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Geophysical Monitoring Station (GEMS): A Discovery-Class Mission to Explore the Interior of Mars

Banerdt, B. and Cox, Z. N. and Seybold, C. and Warwick, R. and Barry, S. and Hudson, T. L. and Hurst, K. J. and Kobie, B. and Sklyanskiy, E. (2010) Geophysical Monitoring Station (GEMS): A Discovery-Class Mission to Explore the Interior of Mars. Transactions - American Geophysical Union . DI43A-1938. ISSN 0002-8606. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160226-161816879

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Abstract

The GEophysical Monitoring Station (GEMS) is a proposed Discovery-class mission designed to fill a longstanding gap in the scientific exploration of the solar system by performing, for the first time, an in-situ investigation of the interior of Mars. This mission would provide unique and critical information about the fundamental processes governing the initial accretion of the planet, the formation and differentiation of its core and crust, and the subsequent evolution of the interior. The scientific goals of GEMS are to understand the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets through investigation of the interior structure and processes of Mars and to determine its present level of tectonic activity and impact flux. A straightforward set of scientific objectives address these goals: 1) Determine the size, composition and physical state of the core; 2) Determine the thickness and structure of the crust; 3) Determine the composition and structure of the mantle; 4) Determine the thermal state of the interior; 5) Measure the rate and distribution of internal seismic activity; and 6) Measure the rate of impacts on the surface. To accomplish these objectives, GEMS carries a tightly-focused payload consisting of 3 investigations: 1) SEIS, a 6-component, very-broad-band seismometer, with careful thermal compensation/control and a sensitivity comparable to the best terrestrial instruments across a frequency range of 1 mHz to 50 Hz; 2) HP3 (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package), an instrumented self-penetrating mole system that trails a string of temperature sensors to measure the planetary heat flux; and 3) RISE (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment), which uses the spacecraft X-band communication system to provide precision tracking for planetary dynamical studies. The two instruments are moved from the lander deck to the martian surface by an Instrument Deployment Arm, with an appropriate location identified using an Instrument Deployment Camera. In order to ensure low risk within the tight Discovery cost limits, GEMS reuses the successful Lockheed Martin Phoenix spacecraft design, with a cruise and EDL system that has demonstrated capability for safe landing on Mars with well-understood costs. To take full advantage of this approach, all science requirements (such as instrument mass and power, landing site, and downlinked data volume) strictly conform to existing, demonstrated capabilities of the spacecraft and mission system. It is widely believed that multiple landers making simultaneous measurements (a network) are required to address the objectives for understanding terrestrial planet interiors. Nonetheless, comprehensive measurements from a single geophysical station are extremely valuable, because observations constraining the structure and processes of the deep interior of Mars are virtually nonexistent. GEMS will utilize sophisticated analysis techniques specific to single-station measurements to determine crustal thickness, mantle structure, core state and size, and heat flow, providing our first real look deep beneath the surface of Mars.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010AGUFMDI43A1938BADSAbstract
https://www.agu.org/meetings/fm10/OrganizationConference Website
Additional Information:© 2010 American Geophysical Union.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Subject Keywords:PLANETARY SCIENCES: SOLID SURFACE PLANETS / Interiors, PLANETARY SCIENCES: SOLID SURFACE PLANETS / Instruments and techniques, PLANETARY SCIENCES: SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS / Mars
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160226-161816879
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160226-161816879
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64824
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:02 Mar 2016 00:32
Last Modified:02 Mar 2016 00:32

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