Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




IRON AND ICE
NASA selects SwRI mass spectrometer for technology development
by Staff Writers
San Antonio TX (SPX) May 19, 2011


Although similar to a spectrometer on the ESA Rosetta mission currently on course to reach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, MASPEX extends its resolution and sensitivity by one to two orders of magnitude.

NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute's MAss Spectrometer for Planetary EXploration (MASPEX) for technology development funding. Originally offered as part of the Primitive Material Explorer (PriME) mission proposal, the mass spectrometer was selected to further advance NASA's capability for evaluating the chemical composition of comets.

MASPEX is a highly sensitive ion and neutral mass spectrometer based on novel detection technologies under development by SwRI.

Although similar to a spectrometer on the ESA Rosetta mission currently on course to reach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, MASPEX extends its resolution and sensitivity by one to two orders of magnitude.

The spectrometer is designed to measure precisely the composition of volatile gases and plasmas found in planetary atmospheres as well as comets. Identification of isotopes in these extremely low-density populations is a particularly challenging target and an area where MASPEX is expected to excel.

In addition to comets, the SwRI team is exploring a number of Earth-based spin-off applications of this novel technology.

Institute Scientist Dr. Hunter Waite and Program Director Dr. David Young, both of the SwRI Space Science and Engineering Division, serve as MASPEX co-principal investigators.

"With further development, MASPEX will have by far the highest sensitivity for identifying, measuring and sampling gases and plasmas of any mass spectrometer ever flown in space," says Waite.

"Measuring isotopic composition will yield for the first time quantitative clues to the origin of comets and other bodies in the solar system, and could provide valuable insights into the origin of life," Young adds.

To be considered for space flight, the SwRI team must demonstrate continued advancement of the technology in preparation for a future mission proposal. The spectrometer is one of three technology developments selected by NASA for further development.

.


Related Links
Southwest Research Institute
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





IRON AND ICE
At the Heart of Hartley-2, a New Breed of Comet?
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 18, 2011
At the heart of every comet lies a remnant of the dawn of the solar system. Or is that remnants? Astronomers don't know, but the answer would give them a clearer picture of exactly how comets were born eons ago at the birth of the Solar System. Did thin tendrils of dust and ice get drawn slowly inward and pack themselves into a single, uniform mass? Or did a hodge-podge of mini-comets come toget ... read more


IRON AND ICE
A Wrinkly Old Reveal Clues To Its Past

MoonBots Challenges Teams to Conduct Lunar Missions with LEGO Robots

Earth's Nearest Neighbor Within Reach

Space Adventures proposes modified Soyuz TMA for Lunar tourists

IRON AND ICE
Mars Rover Driving Leaves Distinctive Tracks

Opportunity Cracks The 18-Mile Mark

Mars Science Laboratory Aeroshell Delivered To Launch Site

Mars Express Sees Deep Fractures on Mars

IRON AND ICE
NASA Denies Entry To Chinese Journalists For Shuttle Launch

NASA Announces Its First Payloads for Commercial Suborbital Spacecraft

Heaven is a 'fairy story': Hawking

Putting the Common Housefly onto the dinner plate

IRON AND ICE
Top Chinese scientists honored with naming of minor planets

China sees smooth preparation for launch of unmanned module

China to attempt first space rendezvous

Countdown begins for Chineses space station program

IRON AND ICE
STS-134 Arrives, Crew Begins Work at Station

APL-Built Plasma Detector Launches on Space Shuttle Endeavour

"Canary" is Bound for ISS

Utah USTAR Professor's Invention Approved by NASA for Long-Term Use Aboard ISS

IRON AND ICE
Cadets Test-Fire Falcon launch Rocket

Upcoming Ariane 5 mission with GSAT-8 and ST-2 is given its "go" for launch

Preparations for third Ariane 5 mission of 2011 move into their final phase

Another Ariane 5 begins its assembly at the Spaceport

IRON AND ICE
Free-Floating Planets May be More Common Than Stars

New SETI survey focuses on Kepler's top Earth-like planets

Searching for Aliens on Kepler's Planets

Study suggest water on distant planet

IRON AND ICE
Amazon selling more Kindle books than print books

China slaps export quota on rare earth alloys

Physicist accelerates simulations of thin film growth

Research questions reality of supersolid in Helium-4




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement