ARES Mars Aircraft





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Published on Apr 23, 2007

Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey of Mars (ARES)

Critical science goals:

Crustal Magnetism:
ARES enables an improved understanding of the detailed nature of crustal magnetism on Mars and modeling of Mars' crustal evolution, tectonic history and the chronology of its dynamo.
Atmospheric Boundary Layer Composition, Chemistry and Dynamics:
ARES enables an improved understanding of the near-surface atmospheric composition, chemistry and dynamic behavior, and the chemical coupling between the surface and atmosphere, with unprecedented accuracy and range.
Near-Surface Water:
ARES enables an improved understanding of water equivalent hydrogen abundance and its relationship to inferred near-surface water and hydrated minerals.

From its unique vantage point 1.5 km above the surface of Mars, ARES will target and explore up to 610 km of diverse terrain in the Southern Highlands. Science data will be returned to Earth on the day of flight for immediate scientific review and public dissemination.

ARES Enables a New Class of Science that Complements and Extends the Mars Exploration Program

Simultaneous, in-situ, regional-scale measurement of the Mars atmosphere, surface, and interior
Bridges critical scale and resolution measurement gaps of remote sensing and surface exploration
Scout for future sample return and surface mission site selection.

Magnetic survey with spatial resolution two orders of magnitude higher than provided by Mars Global Surveyor, with ability to resolve the crustal magnetism source structure
High-resolution measurements that cannot be achieved from orbit
Geologic diversity from regional-scale coverage that cannot be achieved by surface missions
In-situ atmospheric science
Ability to traverse terrain inaccessible to surface vehicles
Ability to precisely target science features
Ability to execute a controlled, pre-planned aerial survey pattern
Robust performance with regard to atmospheric uncertainties


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