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The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample return. Final Report

Beaty, D. W. and Grady, M. M. and McSween, H. Y. and Sefton-Nash, E. and Carrier, B. L. and Altieri, F. and Amelin, Y. and Ammannito, E. and Anand, M. and Benning, L. G. and Bishop, J. L. and Borg, L. E. and Boucher, D. and Brucato, J. R. and Busemann, H. and Campbell, K. A. and Czaja, A. D. and Debaille, V. and Des Marais, D. J. and Dixon, M. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Farmer, J. D. and Fernández-Remolar, D. and Filiberto, J. and Fogarty, J. and Glavin, D. P. and Goreva, Y. S. and Hallis, L. J. and Harrington, A. D. and Hausrath, E. M. and Herd, C. D. K. and Horgan, B. and Humayun, M. and Kleine, T. and Kleinhenz, J. and Mackelprang, R. and Mangold, N. and Mayhew, L. E. and McCoy, J. T. and McCubbin, F. M. and McLennan, S. M. and Moser, D. E. and Moynier, F. and Mustard, J. F. and Niles, P. B. and Ori, G. G. and Raulin, F. and Rettberg, P. and Rucker, M. A. and Schmitz, N. and Schwenzer, S. P. and Sephton, M. A. and Shaheen, R. and Sharp, Z. D. and Shuster, D. L. and Siljeström, S. and Smith, C. L. and Spry, J. A. and Steele, A. and Swindle, T. D. and ten Kate, I. L. and Tosca, N. J. and Usui, T. and Van Kranendonk, M. J. and Wadhwa, M. and Weiss, B. P. and Werner, S. C. and Westall, F. and Wheeler, R. M. and Zipfel, J. and Zorzano, M. P. (2019) The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample return. Final Report. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 54 (S1). S3-S152. ISSN 1086-9379. doi:10.1111/maps.13242.

