Lander project, writing assignment help

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GEOS204: Life, the Universe and Everything ASSIGNMENT 2 (2016) – Lander Project Lander Project (1500 words minimum, maximum 3000) 25% of final course mark Due: Friday 20th May 2016, 17:00 (Week 10) Objectives for the assignment After this assignment you will have: • Learnt how to search for and download scientific papers, • Gained specific knowledge on the moon Titan, methods for reaching it using a lander and methods for analysing samples on it to look for life, • Gained insights into aspects of the scientific method, • Developed your evaluation techniques and critical reviewing strategies, • Developed your writing and referencing skills. Task: To propose a search site for life on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, and plan an unmanned landing mission. Extra marks will be awarded for the originality of your proposal, including the design for the lander. Write an essay IN YOUR OWN WORDS on your chosen site and include your suggestion for the nature of the mission and the type of scientific experiments to be conducted on the mission. The mission will not be a “sample return mission”, ie the analyses you plan will have to be done on the surface of the moon. The report should include the following four main topics: • Science aims and strategy • Geology • Logistics • Sampling and analysis techniques Use these topics as main headings. Include a discussion and evaluation of: Science aims and strategy – Basically, a proposal justification. • What is the aim of this proposal? • What previous exploration has been carried out? • What information suggests that Titan is a possible place to harbour / have harboured life? • What is the probability of occurrence of ancient or extant life? Geology - You may use information and images from recent space missions to help you with this section. You need to select an approximate position on Titan for your landing mission. Include discussion of: • The overall geology of Titan, • The general geology of the chosen site, • The type of site and evidence for its interpretation as such (e.g. lake bed, palaeosea, palaeo-hydrothermal deposit, etc...), • Nature of expected evidence for life (chemical, morphological, etc...). Logistics – You may look at past or planned landing missions on other planets or moons to get ideas, but your concept for the lander should be your own design. Do not copy and paste images or data from existing web sites – this would be plagiarism and will score zero for the assignment. You may include hand-drawn sketches or your own computergenerated sketches. Include discussion of: • Topography of the selected region, • Engineering requirements/landing access, including how to land the lander and the nature of the access once on the surface (e.g. lander & rover, just lander, or other), • If using a rover, discuss the travel capabilities of the rover. • Note, you do NOT need to cover the logistics of the space flight from Earth to Titan, just start this section with the descent from orbit around Titan. Sampling and Detection Techniques – You may utilise some existing small, lightweight instrumentation used on existing missions. However, you must explain why this is suitable for your mission and explain how it will be integrated into and operate with YOUR lander. Include discussion of: • Instrumentation, GEOS204 Assignment 2 (2016) – Lander Project Page 1 • Nature of experiments to be carried out (this is not a sample return mission, so all experiments will have to be carried out as part of this mission). The report on the project will be 1500 words minimum, maximum 3000. Include relevant maps, diagrams and figures. You may also include data in any other format suited to your proposal. All sources must be fully referenced. See the unit handout, especially for advice on how to properly reference web sites. The report must be typed, but can include hand-drawn sketches. Note: All sources of data MUST be referenced. Not doing so is plagiarism and will result in zero marks. Marking scheme (out of 20): Science aims and strategy, and proposal justification 4 Understanding of the geology of the moon 5* Understanding and justification of the logistics involved 4* Choice and justification of sampling and detection techniques 5* Spelling / grammar and presentation/essay structure 1 Correct referencing 1 * To score top marks on these three, you need to demonstrate plenty of in-depth research on the topic. Handing in: Please submit this assignment electronically to turnitin. Please note: There is no need to hand a physical copy of the assignment in. Resources The following web sites may be helpful: NASA Solar System Exploration: NASA Mars Exploration Homepage: Beagle 2 Mission Homepage: ESA Mars Express: NASA PDS imaging node: NASA Cassini Equinox Mission to Saturn and surrounds NASA Galileo Journey to Jupiter: Jules Verne Voyager: GEOS204 Assignment 2 (2016) – Lander Project Page 2
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Running head: LANDER PROJECT


Lander Project



Science Aims and Strategy
The purpose of this group research proposal is to carry out and analyze the Titan
ability to support life. Types of the data to be collected involve the size of the Titan, Titan
Composition such as the atmosphere, chemical composition, and the morphological
characteristics. Also, the surface features data will be collected that include lake bed,
palaeosea, and the palaeo-hydrothermal deposit. The actual research will be conducted at the
Titan's surface where a Lander will be used to reach the Titan surface. During the research
different instruments will be used to collect data such as various cameras, laser ranging retroreflector and lunar geology among others. The data collected will then be analyzed and will
be used to determine the ability of the Titan moon to support life as different scientists have
been reporting evidences of this moon ability to support life at different times.
Titan Moon
According to Dick (2013), Titan is the largest moon of the Saturn planet the found in
the solar system. Titan is popularly known due to its ability to contain a dense or substantial
atmosphere. Titan is only the object other than the planet earth which has been identified to
have evidence of stable bodies of the surface liquid. In its organic chemistry, the Titan is said
to resemble that of the primitive earth atmosphere. The Titan's atmosphere is composed of
nitrogen but mixed with the other gases such as hydrogen and methane gases. This moon
undergoes through weather and varying seasons. It has mountains, dunes, rivers, lakes and
valleys too. According to the scientific research, all these characteristics found in Titan moon
have resulted to the conclusion that Titan is potential to support life. Even today, Titan has
been a focal point that has resulted in a great deal of curiosity for many scientists trying to
find out the truth behind the ability for this moon to support life. Therefore, the scientific



report has left room for further research that is intended to answer the question that; could
there be life in the Titan's moon?
Other Previous Titan Exploration
Previously, several explorations about the Titan ability to support life have been
carried out. First, during the month of March in the year 1655, an astronomer known as
Dutch Huygens disc...

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