Mars Mission Concepts
NASA remains committed to creating additional "Scout" missions, such as the Phoenix lander, which would be selected from proposals submitted by members of the science community. Such missions might involve airborne vehicles, such as airplanes or balloons, or small landers that serve as investigation platforms. This approach could open up exciting new vistas by increasing the number of martian sites visited. The next Scout mission called MAVEN is an orbiter that will provide information about martian atmosphere, its climate history, and potential habitability. It is scheduled to launch in 2013.