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Sample retrieval and transfer tools - Illustration


2016-10-28 - From October 31 to November 18, 2016, the Canadian Space Agency is leading a Mars sample return simulation in the Utah desert in order to train tomorrow's planetary space explorers. Students from five Canadian universities will develop a science plan to identify and characterize rocks that may contain signs of life. Two rovers will be used as part of this mission simulation. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

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The infographic shows a photo of a rover used to retrieve and transfer samples of rock and soil. The rover's components are described as follows.

Manipulator arm with grapple system
Picks up the samples from the ground and puts them into containers on the rover. They are then transferred to the rocket (ascent vehicle).

Samples of rock or soil.

Ascent vehicle
Rocket launched into orbit, where the samples are transferred to another spacecraft that will return them to Earth.

Sample containers
Six receptacles that hold the samples before they are transferred to the ascent vehicle.

Stereoscopic camera
Provides information on the terrain and acts as the robot's eyes.

Scientific camera
Provides very precise scientific data on the environment (e.g., soil colour) so that the instruments can be positioned correctly before a sample is taken.

Takes digital 3D images of the rover's immediate environment.

Solar panels
Power the rover's instruments.

Alignment funnel
Helps align the samples so that the manipulator arm can deposit them correctly in the sample containers.

Ventral camera
Helps with navigating and avoiding obstacles, and supports scientific activities.

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File size: 0.19 MB
Image size: 1200 x 900 pixels
Resolution: 96 dpi

Photo taken on October 28, 2016

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