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Meeting Planning Services

On behalf of the organizing committee for the Low-Cost Science Mission Concepts for Mars Exploration workshop, we look forward to seeing you on the new dates, now scheduled for March 29–31, 2022. The workshop remains at the same venue, the Pasadena Westin Hotel in Pasadena, CA.

While the Omicron-fueled COVID surge over the holiday season necessitated the postponement of the workshop, we are optimistic that the recent surge will subside over the coming weeks, allowing us to proceed with the workshop as primarily in-person. We believe that face-to-face interactions among the various communities supporting this event – scientists, engineers, technologists, mission planners, representatives from academia, NASA, and the commercial sector – will be essential in bringing forward the best ideas for the low-cost exploration of Mars.

While we strongly encourage in-person attendance, we have added virtual capabilities to support any individuals who are unable to attend the workshop in person. All oral presentations will be streamed, and we are adding the capability to support presentations by remote participants. Additionally, the pre-poster session “lightning talks” will be streamed. While the poster sessions will be in person only, all posters will be available on the workshop website for online access.

We are happy to report that all our panelists and invited speakers are confirmed for the new workshop dates. We are currently in the process of confirming the participation of the presenters for all contributed talks and posters. Final adjustments to the schedule will be posted on the workshop website.

If you were previously registered for the original January workshop, you are automatically registered for the new dates. New registrations are also being accepted through March 20, 2022. There is no registration fee for this workshop, but registration is required for both in-person and remote participants. All in-person participants are required to show proof of vaccination at the time of registration check-in.

If you had previously booked a room through The Westin Pasadena workshop block of rooms, those reservations were canceled when the workshop was postponed. A new room block for the new dates is offered to you at the government rate of $182 per night. The new reservation link is: Book your group rate for JPL Low Cost Mars 2022. The last day to book you room is March 7, 2022.

Workshop Location and Dates

The Low-Cost Science Mission Concepts for Mars Exploration workshop is rescheduled for March 29–31, 2022, at The Westin Pasadena, 191 North Los Robles, Pasadena, California.

In light of the current COVID-19 environment and to ensure the safest possible experience, the workshop's Organizing Committee will require all in-person attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the time of onsite check-in. In addition, we will be complying with all local COVID-19 policies. Los Angeles County and the City of Pasadena have recently updated their policies on masking requirements. Masks are still recommended but no longer required in most indoor settings, including the workshop venue. Accordingly, in-person attendees are not required to wear masks during the workshop. However, all attendees are welcome to wear a mask if that is their preference, and additional masks will be available onsite for workshop participants.

Purpose and Scope

Emerging small spacecraft capabilities and innovative new mission concepts offer opportunities for compelling science discoveries at Mars at unprecedented low costs. NASA’s Mars Exploration Program invites the Mars community, including scientists, engineers, technologists, and industry representatives, to this three-day workshop to share ideas and approaches for low-cost exploration of the Red Planet. Here, “low-cost” equates to mission costs that fall well below the current Discovery Program cost cap. The recent Mars Architecture Strategy Working Group suggested that small spacecraft missions in the $100–$300M cost range (including delivery) may offer a sweet spot in terms of achievable science per unit cost.

Specific topics of interest for this workshop include:

  • Assessment of strategic Mars science questions well-suited to investigation via low-cost, small spacecraft missions
  • Candidate low-cost mission concepts, relating science objectives to investigations, instruments, and spacecraft architecture
  • Small spacecraft capabilities for both orbital and landed Mars missions
  • Innovative mission design approaches, including piggyback, rideshare, and new small launch vehicle capabilities for low-cost delivery of payloads to Mars
  • New miniatured instruments, avionics, and subsystems enabling highly capable small spacecraft
  • Opportunities for international and commercial partnerships
  • Emerging commercial NewSpace capabilities that can be leveraged for low-cost Mars exploration

The workshop will provide a forum for a rich set of contributed presentations, an interactive poster session, along with invited talks and panel discussions to explore these topics. The workshop is currently being planned as an in-person event to maximize opportunities for open and creative exchange of ideas among all participants; however, this may be adjusted based on health and safety circumstances.

Code of Conduct

USRA/LPI is committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, religion, or other protected status. We do not tolerate harassment of meeting participants in any form. USRA/LPI expects that all participants will abide by this Code of Conduct, creating an environment free from harassment, discrimination, disruption, incivility, or violence of any kind. We expect participants to exercise consideration and respect in their speech and actions and refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior. Report issues, concerns, or violations of this Code of Conduct directly to USRA/LPI management at USRA-LPI Meetings Code of Conduct. The full USRA/LPI Code of Conduct can be found here.

Note: All electronic submission forms are part of the Meeting Portal, which requires users to set up a personal profile to access our electronic forms (setting up a profile is quick and easy, requiring only a few minutes of your time).