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Meeting Planning Services

Workshop Location and Dates

The Low-Cost Science Mission Concepts for Mars Exploration workshop is scheduled for January 11–13, 2022, in the Southern California area (final location to be announced soon).

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 community to this three-day workshop to explore this potential new class of Mars missions from multiple perspectives. In this forum, Mars scientists, engineers, technologists, and industry representatives will 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. Missions in this class could represent an important new program element in a future balanced portfolio of Mars missions.

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, and invited talks and panel discussions to explore these topics. The workshop is planned as an in-person event to maximize opportunities for an open and creative exchange of ideas among all participants. We will monitor COVID developments and CDC and local government guidance over the coming months and, if necessary, restructure the workshop in a virtual format.

Code of Conduct

The LPI is committed to providing a harassment-free experience for participants regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, or other protected status. While attending the meeting or any related ancillary or social events, participants should not engage in harassment in any form. All participants are expected to behave according to professional standards and in accordance with their employers’ policies on appropriate workplace behavior.

To report issues or concerns, contact LPI management at USRA-LPI Meetings Code of Conduct.

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).