• Can understanding the roles of physics, chemistry, geology, and dynamics in driving planetary atmospheres and climates lead to a better understanding of climate change on Earth?

• How have the myriad chemical and physical processes that shaped the solar system operated, interacted, and evolved over time?

Table 3.1 summarizes the questions and destinations for the next decade that are discussed more fully in the rest of this chapter; they are examined in much greater detail in Chapters 4 through 8. Table 9.4 in Chapter 9 links these questions and destinations to the committee’s recommended missions.

TABLE 3.1 The Key Questions and Planetary Destinations to Address Them

Crosscutting Themes Priority Questions Key Bodies to Study
Building new worlds 1. What were the initial stages, conditions and processes of solar system formation and the nature o he interstellar matter that was incorporated? Comets, Asteroids, Trojans, Kuiper belt objects (see Chapter 4)
     
  2. How did the giant planets and their satellite system ccrete, and is there evidence that they migrated t ew orbital positions? Enceladus, Europa, Io, Ganymede, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Kuiper belt objects, Titan, rings (see Chapters 4, 7, and 8)
     
  3. What governed the accretion, supply of water, chemistry, and internal differentiation of the inne lanets and the evolution of their atmospheres, an hat roles did bombardment by large projectiles play? Mars, the Moon, Trojans, Venus, asteroids, comets (see Chapters 4, 5, and 6)
     
Planetary habitats 4. What were the primordial sources of organic matter, and where does organic synthesis continue today? Comets, asteroids, Trojans, Kuiper belt objects, uraniaun satellites, Enceladus, Europa, Mars, Titan (see Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 8)
     
  5. Did Mars or Venus host ancient aqueou nvironments conducive to early life, and is ther vidence that life emerged? Mars and Venus (see Chapters 5 and 6)
     
  6. Beyond Earth, are there modern habitats elsewher n the solar system with necessary conditions, organi atter, water, energy, and nutrients to sustain life, an o organisms live there now? Enceladus, Europa, Mars, Titan (see Chapters 6 and 8)
     
Workings of sola ystems 7. How do the giant planets serve as laboratories t nderstand Earth, the solar system, and extrasola lanetary systems? Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus (see Chapter 7)
     
  8. What solar system bodies endanger Earth’s biosphere, and what mechanisms shield it? Near-Earth objects, the Moon, comets, Jupiter (see Chapters 4, 5, and 7)
     
  9. Can understanding the roles of physics, chemistry, geology, and dynamics in drivin lanetary atmospheres and climates lead to a bette nderstanding of climate change on Earth? Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Titan, Uranus, Venus (see Chapters 5, 6, and 8)
     
  10. How have the myriad chemical and physica rocesses that shaped the solar system operated, interacted, and evolved over time? All solar system destinations. (see Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8)


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