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Journal Articles Advances in Space Research Year : 2001

Scientific objectives of the DYNAMO mission

Jean-Loup Bertaux
P. Lognonné
P. Pinet
M. Moncuquet
K. Issautier
D. Breuer
T. Spohn
P. Gough
  • Function : Author
A. Buckley
  • Function : Author
S. Smrekar
D. Mitchell
François Leblanc
S. Bougher
  • Function : Author
M. Parmentier
  • Function : Author


DYNAMO is a small Mars orbiter planned to be launched in 2005 or 2007, in the frame of the NASA/ CNES Mars exploration program. It is aimed at improving gravity and magnetic field resolution, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars, and at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained. These objectives are achieved by using a low periapsis orbit, similar to the one used by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft during its aerobraking phases. The proposed periapsis altitude for DYNAMO of 120–130 km, coupled with the global distribution of periapses to be obtained during one Martian year of operation, through about 5000 low passes, will produce a magnetic/gravity field data set with approximately five times the spatial resolution of MGS. Additional data on the internal structure will be obtained by mapping the electric conductivity. Low periapsis provides a unique opportunity to investigate the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, therefore atmospheric escape, which may have played a crucial role in removing atmosphere and water from the planet.

Dates and versions

insu-03234667 , version 1 (25-05-2021)



Eric Chassefière, François Forget, F. Hourdin, F. Vial, H. Rème, et al.. Scientific objectives of the DYNAMO mission. Advances in Space Research, 2001, 27 (11), pp.1851-1860. ⟨10.1016/S0273-1177(01)00338-6⟩. ⟨insu-03234667⟩
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