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MREP2: MSR ARCHITECTURE ASSESSMENT STUDY - 2017

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8981
Open Date: 10/04/2017
Closing Date: 15/05/2017 13:00:00

 

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 17.1MS.01
Prog. Ref.: AURORA MREP-2 S.E.2
Budget Ref.: E/0432-01 - AURORA MREP-2 S.E.2
Special Prov.: GB
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Other
Techology Domains: Others
Establishment: ESTEC
Department: ISS Programme and Exploration Department
Contract Officer: Couppie, Jeanne
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A - Not apply
Last Update Date: 10/04/2017
Update Reason: Tender issue

The main objective of the international Mars Sample Return campaign is to return samples from the Martian surface. To achieve this objective multiple mission with individual surface and orbiter elements is required. While certain elements are prerequisites, the actual combination of elements and its provision allows for certain variation.Common elements of the overall campaign for all different options are currently A sample catching rover, to be launched in 2020, based on MSL heritage, which will acquire the samples on the surface and cache them in a defined depot for subsequent collection. The landing site for this mission has been subject to an extensive campaign of workshops, last of which was held in February 2017 and where three remaining landing sites candidates were selected. A surface element launched in 2026 or 2028, containing the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) and a sample fetching rover, which will fetch the samples from its depot and return them to the MAV, where they will be stored in the Orbital Sample (OS) element. This spherical OS will be launched by the MAV into a nominally circular orbit 343 km (±30km) above the surface of Mars. A sample receiving and handling facility on Earth, used to receive, contain, curate and handle the returned samples.For the subsequent functions of capturing the OS in orbit, bio-containment and return to Earth, different architecture concepts are considered in this study:Architecture concept a): Independent CourierThis option would include a NASA led orbiter (Next Mars Orbiter, NeMO), which, after arrivalat Mars, rendezvous with the OS, captures the OS and performs the bio-containment (bio-sealing) by placing the OS into a bio-container (BC). A subsequent ESA led Courier spacecraft, which could arrive at Mars at a later time, then docks with NeMO, receives the BC,transfers it into an Earth Return Capsule (ERC) and returns it to Earth. NeMO would stay around Mars to serve as communications andscience infrastructure. The payload elements on the ESA spacecraft for this option are the docking mechanism, the transfer mechanism (between docking port and ERC) and the ERC. This option was studies in the MSR Carrier CDF study. It is graphically presented in Figure 1.Architecture concept b): Piggy-back CourierThis options assumes ESA provided return spacecraft launched piggy-back stacked on top of a NASA led spacecraft for launch, transferred to Mars together with the NASA spacecraft, utilising the 15 kW class Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP). At Mars the two spacecraft separate with the NASA mission serving as infrastructure element (as in concept a)) and the ESA spacecraft performing the full functional set of rendezvous, capturing the OS, bio-sealing, transfer into the ERC and return to Earth, either utilising its own independent propulsion system or continuing to use the SEP propulsion module. The payload elements on the ESA spacecraft for this option are the capture mechanism, the bio-containment system (incl. BC), the transfermechanism and the ERC.Architecture concept c): Full Sample Return OrbiterThis options assumes an independent ESA spacecraft. While NeMO serves solely infrastructure and science purposes, the ESA mission is independently launched and at Mars performs the full functional set of rendezvous, capturing the OS, bio-sealing, transfer into the ERC and return to Earth. The payload elements on the ESA spacecraft for this option are the capture mechanism, the bio-containment system (incl. BC), the transfer mechanism and the ERC.This option was studies in the MSR Sample Return Orbiter (MSR-O) industrial studies. It is graphically presented in Figure 2.

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