Although the NETLANDER project was officially stopped since May 2003 by CNES, it still arouses a great interest. A geophysical and meteorological network installation on Mars remains a priority for the international scientific community and more particularly for the French scientific community involved in missions to Mars.
Since, no-other space agency has decided to carry out such a mission, the NETLANDER mission such as defined during the 1998 to 2003 period sounds pertinent. The context in which such a mission would be carried out is still under study at CNES. That is why the main characteristics of the mission are presented on this site for information only.
The NETLANDER project consists of the deployment of the first extraterrestrial geophysical network on the surface of Mars, composed of four identical landers. The main scientific objective of this mission is to acquire information about the planet at a global scale : internal structure, meteorological studies and geodesy.
CNES led this project in association with Finland (Finnish Meteorological Institute), Germany (Deutsches zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt) and Belgium (Politique Scientifique Fédérale ex-SSTC). Five other countries participated in the scientific payload development.
The studies and development (preliminary and detailed design) phases have led to the construction of several functional demonstrations systems presented in the "scientific payload" part.