National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Return to Solar System Exploration
 
Facebook Twitter YouTube Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr iTunes
Follow Us
News
50 Years of Robotic Planetary Exploration: Nancy Grace Roman (Retired Chief of NASA's Astronomy and Relativity Programs at NASA Headquarters)
25 Oct 2012
(Source: )

What do you think are the most significant events that have occurred in the past fifty years of robotic planetary exploration? Why?

I have found the Cassini-Huygens mission to be the most interesting.

This mission has given us a detailed picture of a terrestrial analog (Saturn's moon Titan) under quite different conditions and provided exciting observations of the moon Enceladus.


In your field of work, what are some examples of the great achievements and discoveries in planetary science and robotic exploration throughout the past 50 years?

I think that the greatest achievements of the past 50 years in planetary robotic exploration are the discoveries of a wide variety of conditions on the moons in the solar system, particularly that three of the Galilean moons have water layers and the high degree of volcanic activity on the fourth.




The Enceladus fountains are related to these.

The tiny moons of Mars are a contrast to these large moons. Although they have not been studied carefully, they are probably similar to the asteroids -- such as Vesta -- that have been investigated in more detail.




Read More:

People:

Missions:

Planets/Moons:



Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 5 Nov 2012