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(7月2日)九章讲坛第四期——The Geologic History of the Moon: Outstanding Questions and Goals for Future Exploration

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1The Geologic History of the Moon: Outstanding Questions and Goals for Future Exploration.”

Why study and explore the Earth’s Moon?  The Moon provides a nearby laboratory for the study of fundamental problems in the formation and evolution of the planets and satellites in our Solar System, and in planetary systems around other stars.  What transformative scientific problems can be addressed with upcoming missions? What significant goals and objectives for can be accomplished? Lunar exploration results are synthesized and significant new directions for robotic and human exploration are outlined.

2The Geologic and Climate History of Mars: Outstanding Questions and Goals for Future Exploration.

Why study and explore Mars?  Mars offers an opportunity to analyze the complete 4.5 billion year geological history of a water-rich planet that might have been like Earth in its earliest history, and to examine the martian environments (streams, lakes and oceans) that might have led to the origin of life.  What was the climate history of Mars and how did it compare to Earth?  Why is Mars an extremely cold and dry climate today?  Was early Mars “warm and wet” as evidenced by the geology?  Or was it “cold and icy” as suggested by climate general circulation models? These questions form the basis for future exploration such as China’s 2020 Mars mission.