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Fraser
2007-Feb-21, 12:06 AM
Arizona State University professor Ronald Greeley thinks that NASA's next flagship mission to the outer planets should be sent to Europa, to help determine if the Jovian moon is a good place to search for life. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/02/20/nasas-next-probe-should-visit-europa/)

Ivan Viehoff
2007-Feb-21, 10:00 AM
I'm rather hoping that Neptune and Uranus will get the Cassini treatment in my lifetime. I think working out what is happening at Europa, where the "ocean" seems to be a minimum of 5km below the surface, will prove disappointing until we have had a lot more practice on Mars.

antoniseb
2007-Feb-21, 01:11 PM
The article is talking about Greeley's opinion. My position is similar to yours. While I don't share your certainty that a Cassini like mission to Uranus or Neptune should be the next big mission, I do think that a Europa mission started in this decade would be pretty disappointing as far as what it will tell us, and that there are many great planetary exploration mission possibilities to choose from.

One downside to a Neptune orbiter is the time it would take to get there.

At some point a relatively cheap mission to send a set of seismometers to Europa and a station to do some chromatography and mass spectroscopy on the material from the icy surface will be useful, but I don't know if it should be the highest priority.

Grand_Lunar
2007-Feb-21, 02:17 PM
If the Ares 5 is built and has proven itself, that rocket might be useful in sending probes to Uranus and Neptune in short order. Well, shorter.

Something similar to JIMO would be nice for Europa. Again, Ares 5 might be the key. Of course, it really depends on what NASA is willing to use that rocket for.

Tharsis
2007-Feb-21, 03:40 PM
I'm not sure why Mr Greeley's recent comments are receiving lukewarm responses here, but I for one would be happy to see a spacecraft travel to Europa. Ever since Galileo transmitted images of that moon, I've been fascinated by it: the jumbled ice blocks, the brown surface stains, the enigmatic double grooved ridges. Then when they started to suspect the moon was hiding a possible global ocean caused by internal heating - that sealed it for me.

Hey I'm packed, how soon can we leave? :)

Sticks
2007-Feb-21, 04:54 PM
Weren't we told to make no landing there:question:

Wait a minute, that was the film 2010 :doh:

John Mendenhall
2007-Feb-21, 05:59 PM
A manned mission to Europa, after Mars? Why not?

parallaxicality
2007-Feb-21, 06:23 PM
I think a Europa mission should be on the cards at some point; perhaps with a lander attatched (hell, why not a lander for each of the Gallileans?) to complete our lander fleet up to Saturn (Still hoping BepiColombo has that lander in the end).

Things I'd like to see:

A well thought out Europa mission that could determine once and for all if Europa has an ocean.

A mission to Jupiter to determine how it formed; whether it formed from accretion or from gravitational collapse

A Cassini-style mission to Neptune (It would make better pictures than Uranus- what, I can't argue for a mission on aesthetic grounds?) preferably with a Triton lander attatched.

Occam
2007-Feb-21, 06:46 PM
A manned mission to Europa, after Mars? Why not?

A manned mission to Mars would be stupendously difficult. A manned mission to Europa is currently not within the realms of possibility. Any humans onboard would almost certainly be dead before it got there.

hiro
2007-Feb-21, 08:42 PM
If we have fusion propulsion around 2050s, then it'll be possible.

Sticks
2007-Feb-21, 09:57 PM
If we have fusion propulsion around 2050s, then it'll be possible.

We won't have fusion power because most probably it would be classed as a nuclear weapon and therefore banned by treaty

Disinfo Agent
2007-Feb-21, 10:32 PM
But since no one respects those treaties anymore, that shouldn't pose much of a problem. :razz:

Doodler
2007-Feb-21, 10:43 PM
If we have fusion propulsion around 2050s, then it'll be possible.

Now, address the lethal dose of radiation from Jupiter. Europa's in the dead zone. Ganymeade's as close as we'll get safely without some impressive technical improvements.

chrix
2007-Feb-22, 03:01 AM
It's very interesting to hear all these trips are being made up, but there's one question. why can't we do a space station outer space (like the one in Star Wars) and we do the command centre from there. We can send small fleets to go to distance locations, rather than spend billion dollars to send a single probe out there. We are in the year 2000's so, I havent see any flying cars or space ships outer space yet.....im not being fictional but, in science the impossible is possible...

thx
cvr

Imminent Death
2007-Feb-22, 04:50 AM
I think a rendezvous with Europe would be GREAT!

I'm still relatively new to Astronomy (going full and extreme force since 5 months ago, whooo!)... but I've always noticed in space probe photography that Europa had distinct characteristics as compared to other planets and moons in our solar system.

With the odd canals and "scratch marks" all over the planet.... I have no contest with anyone wanting to explore the extraordinary moon. The moon of Jupiter is certainly odd, in our eyes, and I think I can give us great insight with how the Universe came into place... or at least part of the explanation.

Imminent Death
2007-Feb-22, 05:01 AM
It's very interesting to hear all these trips are being made up, but there's one question. why can't we do a space station outer space (like the one in Star Wars) and we do the command centre from there. We can send small fleets to go to distance locations, rather than spend billion dollars to send a single probe out there. We are in the year 2000's so, I havent see any flying cars or space ships outer space yet.....im not being fictional but, in science the impossible is possible...

thx
cvr

Trust me... I'm in the same boat as you. I'm still in shock as to why Back To The Future Floating Delorians aren't around as predicted in the mid 90s :rolleyes: . Geez... what a disappointment.

The fact is... we're just now on the brink of being able to do what sci-fi has imagined for us. While we're on the cusp of many great discoveries... it will be many years (hopefully in my lifetime :D ) before we can have a real go-to "space station", travel at insane speeds (ideally close to or the speed of light) through space, and hopefully have the ability for any human to visit non-Earth bodies in our lifetime.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that all that will happen in my lifetime.

BLACK_MONOLITH
2007-Feb-24, 04:47 PM
"all These Worlds Are Yours Except Europa. Attempt No Landings There."