To the MEPAG community,
As many of you are aware, in July we held the Eighth International Conference on Mars at Caltech. Over 650 “Martians” from 21 countries gathered to discuss the status of our exploration of the Red Planet. The 499 abstracts received were organized into 5 big-picture, thematic sessions, in a single-track of oral presentations to foster cross-disciplinary discourse. These were followed by afternoon sessions of ~100 posters per day. The conference ended with a synthesis discussion, moderated by Lisa Pratt, involving the community and a panel of “Integrators” representing broad disciplines in Mars studies (Geology – Phil Christensen; Climate – Rich Zurek; Life – Dave Des Marais; Preparation for Human Exploration – Marcello Coradini), supported by teams of graduate students and postdocs. The collective output of this conference represents the best summary of the present-day status of our scientific exploration of Mars.
Three types of summary presentations from the conference have been posted on the conference web site (http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/8thmars2014/presentations/).
- The introductory talks given by the invited speakers of each conference session.
- Overviews of five upcoming Mars missions.
- The Synthesis slides developed during the course of the meeting by the Integration teams, and presented in the concluding session of the Conference.
For #1 and #2 above, 2-page abstracts can be found on the conference web site; additionally, we have followed up with the speakers and received their permission to post their full presentations. We hope these will be a useful resource to the community—particularly the academics, who routinely have a need to put together lectures. These reference materials provide a good snapshot of the state-of-the-art for Mars science as of July 2014. For #3 above, this information should be of interest to all members of the Mars community, including MEPAG and the Mars Exploration Program’s advance planning teams.
This information has already been circulated to the conference attendees, but we wanted to also communicate it to the broader MEPAG mailing list, so as to catch Mars scientists who were unable to attend the 8th Mars Conference. We apologize for those of you who receive this message more than once.
We invite you to delve into these resources, and to share this link with your colleagues. And we hope you can join us at Ninth Mars, which is tentatively scheduled for 2018!
– Dave Beaty and Serina Diniega, Mars Program Office