Questions tagged [sample-return]

Mission to some extraterrestrial object which results in return of materials to Earth for further examination.

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51
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1answer
13k views

How did the Russians get moon rocks?

I've read somewhere that the Russians have moon rocks. How did they get them?
27
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6answers
6k views

What is the deepest we have penetrated a terrestrial body other than Earth?

Curiosity drills 6.4 cm (2.5 inch) holes on Mars. Comet harpoons have been proposed for future space probes. There are a number of ways in which we can penetrate the surface of terrestrial bodies, but ...
25
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1answer
3k views

What skipped test on Genesis would have detected the backwards-inserted accelerometer which didn't deploy the parachute?

What precautions are planned to prevent samples returned from Mars crashing and releasing organisms on Earth? and this answer to Why would bringing samples from Mars back to Earth be a “civilization-...
16
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1answer
615 views

What are the differences in technology between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa missions?

Up to now two spacecraft have been launched for an asteroid sample return mission. The first one Hayabusa is a completed mission and now OSIRIS-REx is an ongoing mission. Hayabusa was launched in 2003,...
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2answers
2k views

Who was the first person to touch the moon rocks?

This might be a stupid question, but I can't find and don't know the answer: Everyone knows that Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin were the first men to land on/ walk on the moon. But were they ...
13
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1answer
840 views

How large a body could a probe with ion engines land on and launch from?

Researching small asteroids up close by use of robotic probes seems like an appealing near-future mission. One option is a sample return mission that goes to one large body, another is a mission where ...
13
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1answer
1k views

How much total lunar mass remains viable for analysis here on Earth?

I know that samples of lunar regolith were taken on many missions to and from the moon, but I also know that these rocks aren't common and are being used for analysis purposes. According to this NASA ...
13
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1answer
934 views

Why NASA's sudden renewed (apparently) interest in Wax hybrid engines? Which property is so attractive now?

update: This answer links to Larry Russel Kellogg which links to NASA Tests Environmentally Friendly Rocket Fuel where images of Test firing of new Paraffin-Based Fuel at NASA Ames Research Center 1/...
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2answers
2k views

Why use a Mars orbital Earth return vehicle for sample return?

NASA's plan is to use two separate missions to bring home the drill core samples that the Perseverance rover will take. The samples will in plan be picked up by a landed mission and launched to Mars ...
12
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2answers
716 views

Which are the main challenges for sample return mission from an asteroid and a comet?

The first sample return mission from a comet has been achieved by NASA's Stardust spacecraft, and the first sample return mission from an asteroid has been achieved by JAXA's Hayabusa spacecraft. What ...
12
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1answer
229 views

Explanation of single-burn trajectories from Lunar surface to Earth surface

I learned of the fine book Soviet Robots in the Solar System from this excellent answer. One chapter in it describes how the Soviets had extreme mass limitations on their lunar sample return vehicle ...
12
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1answer
517 views

Why should the Mars 2020 rover drop drilled cores along its route to be picked up later?

The Mars 2020 rover will drill up real cores decimeter or so deep, in order for them to be returned to Earth by a follow up mission. I hear NASA people now seriously working on having that rover drop ...
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4answers
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If there is actual ice on the moon, why hasn't it sublimated?

The Ars Technica article NASA seeks industry help with lunar landings, potentially sample return discusses the potential value of ice on the moon as a source for fuel in future space missions. Ice ...
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2answers
2k views

Could there be any use with importing vacuum from space to Earth?

Space exploration pessimists say that there's nothing to import from space to Earth. So why not begin with doing exactly that?! :-) It's commonly claimed that the vacuum of space is harder (emptier) ...
9
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4answers
239 views

How will Bennu's volatile compounds stay cool and unmodified by the heat of re-entry (OSIRIS-REx)?

Watching the video in this NYTimes article NASA Aims at an Asteroid Holding Clues to the Solar System’s Roots I realized for the first time how the samples actually make it back to Earth. The ...
9
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2answers
956 views

From which celestial bodies do we have samples?

Excluding our own, which bodies have we directly (or indirectly) gathered samples from? I'm aware of these: Moon: moon rocks from Apollo Mars: Martian meteorites found on Earth What else?
9
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1answer
346 views

Does NASA still plan for the Mars Ascent Vehicle to burn wax from the surface to orbit?

