Mars Exploration News  





. European Planetary Scientists Highlight Sample Return As Key Priority

One of Saturn's many moons, Titan.
by Staff Writers
Paris (SPX) Sep 26, 2006
Bringing samples back to Earth has been highlighted as a key priority for future planetary missions in discussion meetings held at the first European Planetary Science Congress in Berlin. Prof. Bernard Foing, Project Scientist for the SMART-1 mission, said, "Europe has now looked at the Moon, Mars and Venus and we have put our finger on Titan.

These are great achievements. But for the future, it is not enough to briefly 'kiss' the surface of other solar system objects. We must bring them back to Earth for analysis."

The European Space Agency (ESA) is in the midst of developing its plans for missions in the medium and long term future. European scientists have been asked to put forward ideas by spring 2007 for ESA's Cosmic Vision programme, which will shape the Science directorate's activities until 2025 and beyond.

Planetary science proposals will compete with ideas for missions from the astronomy, solar physics, solar-terrestrial relations and fundamental physics communities. Planetary scientists are eager to study further how our solar system formed, evolved, and how Earth-like planets and Moons work and can become hospitable to life.

The European Science Foundation also launched a consultation process this week at the EPSC congress in Berlin, in which scientists will be asked for their views on the long term scenario for ESA's Aurora Programme to explore Mars.

In two discussion sessions at the congress, the European planetary science community spoke out, saying the "holy grail" is still a Mars sample return mission but, in the shorter term, realistic ideas for sample return missions from the Moon and asteroids must be discussed.

However, budgets are increasingly tight and sample return missions are expensive. For these ambitious missions to succeed, additional funding will need to be sought.

Michel Blanc, Project Leader for the Europlanet network said, "We need to understand the financial limitations. But if we think creatively, have clear objectives and have a clear voice, we can succeed. We are not just doing this for ourselves but also for the next generation which we are attracting into this fantastic adventure of exploring the solar system."

Europe has a well established record in the study of meteorites and lunar rocks from the Apollo and Russian Luna missions. Laboratories in France, Germany and the UK are also analysing some of the samples returned by NASA's Stardust and Genesis missions.

John Zarnecki, Principle Investigator for the Surface Science Package on the Huygens probe said, "It's important that we build on our recent successes in Europe and plan inspiring planetary missions for the future, both independently and collaborating with other partners around the globe."

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
European Planetary Science Congress
EPSC1 meeting web site
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Opportunity Set To Explore Victoria Crater As Mars Robot Rovers Power On
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 25, 2006
Opportunity is healthy and very near "Victoria Crater." The rover spent its week completing an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer observation of rock target "Cape Faraday," successfully booting its new flight software and exercising its mobility functions. Opportunity is currently a little over 45 meters (148 feet) away from Victoria Crater's "Duck Bay" - a point on Victoria's vast rim. Once the team has verified that the new onboard flight software is stable, Opportunity will drive out to Duck Bay. This location is expected to provide Opportunity a spectacular view of the crater's interior.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear
  • NASA plans to send new robot to Jupiter
  • Los Alamos Hopes To Lead New Era Of Nuclear Space Tranportion With Jovian Mission
  • Boeing Selects Leader for Nuclear Space Systems Program

  • India Space Agency Dreams Of Lunar Ice Mines
  • New Lunar Meteorite Found In Antarctica
  • Russia And China Could Sign Moon Exploration Pact In 2006
  • SMART-1 Impact Simulated In A Laboratory Sand-Box

  • NASA Announces New Advisory Council Members
  • Ansari Uses Blog To Reveal Difficulty Of Life In Space
  • Malaysian Astronauts Say No Marriage Till After Mission
  • NASA Balloon Carries High Altitude Student Platform To The Edge Of Space

  • Does The Atmosphere Of Pluto Go Through The Fast-Freeze
  • Changing Seasons On The Road Trip To Planet Nine
  • Surprises From The Edge Of The Solar System
  • Dwarf Planet That Caused Huge Row Gets An Appropriate Name

  • Exploring Europa By Way Of The Arctic
  • Junior Spot Zips Past Great Red Spot On Jupiter
  • Gemini Captures Close Encounter Of Two Jupiter Red Spots
  • Gas Giants Consistently Larger Than Their Moons

  • Flying Over The Cloudy World
  • Venus Express Spies Double Vortex
  • Venus Express Commissioning Phase Completed
  • Venus Express Reaches Final Mission Orbit

  • The Halo Of Titan
  • Scientists Discover New Ring And Other Features At Saturn
  • Rings of Saturn To Shine As Never Seen Before
  • Cassini Detects Vast Polar Ethane Cloud On Titan

  • 100,000 Pieces Of Trash In Space Poses No Shortage Of Risks
  • New Material To Be Tested On International Space Station
  • Ducommun Announces Contract Award From NASA For Advanced Sensor Testbeds
  • Unique Laboratory Could Make Pavements More User-Friendly

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement