The meeting, which was held on 15-16 May 2007 in Athens, defined the science rationale of this programme, dubbed "Emergence and co-evolution of life with its planetary environments."
The scientists identified three target bodies to be visited by a number of international missions in the timeframe 2013-2035: the planet Mars, the Moon, and Near-Earth Objects, which are asteroids orbiting the Sun within reach of the Earth. The planet Mars qualifies as a place where life may have evolved in the past and is thus a good candidate for missions searching for signs of extinct, or even extant, life.
The exploration programme, also known as "Aurora" in early versions of this ambitious plan, will focus on planetary bodies that can ultimately be reached by humans, although the first steps of the 30-year programme can only be robotic. An ultimate goal is for European astronauts to participate in the first international mission that will land humans on the planet Mars. In their recommendations to ESA the Athens workshop participants indicated that Mars should be the focus of the European exploration endeavour, with a driving set of missions called "Mars Sample Return", a set of robotic missions aimed at returning pieces of Martian surface and sub-surface for detailed analysis on Earth.Although Mars Sample Return can realistically only be an international cooperative mission it was stressed that Europe should remain a major actor in its definition, taking bold initiatives to develop, and improve upon, key technologies relevant to planetary exploration, such as deep drilling techniques, radio-isotopic devices to produce energy on the Martian surface, or the development of a European facility for receiving
and analysing extraterrestrial samples.Research on humans in space environment which are currently carried out on Earth or in the International Space Station must be strengthened. Beyond these activities, opportunities to further that necessary research portfolio may arise in the context of an international lunar exploration programme. The workshop participants indeed agreed that the Moon should be used as a component of a robust European exploration
Finally the Athens workshop participants emphasised that international cooperation among space agencies engaged in planetary exploration should be a major feature of this programme, materialised by concrete joint ventures between the relevant partners, i.e. Europe, U.S., Russia, Japan, China and India.
Thomas Lau | alfa
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University
Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences