But exploration of Mars is unlikely to stop with sample return, and NASA needs to be strategic about its next steps, Hubbard says. The report also warns that NASA is unlikely to reach its desired launch cadence for Discovery and New Frontiers, its two largest programs that hold open competitions for mission funding. The decadal had recommended selecting Discovery missions every 2 years; to meet that goal, it notes, NASA would have to select three more proposals for flight by The panel only glances at another prominent reason for these delays: a push by a prominent lawmaker for a mission to the jovian moon Europa, adds Stephen Mackwell, the corporate director of science programs at the Universities Space Research Association in Columbia, Maryland, who reviewed the report prior to publication.
In contrast, the decadal survey would have delayed the Europa mission in favor of competitively awarded missions. The next decadal will need to pull the proposed Europa lander through a similar evaluation, the midterm warned. Read Online. View Cover. Login or Register.
E-mail this page Embed book widget. What is an eBook? Why is an eBook better than a PDF? Where do I get eBook files? Overview Contents Resources Rights Stats. This goals of this report are the following: -Review the state of knowledge of the planet Mars, with special emphasis on findings of the most recent Mars missions and related research activities; -Review the most important Mars research opportunities in the immediate future; -Review scientific priorities for the exploration of Mars identified by COMPLEX and other scientific advisory groups and their motivation, and consider the degree to which recent discoveries suggest a reordering of priorities; and -Assess the congruence between NASA's evolving Mars Exploration Program plan and these recommended priorities, and suggest any adjustments that might be warranted.
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Translation and Other Rights For information on how to request permission to translate our work and for any other rights related query please click here. Interior and Crustal Structure and Activity. Geochemistry and Petrology. Human attributes to exploration include: intelligence, adaptability, agility, dexterity, cognition, patience, problem solving in real-time, in situ analyses - more science in less time!
Humans are unique scientific explorers. Humans could obtain previously unobtainable scientific measurements on the surface of Mars. Humans possess the abilities to adapt to new and unexpected situations in new and strange environments, they can make real-time decisions, have strong recognition abilities and are intelligent. The increased laboratory ability on Mars that humans offer, would allow for dramatically more scientific return within the established sample return limits.
The HEM-SAG envisions that the scientific exploration of Mars by humans would be performed as a synergistic partnership between humans and robotic probes, controlled by the human explorers on the surface of Mars.
NASA MEPAG Report: Mars Science Goals, Objectives, Investigations, and Priorities:
Robotic probes could explore terrains and features not suitable or too risky for human exploration. An important element of the HEM-SAG study has been to identity the unique capabilities that humans would bring to the process of exploring Mars. The unique capabilities that humans would provide for each of the MEPAG science disciplines mentioned above are summarized as follows: Geology Human explorers can perform intelligent sample selection, real time assessment of site sampling progress and strategy development to optimize science return. Human explorers can perform drilling in environments difficult for core recovery ice, sediments, other unconsolidated materials without human involvement.
Geophysics Humans are likely to be far more efficient and skilled than robots in carrying out the careful emplacement of instruments, networks, and site surveys required to meet geophysical investigation goals and objectives. Even if rover-borne instrumentation is deployed telerobotically, that would require human oversight from the habitat. Some geophysics instrumentation must be deployed and then recovered following measurements e. Human dexterity and efficiency would be important qualities for micrometeorological investigations where activities such as radiosonde preparation and release are not yet automated on Earth due to the dynamic interaction with surface turbulence and winds.
Cognitive ability, dexterity and efficiency would be necessary attributes in the search for relevant rock outcrops and samples, providing the ability to identify sources of trace gases for studies of current climate on Mars as well as locating pristine impact glasses containing trapped gasses for the study of ancient Mars climate.
U.S. plans for Mars should include more than sample return, report warns
These unique human capabilities would be vital to deep drilling and coring activities. Touch and sound would be used to monitor the drill performance and respond rapidly to changing subsurface conditions. Evidence of life on Mars, both past and present may be quite subtle. The selection of relevant samples and sampling environments would require the unique capabilities of humans e.
Humans bring to planetary exploration the ability to quickly analyze and assess samples before they degrade locally or on return. Samples should still be returned to Earth because of the advanced analytical capabilities of terrestrial laboratories, but the increased capabilities humans would provide on Mars, and the remarkable advances that have and would continue to be made in lab instrument miniaturization mean more science reaped without the restrictions of sample weight on return and a greater likelihood of satisfying the goals and objectives of the mission.
3. Special Regions
Technology development in the decades leading up to a human mission to Mars would determine the best synergistic fit between human and robotic exploration and perhaps technology challenges would be overcome to shift the balance of physical activity toward robotic assignment. However, certain uniquely human attributes could not be duplicated by or relegated to robots or to operations remotely operated by humans on a planet substantially separated in time and space from Earth.
Only a human presence in Mars mission surface operations activities could facilitate and achieve the ambitious scientific goals and objectives of MEPAG. References Beaty, D. Drake, B. Grant, J. Mars Scientific Goals, Objectives and Priorities.
Humans on Mars: Why Mars? Journal of Cosmology, 12, Levine, J. Martian Geology Investigations.
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