Press Release

Second Mars Affordability and Sustainability Community Workshop Report Released

By SpaceRef Editor
February 6, 2015
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Explore Mars, Inc. and the American Astronautical Society are pleased to announce the release of the report of the Second Mars Affordability and Sustainability Community Workshop:

The Second Mars Affordability and Sustainability Workshop (AM II) was hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and held at the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) conference building on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA, October 14 – 15, 2014.  Approximately 60 invited professionals from the industrial and commercial sectors, academia, NASA, and the Canadian Space Agency participated in the workshop.  AM II conducted side-by-side comparisons of potential Mars mission architectures and strategies, discussed potential science goals associated with architectures for human missions to Mars, and examined how to design and advance a humans-to-Mars program that is fiscally and politically sustainable. The output of the workshop consists of observations, findings, and recommendations intended to continue building community consensus on the future of human space exploration and to guide space agency leadership and national policymakers.

“This workshop was an important next step in the Mars Affordability and Sustainability initiative that began in 2013,” commented Explore Mars Executive Director, Chris Carberry.  “We will be initiating more detailed and focused sessions throughout 2015 to continue the process of building consensus, a process that we believe will have a direct impact on the advancement of policy, architecture development, and other important mission planning variables.”  Added Jim Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the American Astronautical Society, “This second workshop continued to refine the fiscal requirements and mission architecture options for both a realistic and sustainable human spaceflight program that lands humans on Mars in the 2030s”.

Observations of the AM II workshop include: 

– An international human mission to the surface of Mars in the 2030s is recommended, although such a mission will require sufficient and stable long-term funding, as well as a critical series of risk-reduction activities in the 2020s. A key example is a long-duration  crew habitation system in cis-lunar space that transitions from the International Space Station (ISS) to the systems necessary for human Mars exploration.

– Initial human missions to the surface of Mars should include elements necessary for eventual establishment of sustainable surface outposts broadly analogous to the initial phases of science-guided Antarctic exploration on Earth.

– Human-enabled science exploration of Mars should be a major element of any human space flight architecture. One potentially advantageous precursor activity is an all-robotic sample return to demonstrate high-mass entry, descent, and landing capabilities scalable to human-scale landers. 

– Space agencies should more fully engage the broad community of partners in the definition of human exploration architectures and should employ the effective processes exemplified by the Global Exploration Roadmap. 

– The scientific goals for lunar exploration are compelling (i.e., see the 2011 NRC Planetary Decadal Survey and 2007 Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon). However, the technical capabilities required for human lunar surface operations are of limited applicability to human Mars exploration. 

– NASA and its partners must further develop new management processes and efficiencies, as well as acceptance of reasonable risk.  

For more information regarding the Second Mars Affordability and Sustainability Workshop, please visit –
About Explore Mars, Inc.
Explore Mars was created to advance the goal of sending humans to Mars within the next two decades. To further that goal, Explore Mars conducts programs and technical challenges to stimulate the development and/or improvement of technologies that will make human Mars missions more efficient and feasible. In addition, to embed the idea of Mars as a habitable planet, Explore Mars challenges educators to use Mars in the classroom as a tool to teach standard STEM curricula. Explore Mars, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
About the American Astronautical Society
The American Astronautical Society is America’s premier network of space professionals, technical and non-technical, dedicated to advancing all space activities.  The Society, founded in 1954, is committed to strengthening the nation’s space programs, inspiring the next generation of space professionals and expanding cooperation with international space organizations.
Press Contact
Chris Carberry


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