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Space Studies Board Search: Jump to Top NewsJump to Science in the Subscribe to our FREE e- Headlines newsletter! NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL June 18, 2004 Current Operating Status 1990 Update to Strategy for nExploration of the Inner Planets 1 Introduction The responsibility of writing a strategy for exploration includes a corresponding responsibility to assess the extent to which its recommendations are carried out. It also requires a periodic review of the strategy to determine its relevance as its objectives are fulfilled and as the scientific field advances. In view of this advisory responsibility, the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) has undertaken to review and revise the 1978 report Strategy for Exploration of the Inner Planets, 1977-1987 (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1978). The committee has found the 1978 report to be generally still pertinent, with some exceptions. COMPLEX therefore issues its new report in the form of an update. The previous report is not superseded, but modified as described below. The committee re-affirms the basic objectives for exploration of the planets: to determine the present state of the planets and their satellites, to understand the processes active now and at the origin of the solar system, and to understand planetary evolution, including the appearance of fife and its relation to the chemical history of the solar system. This update incorporates as appropriate the advice provided by other relevant reports of COMPLEX and the Space Studies Board (SSB) during the period since the publication of the 1978 report. The committee completed the update pursuant to the following charge: 1. Identify those portions of the 1978 strategy that remain valid and those that require reassessment. 2. Briefly summarize significant changes in the state of scientific knowledge regarding Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars since the publication of the 1978 strategy. http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/innerch1.html (1 of 2) [6/18/2004 10:06:24 AM]

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Space Studies Board 3. Revise the scientific objectives and measurement requirements for those bodies as necessary. 4. Review the principal issues addressed by the 1978 strategy for the inner planets, including program balance, supporting research, and international cooperation. Chapter 2 contains an overview of the committee's conclusions, including a listing of all recommendations. For each planet, a concise chapter outlines progress in the science since 1978, states the major scientific objectives, and provides a summary of recommendations; other relevant topics pertaining to each object are discussed as necessary (Chapters 3 to 6). In Chapters 7 to 9 the committee briefly addresses the broader policy issues mentioned in the charge. A complete listing of the 1978 recommendations appears as an appendix to this update. Last update 9/26/00 at 1:58 pm Site managed by Anne Simmons, Space Studies Board Site managed by the SSB Web Group. To comment on this Web page or report an error, please send feedback to the Space Studies Board. Subscribe to e-newsletters | Feedback | Back to Top Copyright © 2004. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 500 Fifth St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/innerch1.html (2 of 2) [6/18/2004 10:06:24 AM]