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Houston Workshop Marks Key Step in Planning Future Mars Missions


A recent workshop conducted for NASA by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, marked a key step in the agency’s effort to forge a new Mars strategy in the coming decades. A report that summarizes the wide range of cutting-edge science, technology and mission concepts discussed is available online [see below].
Held in Houston June 12-14 and attended by scientists and engineers worldwide, the meeting was held to seek ideas, concepts and capabilities to address critical challenge areas in exploring the Red Planet. Discussions provided information for reformulating NASA’s Mars Exploration Program (MEP) to be responsive to high-priority science goals and the challenge of sending humans to Mars orbit in the 2030s.
Participants identified a number of possible approaches to missions that can be flown to Mars in the coming decade that would make progress toward returning Martian samples — a top priority of the Planetary Science Decadal Survey — and make significant advances in scientific understanding of the planet, developing key technologies and advancing knowledge necessary for human exploration on and around Mars.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jun/HQ_12-215_Mars_LPI_Summary_Report.html

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