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Past Mars Highlights


    February 2017
    MEPAG meeting 33 is coming up -- MEPAG Chair Jeff Johnson invites you to attend. This meeting is scheduled for February 22-23, 2017, at the Double-Tree Hotel in Monrovia, CA. The agenda is available, and Adobe Connect information will also be posted shortly for remote participation. > MEPAG meeting website



    February 2017
    The 3rd Mars 2020 Landing Site Workshop was held February 8-10, 2017, in Monrovia, CA and was very well attended. Excellent presentations focused on the science merits of the eight candidate sites, and discussion sessions were lively and involved. Three sites were selected to continue as landing site candidates: Jezero Crater, NE Syrtis, and Columbia Hills. > Landing Site Workshop webpage



    December 2016
    At MEPAG meeting 32, Jim Watzin requested that MEPAG convene a study to analyze and make recommendations regarding science team organization and operational models for the next Mars Orbiter. The Mars International Collaboration Science Analysis Group (MIC-SAG) now requests community input. MIC-SAG Terms of Reference and membership list can be found in the December newsletter. > To provide your input to MIC-SAG



    October 2016
    A free online JMARS webinar was held Thursday, October 13th from 12-2 p.m. PDT. This webinar was recorded and can be viewed. > JMARS webinar information



    September 2016
    MEPAG meeting #32 will be webcast, Thursday October 6, 8:30-12:30 pm PDT. We hope you can join us! > Meeting information



    September 2016
    Save the Date! The next Mars 2020 Rover Landing Site Workshop (the 3rd) will be Feb. 8-10, 2017, in the Pasadena, CA, USA area. Information, as it becomes available, will be posted on the marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov website. NASA/JPL folk are strongly encouraged to forecast by October 15 to help with planning. > Marsnext website



    June 2016
    Please participate in this survey about the Participating Scientist experience and value, which is being sent out via all AGs. A broad community response (including from those who have not yet been a Participating Scientist/Guest Investigator/Interdisciplinary Scientist) will strengthen the resultant white paper, to be submitted to NASA. > Survey



    March 2016
    Jeffrey R. Johnson has been selected as the new MEPAG Chair. Lisa Pratt passed the mantle during MEPAG Meeting 31. Welcome, Jeff! And thank you, Lisa!



    February 2016
    The second announcement and agenda have been posted for the 31st MEPAG meeting, to be held March 2-3, 2016, in Silver Spring, MD. This includes adobe connect for remote attendance and hotel room block information. > MEPAG Meeting Page



    December 2015
    The MEPAG Next Orbiter SAG (NEX-SAG) report is available! This report outlines possible payloads and scopes of a 2022 orbiter, addressing science, resource/SKG, reconnaissance, and relay objectives. > MEPAG SAG reports



    October 2015
    The Critical Data Products website has been updated and now archives papers, conference abstracts, and presentations related to work supported by CDP. > CDP website



    August 2015
    The Mars Exploration Program has issued a Request for Proposal for round X of the Mars Critical Data Products program. This RFP provides support for landing site surface and atmosphere characterization for the Mars 2020 rover mission, for reducing the risk to the Mars 2020 rover mission. Proposals are due Wednesday, October 14. Details of this RFP are posted at: https://acquisition.jpl.nasa.gov/rfp/NT-2692-081715/default.htm. > RFP link



    June 2015
    Lisa Pratt (MEPAG Chair) and Vicky Hamilton (MEPAG Goals Chair) are very pleased to announce that the “Mars Science Goals, Objectives, Investigations, and Priorities: 2015 Version” final document is now posted. We have revised all four Goals’ chapters and also explicitly identified cross-cutting aspects that are not captured within the Four-Goal, tiered structure. Thank you to all who contributed! > MEPAG Goals Document



    April 2015
    The Landing Site Workshop for the Mars 2020 Rover will be held August 4-6, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Monrovia, CA. A room block has been made available at GSA rate (see marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov for more information). Also, a reminder that this workshop has been designated a conference, so civil servants, JPLers, and those whose travel funds will be run through a NASA center must forecast. > LS Workshop website



    March 2015
    Presentations from the 2015 MEPAG face-to-face meeting are now available for download. > link to MEPAG presentations



    February 2015
    Jim Watzin, the new director for the agency's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters, will open the 30th MEPAG meeting. > MEPAG Meeting Page



    October 2014
    Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring traveled from the Oort Cloud to Mars, with its closest approach around 2:27 p.m. EDT on Oct 19 -- within 139,500 kilometers. All spacecraft remained in good health and operation throughout the encounter, and many good scientific observations were made of the comet coma and nucleus, and of the interactions between the comet's coma and the Martian atmosphere.   > MORE



    September 2014
    Last July, over 650 "Martians" from 21 countries gathered at the Caltech to discuss the status of our exploration of the Red Planet. Three types of summary presentations from the 8th Mars Conference have been posted as a resource to our community: the summary talks given by the invited speakers of each conference session, overviews of five upcoming Mars missions, and the synthesis put together by the conference \"Integrators\" and that formed the basis of the discussion during the conference's concluding session.   > MORE



    June 2014
    On October 19, 2014, comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will swing within 135,000 km of Mars, presenting the many spacecraft orbiting or roving on Mars with an unparalleled view of this dynamically new comet. Several groups were contracted to model the comet environment expected around Mars -- including particle size distributions and time of encounter with Mars. The reports are now linked on the Critical Data Products Page.   > MORE



    May 2014
    The Second Circular is posted for the 29th MEPAG meeting, to be held May 13-14, 2014, in Crystal City, VA. The meeting will also be webcast. Agenda and Adobe Connect information are included. > MORE



    April 2014
    The First Landing Workshop for 2020 Mars Rover Mission is planned for May 14-16, 2014, in Crystal City, VA. To express an interest or find more information, go to http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm. This workshop will occur at the same venue and just after the 29th MEPAG meeting. > MORE



    January 2014
    The Mars Exploration Program has issued a Request for Proposal for round IX of the Mars Critical Data Products program. This RFP provides support for initial landing site surface, atmosphere, and gravity characterization for the Mars 2020 rover mission. Proposals are due on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. > MORE



    October 2013
    In response to the recent release of the Mars 2020 mission Announcement of Opportunity, imaging targets are being solicited for candidate landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover mission. > MORE



    September 2013
    NASA has released the Mars 2020 Mission Investigations Announcement of Opportunity (AO). For more details about the AO: > MORE



    May 2013
    Dr. Lisa Pratt, Provost Professor and Chair, Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, is the new MEPAG Chair. She is a biogeochemist and studies Earth life that tolerates extreme conditions, using this information to guide astrobiological studies of Mars. She takes over from outgoing Chair, Dave Des Marais. Welcome, Lisa!



    April 2013
    Ongoing Mars missions will stand down from April 9-26, as Mars enters solar conjunction - the period when Mars is on the opposite side of the Sun as the Earth. > PRESS RELEASE


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