Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA wants investigations for a Mars 2020 rover

Date:
September 30, 2013
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA has released its announcement of an open competition for the planetary community to submit proposals for the science and exploration technology instruments that would be carried aboard the agency's next Mars rover, scheduled for launch in July/August of 2020.

Planning for NASA's 2020 Mars rover envisions a basic structure that capitalizes on the design and engineering work done for the NASA rover Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, but with new science instruments selected through competition for accomplishing different science objectives.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has released its announcement of an open competition for the planetary community to submit proposals for the science and exploration technology instruments that would be carried aboard the agency's next Mars rover, scheduled for launch in July/August of 2020.

The Mars 2020 rover will explore and assess Mars as a potential habitat for life, search for signs of past life, collect carefully selected samples for possible future return to Earth, and demonstrate technology for future human exploration of the Red Planet.

Officially called the Mars 2020 Mission Investigations Announcement of Opportunity (AO), this competition solicits flight investigations for which each principal investigator or scientist is responsible for a complete space flight investigation, including instrument hardware, mission operations and data analysis. The total allocated cost for development of all the investigations selected and funded by NASA is approximately $130 million.

The competitively selected instruments will be placed on a rover similar to Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August 2012. Using Curiosity's design will help minimize mission costs and risks and deliver a rover that can accomplish the mission objectives. The Mars 2020 mission also would build upon the scientific accomplishments of Curiosity and other previous Mars missions.

So what is different about Mars 2020?

In January 2013, NASA appointed a Science Definition Team to outline objectives for the Mars 2020 mission. The team, composed of 19 scientists and engineers from universities and research organizations, proposed a mission concept that could accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and be a major step in meeting President Obama's challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

According to the Science Definition Team, looking for signs of past life is the next logical step.

"The Mars 2020 mission will provide a unique capability to address the major questions of habitability and life in the solar system," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington. "The science conducted by the rover's instruments also would expand our knowledge of Mars and provide the context needed to make wise decisions about whether to return any collected samples to Earth."

This rover will make measurements of mineralogy and rock chemistry down to a microscopic scale, so that we might be able to understand the Martian environment surrounding the rover's landing site and identify evidence of possible past life.

The 2020 rover could also make measurements and conduct technology demonstrations to help designers of a human expedition understand any hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide, which could be a resource for making oxygen and rocket fuel.

"The Mars 2020 rover will test technologies that are key to one-day landing human explorers on the Red Planet," said Jason Crusan, director of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division. "New technologies could allow astronauts to live off the land as they explore the ancient valleys of Mars. The capability to manufacture breathable air, rocket fuel, water and more may forever change how we explore space."

To view the Announcement of Opportunity online, visit: http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/Mars2020 .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA wants investigations for a Mars 2020 rover." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930094356.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2013, September 30). NASA wants investigations for a Mars 2020 rover. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930094356.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA wants investigations for a Mars 2020 rover." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930094356.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins