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This report presents an overview of the assessment study phase of the Marco Polo candidate M-class Cosmic Vision mission.
Published: 02 December 2009

Executive Summary of the mission study by Thales Alenia Space (Reference: SD-RP-AI-0673).

The scope of this study was to provide technical definition and programmatic assessments of the whole space segment (Spacecraft + Earth Re-entry Capsule + Guidance Navigation & Control and of Touch & Go System + Sampling Acquisition & Transfer System), including development schedule and industrial costs evaluation. This information will support the selection process of the M mission to enter the definition Phase in the first half of 2010.

Published: 01 December 2009

Executive Summary of the mission study by EADS Astrium (Reference: MP.ASU.ES).

The Marco Polo Assessment Study under ESA contract led by Astrium Ltd has focused on an ESA-defined scenario, defining a feasible mission architecture for the mission and providing preliminary designs for the spacecraft and Earth Re-entry Capsule. Trade-offs have been carried out to determine the optimum launch and transfer strategy, proximity operations, and return strategy. In parallel the key-technologies for the mission have been assessed and the development requirements identified.

Published: 02 November 2009
Reference: SRE-PA/2009.069/Marco-Polo

This technical review report for the Marco Polo candidate mission presents the outcome of ESA's internal review of this M-class candidate mission in the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 plan. The review was concluded at the end of the mission assessment phase and carried out in frame of the down-selection to 3 or 4 M-class missions, which will proceed to the definition phase. The main goal of this internal review was to identify the mission's critical issues and associated risks at technical, programmatic and financial level.

Published: 30 October 2009

Executive Summary of the mission study by OHB-System AG (Reference: MPL-OHB-TN-014).

This executive summary presents the results of the Marco Polo study performed under ESA contract by the industrial team led by OHB-System AG, for an ESA-defined scenario. Possible collaboration schemes associated with this scenario are not addressed here. The results presented address the mission and system design of the ESA space element of the Marco Polo mission including the analysis of critical technologies required for this ambitious mission.
The industrial team was led by OHB-System AG and included the following partners:

  • GMV S.A. - focussing on mission analysis and GNC technologies
  • Sener S.A. - focussing on landing and sample acquisition technologies
  • Aero Sekur S.p.A. - focussing on high speed re-entry technologies
  • QinetiQ Ltd - providing consultancy in the area of electric propulsion

Published: 23 September 2009
This document is a compilation of the model payload of MarcoPolo. Besides its primary goal to return a sample to Earth, a suite of scientifically important instruments has been selected by the MarcoPolo Science Study Team (SST). The payload elements are selected as such that they serve and accomplish the scientific goals as identified in the Science Requirements Document (AD1). The definition of the instrumentation was fully supported by individual members of the SST. Further information was obtained through the instrument DOI studies. This document will guide the spacecraft design and mission architecture throughout the assessment study. [This is an abbreviated version of the original document abstract.]
Published: 30 January 2009
ESA's report to the 37th COSPAR meeting (13-20 July 2008) covers the missions of the Science Programme of ESA. This section contains the report on the Cosmic Vision candidate, Marco-Polo.
Published: 02 April 2008
The first open Workshop on the Marco Polo mission, jointly organized by the Côte d'Azur Observatory and ESA, was held on 5 and 6 June 2008. More than 80 participants attended the two-day workshop in Cannes, France, which included the following sessions:
I.Missions: general studies and programmatics
II.Physical properties of NEOs from laboratory experiments, simulations and observations
III.Instrumentation for global and local characterization
IV.Sampling mechanisms and analysis
V.Japanese-European Collaboration

The 25+ presentations given at the workshop are available in PDF format via the following link:


Published: 07 June 2008
This document describes the detailed scientific requirements for the Marco Polo mission. These requirements are derived from discussions by the Science Study Team (SST) of the Marco Polo study and is based on the scientific objectives as described in the Marco Polo Proposal to ESA's Cosmic Vision programme (RD 01). [This is an abbreviated version of the original document abstract.]
Published: 21 May 2009
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