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Topical sessions Description
Mars Landing Site Selection for Tianwen-3 Mission

Convenors: James Head (Brown University, US), Yang Liu (NSSC, China), Joseph Michalski (Hongkong University, China), John Mustard (Brown University, US), Fuchuan Pang (DSEL, China)

Mars exploration today is at a critical juncture. A series of successful orbital and landed spacecraft missions have revealed a planet with water and various environments that could be or could have been habitable to microbes. Based on this, the next generation of Mars exploration will provide insight into Mars by conducting ground-based laboratory studies on returned Mars samples. Currently, NASA has successfully launched the Perseverance rover to begin the first phase of the Mars sampling return mission. China has also deployed the Tianwen-3 mission, which is scheduled to return the Mars samples around 2030. These missions have the unprecedented advantage of taking the search for potential evidence of ancient Martian life or its organic precursors a giant step forward. How to find a landing site that would enable scientists to make the most discoveries about past life on Mars and provide the most scientifically compelling and diverse set of samples for potential return to Earth is a crucial question for the success of the sample return missions. During this workshop, we will focus on understanding what we can learn from the previous missions for selecting landing sites, proposing the methodology for assessing and exploring the potential biological history of Mars and indicating its implications for selecting landing sites, as well as providing candidate landing sites with great scientific value for the upcoming Tianwen-3 mission.
Mars Space Environment

Convenors: Jingnan Guo (USTC, China), Hadi Madanian (U Colorado, US), Beatriz Sanchez-Cano (U Leicester, UK), Yuming Wang (USTC/DSEL, China)

During the last two solar cycles, observations from orbit and from ground by Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), Mars Express (MEX), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), InSight, and the most recent Chinese TianWen-I etc. have indicated that Mars can be significantly affected by solar activity. How Mars’ magnetosphere, ionosphere or even lower atmosphere down to its surface react under different solar disturbances is still an open question that deserves future studies. The status and disturbance of the Martian space environment, as well as the extent of their effects and impacts on the entire Mars system warrant further investigations that require the availability of dedicated, routine and multi-spacecraft observations at Mars. Moreover, considering future missions especially human exploration activities, it is very important to understand and characterise the space weather impacts and effects on human explorers and supporting infrastructure (communications, power systems, habitat, etc.), both in orbit around and at the surface of Mars. This workshop is dedicated to discuss about 1) the state-of-the-art development in understanding Mars space environment based on existing observations, 2) our knowledge gaps and open questions in the field and 3) recommendations for future studies and mission planning.
New views of Mars and Moon: from surface to the core

Convenors: Ling Chen (IGG, China), Dongyang Huang (ETH, Switzerland), Lu Pan (USTC, China), Cathy Quantin-Nataf (UCBL, France), Daoyuan Sun (USTC, China)

Recently, Mars exploration has witnessed the intense visits of several international space missions with various instruments and techniques, including InSight, MMX, Mars 2020, Tianwen-1 (Zhurong rover), Hope mission, and the ongoing missions of MSL and Maven. With these missions, Mars has been probed from the surface and crust to the mantle and core, radically updating our views of their differentiation, composition, and surface evolution history. The Moon has also been a popular destination of planetary missions, including the Chang'e 1-5 missions and the planned Artemis mission. New views of the composition and internal strucutre of the Moon are also updated revisiting previous observations and datasets with new tools. This session will serve as a platform for the open discussion of these international teams on our current view of how Mars and Moon formed, differentiated and evolved, with emphasis on interdisciplinary discussion from diverse approaches. In addition to the input from the observation from space missions, contributions from the theory, experiment, and analytical studies that help us resolve the new observations are also greatly appreciated.
Observing the Sun-Earth System as an Extrasolar System

Convenors: Siteng Fan (LMD, France), Robert von Fay-Siebenburgen (UoS, UK), Rui Li (USTC, China), Jiajia Liu (USTC, China)

Among more than 5000 exoplanets discovered up to now, around 60 are believed to be potentially habitable. The Sun-Earth system provides a unique example based on which detailed insights into the properties, formation, evolution, and thus habitability of exoplanets could be gained. During this session, we will focus on understanding the critical characterizations related to the habitability of the Sun-Earth system, what we could learn from the solar system as a baseline for exoplanet studies, and ongoing/upcoming space missions for solar system and exoplanet research. The topical session consists of four topics on: 1) Sun as a star: global EUV responses of solar activities, 2) The energy budget of the Earth's climate system and its key controlling factors, 3) Earth as an exoplanet: global and regional characteristics of the visible and near-infrared Earth, and 4) Impact of solar activities on the habitability of Earth.
Planetary Atmospheres: Composition, Dynamics, and Habitability

Convenors: Yongyun Hu (PKU, China), Tao Li (USTC/DSEL, China), Xi Zhang(UCSC, US)

