In Situ Science and Instrumentation for Primitive Bodies

April 30 - May 3, 2012
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Final Report

Workshop Overview:

The goal of this study is to develop new methods to test the radically new understanding of solar system formation that has recently emerged, and to identify innovative instrumentation targeted to this purpose. While it is widely accepted that primitive bodies (asteroids, comets, meteorites and interplanetary dust) hold the secrets to unlocking that understanding, the task of how to access that primordial record presents a formidable challenge that will require wide expertise and innovative thinking.

The Nice model, which embodies our most recent understanding of solar system dynamics, proposes a large-scale architecture of the Solar system driven by planetary migration that predicts the origin of the Kuiper-Belt, Oort Cloud, NEOs, Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, and irregular satellites, and a scenario for the formation of Mars. This theory bears profound implications for the origin of volatiles and organics on Earth, and more generally, is relevant to all key science priorities identified in the NRC's planetary science decadal survey, Vision and Voyages. While the Nice model has a demonstrated record of explaining astronomical observations, such as the dynamical properties of migrated populations (irregular satellites, Trojan asteroids), validation of the theory remains to be achieved. Through this study program, we propose to establish a strategy for testing the validity of the current models of solar system formation and dynamics. While primitive bodies are a priori the best place to search for the record of origins, to date no such testing criteria has been identified.

Workshop Participants:

  • Konstantin Batygin - Caltech
  • James Bell - Arizona State University (ASU)
  • Jordana Blacksberg - JPL
  • Geoffrey Blake - Caltech
  • Michael Brown - Caltech
  • Julie Castillo-Rogez - JPL/Caltech
  • Melanie Channon - Caltech
  • Mathieu Choukroun - JPL/Caltech
  • Michelle Clem - NASA Glenn Research Center
  • John Dankanich - AeroDank, Inc.
  • John Eiler - Caltech
  • Joshua Emery - University of Tennessee
  • Abigail Fraeman - Washington Univ. in St. Louis
  • Samuel Gulkis - JPL
  • Kevin Hand - JPL
  • Amanda Hendrix - JPL/Caltech
  • Torrence Johnson - JPL/Caltech
  • Edwin Kite - Caltech
  • Harold Levison - Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)
  • Andrew Morse - Open University
  • Scott Murchie - Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
  • Marc Neveu - Arizona State University (ASU)
  • Evan Neidholdt - JPL
  • Carol Raymond - JPL/Caltech
  • Laurent Remusat - Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle
  • George Rossman - Caltech
  • Simon Sheridan - The Open University
  • David Stevenson - Caltech
  • Adam Waszczak - Caltech
  • Chris Webster - JPL

Short Course Presentations

Hal Levison

New Dynamics of Solar System Formation and Migration
(69.2 MB .pdf)

Torrence Johnson

Missions to Primitive Bodies: Past, Present, and Future
(1.29 MB .pdf)

Jim Bell

Surface Geology and Geologic Processes on Primitive Bodies
(6.9 MB .pdf)

Julie Castillo-Rogez

Current State of Knowledge about Origins from Remote, In Situ and Returned Sample Exploration
(15.03 MB .pdf)

Workshop Presentations

Scott Murchie

A Primer – Remote Observations of Primitive Bodies from Spacecraft
(12 MB .pdf)

Jordana Blacksberg

On Surface Measurements Primer
(4 MB .pdf)
(handout .pdf)

Chris Webster

On-Surface Measurements Primer - Gas and Liquid Measurement Methods
(3.4 MB .pdf)

John Eiler

The Geochemistry of Primitive Solar System Bodies
(12.2 MB .pdf)

Geoff Blake

D/H and Volatiles in Primitive Bodies
(23 MB .pdf)

George Rossman

Mineralogy - The Basic Building Blocks
(7 MB .pdf)

Mike Brown

Ground-based & LEO Primer
(1 MB .pdf)

John Dankanich
AeroDank, Inc.

Technology Capabilities and Gaps
(2 MB .pdf)

Andrew Morse
Open University

ESA’s Comet Lander Mission
(6 MB .pdf)