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Executive Summary
Pages 1-6

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From page 1...
... Now, thanks to the legacy of the Apollo program and subsequent missions, such as Clementine and Lunar Prospector, and looking forward to the newly established Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) ,1 scientists are able to pose sophisticated questions that are more relevant and focused than those that could be asked over three decades ago.
From page 2...
... In the opinion of the committee, a vigorous near-term robotic exploration program providing global access is central to the next phase of scientific exploration of the Moon and is necessary both to prepare for the efficient utilization of human presence and to maintain scientific momentum as this major national program moves forward. PRIORITIES, FINDINGS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS According to the committee's statement of task (see Appendix A)
From page 3...
... Prioritization of Science Goals Within the 8 science concepts above, the committee identified 35 specific science goals that can be addressed, at least in part, during the early phases of the VSE. For these science goals, the committee evaluated science merit as well as the degree to which they can be achieved within current or near-term technical readiness and practical accessibility.
From page 4...
... The answer to several high-priority science questions identified can be found within the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the oldest and deepest observed impact structure on the Moon and the largest in the solar system. Within it lie samples of the lower crust and possibly the lunar mantle, along with answers to questions on crater and basin formation, lateral and vertical compositional diversity, lunar chronology, and the timing of major impacts in the early solar system.
From page 5...
... Such a study should refer to prior NRC decadal surveys and their established priorities. RELATED ISSUES The committee identified several related issues pertaining to optimal implementation of science in the VSE.
From page 6...
... Critical to achieving high science return in Apollo was the selection of the lunar landing sites and the involvement of the science community in that process. Similarly, the scientific community's involvement in detailed mission planning and implementation resulted in efficient and productive surface traverses and instrument deployments.

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