convener:Hideaki Miyamoto(University of Tokyo), Tomohiro Usui(Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Yuki Harada(Kyoto University), Sushil K Atreya(University of Michigan Ann Arbor)
A wealth of new data from the US, European, Russian, and the Asian exploration missions are contributing to improved understanding of geologic and climate evolution and the habitability of Mars. Eight spacecraft are currently operating at Mars, with six in orbit (Odyssey, MRO, MAVEN, Mars Express, Mangalyaan and TGO) and two on the surface (MSL-Curiosity and InSight), the largest number ever at any given time. In addition, Mars 2020, ExoMars and the Emirates Mars Mission are all scheduled to be launched in 2020. JAXA's MMX mission to explore Phobos, Deimos, and Mars is scheduled for a 2024 launch. This shows that the scientific community, international space agencies and the general public are committed to the exploration of the fascinating world of Mars. Synergistic investigations of ongoing or already completed missions together with modeling studies and earth-based observations are gradually revealing the nature of Earth's most closely resembling planet, which took a different evolutionary track than the other terrestrial planets. Seasonally, temporally and episodically variable phenomena seen on the surface and the atmosphere indicate that Mars is presently active. Thus, this session is planned to discuss recent results from a broad spectrum of Mars studies encompassing the interior, surface, atmosphere, plasma environment, and the Mars system including its two satellites. Abstracts on instrumentation and future mission plans are also encouraged for this session, as both the presenters and the audience would greatly benefit from ensuing discussions and feedbacks.