KECK INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES

       

Artwork Image Gallery

The KISS images below are public domain, but must be accompanied by the appropriate image credit.

Crucial scientific measurements for understanding the Mars system require access to and interaction with the Mars surface. Access to and interaction with rocks and ices is needed for measurements of texture, chemistry, mineralogy, isotopes at organics content at sub-centimeter scale. Landed measurements are required for boundary layer winds and measurements of exchanging gases (e.g., CH4, H2) at the surface-atmosphere boundary. Priority measurements of the subsurface that can only be accomplished with landers include sounding for water, heat flow measurement, and detecting Mars quakes to resolve subsurface structure at regional scales.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Mars pulls technology from - and can push technology to - other sectors. Future Mars missions can draw on technology developments from a wide range of sponsors and markets, enabling enhanced capabilities as well as reducing development and recurring costs.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Changing partner relationships will grow the stakeholder pool that is investing at Mars.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Harnessing full contributions from all interested parties is key to a sustained, affordable landed program of exploration at Mars and full realization of economic and societal benefits of the program.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Back cover. A vision of the future where a fast, affordable, and bold Mars exploration strategy delivers dozens of spacecraft to explore the planet’s surface.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Front cover of the final report. A solar-powered spacecraft approaches Uranus 20 au from the Sun using ion propulsion to gently thrust into orbit. The spacecraft is powered by two 60-m x 60-m solar array wings.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Illustration of a potential concept for electrospray thrusters distributed on the
back-side of the solar arrays of a solar-powered exploration vehicle.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

A solar-powered spacecraft beams power from the Uranus-Miranda Lagrange
point L2 across 600 km, providing power to a lander on the surface of Miranda.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Changes in water content drive forest changes at diurnal (inner ring), seasonal (middle ring), and decadal (outer ring) timescales. Across decadal-scale responses, declines in VWC can lead to mortality and/or fire. VWC will also increase in concert with successional dynamics. Across dry and wet seasons, forest VWC evolves through both phenology and de-/rehydration. Lastly, VWC has a strong diurnal cycle driven by the diurnal cycle of ET.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Kara Skye Gibson and Victor Leshyk.

Vertical distributions of tissue-specific water retention properties (RWC – Ψ curves), biomass, and sensor penetration depth determine remotely sensed water content and its temporal variation. Several hypothesized curves delineating gradients of capacitance, defined as the change in relative water content relative to that of water potential (C = ΔRWC/ΔΨ) are shown. Therefore, temporal variation in remotely sensed metrics of VWC will be determined not only by temporal variation in Ψ, but by differences in the exchangeability of water in response to changes in Ψ across different plant tissues, and the response of sensor penetration depth to changes in water content.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Kara Skye Gibson and Victor Leshyk.

Microwave remote sensing is able to observe water content in forests. The canopy layers represented in each measurement (the penetration depth) varies across different microwave frequency bands (and thus different wavelengths), as shown through different red and blue electromagnetic waves. Observations represent deeper areas of the canopy as wavelengths increase (and frequencies decrease) from Ku-band across X-, C-, and L-bands to P-band. Higher frequencies are most sensitive to leaves and branches while lower frequencies also have increasing sensitivity to trunks and soils.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Kara Skye Gibson and Victor Leshyk.

The mental model of a spacecraft changes from a remote instrument, or "transactional" model (left), to an in-situ repository of significant data that can be interacted with (right), being constantly updated with in-situ observations.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

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Nebulae can enable science missions to perform additional in-situ processing by providing additional modular storage, processing and/or communications.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Front cover illustration of the final report "Nebulae: Deep-Space Computing Clouds" supported by the Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

