SETI [ASTRO] A Workshop On Mars Exploration

Larry Klaes (
Sat, 31 Jul 1999 14:51:26 -0400

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender
to owner-astro using -f
>Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 18:38:07 GMT
>From: Ron Baalke <>
>Subject: [ASTRO] A Workshop On Mars Exploration
>Reply-To: Ron Baalke <>
>Office of Outer Space Affairs
>United Nations
>Vienna, Austria
>TF Press Release No.6 26 July 1999
>International cooperation is essential for the future exploration of Mars,
>according to leading scientists meeting at a special workshop at UNISPACE
>in Vienna. Representatives from leading space agencies presented their
part of a
>multinational information-gathering programme which will dispatch, between
>15 missions to Mars in the next 10 years.
>Apart from the Mars Global Surveyor, which is currently mapping the
planet, the
>United States has the Mars Polar Lander and Mars Climate Orbiter
approaching the
>planet this year and another orbiter and lander due to touch down with a
>rover in 2001. The European Space Agency (ESA) will be sending its "Mars
>Express" with an orbiter and lander in 2003. One of its experiments will
be to
>find out whether the "stream-bed" images on Mars were actually formed by
>or by seismic activity. The "Mars Express" will be complemented by the
>Mars Mission, "Nozumi", which will be there at the same time to
investigate the
>upper regions of the Martian atmosphere. In this year of enormous
investment in
>space instrumentation, there will be the launch of the international "Samples
>Return" campaign which is a joint U.S.A., French, Italian project to pick
up and
>drill for samples from the surface and sub-surface of the planet,
returning the
>first samples to Earth for analysis in 2008.
>There will be further joint missions in 2005, 2007 and 2009 which will
>the launch of the "Netlander" programme, a series of four identical landers
>which will be placed on pre-designated points on the surface of Mars to
see how
>the planet differs from one geographical area to another. This series of
>international missions, instigated by the Mars Exploration Group, will ensure
>that global interest in Mars is maintained by a continuous flow of
>incorporating new knowledge and results of recent research.
>Following the array of experiments and data collection over the next decade,
>there should be enough information to reveal whether there is water, carbons
>and/or organics on the planet and whether there was once life on Mars.
>However, it was stated by one of the speakers that the information
gathered will
>beg further questions. In today's workshop, a question was posed about the
>contamination by material from Mars brought to Earth and conversely,
>contamination of Mars by material or humans from Earth. Dr. Dan Cleese, Chief
>Scientist for Mars Exploration for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, said
>that a procedure has to be agreed internationally to quarantine the samples
>which will be returned to Earth. Dr. Richard Bonneville of the French Space
>Agency (CNES) said that there are more bacteria on the human body than human
>cells so that fact will be taken into consideration before a Mars
settlement is
>designed. Nevertheless, according to Dr. Cleese, there could be a human
>to Mars between 2010 and 2020.

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