Back to Volume
Paper: Determinative Mineralogy: An Essential Component of Planetary Exploration
Volume: 272, The Future of Solar System Exploration, 2003-2013: Community Contributions to the NRC Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey
Page: 89
Authors: Bish, D.L.; Vaniman, D.T.; Blake, D.F.; Green, J.R.; Johnston, C.T.; Kelly-Serrato, B.A.; Ming, D.W.; Papike, J.J.; Yen, A.S.; Zolensky, M.E.
Abstract: Mineralogy is a fundamental characteristic of extraterrestrial bodies because different mineral assemblages can be used to characterize present and past conditions of the atmosphere, the surface, the crust, and the deep interior of a planet. Many tools are used in space exploration, and the exploration of extraterrestrial mineralogy is no exception. The tools that are needed include remote observations, in-situ analysis with landed instruments, and analysis of returned samples in laboratories on Earth. In a balanced exploration program, all three sources of data are necessary. Likewise, no one method will provide the information needed to understand the makeup and history of extraterrestrial bodies. This paper is intended as a starting point for the development of truly integrated mineralogic instrumentation efforts that will combine the diverse capabilities of many analytical methods.
Back to Volume