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This report requested by the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG). Return of samples from the surface of Mars has been a goal of the international Mars science community for many years. Affirmation by NASA and ESA of the importance of Mars exploration led the agencies to establish the international MSR Objectives and Samples Team (iMOST). The purpose of the team is to re‐evaluate and update the sample‐related science and engineering objectives of a Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign. The iMOST team has also undertaken to define the measurements and the types of samples that can best address the objectives. Seven objectives have been defined for MSR, traceable through two decades of previously published international priorities. The first two objectives are further divided into sub‐objectives. Within the main part of the report, the importance to science and/or engineering of each objective is described, critical measurements that would address the objectives are specified, and the kinds of samples that would be most likely to carry key information are identified. These seven objectives provide a framework for demonstrating how the first set of returned Martian samples would impact future Martian science and exploration. They also have implications for how analogous investigations might be conducted for samples returned by future missions from other solar system bodies, especially those that may harbor biologically relevant or sensitive material, such as Ocean Worlds (Europa, Enceladus, Titan) and others.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Altieri, F.0000-0002-6338-8300
Anand, M.0000-0003-4026-4476
Ehlmann, B. L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Glavin, D. P.0000-0001-7779-7765
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Schwenzer, S. P.0000-0002-9608-0759
Additional Information:© The Meteoritical Society, 2019. Version of Record online: 05 March 2019. The authors gratefully acknowledge additional inputs from, or discussions with, the following colleagues during the course of preparation of this analysis: In the area of aeolian sediments and sedimentary rocks: Gary Kocurek (UT Austin), Ryan Ewing (Texas A&M), and Mackenzie Day (Univ. Washington). In the area of hydrothermal deposits: Steve Ruff (Arizona State University) and Diego Guido (Universidad Nacional de La Plata and CONICET). In the area of preservation of organic carbon: Fabien Stalport (Paris Diderot University) In the area of impactites and the impact cratering process: Gordon Osinski (University of Western Ontario) and Livio Tornabene (University of Western Ontario) We are extremely appreciative for written, and very perceptive, external review comments on the penultimate version of this report provided by (listed in alphabetical order): Steve Bantam, Doris Breuer, John Bridges, Wendy Calvin, Serina Diniega, Gilles Dromart, Jen Eigenbrode, David Eisenman, Fred Goesmann, Walter Goetz, Sanjeev Gupta, Lindsay Hays, Jenni Hultman, Jeff Johnson, Laurence Lemelle, Kevin Lewis, Rob Lillis, Bernard Marty, Francois Poulet, Cathy Quantin‐Nataf, Margaret Race, Melissa Rice, Steve Ruff, Gerald Sanders, Haley Sapers, Christian Schröder, Andrew Schuerger, Alexandre Simionovici, Corliss Sio, Roger Summons, and Lyle Whyte. Community discussion and conference feedback. The PowerPoint representation of an earlier draft of this report was presented at the 2nd International Mars Sample Return Conference, April 25–27, 2018, in Berlin, Germany ( for community discussion and feedback. Included within that activity, a number of abstracts based on the content of this report were published. Some of those abstracts were presented at the conference as oral talks, and some were presented in poster format. The initial findings of this report were also presented for feedback at the 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Pasadena, CA, and the 81st Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Moscow, Russia (Beaty et al. 2018a, 2018b). Regardless of the mode of presentation, we greatly valued the feedback received from the community, which came to us across many different communication pathways, and it has been carefully considered and incorporated into the final version of this document. In addition, the analysis of Objective 7 (ISRU) was presented for discussion at the Space Resources Roundtable on June 13, 2018 (see, feedback received has been incorporated. Finally, a high‐level summary was presented to MEPAG at a virtual meeting on June 25, 2018 for broader community discussion/feedback. A parallel PPT file to accompany this report has been prepared, and it may be accessed at In case of discrepancies between the PPT and text versions of this analysis, the text version (this document) should be interpreted as superior. For the following coauthors, U.S. Government sponsorship is acknowledged: D. W. Beaty, B. L. Carrier, D. J. Des Marais, D. P. Glavin, Y. S. Goreva, A. D. Harrington, J. T. McCoy, F. M. McCubbin, P. B. Niles, M. A. Rucker, R. M. Wheeler. A portion of this report was written at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration M. M. Grady acknowledges the UK Space Agency and the Open University.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Open UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:S1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190328-180953958
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Official Citation:Beaty, D. W., Grady, M. M., McSween, H. Y., Sefton‐Nash, E. , Carrier, B. L., Altieri, F. , Amelin, Y. , Ammannito, E. , Anand, M. , Benning, L. G., Bishop, J. L., Borg, L. E., Boucher, D. , Brucato, J. R., Busemann, H. , Campbell, K. A., Czaja, A. D., Debaille, V. , Des Marais, D. J., Dixon, M. , Ehlmann, B. L., Farmer, J. D., Fernandez‐Remolar, D. C., Filiberto, J. , Fogarty, J. , Glavin, D. P., Goreva, Y. S., Hallis, L. J., Harrington, A. D., Hausrath, E. M., Herd, C. D., Horgan, B. , Humayun, M. , Kleine, T. , Kleinhenz, J. , Mackelprang, R. , Mangold, N. , Mayhew, L. E., McCoy, J. T., McCubbin, F. M., McLennan, S. M., Moser, D. E., Moynier, F. , Mustard, J. F., Niles, P. B., Ori, G. G., Raulin, F. , Rettberg, P. , Rucker, M. A., Schmitz, N. , Schwenzer, S. P., Sephton, M. A., Shaheen, R. , Sharp, Z. D., Shuster, D. L., Siljeström, S. , Smith, C. L., Spry, J. A., Steele, A. , Swindle, T. D., ten Kate, I. L., Tosca, N. J., Usui, T. , Van Kranendonk, M. J., Wadhwa, M. , Weiss, B. P., Werner, S. C., Westall, F. , Wheeler, R. M., Zipfel, J. and Zorzano, M. P. (2019), The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample return. Meteorit Planet Sci, 54: S3-S152. doi:10.1111/maps.13242
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94270
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Mar 2019 18:21
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:04

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