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Paper: The Role of NASA's Planetary Sub-Orbital Program in Our Exploration of the Solar System
Volume: 272, The Future of Solar System Exploration, 2003-2013: Community Contributions to the NRC Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey
Page: 375
Authors: Harris, W.M.; Stern, S.A.; Clarke, J.T.; Slater, D.
Abstract: NASA's sub-orbital program dates back to the earliest days of the agency. It has been the source of fundamental discoveries in the solar system, interstellar space and galaxy, the Sun, and the Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere, and it continues to provide a unique venue for the pursuit of targeted research that is not possible with existing or planned space instruments. In addition to their direct science benefit, sub-orbital research programs are also the foundation support for several space-instrument development laboratories and provide a crucial mechanism for low cost/risk technology development and technique validation in a space environment. Sub-orbital experimentation has also been a primary resource for the training of new instrument scientists and the next generation of investigators for space-based missions.
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