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Science and Enabling Technologies to Explore the Interstellar Medium

Stone, E. C. and Alkalai, Leon and Freedman, Louis (2015) Science and Enabling Technologies to Explore the Interstellar Medium. Keck Institute for Space Studies , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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This report summarizes two very exciting and illuminating KISS workshops held on September 8, 2014 and January 12, 2015 entitled, “Science and Enabling Technologies for the Exploration of the Interstellar Medium (ISM),” led by Edward Stone (Caltech), Leon Alkalai (JPL), and Louis Friedman (The Planetary Society, Co-Founder and Executive Director Emeritus). The timing for these workshops aligned with two recent events related to the exploration of the ISM: in September 2013, Caltech professor and Voyager Project Scientist Edward Stone announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had detected the Heliopause a year earlier, in August 2012 [1]. Unrelated to this, the Kepler Space Telescope’s search for exoplanets (planets around other stars) has yielded spectacular results, including the detection of Earth-like planets. Thus, the vast space between our star and those with potentially habitable planets is slowly emerging into focus. This raises the question, “When and how will humanity bridge this divide and reach toward such destinations?” Even more compelling is the question, “What is a reasonable first step in that direction?” knowing full well that reaching another star is far beyond our current technical capability. The workshops brought together over thirty scientists and engineers to address the following key questions: • Is there compelling science to be achieved on the way to, at, and in the ISM? • What is a reasonable first step in the long road ahead? • What are some of the enabling technologies required to reach beyond our solar system? The answers to these questions were formulated in terms of 1) Astrophysics and Planetary science on the way to the ISM at 5–100 AU, which would include the zodiacal background and dust measurements and flyby of one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs); 2) Heliophysics measurements to obtain a better understanding of the complex environments inside and outside the protective bubble created by our Sun as it travels through the ISM; 3) and Astrophysics from the vantage point of being in the ISM at 100–700 AU, including parallax science, gravitational measurements, and the imaging of exoplanets using gravitational lensing

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
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Stone, E. C.0000-0002-2010-5462
Additional Information:Based on the 2nd KISS Workshop on “The Science and Enabling Technologies for the Exploration of the Interstellar Medium (ISM)” at the KISS facilities, California Institute of Technology, January 13-15, 2015.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
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Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151130-115351753
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62448
Deposited By: Iryna Chatila
Deposited On:02 Dec 2015 17:00
Last Modified:20 Feb 2020 14:33

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