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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the task group responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contracts NASW-96013 and NASW-01001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project.

Cover: An artist’s impression of the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe sitting in an apparent floodplain of icy pebbles soon after its successful landing on the surface of Saturn’s giant moon, Titan, on January 14, 2005. Data from Huygens and its companion, the Cassini orbiter, have provided new insights into the degree of chemical complexity that can arise from 4.5 billion years of planetary evolution in an environment rich in organic compounds. Image courtesy of the European Space Agency.

International Standard Book Number-13 978-0-309-10235-3

International Standard Book Number-10 0-309-10235-9

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