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MEP (Mars Environment Package): toward a package for studying environmental conditions at the surface of Mars from future lander/rover missions

Eric Chassefière 1 Jean-Loup Bertaux 1 Jean-Jacques Berthelier 2 Michel Cabane 1 Valérie Ciarletti 2 Georges Durry 1 François Forget 3 Michel Hamelin 2 François Leblanc 1 Mchel Menvielle 2 M. Gerasimov 4 O. Korablev 4 S. Linkin 4 G. Managadze 4 A. Jambon 5 G. Manhès 5 Ph. Lognonne 5 P. Agrinier 5 P. Cartigny 5 D. Giardini 6 T. Pike 7 Wlodek Kofman 8 Alain Herique 8 Patrice Coll 9 A. Person 10 F. Costard 11 Ph. Sarda 11 Ph. Paillou 12 M. Chaussidon 13 B. Marty 13 F. Robert 14 S. Maurice 15 M. Blanc 16 C. D’uston 16 J.-Ch. Sabroux 17 J.-F. Pineau 17 P. Rochette 18
Abstract : In view to prepare Mars human exploration, it is necessary to promote and lead, at the international level, a highly interdisciplinary program, involving specialists of geochemistry, geophysics, atmospheric science, space weather, and biology. The goal of this program will be to elaborate concepts of individual instruments, then of integrated instrumental packages, able to collect exhaustive data sets of environmental parameters from future landers and rovers of Mars, and to favour the conditions of their implementation. Such a program is one of the most urgent need for preparing human exploration, in order to develop mitigation strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of human explorers, and minimizing risk for surface operations. A few main areas of investigation may be listed: particle and radiation environment, chemical composition of atmosphere, meteorology, chemical composition of dust, surface and subsurface material, water in the subsurface, physical properties of the soil, search for an hypothesized microbial activity, characterization of radio-electric properties of the Martian ionosphere. Scientists at the origin of the present paper, already involved at a high degree of responsibility in several Mars missions, and actively preparing in situ instrumentation for future landed platforms (Netlander—now cancelled, MSL-09), express their readiness to participate in both ESA/AURORA and NASA programs of Mars human exploration. They think that the formation of a Mars Environment working group at ESA, in the course of the AURORA definition phase, could act positively in favour of the program, by increasing its scientific cross-section and making it still more focused on human exploration.
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Eric Chassefière, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Jean-Jacques Berthelier, Michel Cabane, Valérie Ciarletti, et al.. MEP (Mars Environment Package): toward a package for studying environmental conditions at the surface of Mars from future lander/rover missions. Advances in Space Research, Elsevier, 2004, 34 (8), pp.1702 - 1709. ⟨10.1016/j.asr.2003.08.078⟩. ⟨insu-01711501⟩

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