NASA Official Announces Chair Of New Mars Program Planning Group | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date






Airborne On ANN

Airborne 10.24.16

Airborne 10.25.16

Airborne 10.19.16

Airborne 10.20.16

Airborne 10.21.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 10.24.16

Airborne 10.25.16

Airborne 10.19.16

Airborne 10.20.16

Airborne 10.21.16

Tue, Feb 28, 2012

NASA Official Announces Chair Of New Mars Program Planning Group

Veteran Program Manager Orlando Figueroa Tapped For The Post

NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld, has named former veteran NASA program manager Orlando Figueroa to lead a newly established Mars Program Planning Group (MPPG) tasked to reformulate the agency's Mars Exploration Program. Figueroa's first assignment is to develop a draft framework for review by March 15.

Grunsfeld made the announcement at an annual gathering of Mars scientists and engineers in Dulles, VA, Figueroa (pictured), a consultant with more than 30 years of aerospace experience, will lead the scientific and technical team to develop an integrated strategy for NASA's Mars Exploration Program in light of current funding constraints. The team's initial focus will be on a possible 2018-2020 robotic mission. The program's official framework will be developed in consultation with the science community and international partners and is expected to be released for full review as early as this summer.

"The team will develop a plan that advances the priorities in the National Research Council's Decadal Survey, which puts sample return as the top scientific goal, and leverages NASA's research in enabling technology," Grunsfeld said. "Our investments in the new Mars program will incorporate elements of advanced research and technologies in support of a logical sequence of missions to answer fundamental scientific questions and ultimately support the goal of sending people to Mars."

The MPPG will report to Grunsfeld, a physicist and five-time flown space shuttle astronaut. Grunsfeld is chairing the overall, agency-wide reformulation strategy along with William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the human exploration and operations directorate, NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati and NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck. The MPPG will ensure that America maintains the critical technical skills developed over decades needed to achieve the highest priority science and exploration objectives.

NASA has a recognized track record of successful Mars missions. The rover Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004, is still operating despite an official mission timeline of 90 days. There are also two NASA satellites orbiting the Red Planet; the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey. The duo continue to return unprecedented science data and images. This August, NASA will land the Mars Science Laboratory, "Curiosity," on the planet's surface. This roving science laboratory will assess whether Mars was or is today an environment able to support life. In 2013, NASA will launch the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution orbiter, the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.

NASA will continue to gather critical information to help scientists understand the Red Planet. These data will be used in future years to meet President Obama's challenge to send humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

"We'll look at all of the assets NASA is developing to reach, explore and study Mars, as well as spacecraft at or on its way to Mars," Figueroa said.

NASA already has been developing technology that will improve precision in landing, the ability to conduct scientific analysis remotely, handle and collect samples, and transmit larger volumes of data back to Earth.

"The science and engineering communities have worked continuously over a decade to define our knowledge gaps for Mars exploration, so we have a solid starting point," Grunsfeld said.

Mars exploration is a top priority for NASA. America's investment in exploring Mars during the past decade totals $6.1 billion. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden directed Grunsfeld to lead the agency-wide team in order to optimize a coordinated strategy of Mars exploration and continue America's leadership role in the exploration of the Red Planet within available future budgets. (Images provided by NASA)


More News

Airborne 10.24.16: Obnoxious NIMBY Report, Scorpion Jet, AMA Remote Pilot Test

Also: Schiaparelli Probe, Spirit Of Aviation, Bell 429, Commuter Craft, Master Pilot Award, Predator B, Space Debris A new study released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason Uni>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.25.16)

Santa Moncia City Council Candidates Sound Of On FAA Battle Recently, the Santa Monica Lookout sent a series of questions to candidates for City Council, one of which dealt with th>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (10.25.16): Dead Reckoning

Dead reckoning, as applied to flying, is the navigation of an airplane solely by means of computations based on airspeed, course, heading, wind direction, and speed, groundspeed, a>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (10.25.16)

“The GIV and G450 ushered in a business aviation renaissance that has led to increased safety, greater reliability, better technology and improved performance. It’s fit>[...]

ANN FAQ: Feel The Propwash (Updated)

New Form Makes Subscribing, Unsubscribing Even Easier While we're very proud of our newly-redesigned website, we know that some folks really enjoy the convenience of having their A>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC