In summary, the various disciplines interested in solar system exploration and research have many common needs for mobility and, thus, generally need not consider themselves as competitors for payload mass. For example, a rover carrying a suite of instruments designed to carry out a predominantly exobiology mission will differ very little from one designed to carry out a geology/geochemistry mission. Likewise, an aircraft or balloon mission designed to measure important atmospheric parameters at various altitudes can also collect surface spectral data important to geologists, geochemists, and exobiologists. Obviously, not all missions will satisfy all persons, but it seems clear that differences in mobile platform type and design are linked more to the target of the mission than to the interests of the scientists involved.


1. Roadmap Development Team, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mission to the Solar System: Exploration and Discovery—A Mission and Technology Roadmap, Version B, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 1996.

2. Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Managing the Space Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995, p. 68.

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