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OCR for page 17
Space Studies Board Search: Jump to Top NewsJump to Science in the Subscribe to our FREE e- Headlines newsletter! NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL June 18, 2004 Current Operating Status On NASA Mars Sample-Return Mission Options Appendix SAMPLE-RETURN OPTIONS PRESENTED TO COMPLEX The mission options presented to COMPLEX by NASA were primarily calendars of spacecraft launches and sample-recovery dates. The payloads, capabilities, and specific scientific objectives were mostly undefined. Similarly, terms such as "long- range rover," "sophisticated rover," and "robotic field geologist" were used as placeholders by NASA to represent various mobility systems under consideration. Baseline Option The baseline option is consistent with NASA's current scientific goals (studies of past life, climate change, and "resources") and budgetary constraints (approximately $150 million per year, including launch vehicles and operations) of the Mars Surveyor program. In this option, Mars Surveyor proceeds as currently defined, with two launches per opportunity, through 1999. Launches at subsequent opportunities include the following: 2001. An orbiter with a copy of Mars Observer's Gamma Ray q Spectrometer (GRS) to complete the global remote-sensing program scheduled to be initiated by Mars Global Surveyor in 1997. An additional instrument, currently undefined, will gather data to assist in landing-site selection. 2003. A lander, with an inert payload of approximately 700 kg to simulate q the mass of a sample-return vehicle. No rover or scientific instruments will be carried unless resources from outside the Mars Surveyor program are identified. 2004. Sample-return vehicle No. 1 will return approximately 0.1 kg of q martian material to Earth in 2008. The samples (including rocks, soil, and atmosphere) will be collected in the immediate vicinity of the landing site by a short-range rover. A contingency "grab" sample (atmosphere and soil) is an option. 2006. Long-range rover No. 1 to gather and cache samples for later q http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/msapndx.html (1 of 3) [6/18/2004 9:26:22 AM]

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Space Studies Board return. 2009. Sample-return vehicle No. 2 (return date unspecified). q 2011. Long-range rover No. 2 to gather and cache samples for later q return. 2015. Sample-return vehicle No. 3 (return date unspecified). q Paced Option The paced option assumes a small augmentation of Mars Surveyor's budget and a reorientation of scientific goals to emphasize the search for evidence of possible biotic signatures. The post-1999 launch sequence envisaged is as follows: 2001. Science orbiter. q 2003. Long-range rover No. 1. q 2004. Sample-return vehicle No. 1 (returns samples to Earth in 2008). q 2005. Communications orbiter. q 2006. Long-range rover No. 2. q 2009. Communications orbiter, plus a sample-return vehicle No. 2 q (returns samples to Earth in 2012). 2011. Science orbiter. q 2014. Long-range rover No. 3, plus sample-return vehicle No. 3 (returns q samples to Earth in 2016). Accelerated Option The accelerated option assumes that the Mars Surveyor's budget is significantly enhanced. Its post-1999 launch sequence is as follows: 2001. Science orbiter. q 2002. Long-range rovers Nos. 1 and 2 to different sites. q 2003. Sample-return vehicle No. 1 (returns samples to Earth in 2006). q 2005. Science orbiter, plus long-range rovers Nos. 3 and 4 to different q sites. 2007. Sample-return vehicle No. 2 (returns samples to Earth in 2010). q 2009. Communications orbiter, plus long-range rovers Nos. 5 and 6 to q different sites. 2011. Sample-return vehicle No. 3 (returns samples to Earth in 2014). q Aggressive Option The aggressive option envisages that a "national commitment" is made to search for evidence of life on Mars. 2001. Science orbiter, plus undefined "suborbital reconnaissance" q system No. 1 (possibly a balloon-borne science package). 2002. "Sophisticated rover" No. 1 and undefined "robotic field geologist" q No. 1 to two different sites. http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/msapndx.html (2 of 3) [6/18/2004 9:26:22 AM]

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Space Studies Board 2003. Sample-return vehicle No. 1 (returns samples to Earth in 2006). q 2005. Communications orbiter, plus suborbital reconnaissance system q No. 2, plus sophisticated rover No. 2 and robotic field geologist No. 2 to two different sites. 2007. Communications orbiter, plus suborbital reconnaissance system q No. 3, plus sample-return vehicle No. 2 (returns samples to Earth in 2010). 2009. Sophisticated rover No. 3 and robotic field geologist No. 3 to two q different sites. 2011. Sample-return vehicle No. 3 (returns samples to Earth in 2014). q Last update 2/10/00 at 4:36 pm Site managed by the SSB Web Group. To comment on this Web page or report an error, please send feedback to the Space Studies Board. Subscribe to e-newsletters | Feedback | Back to Top Copyright © 2004. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 500 Fifth St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/msapndx.html (3 of 3) [6/18/2004 9:26:22 AM]