Earth Planets Space, Vol. 50 (No. 3), p. 171, 1998
Since the first flyby of Mariner 4 in 1965, Mars has beenvisited by a number of spacecraft including Pathfinder andGlobal Surveyor. Despite considerable efforts to understandthe Martian environment, several fundamental questions stillremain unanswered. Planet-B, the first Japanese mission toMars, is scheduled for launch in July 1998 and is expected toarrive at the planet in the fall of 1999. It is intended thatthis mission will unravel some of the mysteries of the Martianupper atmosphere, magnetic fields, and solar wind interaction.
The objective of this special issue of Earth, Planets andSpace (EPS) is to provide information on the Planet-Bexperiments as well as on recent theoretical studies of Marswith emphasis on the upper atmosphere and solar windinteraction. Thus, the issue contains 17 papers covering boththeoretical and experimental studies. Eleven papers describethe instruments onboard the Planet-B spacecraft together withthe scientific goals of the experiment and the remaining sixpapers cover theoretical studies using numerical models anddata from the Soviet Phobos-2 spacecraft. A few more papersdescribing other instruments onboard Planet-B will appear infuture issues of EPS.
In addition to Planet-B, several other Mars missions arecurrently being planned in the United States and in Russia,and it is our sincere hope that this special issue will serveas a reference for ongoing and future Mars exploration andscientific research.
All the papers submitted to this issue were reviewed byreferees, following the same reviewing processes as forregular issues of the journal. We would like to thank all theauthors of the published papers, the referees, ProfessorYoshimori Honkura who is the chief editor of EPS, and TerraScientific Publishing Company for supporting our efforts.
Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory Nagoya University
T. Yamamoto and K. Tsuruda
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
J. G. Luhmann
Space Science Laboratory University of California, Berkeley
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