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The COVID-19–induced reductions in human activity led to reduced anthropogenic emissions. The fact that these reductions occurred over months rather than decades allows us to observe how the atmosphere, land, and ocean are likely to respond in a future scenario with stricter emissions controls. This analysis helps to identify effective pathways to mitigate air pollution and climate-relevant GHG emissions.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Jupiter's moon, Callisto, consisting of an ice shell, liquid water ocean, and rocky/metallic deep interior. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Saturn's moon, Enceladus, consisting of an ice shell, liquid water ocean, and rocky deep interior. The plumes at the southern hemisphere continuously erupt water from the ocean below. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Jupiter's moon, Europa, consisting of an ice shell, liquid water ocean, and rocky/metallic deep interior.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. From top to bottom, the layers are: solid ice shell, liquid water ocean, solid high-pressure ice, rocky mantle, and metallic core. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Jupiter's moon, Io. From top to bottom, the layers are: rocky lithosphere, fluid magma ocean, rocky mantle, and metallic core. This interior structure represents on end member of possible interior structures. The plumes above the limb result Io's continuously active volcanism. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Jupiter's moon, Io, consisting of a rocky shell, overlying a fluid magma ocean, and rocky/metallic deep interior. This interior structure represents on end member of possible interior structures. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Neptune's moon, Triton, consisting of an ice shell, liquid water ocean, and rocky/metallic deep interior.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Saturn's moon, Titan. From top to bottom, the layers are: a thick atmosphere, solid ice shell, liquid water ocean, solid high-pressure ice, rocky mantle, and metallic core. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Unannotated schematic illustration of the sources, sinks, and transport processes controlling the chemical and isotopic species in/on/around Io.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Unannotated schematic illustration for four end-member interior structure models of Jupiter's moon, Io. Models on the left assume a predominantly solid interior with tidal heating dissipated primarily in the deep mantle (top-left) or asthenosphere (bottom-left). Models on the right assume a substantial amount of melt, either in the form of a continuous magma ocean (top-right), or an interconnected sponge of partial melt (bottom-right). Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the interior of Jupiter's moon, Io, consisting of a rocky shell, overlying a partially molten mantle, and rocky/metallic deep interior. This interior structure represents on end member of possible interior structures. Layer thicknesses are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the sources, sinks, and transport processes controlling the chemical and isotopic species in/on/around Io.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

The Jupiter system provides exciting destinations for groundbreaking new science, enabled by a variety of different spacecraft architectures, instruments, observations, and experiments.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the structure of Io’s interior, with arbitrary layer thicknesses, considering deep- (top) and shallow-mantle (bottom) end-member tidal dissipation scenarios within a solid interior (left panels) versus how dissipation processes would be affected by either a magma ocean, or globally extensive high-partial melt layer (i.e., a magmatic sponge; right panels).

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the principles behind electromagnetic sounding of Io’s interior. Io experiences a time-varying external magnetic field (A), which produces eddy currents in Io’s conductive layers (B), which drives an induced magnetic field (C). The observed magnetic field around Io is a combination of these processes (D). The magnitude of the induced magnetic field is a function of the physical and electromagnetic properties of Io’s interior (E–G).

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the possible physical configurations of melt within Io and other partially molten silicate worlds. The scale of each block is of-order one centimeter.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic illustration of the solar system’s ocean worlds. All worlds are shown to scale with one another, although the size of the interior layers are only approximate.

Image credit: Chuck Carter and James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Cover artwork from the Tidal Heating – Lessons from Io and the Jovian System report. Io and the Jupiter system is a vibrant destination for exploration, and holds the keys to fundamental understanding of tidal heating across the cosmos. Artwork is color pencil on paper.

Image credit: James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Schematic of the Jovian and Saturnian systems. The top panels show the orbital architecture of the system, with the host planet and orbits to scale. Relevant mean-motion resonances are identified in red. The bottom panels show the satellites to scale with one another. We focus on the major satellites. Listed physical parameters include the diameter (d), bulk density (ρ), and rotational period (P)—which for all of the satellites is equal to their orbital period, as they are all tidally locked with their host planet.

Image credit: James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

A schematic diagram of tidal deformation for a tidally-locked satellite orbiting a planet. Tides deform the satellite at all distances, although deformation is strongest when the satellite is closest to the planet (pericenter) and weakest when the satellite is furthest from the planet (apocenter). B–E, Schematic diagrams of how tides affect the orbit of a tidally-locked satellite (based on Burns and Matthews, 1986).

Image credit: James Tuttle Keane / Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Satellite measurements of COS address a persistent challenge of cloud contamination.  Clouds present challenges for satellite detection of regional photosynthesis that rely on the radiation emitted by ecosystems.  However, an alternative approach leverages the chemical record of photosynthesis that is left in the atmosphere as carbonyl sulfide gas concentrations.  When the clouds clear or the air mass is advected downstream of the clouds, the chemical record can be viewed by satellites.  

