Short Course Presenters:

The stated motivation for planetary missions is to answer scientific questions. The course will provide a brief historical overview by noted experts of missions to typical probe targets (Venus, Mars, Titan, and ice/gas giants), the scientific questions that motivated them, what was actually found, and the current questions motivating future missions. The end-to-end process of formulating scientific objectives and the means to answer them, then implementing a flight project, and finally analyzing and archiving the data, will be discussed by speakers with direct experience in these steps.

The lack of knowledge that motivates missions also makes them challenging — occasionally the intended questions remain unanswered due to unexpected circumstances such as instrument failure or environmental complexity (as was the case on the Galileo probe in descending in a “hot dry” region). On the other hand, there are often serendipitous discoveries that were unanticipated, such as the exposure of ice beneath the Phoenix lander by its landing thrusters. Often even rudimentary engineering data can yield interesting scientific insights.  Course attendees will experience the thrill of discovery themselves in an interactive analysis exercise using flight data from several planetary missions.

PRELIMINARY IPPW-11 Short Course Schedule

Saturday, June 14
9:00 a.m. Welcome, Introductions
9:15 a.m. Discovery and Surprise - Expected and Unexpected Science from Planetary Probes
9:35 a.m.
Science Objectives and Priorities in NASA Missions
10:25 a.m. Break
10:55 a.m. Science Highlights, Experience and Future Goals: Venus
11:45 a.m. Science Highlights, Experience and Future Goals: Giant Planets
12:35 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. Science Highlights, Experience and Future Goals: Mars
2:50 p.m. Science Highlights, Experience and Future Goals: Titan
3:40 p.m. Break
4:10 p.m. Science Goals and Payload Selection in Europe
5:00 p.m. Mystery Data Exercise (Part 1 - Distribute Data, Investigate an Example)
    Dataset 1
    Dataset 2
    Dataset 3
    Dataset 4
5:30 p.m. Adjourn
7:00 p.m. Evening Event
Sunday, June 15
9:00 a.m. Welcome / Recap
9:15 a.m. The Process - Writing an Instrument Proposal
9:55 a.m. The Process - We Got Selected, Now We Have to Build It, Show It Works!
10:35 a.m. The Process - Flight: Getting, Analyzing, and Archiving the Data
11:15 a.m. Break
11:45 a.m. Science for "Free" - Temperatures, Accelerometers, Radio Science
12:25 p.m. Mystery Data Exercise (Part 2)
1:05 p.m. Wrap-Up
1:15 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. Caltech Lab Visit
3:30 p.m. Adjourn
7:00 p.m. Student Social at El Cholo

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