The NASA news item From Pedicures to the Peregrine Rocket, Paraffin Wax Proves Its Worth says: The paraffin-based fuel also works under challenging environmental conditions, like the very low ...
8
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2answers
387 views

Actual mass of Chang'e 5 samples

What is the actual mass of the sample retrieved by Chang'e 5? Wikipedia says: with an expected return to Earth around 16 December 2020. Chang'e 5 will be China's first sample return mission, aiming ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How did the Luna spacecraft collect samples of the moon and containerize them for return to Earth?

The Wikipedia page Sample-return mission and this answer list Luna 16, 20 and 24 missions as each bringing back of the order of 100 grams of lunar material to Earth, but their Wikipedia pages don't ...
8
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2answers
460 views

Sample return mission to Mars

Are there any plans to launch a sample return mission to Mars? Is such mission possible, and what would be approximate max weight of returned sample? Is it possible to return sample to Earth orbit ...
8
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1answer
402 views

Thrown-together $200 million mission to asteroid 2020 SO; check out or nudge to longer-lasting mini-moon orbit

This tweet says in part: Earth's potential new minimoon, 2020 SO may be the Surveyor 2 Centaur rocket body, launched in September 1966. Integrating backwards shows 2020 SO2 to also be orbiting Earth ...
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Perseverance individual sample collection post-mission; what stops them from blowing away or getting covered and hidden by dust?

I have been seeing videos that the plan after Perseverance is done collecting samples to distribute them in 'strategic' locations around Mars for another rover to drive around and pick up later. Why ...
7
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2answers
679 views

What forms of water ice have been observed and verified in the solar system?

The cool plot in this answer (from here) got me thinking about the more than sixteen distinct forms of ice, and how many of them have been actually seen to occur naturally in the solar system. There ...
7
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2answers
277 views

Could a biohazard sample return capsule from Mars be safely hard landed on Earth?

There are some planetary protection concerns about backward contamination of Earth by returning samples from Mars, a mission which may well happen around the Earth-Mars opposition of 2025. One of the ...
7
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2answers
180 views

Sneakernet: Would data return together with sample return be useful?

Mars 2020 will drill and store several surface samples until a return-to-Earth vehicle arrives. The rover will then use its arm to move its sample box to onboard the return vehicle. Could the rover ...
7
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1answer
310 views

If Elon Musk wanted to bring back some Martian soil, would US permission be required?

A scenario occurred to me recently where the Chinese space program decided to go all-in on Mars sample return, and their schedule was such that it would happen before the NASA/ESA mission was ...
7
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1answer
711 views

What precautions are planned to prevent samples returned from Mars crashing and releasing organisms on Earth?

Bias disclaimer: I think that returning samples from Mars to Earth at a point in time where we also suspect there is a chance that there is microbial life on Mars is ill-advised and arrogant. We are ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Why haven't we returned samples from Mars?

So far, we have gotten rovers on Mars to take samples and analyze them and send data back to Earth. However, why haven't we gotten a rocket to land on Mars, collect a sample, and blast it off back to ...
6
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1answer
645 views

The practicalities of a rock sampling mission to Venus

The planet Venus has hostile conditions: a surface temperature of 462 °C, a corrosive atmosphere and a surface atmospheric pressure 92 times that of the Earth. During the Soviet era, the Russians ...
6
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1answer
101 views

Could the uncertain mass of the OSIRIS-REx sample affect the trajectory of the return capsule?

It appears that so much material was collected by OSIRIS-REx from the asteroid Bennu, that the cover of the collection head won't close, and some of the sample is floating away. In reviewing these ...
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0answers
134 views

Could the SS520 be used to return a payload from Mars to Earth?

The Japanese SS520-5 nanosat launcher has a payload of 5kg or so to LEO on an all solid fuel rocket with a total mass of about 2.6 tons. To reach LEO its delta-V totalled over all three stages must be ...
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0answers
174 views

How could a minimal sample return only from the plumes of an ice moon, Ceres or Io be designed?

Would it be feasible and would it make sense to minimalistically design a sample-return-only mission (or class of missions) along these lines: Light weight plume collecting aerogel (like the Stardust ...
5
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1answer
293 views

Is there really moon rock in this cathedral window? If so, how, and from where on the Moon?

This Tweet by NASA Space Flight Editor Ian Atkinson says: Some pictures from the Cathedral before the event starts, they have a table set up with artifacts from Apollo 8, including the flown flight ...
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2answers
470 views

Are rovers useful on low gravity, low atmosphere bodies?

