Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A correction and a tidbit

My characterization of the MEPAG committee and its involvement in planning future Mars missions was imprecise in recent posts (see here, here, and here). I asked the head of the committee, Jack Mustard of Brown University, to check my recent blog entries, and he wrote:

You write: "NASA's advisory board on Mars exploration, MEPAG"
MEPAG is the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group. It is NOT an advisory board, but provides community input to NASA. Call it "NASA's Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group MEPAG"

We are not roadmapping. That is a term reserved for a specific NASA function. We looked at and evaluated NASA's notional architectures for Mars exploration. Rather than call them roadmaps call them architectures.

My thanks to Dr. Mustard for the correction.

The journal Nature has also printed a very brief comment on the proposals discussed in the last MEPAG meeting. They note that NASA and ESA officials are now looking for ways to launch NASA's Mars Science Orbiter (to pinpoint methane sources among other scientific goals and provide data relay for landed missions) and ESA's ExoMars rover on the same launch vehicle.

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