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3 Summary of Mission-Specific Recommendations
Pages 58-62

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From page 58...
... The committee believes that the following science goals, which are not listed in priority order, should be established for this mission: • Elucidate the nature of the Moon's lower crust and/or mantle by direct measurement of its composition and of sample ages; • Determine the chronology of basin-forming impacts and constrain the period of late, heavy bombardment in the inner solar system, and thus address fundamental questions of inner-solar-system impact processes and chronology; • Characterize a large lunar impact basin through "ground truth" validation of global, regional, and local remotely sensed data on the sampled site; • Elucidate the sources of thorium and other heat-producing elements in order to understand lunar differentiation and thermal evolution; and • Determine ages and compositions of farside basalts to determine how mantle source regions on the Moon's farside differ from regions with basalts sampled by Apollo and Luna.
From page 59...
... The science goals for a VISE mission, which are not in priority order, should be as follows: • Understand the physics and chemistry of Venus's atmosphere through measurement of its composition, especially the abundances of sulfur, trace gases, light stable isotopes, and noble-gas isotopes; • Constrain the coupling of thermochemical, photochemical, and dynamical processes in Venus's atmosphere and between the surface and atmosphere to understand radiative balance, climate, dynamics, and chemical cycles; • Understand the physics and chemistry of Venus's crust, for example through analysis of near-infrared descent images from below the clouds to the surface and through measurements of elemental abundances and mineralogy from a surface sample; • Understand the properties of Venus's atmosphere down to the surface through meteorological measurements and improve understanding of Venus's zonal cloud-level winds through temporal measurements over several Earth days; • Understand the weathering environment of the crust of Venus in the context of the dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus and the composition and texture of its surface materials; and • Map the mineralogy and chemical composition of Venus's surface on the planetary scale for evidence of past hydrological cycles, oceans, and life and constraints on the evolution of Venus's atmosphere. Comet Surface Sample Return The Comet Surface Sample Return mission candidate should seek to answer the following science questions as they were originally stated in the decadal survey (not in priority order)
From page 60...
... Trojan/Centaur Reconnaissance The Trojan/Centaur Reconnaissance mission originally described in the decadal survey should be modified so that NASA informs potential proposers of the kind of science questions that should be answered and does not prescribe how the mission should be accomplished. The mission requirements should also permit orbital encounters and state that a main-belt asteroid flyby is not considered critical to this mission.
From page 61...
... However, the committee acknowledges that it may not be possible to accomplish both global mapping and in situ regolith characterization within the New Frontiers cost cap. Io Observer An Io Observer mission that addresses fundamental goals for solar system exploration may be possible and consequently should be included in the suite of possible missions included in the next New Frontiers announcement of opportunity.
From page 62...
... . The committee stresses, however, its third recommendation's emphasis that any such mission option should "offer the potential to dramatically advance fundamental scientific goals of the decadal survey, and should accomplish scientific investigations well beyond the scope of the smaller Discovery Program." CLOSING COMMENTS As the committee affirms at the beginning of this report, the New Frontiers Program is valuable and is a vital part of NASA's solar system exploration program.

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