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Exploration Strategies at the Arkaroola Mars-Oz Site: Implications for Mars

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Exploration Strategies at the Arkaroola Mars-Oz Site: Implications for Mars This paper examines the methods and risks when exploring Mars like sites of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Exploration Strategies at the Arkaroola Mars-Oz Site: Implications for Mars


1
Exploration Strategies at the Arkaroola Mars-Oz
Site Implications for Mars
This paper examines the methods and risks when
exploring Mars like sites of scientific
interest at Arkaroola in South Australia. The
sites are compared to Gusev Crater and Meridiani
Planum.
Jon Clarke, Australian Centre for Astrobiology
Macquarie University NSW 2109 Australia David
Willson, SEMF Hobart Australia david.willson_at_semf.
com.au
2
Exploration Assumptions Scales
  • Exploration as per the Mars-Oz mission
    architecture to Mars like sites at Arkaroola
    assumes the following
  • 4 astronauts with 2 being away from the base at
    any time
  • A small teleoperated rover
  • A single un-pressurized rover and,
  • A large pressurized rovers.
  • We envisage exploration at four scales
  • Short range On foot
  • Medium range By un-pressurized rover
  • Long range By pressurized rover and
  • Extended range By combined pressurized and
    un-pressurized rovers.

3
Short Range Exploration
  • Short Range Exploration By foot
  • We assume an 8 hour maximum duration EVA in
    pairs
  • The authors experience on Earth suggests 5 15
    km travel distance is possible
  • The longest Apollo EVA (Apollo 14 EVA-2) was a
    total of 4 km
  • We see the risks associated with EVAs will
    significantly reduce the range of this type of
    exploration. The main EVA limitations due to
    risks are
  • Returning to the rover or base before nightfall
    as the explorer could become lost.
  • A failure of a suit environmental system. In
    this case the explorer would connect via an
    umbilical to his EVA partners unit and share the
    air supply and cooling.
  • Suit damage or injury.
  • We note that radiation from solar flares is a
    hazard. We suggest exploration would be limited
    or curtailed during high risk periods.
  • In addition, the space suit design is a factor in
    EVA planning. The use of a high mobility suit
    such as the mechanical counter-pressure suit
    will
  • Reduce the energy required to move by the
    explorersand,
  • Reduce the possibility of suit damage and injury
    through slipping or falling over.
  • Conclusion Allow in exploration plans a 2 km
    radius covering an area of 12 km².

4
Medium and Long Range Exploration
  • Medium range exploration By un-pressurized
    rover
  • The Apollo lunar rover had a battery range of
    100 km
  • The Apollo rover range was limited to 10 km to
    ensure the astronauts could return to the LM on
    foot if the rover failed and,
  • Likewise, an un-pressurized rover on Mars could
    also fail or become bogged.
  • We also note the un-pressurized rover does not
    have protection against radiation from solar
    flares. As per exploration on foot exploration
    would be limited or curtailed during high risk
    periods.
  • Conclusion Allow in exploration plans a 10 km
    radius for the pressurized rover covering an area
    of 300 km².
  • Long range exploration By pressurized rover
  • The MSA Starchaser Marsupial Rover is expected
    to have a range of 500 km with 2 explorers for 4
    days with 20 reserve
  • The pressurized rover is expected to be equipped
    with a radiation storm shelter
  • The pressurized rover could still fail or become
    stuck. The un-pressurized rover would be used to
    rescue the explorers.
  • Conclusion Allow in exploration plans a 40 km
    radius for the pressurized rover covering an area
    of covering 5000 km².

5
Extended Operations
Extended range By combined pressurized and
un-pressurized rover Extended range operations
could be done by carrying the un-pressurized
rover on the pressurized rover. If the
pressurized rover fails or becomes stuck the
explorers can return to the base in the
un-pressurized rover. The un-pressurized rover
has a range of 100 km. In this way the over all
safe exploration can be extended. Conclusion
Allow in extended exploration plans a 100 km
radius for the combined pressurized and
un-pressurized rovers covering an area of 3000
km².
Hills in Gusev crater
6
Features at Arkaroola that compare with Mars
Neoproterozoic basalts (Wootlana volcanics) the
hills in the distance are Sturtian tillites.
Basalts are in abundance at Gusev Crater, Mars
The prime Mars-Oz site
Short Range Exploration By foot
7
Features at Arkaroola that compare with Mars
Medium Range Exploration By un-pressurized rover
Paralana radioactive hot (80ºC) artesian spring
supporting specialised micobiology. These
features provide counterparts to possible Martian
features that may contain niches for Martian
extremophiles.
Protozoic rippled sandstone. Evidence of water as
per Meridiani Planum
8
Features at Arkaroola that compare with Mars
Long and Extended Range Exploration By
un-pressurized rover
Sief Dunes as per Gusev Crater
  • North Flinders Rangers providing
  • Early Cambrian fossiliferous carbonates
    clastics.
  • Cretaceous shoreline deposits
  • Gibber plains and
  • Artesian springs and seeps.
  • Area is similar to Louros Vallis a tributary to
    Vallis Marineris on Mars.
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