October 14, 2012, Sunday 2:00 - 4:00 Pm
The most recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report, Visions and Voyages for Planetary Science 2013-2022, highlights the potential advantages of using suborbital platforms for planetary science experiments. Suborbital vehicles not only provide platforms for science observations and experiments, the modest costs and development times for suborbital missions mean they also provide excellent training opportunities for future spacecraft mission PIs and developers of spacecraft instruments. Suborbital platforms also offer advantages for increasing technology readiness level for flight experiments at a fraction of the costs of traditional orbital platforms.
Visions and Voyages discusses only balloons and rockets, but reusable commercial suborbital vehicles also provide a new opportunity to do science outside the traditional and costly, low-risk approach. This workshop will examine how commercial suborbital vehicles can be exploited to use new approaches to instrumentation, spacecraft and mission design to answer planetary science questions.
Composed of talks and panel discussions, this workshop will: Present science results and lessons learned from planetary scientists engaged in research using reusable commercial suborbital vehicles; Explore opportunities for flying and funding experiments.