Status Report

Call for Abstracts First Landing Site Workshop For the 2009 NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
March 21, 2006
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Call for Abstracts First Landing Site Workshop For the 2009 NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission

Call for Abstracts

First Landing Site Workshop For the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory Mission

May 31st-June 2, 2006

Pasadena, CA

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to remind you that abstracts for the First Landing Site Workshop for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL) are due on March 28th, 2006 (no exceptions!). The workshop will be held May 31st through June 2nd, 2006, at the Pasadena Conference/Convention Center in Old town Pasadena, CA. Information on local hotels can be found at: Web sites describing MSL landing site selection activities are and the USGS PIGWAD site

There will not be a registration fee for the workshop, but interested individuals wishing to attend should indicate their intent to do so via by April 1st, 2006 so that we can ensure adequate meeting space.

A Summary of Workshop Objectives:

As noted in the first announcement, the purpose of the first MSL Landing Site workshop is to identify and evaluate potential landing sites best suited to achieving stated mission science objectives within the constraints imposed by engineering requirements, planetary protection requirements, and the necessity of ensuring a safe landing. A NASA-appointed Landing Site Steering Committee and the Mars Science Laboratory Project will use the results of the workshop as the basis for prioritizing and subsequently narrowing the list of potential landing sites under consideration. Community consensus with respect to high priority sites will also be solicited. In addition, the workshop will provide a means for identifying potential landing sites as targets for imaging by the MGS, Odyssey, MRO, and perhaps other orbital assets.   Note: the number of potential landing sites is enormous because MSL entry, descent, and landing capabilities enable a small landing error ellipse, high elevation (<2 km), and wide latitudes (±60°) relative to prior Mars missions.

Abstract Submission:

As the deadline for abstract submission approaches, we would like to remind you that a series of relevant documents have been posted on the two websites: and These include a “Users Guide” describing the engineering constraints imposed on potential landing sites, a package on the MSL mission, science objectives, and instruments, and the governing document on planetary protection.  It is anticipated that most presentations will be oral, though there may be some additional space for poster presentations. All persons interested in participating in the workshop must review these constraints carefully to ensure that proposed sites can be considered.

Individuals wishing to advocate the overall types of sites or a particular site or sites at the workshop are required to submit an abstract electronically via: Individual abstracts can include multiple proposed sites, but are limited to one page in length in LPSC abstract style. Abstracts must be electronically submitted in either PDF (strongly preferred) or in Word (DOC) file format. Detailed instructions on abstract submission are also posted at this web site.

The First Announcement includes summaries of the science objectives, engineering and planetary protection constraints, and the types of papers being sought. The program for the workshop will be constructed from the abstract submissions and will be sent around with the Third Announcement in April 2006.

All members of the scientific community are encouraged to participate in this important activity. Input from the science community is critical to the identification of optimal landing sites for the MSL. We look forward to your involvement in these activities!


John Grant
Matt Golombek
Co-Chairs, Mars Landing Site Steering Committee

SpaceRef staff editor.