Earth scientists list top priorities for space missions

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Science  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6372, pp. 143
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6372.143

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Earth scientists hope a new priority setting effort will help them make the most of NASA's limited budget for satellite missions that watch over the planet. The so-called decadal survey, issued in January by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, laid out the community's consensus wish list, ranging from cloud monitoring to multiwavelength imaging—and recommends a strong dose of competition to keep costs down. The report prioritizes five observations for launch, including hyperspectral imaging, clouds, atmospheric particles, and missions to chart gravity variations and tiny crustal movements. It also advocates creating a new line of $350 million missions targeting seven observations, with competitions to choose three for flight in the next 10 years.