Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European meeting in Athens fuels future space exploration missions to Mars, Moon

01.06.2007
A European Science Foundation (ESF)-led workshop sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) has enabled 88 scientists from 11 European countries to agree on science goals for future Europe's planetary exploration programme; providing the continent with an ambitious roadmap to examine Mars and the Moon.

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

programme.

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
Further information:
http://www.esf.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>