity of areas crew members could retreat to without completely leaving the common space. [2] Such semi-private areas bear great potential both from a spatial and psychological point of view.

The research results presented here are based on several experiments conducted during the EMMIHS-II lunar simulation at the HI-SEAS Mars/Moon Research Facility.Potential benefits on crew cohesion, work effectiveness and personal mood were studied through setting up a semi-private area and assessing its use by the crew.
Further experiments investigated the analog astronauts’ reaction to disparate color situations inside the habitat and this semi-private space.
The findings will serve as a basis for future architectural design concepts in extra-terrestrial habitats and also offer the potential for further investigations during future analog missions.

First, we would like to thank our fellow EMMIHS-II crew members (M. Musilova, A. J. D’Angelo, A. P. Castro de Paula Nunes, C.R. Pouwels) and the EMMIHS-II mission sponsors. In addition, our gratitude goes out to the HI-SEAS Mission Control, ground support at ESA/ESTEC and the ILEWG EuroMoonMars manager, Prof. B. H. Foing, for enabling this research.


[1] K. Kennedy, S. Capps (2000). Designing Space Habitation. Space 2000. 10.1061/40479(204)6.
[2] I. Schlacht, H. Birke (2011). Space design: Visual interface of space habitats. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. 15. 497-509. 10.1007/s00779-010-0326-4.
[3] S. Häuplik-Meusburger, K. Binsted et al (2017). Habitability Studies and Full Scale Simulation Research: Preliminary themes following HISEAS mission IV.
[4] Musilova, M., Rogers, H., Foing, B.H. et al (2019). EMM IMA HI-SEAS campaign February 2019. EPSC-DPS2019-1152.
[5] EuroMoonMars Instruments, Research, Field Campaigns and Activities 2017-2019. Foing, B.H., EuroMoonMars 2018-2019 Team. 2019 LPI Contrib. No. 3090.

How to cite: Kerber, S., Wanske, A., Musilova, M., and Foing, B.: Semi-privacy and Color Application as Elements of Habitability in Concept Designs for Extra-terrestrial Habitation, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18245, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18245, 2020.

D2549 |
Rustam Lukmanov, Marek Tulej, Andreas Riedo, Niels Ligterink, Valentine Riedo, Coenraad de Koning, and Peter Wurz

The identification of microbial remains on planetary bodies is an extremely challenging endeavor, requiring the utilization of novel measurement techniques and modern analytical approaches.  We performed an extensive study of the chert sample from Gunflint formation (1.88 Ga) containing populations of Precambrian microfossils with a laser ablation ionization mass spectrometer (LIMS) (Riedo et al., 2013; Wiesendanger et al., 2018) intended for application in space. Chemical characterization on microscale can open a new perspective in the identification of microbial remains, where morphological features might be lost and provide additional lines of evidence towards proving biogenicity of a given putative sample. Chert from the Gunflint formation in this study is considered as a Martian analogue where remains of microfossils are mainly concentrated within circular and tubular structures, which are primarily made from collapsed cell walls entombed within silica.

We sampled the microfossils and surrounding chert (host area) with fs UV laser with a spot size of 8 μm and retrieved intensities of 180 consecutive single mass peaks from each mass spectrum. We collected 60’000 mass spectra and build an intensity-based classifier, intended to process large datasets from cherts and identify their classes in an automatic regime. Using elemental pair-to-pair correlation analysis, we identified relevant masses for each given mineralogical class.  Additionally, we will present results of chemical imaging of the sample and discuss in details the chemical composition of microfossils and surrounding chert as well as technical aspects of the identification of spectra from the microfossils.

We will show how rich spectral information can be reduced to the low dimensional domain using principal components analysis and used for successful classification. Moreover, we will present the established workflow and discuss possibilities to extend this approach to other astrobiologically relevant formations, such as phosphates, carbonates, hydrothermal silicates. Future Mars exploration with enabling technologies as machine learning and big data processing coupled with high-output instrumentation such as laser ablation ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has the capacity to improve scientific return and achieve stated objectives and therefore should be given appropriate attention in the future missions. 


Riedo, A., Neuland, M., Meyer, S., Tulej, M., & Wurz, P. (2013). Coupling of LMS with a fs-laser ablation ion source: Elemental and isotope composition measurements. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 28(8), 1256–1269.

Wiesendanger, R., Wacey, D., Tulej, M., Neubeck, A., Ivarsson, M., Grimaudo, V., … Wurz, P. (2018). Chemical and Optical Identification of Micrometer-Sized 1.9 Billion-Year-Old Fossils by Combining a Miniature Laser Ablation Ionization Mass Spectrometry System with an Optical Microscope. Astrobiology, 18(8), 1071–1080.



How to cite: Lukmanov, R., Tulej, M., Riedo, A., Ligterink, N., Riedo, V., de Koning, C., and Wurz, P.: Chemical identification and automatic spectral classification of Microfossils from the Gunflint chert (1,88 Ga), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11096, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11096, 2020.

D2550 |
Michel Blanc, Chi Wang, Lei Li, Mingtao Li, Linghua Wang, Yuming Wang, Yuxian Wang, Qiugang Zong, Nicolas Andre, Olivier Mousis, Daniel Hestroffer, and Pierre Vernazza

To answer key scientific questions about Planetary Systems, it is particularly fruitful to study the Jupiter System, the most complex “secondary” planetary system in the solar system, using the power of in situ exploration. Two key questions should be addressed by future missions:

A-How did the Jupiter System form? Answers can be found in the most primitive objects of the system: Callisto seems to have been only partly differentiated; its bulk composition, interior and surface terrains keep records of its early eons; the 77 or so irregular satellites, wandering far out beyond the region occupied by the Galilean satellites, are unique and precious remnants of the populations of planetesimals which orbited the outer Solar System at the time of Jupiter’s formation.

B-How does it work? One can address this question by studying and understanding the chain of energy transfer operating today in the Jupiter System: how is gravitational energy from Jupiter transferred to Io’s interior via tidal heat dissipation to power its volcanic activity? How does this activity in turn store energy into the Io plasma torus to drive the whole magnetosphere into motion? How does the interplay between the Io torus and the solar wind dump energy into heating of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere, or release it into the tail and interplanetary space?

