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A proposal for rover geological exploration on Mars

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  • ローバによる火星地質調査計画
  • ローバ ニ ヨル カセイ チシツ チョウサ ケイカク

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Abstract

This paper outlines a new proposal for a Japanese-led geological rover-based exploration mission to Mars. Previous USA, former Soviet Union, and European missions have identified a wide diversity of Martian environments and a complex series of physical and chemical processes that operate or have operated on the Martian surface. Rover exploration, and associated chemical and isotopic analysis of geological material, allows us to understand and resolve the environmental evolution of the area around the landing site, and the proposed scientific target of the geological exploration part of this Martian mission will have a sedimentary or volcanic focus. Investigating sedimentary rocks will mean that this mission follows the road map advocated by NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) for the search for life on Mars. However, focusing this mission on volcanic rocks may open up a new field of research in Mars science. Although the focus has not been finalized, this future mission to Mars needs to be evaluated and supported by a broad community of Japanese Earth and planetary scientists.

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