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Thread: Europa Clipper mission.

  1. #31
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    "NASA's Europa Clipper will find out if Jupiter's icy moon is habitable"

    https://astronomy.com/news/2020/09/n...a-is-habitable

    Humanity’s first dedicated spacecraft meant to explore Jupiter's moon Europa will be complete by 2023 — and it's custom built to find out whether life can exist on the ocean world.
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  2. #32
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    Europa Clipper mission might be removed from SLS.

    https://spacenews.com/white-house-as...s-requirement/
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  3. #33
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    NASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System. Almost unnoticed, tucked into the 2021 fiscal NASA funding section of the recently passed omnibus spending bill, is a provision that would seem to liberate the upcoming Europa Clipper mission from the Space Launch System (SLS). According to Space News, the mandate that the Europa Clipper mission be launched on an SLS remains in place only if the behind-schedule and overpriced heavy lift rocket is available and if concerns about hardware compatibility between the probe and the launcher are resolved. Otherwise, NASA is free to search for commercial alternatives to get the Europa Clipper to Jupiter’s ice-shrouded moon.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/technolo...-launch-system
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  4. #34
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    "NASA seeks input on Europa Clipper launch options"

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-seeks-inp...aunch-options/

    NASA has issued a request for information for launch services for its Europa Clipper mission, a sign the agency is taking advantage of language in a recent appropriations bill that allows it to consider alternatives to the Space Launch System.

    The Jan. 26 request for information seeks data from companies that believe they have vehicles that can launch the mission, which will go into orbit around Jupiter and make dozens of close approaches to Europa, an icy, potentially habitable moon.

    The launch vehicle would have to be able to launch the spacecraft, weighing at least 6,065 kilograms, on a trajectory that would incorporate gravity-assist flybys of Mars and Earth before arriving at Jupiter. The launch would take place during a three-week window in October 2024.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    NASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System. Almost unnoticed, tucked into the 2021 fiscal NASA funding section of the recently passed omnibus spending bill, is a provision that would seem to liberate the upcoming Europa Clipper mission from the Space Launch System (SLS). According to Space News, the mandate that the Europa Clipper mission be launched on an SLS remains in place only if the behind-schedule and overpriced heavy lift rocket is available and if concerns about hardware compatibility between the probe and the launcher are resolved. Otherwise, NASA is free to search for commercial alternatives to get the Europa Clipper to Jupiter’s ice-shrouded moon.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/technolo...-launch-system
    I found this bit particularly enlightening
    As Ars Technica points out, launching the Europa Clipper on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy saves the mission $1.5 billion. An advantage of using the SLS has been that it allows for a direct path to Jupiter without the time-consuming planetary flyby maneuvers that previous missions to the outer planets have required. The Falcon Heavy alone would not be able to get the Europa Clipper to Jupiter space directly, though it might be able to if equipped with a powerful Centaur kick stage.

    Both the economics and physics of getting to Europa change if SpaceX’s Starship, currently under development in Boca Chica, Texas, becomes available to launch the Europa Clipper in the mid-2020s.
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  6. #36
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    Europa Clipper Launch Services. NASA has posted a solicitation for a commercial launch vehicle to send its Clipper spacecraft to Jupiter's moon Europa. "The launch vehicle shall deliver a minimum 6,065 kg Europa Clipper spacecraft with Mars-Earth-Gravity-Assist trajectory characteristics," the solicitation states.

    https://beta.sam.gov/opp/a494208ffa4...e58f86c5c/view
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  7. #37
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    NASA has issued a request for information for launch services for its Europa Clipper mission, a sign the agency is taking advantage of language in a recent appropriations bill that allows it to consider alternatives to the Space Launch System. The Jan. 26 request for information seeks data from companies that believe they have vehicles that can launch the mission, which will go into orbit around Jupiter and make dozens of close approaches to Europa, an icy, potentially habitable moon. The launch vehicle would have to be able to launch the spacecraft, weighing at least 6,065 kilograms, on a trajectory that would incorporate gravity-assist flybys of Mars and Earth before arriving at Jupiter. The launch would take place during a three-week window in October 2024.

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-seeks-inp...aunch-options/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  8. #38
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    I don’t think Super Heavy will be ready. Falcon Heavy for an MRO replacement, but SLS will mean most of Clippers service life won’t be spent in transit. I think that is worth the money.

  9. #39
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    One thing mentioned has been to add a Star 48 kick stage to FH inside the DoD stretched fairing, like they did with Delta 4 Heavy and the Parker Solar Probe.

    Super Heavy may be ready sooner than many expect. They're stacking SH BN1 now, and pouring a crap-load of concrete around the orbital pad. They mean business.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Feb-10 at 11:22 PM.

  10. #40
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    No mention of the Star 48 kick stage with Falcon Heavy, which was previously in the mix. Stealth Merlin upgrades, again?

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-to-use-co...uropa-clipper/

    NASA to use commercial launch vehicle for Europa Clipper
    >
    “We now have clarity on the launch vehicle path and launch date,” Robert Pappalardo, project scientist for Europa Clipper at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said. That clarity came in the form of a Jan. 25 memo from NASA’s Planetary Missions Program Office to “immediately cease efforts to maintain SLS compatibility” and move forward with a commercial launch vehicle, or CLV, he said.

    >

    SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch vehicle is the leading contender to launch Europa Clipper, and has been used in planning for alternatives to SLS. The fiscal year 2021 appropriations bill, though, requires NASA to consider all potential launch vehicles, including those not currently part of its NASA Launch Services 2 contract, through a “full and open competition.”

    The announcement didn’t state when NASA would select a launch vehicle. At the OPAG meeting, Chodas said she expected NASA’s Launch Services Program, which will manage that procurement, to select a vehicle “in about a year or so.”
    >

  11. #41
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    Ah, so it won't have to get cooked during a Venus fly-by-as per the discussion page at Space News. It will have to be an expendable-heavier than Cassini. SLS is off the table altogether. I not only wanted SLS, but wanted Orion bumped so as to get Clipper there fast so there could be a chance it and Juno could work in tandem. There will have to be an Earth fly-by, so Juno may be toast. Something else-will the anti-nukes make a scene here like Kaku did with Cassini? That's the biggest reason I wanted SLS-to avoid the Earth fly-by. Michio didn't say much against the two nuclear rovers due to simpler trajectories.

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