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Thread: New NASA Missions

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    New NASA Missions

    In Back to Uranus and Neptune? nearly a year ago, I'd discussed possible missions to Uranus and/or Neptune. NASA is now getting closer to deciding on some new missions.

    The Downlink: NASA Considers Missions to Venus, Io, and Triton | The Planetary Society along with a lot of other space-mission news. But its headline news is this: NASA Selects 4 Possible Missions to Study Secrets of the Solar System | NASA

    DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus)
    DAVINCI

    A Venus lander. It will analyze Venus's atmosphere on its way down and take pictures of the planet's surface.

    Io Volcano Observer (IVO)
    Io Volcano Observer

    A Jupiter orbiter that will do several close Io flybys. It will take a close look at that moon's volcanoes.

    It will likely be launched around 2026 - 2028 and it will use gravity assists at both Mars and the Earth to get to Jupiter. Likely around the end of 2031.

    TRIDENT
    Trident (spacecraft)

    Will do a flyby of Neptune and Triton, the planet's largest moon.

    Its mission:
    • Launch: 2026 Apr 15 - May 5
    • Earth flyby: 2026 Oct 28
    • Venus flyby: 2027 Mar 25
    • Earth flyby: 2028 Feb 7
    • Earth flyby: 2031 Feb 7
    • Jupiter, Io flyby: 2032 Jun 28 (1.24 RJ or 88,650 km (55,080 mi))
    • Neptune, Triton flyby: 2038 Jun 28


    VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)
    VERITAS (spacecraft)

    A Venus orbiter. It will observe the planet's surface with radar and an infrared camera.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    I wish that they'd taken some more detailed pictures of the material that makes up the rings of Saturn. We still just get to look at simulations. I think they can be very misleading, just like simulations of the asteroid belt where they look like an impenetrable barrier to spacecraft, when in fact it is vastly more empty.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    I wish that they'd taken some more detailed pictures of the material that makes up the rings of Saturn. We still just get to look at simulations. I think they can be very misleading, just like simulations of the asteroid belt where they look like an impenetrable barrier to spacecraft, when in fact it is vastly more empty.
    There are plenty of pictures of Saturn's rings from the ground and from spacecraft: the Hubble Space Telescope, Pioneer 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, and Cassini.

    Why might they be inadequate?

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    I wish that they'd taken some more detailed pictures of the material that makes up the rings of Saturn. We still just get to look at simulations. I think they can be very misleading, just like simulations of the asteroid belt where they look like an impenetrable barrier to spacecraft, when in fact it is vastly more empty.
    There are plenty of pictures of Saturn's rings from the ground and from spacecraft: the Hubble Space Telescope, Pioneer 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, and Cassini.

    Why might they be inadequate?
    This is why -
    Cassini dived through the gap between the planet and its rings in 2017, but had to shut it’s camera port for protection during the ring passage. Below is a simulation of what it would have seen. Image courtesy of an unknown space artist at NASA.


    Would have been nice.

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