MISSIONS IN VIEW
A number of other expeditions are planned, subject to available funding. With the Lunar Prospector, NASA hopes to map the Moon's chemical composition and magnetic and gravity fields. The Moon is also being considered as a location for both radio and optical telescopes. It has a stable surface, low gravity, and a negligible atmosphere, and its slow rotation offers continuous viewing for nearly two weeks at a time.
The Venus Multi-Probe Mission spacecraft would deploy 14 probes to measure temperature and wind simultaneously at different altitudes, revealing more about Venus's global circulation pattern.
The three-year Suess-Urey mission would travel beyond Earth's magnetosphere and use huge collectors to gather particles from the solar wind and return them to Earth for study.
The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to exa-mine a comet with Rosetta, which would spend eight years maneuvering among the planets. By 2011, it would rendezvous with periodic Comet Wir-tanen, and spend 17 months monitoring the comet's changes as it nears the Sun.
NASA and Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science are cooperating on MUSES-C, which would be the first mission to return samples from an asteroid.