Science Objectives of the Mars-96 Mission

Main scientific objectives of this mission are to investigate the evolution of Mars, that is, the evolution of its atmosphere, surface, its interior. To reproduce the planet's evolution history it is necessary to acquire with various methods wide-scale, comprehensive studies of those physical and chemical processes that occur on Mars today and which took place in the past. Along the Earth-Mars trajectory, interplanetary space parameters will be measured and some astrophysical observations conducted.

Scientific experiments should help solve the following problems:

Mars Surface

    Topographic survey of the surface including high-resolution studies of terrain
    Mineralogical mapping
    Elemental composition of the soil
    Studies of the cryolithozone and its deep structure

Atmosphere and Climate Monitoring

    Studies of martian meteorology and climate
    Abundance of minor components in the atmosphere (H2O, CO, O3, etc.), their variation, vertical distribution, search for regions with higher humidity
    Measurement of the 3D field of atmospheric temperatures
    Pressure variations of different space and time scales
    Typical features of the atmosphere near the volcanic mountains
    Characteristics of atmospheric aerosols
    Neutral and ion composition of the upper atmosphere

Inner Structure (Geophysics)

    Crustal thickness
    Magnetic field
    Heat flow
    Search for active volcanoes
    Seismic activity


    Parameters of the martian magnetic field, its momentum and orientation
    3D distribution of the ion and energy composition of plasmas (near Mars and along the Earth-Mars trajectory)
    Plasma wave characteristics (electric and magnetic fields)
    Structure of the magnetosphere and its boundaries

Astrophysical Studies

    Localization of cosmic gamma-bursts
    Oscillations of stars and the Sun

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