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$2bn Europa clipper mission proposed


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#16    highdesert50

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

It interesting to read the diversity of commentary in this thread. Does it also reflect the diversity of mission in NASA? If we harken back to the JFK era when NASA was given the primary mission of getting a man on the moon, it did so with a focused zeal that brought the world together in marvelous celebration to where an entire civilization was able to move beyond the Earth and set foot on an alien world. Does this translate into a comparable manned mission, to perhaps Mars, to establish a foothold in another world? Or, does NASA perhaps focus on finding life on another world? Certainly deciding upon a mission is open to debate, but I think that NASA has historically done its best work when it was focused. This world sorely needs a comparable challenge of a stature to the manned endeavor to the moon to stimulate us, as a civilization, to greater realization and opportunity.


#17    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

View Posthighdesert50, on 19 February 2013 - 01:12 PM, said:

It interesting to read the diversity of commentary in this thread. Does it also reflect the diversity of mission in NASA? If we harken back I think that NASA has historically done its best work when it was focused.
I agree but it is the very nature of NASA that it's focus must come from the US government. As long as politicians continue to change NASA's goals every 4 or 8 years then it is impossible for the agency to be focused.

Space projects take years to plan and execute. They are long term objectives, politicians need to look further ahead than the next election.

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#18    Sundew

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:24 AM

Concerning landing and one day exploring below the ice. Someone mentioned the ice may be 60 miles thick before you reach the liquid ocean. If that is so (and I have no idea if that figure is correct) how likely is it we can get a probe down to the water? With -160 to -220 on the surface, any hole that we could melt or bore would instantly refreeze. Could you receive a signal through that much ice from an untethered ROV? It also seems unlikely that you could have 60 miles of cable from the surface to an ROV. You would almost need a robot that could melt its way down to the water, operate independently, take video and samples and the melt itself back to the surface. No small task.


#19    Major Payne

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:55 AM

View Posthighdesert50, on 19 February 2013 - 01:12 PM, said:

If we harken back to the JFK era when NASA was given the primary mission of getting a man on the moon, it did so with a focused zeal that brought the world together in marvelous celebration to where an entire civilization was able to move beyond the Earth and set foot on an alien world.
We must remember that at that time the "world" was a divided body when it came to Space travel. If it were not for the Soviet Union (at the time) trying to reach the Moon during the early 60's, we as mankind may have taken a little longer to reach other bodies besides our Planet. President Kennedy was adamant in getting to the Moon first and in turn threw all the finacial backing that NASA needed to get the job done. (and to be truthful they were in second place until the final stretch)
In today's world where we now work together (as a world) to acheive these missions, the governments are not as eager to put the dollars towards these type of endeavours.
Maybe we need another space race to eventuate so the governments are more driven, (don't get your hopes up :no: ) as it seems the cost of curiosity and knowledge is too much for governments to warrant these type of missions.
Personally I feel privileged to witness all of the missions that NASA manages to have approved and accomplish. "We only see the surface of a very deep pond"

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#20    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:26 AM

The whole venture was a huge waste of time and money just so the US could win over Russia.  The world's technology is only now getting to the point where this sort of thing becomes reasonably worth while.


#21    Major Payne

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:18 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 February 2013 - 03:26 AM, said:

The whole venture was a huge waste of time and money just so the US could win over Russia.  The world's technology is only now getting to the point where this sort of thing becomes reasonably worth while.
The "reason" may be dubious but the result was definitely worth it.
Sometimes the reasons for doing something may not be the best at heart but if the end result is as amazing as walking on the Moon, then maybe the Space race was worth the dubious reason.

Without the 2 superpowers battling to be first to the Moon, maybe the record books would have a German name as the first person on the Moon (they both took as much information from "Von Braun" as they could to advance their programs)

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#22    Bavarian Raven

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

About the ice thickness, most things I have read put the ice thickness at 2-5 miles. Which, if right, is a thickness we can deal with. :)
And I for one look forward to this mission being launched within my lifetime :)


#23    keithisco

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:58 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 19 February 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

If I understand your idea it would still require a lander, which would be expensive, complicated and risky. As MedicTJ pointed out Europa has no appreciable atmosphere and so we would need a landing system that would make Curiosity's "seven minutes of terror" look like child's play. The price tag is $2 billion for an orbiter, I suspect a lander would be considerably more expensive.
.

Not quite Waspie, I was proposing 2 impactors (acoustic cannon, and Sonar Transponder), with only 1/10th the gravity of Earth and no appreciable atmospher the impactors to approach at very low speed (relatively) and embed in the ice, although this is not an essential requirement with an omnidirectional transponder. Not looking for a soft landing, and the instrumentation would not require it.

I dont know, just an idea, I'll move on now :unsure2:


#24    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

View PostMajor Payne, on 20 February 2013 - 04:18 AM, said:

The "reason" may be dubious but the result was definitely worth it.
Sometimes the reasons for doing something may not be the best at heart but if the end result is as amazing as walking on the Moon, then maybe the Space race was worth the dubious reason.

Without the 2 superpowers battling to be first to the Moon, maybe the record books would have a German name as the first person on the Moon (they both took as much information from "Von Braun" as they could to advance their programs)
Your point is well taken, and it may be that the loss of face that the Russians incurred, after they made the challenge, of having to abandon it, is part of why the Soviet Union as we then knew it no longer exists.


#25    keithisco

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:22 PM

View PostMajor Payne, on 20 February 2013 - 04:18 AM, said:

The "reason" may be dubious but the result was definitely worth it.
Sometimes the reasons for doing something may not be the best at heart but if the end result is as amazing as walking on the Moon, then maybe the Space race was worth the dubious reason.

Without the 2 superpowers battling to be first to the Moon, maybe the record books would have a German name as the first person on the Moon (they both took as much information from "Von Braun" as they could to advance their programs)

Not quite right Major Payne.. The USA, UK, and Russia took everything that remained (Operation Paperclip) the German Authorities that remained had no access to, or knowledge of the projects as the knowledge was closely guarded by Himmler (Reichsfuhrer), and that which was discovered comprised of only those project notes and prototypes (or functional machines as in the case of the V2) that were not summarily destroyed.Germany was deprived of all access, as was France


#26    Major Payne

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:08 AM

View Postkeithisco, on 20 February 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

Not quite right Major Payne.. The USA, UK, and Russia took everything that remained (Operation Paperclip) the German Authorities that remained had no access to, or knowledge of the projects as the knowledge was closely guarded by Himmler (Reichsfuhrer), and that which was discovered comprised of only those project notes and prototypes (or functional machines as in the case of the V2) that were not summarily destroyed.Germany was deprived of all access, as was France
Mine is a "Hypothetical" scenario keith.
"Maybe" it would have been Germany "Maybe" not.
None of us will ever know as this scenario never eventuated.
Was not trying to rewrite history, sorry mate.

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#27    Mikami

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

Now THIS is something I'd spend money on!





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