Round of New Discovery Proposals Selected
Office of Space Science has announced the selection of three
proposals for detailed study as candidates for the next Discovery
mission. The three are:
a space telescope designed to detect Earth-sized planets around
stars in the Sun's area of the galaxy. By monitoring 100,000
stars over a four-year mission, Kepler could detect up to
500 Earth-sized planets and up to 1000 Jupiter-sized planets.
Dr. William Boruckiof NASA's Ames Research Center is the Principal
Jupiter, an orbiter designed to observe and measure processes
occurring within the Jovian magnetosphere and atmosphere.
The mission would determine the internal structure of the
planet by obtaining high resolution maps of the magnetic and
gravity fields. The PI is Dr. Edward J. Smith of the Jet Propulsion
a mission to orbit Vesta and Ceres, two of the largest asteroids
in the solar system, each with very different properties.
By observing both asteroids with the same set of instruments,
Dawn would probe the early solar system as well as identify
in detail the properties of each asteroid. Dr. Christopher
T. Russell of the University of California at Los Angeles
is the PI.
diversity of science represented in these three mission proposals
is outstanding. NASA will have its hands full picking only
one for flight," said Dr. Jay Bergstralh, acting Director
of Solar System Exploration at NASA Headquarters, Washington,
selected proposals were judged to have the best science value
among 26 proposals submitted last August. Each selected team
will receive $450,000 to conduct a four-month implementation-feasibility
study focused on cost, management and technical plans, including
educational outreach and small business involvement.
detailed mission concept studies, NASA intends to select one
of the three proposals late in 2001 for full development.
The mission should be launched around 2005 or 2006.
has also decided to fund a Discovery "Mission of Opportunity"
for American participation in a French-led mission to Mars.
Dr. W. Bruce Banerdt of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will
lead the effort to contribute to seismology, meteorology and
geodesy on the NetLander Mission, scheduled for launch in
complete information, please see the NASA press
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