LPI co-sponsors the First Landing Site Workshop for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, held at the NASA Ames Research Center. The purpose of the workshop is to evaluate potential landing sites best suited to achieving stated mission science objectives within the constraints imposed by engineering requirements and the necessity of ensuring a safe landing for the rovers.
Forum on Innovative Approaches to Outer Planetary Exploration 2001–2020 is held at the LPI. This two-day forum, organized on behalf of the newly created Outer Planets Program (OPP) Directorate at NASA Headquarters, provides members of the international planetary community (including technologists, scientists, and engineers — from universities, industry, and government labs) a chance to share their best ideas about how planning should proceed during the next two decades for exploration of the outer planets.
Mars Odyssey launches. An orbiter carrying science experiments designed to make global observations of Mars to improve our understanding of the planet’s climate and geologic history, including the search for water and evidence of life-sustaining environments, the name “2001 Mars Odyssey” was selected as a tribute to the vision and spirit of space exploration as embodied in the works of renowned science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.
Genesis, one of NASA’s Discovery Program missions, launches. The goal of the mission is to enrich our understanding of the birth and evolution of the planets and all the bodies in our solar system.
The Conference on the Geophysical Detection of Subsurface Water on Mars is held at the LPI. The purpose of the meeting is to clarify the need for a global geophysical reconnaissance for water on Mars, identify the types of investigations best suited for determining the distribution of subsurface water, assess the limitations and environmental complications associated with such investigations, and determine what other areas of Mars science would benefit from the acquisition of this proposed suite of geophysical data.