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Mars > Funding

Funding the Mars group

The Mars group is critically dependent on external funding to be able to participate in ongoing and upcoming missions to Mars, as the University of Copenhagen covers only the salary of the most senior researcher in our research group - and some of the infrastructure we need (offices, furniture, electricity and internet).

We are deeply engaged in the development of essential additions and parts for some of the main science instruments selected for NASA's next mission to Mars, called Mars 2020. The additions we produce are essential for proper calibration of the scientific data produced during the mission once it has landed on the surface of Mars.
Through participation in all successful missions NASA has landed on Mars since and including Mars Pathfinder in 1997 our group has extensive experience with designing, building, testing and calibrating deep space flight hardware designed for Mars missions.

Means for our continued work on the Mars 2020 mission are needed both for purchase and production of parts, prototypes and final versions of the instruments we deliver for the mission, and for salaries for critical personnel within our group.
Once a mission has landed on Mars and begins transmitting data to Earth, funding is needed for us to support surface operations of the mission, to participate in decision-making and in the analysis and calibration of the new data, participation in discussions and interpretation of the data and in the subsequent publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

We want to extend our gratitude to the following foundations, supporting institutions, and sponsors who have funded our participation in missions presently under development, presently ongoing and previous missions to Mars:

Mars 2020 Rover (NASA)
Our participation in NASAs Mars 2020 Rover mission is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation:

Initial development of ideas and travel was supported by FNU:

In addition we thank Mastcam-Z Principal Investigator Jim Bell, Arizona State University, MOXIE Principal Investigator Mike Hecht, MIT, and SuperCam Co-Principal Investigator Roger Wiens, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and SuperCam Co-Principal Investigator Sylvestre Maurice for giving us the opportunity to participate in this NASA mission with the goal to identify, characterize and collect the first samples to be later returned from Mars.

Mars Science Laboratory (NASA)
The Mars group's participation in the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity (landed in 2012) has been funded by FNU and TICRA:

In addition we thank NASA and NASAs Participating Scientists Program for giving us the opportunity to participate in Curiosity's mission to Mars.

Phoenix Mars Lander (NASA)
Our participation in the Phoenix Mars Lander mission (landed in 2008) was funded by:

In addition we thank Phoenix Principal Investigator, Peter Smith, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, for selecting us for participation on the Phoenix science team, and for inviting us to contribute critical hardware (radiometric calibration targets) for the mission.

Mars Exploration Rovers (NASA)
The Danish experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity (landed in 2004) were funded by:

In addition we thank the Principal Investigator of the Athena science payload on both Mars Exploration Rovers, Steve Squyres, Professor of Physical Sciences at Cornell University, for inviting us to participate in his science team and for his invitation to contribute scientific hardware to enhance the scientific output of several science instruments on board the mission.

Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander (NASA)
Danish participation and development of experiments for NASAs Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander mission were funded by:

  • The Danish Natural Science Research Council (Statens Naturvidenskabelige Forskningsråd, now dissolved)

Mars Polar Lander (NASA)
Danish participation and development of experiments onboard NASAs 1998 Mars Polar Lander mission were funded by:

  • The Danish Natural Science Research Council (Statens Naturvidenskabelige Forskningsråd, now dissolved)

Mars Pathfinder (NASA)
Danish participation and development of experiments onboard NASAs 1996 Mars Pathfinder mission were funded by:

In addition we thank the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) Principal Investigator, Peter Smith, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, for accepting us on his science team and his invitation to contribute scientific hardware to enhance the scientific output of the main scientific camera of the mission. Also we thank our friends, the American members of the Mars Pathfinder science team, for their hospitality housing Danish team members in their rooms during surface mission operations.