|Chapter 4 The Primitive Bodies||Chapter 5 The Inner Planets||Chapter 6 Mars||Chapter 7 The Giant Planets||Chapter 8 Satellites|
|Ground-based telescopes||Ensure access to large telescopes for planetary science observations.
Maintain the capabilities of Goldstone and Arecibo radar systems.
|Support building and maintaining Earth-based telescopes.||—||Ensure access to large telescopes.||—|
|Laboratory research/research support||Continue funding of programs to analyze samples of primitive bodies in hand and develop next-generation instruments for returned samples.||A strong research and analysis program is critical.
Investigate modeling a cross-disciplinary program on the existing Mars Climate Modeling Center.
|Vigorous research and analysis programs are needed to enhance the development and payoff of missions and to refine the sample collection requirements and laboratory analysis techniques needed for Mars Sample Return.||Maintain robust programs of data analysis, laboratory work, and computational development.||—|
|Data archiving||Support the ongoing effort to evolve the Planetary Data System.||Continue to evolve the Planetary Data System and Deep Space Network.||—||Support the ongoing effort to evolve the Planetary Data System.||—|
|Education and public outreach||—||Strengthen efforts to archive the results of past education and public outreach efforts.||—||—||—|
Research and Analysis Programs
The research related to planetary missions begins well before a mission is formulated and funded, and continues long after it is over. Research provides the foundation for interpreting data collected by spacecraft, as well as the guidance and context for identifying new scientifically compelling missions.
Research and analysis programs allow the maximum possible science return to be harvested from missions. Along with analysis of spacecraft data, the portfolios of research and analysis programs include laboratory experiments, theoretical studies, fieldwork using Earth analogs, planetary geologic mapping, and analysis of data from Earth-based telescopes. Important examples of supporting laboratory work include characterization of extraterrestrial materials and collection of spectroscopic data sets (for more representative coverage of solar system objects), experimental investigation of the states and behaviors of materials and planetary and space environments, and analog experiments (e.g., fluid dynamics experiments). Scientific and technical advances derived from these programs are used to identify important goals for future exploration, determine the most suitable targets for space missions, and develop and refine the instrumental and analytical techniques needed to support new missions. Through the direct involvement of students and young investigators, the programs help train future generations of space scientists and engineers. The recommended missions in Chapter 9 were derived from the key science questions in Chapter 3, and those questions were informed primarily by the results of the research and analysis programs.
The science return from a mission increases when investigators outside the mission teams synthesize data from multiple missions, test new theoretical insights, and link observations from different sources in interdisciplinary