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SBIR/STTR

Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC), Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC), Phase I
Sample 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. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.

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