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The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) is recommending planetary science missions for the decade 2013-2022 that could provide important new clues about our solar system.

After sorting out budget issues, five expert panels selected research priorities through a rigorous review that included input from planetary sciences experts, town hall meetings, and a contractor who provided independent cost and technical analyses.

"Our recommendations are science-driven, and they offer a balanced mix of missions -- large, medium and small -- that have the potential to greatly expand our knowledge of the solar system," said Steven W. Squyres, Cornell University professor of astronomy and chair of the committee that wrote the report. "However, in these tough economic times, some difficult choices may have to be made. With that in mind, our priority missions were carefully selected based on their potential to yield the most scientific benefit per dollar spent."

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Category: Science