Mercury Lander - A Mission Concept Study


Carolyn M. Ernst et al.

Publication Year



NASA Planetary Mission Concept Study




We submitted a proposal to NASA's Planetary Mission Concept Study program to perform a complete, end-to-end Mercury Lander mission concept study, and this proposal was selected for funding! The mission concept study examined key payload and spacecraft trades, incorporating technology advancements over the last decade, to establish if a Mercury Lander mission is feasible as a New Frontiers class mission, and therefore able to be considered for a New Frontiers candidate mission list by the 2023 Decadal Survey. Our latest results demonstrate that it is technologically feasible and consistent with the cost of a New Frontiers mission!

Feedback and comments from the Mercury community are always welcomed. Please email Carolyn Ernst.

Below are:

1) LPSC 2020 abstract, detailing the study
2) Slides presented during a Planetary Science Institute (PSI) seminar on 25 March, 2020
3) Slides presented during the Planetary Mission Concept Study virtual conference on 27 May, 2020
4) Slides presented during the International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW) webinar on 9 July, 2020
5) Slides presented during a JPL seminar on 24 August, 2020
6) Final Concept Study Report
7) Final Science Traceability Matrix

We will continue to share materials from this concept study as it progresses!

PI and Study Lead: Carolyn Ernst -
Deputy Study Lead: Nancy Chabot
Geochemistry Group Lead: Kathleen Vander Kaaden
Geophysics Group Lead: Steven Hauck
Mercury Environment Group Lead: Ron Vervack
Geology Group Lead: Paul Byrne
Collaborators: Sebastien Besse, David Blewett, Brett Denevi, Sander Goossens, Noam Izenberg, Catherine Johnson, Lauren Jozwiak, Rachel Klima, Haje Korth, Ralph McNutt, Scott Murchie, Patrick Peplowski, Jim Raines, Elizabeth Rampe, Michelle Thompson


Preview Filename Description

LPSC 2020 abstract


Slides from PSI seminar on 25 March, 2020


Slides from PMCS virtual meeting on 27 May, 2020


Slides from International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW) webinar on 9 July, 2020


Slides from JPL seminar on 24 August, 2020


Final Concept Study Report, 8 August 2020


Final Science Traceability Matrix, 8 August 2020

Uploaded by nchabot on Oct. 22, 2019, 9:14 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 17, 2020, 10:21 p.m.