Remote Participation in MEPAG (Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group)

Editor's note: In his opening presentation Mike Meyer was dumping on bloggers again because they do not seem to understand the way that NASA is running its Mars program.

Editor's note: From MEPAG organizers: Mike Meyer: "The lack of money is pushing sample return further out. We just cannot do it yet. This is due to the MSL slip. We are taking a lot of money out of Mars technology. A benefit of collaboration (with ESA for example) is that it affords us an opportunity sooner rather than later, using combined resources, to do sample return in the 2020 time frame. But the reason I say that we have to have a program that does not have sample return in the program is because you have to have a program that stands on its own legs even if sample return is at a distant time."

ESA presentation: EXOMARS: solutions to cost problems: we could ask for more money, we could seek to cover financial shortfall via collaboration with international partners, or we can reduce the ambitions of the mission. We are talking about a 2016 restructured mission with NASA. We have discussed with Russia possible position of a Russian launcher for EXOMARS and possibly some Russian science hardware. A major payload review is currently under way.

Editor's note: From MEPAG organizers: "All, Questions at the MEPAG meeting can be emailed to: We will do our best to get all you questions into the meeting."

Editor's note: You can dial in too: 1-888-456-0353 passcode 6939533 - just note that a radio feed is apparently playing through the telephone feed making it almost impossible to understand at times. "We've talked to the manager but it does not seem to have resulted in any action" said the speaker. Update: now it seems to work.

Editor's note: From MEPAG organizers: Dear colleague, For those unable to attend the March 3-4 MEPAG meeting in person, you may remotely participate via WebEx and teleconference. The meeting will run from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time) on March 3 and from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm on March 4.

To register to remotely access the meeting online (this will allow you to see the presentations):

1. Go to

2. Register for the meeting.

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting on Webex and dialing-in to the teleconference number.

The telecon line can handle up to 100 callers. If we get more interest than that and you are not able to get in, let us know afterwards and we will adjust for the next MEPAG meeting (we will not be able to repair this in real time).

For assistance with webex

1. Go to
2. Click "Assistance".
3. Click "Support".

The following are more detailed instructions to register for and connect to the WebEx session for the March 3-4 MEPAG meeting.

1. Go to (PC users strongly recommended to use Internet Explorer. Mac users, strongly recommend using Safari.)

2. If you have not already done so, you will need to be sure that the WebEx Meeting Manager is installed on your computer. To do this, click on "Setup" on the left hand side menu, and then click on "Meeting Manager" and follow the instructions. (This should work for both PC and Mac).

3. After installing Meeting Manager and returning to the main WebEx page, you should see a screen asking for the Meeting Number (if you do not see this screen, click on "Attend a Meeting" in the menu at left). Enter 922 744 329 for the meeting number and click on "Join Now"

4. You will then need to register for the meeting. Once registered, you will receive an e-mail with the Passcode for the WebEx session. This e-mail will also have the telephone meet-me number and telecon passcode.

The telephone connection will be set for one-way audio transmission--you will be able to receive audio from the MEPAG meeting, but you will not be able to speak to the meeting. The meeting room is simply too large, and we cannot manage it. When the time comes for Q&A, there is a "raise hand" feature on WebEx. Please use this feature, and the text chat to pose questions. The MEPAG Chair (with the assistance of the WebEx operator in the MEPAG meeting) will decide which questions to call on. Be aware that we expect to have over 200 attendees at MEPAG, and the moderators are likely to take most questions from those in the room. We will do the best we can at integrating the remote attendees, so please bear with us if we cannot accommodate everyone.

If you need a tutorial on how to use WebEx, try the self-paced trainer at

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 3, 2009 9:06 AM.

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