The mars aerial platform (MAP) concept

Ronald Greeley, Philip Christensen, Benton C. Clark, R. Stephen Price, Robert M. Zubrin, Robert M. Haberle, James Cantrell, James A. Cutts, Robert E. Oberto, Michael C. Malin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The Mars Aerial Platform (MAP) concept uses superpressure balloons deployed at a constant atmospheric density, nominally set at 6 km above mean Mars elevation. Three balloons deployed in the northern, southern, and equatorial zones would traverse more than 500,000 km during a nominal lifetime of 100 sols, covering some 80% of the major terrains of Mars. The payload of imaging system, thermal emission spectrometer, and neutron spectrometer would provide geologic, geomorphic, compositional, and volatile-content data at scales which are order of magnitude greater than previous and planned missions. Tracking balloon positions would provide the first in situ measurements of atmospheric motion. In all, these data would provide unprecedented insight into the complex history of Mars, the present climate regime, and potential resources, including water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9780000000002
StatePublished - 1996
Event34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 1996 - Reno, United States
Duration: Jan 15 1996Jan 18 1996


Other34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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