Starting from the measurement requirements derived from these two objectives, we propose two ambitious mission scenarios, named JCO and JSO, to meet these requirements. Both use the combination of a main spacecraft and one or several specialized small platforms.

JCO, the Jupiter Callisto Orbiter, first flies by and characterizes several irregular satellites during its Jovian orbital tour. It is then injected into Callisto orbit to characterize its surface and interior, investigate its degree of differentiation and search for the possible existence of an internal ocean.  As an option, JCO could release a lander to Callisto’s surface to perform key measurements of chemical composition, clues to understanding the formation scenario of the Galilean moons.

JSO, the Jupiter System Observer, performs several fly-bys of Io and visits several irregular satellites during its Jovian orbital tour. As an option, JSO could release one or several small satellites to perform multi-point studies of the dynamics of the Jovian magnetosphere. At the end of its tour it could be injected into a halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point of the Sun-Jupiter system to monitor the solar wind upstream of the Jovian magnetosphere, measure Jovian seismic oscillations, and perform a comprehensive survey of the irregular satellites.

Led by China under the name of GAN De, the first astronomer to have claimed an observation of a moon of Jupiter four centuries BC, and broadly open to international collaboration, a mission flying to Jupiter in the 2030’s according to either one of these scenarios will be able to capitalize on the legacy of previous missions to Jupiter (Juno, JUICE, Europa Clipper) and to trigger a very exciting international collaboration to unravel the mysteries of the origins and workings of the Jupiter system.

How to cite: Blanc, M., Wang, C., Li, L., Li, M., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Zong, Q., Andre, N., Mousis, O., Hestroffer, D., and Vernazza, P.: Gan De: Science Objectives and Mission Scenarios For China’s Mission to the Jupiter System, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20179, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20179, 2020.

D2551 |
William Goode, Sascha Kempf, and Juergen Schmidt

Europa Clipper, NASA’s next flagship mission launching in 2024, will closely study Jupiter’s icy ocean moon in order to determine if it has conditions favorable for life. Among the nine scientific instruments will be the Surface Dust Analyzer (SUDA), a state-of-the-art instrument for in situ chemical analysis of dust grains. During a series of close flybys of Europa (~25 to 100 km at closest approach), SUDA will collect and measure the chemical composition of thousands of ice and dust particles ranging from ~200 nm to 100 microns in radius, which will be direct samples from Europa’s surface. This is possible due to the flux of interplanetary micrometeoroids impacting the surface producing a cloud of ejecta particles, which SUDA detects and analyzes. Knowing the spacecraft trajectory, instrument pointing, and particle velocity through the instrument aperture, SUDA’s in situ chemical measurements will be linked to their site of origin on Europa’s surface near the spacecraft ground-track, thereby offering geological context for chemical composition. This method implements established models of impact ejecta dynamics and derives distributions for each measurement’s site of origin on the surface using Monte Carlo simulations. These studies are especially useful for evaluating the science return for particular tour designs since we can simulate SUDA’s effectiveness at mapping the composition of geologically interesting areas. With well targeted flybys by Europa Clipper, SUDA will be help constrain the chemical composition of surface material originating from various geological features, particularly those characterized by non-icy materials. This will enhance our understanding of the exchange processes between the icy surface and subsurface ocean as well as assess the habitability of Europa.

How to cite: Goode, W., Kempf, S., and Schmidt, J.: Detection, Analysis, and Mapping of Surface Material from Europa, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11339, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11339, 2020.

D2552 |
Leszek Czechowski

SpaceX’s lesson: SpaceX presents a new approach to astronautics. Its success is a result of the simple application of a commercial approach. Similar breakthroughs were observed when government funding became unnecessary for new technology.


SpaceX’s recipes:

Reusability: Falcon 9 – a reusable rocket.

Simplicity: Contrary to most of other rockets, Falcon 9 uses one type of engine only – Merlin 1 (in different versions).

Steady improvements: Initial versions of Merlin had rather moderate parameters. Presently, the engine represents one of the best achievement in technology of RP-1/LOX engines (high specific impulse, high ratio thrust/weight).

Precooling of fuel allows more fuel in the same volume.


“Mass” production: A few hundreds of Merlin engines are produced per year. It could be not impressive but it is more than many other rocket engines.


Special taxes? Given the high public support for space research, probably politicians may be convinced to introduce a special "space tax"? Currently, the average European spends the equivalent of a can of beer monthly on space research!


One-copy? The cost of the rocket is usually less than 10% of the total cost of the interplanetary mission. Most of the money is spent for development of unique devices, produced in one copy.

The second copy of Curiosity Rover evidently would be much cheaper than the R&D + first copy’s production cost (about US$ 2.5 billion). Probably no more than US$ 1 billion. At least six Curiosity class rovers could be useful for Mars research.


Better cooperation: Better cooperation between space agencies can be beneficial. Instead of independent attempts to develop technology already developed by others, decisions makers should consider buying ready products, licences, exchanging of technology, etc.


Achievements from previous decades: Just as in our wardrobe there are old attractive outfits, so in NASA's wardrobe there are past achievements. NERVA nuclear engine (developed 50 years ago) has specific impulse twice as high as the best chemical engines! Fortunately, US Congress recently has approved funds for the development of nuclear engines.


The spirit of pioneers: During the Apollo program, there was enthusiasm and a creative spirit typical of pioneering times. Presently, outstanding people still inspire others by pointing out that the conquest of space does not have to be just the domain of large agencies.


Conclusions: The current attitude towards space exploration is often the result of irrational political and nationalistic pressure. SpaceX's success still seems to be ignored by many decision makers. A commercial approach and common sense seem to be the best remedies for many of the problems. Outstanding scientists, engineers and technology entrepreneurs can inspire others and restore the spirit of pioneering times known from the Apollo program.


How to cite: Czechowski, L.: Spirit of pionieers, economy and Solar System exploration, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6100, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6100, 2020.

