About this Research Topic
Over recent years, a multitude of planetary and cometary missions have made vital contributions to the field of planetary science and have greatly advanced our understanding of the Solar System. In the future, further robotic and human planetary exploration initiatives and new planetary missions tremendously promise to continue to advance our knowledge of the Solar System and beyond in several areas, and to expand technology. These advances also generate inspiration to the next generation of scientists and engineers, and have high public enthusiasm.
Recent recommendations and reports like the US planetary science decadal survey and ESA’s Voyage-2050 strategy, for example, serve as a foundation for the next decade/years of missions and research, and defines research areas like origins of the Solar System, worlds and processes, life and habitability, and the cross-cutting exoplanetary topics.
With these recent advances and scope for future missions and research in mind, the Specialty Chief Editor would like to invite critical, ambitious, and courageous contributions to this Editor’s Challenge Research Topic. Observational, theoretical, experimental, conceptual, or computational contributions are welcomed, that can provide new insights and stimulate a constructive debate around the following open questions, topics, and challenges, (but not limited to):
- Advance our understanding of the Solar System in preparation for future exploration, from ground, space and in situ facilities.
- Expected datasets from current/future observational facilities.
- Future missions and concepts currently under development like JUICE, Europa Clipper, Dragonfly, EnVision, Comet Interceptor, Artemis, VOICE, etc.
- Initial conditions in the Solar System, formation and evolution of Giant Planets and terrestrial planets and their moons.
- Population of Solar System bodies through time.
- Atmospheres, surfaces, interiors of planets, moons, and small bodies: characterization, processes, conditions, dynamics.
- Properties and Interactions: satellite and ring systems, host planet.
- Potentially habitable environments, search for life.
- Planetary defense.
- Laboratory experiments.
- Field studies of space analogues.
- Scientific payload design, present instrumentation and mission concepts, planetary science mission architectures and associated technologies, advances in engineering relevant to future exploration.
This Research Topic solicits contributions from the Editorial Board members of the Planetary Science section, as well as contributors recommended by the Specialty Chief Editor. We welcome a range of article types: Brief Research Report, Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Perspective, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, and Opinion.
The Specialty Chief Editors of Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences launch a new series of Research Topics to highlight current challenges across the field of Astronomy and Space Sciences research. Other titles in the series are:
Editor's Challenge in Astrostatistics: Deep Learning in Astrophysics - What are the Lessons?
Editor's Challenge in Astronomical Instrumentation: Machine Learning Advances
Editor's Challenge in Exoplanets: Next Generation of Exoplanet Research
Editor's Challenge in Space Physics: Solved and Unsolved Problems in Space Physics
Keywords: planetary science, planetary exploration, planetary missions, solar system, space missions, dynamics, planets, moons, small bodies, habitable environments, observation, JUICE, Europa, Clipper, planetary atmospheres, satellite systems, ring systems, space analogues
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.