NASA MEPAG Memo: Mars Express Science Workshop

Status Report From: NASA Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG)
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2004

Mars Express Science Workshop
21-25 February 2005
ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

Dear Colleague,

Following some criticism concerning the final dates chosen for the Mars Express Science Workshop, let me clarify a few points. The final dates (21-25 February 2005) are in fact the third set of dates being proposed, but each time somebody did not like them.

Originally, this workshop was planned to be merged with the International Mars Conference (1923 September at Ischia) but there were complaints that not enough time had been allocated for each PI, and anyway it was preferable to have a dedicated scientific meeting for Mars Express. The second set of dates (22-26 November at ESTEC) turned out to be very inconvenient for our American colleagues, as this is the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. So, we selected another set of dates given the extremely scarce availability of rooms in ESTEC (we need a huge room [Newton 1+2] for the oral presentations and another room [Einstein] for the poster sessions) for a whole week, plus the desired support for public outreach/communications. The earlier possible week for a dedicated science workshop supported and organised by ESA was the last week of February. It is just impossible to please everybody.

As some of you would have desired the selected dates to be earlier, let me remind you that there are quite a number of scientific meetings before those dates where all the scientists involved in the mission are free to present their scientific results.

These are:

  • International Mars Conference, 19-23 September 2004, Ischia, Italy.
  • Workshop on the Origin and Modification of the Martian Crustal Dichotomy, 30 Sept. - 01 Oct. 2004, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • Second Conference on Early Mars, 11-15 Oct. 2004, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA.
  • 40th Vernadsky-Brown Symposium on Comparative Planetology, Vernadsky Institute, Moscow, Russia, TBD October 2004.
  • Fourth European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology, 22-25 Nov. 2004, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.
  • Workshop on Low-frequency Radar investigations of Planetary and Terrestrial Environments, 07-10 Feb. 2005, Houston, Texas, USA.

In fact, the selected dates for the Mars Express workshop in February 2005 are not so bad, as it would have been too much to add another meeting to be squeezed in within the above list. Our ESA workshop comes before next year major scientific events of the 36th LPSC (14-18 March 2005 in Houston) and the 2nd EGU (25-29 April 2005 in Vienna).

This note is being circulated to some recipients of the previous one only. While I am happy to have people's feedback (individually) on the above, I am not ready to entertain an open forum among hundreds of people on the likeability of these dates, first out of politeness, and second because the dates are final. I hope you will all support the MEX Science Workshop.

Best regards,

Agustin Chicarro

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