D2553 |
Kazuo Yoshioka, Masaki Kuwabara, Reina Hikida, and Ichiro Yoshikawa

The nano-spacecraft (6U) mission named EQUULEUS will be launched in 2020 as one of the sub-payloads of NASA’s Space Launch System. EQUULEUS will fly to a liberation orbit around the Earth-Moon L2 point and demonstrate trajectory control techniques within the Sun-Earth-Moon region for the first time as a nano-spacecraft. A small telescope for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) named PHOENIX will be boarded on the spacecraft. It consists of multilayer-coated mirror (diameter of 6 cm with Mo/Si coating), metallic thin filter, and photon counting device with microchannel plate and resistive anode. The reflectance of the mirror and transmittance of the filter are optimized for the emission line of ionic helium (wavelength of 30.4 nm) which is the important component of the plasmasphere of the Earth. By flying far from the Earth, the entire image of plasmasphere can be obtained. In this presentation, the mission concept and the design of the telescope, and the status of the latest development will be shown.

How to cite: Yoshioka, K., Kuwabara, M., Hikida, R., and Yoshikawa, I.: EUV observation for Earth’s plasmasphere from EML2 by nano-spacecraft , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6204, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6204, 2020.

D2554 |
Joseph Samaniego and Xu Wang

Langmuir probes are conductors of simple geometries (spheres, disks, cylinders, etc.) inserted into a plasma. By sweeping a voltage on the probe and measuring the current collected or emitted, a current-voltage (I-V) relationship can be found and interpreted to derive the density, temperature, and potential of the ambient plasma. Over the past 50 years, Langmuir probes have been flown on spacecraft missions for in-situ measurements of the local plasma environment. However, even after decades of use, there are still challenges in the analysis and interpretation of Langmuir probe measurements due to local plasmas created around the probe as a result of plasma interactions with the probe itself and spacecraft.

The Double Hemispherical Probe (DHP) is a directional Langmuir probe made of two hemispheres that are electrically isolated from each other and swept with a voltage together to get two separate I-V curves. The DHP uses the I-V curve differences between the two hemispheres to gain information of the asymmetry of the local plasma around the probe to retrieve the true ambient plasma parameters. Specifically, the DHP is intended to improve the plasma measurements in the following scenarios: i) Low-density plasmas; ii) flowing plasmas; iii) high-surface-emission environments; and iv) dust-rich plasmas. The following discusses the current progress of the DHP development.

Low-density plasmas create large Debye sheaths around the spacecraft that may engulf the Langmuir probe attached to a boom with a finite length. The potential drop in the sheath can change the characteristics of charged particles collected by the probe, causing mischaracterization of the ambient plasma. As expected, the I-V curves of both hemispheres match in the bulk plasma. It was found that as the DHP is moved ‘deeper’ into the sheath of the spacecraft, the currents of the two hemispheres diverge. The saturation current ratio of the hemispheres of the DHP was found to have monotonic relationships with the plasma characteristics measured in the sheath. A technique was created to retrieve the ambient plasma parameters.

In space ions generally have relative velocities with respect to the spacecraft due to flowing plasmas or fast-moving spacecraft, creating an ion wake behind the probe itself. This self-wake can cause issues in interpreting the I-V curves for both ion and electron species. The ion saturation current of either hemisphere of the DHP is dependent on the ion Mach number (the ratio of the ion flow speed to the thermal speed). Electrons are generally in the thermal state. However, depending on the ratio of the probe size to the Debye length, ambipolar electric fields can be created at the wake boundaries, causing the reduction of the electron density in the downstream side of the probe and its subsequent underestimation measured by traditional single Langmuir probes. It was shown that the DHP can identify this self-wake effect and properly measure the true ambient plasma parameters.    

Future work will explore the effects of high-surface-emission environments and dust-rich plasmas on DHP measurements and to develop techniques to resolve the true ambient plasma parameters in these environments. 

How to cite: Samaniego, J. and Wang, X.: A Double Hemispherical Probe for the Advancement of In Situ Plasma Measurements, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4255, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4255, 2020.

D2555 |
Jaehoon Jeong, Goo Kim, Kyung-Jung Moon, Minseok Nam, Deokrae Kim, and Dongwon Lee

The Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), which is the world's first geostationary environmental satellite, is scheduled to be launched in February of this year. Observing more than 8 times a day (up to 10 times), GEMS is expected to play an important role for regional and periodic monitoring of air quality and pollution in East Asia. In this study, we report the status of GEMS operation readiness and the overall operation plan after launch. The design and development of a ground station system for GEMS operation and utilisation are now completed. The GEMS ground system will generate level 1B (L1B) data through radiometric and geometric correction after receiving the signal and produce a level 2 (L2) product by using L1B as input data. In the case of L2 data, it will produce 20 kinds of output, including ozone, aerosol, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and glyoxal, gas products such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, surface information, and more. All algorithms for L2 product generation have been developed and verified. Currently, we are continuing to work toward stabilisation and speed improvement and plan to produce L2 products within one hour of observation. All processing must be completed within one hour before the next observation begins, specifically 30 minutes for L1B generation and the remaining 30 minutes for L2 generation. GEMS L2 processing is scheduled day and night. In the daytime, the goal is to produce L2 products within one hour for real-time distribution. In the night operation, on the other hand, the goal is to produce L2 products with a main purpose of improving the quality of L2 products through the use of additional information. GEMS will have an in-orbit test (IOT) period of approximately eight months following launch for radiometric and geometric calibration. During this period, many efforts will be made to ensure the quality of GEMS data, including comparative verification with reference data obtained from various observation methods and cross-calibration and -validation with the organisations that have made an agreement in advance. Suggestions from institutions interested in mutual collaboration for GEMS calibration are still welcome (note that proposals for mutual collaboration remain open). We also plan to verify the effectiveness of the night-time operation during the IOT period. The products will be distributed in stages after IOT according to the internally established distribution regulations. In this study, the overall operation of GEMS and the data distribution plan are presented. Although the schedule may change slightly depending on various situations after launch, this information is expected to be useful for many institutions and researchers in related fields who are very interested in GEMS data.

How to cite: Jeong, J., Kim, G., Moon, K.-J., Nam, M., Kim, D., and Lee, D.: Operation Plan of Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18025, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18025, 2020.

