Hypothesized Surface: Returning Samples – FAMU-FSU (Storage)


Florida A&M University-Florida State University


Nickel Class (2020 – 2021)


Marcus Hatchett, Mechanical Engineering
Michael Macedo, Mechanical Engineering
Luke Remillard, Mechanical Engineering
Robert Zube, Mechanical Engineering
Kimberly Rillon, Engineering Management (ASU)


Dr. Joe Juarez, Lecturer, School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, ASU
Dr. Shayne McConomy, Teaching Faculty, Mechanical Engineering, FAMU-FSU School of Engineering


The NASA Psyche Mission is set to launch in 2022 and arrive at the asteroid in 2026. It is an orbiter mission and will not land on the surface. It is possible to imagine, however, that after learning about Psyche from orbit, there may be scientists and engineers interested in proposing a subsequent mission to return samples from the asteroid to Earth. Designing to the range of hypothesized surfaces and extreme terrain that might be found at Psyche (and keeping in mind other constraints such as its gravity), the team designed a system that could take cached samples and return them to Earth. They also designed a transport system that would preserve the integrity of the samples coming from the range of hypothesized surface materials of Psyche, which could include: mostly flat metallic surface, flat metallic with metal and/or rocky debris, rough/high-relief metallic and/or rocky terrain, high-relief metallic crater walls.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of Florida A&M University-Florida State University and Arizona State University Capstone Courses. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission (https://psyche.asu.edu). “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.