Development and Evaluation of a Tool for EVA or Robotic Planetary Sampling
Gruntz, David Wayne
Akin, David L
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NASA's current plans call for humans to return to the Moon by 2020 and eventually travel to Mars. The primary rational for this undertaking is scientific exploration and discovery, especially in the area of geology. These missions will include both human and robotic explorers. In order to be successful, these human/robot teams will need specialized tools for geologic sampling and analysis. This thesis discusses a proposed multi-purpose tool for planetary sampling useful for researching surface exploration strategies for humans and human-robot teams. Previous planetary science missions were analyzed to define set of requirements for a sampling tool. From this, a concept was conceived and a prototype constructed. Various soil and rock samples were taken to verify the concept and requirements. The tool performance was tested against known soil models. The end result is a set of sampling requirements, a proven concept for a tool, and proposed future development and research.