1. Characterize the present climate of Mars and its physical mechanisms of seasonal and interannual climate change
2. Determine the nature of complex layered terrain on Mars and identify water-related landforms
3. Search for sites showing evidence of aqueous and/or hydrothermal activity
4. Identify and characterize sites with the highest potential for landed science and sample return by future Mars missions
5. Return scientific data from Mars landed craft during a relay phase
This visible camera reveals small-scale objects in the debris blankets of mysterious gullies and details of geologic structure of canyons, craters, and layered deposits.
This weather camera monitors clouds and dust storms.
This instrument splits visible and near-infrared light in its images into hundreds of "colors" that identify minerals, especially those likely formed in the presence of water, in surface areas on Mars not much bigger than a football field.
This atmospheric profiler detects vertical variations in temperature, dust, and water vapor concentrations in the Martian atmosphere.
This sounding radar probes beneath the Martian surface to see if water ice is present at depthsgreater than one meter (3.3 feet).