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Compelling Planetary Science Missions: Showdown Between Lunar Geophysical Network and Venus Climate Orbiter

3 Jan 2011, 03:30 UTC
Compelling Planetary Science Missions: Showdown Between Lunar Geophysical Network and Venus Climate Orbiter
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This continues 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 personal selection for the 5th and last most compelling mission from the list.I'd like to select a mission that fits well with one of the Mars missions I selected as my 3rd and 4th most compelling mission: a 2-part Mars Climate mission and a Mars Geophysical Network. The obvious choices to me were the Venus Climate Mission and the Lunar Geophysical Network. First, let me described these 2 contenders for the 5th spot as presented by the Decadal Survey mission concept studies.The Lunar Geophysical Network includes 4 similar landers that would arrive at different locations on the Moon. These landers would have goals that are not very different from those of the Mars Geophysical Network. They would be expected to determine information about the lunar crust, mantle layers, and core (e.g.: size, state, composition, temperature), assess lunar heat flow, and measure moonquakes. Each lander would include a seismometer, magnetometers, electric field sensors, a Langmuir probe, retroreflectors, and a heat flow sensor. As with the Mars Geophysical ...

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