Vanguard: a European robotic astrobiology-focussed Mars sub-surface mission proposal

Ellery, Alex, Ball, Andrew J, Cockell, Charles, Dickensheets, David, Edwards, Howell, Kolb, Christof, Lammer, Helmut, Patel, Manish and Richter, Lutz (2005) Vanguard: a European robotic astrobiology-focussed Mars sub-surface mission proposal. Acta Astronautica, 56(3), pp. 397-407. ISSN (print) 0094-5765

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We present a new European Mars mission proposal to build on the UK-led Beagle2 Mars mission and continue its astrobiology-focussed investigation of Mars. The small surface element to be delivered to the Martian surface--Vanguard--is designed to be carried by a Mars Express-type spacecraft bus to Mars and adopts a similar entry, descent and landing system as Beagle2. The surface element comprises a triad of robotic devices--a lander, a micro-rover of the Sojourner class for surface mobility, and three ground-penetrating moles mounted onto the rover for sub-surface penetration to 5 m depth. The major onboard instruments on the rover include a Raman spectrometer/imager, a laser plasma spectrometer, an infrared spectrometer--these laser instruments provide the basis for in situ "remote" sensing of the sub-surface Martian environment within a powerful scientific package. The moles carry the instruments' sensor head array to the sub-surface. The moles are thus required to undergo a one-way trip down the boreholes without the need for recovery of moles or samples, eliminating much of the robotic complexity invoked by such operations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: life, exploration, perspective, analogs, lander, soil
Research Area: Mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Engineering (until 2011)
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Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2010 12:22
Last Modified: 23 May 2011 09:05

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