Planetary Video • SciTech

PlanetVac: Planetary Surface Sampling Vacuum Chamber Demonstration

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Honeybee Robotics' PlanetVac, made possible by The Planetary Society, is a new way of doing one of the hardest yet most valuable things in planetary exploration: sampling a planetary surface -- gathering planetary dirt -- and then transferring that dirt to a science instrument or sample return capsule. This video documents the first test of a complete prototype PlanetVac system, done in a vacuum chamber at Mars-like pressures. PlanetVac, which stands for Planetary Vacuum, is a concept that effectively vacuums up planetary regolith (the dirt overlying bedrock) for quick and reliable surface sampling.