Extreme Mapping (Ballroom A)
In an ideal world, if we want to explore a region we can easily get precursor data and information. Nothing obstructs flyover data gathering; we have open access to the areas we want to explore. It is easy to travel there, use instruments and take samples. This is true for many regions on Earth.
Scientists want to go into the field themselves, so they can personally observe the context and surrounding environment. They make inferences about the surrounding area by direct observation of the geology, biology and physical world that they observe and measure. Scientists do opportunistic science and sample collection when they can be present in the field.
When we are doing research on other planetary bodies it is difficult if not impossible for scientists to physically go there. Instead we use satellites and robots to gather scientific data for us. Learn about the mapping challenges and research work done in advance of a robotic lunar mission.