Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey

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Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey
ARES soaring over Mars.jpg
ARES aircraft
Mission type Mars atmospheric probe
Operator NASA
Mission duration 1 hour at Mars

The Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey (ARES) was a proposal by NASA's Langley Research Center to build a powered aircraft that would fly on Mars.[1][2][3] The ARES team sought to be selected and funded as a NASA Mars Scout Mission for a 2011[4] or 2013 launch window. However, the MAVEN mission was chosen instead.[5]

ARES would have traveled to Mars compactly folded into a protective aeroshell; upon entry in the thin atmosphere, the capsule would have deployed a parachute to decelerate, followed by ARES release at altitude.

Among other things, the aircraft would have investigated the atmosphere and weak magnetic field.[6]


Propulsion remained undetermined. The two main criteria used to evaluate the propulsion system were flight range and implementation risk. Possible propulsion technologies were electrical motors, internal combustion and rocket systems.[4] The aircraft was intended to fly for about one hour.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ P.I: Joel S. Levine (November 20, 2009). "Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey". Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  2. ^ Lewis Page (24 November 2009). "NASA plans robot rocket aeroplane to fly above Mars". Space. The Register. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  3. ^ Stuart Fox (November 24, 2009). "NASA Robotic Rocket Plane To Survey Martian Surface". Popular Science. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  4. ^ a b Christopher A. Kuhl (March 2009), "Design of a Mars Airplane Propulsion System for the Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) Mission Concept" (PDF), Mars Mission Concept, p. 10, retrieved 2010-03-26 
  5. ^ Grey Hautaluoma (Dec 21, 2007). "NASA Delays Mars Scout Mission to 2013". NASA. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  6. ^ "ARES - Ensuring Reliability". NASA - Langley Research Center. January 14, 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 

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