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
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 will design a system that could take cached samples and return them to Earth. This might involve delivering the cached samples to another spacecraft in orbit around Psyche or putting them in a vehicle that could make its way directly back to Earth or another option you devise. They will also design a transport system that would preserve the integrity of the samples coming from the range of hypothesized surface materials of Psyche. Hypothesized surfaces may 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.