Friday, January 1, 2010

More Tidbits on New Frontiers Proposals

Again, thanks to Bruce Moomaw for hunting these down.

The first is a presentation that discusses the SAGE Venus lander tests and provides this picture of a possible design:

Bruce contacted SAGE's PI, Larry Esposito, and writes, "Larry Esposito, however, was willing to tell me that SAGE does indeed include a combined LIBS/Raman spectrometer, although he was unwilling to tell me yet whether the sampling arm can be swiveled to a specific sampling site."

Next are tidbits on the Osiris-Rex near-Earth asteroid sample return mission.  This is from an article describing the 2006 Discovery mission proposal from which the current proposal evolved.  The target asteroid was a tiny 580 m asteroid, 1999 RQ36:

"Because of that low gravity... the spacecraft will be able to circle the asteroid at an altitude of just 100 meters, photographing it with its five cameras -- each operating in a different part of the spectrum -- analyzing it, measuring its gravity field and making a gentle descent... the sample arm, with a trapdoor on the bottom intended to scoop up asteroid dirt, will have up to three shots at getting material to bring back."

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