The National Commission on Space was chartered by the President and Congress of the United States to formulate the future direction of the U.S. National Aeronautics & Space Agency civilian space program. One of the recommendations is the pursuit of an aggressive space science program. Its focus should be on three major objectives. The first is to understand the structure and evolution of the universe, our Galaxy, our Solar System and, finally, the Planet Earth. The second is to apply this understanding to forecast future phenomena of critical significance to humanity. Finally, the last objective is to use the environment of spaceflight and the tools of space technology to study the basic properties of matter and life.
Martin M. Sokoloski,
James R. Lesh,
"Deep Space Optical Communications", Proc. SPIE 0810, Optical Systems for Space Applications, (18 September 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.941539; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.941539