Planetary atmospheres play a crucial role in the habitability of a planet. In this session, we will explore the composition, dynamics, and other key features of planetary atmospheres. We will discuss the factors that influence the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres and the tools and techniques used to study them. This session will include the following topics (but not limited to): 1) Introduction to planetary atmospheres and their role in habitability; 2) Dynamics of planetary atmospheres, including weather and climate; 3) Composition of planetary atmospheres, including gases and aerosols; 4) Factors that influence the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres, such as solar radiation and planetary mass; 5) Tools and techniques used to study planetary atmospheres, including space-based instruments and remote sensing.
Icy Moons

Convenors: Chris Glein (SwRI, US), Lei Li (NSSC, China), Jihua Hao (USTC/DSEL, China), Yuangao Qu (SIDSSE, China), Xinting Yu (University of Texas, San Antonio, US)

Icy moons are a large group of natural satellites orbitting gaseous planets in the solar system and usually covered by thick layer(s) of ice. Space missions revealed that some icy moons, like Europa and Enceladus, have long-lasting liquid ocean below the icy shell. Further detection demonstrated considerable levels of organics and reducing gases in the ocean waters, rendering some icy moons to be the hottest targets to find extraterrestrial life. This session calls for any topics related with the icy moons, including but not limited to the origin, evolution, structure, composition, and habitability of icy moons. We also welcome research about detection techniques, mission proposals, as well as ground and onboard test experiments.
Key scientific issues and ground simulations in the study of planetary habitability

Convenors: Peng E (HIT, China), Chao He (JHU, US), Quanming Lu (USTC/DSEL, China)

Habitability of a planet means that a celestial body meets the basic conditions for the origin and evolution of life, which requires the existence of suitable energy sources, the accumulation of essential elements and components for life, the formation of liquid water, and oxidative atmospheric components. The formation of a planet's habitable environment is the result of the complex interaction of space and internal environment through multi-circle layer coupling that ultimately affects the evolution of the atmosphere and surface environment. The differentiation of the planet's inner core and mantle forms the planet's intrinsic magnetic field to shield and protect the planet's atmospheric environment. To provide a possible place for the evolution of early life, internal degassing and atmospheric escape jointly affected the evolution of the early ocean and atmosphere. The photolysis reaction leads to the formation of trace amounts of O2, which gradually transforms the reducing atmosphere into an oxidizing atmosphere. The formation of oxygen and the ozone layer provides the basic conditions for the habitability of life. The ground experiment simulation device provides a means to study the evolution of various planetary environments at different time scales, and helps to reveal the evolution of planetary habitability environments.

Convenors: Guo Chen (PMO, China), Lisa Nortmann (University of Göttingen, Germany), Enric Palle (IAC, Spain), Wei Wang (NAOC, China), Jiwei Xie (NJU, China), Fei Yan (USTC, China)

With the soaring number of discovered exoplanets and the fast expanding of exoplanet atmosphere research, exoplanet science is becoming the frontier subject of astronomy and planetary science. The subject is also one of the main research directions of deep space science. This workshop will focus on topics including exoplanet detection, atmosphere characterization, planetary formation and statistics. The workshop aims at facilitating communications and collaborations between the Chinese and international exoplanet communities and promoting the long-term development of the exoplanet field.
Utilizing Deep Space Explorations to Probe Origins of Matters and Our Universe

Convenors: Martin Kilbinger (CEA Saclay, France), Wentao Luo (USTC, China), Christopher. J. Miller (University of Michigan, US), Emmanouil Sakaridis (National Observatory of Athens, Greece), Misao Sasaki (U of Tokyo, Japan)

The origin of our universe, and the nature of dark energy as well as dark matter have now become the most intriguing issues among all fundamental questions. Many instruments either space-based or ground-based ones are designed to tackle those questions, e.g. JWST, LSST, CSST, WFST, and so on. The data needed for those questions are going to be unprecedentedly large and it becomes critical to address those questions led by the deep space explorations, combining ground based or even moon based instruments in the near future. For example, gravitational lensing analyses based on those probes have the power to test gravitational theory and constrain cosmology as well as the nature of dark matter and dark energy. By virtue of this meeting session, we wish to induce more researches from both theoretical and observational perspectives and to generate extensive discussions to deepen our understanding of those questions.
Black holes in the universe

Convenors: Yosuke Mizuno (Tsung-Dao Lee Institute, China), Rosalba Perna (SBU, US), Tinggui Wang (USTC, China), Martin Ward (Durham University, UK)

