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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 Committee to Review the Next Decade Mars Architecture Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by Contract NASW-01001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. Cover: An artist’s impression of NASA’s next-generation rover, the Mars Science Laboratory. Illustration courtesy of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. International Standard Book Number 0-309-10273-1 Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report can be purchased from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 OTHER REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD An Assessment of Balance in NASA’s Science Programs (2006) Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions: Letter Report (2006) Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Solar-Terrestrial Research: Report of a Workshop (2006) Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce (SSB with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2006) The Astrophysical Context of Life (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences, 2005) Earth Science and Applications from Space: Urgent Needs and Opportunities to Serve the Nation (2005) Extending the Effective Lifetimes of Earth Observing Research Missions (2005) Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars (2005) Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences (2005) Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion (SSB with ASEB, 2005) Review of Goals and Plans for NASA’s Space and Earth Sciences (2005) Review of NASA Plans for the International Space Station (2005) Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration (2005) Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report (SSB with ASEB, 2004) Exploration of the Outer Heliosphere and the Local Interstellar Medium: A Workshop Report (2004) Issues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space Program: A Summary Report of a Workshop on National Space Policy (SSB with ASEB, 2004) Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos (2004) Review of Science Requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: Letter Report (2004) Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space Exploration (2004) Understanding the Sun and Solar System Plasmas: Future Directions in Solar and Space Physics (2004) Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond (SSB with ASEB and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate [BASC], 2004) Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (SSB with ASEB and BASC, 2003) Steps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions (2003) The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: Panel Reports (2003) Assessment of Directions in Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA (2002) New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy (2002) The Sun to Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics (2002) Limited copies of these reports are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) firstname.lastname@example.org www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html NOTE: Listed according to year of approval for release, which in some cases precedes the year of publication.
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE NEXT DECADE MARS ARCHITECTURE RETA F. BEEBE, New Mexico State University, Chair JEFFREY BARNES, Oregon State University PENELOPE BOSTON, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology STEPHEN BOUGHER, University of Michigan SHERRY L. CADY, Portland State University ROBERT CLAYTON, University of Chicago JEFFREY FORBES, University of Colorado JOHN GRANT, Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum RONALD GREELEY, Arizona State University VICTORIA HAMILTON, University of Hawaii CATHERINE JOHNSON, University of California, San Diego TIMOTHY McCOY, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History RALPH McNUTT, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory ANGUS McRONALD, Global Aerospace Corporation FRANCIS NIMMO, University of California, Santa Cruz Staff DAVID H. SMITH, Study Director RODNEY N. HOWARD, Senior Project Assistant CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor BRENDAN McFARLAND, Research Assistant
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 SPACE STUDIES BOARD LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired), Vice Chair SPIRO K. ANTIOCHOS, Naval Research Laboratory DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado RETA F. BEEBE, New Mexico State University ROGER D. BLANDFORD, Stanford University RADFORD BYERLY, JR., University of Colorado JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology JACK D. FARMER, Arizona State University JACQUELINE N. HEWITT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DONALD E. INGBER, Harvard Medical School RALPH H. JACOBSON, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired) TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii DEBRA S. KNOPMAN, RAND Corporation CALVIN W. LOWE, Bowie State University BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire NORMAN NEUREITER, Texas Instruments (retired) SUZANNE OPARIL, University of Alabama, Birmingham RONALD F. PROBSTEIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DENNIS W. READEY, Colorado School of Mines HARVEY D. TANANBAUM, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory RICHARD H. TRULY, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (retired) J. CRAIG WHEELER, University of Texas, Austin A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) GARY P. ZANK, University of California, Riverside MARCIA S. SMITH, Director
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 Preface In a letter sent to Space Studies Board (SSB) Chair Lennard Fisk on December 29, 2005, Mary Cleave, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), explained that new scientific results from ongoing Mars missions, together with changes in funding levels for the Mars Exploration Program, have compelled the SMD to revisit the program’s architecture and the sequence of missions planned for launch to Mars after 2010. As a result, NASA requested that the SSB review and evaluate the new architecture in a time frame to support NASA approval of the Mars Exploration Program’s revised architecture in mid-summer of 2006. In response to this request, the ad hoc Committee to Review the Next Decade Mars Architecture was established and met at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, D.C., on March 29-31, 2006. The committee’s deliberations and discussions relating to the conclusions and recommendations contained in this report were initiated at the Washington meeting and continued in a conference call held on April 6. During the course of the Washington meeting the members of the committee consulted related reports issued by the SSB and other National Research Council (NRC) committees1 and heard relevant presentations. A draft report was completed during the first week in May and sent to external reviewers for commentary. A new draft responding to the reviewers’ comments was completed in early June, and the report was approved for release on June 16. Edited copies of the report, formatted as a letter, were sent to NASA on June 30. This, the final version of the report, supersedes all previous versions. The work of the committee was made easier thanks to the important help, advice, and comments provided by numerous individuals from a variety of public and private organizations. These include the following: J. Douglas McCuistion (NASA, Science Mission Directorate), Daniel McCleese (NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Noel Hinners (Lockheed Martin Astronautics, retired), W. Bruce Banerdt (NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Michael Meyer (NASA, Science Mission Directorate), and Raymond Arvidson (Washington University). 1 National Research Council reports consulted included Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars (2005), Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration (2005), Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities (2003), New Frontiers in the Solar System (2003), Signs of Life (2002), The Quarantine and Certification of Martian Samples (2002), “Assessment of NASA’s Mars Exploration Architecture” (1998), Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations (1997), Review of NASA’s Planned Mars Program (1996), “On NASA Mars Sample-Return Mission Options” (1996), and An Integrated Strategy for the Planetary Sciences: 1995-2010 (1994). These reports were published by the National Academy Press (as of mid-2002, The National Academies Press), Washington, D.C.
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee wishes to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Martha S. Gilmore, Wesleyan University; Donald M. Hunten, University of Arizona; Harry Y. McSween, University of Tennessee; Dawn Y. Sumner, University of California, Davis; G.J. Wasserburg, California Institute of Technology; A. Thomas Young, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired); and Maria T. Zuber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard M. Goody, Harvard University (professor emeritus). Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 4 Scientific and Programmatic Background, 4 The Mars Exploration Architecture 2007-2016, 6 Topics Considered by the Committee, 8 Notes, 8 2 NRC STRATEGIES, PRIORITIES, AND GUIDELINES FOR THE EXPLORATION OF MARS 10 The Exploration of Mars in a Solar System Context, 10 Major New Discoveries Since the SSE Decadal Survey Report Was Issued, 11 The Mars Architecture and the SSE Decadal Survey’s Mars Exploration Goals, 12 The Mars Architecture and Related Science Strategies, 18 The Mars Architecture and Other NASA Plans, 20 Response to Question 1, 21 Notes, 22 3 THE GOALS OF NASA’S MARS PROGRAM 24 The Mars Architecture and the Goals of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, 24 Optimizing the Science Return, 25 Response to Question 2, 31 Notes, 32 4 A BALANCED MISSION PORTFOLIO 33 Scientific Balance, 33 Other Issues of Balance, 35 Response to Question 3, 36 Notes, 36 5 SUMMARY 37
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Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007–2016 APPENDIXES A SSE Decadal Survey Mars Priorities 41 B MEPAG Goals and Objectives 49 C Acronyms 51