Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle Design Trade Space and Concept Development Strategy
MetadataShow full item record
In recent years the sample return mission concept has gradually grown increased favor over in-situ missions. The successes of the Stardust and Genesis missions have clearly highlighted the advantages of bringing samples back to Earth where they can be studied in much greater detail by more powerful instruments, examined by a much wider scientific community, and preserved over an extended period of time. With growing interest in the Moon, asteroids, comets, and particularly Mars, more and more sample return missions are sure to find their way into the space exploration roadmap. This paper will outline an approach to be taken to develop a flexible Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) design concept which can be utilized by multiple sample return missions. The multi-mission EEV concept will be based on the Mars Sample Return (MSR) EEV design which is driven by minimizing risk associated with sample containment. However, not all sample return missions will need to meet the rigorous planatery protection requirements of MSR. The goal of this study will be to provide a foundation by which individual missions can build upon to optimize an EEV design which meets their specific needs while preserving as many common elements as possible. This multi-mission EEV concept could then provide a platform by which technologies, design elements, processes, etc., can be developed and even flight tested prior to implemention on MSR. This approach could not only significantly reduce the risk and associated cost in development of the MSR EEV, but also by leveraging common design elements, all sample return missions will benefit.