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Proposed Science Requirements and Acquisition Priorities for the First Mars Sample ReturnA sample return mission is an important next step in the exploration of Mars. The first sample return should come early in the program time-line because the science derived from earth-based analyses of samples provides crucial "ground truth" needed for further exploration planning, enhancement of remote measurements, and achieving science goals and objectives that include: (1) the search for environments that may support life and any indicators of the past or present existence of life, (2) understanding the history of water and climate on Mars, (3) understanding the evolution of Mars as a planet. Returned samples from Mars will have unique value because they can be studied by scientists worldwide using the most powerful analytical instruments available. Furthermore, returned Mars samples can be preserved for studies by future generations of scientists using new techniques and addressing new issues in Mars science. To ensure a high likelihood of success, the first sample return strategy should be simple and focused. We outline a fundamental set of sample requirements and acquisition priorities for Mars sample return.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Agee, C. B.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Bogard, D. D.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Draper, D. S.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Jones, J. H.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Meyer , C., Jr.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Mittlefehldt, D. W.
(Lockheed Martin Space Operations Houston, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration
Issue: Part 1
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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