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Waspie_Dwarf

Europa Mission Science Instruments

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NASA Seeks Proposals for Europa Mission Science Instruments

NASA has issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for proposals about science instruments that could be carried aboard a future mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Selected instruments could address fundamental questions about the icy moon and the search for life beyond Earth.

“The possibility of life on Europa is a motivating force for scientists and engineers around the world,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “This solicitation will select instruments which may provide a big leap in our search to answer the question: are we alone in the universe?”

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The biggest problem I can see, aside from getting there safely, is how much ice will you have to melt or drill your way through to get to the "ocean" and second, getting a tethered ROV down there to send back data. If we are talking about miles of ice this is not a trivial problem.

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The biggest problem I can see, aside from getting there safely, is how much ice will you have to melt or drill your way through to get to the "ocean" and second, getting a tethered ROV down there to send back data. If we are talking about miles of ice this is not a trivial problem.

All of which is currently irrelevant as this is an orbiting mission, not a lander.

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Posted (edited)

Really? Then I must have imagined this at the top of the the article. "The space agency is accepting proposals for science instruments for future use on Jupiter's icy moon."

Edited by John Wesley Boyd

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Posted (edited)

Really? Then I must have imagined this at the top of the the article. "The space agency is accepting proposals for science instruments for future use on Jupiter's icy moon."

I don't know if it is a product of your imagination, but it is, nevertheless, your invention.

You changed the quote from what it actually said. The word "on" is entirely your invention. I won't comment further on the honesty of this tactic, I'll leave it for others to judge.

What it actually says (in both my OP and the linked article is:

NASA has issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for proposals about science instruments that could be carried aboard a future mission to Jupiter's moon Europa.
(my emphasis).

Indeed the article explicitly contradicts your interpretation. Further into the article it says this:

The AO calls for proposals compatible with a spacecraft that would either orbit or perform multiple flybys of Europa.
(my emphasis).

And then further it says:

While characterizing landing sites for future exploration is the fourth scientific priority in the Planetary Decadal Survey, NASA places high priority on this goal to enable a potential future lander mission to Europa.

May I respectfully suggest that in future it may be a good idea not to alter quotes and to actually read an article before sarcastically criticising those that know what they are talking about.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
multiple typos.

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Posted (edited)

I copied and pasted--I changed nothing. Go to the home page and read the blurb under the picture.

Edited by John Wesley Boyd

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I would surmise that a combination of imaging and radar would be best, along with spectrometers and what-have-you to study composition.

Also, automatic locks and a good alarm system. Still not convinced that Jupiter isn't an enemy planet...

user_25134_KFSNWKQ9.gif

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Very cool mission hope we see it in our life time

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I copied and pasted--I changed nothing. Go to the home page and read the blurb under the picture.

Went there, read the blurb under the picture, copied the text, reads as follows:

"NASA has issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for proposals about science instruments that could be carried aboard a future mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Selected instruments could address fundamental questions about the icy moon and the search for life beyond Earth" (bolding the phrase in question is mine)

The word on is not present. The word to is present.

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My brain just can't really get round how you could get through miles of ice.

I heard before the idea of using some kind of nuclear device to gradually melt through it. Problem is it is going to freeze behind you so continually feeding a data cable with the probe is not going to work.

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my proposal is to build a kwik-e-mart.

if there IS life out there, they'll turn up at 4am when they're all outta beer & smokes....

.

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My brain just can't really get round how you could get through miles of ice.

To repeat, that is not an issue for this mission as it is an orbiter.

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I copied and pasted--I changed nothing. Go to the home page and read the blurb under the picture.

You claim to have copied and pasted yet your "quote" does not appear anywhere in the original article, that's a rather unusual cut and paste, especially as both Lilly and I managed to cut and paste without any of the words mysteriously changing.

Once again I'll leave it to others to decide on the honesty of your claim.

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Problem is it is going to freeze behind you so continually feeding a data cable with the probe is not going

to work.

A cable covered in ice will not lose its conductibility, quite the contrary if metal wires are in use. The colder a

wire is, the less is its electric resistance and thats of benefit for the transport of data/electricity. You have the

opposite effect e.g. when the fan in yr computer does not work. The CPU (internal cabling) gets hot, resulting

in an increase of electric resistance/lower electron traffic = slowed down PC.

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Posted (edited)

You claim to have copied and pasted yet your "quote" does not appear anywhere in the original article, that's a rather unusual cut and paste, especially as both Lilly and I managed to cut and paste without any of the words mysteriously changing.

Once again I'll leave it to others to decide on the honesty of your claim.

Before anyone gets all riled up for no good reason - if you look at the original article it sources Fox News which does go into a somewhat extended future prospectus for investigating Europa including landers etc. The Source for this thread (OP source) is actually NASA which IS very clear about the AO.

Easy error - time to move on I would have thought...

moving on - if a deep impact projectile is involved then the possibility to actually subject ejecta to scientific processes would open up many channels of investigation

Edited by keithisco

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moving on - if a deep impact projectile is involved then the possibility to actually subject ejecta to scientific processes would open up many channels of investigation

I was thinking the same thing. A high speed, inert and sterile projectile fired at the surface would kick up tons of ejecta which could then be analyzed by the orbiting spacecraft. You could make its composoition identical to meteoric iron so that there would be no complaints about polluting the surface with or inroducing foreign material as I am sure the moon is hit all the time with iron-nickel meterors.

