Exploration Strategy for the Outer Planets 2023-2032: Goals and Priorities. (arXiv:2003.11182v1 [astro-ph.EP])

Exploration Strategy for the Outer Planets 2023-2032: Goals and Priorities. (arXiv:2003.11182v1 [astro-ph.EP])
<a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Moore_J/0/1/0/all/0/1">Jeff Moore</a> (1), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Spilker_L/0/1/0/all/0/1">Linda Spilker</a> (2), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Cable_M/0/1/0/all/0/1">Morgan Cable</a> (2), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Edgington_S/0/1/0/all/0/1">Scott Edgington</a> (2), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Hendrix_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Amanda Hendrix</a> (3), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Hofstadter_M/0/1/0/all/0/1">Mark Hofstadter</a> (2), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Hurford_T/0/1/0/all/0/1">Terry Hurford</a> (4), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Mandt_K/0/1/0/all/0/1">Kathleen Mandt</a> (5), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+McEwen_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Alfred McEwen</a> (6), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Paty_C/0/1/0/all/0/1">Carol Paty</a> (7), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Quick_L/0/1/0/all/0/1">Lynnae Quick</a> (4), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Rymer_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Abigail Rymer</a> (5), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Sayanagi_K/0/1/0/all/0/1">Kunio Sayanagi</a> (8), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Schmidt_B/0/1/0/all/0/1">Britney Schmidt</a> (9), <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Spilker_T/0/1/0/all/0/1">Thomas Spilker</a> (10) ((1) NASA Ames Research Center, (2) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, (3) Planetary Science Institute, (4) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, (5) Johns Hopkins APL, (6) University of Arizona, (7) University of Oregon, (8) Hampton University, (9) Georgia Institute of Technology, (10) Independent Consultant)

Exploration of the outer solar system is central to NASA’s objectives. It
addresses NASA’s top-level strategic goal as expressed in its 2018 Strategic
Plan: to understand the Sun, Earth, solar system, and universe, including
searching for habitable conditions and life elsewhere, understanding the origin
and evolution of the solar system, and answering fundamental scientific
questions about the processes that continue to shape our solar system. The 2018
NASA authorization act from Congress includes “the search for life’s origins,
evolution, distribution, and future in the universe.” The outer solar system
provides critical evidence for how our solar system formed and evolved, and is
home to extensive liquid water oceans, potentially hosting life.

This White Paper summarizes the Outer Planets Assessment Group’s (OPAG’s)
priorities as they relate to the Decadal Survey. Our top-priority large,
directed missions are, in order, completing development and launching the
Europa Clipper mission, a new start for a directed Ice Giant System mission
with atmospheric probe(s), and a directed Ocean Worlds mission. Continuation of
Discovery and New Frontiers programs is essential to OPAG. In addition, we note
the necessity of maintaining a healthy Research and Analysis (R&A) program,
which includes a strong laboratory measurements component, and a robust
Earth-based observing program. International partnerships are key components of
these activities. OPAG’s top two technology priorities are rapid development of
a next-generation radioisotope power source for an Ice Giant System mission and
development of key life detection technologies in support of an Ocean Worlds
mission.

Exploration of the outer solar system is central to NASA’s objectives. It
addresses NASA’s top-level strategic goal as expressed in its 2018 Strategic
Plan: to understand the Sun, Earth, solar system, and universe, including
searching for habitable conditions and life elsewhere, understanding the origin
and evolution of the solar system, and answering fundamental scientific
questions about the processes that continue to shape our solar system. The 2018
NASA authorization act from Congress includes “the search for life’s origins,
evolution, distribution, and future in the universe.” The outer solar system
provides critical evidence for how our solar system formed and evolved, and is
home to extensive liquid water oceans, potentially hosting life.

This White Paper summarizes the Outer Planets Assessment Group’s (OPAG’s)
priorities as they relate to the Decadal Survey. Our top-priority large,
directed missions are, in order, completing development and launching the
Europa Clipper mission, a new start for a directed Ice Giant System mission
with atmospheric probe(s), and a directed Ocean Worlds mission. Continuation of
Discovery and New Frontiers programs is essential to OPAG. In addition, we note
the necessity of maintaining a healthy Research and Analysis (R&A) program,
which includes a strong laboratory measurements component, and a robust
Earth-based observing program. International partnerships are key components of
these activities. OPAG’s top two technology priorities are rapid development of
a next-generation radioisotope power source for an Ice Giant System mission and
development of key life detection technologies in support of an Ocean Worlds
mission.

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