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Report of the Science Community Workshop on the proposed First Sample Depot for the Mars Sample Return Campaign

May 28, 2023

The Mars 2020/Mars Sample Return (MSR) Sample Depot Science Community Workshop was held on September 28 and 30, 2022, to assess the Scientifically-Return Worthy (SRW) value of the full collection of samples acquired by the rover Perseverance at Jezero Crater, and of a proposed subset of samples to be left as a First Depot at a location within Jezero Crater called Three Forks. The primary outcome of the workshop was that the community is in consensus on the following statement: The proposed set of ten sample tubes that includes seven rock samples, one regolith sample, one atmospheric sample, and one witness tube constitutes a SRW collection that: (1) represents the diversity of the explored region around the landing site, (2) covers partially or fully, in a balanced way, all of the International MSR Objectives and Samples Team scientific objectives that are applicable to Jezero Crater, and (3) the analyses of samples in this First Depot on Earth would be of fundamental importance, providing a substantial improvement in our understanding of Mars. At the conclusion of the meeting, there was overall community support for forming the First Depot as described at the workshop and placing it at the Three Forks site. The community also recognized that the diversity of the Rover Cache (the sample collection that remains on the rover after placing the First Depot) will significantly improve with the samples that are planned to be obtained in the future by the Perseverance rover and that the Rover Cache is the primary target for MSR to return to Earth.

Publication Year 2023
Title Report of the Science Community Workshop on the proposed First Sample Depot for the Mars Sample Return Campaign
DOI 10.1111/maps.13981
Authors Andrew D. Czaja, Maria-Paz Zorzano Mier, Gerhard Kminek, Michael Meyer, David Beaty, Elliot Sefton-Nash, Brandi Carrier, Fiona Thiessen, Timothy Haltigin, Audrey Bouvier, Nicolas Dauphas, Katherine L. French, Lydia Hallis, Rachel Harris, Ernst Hauber, Laura Rodriguez, Susanne P. Schwenzer, Andrew Steele, Kimberly Tait, Michael T. Thorpe, Tomohiro Usui, Jessica Vanhomwegen, Michael Velbel, Samuel Edwin, Kenneth A. Farley, Daniel Glavin, Andrea Harrington, Lindsay Hays, Aurore Hutzler, Meenakshi Wadhwa
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Meteoritics and Planetary Science
Index ID 70248791
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center