CHICAGO—A new National Academy of Sciences report will recommend that basic science become "the principal objective of the space program."

Speaking here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Thomas M. Donahue outlined some of the major recommendations of the Academy's Space Science Board report, entitled "Major Directions for Space Science: 1995-2015." Donahue is an astrophysicist at the University of Michigan and chairman of the Space Science Board.

The two-year study, scheduled for release later this month, contains recommendations in the areas of fundamental physics and chemistry, planetary/lunar exploration, astronomy/astrophysics, Earth sciences, solar-space plasmas and life sciences.

Its recommendations include:

  • Development of a "Mission to Planet Earth" using five geosynchronous platforms and two to six polar platforms to study intensively the interior and exterior of Earth and the interaction between life forms and the planet;
  • Deployment of an eight- to 16-meter optical space telescope,...

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