This image shows a subsurface explorer on the surface of Mars (this is an artist's rendition). Such subsurface explorers would help us look for water and organic material below the surface of Mars. A "robotic mole" like this one would also test to see what minerals make up the Martian interior. One of the proposals does involve a subsurface explorer that would dive through the Martian polar ice caps.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA/JPL
News story originally written on June 18, 2001
43 Scout missions were proposed to NASA. 10 were selected. These 10 are competing to see which missions will be included as future Scout missions to Mars. May the best robots, gliders, rovers, orbiters or landers win!
The 10 proposals that made it this far will receive 6 months of funding to do further investigation for their proposed mission. The Scout missions that are sent to Mars in the coming years (the first being launched in 2007) will join the Martian fleet including the 2001 Mars Odyssey, twin rovers which will land on Mars in 2003, a science orbiter, a mobile laboratory and a return sample mission.
The 10 proposals are really different! One mission would involve three gliders that would investigate the walls of Valles Marineris. Another would place 24 weather stations across the surface of Mars. Still another would have a probe that could dive down through the Martian polar ice caps!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, from Florida. After a six-month, 285 million-mile journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The Odyssey is in its aerobraking phase right now....more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more