Mars Exploration and Sample Return using Dragon: A New low cost paradigm for Mars science missions
About the Speaker
David is a research and development mechanical engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center working on Mars exploration technologies for spacecraft sample handling equipment, subsurface drilling and life search instruments.
During the last years, he has involvement in three major projects. The first is the concept development of a Mars sample return mission using the SpaceX Dragon capsule, in the areas of sample retrieval and handling, structural design, the Earth return vehicle design, and the in-situ resource utilization concept design version. The second project is building a subcritical water organics extractor to provide extract for extant and extinct life detection instruments, and the third project is the development of an ice/water subsurface drill detection instrument for Mars or moon applications.
Download Mars Exploration and Sample Return using Dragon: A New low cost paradigm for Mars science missions (Slides + Video) (ZIP) (242.7 MB)
A Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is the highest priority Mars science mission for the next decade (Decadal Survey of Planetary Science. During this Colloquium talk the feasibility of reducing mission cost by adopting the emerging commercial capabilities, in particular the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launcher that can deliver an un-manned Dragon crew capsule to Mars will be presented. The Dragon capsule can be modified to land on Mars with all the hardware needed to return samples to Earth, including a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) and sample collection and storage hardware.
Grand Forks, ND
Willson, David, "Mars Exploration and Sample Return using Dragon: A New low cost paradigm for Mars science missions" (2014). Space Studies Colloquium. 32.