D2556 |
Luca Ciaffoni, Pavel Matousek, Iain Sedgwick, and Nick Waltham

Single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) arrays are solid-state detectors that offer imaging capabilities at the level of individual photons. Very recently, time-gated cameras based on solid-state CMOS SPAD technology have been proposed for improving the performance and field applicability of Raman spectrometers for on-surface planetary geoscience through addressing the largely unmet challenge of suppression of fluorescence interference in highly fluorescent rocks (e.g. minerals containing phosphate, one of the chemical nutrients thought to be essential for life).

The effectiveness of Raman SPAD cameras currently proposed in the literature, however, is at present restricted to a small subset of samples and regimes of operations. This is largely owed to two main limitations. Firstly, their performance is optimised only for the VIS spectral region (typically around 532 nm), where the fluorescence issue tends to be exacerbated due to increased likelihood of electronic excitation for most molecular species compared to Raman excitation above 775 nm. Secondly, their 2D architecture is limited to few pixel rows, which reduces their light-gathering capability and consequently the detection performance of the Raman spectrometer.

We present the preliminary work towards the development of a novel time-gated Raman spectrometer that relies on a large format NIR-optimised SPAD camera prototype with time resolution better than 200 ps. This technology promises to deliver unsurpassed dual-wavelength Raman detection capabilities that would be transformative for stand-off sample analysis in surface exploration of Mars and Icy moons.

A performance analysis model for predicting the fluorescence and ambient light suppression performance levels in relation to the properties of various samples, environmental conditions and specifications of the laser and camera is presented, followed by the preliminary designs of the SPAD camera module and Raman spectrometer.

How to cite: Ciaffoni, L., Matousek, P., Sedgwick, I., and Waltham, N.: Towards a time-gated Raman spectrometer with VIS-NIR SPAD camera for stand-off planetary surface exploration, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21809, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21809, 2020.

D2557 |
Graham Purvis, Cees van der Land, Naoko Sano, Peter Cumpson, and Neil Gray

The procedures for detecting fossils on Mars can be derived from the methods that are already used in terrestrial paleobiology (Cady et al., 2003). Here fossils preserving regions are visually located, then inspected for morphological features that might imply fossilised biology (Cady and Noffke, 2009; Westall et al., 2015). Morphological evidence of microfossils on its own is not a completely reliable biosignature (García Ruiz et al., 2002).  However, evidence of biological activity may be implanted within the molecular and isotopic composition of organic compounds, which can serve as biosignatures (Summons et al., 2008). Thus, combining both morphological with organo-geochemical evidence could strengthen any argument that a given geological feature could be associated with biological activity. The results from the simultaneous morphological and geochemical analysis of geobiological structures on Earth could provide evidence that any comparable structures that may be observed on Mars, are potentially connected to biological activity, and therefore, may be suitable for collection for return to the Earth, for further analysis.

As a proof of concept, the distribution of the organic material that is associated with distinctive microtubules in the glassy volcaniclastic shards within tuff, that have been suggested to be putative ichnofossils (Banergee and Muehlenbachs, 2003), these were analysed by us using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, nanoSIMS and the Ionoptika J105 time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometer, with  an argon gas cluster ion beam. This indicated that nitrogenous organic material occurred in regions of the sample that were rich in microtubule textures and in the surrounding microfractures (Sano et al., 2016). 

These results demonstrated that the J105 ToF-SIMS combined with XPS and GC/MS analysis is able to match geomorphological features with their organic and inorganic composition at the µm scale, which may be a useful approach for the identification of fossilised life on Mars.


Banerjee et al., (2003). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 4(4).

Cady et al., (2003). Astrobiology, 3(2), pp.351-368.

Cady et al., (2009). GSA Today, 19(11).

García Ruiz et al., (2002). Astrobiology, 2(3), pp.353-369.

Summons et al., (2008) Astrobiology, 90, 1151–1154.

Westall, F., et al., (2015). Astrobiology, 15(11), pp.998-1029.

Sano, N et al., (2016). J. of Vac Sci & Tech A: 34(4), p.041405

How to cite: Purvis, G., van der Land, C., Sano, N., Cumpson, P., and Gray, N.: Combining morphological and organic geochemical evidence for investigating putative ichnofossils: A case study for an approach for the detection of fossilised life on Mars, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22041, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22041, 2020.

D2558 |
Fabian Klenner, Frank Postberg, Jon Hillier, Nozair Khawaja, Morgan L. Cable, Bernd Abel, Sascha Kempf, Jonathan Lunine, and Christopher R. Glein

Discriminating between abiotic and biotic signatures of amino acids and fatty acids on extraterrestrial ocean worlds is key to the search for life and its emergence on these bodies. Cryovolcanically active ocean worlds, such as Enceladus and potentially Europa, eject water ice grains formed from subsurface water into space. The ejected ice grains can be sampled by impact ionization mass spectrometers onboard spacecraft – such as Cassini’s Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) – thereby exploring the habitability of the subsurface oceans. Complex organic macromolecules [1], as well as nitrogen- and oxygen-bearing organics that could act as amino acid precursors [2], were recently detected by the CDA in Enceladean ice grains. The next step is to determine whether potential biosignatures, such as amino acids and fatty acids, may also be detected using impact ionization mass spectrometry and whether abiotic and biotic signatures can be distinguished after a hypervelocity ice grain impact.

Previous experiments with an analogue Laser Induced Liquid Beam Ion Desorption (LILBID) spectrometer, proven to accurately reproduce the mass spectra of water ice grains at different impact speeds in space [3], have shown that most amino acids, fatty acids and peptides in pure water ice grains can be detected at nanomolar concentrations [4]. Here, we investigate the mass spectral appearance and detection limits of amino acids and fatty acids, in proportions representative of either biotic or abiotic formation processes, in a more realistic, Enceladus-like scenario. The analytes are mixed with over twenty additional organic (e.g., carboxylic acids) and inorganic background components (e.g., salts) suitable for ice grains formed from Enceladean ocean water which has interacted with the moon’s rocky core.

