Happy 10-Year Anniversary, Mars Rovers!

marsrover-800wJanuary marks the 10-year anniversary of the landings on Mars of rovers Spirit and Opportunity. These marvels of engineering have inspired students all over the world to continue in the quest for understanding of the solar system. We’ve produced a number of reports that have helped to define the scientific goals and objectives for exploration of Mars. All are free to download.

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars Three recent developments have greatly increased interest in the search for life on Mars. The first is new information about the Martian environment including evidence of a watery past and the possibility of atmospheric methane. The second is the … [more]
Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life … [more]
Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars Recent spacecraft and robotic probes to Mars have yielded data that are changing our understanding significantly about the possibility of existing or past life on that planet. Coupled with advances in biology and life-detection techniques, these … [more]
Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007-2016 The United States and the former Soviet Union have sent spacecraft to mars as early as 1966, with Mars’ exploration being priority for NASA spacecraft. Both sides, however, have failed as well as succeed. The inability to determine if life exists … [more]
Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions NASA maintains a planetary protection policy to avoid the forward biological contamination of other worlds by terrestrial organisms, and back biological contamination of Earth from the return of extraterrestrial materials by spaceflight missions. … [more]
Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities Within the Office of Space Science of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) special importance is attached to exploration of the planet Mars, because it is the most like Earth of the planets in the solar system and the place … [more]