Open Invitation from Colin Pillinger
A meeting to express views on a sample-return mission to Mars
A splinter meeting will be held during the 64th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Rome (10-14 September 2001) to discuss the possible role of the meteoritics community in a sample-return mission to Mars. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 11 September from 12:30 to 15:30.
An open invitation from Professor Colin Pillinger
"A picture may be worth a thousand words but a sample is worth a thousand pictures - this statement ought to be the motto of the meteoritics community. Meteoriticists have contributed hugely to the understanding of the Moon through the Apollo programme. Through this programme the community developed the technical and scientific skills which enabled them to take advantage of the growth in meteoritics which was made possible by the Antarctic collection programme and other similar projects. Demonstrating the presence of Martian samples on Earth was one of the greatest achievements of the community; these rocks are one of our most precious sources of knowledge about Mars.
Since Apollo many sample-return missions to Mars have been promised but none have yet been confirmed. Meteoriticists have a vested interest in such a venture; they would be the community who decodes the messages brought by the samples.
At the end of 2001, the European Space Agency will present of new programme of planetary exploration to its Council of Ministers. This splinter meeting is called to provide a forum for those attending this meeting to express their views on a sample-return mission.
Come and make your views known."
Professor C. T. Pillinger FRS
Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute
The Open University
This meeting is sponsored by the European Space Agency.