Ice giant system exploration in the 2020s:an introduction

Fletcher, L.N. and Simon, A.A. and Hofstadter, M.D. and Arridge, C.S. and Cohen, I.J. and Masters, A. and Mandt, K. and Coustenis, A. (2020) Ice giant system exploration in the 2020s:an introduction. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 378 (2187).

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Abstract

The international planetary science community met in London in January 2020, united in the goal of realizing the first dedicated robotic mission to the distant ice giants, Uranus and Neptune, as the only major class of solar system planet yet to be comprehensively explored. Ice-giant-sized worlds appear to be a common outcome of the planet formation process, and pose unique and extreme tests to our understanding of exotic water-rich planetary interiors, dynamic and frigid atmospheres, complex magnetospheric configurations, geologically-rich icy satellites (both natural and captured), and delicate planetary rings. This article introduces a special issue on ice giant system exploration at the start of the 2020s. We review the scientific potential and existing mission design concepts for an ambitious international partnership for exploring Uranus and/or Neptune in the coming decades. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Future exploration of ice giant systems'.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences
Subjects:
ID Code:
150550
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Jan 2021 10:22
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jun 2021 08:43