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Scientific Opportunities in Cislunar Space (SOCS)

Lunar Science Illuminating the Universe

Introduction: Cislunar space, from low Earth orbit to the Lunar far side halo orbit (LL2), is a uniquely accessible environment for planetary scientists and explorers providing physical analogs for many extreme conditions from Mercury to Pluto.

Cislunar space provides two primary environments for in-situ and prepared experimentation: Long duration cryogenic environments down to 25 Kelvin with natural or manmade volatile ices and hard vacuum deep space partials, plasma and radiation environments.

The SOCS workshops and Challenges will focus on developing the technologies and techniques to illuminate the chemistry and physics of deep space targets such as the ice giants, icy moons, or the partials and plasmas around near Earth objects (NEO’s).

The SOCS Workshops will be one day events held the weekend before major planetary workshops such a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS).

The morning session will be focused on developing and testing deep space instruments in Cislunar space and the afternoon session will focus on scientific analogs in the Cislunar environment.

Tentative Dates :

  • SOCS 1 - March 16, 2014 - Houston, TX
  • SOCS 2 - November 9, 2014 - Denver, CO

The SOCS Challenges: In the beginning the SOCS challenges will most likely be paper and computer simulation challenges, but in time we hope to be presenting cash prizes to teams that have actually flown and tested their theories in Cislunar space. The proposed themes are :

  • Ice Giant & CryoLife Lunar Laboratories
  • Interplanetary Particles & Plasmas Lunar Analogs
  • Magnets & Plasmas - Propulsion & Protection

The SOCS workshops and challenges are under development so your comments and questions are welcome. We will be posting more details as this exciting new project evolves.

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