Mars 2001 Aerobot/Balloon System Overview

In late 1995, a study was initiated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of a 2001 Mars Aerobot/Balloon System (MABS) Mission Participants included NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LMA), the French Space Agency (CNES) Toulouse Space Center, NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), and Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) plus numerous industrial partners. The purposes of the study were to 1) determine technical feasibility of a long duration 2001 aerobot mission in the Martian atmosphere, 2) formulate a baseline concept, 3) identify pre-project technology requirements, and 4) develop a preliminary cost, schedule and plan. The study scope included definition and identification of mission concept technical issues including science instruments, gondola, balloon system design, entry vehicle and cruise spacecraft design, and launch vehicle performance considerations.

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