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Evolution of Mars (E-MARS)
Start date: Nov 1, 2011, End date: Oct 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The primary questions that drive the Mars exploration program focus on life. Has the Martian climate ever been favorable for life development? Such scenario would imply a distinct planetary system from today with a magnetic flied able to retain the atmosphere. Where is the evidence of such past climate and intern conditions? The clues for answering these questions are locked up in the geologic record of the planet. The volume of data acquired in the past 15 years by the 4 Martian orbiters (ESA and NASA) reach the petaoctet, what is indecent as regard to the size of the Martian community. e-Mars propose to built a science team composed by the PI, Two post-doctorates, one PhD student and one engineer to exploit the data characterizing the surface of Mars. e-Mars proposes the unprecedented approach to combine topographic data, imagery data in diverse spectral domain and hyperspectral data from multiple orbiter captors to study the evolution of Mars and to propose pertinent landing sites for next missions. e-Mars will focus on three scientific themes: the composition of the Martian crust to constraint the early evolution of the planet, the research of possible habitable places based on evidence of past liquid water activity from both morphological record and hydrated mineral locations, and the study of current climatic and geological processes driven by the CO2 cycle. These scientific themes will be supported by three axis of methodological development: the geodatabase management via Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.)., the automatic hyperspectral data analysis and the age estimates of planetary surface based on small size crater counts.
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