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Consensus Study Report


The next decade of planetary science and astrobiology holds tremendous promise. New research will expand our understanding of our solar system's origins, how planets form and evolve, under what conditions life can survive, and where to find potentially habitable environments in our solar system and beyond. Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032 highlights key science questions, identifies priority missions, and presents a comprehensive research strategy that includes both planetary defense and human exploration. This report also recommends ways to support the profession as well as the technologies and infrastructure needed to carry out the science.



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Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

736 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-47578-5
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-66412-7
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xxii
Summary 1-10
1 Introduction to Planetary Science, Astrobiology, and Planetary Defense 11-28
2 Tour of the Solar System: A Transformative Decade of Exploration 29-94
3 Priority Science Questions 95-100
4 Question 1: Evolution of the Protoplanetary Disk 101-126
5 Question 2: Accretion in the Outer Solar System 127-156
6 Question 3: Origin of Earth and Inner Solar System Bodies 157-182
7 Question 4: Impacts and Dynamics 183-208
8 Question 5: Solid Body Interiors and Surfaces 209-234
9 Question 6: Solid Body Atmospheres, Exospheres, Magnetospheres, and Climate Evolution 235-264
10 Question 7: Giant Planet Structure and Evolution 265-284
11 Question 8: Circumplanetary Systems 285-308
12 Question 9: Insights from Terrestrial Life 309-338
13 Question 10: Dynamic Habitability 339-366
14 Question 11: Search for Life Elsewhere 367-390
15 Question 12: Exoplanets 391-415
16 State of the Profession 416-443
17 Research and Analysis 444-470
18 Planetary Defense: Defending Earth Through Applied Planetary Science 471-499
19 Human Exploration 500-517
20 Infrastructure for Planetary Science and Exploration 518-533
21 Technology 534-559
22 Recommended Program: 20232032 560-601
23 The Future 602-604
Appendixes 605-606
Appendix A: Letter of Request, Statement of Task, and Other Guidance 607-613
Appendix B: White Papers Received 614-632
Appendix C: Technical Risk and Cost Evaluation of Priority Missions 633-661
Appendix D: Missions Studied But Not Sent for TRACE 662-671
Appendix E: Panel Missions Not Selected for Additional Study 672-677
Appendix F: Glossary and Acronyms 678-689
Appendix G: Biographical Information for Committee Members 690-714

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Public Briefing Video

Hear from the decadal survey co-chairs about the key recommendations and priorities from the report.

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