A report requested by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group




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A report requested by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group


Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): A Potential Rover Mission for 2018

Final Report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG)



October 14, 2009



Recommended bibliographic citation:


MEPAG MRR-SAG (2009) Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher: A potential rover mission for 2018, Final report from the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), 94 pp., posted November 10, 2009, by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) at http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/.

Or:

Pratt, L.M., C. Allen, A.C. Allwood, A. Anbar, S.K. Atreya, D.W. Beaty, M.H. Carr, J.A. Crisp, D.J. Des Marais, J.A. Grant, D.P. Glavin, V.E. Hamilton, K. Herkenhoff, V. Hipkin, B. Sherwood Lollar, T.M. McCollom, A.S. McEwen, S.M. McLennan, R.E. Milliken, D.W. Ming, G.G. Ori, J. Parnell, F. Poulet, C.G. Salvo, F. Westall, C.W. Whetsel, and M.G. Wilson (2009) Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher: A potential rover mission for 2018, Final report from the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), 94 pp., posted November 10, 2009, by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) at http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/.


Inquiries regarding this report should be directed to Lisa Pratt (prattl@indiana.edu), David Beaty (David.Beaty@jpl.nasa.gov), or Joy Crisp (Joy.Crisp@jpl.nasa.gov).


JPL Document Review Clearance CL#09-4589


Members:

Lisa M. Pratt, Chair, Indiana University

Carl Allen, NASA Johnson Space Center

Abby Allwood, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Ariel Anbar, Arizona State University

Sushil Atreya, University of Michigan

Mike Carr, U.S. Geological Survey, retired

Dave DesMarais, NASA Ames Research Center

John Grant, Smithsonian Institution

Daniel Glavin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Vicky Hamilton, Southwest Research Institute

Ken Herkenhoff, U.S. Geological Survey

Vicky Hipkin, Canadian Space Agency, Canada

Barbara Sherwood Lollar, University of Toronto, Canada

Tom McCollom, University of Colorado

Alfred McEwen, University of Arizona

Scott McLennan, State University of New York, Stony Brook

Ralph Milliken, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Doug Ming, NASA Johnson Space Flight Center

Gian Gabrielle Ori, International Research School of Planetary Sciences, Italy

John Parnell, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

François Poulet, Université Paris-Sud, France

Frances Westall, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France


ExOfficio Members:

David Beaty, Mars Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Joy Crisp, Mars Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Chris Salvo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Charles Whetsel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Michael Wilson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology


Acknowledgements:

We are grateful to these outside experts who assisted our team in answering questions:

Fernando Abilleira, F. Scott Anderson, Paul Backes, Don Banfield, Luther Beegle, Rohit Bhartia,

Jordana Blacksberg, Diana Blaney, Karen Buxbaum, Shane Byrne, John Eiler, Sabrina Feldman,

Lori Fenton, Kathryn Fishbaugh, Marc Fries, Matt Golombek, Bob Haberle, Samad Hayati,

Michael Hecht, Arthur (Lonne) Lane, Lucia Marinangeli, Richard Mattingly, Tim Michaels,

Denis Moura, Zacos Mouroulis, Mike Mumma, Scot Rafkin, Carol Raymond, Glenn Sellar,

Christophe Sotin, Rob Sullivan, Tim Swindle, Marguerite Syvertson, Ken Tanaka, Peter Thomas, Lawrence A. Wade, Ben Weiss, Richard Zurek, and the MEPAG Goals Committee. Some of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In the early parts of this study, the contributions of Hap McSween were important.


Table of Contents

2-Page Executive Summary 4

Introduction 6

Scientific Priorities for a Possible Late Decade Rover Mission 8

Development of a Spectrum of Possible Mission Concepts 11

Evaluation, Prioritization of Candidate Mission Concepts 13

Strategy to Achieve Primary in situ Objectives 17

Relationship to a Potential Sample Return Campaign 26

Consensus Mission Vision 34

Considerations Related to Landing Site Selection 36

Some Engineering Considerations Related to the Consensus Mission Vision 43

References 48

Appendix A. MRR-SAG Charter and Process 62

Appendix B. Mission Concepts Evaluated 65

Appendix C. Possible Augmentation Packages 86

Appendix D. Some Notes about Possible Ways to Reduce the Mass of the Rover 91

Appendix E. Planetary Protection Considerations for Future Missions that Cache Samples for Potential Return to Earth 93

Appendix F. Acronyms and Abbreviations 94


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