Planetary Science's Defining Moment

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 32-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5552.32

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IRVINE, CALIFORNIA-- The world's planetary science programs, centered in the United States, Japan, and Europe, are setting ambitious goals--and facing a host of trials and tribulations, ranging from skeptical politicians to bureaucratic reshufflings to technological challenges. The first story in this special news focus section looks at how internecine battles have tarnished the reputation of planetary scientists in Washington, D.C.; researchers are hoping they can win back respect with a consensus long-range plan. Other stories look at the situation in Japan and Europe and at the current state of the technology for exploring the solar system.