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NASAs Planetary Science Division Status Report

James L. Green Director, Planetary Science NASA March 3, 2014


Planetary Recent Events FY14 Budget Overview Status of the next Discovery Opportunity Planetary Missions Overview Suborbital Activities International Activities Other announcements -------------------- Other Talks -------------------- R&A Program Reorganization Jon Rall Astrobiology Program Update Mary Voytek NASAs RPS program Len Dudzinski

Planetary Science Missions and Outreach Events

2013 May November Mars As Art Exhibit at Dulles Airport Gallery July 19 Wave at Saturn and MESSENGERs Earth image from Mercury July 31 Curiosity Day on the Hill August 6 One Year Anniversary of Curiosity Landing on Mars * Completed September 6 LADEE launch from Wallops Flight Facility, VA October 1 Close approach of Comet ISON to Mars Campaign Science October 9 Juno flyby of Earth November 27 VESPER rocket launch observing Venus November 18 - Launch of MAVEN from Cape Canaveral, FL November 28 Comet ISON Perihelion. Brightest view from Earth of Comet ISON 2014 January EXCEED-HST observations of Io Campaign Science Summer - Curiosity arrives at Mt. Sharp August ESAs Rosetta mission arrives at Comet ChuryumovGerasimenko September 21 - MAVEN inserted in Mars orbit October 19 Comet Siding Spring encounters Mars

Planetary Budget Overview for FY14

Congress passed a budget for Planetary Science of $1.345B Budget elements include:
Research and Analysis: $130M Near Earth Object Observation: up to $40.5M Discovery: $285M New Frontiers: $258M Mars Exploration: $288M ($65M for Mars Rover 2020) Outer Planets: $159M ($80M Europa) Technology: $146M (including Pu-238 production)

Instructions included:
Pre-formulation and/or formulation activities on the Europa mission including an AO for instrument development supporting the scientific goals of the mission outlined in the Decadal Release the next Discovery AO

Asteroid Mission Would Consist of Three Main Segments

Identify Redirect Explore

Asteroid Identification Segment:
Ground and space based NEA target detection, characterization and selection Asteroid Redirection Segment: Solar electric propulsion (SEP) based asteroid capture and maneuver to trans-lunar space Asteroid Crewed Exploration Segment: Orion and SLS based crewed rendezvous and sampling mission to the relocated asteroid

NEO Observation Enhancements

The rate we are finding NEOs continues to increase: 2013 was the first calendar year in which weve found more than one thousand NEOs, bringing the current total to 10,700.

NEO Characterization Enhancements

Radar Observations of NEOs

Bennu (OSIRIS-ReX Target):

Goldstone 70 m

Arecibo 305 m

Observations 8

Shape Model

These are complementary capabilities. Arecibo has more power and range Goldstone has more resolution and field of regard Radar observations can provide: Size and shape to within ~2 meters. High precision range/Doppler orbit data. Spin rate, surface density and roughness Currently, 70-80 NEOs are observed every year

2013: 79 radar targets with 68 of these being observed for the first time

2005 YU55 in 2010

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) NEOWISE Restart

Reactivated the WISE spacecraft on Sept 25
The flight system was in the expected state with no apparent anomalies or failures and all subsystems nominal
PI: Amy Mainzer Deputy PI: James Bauer

Last time DSN contacted the spacecraft was November 2012

~ 3-4 months cool down before effective operations 3.4 and 4.6 mm (cooled to 75K)

Detect & characterize near-Earth objects (NEOs) through the end of 2016. Derive diameters & albedos Discover new NEOs; notably, potentially hazardous objects

Spacecraft is in excellent shape and has just returned to operations

Already discovered and provided size estimates for 6 new NEOs

New NEO Discovery Tally

Designation Preliminary Diameter (m) 660 Preliminary Albedo 0.01 Preliminary Albedo Range 0.01 0.05

2013 YP139

2014 AQ46
2014 AA53 2014 BG60

710 770

0.06 0.02

0.01 0.07
0.01 0.10 0.01 0.07

2014 BE63
2014 CY4 2014 CF14

510 790

0.04 0.16

0.01 0.04
0.01 0.09 0.04 0.30

Typical diameter errors 25% Do not need visible light measurement to determine diameter but need it for albedo These results PRELIMINARY unpublished Also discovered C/2014 C3 (Comet NEOWISE)

Discovery AO

Process for Next Discovery AO

Michael H. New, Lead Discovery Program Scientist


Community Announcement for Discovery-2014 AO

Released 2/19/14

Investigations may focus on any body in Solar System except Earth or Sun. Cost Cap: $450M (FY 15) for Phases A-D, excluding standard LV services. International contributions must not exceed 1/3 of PI managed cost, nor exceed 1/3 of the payload cost. No RPS available at all for this mission.
RPS fueling can not be met on the required schedule for this opportunity.

