Comet Nucleus Source Sampler

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 992582
Amount: $599,286.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
204 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY, 10012
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Shaheed Rafeek
 Engineering Group Leader
 () -
Business Contact
 Chris Chapman
Title: President
Phone: (212) 966-0661
Research Institution
A new type of planetary body sample acquisition tool called a Comet Nucleus Surface Sampler is proposed for development. The initial proposed use of this innovation is for comet surface sampling but the system can be applied to asteroids and Mars too. This invention allows for direct sampling of a comet nucleus surface employing a touch and go spacecraft. By avoiding a landing, the in situ study of comets is greatly simplified. It is only necessary for the sampling craft to make momentary contact with the surface via the sampler. Cutting heads located on a flexible boom 1.5 meters below the lander, counter rotate at high speed. When these heads contact the surface, small fragments are thrown up to the lander and into the apertures of instrumentation such as those under development at NASA Ames, GSFC and LaRC. The goals of the effort are to design a first iteration of the proposed sampler in an actual comet sampling situation, to fabricate a breadboard of the cutting head assembly and test this assembly at different attack angles in comet simulants cooled to cryogenic temperatures. Honeybee Robotics expects the research will enable low cost Discovery or Micromission class surface sampling missions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government