We find it is possible to distinguish and identify abiotic and biotic mass spectral fingerprints of potential biosignatures from the background even under these difficult conditions. In contrast to our previous work, we here find that amino acids and fatty acids form characteristic sodium-complexed molecular cations in a salty matrix. Detection limits of the organic biosignatures depend strongly on their Pka values and the salinity of the ice grains. Amino acid and fatty acid concentrations realistic for abiotic and biotic processes in the Enceladus ocean can be detected and characteristic abiotic and biotic mass spectral signatures can be clearly distinguished from each other [5]. We infer from our experiments that ice grain encounter velocities of 3 – 6 km/s are most appropriate for the detection of the distinctive signatures of the biomolecules. In this work, we established a standard methodology to detect and discriminate between abiotic and biotic processes in ice grains from extraterrestrial water environments.



[1] Postberg et al. (2018) Nature 558, 564-568, [2] Khawaja et al. (2019) Mon Not R Astron Soc 489, 5231-5243, [3] Klenner et al. (2019) Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 33, 1751-1760, [4] Klenner et al. (2020a) Astrobiology 20, in press, [5] Klenner et al. (2020b) Astrobiology, under review

How to cite: Klenner, F., Postberg, F., Hillier, J., Khawaja, N., Cable, M. L., Abel, B., Kempf, S., Lunine, J., and Glein, C. R.: A Method to Discriminate between Abiotic and Biotic Processes on Cryovolcanically Active Ocean Worlds, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9105, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9105, 2020.

D2559 |
Elias Roussos and the JUPITER_BELTS_TEAM

Jupiter has the most energetic and complex radiation belts in our solar system. Their hazardous environment is the reason why so many spacecraft avoid rather than investigate them, and explains how they have kept many of their secrets so well hidden, despite having been studied for decades. We believe that these secrets are worth unveiling, as Jupiter’s radiation belts and the vast magnetosphere that encloses them constitute an unprecedented physical laboratory, suitable for both interdisciplinary and novel scientific investigations: From studying fundamental high energy plasma physics processes which operate throughout the universe, such as adiabatic charged particle acceleration and nonlinear wave-particle interactions; to exploiting the astrobiological consequences of energetic particle radiation. The in-situ exploration of the uninviting environment of Jupiter’s radiation belts presents us with many challenges in mission design, science planning, instrumentation and technology development. We address these challenges by reviewing the different options that exist for direct and indirect observation of this unique system. We stress the need for new instruments, the value of synergistic Earth and Jupiter-based remote sensing and in-situ investigations, and the vital importance of multi-spacecraft, in-situ measurements. While simultaneous, multi-point in-situ observations have long become the standard for exploring electromagnetic interactions in the inner solar system, they have never taken place at Jupiter or any strongly magnetized planet besides Earth. We conclude that a dedicated multi-spacecraft mission to Jupiter’s radiation belts is an essential and obvious way forward. Besides guaranteeing many discoveries and outstanding progress in our understanding of planetary radiation belts, it offers a number of opportunities for interdisciplinary science investigations. For all these reasons, the exploration of Jupiter’s radiation belts deserves to be given a high priority in the future exploration of our solar system. A White Paper on this subject was submitted in response to ESA's Voyage 2050 call.

How to cite: Roussos, E. and the JUPITER_BELTS_TEAM: The in-situ exploration of Jupiter's radiation belts, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11952, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11952, 2020.

D2560 |
Andreas Benedikter, Marc Rodriguez-Cassola, Gerhard Krieger, Rolf Scheiber, Gustavo Martin del Campo Becerra, Ralf Horn, Michael Stelzig, Alberto Moreira, and Martin Vossiek

An Enceladus mission launched within a realistic time frame (e.g., launch between 2025 and 2040 and a transfer time of about ten years) would likely arrive as the sun is departing or gone from the most interesting South Polar Region marked by its active jets erupting through the ice crust. This almost drives the need for a radar instrument enabling the imaging, mapping and characterization of the moon independent of sunlight illumination. The known ice penetration capability of radar waves in the tens of MHz up to few GHz range allows for the exploration of subsurface features, whereas the surface may be imaged with high level of detail in higher frequencies up to several tens of GHz. In the frame of the Enceladus Explorer Initiative (EnEx) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), we are currently investigating the potential of a multimodal orbital radar instrument to be used as a companion to a lander mission and to contribute in the understanding of the structure, composition and temporal variation of the Enceladean ice crust and the involved geophysical processes.

The considered orbit geometries, strongly constrained by the presence of Saturn, allow for global coverage and offer half-daily revisit of the South Polar Region. We suggest a multi frequency system working concurrently in high frequency (e.g., Ka-band) and lower frequency (e.g., P-band) for surface and subsurface exploration, respectively, both capable of operating in a variety of modes: i) high resolution imaging used as a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), ii) SAR interferometer for topography, permittivity and surface and volume deformation estimates, iii) nadir looking configuration operating as an altimeter for elevation estimates and as a sounder for subsurface exploration with great penetration capability, iv) radiometer for surface temperature estimates and inversion of temperature profiles, and v) bistatic measurements between the radar instrument and an ice penetrating probe deployed by the lander with similarities to the CONSERT instrument of ESA's Rosetta mission.

In this presentation, we evaluate the potential of the different modes concerning their scientific output and their usefulness for supporting the success of a lander mission. In particular the performance of SAR imaging and interferometry (single- and repeat-pass) modes are analysed, which are expected to provide key information for landing site selection such as structure, composition and topography of the surface and subsurface with metric resolution. For validation, we present results of a SAR campaign conducted using DLR's airborne sensor F-SAR over an alpine glacier, with simultaneous X- and L-band acquisitions. The campaign incorporates repeat- and single-pass acquisitions, as well as circular flights, which provide interferometric and tomographic measurements with observation geometries similar to those of an Enceladus mission. Furthermore, we provide an analysis towards a bistatic sounding experiment. Utilizing the transmission line between the radar instrument and a transponder integrated in an ice penetrating probe allows for the inversion of the spatial distribution of the dielectric ice properties and associated geophysical parameters (e.g., density, grain size, temperature, and salinity).

How to cite: Benedikter, A., Rodriguez-Cassola, M., Krieger, G., Scheiber, R., Martin del Campo Becerra, G., Horn, R., Stelzig, M., Moreira, A., and Vossiek, M.: Potential of a Multimodal Orbital Radar Mission for the Exploration of Enceladus, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19621, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19621, 2020.