We plan to require EDL Engineering Science Activity to provide atmospheric entry diagnostic data (outside of PI cost cap). We are considering requiring Deep Space Laser Communication on all missions where this applies (outside of PI cost cap). We are considering GFE: NeXT Power processing units & thrusters, HEET 3D Woven TPS, Atomic Clock and Advanced Solar Arrays. Technology Demo Opportunities and/or Science Enhancement Activities may be selected, outside of cost cap.

Schedule Overview
Anticipated Schedule:
Technology day to discuss tech options - end of March Release of draft AO May 2014 Release of final AO September 2014 Pre-proposal conference AO + 3 weeks Proposals due AO + 90 days Selection of 2 - 3 $3M (RY) Phase A studies May 2015 Concept Study Reports due April 2016 Down selection of mission October 2016 Launch Readiness Date NLT December 2021

Questions or input should be directed to: Dr. Michael New, Full announcement:

Discovery use of RPS

Funding responsibility for sustainment of RPS operations was transferred from DOE to NASA in FY14 NASA continues to fund the Plutonium-238 Supply Project to redevelop production capability
Good progress is being made

DOE established Pu-238 allotment for NASA planning

35 kg of isotope, 17 kg in-spec, larger than previous planning numbers

ASRG flight development cancelled due to budget

NASA considered Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) for Discovery AO

DOE determined that their current processing limitations cannot support MMRTG on the next Discovery AO
NASA funding has begun for equipment replacement to bring pellet production back to a level to support future planetary program needs

Planetary Missions
Formulation Studies Development Operations

Europa and the Decadal Survey

The Decadal Survey provided 5 science goals for Europa exploration
1. Characterize the ocean 2. Characterize the ice shell and the surface-ice-ocean exchange 3. Determine global composition and chemistry, especially with regard to habitability 4. Understand the surface features and geology (and locate landing sites for future exploration) 5. Understand the space environment


The Decadal Survey considered a comprehensive mission concept called the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO)
NRCs independent Cost And Technical Estimate (CATE) for JEO deemed it unaffordable at $4.7B, and therefore it was the second highest priority Flagship mission based on pragmatic reasons associated with the spending profiles


NASA should immediately undertake an effort to find major cost reduction for JEO

Options for Reduced Cost Europa Missions

The year following the Decadal Survey was spent executing the recommendation to find major cost reductions
The highly capable but complex JEO concept was split into three far simpler elements These three mission concepts were independent, stand alone missions each with its own meritorious science

The purpose of this effort was to define and validate a set of minimum concepts that demonstrate missions exist at the lower end of the cost spectrum (~$2B) that still provide significant science return

Multiple-Flyby in Jupiter Orbit

Europa 18 Orbiter

Europa Lander

Key Science Questions for Europa

Science Question JEO/ Decadal Survey
Goal 1 Goal 2 Goal 2 Goal 4 Goals 1, 2, 4




What are the properties and characteristics of Europas ocean? How thick is the icy shell? Is there near-surface water within the ice shell? What is the global distribution of geological features? Is liquid water involved in surface feature formation?

Is the icy shell warm and convecting? What does the red stuff tell us about ocean composition? How active is Europa today? What is the plasma and radiation environment at Europa?
What is the nature of organics and salts at Europa? Is chemical material from depth carried to the surface? Is irradiation the principal cause of alteration of Europas surface material through time?

Goal 2 Goal 3 Goals 2, 4 Goal 1, 3, 5

Goal 3 Goal 2 Goal 3, 5

Path Forward
Continue Europa mission concept pre-formulation activities looking at several potential options As directed by Congress: Release competitive instrument AO for Phase A risk reduction
This would address the long standing and long lead risk identified by all previous Europa mission studies and independent reviews

Study various launch vehicle options including SLS

InSight: Interior Structure from Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport


Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource IdentificationSecurity-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx )

