Robotic Exploration Technology Plan
The ESA Robotic Exploration Programme
The programme proposal for Mars Robotic Exploration Preparation was widely supported at the Ministerial Council meeting in November 2008 by ESA Participating States. The MREP programme objective is to build, in the medium term, a European Robotic Exploration Programme, by concentrating first on Mars exploration and by making use of international collaboration, in particular with NASA.
The general approach is to consider a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission as a long-term objective and to progress step-by-step towards this objective through short- and medium-term MSR-related technology developments, which are validated during intermediate missions, and by developing long-term enabling technologies, such as Novel Power Systems (NPS) or propulsion engines.
The technology work plan was built using the ESA TEChnology NETwork (TECNET) process, in coordination with activities planned in other ESA Directorates in particular Human Spaceflight, and making best use of the industrial and internal studies carried out so far for Mars future missions. The work plan makes use of Exploration Technology Programme (ETP) and Basic Technology Research Programme (TRP) budgets.
The MREP Programme technology developments can be grouped by the time period available for their implementation, which in turn directs the scheduling of the Technology Development Activities (TDAs):
The Robotic Exploration Technology Development Plan is available to download from the right-hand menu.