Black hole (BH) is one of the most mysterious objects in our universe and turns out to be an important research subject in astronomy and physics for decades. The cutting-edge topics such as the origin of supermassive BHs, intermediate-mass (seed) BHs, binary BHs and BH singularity, have not only led to great astronomy breakthroughs in the area of stellar, galaxy and cosmic evolution, but also provide extreme laboratories for testing and exploring fundamental physics. The most advanced facilities including JWST, LSST, TMT, LISA in the world and WFST, EP in China have all selected various open questions about BHs as one of their core scientific objectives. In the era of multi-messenger and time-domain astronomy, performing synergic observations with ground-based, moon-based and space facilities could be the most promising way to achieve crucial breakthrough in the understanding of BHs. Therefore, the conference aims to facilitate the cooperation and communication between Chinese and foreign scholars, and to conceive new ambitious projects which will eventually promote the long-term development of the field.
Interplanetary Structures and their Space Weather Effects

Convenors: Bingxian Luo (NSSC, China), Kai Liu (USTC, China), Camilla Scolini (UNH, US), Chenglong Shen (USTC, China)

The interplanetary structures, such as transient interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and more persistent stream interaction regions (SIRs), are known to be the direct sources of space weather events on the Earth and other planets in the solar system.The proposed session is to summarize the recent advances in observations, theory, and numerical simulations in our understanding of these large structures.
PNT, communications and resource utilization in lunar and deep space explorations

Convenors: Xinuo Chang (CAST, China), Hui Yang (CAST, China), Xingqun Zhan (SJTU, China)

The Cislunar PNT and communications systems is one of the most important information infrastructures to support future manned and unmanned lunar explorations. The existing ground TT&C and communication facilities and GNSS systems like BDS and GPS can meet the communications and positioning, navigation, and timing needs while operating in transit, around and on the near-earth region of the moon. However, with the frequent and in-depth exploration activities in the lunar polar region and the far side of the moon, there are rising needs for implement Cislunar PNT and communications systems with available, scalable and autonomous capabilities, which also require compatible and interoperable with existing approaches. The discussion of this topic will focus on the following issues in the Cislunar PNT and communications. 1) Navigation and communications requirements for unmanned and manned lunar exploration activities. 2) Navigation and communications capability of ground and GNSS systems. 3) Constellation and orbit designs of Cislunar PNT and communication system. 4) New systems, signals, and services of cislunar PNT and communications. 5) Specifications for cislunar PNT and communications. 6) Cislunar space-time datum and reference frame. 7) New communication and navigation terminal equipment for lunar missions. 8) In-situ resource utilization on the moon and in deep space.
New physics search in Space and Deep Space

Convenors: Haipeng An (THU, China), Xiaojun Bi (IHEP, China), Yifu Cai (USTC/DSEL, China), Ivan De Mitri (GSSI, Italy), Andy Taylor (DESY, Germany)

In fundamental physics, searching beyond-Standard-Model new physics is a significant scientific frontier, including searching for dark matter particles and other exotic particles, studying neutrino physics, and the like. With the steady development of Space and Deep-Space exploration in China, the direct and indirect exploration of new physics in the new environment will play a more unique and critical role in the future. This workshop introduces various searches for new physical phenomena in Space and Deep-Space that have been or will be carried out.
Future spaceborne MeV detectors and related astrophysics

Convenors: Markus Ackermann (DESY, Germany), Felix Aharonian (MPIK, Germany), Yizhong Fan (PMO, China), Jian Li (USTC/DSEL, China)

MeV astronomy, due to the limited sensitivity of current instruments, is regarded as the last underexplored window of astronomy. Indeed, MeV domain observations are related to rich and colorful sciences, such as the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos, astrochemistry and low-energy cosmic rays, the merger of neutron stars and the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements. Thanks to the advance in detector technologies, now is the right time for the next-generation MeV detectors. In this workshop, we will discuss the design of future MeV detectors and possible Science.
Formation and evolution of terrestrial planetary system

Convenors: Christoph Burkhardt (University of Münster, Germany), Zhengbin Deng (USTC/DSEL, China), Haolan Tang (USTC/DSEL, China), Francois L. H. Tissot (Caltech, US)

This interdisciplinary meeting (cosmochemistry and planetary science) is aimed at understanding the formation and evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies in the solar system (Mars, Moon, Vesta, and other planetary bodies). The meeting will be focused on three major but related issues that are crucial in deciphering the history of planetary systems: 1) Accretion and evolution of Mars: proto-disk environment; mechanism and timing of formation and accretion; chemical, isotopic, and experimental constraints on the Martian origin; as well as the evolution of the surface and the atmosphere of the Mars. 2) Formation and evolution of the Moon: Moon-forming giant impact, lunar magma ocean differentiation and crystallization, late heavy bombardment, late volcanic activities. 3) Early-formed asteroids: mechanism and timing of accretion and silicate-metal separation, chemical and isotopic constraints on their parent bodies (inner solar disk vs. outer solar disk), thermal history, correlations with chemical and isotopic shifts.

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