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Compelling Planetary Science Missions: What Comes After the Top Five?

7 Jan 2011, 15:34 UTC
Compelling Planetary Science Missions: What Comes After the Top Five?
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This completes a series of posts inspired by a similar set of posts at Future Planetary Exploration blog selecting the 5 most compelling missions from the Planetary Science Decadal Survey list. This presents my point of view of the type of planetary science accomplishments possible through the next Decade's work beyond what I found to be the 5 most compelling missions from the Decadal Survey list.First, let's review the missions I selected, and their estimated FY15 costs with reserves:Lunar Polar Volatiles Explorer - long-range rover with drill - $1,132MEnceladus Orbiter - Saturn tour followed by Enceladus orbit - $1,613MMars Polar Climate Mission (2 selections from Decadal Survey options) - climate and weather orbiter and polar subsurface sampler lander - $613M + $860M = 1,473MMars Geophysical Network - 2 geophysical landers - $1,015MLunar Geophysical Network - 4 geophysical landers - $903MThis selection is consistent with this blog's theme of restoring the Vision for Space Exploration that was, with some exceptions like LRO and LCROSS, lost in 2005 with the onset of Constellation. It covers the "Moon, Mars, and beyond" idea almost a bit too literally, since (in my view) Planetary Science should "lean a bit" in this direction while still being ...

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