Status Report

NASA MEPAG meeting #15 – First Information Circular

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2006
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NASA MEPAG meeting #15 – First Information Circular

MEPAG meeting #15 – First Information Circular
Wednesday-Thursday, April 19-20, 2006
Holiday Inn, Monrovia, California

Letter of Invitation

Members of the Mars community,

I cordially invite you to attend the next meeting of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG), scheduled for April 19-20, 2006 at the Holiday Inn in Monrovia, California (close to JPL). Because of the number of important issues we need to discuss, we are tentatively planning for the meeting to extend two full days.

Key agenda topics will include:

  • Current status, and future planning, for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
  • Report from the MEPAG Science Analysis Group focusing on defining key investigations for the 2011/2013 Mars Science and Telecommunications Orbiter (the MSTO SAG)
  • Report from the MEPAG Science Analysis Group on proposed clarification of martian ‘special regions’, as used in planetary protection (the SR-SAG)
  • Planning for Future Instrument Development. MEPAG plans to analyze the current state of our Mars-relevant instrument development efforts, and to identify what future work is needed to implement the orbital and landed measurements proposed in the new Program Plan. This analysis may be used by NASA in structuring future instrument development competitions.
  • Fate of the Data. MEPAG would also like to analyze the status and sufficiency of our procedures and systems for maximizing the use of Mars flight data. This would include all aspects of information management, including calibration data, data processing and analysis by the flight team, archiving, and effective access to the information by non-flight team researchers (perhaps many years later).

This meeting is open to all members of the Mars science community, including international colleagues. As part of the instrument-related topic, I request that as many MIDP, ASTID, ASTEP, and Mars-relevant PIDDP PIs as possible attend. There are too many of you to fit in the oral agenda, so instead we are considering a major instrument-related poster session where information can be exchanged in a concurrent way. I also request that the program managers (or their representatives) of the major relevant instrument development programs come with summary information about their program status.

This meeting is important, and I hope you can attend. If anybody has a specific request for time on the agenda on matters of general interest, please correspond with either me ( or Dr. David Beaty ( by the end of February, 2006, when we plan to start assembling the specific meeting agenda.

Dr. Ray Arvidson


No poster session at the April 19-20 MEPAG meeting. In the 1st Information Circular for the coming MEPAG meeting of April 19-20, Ray Arvidson, the MEPAG Chair, announced that one of the major discussion topics will be the life cycle of an instrument, including instrument development, flight, and data processing/application. In support of this topic, in our early planning, we were considering trying to organize an instrument-related poster session, so that the many recent outstanding accomplishments by the instrument PIs and engineering teams can be shared. Unfortunately, we now recognize that such a poster session will not be possible because of the large number of topics to be covered during the two-day meeting. A poster session is thus no longer part of our plans for the April 19-20 meeting. However, the focus on instrument life cycles remains, and we still encourage the instrument development and data application communities to attend to participate in the discussions. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Andy Morrison (

SpaceRef staff editor.