Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

  • Author: Dehant, Veronique

    Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium

  • Author: Banerdt, Bruce

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States

  • Author: Lognonné, Philippe

    Institut de Physique du Globe, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Univ. Paris Diderot, France

  • Author: Grott, Matthias

    Institute of Planetary Research, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Asmar, Sami

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States

  • Author: Biele, Jens

    German Space Operations Center/GSOC, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Breuer, Doris

    Institute of Planetary Research, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Forget, François

    Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, France

  • Author: Jaumann, Ralf

    Institute of Planetary Research, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Johnson, Catherine

    Planetary ScienceInstitute, United States

  • Author: Knapmeyer, Martin

    Institute of Planetary Research, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Langlais, Benoit

    Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, UMR 6112, Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, CNRS, France

  • Author: Le Feuvre, Mathieu

    Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, UMR 6112, Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, CNRS, France

  • Author: Mimoun, David

    Université de Toulouse, ISAE/Supaero, France

  • Author: Mocquet, Antoine

    Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, UMR 6112, Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, CNRS, France

  • Author: Read, Peter

    Atmospheric Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Oxford Physics, United Kingdom

  • Author: Rivoldini, Attilio

    Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium

  • Author: Romberg, Oliver

    Institute of Space Systems (DLR), Germany

  • Author: Schubert, Gerald

    University of California, United States

  • Author: Smrekar, Sue

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States

  • Author: Spohn, Tilman

    Institute of Planetary Research, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Tortora, Paolo

    University of Bologna, Italy

  • Author: Ulamec, Stephan

    German Space Operations Center/GSOC, DLR, Germany

  • Author: Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    Solar System Physics, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

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Our fundamental understanding of the interior of the Earth comes from seismology, geodesy, geochemistry, geomagnetism, geothermal studies, and petrology. For the Earth, measurements in those disciplines of geophysics have revealed the basic internal layering of the Earth, its dynamical regime, its thermal structure, its gross compositional stratification, as well as significant lateral variations in these quantities. Planetary interiors not only record evidence of conditions of planetary accretion and differentiation, they exert significant control on surface environments.We present recent advances in possible in-situ investigations of the interior of Mars, experiments and strategies that can provide unique and critical information about the fundamental processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution. Such investigations applied on Mars have been ranked as a high priority in virtually every set of European, US and international high-level planetary science recommendations for the past 30 years. New seismological methods and approaches based on the cross-correlation of seismic noise by two seismic stations/landers on the surface of Mars and on joint seismic/orbiter detection of meteorite impacts, as well as the improvement of the performance of Very Broad-Band (VBB) seismometers have made it possible to secure a rich scientific return with only two simultaneously recording stations. In parallel, use of interferometric methods based on two Earth–Mars radio links simultaneously from landers tracked from Earth has increased the precision of radio science experiments by one order of magnitude. Magnetometer and heat flow measurements will complement seismic and geodetic data in order to obtain the best information on the interior of Mars.In addition to studying the present structure and dynamics of Mars, these measurements will provide important constraints for the astrobiology of Mars by helping to understand why Mars failed to sustain a magnetic field, by helping to understand the planet’s climate evolution, and by providing a limit for the energy available to the chemoautotrophic biosphere through a measurement of the surface heat flow. The landers of the mission will also provide meteorological stations to monitor the climate and obtain new measurements in the atmospheric boundary layer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Publication date2012
Volume68
Issue1
Pages123-145
ISSN0032-0633
DOIs
StatePublished
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 4

Keywords

  • Interior structure, Rotation, Magnetic field, Heat flow, Seismology, Mars, Atmosphere, Habitability
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