Michael Braukus Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1979) Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358

-1753) RELEASE: 98-13

January 22, 1998

ADDITIONAL EXPERIMENTS SELECTED FOR MARS 2001 MISSIONS NASA has selected additional instruments for the Mars Surveyor 2001 missions, which will study Mars' environment. The Mars Surveyor 2001 missions will follow two other robotic Mars missions to be launched in late 1998 and early 1999. All are part of NASA's long-term, systematic exploration of Mars in which two missions are launched to the planet approximately every 26 months. "In a sense, these missions allow virtual presence by humans and provide precursor data and subsequent infrastructure for possible human missions in the 21st century," said Arnauld Nicogossian, Associate Administrator of NASA's Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications. "By adding capability to missions already planned, this near term effort will result in cost effective, tangible progress in carrying out the Human Exploration and Development of Space strategy and contribute to the Origins program of NASA's Office of Space Science." NASA's Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications has selected the following investigations for the Mars 2001 Orbiter, due for launch in March of that year, and the Mars 2001 Lander/Rover, due for launch in April 2001: * The Martian Radiation Environment Experiment will characterize the radiation environment in the orbit and on the surface of Mars simultaneously. This experiment will consist of radiation spectrometers on both the Mars 2001 Orbiter and on the Mars 2001 Lander. Dr. Guatam Badhwar from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, is the principal investigator. * The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment will

characterize Martian dust and soil to identify potential undesirable and harmful interactions with human explorers and associated hardware, and to evaluate properties of the soil related to its use as a construction material. Dr. Thomas Meloy from West Virginia State University is the principal investigator. A team consisting of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, and Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, CO, will develop the missions, led by JPL. The radiation and dust investigations were selected from 39 proposals submitted to NASA in August 1997. Both of the 2001 missions are part of an ongoing NASA series of robotic Mars exploration spacecraft that began with the launches of the Mars Global Surveyor in November 1996. The 2001 missions represent the first step in a NASA initiative to integrate the requirements for Space Science and the Human Exploration and Development of Space program into a single robotic exploration program. - end -