Science Objectives: Return and analyze a sample of pristine carbonaceous asteroid Map the global properties, chemistry, and mineralogy Document in situ the properties of the regolith at the sampling site Characterize the integrated global properties to allow comparison with ground-based telescopic data of entire asteroid population Measure the Yarkovsky effect Mission Overview: Launch in September 2016 Encounter asteroid Bennu (101955 AKA 1999 RQ36) in October 2019 Study Bennu for up to 505 days, globally mapping the surface Obtain at least 60g of pristine regolith/surface material Return sample to Earth in September 2023 in a Stardust-heritage capsule Deliver samples to JSC curation facility for world-wide distribution

RQ36 - Apollo r ~ 280 m P ~ 436 days


LADEE Launch
WFF Sept. 6, 2013

Photo: Buddy Secor


Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer

Objective: Measure the lofted Lunar dust Composition of the thin Lunar atmosphere
Instruments: Science: NMS, UVS, and LDEX Technology: Laser Communications End of mission: April 2014


Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration

Lunar Lasercom Ground Terminal
White Sands, NM

Lunar Lasercom Space Terminal

DL 622 Mbps UL 20 Mbps 1.55 um band
LADEE Spacecraft

DL > 38 Mbps DL > 38 Mbps UL > 10 Mbps

Tenerife Table Mtn, CA ARC

Deep Space NW

Lunar Lasercom Optical Ground System (ESA)

Lunar Lasercom OCTL Terminal (JPL)

LADEE Mission Ops Center


Lunar Lasercom Ops Center


LADEE Science Ops Center

Payload : 26

LADEE Nearing End of Mission

LADEE will perform several very low altitude dips Down to 4.2 km above terrain two times in April prior to the eclipse Once down to 2.8 km above terrain after the eclipse Uncertainties create risk up to 50% for impact for last attempt LADEE expected to impact April 4 21


Juno Earth Flyby


NASA Juno Spacecrafts Earth Flyby Images

Juno, launched on August 5, 2011, passed by Earth on its way to Jupiter in a gravity-assist maneuver on October 9, 2013. Images taken by JunoCam instrument.
Right: Earth as seen by JunoCam during Junos Earth flyby. This monochrome view shows exquisite detail in the clouds and coastlines of South America. Inset, top left: The west coast of South America is visible in this image, taken when the Juno spacecraft was 15,091 km from the Earth. Processed by Gerald at

Top: Methane band image of the terminator region taken at 12:15:30 PDT on Oct. 9.

View the Press Release at http://www.metwashairports.c om/6068.htm


MAVEN Launched November 18, 2013

Bill Ingalls, NASA

MAVEN will study Mars upper atmosphere and determine how it interacts with our Sun.

Orbit Insertion Sunday Sept 21, 2014 10 pm Eastern

We will learn how Mars lost most of its atmosphere and water to space, making todays Martian climate challenging for life.

Mars 2020 Instruments

Proposals have been received and are currently undergoing evaluation Selections to be announced in late spring

Mars Missions in This Decade

Odyssey MRO MAVEN Aeronomy Orbiter





ESA Mars Express

ESA Trace Gas Orbiter (Electra)

Habitable Environments

Seeking Signs of Life



Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory

ESA ExoMars Rover (MOMA) InSight

2020 Science Rover

Senior Review for FY15-16

Last Senior Review was completed in July 2012 for fiscal years FY13 & FY14 Call for Mission Extension proposals has been issued:
Missions in the review: Cassini, LRO, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, MRO, Opportunity, and Curiosity

Due: April 11, 2014 Results announced in June 2014


Suborbital Flights


Deep Impact imaged ISON for the first time on January 17 and 18, 2013, from 493 million miles away STEREO observed ISON as it passed by on its way to the Sun in October and November

MESSENGER observed ISON as it passed by Mercury on November 19th on its way to the Sun

SOHO observed ISON as it plunged through the Suns corona in November during perihelion

Hubble observed ISON in April-May and October. Hubble may see remnants (if any) in December Astronauts aboard the International Space Station observed Comet ISON on November 23, 2013 Curiosity was not able to observe ISON as it passed by Mars.

In January and March, Swift observed ISON in X-ray and UV when it was 460 million miles away from the Sun

Opportunity was not able to observe ISON as it passed by Mars

How NASA Space Assets Observed Comet ISON

(items in yellow successfully observed the comet)

In November, Chandra observed ISON with its X-ray instruments

SOFIA, an airborne observatory, captured images of ISON on October 24, 2013, in Infrared
BRRISON, a sub-orbital balloon, launched successfully, but its instrument failed and did not observe the comet

For more information, visit:

Spitzer observed ISON on June 13. The comet was 310 million miles away from the Sun
FORTIS, a sounding rocket, launched on November 20, 2013 will obtain ultra-violet spectra from ISON

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was not able to observe ISON

SDO did not detect Comet ISON

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter observed ISON as it passed by Mars on October 1st


Comet ISON observations with FORTIS

(Far-uv Off Rowland-circle Telescope for Imaging and Spectroscopy)

Far-UV (800-1950 ) spectra and imagery of comet ISON. Measure volatile production rates of CO, H, C, C+, O and S Search for previously undetected atomic and molecular species (e.g., Ar, N, N+, N2, O+ and O5+)

Launch: November 19, 2013 White Sands Missile Range

Stephan McCandliss, PI, JHU Paul Feldman, Co-I/Science PI, JHU Jointly funded by Planetary and Astrophysics Divisions

NASA/Berit Bland


The Venus Spectral Rocket Experiment (VeSpR)

NASAs next Venus flight mission
Launch: Launch Site: November 27, 2013 White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 36.261 John Clarke (Boston University) 617-353-0247

Mission Number: Principle Investigator:

Purpose: To study the present day escape of water from the atmosphere of Venus and relate it to the past abundance of water on Venus


International Mission Participation

International Agreements: Mars Missions

ISRO Mars Orbiting Mission (MOM)
PSD/DSN support of navigation and tracking

ESAs Trace Gas Orbiter to be launched in 2016

PSD provide the standard communication relay (with surface assets) called Electra

ESAs ExoMars Rover to be launched in 2018

PSD provide a key portion of DLRs instrument MOMA - Mars Organics Molecule Analyzer

International Agreement: BepiColombo

BepiColombo is a joint ESA JAXA 2 spacecraft mission to the planet Mercury, due to launch in 2015
6 year journey using solar-electric propulsion and gravity assists from the Earth and Venus

PSD is delivering the Strofio (Exospheric sampling of Mercury's surface composition) instrument to ESA


International Agreement: JAXA Hayabusa 2


Venera-D JSDT: Background

On December 2013 a bilateral dialogue took place between IKI and NASA/PSD. It was agreed to have a Joint Science Definition Team for Venera-D On December 2013 NASA released a Letter for Application call for the Venera-D JSDT On January 2014, NASA received 39 applicants. On February 2014, NASA and IKI jointly selected 5 USA members for JSDT. Tentatively on March 4, 2014 a Venera-D JSDT Kick-off video-com will take place . Four face-to-face meeting have being scheduled The JSDT will provide guidance on research objectives to be pursued by Roscosmos/IKI and NASA's future science flight missions for Venus including:
- Science objectives - Develop an operations concept - Mission design architectures & spacecraft concept - Science instrument conceptual payload & traceability matrix - Identification of any required new technology,


Michaels current duties include: - MEP Lead Program Scientist - Curiosity Program Scientist Will be seeking a detail to replace his Mars Exploration Program Duties.

Backup Charts

Flyby, Orbit, Land, Rove, and Return Samples



Planetary Program Architecture Recommended by the Planetary Decadal Survey

Large Missions (Flagship-scale)
Recommended Program
(budget increase for JEO new start)
1) 2) Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher descoped Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) descoped

Cost Constrained Program

(based on FY11 Request)

Less favorable budget

picture than assumed
(e.g., outyears in FY12 request)

1) 2)

Mars Astrobiology ExplorerCacher descoped Uranus Orbiter & Probe (UOP)


Uranus Orbiter & Probe (UOP)

Descope or delay Flagship mission

4/5) Enceladus Orbiter & Venus Climate Mission

$500M (FY15) cap per mission (exclusive of launch vehicle) and 24 month cadence for selection

New Frontiers
$1B (FY15) cap per mission (exclusive of launch vehicle) with two selections during 2013-22

Research & Analysis (5% above final FY11 amount then ~1.5%/yr) Technology Development (6-8%) Current Commitments (ie: Operating Missions)

BRRISON Anomaly Summary

During ascent the telescope deployed and commissioning began; included capture of star image shown At ~90,000 feet the telescope unexpectedly returned to the stowed upright position with high torque The telescopes angular rate was too fast and its stow bar became trapped behind the stow latch Numerous commands were issued to release the telescope during the overnight flight but were all unsuccessful Payload recovered in excellent shape

Probable cause under investigation

Telescope will be repaired and available for future flights (for example: Comet Siding Spring)