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Ice blades threaten Europa landing


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#16    CrimsonKing

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:04 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 28 March 2013 - 06:55 PM, said:

To be honest I don't know.

I suspect that the ice will be too thick to crash through. Some of the proposals for melting through the ice look promising, but the only exist on paper at the moment. I suspect that, unless we find some very thin ice, drilling is going to be out of the question. The weight of the boring equipment would be prohibitive. Besides if we do find thin ice.

I think what this topic is really highlighting is the need for orbiter missions first, to map Europa's surface in enough detail that lnding missions can be planned an carried out with a high probability of success.

NASA and other space agencies have always taken a step by step approach to exploration. First fly-bys, then orbiters and only then landers. This is how the explored the Moon and how they are exploring Mars.

In topic after topic I have defended this approach from people impatient to send landers to destinations such as Europa. This topic is a great demonstration of why NASA's approach is the correct one. If such ice blades do exist sending a lander to Europa would have a very high probability of failure. We need to know if and where it is safe to land, then, when there is enough information, the planning can take place of how best to achieve that goal.

I would agree with this,step by step approach if we just sent a lander first and it was destroyed when it landed BOOM wasted money,wasted time.As you said map it out first.

Do you think the radiation or magnetic field from jupiter might make things harder?Im no expert on the issue but some things i have read in the past almost make sending anything electronic their impossible.

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#17    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:11 PM

View PostCrimsonKing, on 28 March 2013 - 07:04 PM, said:

Do you think the radiation or magnetic field from jupiter might make things harder?Im no expert on the issue but some things i have read in the past almost make sending anything electronic their impossible.

It doesn't make things easy, but the Galileo probe survived nearly 8 years in orbit around Jupiter, so it is well within our abilities.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 28 March 2013 - 07:11 PM.
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#18    seeder

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:22 PM

Going back to the Op, it says:

"Scientists would like to send a lander down to sample surface regions where water wells up through the icy crust. These areas could allow a robotic probe to sample a proxy for ocean water that lies several kilometres deep".

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-21341176

I guess if it does well up, and we will only know from fly-bys or orbital probes/satellites etc, that there is a small chance we could just do a scoop and analyze it. But its a big IF I can appreciate



typos
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Edited by seeder, 28 March 2013 - 07:23 PM.

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#19    Artaxerxes

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:24 PM

A thermonuclear device that goes into meltdown when it hits the surface and melts it's way to the water below.


#20    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:36 PM

View PostArtaxerxes, on 08 April 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

A thermonuclear device that goes into meltdown when it hits the surface and melts it's way to the water below.
Ignoring the fact that nuclear weapons in space are banned by international law.

You would send a scientific mission to another world, but nuke the surface first?

Do you not think that totally annihilating the very environment you want to explore BEFORE you even land might just reduce the scientific returns of the mission to zero? Would this not make the entire mission pointless?

Here's an idea, map the surface and land where there are no ice blades?

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