Following a broad interaction with the global scientific community the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) has just published the full Science White Paper “Scientific Opportunities Enabled by Human Exploration Beyond Low-Earth-Orbit”.
The document takes account of the important role that science plays in the international approach for human and robotic space exploration to achieve broad social, intellectual and economic benefits. In particular, opportunities for scientific investigations at different destinations are depicted. The Science White Paper focuses on the science enabled by near-term mission concepts for human exploration: a gateway in the lunar vicinity, the lunar surface, and asteroids. Additionally, an initial overview of Mars as the horizon goal and its scientific opportunities is included.
The scientific opportunities presented in the Science White Paper reflect the collective views of a science community from a variety of nations and science disciplines. An international Science Advisory Group was chartered by ISECG to lead this effort. The Science Advisory Group as well as the ISECG participating agencies engaged the global scientific community through open exchanges at various events and conferences. This engagement included coordination with the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel for Exploration, NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), the European Science Foundation and others.
The Science White Paper captures opportunities for scientific discovery associated with exploration missions in two themes: “Understanding Our Place in the Universe” and “Living and Working in Space”. These themes provide the basis for the description of opportunities across all space exploration activities as described in the ISECG Global Exploration Roadmap.
The full Science White Paper and a shorter Summary can be downloaded from the ISECG website:
The work informed the next edition of the Global Exploration Roadmap.