Report of the NASA Science Definition Team for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

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Astronuc
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Executive Summary

The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) affords an exciting and unprecedented opportunity to explore a part of the solar system identified by the National Academy of Sciences as critical in the search for life's origins and the understanding of planetary evolution. The Science Definition Team (SDT, Appendix 1) for JIMO consisted of 38 scientists representing the community interested in the exploration of the Jupiter system, with a focus on Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The SDT was appointed by NASA in February 2003 to derive the scientific objectives for the JIMO mission. Early in the process, the SDT determined that the approach to the study should include the following guidelines:

  • The JIMO mission represents a substantial investment in time, intellect, and other resources; therefore there must be a commensurate high scientific return from the project,
  • Formulation of the scientific objectives should include solicitation of ideas from the entire planetary community,
  • There should be close interactions with JIMO Project engineers to ensure their understanding of the scientific requirements for the mission and that the SDT understand the engineering feasibility of those requirements.
The scientific foundations for the JIMO mission include recommendations from previous studies by the National Research Council (NRC, 1999, 2003) and NASA (2003), which identify Europa and the Jupiter system as high priority objects for solar system exploration and the search for life's origin. In addition to these documents, input to the SDT was obtained from a community-wide meeting entitled "Forum on Concepts and Approaches for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter," LPI (2003). After a series of presentations, the ~150 participants at the Forum were organized into seven groups by scientific discipline to identify the high priority issues that could be addressed by the JIMO mission. The results from the seven groups served as the basis for subsequent SDT deliberations.
more at - http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=12642

Report in pdf - http://ossim.hq.nasa.gov/jimo/JIMO_SDT_REPORT.pdf
 
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