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NASA's Genesis mission, launched on August 8, 2001 is the fifth mission in the Discovery series. Genesis addresses questions about the materials and processes involved in the origin of the solar system by providing precise knowledge of solar isotopic and elemental compositions for comparison with the compositions of meteoritic and planetary materials. This book describes the Genesis mission, the solar wind collector materials, the solar wind... more...

Deep Impact, or at least part of the flight system, is designed to crash into comet 9P/Tempel 1. This bold mission design enables cometary researchers to peer into the cometary nucleus, analyzing the excavated material with its imagers and spectrometers. The book describes the mission, its objectives, expected results, payload, and data products in articles written by those most closely involved. This mission has the potential of... more...

The STEREO mission uses twin heliospheric orbiters to track solar disturbances from their initiation to 1 AU. This book documents the mission, its objectives, the spacecraft that execute it and the instruments that provide the measurements, both remote sensing and in situ. This mission promises to unlock many of the mysteries of how the Sun produces what has become to be known as space weather.

The New Horizons mission is the first spacecraft to reconnoitre the Pluto-Charon System and the Kuiper belt. This pioneering mission explores the outer edge of the solar system, arguably the last frontier of planetary exploration. This book describes the mission, its objectives, expected results, payload and data products in articles written by the scientists and engineers most closely involved. This mission has the potential of revolutionizing our... more...

Mars sits very exposed to the solar wind and, because it is a small planet, has but a weak hold on its atmosphere. The solar wind therefore plays an important role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere. Over the last four decades a series of European missions, first from the Soviet Union and more recently from the European Space Agency, together with a single investigation from the U.S., the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, have added... more...

NASA s MESSENGER mission, launched on 3 August, 2004 is the seventh mission in the Discovery series. MESSENGER encounters the planet Mercury four times, culminating with an insertion into orbit on 18 March 2011. It carries a comprehensive package of geophysical, geological, geochemical, and space environment experiments to complete the complex investigations of this solar-system end member, which begun with Mariner 10. The articles in this book,... more...