The Mars Exploration Program Offices at NASA Headquarters and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory invite submission of observation requests for new candidate landing sites for possible future rover missions to conduct in-situ science investigations and cache samples for possible return to Earth and subsequent analysis.
The goal is to gather information on new candidate landing sites and develop a list of high priority locations for future Mars missions in a timely manner, mainly using instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) while it is still operating. Candidate sites are also to be provided to the Mars Odyssey and Mars Express teams to conduct additional imaging investigations. Sites proposed to previous calls should not be reproposed.
Proposed observation requests of landing sites requires submission of a short abstract (template available at http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/ and must include specific, but brief, statements about 1) the location of the candidate landing ellipse, 2) existing data coverage, and 3) how the proposed site addresses the possible future mission objectives. The abstract must also specify the desired target for initial imaging by MRO instruments, and provide basic information on the ellipse location (elevation and latitude).
Preliminary brief engineering constraints, science objectives, and sampling goals for one candidate rover mission are based on the findings of the recently published End-to-End MEPAG SAG report (E2E) that can be viewed at: http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meeting/jun-11/index.html and are also found in the template at: http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/.
Requests for imaging of candidate landing sites can be submitted through July 15, 2012, and should be submitted via e-mail to John Grant (email@example.com), Matt Golombek (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Nicolas Mangold (Nicolas.Mangold@univ-nantes.fr), co-chairs of the international Mars landing site steering committee appointed jointly by NASA and ESA.
Individuals are limited to proposing imaging requests for up to 3 sites/specific ellipses and are responsible for including a summary review of existing MRO and other data for their candidate sites.
After review and prioritization by the landing site steering committee a list of candidate sites will be provided to the MRO, ODY, and MEX teams for imaging. Requested data will be made available as soon as images/data products are available.
It is anticipated that a landing site workshop in support of this and prior calls for future candidate landing sites will be held during early 2013 to enable discussion of new candidate sites. It is likely that sites deemed of the highest merit will be selected for additional imaging.
Please note that this data call is an unfunded effort.