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NASA selects proposals for Mars Scout missions
Posted: Wed, Jun 13, 2001, 6:37 PM ET (2237 GMT)
Hubble image of Mars NASA announced Wednesday that it had selected ten proposals for further study as part of the agency's new Mars Scout program. The ten proposals, chosen out of 43 submitted earlier this year, will each receive up to $150,000 for six-month study contracts to refine the initial proposals. The mission concepts selected include a variety of orbiters, landers, rovers, and gliders that would do everything from studying the planet's weather to looking for subsurface water reservoirs to returning a sample of dust in the Martian upper atmosphere. The Mars Scout program is a new effort by NASA to fly innovative, low-cost missions to Mars in a manner analogous to the Discovery program of planetary science missions. A separate competition will be conducted next year to select the first Mars Scout mission, scheduled for launch in 2007, and none of the proposals selected Wednesday will be given any advantage over other proposals in that competition.
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