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Schematic illustration of the natural sources and sinks for remote sensing of OCS, SIF, and CO2. The natural carbon cycle (red) is dominated by exchanges between terrestrial photosynthesis (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and the surface and deep oceans. The dominant global OCS fluxes (green) are the plant sink and surface ocean source. SIF is directly emitted from leaves. These three signals provide highly complementary views into net ecosystem exchange (CO2) and controls on photosynthesis that are biophysical (OCS) and biogeochemical (SIF).

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

The Amazon Hydrologic Basin can be thought of as light- or water-limited. The identification of the Amazon basin as an ideal domain where the temporally integrated OCS analysis could confront cloud contamination problems of alternative approaches (CO2 and SIF). For example, the satellite detection of a massive depletion in OCS over the Amazon can provide a measurement-based estimate of photosynthesis. Proof-of-concept studies including an airborne field experiment in the Amazon and an observing system simulation experiment will provide critical evidence for the proposed satellite observations.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Interior view of an astronaut controlling a robotic asset on the surface of Mars.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Phase 1: Science Activities, LLT from Deimos: Initial scientific exploration of Mars can be conducted from a buried habitat on Deimos that protects the astronauts from radiation during their long duration presence in the Martian vicinity. For the astronauts’ long-term health, a centrifugal habitat could provide artificial gravity. Wheeled and flying LLT robots deployed at widely dispersed science sites allow the astronauts to explore both safely and efficiently.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Phase 2: Mars sub-surface habitat and infrastructure construction, sample return, LLT from Deimos: While continuing LLT scientific exploration, astronauts working from Deimos can construct a subsurface habitat on Mars and a power generating facility for longer duration stays. Geologic samples from Mars can be delivered to the habitat on Deimos via small rockets for detailed scientific analysis.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Phase 3: Habitat maintenance and continued LLT exploration from Mars sub-surface habitat: Once astronauts land on the surface and inhabit their protected Martian base, more extensive scientific explorations can be conducted via LLT through robotic assets deployed at distant and challenging sites. Ongoing maintenance of local infrastructure can also be accomplished safely using LLT.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies.

Space-Time Observatory and Global Satellite Navigation Systems concept.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Comb-enabled High Angular Resolution Imaging (CHARLI) concept.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Atmospheric spectroscopy applications.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Optical frequency combs function as a clockwork between the radio and optical frequency domains; they can both upconvert radio frequencies into a multitude of uniformly spaced, phase coherent optical frequencies, or equivalently, divide an optical frequency down to a radio frequency where it can be processed with high speed electronics. A frequency comb can be referenced to an optical atomic transition, thereby providing the ticks of an extremely precise clock.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Extreme Precision Radial Velocity concept.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Understanding the physical processes that govern the formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the key objectives of modern astrophysics. Galaxies form out of gas concentrations that produce primitive stellar clusters. Further accretion of gas from the inter-galactic medium fuel further star formation while a important contribution to the growth of stellar mass comes from galaxy mergers.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Star Formation is the main driver of galaxy evolution because how it is regulated determines the stellar growth and chemical enrichment of galaxies over cosmic time. Stars form out of the gravitational collapse of molecular gas which is later slowed down by the radiative and mechanical feedback from newly formed stars.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Stellar Feedback, in the form of radiation, stellar winds, and supernova explosions, plays an important role in regulating star formation in galaxies by slowing down gravitational collapse and even destroying molecular clouds, which are the sites where star formation takes place.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Illustration of an airship observatory concept, including a world-class telescope mounted on the top of the airship and a suite of Earth and atmospheric instruments mounted on the bottom.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Mike Hughes.

An illustrated concept of a stratospheric tethered aerostat (anchored by sea/ship) with a scientific payload.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Mike Hughes.

Artwork from the front cover of the final report on Planetary Magnetic Fields, Planetary Interiors and Habitability.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.

Artwork from the front cover of the final report on New Methods for Measurements of Photosynthesis from Space.

Image credit: Keck Institute for Space Studies / Chuck Carter.