U.S. planetary scientists have been invited to participate in the Mars '94 mission of the U.S.S.R. Up to 10 will be selected as Participating Scientists, to do Mars research with Soviet mission scientists using information obtained by instruments on the spacecraft. Of U.S. scientists invited by non-U.S. principal investigators to participate as co-investigators, fewer than 10 can be supported. The U.S. program will be directed and managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
In October 1994 the Soviet Union will launch the two Mars '94 probes, which will reach Mars in 315 days. The nominal mission lifetime is 12 months, or half a Mars year, starting at orbit insertion. Each probe will consist of a 3-axis stabilized PHOBOS-type spacecraft and a descent module containing a balloon, two or three small stations, and two or three penetrators. Instruments on the spacecraft will do planetary, plasma and trajectory studies.