NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin today announced the establishment of a study team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to explore possibilities for a return mission to Mars to recover some of the scientific objectives of the Mars Observer mission, if communications with that spacecraft cannot be reestablished.

The study team, led by JPL Assistant Laboratory Director Dr. Charles Elachi, will look at a variety of low-cost spacecraft, instrument and launch options, with the objective of returning to Mars in 1994 or 1996.

The team will review available spacecraft and instrument options from industry and government, including Mars Observer spares and possible international contributions. The team is expected to present potential mission options to NASA within the next two months.

Members of the study team currently include:

Arden Albee California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Carl Sagan Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Bruce Murray California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

John Casani JPL

Tom Coughlin Applied Physics Laboratory, Baltimore

Steve Paddock Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Eugene Giberson JPL (retired)

Ray Heacock JPL (retired)

Jonathan Lunine University of Arizona, Tucson

Rich Matlock Ballistic Missile Defense Office, Washington, D.C.

Donna Pivirotto JPL

Rob Staehle JPL

John Beckman JPL

Larry Soderblom U.S. Geologic Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Carolyn Porco University of Arizona, Tucson

Bud Wheelon Hughes Aircraft Co. (retired), Los Angeles

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