Dear SBAG Participants,
We need to write the text to go with the outline of the Science Issues section of the SBAG Roadmap before mid-December if we expect to have time to circulate a first draft through the group for comments and suggested changes. I have attached my strategy for presenting these issues (as presented at the last SBAG workshop) and am asking for volunteers to write sections. I have organized the section as a matrix of Bodies vs. Issues, but what that really means is that for each type of object in our list we will try to address each of the 5 science issues listed – even if it means noting that study of that particular type of body is not relevant to that particular science issue. This will allow someone to easily search our document by issue as well as by type of object. The list of bodies that require a short writeup (and a willing volunteer) are the following:
• Meteorites, IDPs and Returned Samples
• Short and Long-Period Comets
• Near Earth Objects (Apollos, Atens & Amors)
• Main Belt Asteroids (and comets)
• Phobos and Demos
• Large, Icy Satellites of the Giant Planets
• Irregular Satellites of the Giant Planets
• Trojan Asteroids
• Centaurs and Trans Neptunian Objects
• Pluto and Kuiper-Belt Objects
• Small Bodies in the Oort Cloud
The list of topical issues that I hope to see addressed in each writeup are:
• Solar System Origins: understanding the original composition of the nebula; the timing of events such as planet formation, differentiation and core formation and the chemical and isotopic evolution of the system with time.
• Solar System Dynamics : understanding nebular collapse and transport; planetesimal accretion, migration and mutual interactions; evolution of the solar system through time and the cratering history of the solar system.
• Current State of the Solar System : What is the size distribution and chemical composition of small bodies in the Solar System? How does this compare to extra-solar systems?
• ISRU : What resources might be available to support human and robotic exploration of and human expansion into the solar system?
• Hazards : What is the internal structure and chemical composition of objects that might become an impact hazard to life on Earth?
While I am certainly capable of writing the entire section, this is probably not a good idea for at least two reasons. First, I really do not know much about several of the bodies in our list, and I know much more about and am very much interested in several others. To say the least, this will result in unequal treatment of these Issues and will certainly not be representative of community consensus. Second, since we have experts in all of the listed body types in our sub-group and, presumably, those experts are interested in making the best scientific case for the study of the objects they currently study, this is a chance to stress the scientific importance of these objects to the larger scientific community.
If you are interested in writing a particular section (or sections) please tell me as soon as possible. As volunteers for sections are received, I will notify the community to avoid duplication. First drafts of all sections will be due to me by December 3, and a first draft of the complete report will be sent out to the entire mailing list by December 17 even if I write the entire report myself.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Dr. Joseph A. Nuth III
Senior Scientist for Primitive Bodies
Solar System Exploration Division, Code 690
NASA's Goddard S