Are rovers useful for exploring low atmosphere, low gravity objects? Are there more appropriate exploratory vehicles being proposed? If I am interested in taking geological samples from a region ...
5
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1answer
298 views

How are ultra-sensitive aerogel suspended samples secured for Earth reentry and touchdown?

For example, how were the Stardust particle collector samples, that were suspended in brittle and extremely low density (0.014 g/cm3) silica aerogel, secured prior to atmospheric reentry so they ...
5
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2answers
168 views

Is lunar sample return comercially viable for a private company?

Moon samples like rocks and dust are highly valuable and sought after and impossible to get legally as a private individual, because of the fact that USA owns all of the samples in existence, from the ...
4
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1answer
102 views

From interplanetary space to the Australian Outback, how will Hayabusa2's return capsule be tracked? Desert Fireball Network perhaps?

Wired.com's For the Second Time Ever, an Asteroid Sample Returns to Earth says that "the sample return capsule from Hayabusa2" will land "under parachute in the Australian outback" ...
4
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1answer
210 views

Why does NASA use Nitrogen storage for lunar regolith?

I asked this question earlier about how moon dust was regulated and got an answer stating that: Eighty-three percent of that material remains unexamined in nitrogen storage at NASA's Johnson ...
4
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1answer
117 views

Most likely future sample return missions?

Please bear in mind I have very little space/astronomy knowledge with any comments or answers but I am curious and quite keen to learn. Aside from Mars itself as that is such a likely candidate, what ...
4
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1answer
172 views

Lunar sample return cost per kg - Apollo vs Luna vs Chang'e

Lunar samples (rocks, soil etc.) were returned by US Apollo program, Russian Luna and Chinese Chang'e. How does the cost per kg of the samples compare among these missions? Who got it the cheapest per ...
3
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4answers
400 views

Why does the Perseverance Rover do sample caching?

As glad as I am that Perseverance's landing was successful, I'm a bit confused as to why there appears to be so little science equipment aboard the rover (by volume) and why the mission seems to be ...
3
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2answers
595 views

Why would bringing samples from Mars back to Earth be a "civilization-level changing capability"?

The Space News article NASA continues Mars sample return mission studies Among those planned missions is Mars sample return, a multi-mission architecture that involves collecting samples of Martian ...
3
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2answers
273 views

Actual mass of Hayabusa samples in 2010?

Whatever I read I find Hayavusa brought some microscopic particles. But what was the mass of the sample?
3
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1answer
148 views

Mars 2020: What are the advantages of doing two missions to return samples?

The Mars 2020 plans to create a cache with samples for a future mission to grab and bring back. What are the advantages of doing one mission to create the cache and one mission to bring the cache back ...
3
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1answer
112 views

Why did Luna 16 go to the Moon at night? (Extreme cold vs robotic sampling & launch back to Earth)

While landing on the Sun at night has obvious advantages1 I'm curious why Luna 16 landed on the Moon at night. It was a complex mission involving robotic sample retrieval and a sample return launch ...
3
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2answers
165 views

Actual mass of Hayabusa 2 samples in 2020?

Similar to Actual mass of Hayabusa samples in 2010?, but about the recent mission. What is the actual mass of the samples retrieved by Hayabusa 2? The most detailed information I was able to find is: ...
3
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1answer
130 views

Have lasers ever been used to track laser-reflective parachute cloth for spaceflight missions? And what is it by the way?

In the JAXA PDF Hayabusa2 Information Fact Sheet (Ver. 2. 3, 2018. 07. 05, found here) on slide/page number 53 there is a diagram labeled Re-entry sequence overview and in the top right corner is ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Are there (detailed) images or diagrams of the rotating drill carousel and the small robotic arm which are housed in the belly of Perseverance?

The sample handling page at the Mars 2020 mission site shows us the rover with at its front a circle that probably contains the rotating drill carousel ? However it states that the belly of the rover ...
3
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0answers
31 views

Are the Perseverance core samples extracted from the drill bit before being stored?

Among other tasks, the Perseverance rover will drill core samples of rocks, which are then stored in sample tubes for their return to Earth. Are the core samples removed from the drill bit before ...
3
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0answers
93 views

Minimum delta V required to return a piece of metallic asteroid 16 Psyche to Earth?

Suppose somebody sent a rover to Psyche 16 and found massive concentrated deposits of platinum-group metals near the surface, and turned it into a 10 ton sphere of platinum/iridium/osmium/gold alloy ...