Media Invitation: Workshop on future landing sites for planetary exploration
January 17, 2011

Sixty of the world’s leading planetary scientists are gathering in the Netherlands from 17-21 January for a workshop on selecting landing sites for upcoming planetary missions to Mars, the Moon and Phobos. The sites under discussion are for the ExoMars demonstration lander slated for launch in 2016, the 2018 ESA ExoMars and NASA MAX-C rovers and the joint ESA-NASA Mars Sample Return mission.  Also under discussion are landing sites for robotic spacecraft entered for the Google Lunar X-Prize lander and for future missions to asteroids or the martian moon, Phobos.

Delegates at the workshop will run simulated selection procedures for the different scenarios with the aim of encouraging global collaboration and analysing the tools, maps, images and data needed to select the optimum landing sites for future missions, from a scientific and technical point of view.

The results of the workshop will be presented at 10:00 am at ESTEC on Friday 21st January.

Full details of the programme are available on the meeting website at:

Media representatives are invited to attend the presentation on Friday 21st free of charge if they register in advance their intention to attend by contacting Anita Heward ( by 12 noon on Thursday 20th January.

Europlanet Research RI is a major (€6 million) programme co-funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.
Europlanet RI brings together the European planetary science community through a range of Networking Activities, aimed at fostering a culture of cooperation in the field of planetary sciences, Transnational Access Activities, providing European researchers with access to a range of laboratory and field site facilities tailored to the needs of planetary research, as well as on-line access to the available planetary science data, information and software tools, through the Integrated and Distributed Information Service.   These programmes are underpinned by Joint Research Activities, which are developing and improving the facilities, models, software tools and services offered by Europlanet