It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In a rather intriguing twist, it appears that NASA is now mandated by law to fly a robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa.
It seems, thanks to Houston Congressman John Culberson, who appears to be a bit of a science nerd, that NASA is now mandated by law to develop a mission to Europa. Culberson is basically forcing this mission upon NASA: In 2013 and 2014, despite NASA not requesting any money for a Europa mission, Culberson gave it $43 million and $80 million respectively. In the 2014 budget bill, finalized in December, there’s not a single mention of Mars or the Moon, but Europa’s right there on page 159. Culberson is expected to become the next chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee, too — and if that happens, NASA may find itself very flush indeed.
As for an actual timeline for those first tube worms, if they exist, it’s still very, very early days. It seems, after two years of having money forced upon it, NASA finally caved and actually asked for $15 million in 2015 to help plan the Europa mission. All we really have to go on right now are the words of NASA’s CFO, Elizabeth Robinson, who said the launch could come as soon as the mid-2020s — probably after we launch the next Mars rover in 2020.
A Europa orbiter mission, or the “Europa Clipper” concept that would orbit Jupiter but make multiple close flybys of Jupiter, has been a high priority for planetary scientists, but something NASA has not committed to, citing limited budgets. For fiscal year 2013, Congress did set aside $75 million of NASA’s planetary budget for Europa mission studies, and in its FY2014 appropriations bill, the House earmarked an additional $80 million for Europa mission studies, but the total cost of such a mission is likely on the order of $2 billion.
We are a representative republic, not an perfect democracy. We don't vote on everything our government does, we elect people to do that for us.
I mean it is our money they're spending and it would be nice if I had a say.
doesn't mean it will result in an actual mission. Those goals, btw were outlined by NASA in the first place so yes, NASA did indeed "ask" for the funding.
pre-formulation and/or formulation activities for a mission that meets the science goals outlined for the Jupiter Europa mission in the most recent planetary science decadal survey.
Future mission to Europa and the Jupiter system (EJSM) will offer the opportunity to consciously explore the habitability of the Outer Solar System for the first time. Two different spacecrafts, will orbit the system, focussing the measurements to Europa and Ganymede satellites in order to study the characteristics of their putative interior oceans and the surface. In addition to confirm the presence of the oceans, remote observation will search the characteristics of different environments, including those of the potential aqueous reservoirs, looking to young terrains associated with fractures or indicative of cryomagmatism
The mission will satisfies many of the objectives recorded in the space agencies plans for the next decades, because it will be able to answer fundamental questions about habitability concept and the origin of Life.
EJSM is a definitive step to more ambitious exploration missions to the Jupiter system, to be done once the water reservoirs have been established. It is a relative low risk mission, which will facilitate future landings (soft or hard) for a more exhaustive astrobiological studies.
originally posted by: coastlinekid
The "government" does not "force" NASA to do anything...except drag their ass as a front for the militarization of space... yawn...
What makes it so "obvious?" The B2 was actually, "Here is something we have been working on for a couple of decades and now are ready to fly. Since it is now operational and can't be a secret anymore, her she is."
originally posted by: coastlinekid
The REAL exploration goes on covertly,... I don't claim to have any details, but it seems obvious when it comes to humans exploring space in general,... we as a public are not in the "loop" ...
Its like when the B-2 bomber was rolled out of a hangar for all to see... that is just them saying: "we have moth-balled this high-tech wonder and replaced it with something we can plausibly deny now so,...here it is!"...LOL!
Who said anything about unknown science?
Me too. There just isn't any technology based on it. That doesn't mean that there isn't secret technology, just that there isn't technology that can get us to Mars in a day.
I'm willing to bet there is unknown science.