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COMMISSION 4: EPHEMERIDES

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JPL planetary ephemeris development has been very active assimilating measurements from current planetary missions and supporting future missions. The NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission with launch in 2009 requires knowledge of the Earth and Mars ephemerides with 30m accuracy. By comparison, the accuracy of the Mars ephemeris in the widely used DE405 ephemeris was about 3 km. Meeting the MSL needs requires an ongoing program of range and very-long baseline interferometry measurements of Mars orbiting spacecraft. The JPL ephemeris DE421 was released three months before the landing of the Phoenix mission on Mars, and has met the 300m requirement. Continued measurements are planned to support the MSL landing.

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