Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor Integrated Payload
D. A. Paige (UCLA), W. V. Boynton (UA), D. Crisp (JPL), A. M. Harri (FMI), C. J. Hansen (JPL), H. U. Keller (MPAe), L. A. Leshin (UCLA), R. D. May (JPL), P. H. Smith (UA), R. W. Zurek (JPL)
The Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) integrated payload package is being developed for NASA's Mars Surveyor Program (MSP) '98 lander mission. The lander will be targeted to a landing site at 77 degrees south during the Martian late southern spring season. Landed science activities will be conduced during a primary mission which starts in December, 1999, and ends 86 Earth-days later during mid-Martian summer.
The MVACS payload will consist of four major science elements: (1) A mast-mounted Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) which will be used to characterize the general environment at the landing site, to make observations of aerosol opacities and column water vapor abundance in the Martian atmosphere, and to provide imaging support for the other payload elements; (2) A two-meter Robotic Arm (RA), which will be used to acquire samples of surface and subsurface materials; and a Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) which will be used to image the surface and subsurface at close range; (3) A mast-mounted Meteorology Package (MET), which will include pressure, wind, and temperature sensors, as well as a Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) sensor for accurately determining the surface concentration of atmospheric water vapor, as well as the abundances of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopes in atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide; and (4) A Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA), which will use a Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) to determine the abundances of ices and volatile-bearing minerals in surface and subsurface samples acquired by the robotic arm, and a two-wavelength TDL sensor to determine the abundances of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopes within carbon dioxide and water vapor gas evolved from samples heated in the DSC.