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Before anyone gets all riled up for no good reason - if you look at the original article it sources Fox News which does go into a somewhat extended future prospectus for investigating Europa including landers etc. The Source for this thread (OP source) is actually NASA which IS very clear about the AO.

Easy error - time to move on I would have thought...

Thank you for pointing this out, I apologise to John Wesley Boyd for questioning his honesty. I would still suggest that he checks his facts before making provably wrong claims though.

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Posted (edited)

moving on - if a deep impact projectile is involved then the possibility to actually subject ejecta to scientific processes would open up many channels of investigation

I question the need for a deep impact projectile.

Since Europa has geysers which spray material many tens of kilometres into space a Europa orbiter (or flyby) mission could sample such material without the need for the weight and complexity of an impactor.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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I question the need for a deep impact projectile.

Since Europa has geysers which spray material many tens of kilometres into space a Europa orbiter (or flyby) mission could sample such material without the need for the weight and complexity of an impactor.

Does anyone know if the flybe or orbits will take the craft over the South Pole where the geysers appear to be? If so then I totally agree that an impactor would be surplus to needs. Analysis of any samples collected would be a real boost to the mission outbrief.

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Thank you for pointing this out, I apologise to John Wesley Boyd for questioning his honesty. I would still suggest that he checks his facts before making provably wrong claims though.

In total fairness and just to clear things up (althought keithisko already brought that up), here's a screen of UM article's page and even UM Home page, as referred by John Wesley Boyd (red underline mine):

post-133320-0-50573100-1405850668_thumb.

post-133320-0-86093800-1405850936_thumb.

So maybe he should read mor thoroughly before posting, but you should check facts better before jumping on someone's neck, since as you can read the word "on" wasn't his invention.

Anyway, quoting keithisko and moving on, it would be interesting not only analyze the product of the geysers, but study if there's a frequency in the bursts, and see if it's feasable to drop a small sensor directly inside one of them between two eruptions. This could lead us directly under the crust, or at least well deep uder it, even more than with a projectile.

I know that's more or less like destroying the Death Star with a single shot, but giving a thought can't do us harm

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I question the need for a deep impact projectile.

Since Europa has geysers which spray material many tens of kilometres into space a Europa orbiter (or flyby) mission could sample such material without the need for the weight and complexity of an impactor.

I understand but the geysers are not predictable. A man made impact would allow the spacecraft to be in the "right place at the right time" to deploy all its instrumentation during the event. Of course, as you said, the geysers would provide an immense amount of info and should also be explored and I can't imagine they wouldn't be.

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Any body up for some ice fishing ...

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Any body up for some ice fishing ...

We will need some beers and an ice hut. Can't be worse then northern Canada in January. :innocent::whistle:

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Posted (edited)

So maybe he should read mor thoroughly before posting, but you should check facts better before jumping on someone's neck, since as you can read the word "on" wasn't his invention.

And maybe, before flame-baiting by sticking your nose in affairs that have nothing to do with you, you should have noticed that I apologised for my behaviour.

Are going to apologise for yours?

Anyway, quoting keithisko and moving on,

WE had.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Does anyone know if the flybe or orbits will take the craft over the South Pole where the geysers appear to be? If so then I totally agree that an impactor would be surplus to needs. Analysis of any samples collected would be a real boost to the mission outbrief.

I would guess that a final orbit has been determined yet and may be based on the kind of instruments NASA chooses to fly, however as mapping the surface for future lander missions is one of the stated goals a polar or near polar orbit would make sense.

I understand but the geysers are not predictable. A man made impact would allow the spacecraft to be in the "right place at the right time" to deploy all its instrumentation during the event. Of course, as you said, the geysers would provide an immense amount of info and should also be explored and I can't imagine they wouldn't be.

A man made object is not going to penetrate kilometres of ice, and so will not give you the information that flying through a geyser will.

An impactor is a one shot experiment, and problems with the spacecraft an the experiment is lost, unlike most instruments flown on space probes you can not try a second time.

Worst, an impactor will not fire material hundreds of kilometres into space like a geyser does. To get scientific results the probe needs to fly through the plume generated by the impactor... and that means a collision course with Europa.

When the Deep Impact mission fired an impactor at comet Temple 1 the main probe was able to avoid a collision because the comet is only 7.6 x 4.9 km (4.7 x 3.0 miles) across, Deep Impact could fly through the plume and still miss the comet. However when LCROSS measured the results of a Centaur upper-stage impacting a Lunar south polar crater the only way that it could get the data was to follow the Centaur in. It impacted the Moon six minutes after the Centaur.

Europa is not much smaller than the Moon... an impactor mission would be a suicide mission for the craft.

Now compare that to the advantages of flying through the Geysers:

  • They might be unpredictable but a mission lasting months or even years will have multiple opportunities, not just one.
  • The plumes will release material from far deeper than a man made impactor will.
  • The plumes will be far higher meaning no tricky low level orbits
  • The spacecraft won't be destroyed doing it.

Like I said, I question the need for an impactor.

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