With the end of the Shuttle program, NASA is gearing up for the future of human exploration and turning to its analog missions and field testing to help lead the way. The Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) is one of NASA's premier analog research programs. The team is about to embark on its most ambitious and exciting year, which will see the addition of new scientific, operational and technological objectives to its busy ten-day field deployment.
The following papers were recently published in the journal Space Science Reviews:
1) Locating the LCROSS Impact Craters William Marshall, Mark Shirley, Zachary Moratto, Anthony Colaprete and Gregory Neumann, et al. (2011) Space Science Reviews (currently on line at http://www.springerlink.com/content/102996/)
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate has approved the Planetary Lake Lander analog campaign, under the direction of Dr. Natalie Cabrol (Code SST and the SETI Institute). The project will be funded through the Astrobiology Science & Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) program. This is the second phase of the High Lakes Project, and will feature technology and exploration strategies useful for exploring Saturn’s intriguing moon, Titan.
A crew consisting of biologists, geologists and engineers from America, Australia, Peru, England, and Portugal deployed to a simulated Mars surface habitat in southern Utah to perform a simulation of a human mission to Mars to look for life using state of the art drilling technology to acquire unaltered subsurface samples. The team, led by Dr. Carol Stoker (Code SST), used the MARTE drill, a prototype of a Mars drill capable of 10-m depth continuous core samples.