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Conference Papers Year : 2011

GETEMME: a mission to explore the martian satellites

Abstract

GETEMME (Gravity, Einstein's Theory, and Exploration of the Martian Moons' Environment) is a proposition of mission towards martian's moons. The spacecraft will initially rendezvous with Phobos and Deimos in order to carry out a comprehensive mapping and characterization of the two satellites and to deploy passive laser retro-reflectors on their surfaces. In the second stage of the mission, the spacecraft will be transferred into a lower 1500-km Mars orbit, to carry out routine laser range measurements to the Phobos and Deimos reflectors. Also, asynchronous two-way laser ranging measurements between the spacecraft and stations of the ILRS (International Laser Ranging Service) on Earth are foreseen. An onboard accelerometer will ensure a high accuracy for the spacecraft orbit determination. The inversion of all range and accelerometer data will allow us to determine or improve dramatically on a host of dynamic parameters of the Martian satellites system. From the complex motion and rotation of Phobos and Deimos we will obtain clues on internal structures and the origins of the satellites. Also, crucial data on the time-varying gravity field of Mars related to climate variation and internal structure will be obtained. Ranging measurements will also be essential to improve on several parameters in fundamental physics, such as the Post-Newtonian parameter β as well as time-rate changes of the gravitational constant and the Lense-Thirring effect. Measurements by GETEMME will firmly embed Mars and its satellites into the Solar System reference frame.
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Dates and versions

hal-00647837 , version 1 (02-12-2011)

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Christophe Le Poncin-Lafitte, Valéry Lainey, The Getemme Core Team. GETEMME: a mission to explore the martian satellites. SF2A 2011: Annual meeting of the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Jun 2011, Paris, France. pp. 669-672. ⟨hal-00647837⟩
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