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Suborbital Science in the Planetary Science Division. Philippe Crane Planetary Atmospheres Discipline Scientist LCANS Meeting 28 April 2007. Overview.

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suborbital science in the planetary science division

Suborbital Science in thePlanetary Science Division

Philippe Crane

Planetary Atmospheres Discipline Scientist

LCANS Meeting

28 April 2007


Currently Planetary Science Division does not have a program to support directly research programs that require either balloons or rockets. A previous program was cancelled several years ago. There are currently no active suborbital programs in Planetary science! (That I am aware of!)

Topics for today:

  • Overview of Planetary Science Goals
  • Current Research Opportunities in Planetary Science
  • Research Carriers Programs--Access for Planetary Science
  • Potential Avenues to new science opportunities

LCANS Meeting Boulder

strategic planning goals

Strategic Planning & Goals

  • Several levels of Planning Documents
  • Official
    • NRC Decadal Reviews
    • NASA Science Strategy (Delivered to Congress in Jan 2007
    • Division Roadmaps
  • Un-official
    • Planning documents from OPAG, VEXAG, MEPAG etc
    • White papers from MOWGs etc
current goals

Current Goals

How did the Sun’s family of planets and minor bodies originate?

How did the Solar System evolve to its current diverse state?

What are the characteristics of the Solar System that led to the origin of life?

How did life begin and evolve on Earth and has it evolved elsewhere in the Solar System?

What are the hazards and resources in the Solar system environment that will affect the extension of human presence in space?


PSD R&A Program for ROSES 2007

  • Astrobiology: Exobiology And Evolutionary Biology (pending)
  • Astrobiology Science & Technology Instrument Development & Mission Concept (pending)
  • Astrobiology Science And Technology For Exploring Planets
  • Cassini Data Analysis
  • Cosmo-chemistry
  • Discovery Data Analysis
  • Early Career Fellowships
  • In-Space Propulsion (pending)
  • Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research
  • [Near Earth Object Observations --- Funded by ESMD -- to be release in ROSES 2007]
  • New Horizons at Jupiter Data Analysis
  • Origins of the Solar System
  • Outer Planets Research
  • Participating Scientist Program for LRO [to be released in an upcoming amendment]
  • Planetary Astronomy
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Planetary Geology And Geophysics
  • Planetary Instrument Definition And Development
  • Planetary Major Equipment
  • Planetary Protection Research
  • Mars Data Analysis
  • Mars Fundamental Research
  • Mars Instrument Development
  • Mars Technology Project (pending)
  • Sample Return Laboratory Instruments & Data Analysis

LCANS Meeting Boulder

planetary access to near space
Planetary Access to Near Space
  • Suborbital Rockets
    • Managed by Heliophysics Division
    • Funded Research Programs in other divisions can get manifested
    • Cost of Rocket and Launch Support is supplied
  • Balloons (Vernon Jones knows all!)
    • Managed by the Astrophysics Division
    • Funded Research Programs in other divisions can get manifested
    • Cost of Balloon, Helium, and Launch Support is supplied.
  • Currently Planetary Science Division
    • Relevant Research elements may accept balloon and rocket proposals
      • Check with Discipline Chief
    • Planetary atmospheres expects to receive at least one proposal for a UV rocket flight.

LCANS Meeting Boulder

potential goals of near space opportunities
Potential Goals of Near Space Opportunities
  • Purely Scientific Goals
    • Access to a spectral window
      • IR
      • UV
    • Enhanced opportunities
      • Occultations of Pluto(!)
    • Selection based on scientific merit, feasibility, and cost!
  • Enhanced technical capabilities (J Rall’s talk)
    • Instruments
    • Techniques

LCANS Meeting Boulder

a charge to the organizers
A Charge to the Organizers

In order to help NASA Planetary Science Division to offer enhanced opportunities for sub-orbital research,

  • Read the relevant portions of the ROSES-07 NRA Announcement,
  • Consider how the structure or language could best be adapted to encourage and allow proposals that utilize sub-orbital facilities
    • Is a separate research element the best way, or
    • Could the individual elements be adapted
    • What are the pros and cons of each approach??

LCANS Meeting Boulder

patm workshop
PATM Workshop
  • Date: 6-7 November 2007
  • Place: TBD( within 1 sigma of BWI and APL)
  • In conjunction with OPAG and VEXAG
    • VEXAG: 4-5 November
    • OPAG: 8-9 November
    • All in the same place

LCANS Meeting Boulder

planetary atmospheres in the next decade a look forward
Planetary Atmospheres in the Next Decade: A Look Forward


This professional workshop will highlight the planetary atmospheres research enabled primarily by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres program. The overarching goal of the workshop is to facilitate communication between researchers and to provide the opportunity for cross-disciplinary interaction.


Enhance communication between planetary atmospheres researchers. Stimulate theoretical, laboratory, and observational activities in planetary atmospheric research in the next decade. Identify particular fields of critical interest if any.

LCANS Meeting Boulder

soc and loc

Science Organizing Committee

  • Don Banfield
  • Philippe Crane (ex officio LOC liason)
  • Heidi Hammel
  • Jay Bergstralh
  • David Huestis
  • Julianne Moses
  • Adam Showman
  • Amy Simon-Miller
  • Carey Lisse

Local Organizing Committee

  • Philippe Crane
  • Amy Simon-Miller
  • More TBD

LCANS Meeting Boulder

  • Atmospheres Around Solid Surfaces
  • Giant Planets
  • Talk content in all cases should include:
    • Focus on current outstanding questions
    • Look toward future capabilities
      • critical lab needs of the future
      • critical modeling needs of the future
      • critical data needs in the future

LCANS Meeting Boulder