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Earth science decadal survey calls for mix of large and small missions
Posted: Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 9:32 AM ET (1432 GMT)
Earth overhead illustration (NAS) A National Academies report setting scientific priorities for Earth science observations from space calls for NASA to undertake both large and small missions in the next decade. The report, released Friday, recommended NASA augment its "program of record" of existing and planned space science missions with five "Designated" missions, performing observations ranging from atmospheric aerosol measurements to hyperspectral studies of surface biology and geology, with costs caps ranging from $300 to 800 million each. It also recommended NASA create an "Earth System Explorer" line of competed missions, with three launching in the next decade at $350 million each. Other recommendations include support for innovative Earth science technologies and an extension of the existing Venture program to cover continuity of observations. The report said the recommended missions can fit into NASA's projected Earth science budget if it grows at the rate of inflation, but includes decision rules should those budgets fall short.
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