ARES Enables a New Class of Science that Complements and Extends the Mars Exploration Program
Simultaneous, in-situ, regional-scale measurement of the Mars atmosphere, surface, and interior
Bridges critical scale and resolution measurement gaps of remote sensing and surface exploration
Scout for future sample return and surface mission site selection
- Magnetic survey with spatial resolution two orders
of magnitude higher than provided by Mars Global
Surveyor, with ability to resolve the crustal
magnetism source structure
High-resolution measurements that cannot be achieved from orbit
Geologic diversity from regional-scale coverage that cannot be achieved by surface missions
In-situ atmospheric science
Ability to traverse terrain inaccessible to surface vehicles
Ability to precisely target science features
Ability to execute a controlled, pre-planned aerial survey pattern
Robust performance with regard to atmospheric uncertainties
Entry, Descent, and Deployment Sequence of Events
ARES will travel to Mars compactly folded into a protective aeroshell. The following images depict
the sequence of events that will allow it to emerge safely and reliably from its aeroshell and begin flying over Mars.
Atmospheric Entry, Paracute Deployment, and Heatshield Release
Heatshield Release, Aircraft Ejection, and Aircraft Release
Tail Unfolding Begins, Tail Unfolding Complete, and Wings Unfolding
Aircraft Pull-up, Mars Exploration Begins...
A Balanced Design
In order to meet its science objectives, ARES must balance aeroshell packaging efficiency, instrument packaging efficiency,
mechanical reliability, and aircraft performance while maintaining overall system robustness
to uncertainties in the Mars environment.
A considerable amount of engineering design, analysis, and testing has produced a system
design that can reliably deliver an aircraft safely to Mars flight conditions. You can find out more about our on-going efforts to reduce
mission risk in our Reliability Section.
Size is Important
The large size of the ARES airplane allows:
Traditional design, test and manufacturing
Credible aerodynamic and stability predictions
Flight-proven systems with large margins
Robust stability and control performance to accommodate uncertainties in the Mars environment
The ARES full-scale and half-scale flight test vehicles.
Click one of the pictures on the left to download a file that you can print, cut out, and fold to make your own scale model of the ARES Mars Airplane! The PDF version can be opened with the Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free by clicking this link.