D2561 |
Maria Genzer, Maria Hieta, Antti Kestilä, Harri Haukka, Ignacio Arruego, Victor Apéstigue, Jose Antonio Manfredi, Cristina Ortega, Manuel Dominiguez, Servando Espejo, Héctor Guerrero, Matti Palin, Jarmo Kivekäs, Petri Koskimaa, and Matti Talvioja

MiniPINS is an ESA study led by the Finnish Meteorological Institute to develop and prototype miniaturised surface sensor packages (SSPs) for Mars and the Moon. The study aims at miniaturising the scientific sensors and subsystems, as well as identifying and utilizing commonalities of the packages, allowing to optimise the design, cut costs and reduce the development time. We present the Preliminary Mission Plan and possible concepts for the landers for this mission. 

The Mars SSP will be a small 25 kg penetrator deployed from Mars orbit. Maximally four (4) penetrators will be carried to the Martian orbit by an Orbiter and the Orbiter will be oriented for deployment of each penetrator. In the Martian atmosphere the penetrators undergo aerodynamic braking until they reach the target velocity for entering the Martian surface. 

The SSPs will start their scientific observations after landing and stay stationary throughout their mission (2 years). The SSPs have an ambitious science program to study for example the Martian atmosphere, seismology, magnetic field and chemistry. Theri payloads consist of a camera, a visual spectrometer, a meteorological package, an accelerometer, thermoprobes, a magnetometer, a chemistry package and a radiation monitor. The SSP will also provide positioning signal and communications link to the Orbiter. 

The Moon SSP will be a miniature 5 kg station deployed on the Moon surface by a rover. Maximum four (4) SSPs are deployed with low velocity and small impact depth (max. 0.05 m). All SSPs can be deployed from a single rover on the same sortie. The SSPs will start their scientific observations after landing and study for example radiation, seismology, magnetic field and chemistry. SSP will also provide communications link either to the rover or to a relay orbiter. 

Both Mars and Moon SSPs will be miniaturised, light and robust, and still capable of surviving high G loads and extreme thermal environments. SSPs are capable of working on the surface of Mars or Moon and to produce high quality science data with state of art instrumentation. The output of this work will enable ESA to prepare and plan for technology development programs required to implement such ambitious planetary missions. 

How to cite: Genzer, M., Hieta, M., Kestilä, A., Haukka, H., Arruego, I., Apéstigue, V., Manfredi, J. A., Ortega, C., Dominiguez, M., Espejo, S., Guerrero, H., Palin, M., Kivekäs, J., Koskimaa, P., and Talvioja, M.: MiniPINS - Miniature Planetary In-situ Sensors, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13250, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13250, 2020.

D2562 |
Xian Shi and the GAUSS Project Team

Ceres, the largest resident in the main asteroid belt and the innermost dwarf planet of the solar system, shares characteristics with a broad diversity of solar system objects, making it one of the most intriguing targets for planetary exploration. The recently completed Dawn mission through its 3.5 years of in-orbit investigation has furthered our understanding of Ceres, yet at the same time opened up more questions. Remote sensing data revealed that Ceres is rich in volatiles and organics, with fresh traces of cryovolcanic and geothermal activities. There is potential evidence of Ceres’ past and present habitability. Findings by Dawn suggest that Ceres might once be an ocean world and have undergone more complicated evolution than originally expected. Thus, Ceres encapsulates key information for understanding the history of our solar system and the origin of life, which has yet to be explored by future missions.

We present the GAUSS project (Genesis of Asteroids and EvolUtion of the Solar System), recently proposed as a white paper to ESA’s Voyage 2050 program. GAUSS is a mission concept of future exploration of Ceres with sample return as the primary goal. It aims to address the following top-level scientific questions concerning: 1) the origin and migration of Ceres and its implications on the water and volatile distribution and transfer in the inner solar system; 2) the internal structure and evolution of Ceres; 3) Ceres’ past and present-day habitability; and 4) mineralogical connections between Ceres and collections of primitive meteorites. We will discuss scientific objectives of Ceres exploration in post-Dawn era as well as instrumentation required for achieving them. We will explore candidate landing and sampling sites of high scientific interest based on Dawn results. We will also consider technical and financial feasibility of different mission scenarios in the context of broad international collaboration.

How to cite: Shi, X. and the GAUSS Project Team: GAUSS - A Sample Return Mission to Ceres, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15130, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15130, 2020.

D2563 |
Mihaly Horanyi, Edwin Bernardoni, Sascha Kempf, Zoltan Sternovsky, and Jamey Szalay

Our understanding of the lunar dust exosphere is based on  NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer. Its findings provide a unique opportunity to map the composition of the lunar surface from orbit and identify regions that are rich in volatiles, providing opportunities for future in situ resource utilization (ISRU), which is a key element in establishing human habitats on the Moon. The expected availability of water ice, and other volatiles, in Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSR) makes the lunar poles of prime interest. However, the relative strength of the various sources, sinks, and transport mechanisms of water into and out of PSRs remain largely unknown. The quantitative characterization of the temporal and spatial variability of the influx of IDPs to the polar regions of the Moon is critical to the understanding the evolution of volatiles in PSRs. A dust instrument onboard a polar orbiting lunar spacecraft could make fundamental measurements to assess the availability and accessibility of water ice in PSRs. Water is thought to be continually delivered to the Moon through geological timescales by water-bearing comets and asteroids and produced continuously in situ by the impacts of solar wind protons of oxygen-rich minerals on the surface. IDPs are an unlikely source of water due to their long UV exposure in the inner solar system, but their high-speed impacts can mobilize secondary ejecta dust particles, atoms and molecules, some with high-enough speed to escape the Moon. Other surface processes that can lead to mobilization, transport and loss of water molecules and other volatiles include solar heating, photochemical processes, and solar wind sputtering. Since the efficiency of these are reduced in PSRs, dust impacts remain the dominant process to dictate the evolution of volatiles in PSRs.
The continually present dust ejecta cloud was observed by LADEE/LDEX. A more capable dust instrument, in addition to the size and speed of an impacting particle, can also measure the composition of secondary ejecta particles, resulting in a surface composition map with a spatial resolution comparable to the height of the spacecraft.
This talk will describe the available instrumentation, its testing and calibration using the SSERVI /IMPACT dust accelerator  facility at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and conclude with the recognition that a polar-orbiting spacecraft could directly sample lunar ejecta, providing the critical link between IDP bombardment and the evolution of water ice in PSRs.

