31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 25. Science and Technology of Future Space Missions II
Special Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Tuesday, October 12, 1999, 10:30am-12:00noon, Sala Kursaal

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[25.04] IPSE: The Italian Package For Science Experiments on Mars

F. Angrilli, S. Debei, P.F. Lion Stoppato, M. Pertile (CISAS "G.Colombo" University of Padova), B. Saggin (Polytechnic of Milan), W. Prendin, M. Marchesi, A. Nista (Tecnomare Spa)

The Italian Package for Science Experiments, IPSE Briefcase, and the deep drill (Deedri), will be launched onboard the MSR (Mars Sample Return) 2003 lander. These two packages represent the first result of the agreement between NASA and ASI (Italian Space Agency) to co-operate in a long term systematic program of robotic exploration of Mars.IPSE will carry aboard several scientific instruments (from three to six), which will be selected to avoid the duplication of other instruments already existing on both MSR Lander and Rover. Therefore IPSE instrumentation will play a complimentary role to the packages onboard the Lander and the Rover in collecting scientific data on Mars. Goals of the investigations are the study of the physical and mineralogical properties of bulk soil and dust (atmospheric and surface) as well as geo-chemical, structural, radiation and geophysical properties of the subsurface material. The Briefcase will be accommodated on deck of the Lander and is an autonomous flexible laboratory, equipped with a robotic arm not only to retrieve soil samples from the drill, but also to position them under the instruments exploiting a special purpose MMD (micro mechanism device). As a backup solution the arm is also capable to deliver samples to the MAV (Mars Ascendant Vehicle). Different configurations of the arm have been considered and the overall design has been developed and optimised. Among the candidate investigations for Briefcase there are: IR spectroscopy, X ray spectroscopy and dust flux measurement. It is expected that, with its in situ measurements, IPSE will provide key information about the Martian environment well before the return of the samples collected on Mars.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: angrilli@dim.unipd.it

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