Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space ExplorationeBook - 2004
In February 2004, the President announced a new goal for NASA; to use humans and robots together to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond. In response to this initiative, NASA has adopted new exploration goals that depend, in part, on solar physics research. These actions raised questions about how the research agenda recommended by the NRC in its 2002 report, The Sun to the Earth and Beyond , which did not reflect the new exploration goals, would be affected. As a result, NASA requested the NRC to review the role solar and space physics should play in support of the new goals. This report presents the results of that review. It considers solar and space physics both as aspects of scientific exploration and in support of enabling future exploration of the solar system. The report provides a series of recommendations about NASA's Sun-Earth Connections program to enable it to meet both of those goals.