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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study is based on work supported by the Contract NASW-01001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-11497-4

International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-11497-7

Cover: The background image of the face-on spiral galaxy M101 in Ursa Major was obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope by K.D. Kuntz (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), J. Mould (National Optical Astronomical Observatory), and Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana) and is courtesy of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The image of Mars in the upper left was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope by J. Bell (Cornell University), M. Wolff (Space Science Institute), and the Hubble Heritage Team at the Space Telescope Science Institute and is courtesy of NASA and ESA. The right-hand inset image of Earth’s limb and Hurricane Frances was taken by Astronaut M. Fincke aboard the International Space Station on September 1, 2004, and is courtesy of NASA. The left-hand inset image of limestone chimneys in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge’s Lost City Hydrothermal Field is courtesy of the Institute for Exploration, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Washington, the Lost City Science Party, and NOAA.

Cover design by Penny E. Margolskee

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