The Sun-Earth Connection Roadmap is a strategic planning document developed for NASA's Office of Space Science (OSS) by members of the solar and heliospheric physics, magnetospheric physics, and aeronomy communities. It sets forth, in terms of three "quests", the principal scientific questions and themes that give direction and shape to our efforts to understand the workings of the Sun and the nature and extent of its influence on the Earth and other solar system bodies. The Roadmap outlines fifteen candidate missions that can achieve the objectives of the quests. The missions are organized in five "campaigns," according to the science themes and objectives that a particular set of missions is intended to address. Because the phenomena to be understood are often inseparably linked, some missions are included in more than one campaign, although each mission is primary to only one campaign. The required technologies are indicated for each mission and are summarized for all the missions in two "key technologies" charts. (A separate document detailing the technologies needed to implement future Sun-Earth Connection missions is currently under development and will be available in spring 1997.)

The Sun-Earth Connection Roadmap is an essential element of the OSS strategic planning process. This process will culminate in a meeting in the spring of 1997 at which OSS senior staff, Space Science Advisory Committee (SScAC) members, and representatives of the space science community will integrate the research initiatives of the four OSS science programs into a single, comprehensive strategic mission plan for the first two decades of the twenty-first century.

The Sun-Earth Connection Roadmap is the product of two community-wide meetings--one hosted by the Applied Physics Laboratory in April 1996, the other hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in October 1996--and of meetings of the Sun-Earth Connection Advisory Subcommittee (SECAS) in May 1996 and February 1997. Important contributions to the Roadmap have been made by individual members of the space physics and aeronomy communities as well. Overall responsibility for the development of the Sun-Earth Connection Roadmap was assigned by the director of the Sun-Earth Connection program to a 22-member "strategic planning integration team." The members of this team were selected on the basis of nominations from the space physics community and represented the major subdisciplines of the field of space physics.

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