Earlier this year NASA held an industry day to talk about this conceptual mission. NASA Watch obtained a copy of the presentation in PDF format and it is available below.
According to the presentation the “Next Mars Orbiter will be capable of continuing and extending that infrastructure and refreshing the critical capabilities necessary to continue exploration of the Mars system and support future mission needs.
The orbiter would:
- Support increased bandwidth communications
- Continue high resolution surface reconnaissance
- Provide significant orbital flexibility for long term support of future missions
- *Accommodate potential compelling investigations
- *Validate challenging technologies for advanced communications
- *Orbital Support for potential Sample Return
* Potential Objectives under consideration
According to the CSA RFP, proposals will have the following objectives:
- Starting from the initial concept provided by CSA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), define down to main sub-system level a NeMO-compatible payload meeting the observation
- Develop a science observation plan and operation concept compatible with NeMO capabilities.
- Develop a mission development plan for a launch in 2022, using as much as possible subsystems with high Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
- Assess options for enhanced mission objectives and reuse of the payload for Earth Observation applications.
- The proposed contract is for a six (6) months period and may be extended by a period of up to seven (7) months to perform optional work.