Future Missions Related to the Determination of the Elemental and Isotopic Composition of Earth, Moon and the Terrestrial Planets

Dandouras, Iannis; Blanc, Michel; Fossati, Luca; Gerasimov, Mikhail; Guenther, Eike W.; Kislyakova, Kristina G.; Lammer, Helmut; Lin, Yangting; Marty, Bernard; Mazelle, Christian; Rugheimer, Sarah; Scherf, Manuel; Sotin, Christophe; Sproß, Laurenz; Tachibana, Shogo; Wurz, Peter; Yamauchi, Masatoshi (2020). Future Missions Related to the Determination of the Elemental and Isotopic Composition of Earth, Moon and the Terrestrial Planets. Space science reviews, 216(8) Springer 10.1007/s11214-020-00736-0

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In this chapter, we review the contribution of space missions to the determination of the elemental and isotopic composition of Earth, Moon and the terrestrial planets, with special emphasis on currently planned and future missions. We show how these missions are going to significantly contribute to, or sometimes revolutionise, our understanding of planetary evolution, from formation to the possible emergence of life. We start with the Earth, which is a unique habitable body with actual life, and that is strongly related to its atmosphere. The new wave of missions to the Moon is then reviewed, which are going to study its formation history, the structure and dynamics of its tenuous exosphere and the interaction of the Moon’s surface and exosphere with the different sources of plasma and radiation of its environment, including the solar wind and the escaping Earth’s upper atmosphere. Missions to study the noble gas atmospheres of the terrestrial planets, Venus and Mars, are then examined. These missions are expected to trace the evolutionary paths of these two noble gas atmospheres, with a special emphasis on understanding the effect of atmospheric escape on the fate of water. Future missions to these planets will be key to help us establishing a comparative view of the evolution of climates and habitability at Earth, Venus and Mars, one of the most important and challenging open questions of planetary science. Finally, as the detection and characterisation of exoplanets is currently revolutionising the scope of planetary science, we review the missions aiming to characterise the internal structure and the atmospheres of these exoplanets.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Wurz, Peter


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2020 15:37

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2021 12:20

Publisher DOI:






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