The Science of Planetary Exploration
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The Science of Planetary Exploration summarizes the knowledge of the solar system as of the late 1970s, and sets forth a strategy to guide solar-system exploration over the next decade. The summaries and recommendations are divided into three parts: the inner planets, the outer planets, and comets and asteroids. Exploration technology is also mentioned, including technologies that were currently under development.

The report marks an important shift in how the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) made recommendations. Formerly, the committee advised specific missions; but this report advises scientific goals instead as a more comprehensive and flexible strategy.


  • Space and Aeronautics — Space Exploration and Development

Publication Info

22 pages | 8 1/2 x 11

Table of Contents

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The Science of Planetary Exploration 1-21
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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. The Science of Planetary Exploration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1979.

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