The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Final Report

Status Report From: National Research Council
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Final report

Committee on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon, National Research Council

NRC note: THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION FOR THE MOON: FINAL REPORT, a new report from the National Research Council, examines the scientific challenges and opportunities for the robotic and human exploration of the moon planned for the next two decades and beyond. An interim report released last year outlined the key recommendations from the authoring committee. This final report provides additional details and prioritizes science goals for near-term missions.

THE REPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Reporters can obtain copies by contacting the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information at tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail

Earlier (interim) Version

The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Interim Report

Because of the Moon's unique place in the evolution of rocky worlds, it is a prime focus of NASA's space exploration vision. Currently NASA is defining and implementing a series of robotic orbital and landed missions to the Moon as the initial phase of this vision. To realize the benefits of this activity, NASA needs a comprehensive, well-validated, and prioritized set of scientific research objectives. To help establish those objective, NASA asked the NRC to provide guidance on the scientific challenges and opportunities enabled by sustained robotic and human exploration of the Moon during the period 2008-2013+. This interim report, which focuses on science of the Moon, presents a number of scientific themes describing broad scientific goals important for lunar research, discussions of how best to reach these goals, a set of three priority areas that follow from the themes, and recommendations for these priorities and related areas. A final report will follow in the summer of 2007.

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