Lunar Ascent Sample Earth Return
Team LASER is developing a system to return small lunar samples. The system is considering multiple return methods, including direct return, aerobraking return, and rendezvous with a LEO spacecraft. This initiative allows for new decadal missions to have valuable sample return, including robotic missions and human missions. This capability will provide a rapid-return capability for support of astronauts and robots.
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The preliminary system design is a return capsule mounted onto the lunar escape solid motor. The return capsule would have aero-braking and a heat shield, allowing return of approximately 0.5kg of sample.
Summer Design Team 2020
The Pre-Phase A study of this project was commissioned as an internship program. A team of aerospace, electrical, and computer science university-level students organized is working an 8-week sprint, designing a reentry module for Lunar sample recovery. The sample is not limited to geological science, but can also support astronaut biological samples and more in future developments. The high-pace team will produce a proof of concept system design, and a physical model. The physical model will consist of a Raspberry Pi acting as the flight computer, a heat resistant sample container, attitude controls system, and a pair of cameras. Future versions of this spacecraft will consist of completed versions of the aforementioned systems, a solid rocket booster, active telemetry and a propulsion system