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Article

“Planetary Exploration in the Early 21st Century” by Michael Neufeld
Published in Quest Volume: 31 #1 (2024)

Abstract

Robotic planetary exploration may be the easiest to project into the near future because mission development times are long and planetary encounter opportunities are sparse, leading to agency long-range planning. Since the year 2000, the enterprise has been reshaped by competitive selection of missions, a focus on Mars, and the rise of Europe and Asia as major players, replacing Russia. Planetary exploration is sustained by geopolitical signaling of national/regional technological capability and the domestic political power of spaceflight technoscientific infra-structures. Given existing plans, we can expect a Mars sample return, small planetary bodies, Venus, the Jovian moons, and Uranus to be the primary focus into the 2040s, but discovering any indications of extra-terrestrial life, past or present, could dramatically change plans..


Citation

Neufeld, Michael J. “Planetary Exploration in the Early 21st Century.” Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly 31, no. 1 (2024): 4-10.

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More Information

  • Archive ID # G301328
  • Format: Document (PDF)
  • Author/Creator:
  • Publication Year: 2024
  • Publisher: Quest
  • Copyright Status: Copyrighted
  • Copyright Holder: SPACE 3.0
  • Language: English
  • Number of Pages: 7
  • Type: History
  • Subject:
  • Collection: Quest
  • Availability: Digital Download

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