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NASA, Europe Explore Joint Mission to Outer Planets

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posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 08:23 AM

BOULDER, Colo. - Scientific and technical teams from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are fleshing out ideas for the next mission to fly to an outer planet - either to Jupiter or Saturn. A decision on which of those two exploration targets will be the destination for the space agency's next multibillion-dollar flagship mission is expected by year's end.

The Europa-Jupiter mission involves two orbiters with instruments designed to operate in the severe radiation environment of Jupiter. In addition to ESA and NASA, Russia also has expressed interest in the mission, proposing a Europa lander.

The Titan-Saturn flagship entails a main spacecraft that would orbit Saturn and deployment of secondary spacecraft to the surface of Titan. For the secondary spacecraft, there are proposals that would include elements such as a balloon for exploring the atmosphere, surface probes and even a mini-submarine for exploring lakes on Titan.


I would love to see both the missions take place and explore both the planets and their moons; unfortunately the scientists have to select one of this mission due to the budget problems. I know we have a lot left to discover on Titan and Enceladus; but right now we do have a space craft exploring those places. So I would like to see the Europa-Jupiter mission to take off as we have very less information about this planet and its moons. What do you suggest? which mission you would like to see, taking off?


posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 08:54 AM
While I am enthusiastic on space exploration , I guess we should really focus on our back garden : the Moon. This is the closest body , and if we make the exploatation productive from the commercial point of view, then the next steps on space exploration will be countless times easier. Moon has enough resource to be self-sufficient for an engineering company : energy from solar, oxygen from the rocks , metals and so on.

posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 07:19 AM
reply to post by sty

Sure, the basic steps would be focusing on Moon and we already have lots of details about our moon and right now couple of other countries are exploring it. Once we completely understand and are capable of working with moon then other space explorations would be much easier for us. But these are unmanned explorations of the outer planets and we really need to understand their nature and this will give us more ideas and information while we exploring our moon.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by Enceladus

Well this welcome news, but I can't help but feel that poor Uranus derserves a visit you know, There's so much mystery there- it's 98 degree axis the startling satellites and so on. I would like to see a mission there!

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 08:48 AM
reply to post by timelike

Even I would love to see a mission to Uranus; We have very less details about that blue planet and its mysterious dark spot. I hope in near future we will have some space craft like Cassini exploring them.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:19 AM
I agree- however the blue planet with the dark spot is Neptune!!! Uranus is the green icy giant between Saturn and Neptune and it's poles are inclined at 98 degress to the ecliptic.

Both Uranus and Neptune have been ignored for too long in my oppinion!

[edit on 18-4-2008 by timelike]


posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 04:22 PM
Between the two options, I'd choose Jupiter, since there is already an ongoing mission at Saturn. And also because the Galileo probe had a number of problems, the major one being the high-gain antenna failing to open. So I think Jupiter would be worth going to again.

However, like others have said. I'd much prefer a mission to Uranus or Neptune. Since we have very little data on those two. There has been some proposals for a Neptune Orbiter by various groups.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by timelike
I agree- however the blue planet with the dark spot is Neptune!!!

My bad; I always get confused with these two twin planets ;-) thanks for clearing it up.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 12:28 AM

Originally posted by jra

Yes the Galileo prob failed to deploy its main antenna and that was a major blow in getting information about Jupiter. But choosing Europa-Jupiter mission will have many challenges ahead like drilling through 2 - 10 Kilometers of thick ice and reaching the ocean below and searching for life forms.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 05:54 AM

Originally posted by Enceladus

My bad; I always get confused with these two twin planets ;-) thanks for clearing it up.

Not to worry! Just think how many probes could have been sent if both our governements had done the Iraq war instead!

I think we should get a petition going:

All those who want a mission to Uranus sign bellow:

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 10:52 AM
reply to post by timelike

Very true and let me be the first one to sign for it with my thumb impression

Signed below,



[edit on 20-4-2008 by Enceladus]

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