Hypothesized Surface: Sample Return from Hypothesized Surfaces – RIT – A

“18977 – NASA Psyche Sample Containment”


Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)


Tungsten Class (2023 – 2024)


Raina Barboza, Mechanical Engineering
Ilker Bilgen, Mechanical Engineering
Anthony Caropreso, Mechanical Engineering
Erin Gillette, Mechanical Engineering
Emily Lawton, Mechanical Engineering
Aubrey Tarmu, Computer Engineering
Chelsea Taylor, Industrial Engineering


Dr. Carlos Barrios – Academic Guide (RIT)
Dr. Cassie Bowman – Client & NASA Guide


We are designing and creating, with guidance from the NASA Psyche Program, a sample return containment device that has the ability to preserve a sample from the metallic asteroid Psyche, either from the surface or underneath. The container will open and close, rotate to accept samples, seal to preserve the sample in the appropriate conditions, and be functional with minimal human interaction. This mechanism must function on all ranges of hypothesized surfaces that may be found on Psyche, including a mostly flat metallic surface, rocky terrain, high-relief metallic craters, and rocky or metallic debris. Our project will require extensive testing to validate the device, as it will experience pressures and temperatures on both asteroid Psyche and reentry to Earth, as well as gravity in the environment of space.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of the Rochester Institute of Technology Capstone Course “MECE 497”. 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.