- Elon Musk
FELDSPAR operational objectives, while designed to explore the science hypotheses, are intended to provide a systems-level model of an actual planetary mission, with mission-level decision-making and sample acquisition and grading designed to occur on a condensed timescale commensurate with a field campaign.
Objective O1: Mimic decision-making and down-selection of sites at multiple tiers .
This progression goes, in order: satellite images, near-aerial images (UAV), human / rover images, stand-off analyses, in situ analyses, and sample acquisition for return.
Sub-objective O1A: Use multiple Mars-analogue instruments (e.g. Raman, VNIR, µCE-LIF, described later) for decision-making at the stand-off and “in situ” tier, and compare results with those of multiple terrestrial-specific instruments that mimic a sample-return laboratory (e.g. ATP bioluminescence, qPCR). (Tests Science Hypothesis S1)
Sub-objective O1B: Select for samples that appear identical to one another geologically and morphologically and sample at multiple scales of distance including 1 km, 100 m, 10 m, 1 m, and 10 cm. (Tests Science Hypothesis S2)
Sub-objective O1C: Select for samples that appear to have better habitability over neighboring regions based on rational selection parameters including temperature, moisture, minerology, chemical gradients, etc… (Tests Science Hypothesis S3)