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Thread: Which of the two new water worlds should NASA visit?

  1. #1
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    Which of the two new water worlds should NASA visit?

    I don't think it matters which one should be visited first, they're both promising. My vote is, you gotta go to both of them.
    Last edited by DaCaptain; 2017-Apr-15 at 05:58 AM.
    I know that I know nothing, so I question everything. - Socrates/Descartes

  2. #2
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    Of course it matters. One must be visited first, so which offers more bang for the buck?
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  3. #3
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    Enceladus is probably a lot easier, in any case - the Jovian system not only has nasty radiation reducing the lifetime of electronics (and thus ruling out a lot of clever flyby tricks to save fuel), but the deep gravitational well requires a lot of fuel to get to the Europan surface. Saturn's particle environment is practically benign by comparison, giving nor time to get to the surface (so things like Titan assists could be used to reduce fuel needed).

  4. #4
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    I find Europa much more exobiologically interesting, but Enceladus would be a much easier target. The only downside to the latter is the greater distance.

    On balance: Enceladus.

  5. #5
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    Double NASA's budget and send both at the same time.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  6. #6
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    Europa. One of the scientists yesterday put her bet on Europa for being more likely to have life. Her reasoning is that we know Europa's as old as Jupiter, so there has been enough time for life to develop. They don't know how old Enceladus is.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Double NASA's budget and send both at the same time.
    Perhaps a mother ship to Europa first, then on to Enceladus. The latter may have an ice cap 1/4 the thickness, so radar imaging, for one thing, would be better.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Double NASA's budget and send both at the same time.
    Oh I completely agree with this statement. Imagine what NASA could do if the US government flipped budgets with the military. They spend way to much money on stuff that goes boom.
    I know that I know nothing, so I question everything. - Socrates/Descartes

  9. #9
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    An Enceladus expedition could be combined with a Titan expedition, and Titan is actually more interesting than either Europa or Enceladus.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Double NASA's budget and send both at the same time.
    I'd pick this option.
    Solfe

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  11. #11
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    Which two "water worlds" are you referring to?
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngc3314 View Post
    Enceladus is probably a lot easier, in any case - the Jovian system not only has nasty radiation reducing the lifetime of electronics (and thus ruling out a lot of clever flyby tricks to save fuel), but the deep gravitational well requires a lot of fuel to get to the Europan surface. Saturn's particle environment is practically benign by comparison, giving nor time to get to the surface (so things like Titan assists could be used to reduce fuel needed).
    That radiation will also quickly degrade surface remnants of organic material. If we go for Enceladus, we could also get some additional science done on Titan while we're at it...Titan being another moon likely to contain an internal ocean, and with a lot of interesting activity going on.

    Europa was the first moon speculated to contain an ocean, and featured in several works of fiction as a location with life, but we now know there's several likely candidates, and this fixation on Europa is rather shortsighted.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Which two "water worlds" are you referring to?
    Saturn's Enceladus and Jupiter's Europa.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaCaptain View Post
    Oh I completely agree with this statement. Imagine what NASA could do if the US government flipped budgets with the military. They spend way to much money on stuff that goes boom.
    Please don't go there. There is an exception to our "no politics" rule (rule 12) that allows discussion of NASA's budget (or the ESA or similar), but when you start comparing it to other budget items, it gets into politics that we don't allow.

    Thanks,
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