How to cite: Horanyi, M., Bernardoni, E., Kempf, S., Sternovsky, Z., and Szalay, J.: Exploration of resources in permanently shadowed lunar polar regions, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4190, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4190, 2020.

D2564 |
Vladislav Tretyakov, Igor Mitrofanov, and Lev Zeleniy

Scientific goals, current status and nearest plans for Russian Landers missions with Luna-25 (project Luna-Glob) and Luna-27 (project Luna-Resource) will be presented. Both projects aimed on search for volatiles and water ice in upper layer of regolith, study structure and content of regolith and investigate of Moon’s near-surface dust and plasma exosphere at lunar polar regions.

The scientific experiments which were selected in accordance to the main goals of these missions, will be described. Main and spare landing sites for Luna-25 will be presented selected on the base both of engineering suitability (flatness and roughness of surface, radio visibility, solar irradiation and so on) and of scientific motivation. Criteria for landing sites selection for Luna-27 will be discribed shortly too. The plan of surface operations during the first lunar days for Luna-25 and Luna-27 will be presented and discussed.

The content of international cooperation for Luna-25 and Luna-27 missions will be described.

It will be shown that Luna-25 and Luna-27 shell provide the necessary scientific and technological ground for future long life-time Landers at the Moon polar regions.

How to cite: Tretyakov, V., Mitrofanov, I., and Zeleniy, L.: Russian Lunar Landers Luna-25 and Lna-27: goals of the missions and scientific investigations at Moon Polar Regions, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6753, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6753, 2020.

D2565 |
Nicholas Schmerr, Jacob Richardson, Rebecca Ghent, Matthew Siegler, Kelsey Young, and Laurent Montési and the The GEODES Team

The Moon, near Earth asteroids, and the martian moons Phobos and Deimos are all Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) target bodies as they present a wide variety of natural wonders and are potential hosts to resources that will one day enable human exploration of the Solar System. Our SSERVI project, Geophysical Exploration of the Dynamics and Evolution of the Solar System (GEODES) is exploring a suite of natural resources on these bodies through multidisciplinary geophysical investigations. Geophysical methods have been incredibly successful in identifying resources on Earth as they provide a means of characterizing and mapping the sub-surface using data gathered on and above the surface. We focus our geophysical investigations on four essential resources that will enable future human space exploration: I) Lava tubes and void spaces, capable of hosting people and infrastructure; II) Ice deposits, subsurface bodies that can be used for volatile extraction; III) Regolith, which covers the surface of all target bodies, potentially serving as a building material but also presenting a hazard to human and robotic operations and health; and IV) Magma-tectonic Systems, which mobilize, concentrate, and trap volatiles, unique rocks, and ore minerals.

Our investigations use an "orbit to outcrop" approach by analyzing existing geophysical data, conducting geophysical exploration of field analog sites on Earth, and creating models that link these analog studies to SSERVI target bodies. Analog sites enable the development, ground-truthing, and integration of (a) exploration strategies, (b) multiple geophysical methods, and (c) modeling capabilities. The GEODES team is integrating field methods and results to create a scientific modeling framework that facilitates the joint inversion of data sets and will share these results with the community via cyber infrastructure, data management, and outreach. The unifying goal behind GEODES is to develop geophysical detection and exploration methods to characterize these natural resources and enable in situ resource utilization at SSERVI target bodies.

How to cite: Schmerr, N., Richardson, J., Ghent, R., Siegler, M., Young, K., and Montési, L. and the The GEODES Team: Geophysical Exploration of the Dynamics and Evolution of the Solar System (GEODES) , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11795, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11795, 2020.

D2566 |
Michaela Musilova, Bernard Foing, Anouk Beniest, and Henk Rogers

As of 2018, the International MoonBase Alliance (IMA), has been organizing regular simulated missions to the Moon and Mars at the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) habitat. HI-SEAS is a lunar and Martian analog research station located on the active volcano Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The missions that take place at HI-SEAS can be of varied duration, from several days to several months, depending on the needs of the researchers. They are open to space agencies, organizations and companies worldwide to take part in, provided their research and technology testing will help contribute to the exploration of the Moon and Mars. The crews are supported by a Mission Control Center based on the Big Island of Hawaii as well. A series of EuroMoonMars IMA HI-SEAS (EMMIHS) missions have been taking place at HI-SEAS since 2019. These missions bring together researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA), IMA, the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), VU Amsterdam and many other international organizations. Crews on these missions perform geological, astrobiological and architectural research; technological tests using drones, 3Dprinters and rovers; as well as performing outreach and educational projects. The EMMIHS missions typically last for two weeks each. During this time, the crew is isolated within the HI-SEAS habitat, which they cannot leave without performing EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) in analog space-suits and with the permission of Mission Control. The EMMIHS campaigns aim to increase the awareness about the research and technology testing that can be performed in analogue environments, in order to help humans become multiplanetary species. Furthermore, the research and technological experiments conducted at HI-SEAS are going to be used to help build a Moon base in Hawaii, and ultimately to create an actual Moon base on the Moon, as part of IMA’s major goals. Future missions at HI-SEAS include more EMMIHS campaigns, collaborative missions with ESA, NASA, University of Hawaii, University of South Florida and with companies, such as SIFT and Ketone Technologies.

How to cite: Musilova, M., Foing, B., Beniest, A., and Rogers, H.: Lunar and Mars analogue research performed at the HI-SEAS research station in Hawaii, part of the EuroMoonMars - IMA - HI-SEAS campaigns, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13646, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13646, 2020.

D2567 |
John Hamilton and the BASALT RESEARCH PROJECT team

BASALT (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains) was a NASA PSTAR funded field research program. The goal was to understand the habitability of terrestrial volcanic terrains as analog environments for early and present-day Mars.

