Over the last four decades, robotic spacecraft have visited nearly every planet, from torrid Mercury to frigid Neptune. The data returned by these Pioneers, Mariners, Vikings, and Voyagers have revolutionized our understanding of the solar system. These achievements rank among the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century. Now, at the opening of the 21st, it is appropriate to ask, where do we go from here?
In 2001, NASA asked the National Academies to study the current state of solar system exploration in the United States and devise a set of scientific priorities for missions in the upcoming decade (2003-2013). After soliciting input from hundreds of scientists around the nation and abroad, the Solar System Exploration Survey produced the discipline's first long-range, community-generated strategy and set of mission priorities: New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy. The key mission recommendations made in the report, and the scientific goals from which the recommendations flow, are summarized in this booklet.
Table of Contents
|Solar System Exploration Today||1-5|
|Europa and Large Satellites||6-7|
|Kuiper Belt Objects||12-13|
|Cratering and Planetary Evolution||14-15|
|Formation of the Giant Planets||16-17|
|Comparative Planetology and Climate Change||18-19|
|Primitive Bodies and the Origin of Life||20-21|
|Image Credits and Sources||29-30|
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