We present a new European Mars mission proposal to build on the UK-led Beagle2 Mars mission and continue its astrobiology-focussed investigation of Mars. The small surface element to be delivered to the Martian surface - Vanguard - is designed to be carried by a Mars Express-type spacecraft bus to Mars and adopts a similar entry, descent and landing system as Beagle2. The surface element comprises a triad of robotic devices - a lander, a micro-rover of the Sojourner class for surface mobility, and three ground-penetrating moles mounted onto the rover for sub-surface penetration to 5 m depth. The major onboard instruments on the rover include a Raman spectrometer/imager, a laser plasma spectrometer, an infrared spectrometer - these laser instruments provide the basis for in situ "remote" sensing of the sub-surface Martian environment within a powerful scientific package. The moles carry the instruments' sensor head array to the sub-surface. The moles are thus required to undergo a one-way trip down the boreholes without the need for recovery of moles or samples, eliminating much of the robotic complexity invoked by such operations.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2004.05.069
Journal Acta Astronautica
Ellery, A, Ball, A.J. (Andrew J.), Cockell, C. (Charles), Dickensheets, D. (David), Edwards, H. (Howell), Kolb, C. (Christof), … Richter, L. (Lutz). (2005). Vanguard - A European robotic astrobiology-focussed Mars sub-surface mission proposal. Acta Astronautica (Vol. 56, pp. 397–407). doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2004.05.069