IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Destination Uranus! Rare chance to reach ice giants excites scientists
MikeH
post Mar 8 2020, 11:47 PM
Post #1


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 6
Joined: 17-March 16
Member No.: 7915



News article in Nature about an upcoming launch window in the 2030s for Uranus and Neptune (no paywall):

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00619-y
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
James S.
post Mar 9 2020, 03:50 PM
Post #2


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 15
Joined: 26-March 12
From: San Antonio, Texas
Member No.: 6368



This will be so AWESOME, if it does happen. Would be the icing on the cake after Pluto and New Horizons. I hope I'm alive to see this, as I just turned 53 this past January.

James


--------------------
Axes Grind and Maces Clash!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
titanicrivers
post Mar 13 2020, 05:07 PM
Post #3


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 624
Joined: 1-April 08
From: Minnesota !
Member No.: 4081



Not sure if the abstracts from this Royal Society scientific meeting on Future Exploration of the Ice Giants were referenced in other posts on Unmanned Spaceflight. If not here is the link: https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and.../01/ice-giants/
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
stevesliva
post Mar 13 2020, 05:55 PM
Post #4


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1428
Joined: 14-October 05
From: Vermont
Member No.: 530



The current 'Outer Planets' SNAFU is really tempering my enthusiasm here:
https://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreie...ry-science.html

And I'll leave it at that for the longstanding pro-harmony reasons of this forum, but I just want the few readers here to be aware.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
vjkane
post Mar 14 2020, 04:19 AM
Post #5


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 549
Joined: 22-April 05
Member No.: 351



QUOTE (stevesliva @ Mar 13 2020, 09:55 AM) *
The current 'Outer Planets' SNAFU is really tempering my enthusiasm here:
https://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreie...ry-science.html

And I'll leave it at that for the longstanding pro-harmony reasons of this forum, but I just want the few readers here to be aware.

Both the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and JPL are working to define New Frontiers-class Uranus orbiters. The abstracts don't mention whether or not an atmospheric probe could be included. The key is the attempt to drastically reduce the orbiter cost.

APL concept

JPL concept


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
antipode
post Mar 19 2020, 01:06 AM
Post #6


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 261
Joined: 1-October 06
Member No.: 1206



Has anyone proposed a flyby plus probe combination? Just asking.

P
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
vjkane
post Mar 19 2020, 05:38 PM
Post #7


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 549
Joined: 22-April 05
Member No.: 351



QUOTE (antipode @ Mar 18 2020, 06:06 PM) *
Has anyone proposed a flyby plus probe combination? Just asking.

P

Just flybys or flybys + atmospheric probes have been proposed a number of times. The consensus has been that the value of a flyby given its cost (generally assumed to be >$1B) isn't justified; better to wait for the funds for a much productive orbiter mission ($2-3B). Imagine how little we would have learned about the Saturn system if Cassini had been a flyby mission.

That said, the idea keeps coming up. By carefully subsetting the scientific goals, one could imagine a less expensive flyby mission that could be substantially cheaper. Trident, for example, made it to the Discovery finalist list by focusing its goals only on a single Trident flyby (although I'm sure there would be some ancillary Neptune observations).


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
antipode
post Mar 21 2020, 05:43 AM
Post #8


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 261
Joined: 1-October 06
Member No.: 1206



vjkane, I'm not suggesting its an ideal outcome, just one that might fall into the class of the good being the enemy of the perfect.
We might not get flagship class ice giant missions in any of our lifetimes. I expect some advance in ice giant science when the next generation of really big ground based telescopes come online,
but apart from that I was wondering what might be done with a New Horizons type package, with a magnetometer, with or without a probe.
Are there flight spares that could be used? Might this fit into a New Frontiers budget? And might there be opportunities for post ice giant flybys of TNOs?

P
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
vjkane
post Mar 21 2020, 03:36 PM
Post #9


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 549
Joined: 22-April 05
Member No.: 351



QUOTE (antipode @ Mar 20 2020, 10:43 PM) *
vjkane, I'm not suggesting its an ideal outcome, just one that might fall into the class of the good being the enemy of the perfect.
We might not get flagship class ice giant missions in any of our lifetimes. I expect some advance in ice giant science when the next generation of really big ground based telescopes come online,
but apart from that I was wondering what might be done with a New Horizons type package, with a magnetometer, with or without a probe.
Are there flight spares that could be used? Might this fit into a New Frontiers budget? And might there be opportunities for post ice giant flybys of TNOs?

P

I completely understand that reasoning. The planetary community also understands that if the Mars sample return goes forward, then affording a flagship Ice Giant mission will be difficult. JHU/APL and JPL are both working on mission concepts for New Frontiers-class Uranus orbiters. Here are links to two abstracts for the LPSC 2020 conference:

APL abstract
JPL abstract

While there's not a lot of detail in these, likely strategies would be to reduce the scope of science, fly fewer and simpler instruments than a flagship mission, and reduce data rates. The latter probably would be a key driver for lowering costs; data return is often the largest use of power on a mission (per one of Ralph Lorenz' papers). Reducing power ripples through the spacecraft design. I wouldn't be surprised if these concepts would have the spacecraft stay in long elliptical orbits so that there's plenty of time between close encounters to return data at a lower rate.

If an NF-class Uranus orbiter looks feasible, that would give the Decadal Survey more options to look at for ice giant missions.

I suspect that a Neptune NF-class orbiter isn't feasible. Longer flight time, further away so more power is needed to return the same amount of data, the craft has to fly fast to get to Neptune in a reasonable time so decelerating to enter orbiter may require something like aerocapture.

A couple of years ago, a portion of the outer planet community was recommending a combination of a Neptune flagship mission combined with a Uranus flyby+atmospheric probe that could continue to a KBO flyby.

In looking at reduced cost ice giant missions, one question always is, is there enough science returned to make this lower cost mission a better choice than spending the same money on a mission to a nearer target?


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Explorer1
post Mar 21 2020, 11:15 PM
Post #10


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1724
Joined: 13-February 10
From: Ontario
Member No.: 5221



Neptune and Triton are so tempting (the geysers alone would be such a treat), but if we have to choose just one, a Uranus orbiter is the logical choice after Galileo and Cassini. Shorter flight time and many more moons with unmapped hemispheres, and a chance to dispense with the 'blue-green cue ball' image that has existed since 1986. The equinox when both hemispheres are illuminated is approaching as well.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 5th July 2020 - 11:38 AM
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Please read the Forum Rules and Guidelines before posting.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT
Images posted on UnmannedSpaceflight.com may be copyrighted. Do not reproduce without permission. Read here for further information on space images and copyright.

OPINIONS AND MODERATION
Opinions expressed on UnmannedSpaceflight.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UnmannedSpaceflight.com or The Planetary Society. The all-volunteer UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderation team is wholly independent of The Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has no influence over decisions made by the UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderators.
SUPPORT THE FORUM
Unmannedspaceflight.com is a project of the Planetary Society and is funded by donations from visitors and members. Help keep this forum up and running by contributing here.