first NOZOMI-Mars Express Workshop was held over three days from January
24 to 26. The Mars Express is an ESA spacecraft to be launched in 2003
to arrive at Mars in about the same phase as NOZOMI. To make the most
of the two satellites observing Mars in the same phase, the Workshop’s
purpose is to cooperate on the observation plans for the greatest results.
In addition to the participants involved with the onbound instruments
on both satellites, a number of Japanese scientists not directly concerned
with NOZOMI but interested in Mars observation attended too, bringing
the total number of participants to 85. Since this was the first such
workshop, in order to let everyone get to know each other (not just for
the sake of the performance and objectives of the satellites, but also
for the people concerned) the first day was spent introducing the instruments
on board the Mars Express, the second day explaining the characteristics
and observation results of the NOZOMI’s onboard instruments, and the third
day was split into discussions of three concrete observation subjects;
atmosphere, solid surface, and the lander. Since the two satellites can
perform mutual compensational observation, the discussion became a lot
more heated than predicted. The discussion including the exchange of Co-I’s
was decided to be continued next time, and the next technical meeting
in Japan was to be held in fall, and the 2nd Workshop in the beginning
of the New Year, so that workshops will be held every alternate year from
now on.