Interested in Mars? Fascinated by the possibility of a human landing or a sample return from the Red Planet? Have a brand new idea for how to detect water or trace life? Or just want to give your opinion about the whole Mars Exploration thing? NASA is giving you a platform in the form of the NASA Mars Forum that is currently calling for participants. Throughout June you can pose questions related to the re-planning of the Mars Exploration Program.
With the reduced 2013 US budget for space exploration, NASA was forced to withdraw from two missions planned together with the European Space Agency (ESA). Further revision of the Mars Exploration Program (MEP) is also needed to accommodate new developments in science, human space flight, and technology.
Last week, a Mars exploration workshop was held in Houston, Texas with all the outputs now available at the Mars Exploration Concepts and Approaches website. Various challenges, approaches, and strategies are presented here for the website visitors to get inspired and contribute to the forum with their opinions and ideas.
The activity should result in selecting the highest pay-off mission architecture with the first launch opportunity in 2018. The strategy will take into account the challenge of sending humans to orbit Mars in the 2030s.
The experimental forum will be active until July 1, 2012. NASA hopes the forum will provide them with a better understanding of public interest and specific areas on which to focus attention.
Below, a video appeal calling for help to save the NASA Mars Exploration Program: