EURO-CARES Extraterrestrial Sample Curation Facility: Architecture as an Enabler of Science.
Ellis, James Sandy
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EURO-CARES (European Curation of Astromaterials Returned from Exploration of Space) is a three year, multinational project, funded under the European Commission's Horizon2020 research program. A multidisciplinary team of experts from academia and industry are developing a roadmap for a European Sample Curation Facility (ESCF). The ESCF is designed to be able to receive mission return capsules, to access the containers held within and the samples, to curate and store the samples, whether they are restricted (Mars, Europa, etc.) or not (Moon, asteroid, etc.). In 2016, Master students of the Vienna University of Technology worked on a proposal for the architectural layout. In 2017, a team from Merrick and Company (Canada) joined the collaboration to create a more technologically-sound design. The project team believes that a tight collaboration between architects and scientists in the early stage of the design operations will allow to increase the functionality of such a building. However, finding a common language and defining clear requirements of what scientists expect and what architects can plan is a challenging task. Current status of the project is presented, as well as selected design proposals for the facility. Requirements and specifications from various perspectives are discussed and the design process is summarized.