The highly successful flyby of Pluto has completed the reconnaissance exploration phase of our Solar System during the last half-century. The emplacement of sophisticated international orbital spacecraft around seven Solar System planetary bodies has provided a first-order characterization of their surfaces and atmospheres. On the basis of these findings, we are now poised to define more clearly the major scientific goals for the next half-century, and to accomplish these goals utilizing robotic surface exploration and sample return, and human exploration of the Moon, Mars and other destinations.
But what are these goals? Where are the most appropriate destinations for surface exploration and sample return missions? And how can different countries, agencies and commercial enterprises work together to optimize robotic exploration leading to human exploration?
The 58th Microsymposium will address several of these questions as we chart exploration strategies for the coming decades. What are the major outstanding scientific questions for the Moon, Mars, Venus, Phobos/Deimos and asteroids? What are the optimum landing sites for robotic exploration, leading to sample return for these bodies? Where can human exploration optimize the scientific return?
The workshop will be focused on 1) keynote presentations for identifying fundamental questions for each of these destinations, followed by 2) reports and discussion on current and future plans for landing and sample return sites on the Moon, Mars, Venus, Phobos/Deimos and asteroids. Invitations are extended to, and participation is expected from, representatives from Russia, China, ESA, India, Japan, the United States, Korea, and other space-faring nations and commercial enterprises.
The program will be a mix of invited and contributed papers and will convene on Saturday, March 18, 2017 (1 PM-6 PM) and Sunday, March 19, 2017 (8:30 AM-12 Noon). The Microsymposium will emphasize an open discussion format and will be anchored by invited overviews, commentaries and posters. If you are interested in participating in Micro 58, please register. We ask that requests for presentations and posters be submitted no later than December 15th, 2016 through the registration site.
Those wishing to attend the conference can register at any time, including up to the time of the conference, but advance notice helps us to plan refreshments and seating. Please forward this announcement to interested colleagues and students.
Co-conveners: James Head, Carle Pieters, Maria Zuber, Lev Zelenyi, Alexander Basilevsky, Harald Hiesinger, Long Xiao.