Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Techno Planet Incorporated
17340 Rayen Street, Northridge, CA, 91325-2936
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractSample return missions have primary importance in future planetary missions. A basic requirement is that samples be returned in pristine, uncontaminated condition, necessitating development of a canister system capable of maintaining cleanliness and seal integrity through a variety of environments. Such a canister system, the Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC), is proposed. Besides providing a high integrity seal, the canister also incorporates features that for robotic manipulation and to allow the sample to be accessed in a controlled manner upon return to Earth. The SPRC seal system addresses the two most significant concerns for planetary samples seal surfaces contaminated by the sample and high pressure due to the phase change of volatiles. The SPRC incorporates a novel sealing system evolved from the only marginally successful Apollo seal approach but with added features to address the difficulties and inconsistencies observed. The indium is contained within a protective barrier to prevent oxidation, and the knife edge is mechanically cleaned during the sealing process. The container body will be configured to accommodate a variety of samples including rock cores, rock fragments, regolith, dust, and frozen soil. Atmospheric samples can also be preserved. The design is readily scalable and adaptable to specific missions.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.