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Meeting Planning Services

The May 4 morning plenary will include attendees of the May 2–4 MEPAG meeting and will offer an opportunity for virtual participation via Microsoft Teams. The agenda for the remainder of the workshop after the plenary will include breakout sessions that will not be available to virtual attendees. Submitted abstracts will be used to facilitate discussions throughout the workshop. Abstracts are no longer being solicited, but they are not required for workshop participation. In-person registration is highly encouraged to fully participate in the workshop.


The Science Objectives for Human Exploration of Mars Workshop is scheduled for May 4–6, 2022, in Denver, Colorado.

To include as many participants as possible and consider the impact of COVID-19 on in-person attendance, the opening plenary session of the workshop will be open to virtual attendees and will be recorded for later viewing. Because working group sessions for the remainder of the workshop will be discussion-based, they will not feature virtual participation. Sessions will be organized around specific science objectives identified during the workshop as highest priority for human exploration and around different mission scenarios with the goal of synthesizing an integrated concept of operations for each scenario that can be used to aid in mission architecture planning. If your current workshop registration type needs to be changed from virtual to in-person, contact [email protected] for assistance.

This workshop will discuss the highest priority science objectives for a human mission to Mars and then develop several different possible concepts of operation that will enable that science. With the Artemis missions, humans will return to the Moon using innovative technologies to explore the lunar surface. We will use what we learn on and around the Moon to send the first astronauts to Mars. A human mission to Mars will be a landmark achievement and a golden opportunity to conduct groundbreaking science on Mars. The potential scope of the science activities is extraordinary.

The workshop is co-sponsored by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate to actively engage the scientific community to determine what science could be done by human crews on the martian surface and how it can be achieved.

Purpose and Objectives

Community input and early integration of science into the exploration architectures for the first human missions to Mars are essential to maximizing the science return. The purpose of this workshop will be to integrate identified high-priority science objectives and associated concepts of operations with realistic human mission architecture scenarios. Furthermore, this workshop is intended to lay out the fundamental groundwork for future discussions of landing site selection. Several working groups will be formed during the workshop to document outcomes of workshop discussions in more detailed reports.

Workshop Scope

Presentations and discussions at the workshop will focus on the most important science objectives for a human mission to Mars and how a human mission can uniquely address those objectives. Community reports such as the MEPAG Goals document record the highest priority goals for science on Mars, but not all goals are appropriate for all mission scenarios. The workshop will identify the highest priority science objectives for several different realistic human mission scenarios (surface stay duration, EVA quantity, etc.).

It is also important to identify any special equipment/instruments needed to accomplish these objectives and how the human crew should utilize this equipment. A key part of the discussions will be identifying the essential equipment and instruments needed to enable the highest quality science.

Finally, workshop discussions will focus on characterizing the different concepts of operation needed by a human mission to accomplish identified high-priority science objectives within the constraints of the mission scenario. This will include the amount of time needed to complete the essential tasks, the amount and type of EVA needed, and the quantity and type of robotic-human interaction.

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).