A key objective was to merge the oftimes disparate field techniques and protocols of biologists, geologists and geochemists.   worked together on this project to understand microbial lifeforms, like bacteria, that grow on these rocks and the factors that allow them to thrive.

Deployments of 21 days at each of its three analog research sites performing field studies of the science operations and technology it had developed.  The first field work was conducted at the Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho.  In Hawai’i, operations were conducted twice at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park (Mauna Ulu, Kilauea Iki and Keanakakoi ). The science targeted active and relict magmatic fumaroles to examine the relationship between meteoric (a condition sampled for in 2016) and magmatic influences on basalt alteration and associated microbial diversity.

These were conducted under simulated Mars mission constraints (5/20 minute light-travel time delay and low/high communication bandwidth conditions) to evaluate strategically selected concepts of operations (ConOps) and capabilities with respect to their anticipated value for the joint human and robotic exploration of Mars.

How to cite: Hamilton, J. and the BASALT RESEARCH PROJECT team: BASALT – A Science-Based Mars Con-Ops Astronaut Field Simulation , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1849, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1849, 2020.

D2568 |
Seda Ozdemir, Ania Losiak, and Izabela Golebiowska

Analog missions are a unique opportunity to test methods and equipment in the field on Earth before they are used in space. AMADEE-20 is a Mars analog simulation in Negev Desert, Israel, managed by the Austrian Space Forum similar to the previous missions (Morocco2013 Groemer et al. 2014, Oman2018 Groemer et al. 2019). The test site is located within the erosional structure of the Ramon Crater. It has a variety of terrain types relevant to Mars exploration.

GEOS experiment is a suite of geology-related experiments that will be performed during the AMADEE-20, it is built on experiences from previous missions (e.g., Losiak et al. 2014). The aim of the GEOS experiments is to study how to optimise the future geological exploration on Mars.

The GEOs is divided into four parts:

(1) Geo-mapping: The aim is to optimise the process of preparing and using the geologic map of the exploration area. A map will be prepared before the mission, and later it will be improved using the data collected by a drone, rover and AAs observations. After the mission pre- and post-mission maps will be compared to optimize and improve the mission preparation phase.

(2) Geo-sampling: The aim is to compare the geological understanding of the area based on sampling and field observations performed by analog astronauts with the one obtained by a proper research performed by trained geologists in the past.

(3) Geo-compare: The aim of the study is to determine strategies of spatial information acquisition from thematic maps and the environment. In other words, we will study how people learn about the spatial relationships between objects and their attributes from thematic maps and while working in the field by using a mobile and stationary eye tracking. The results can be used to create a more efficient way of teaching spatial information acquisition skills to all the people that work in the field, including astronauts to be sent within the next couple tens of years to the Moon and Mars. 

(4) Micrometeorite: The aim is to search for micrometeorites within the collected sand samples in the field, aiming to find these highest flux extraterrestrial materials on the earth's surface. This experiment might provide a practical and achievable application which may also provide information about Mars' history as well as the solar system.

Groemer et al. 2014. The MARS2013 Mars Analog Mission. Astrobiology, 14(5), 360–376.

Groemer et al. 2019. The AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Expedition in the Dhofar region of Oman. Astrobiology.

Losiak et al. 2014. Remote Science Support during MARS2013: Testing a Map-Based System of Data Processing and Utilization for Future Long-Duration Planetary Missions. Astrobiology, 14(5), 417–430.

How to cite: Ozdemir, S., Losiak, A., and Golebiowska, I.: GEOs experiments in MARS ANALOG MISSION: AMADE20, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19877, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19877, 2020.

D2569 |
Charlotte Pouwels, Wieger Wamelink, Michaela Musilova, and Bernard Foing

Introduction:   Food demand and the lack of plant nutrients are the main reasons to establish a sustainable agricultural ecosystem on celestial bodies, such as Mars and the Moon. Different kinds of fresh crops, grown in a greenhouse, deliver essential macro and micro nutrients, which have a positive impact on the well-being  of humans. Thus, they will also heavily influence the social interactions of future astronauts. Food development is therefore one of the main activities that will need to be established as soon as possible upon the landing of a human-led mission on another planetary body.

In addition, crops can be used for air purification and thus oxygen production. Experimental research has been conducted, during a two-week analogue astronaut mission (EMMIHS-II: the second of the EuroMoonMars-IMA-HI-SEAS missions), to grow crops, from garden cress seeds, sown in soil that resembles the regolith on Mars and the Moon. This plant was used because it is easy and fast to grow, which is a priority for research projects during these short-duration missions. In addition, this research will help in reducing compost and fertilizer payloads for upcoming space missions involving human crewmembers.

Methodology:  In a remote volcanic region in Hawai’i, United States, the geology and therefore its soil is quite similar to the regolith on Mars and the Moon. For these reasons, the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulations (HI-SEAS) habitat was constructed and is being used in this area for space-related research purposes.

In this habitat, a greenhouse setting had been built with basic requirements for plant growth. The local soil in each of the 70 pots had pre-determined ratio’s with a compost mixture: 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%.  For these settings, the assumption was made that shielding from Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) and Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR’s) was present. These types of radiation, and thus shielding from the radiation, would be of high relevance on Mars and the Moon to protect the crops there from malformations and death. Future habitats may be located in lava tubes or covered by regolith to address these requirements.

Here, the presented results focus on the needed ratio of compost to ‘Martian’ simulant soil for garden cress. The results indicate that coarse ‘Martian’ soil with 2% of compost is sufficient for establishing sufficient germination and plant growth in the first stage of plant development. This result leads to promising expectations for other nutrient-soil ratio experiments. In particular for the growth of potatoes and beans, as they are high in nutrients per m3.

Studies on different kinds of soil ratio’s, nutrients delivered per m3, radiation shielding and the architecture of an indoor greenhouse setting are of significant relevance to future missions to the Moon and Mars and thus deserve further investigation.


How to cite: Pouwels, C., Wamelink, W., Musilova, M., and Foing, B.: Food for Extra-Terrestrial Astronaut Missions on Native Soil, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20507, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20507, 2020.