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Nasa Picks "juno" As Next New Frontiers Mission
Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Jun 1 2005, 10:10 PM
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http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2005/jun/H...rontiers_2.html

Yeah, I know it ain't Saturn, but we don't seem to have any proper slot for Jovian news -- including yesterday's totally unexpected announcement that Amalthea's density is so low as to suggest that it's a highly porous ice object; maybe a captured Kuiper Belt Object reduced to rubble by infalling meteoroids. As Jason Perry says, this might explain those previously mysterious light-colored patches on Amalthea -- they may be its underlying ice, exposed by impacts that punched through the layer of sulfur spray-painted onto it by Io.

Scott Bolton has been pretty talkative to me already about the design of Juno. It certainly won't be as good in the PR department as Galileo or Cassini, but it DOES carry a camera -- as much for PR as for Jovian cloud science, according to Bolton. And since the latitude of periapsis of its highly elliptical orbit will change radically during the primary mission, I wonder if they might be able to set up at least one close photographic flyby of Io and/or Amalthea? (I believe, by the way, that this selection is a bit ahead of schedule -- and it certainly indicates that NASA's science program under Griffin won't be a complete slave to Bush's Moon-Mars initiative.)
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tedstryk
post Jun 1 2005, 10:44 PM
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Great to hear. With the whole lunar program being envisioned under the Moon/Mars program, it is good to hear this was selected. Also, it is nice to see another outer solar system mission entering planning...I mean, after New Horizons launches next year, we would have no outer solar system missions in development!


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djellison
post Jun 1 2005, 10:45 PM
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I take it this puts to bed the possibility of an NH2 ?

Does Juno have a website ?

I'll create a Jovian section for the forum in a bit

Doug
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Jun 1 2005, 11:39 PM
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Any proposals on what kind of camera?
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Jun 1 2005, 11:51 PM
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No website yet, and I have no details on what kind of a camera -- Bolton wasn't THAT talkative. I'll contact him again to see if a website is about to appear -- and, if not, I'll write my own article on the mission.

By the way, Doug, would it be possible for you to capitalize "Juno" in my original topic name? As usual, I screwed up on my capitalization.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Jun 1 2005, 11:51 PM
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Postscript: the mission selection actually was planned for last month. I'd lost track.
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Jun 1 2005, 11:57 PM
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They can't return to Jupiter without taking a decent camera blink.gif blink.gif
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edstrick
post Jun 2 2005, 06:49 AM
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Atmosphere sounding instruments can also return very interesting images, witness infrared imaging spectrometers on Cassini and Galileo.

Also, some non-imaging instruments return truely spectacular images. The MOLA laser altimeter on Mars Global Surveyor is a non-imaging instrument, and it's "primary" data pre-flight tended to be described as the surface profiles from single passes, but the dense coverage it returned of altimetry data, *WITHOUT* gross artifacts in the form of pass-to-pass striping or the like results in truely spectacular images of Mars topography.

We'll see what we might make from non-imaging instruments that are interesting, when we have a payload list and some instrument details.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Jun 2 2005, 10:37 AM
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Well, I can give you the full instrument list (although not in much detail):

(1) Multi-channel microwave spectrometer (for very deep temperature, water vapor and ammonia profiles).

(2) UV imaging spectrometer (another version of the "ALICE" on Rosetta and New Horizons).

(3) Magnetometer

(4) Plasma detector ("JADE", or Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment).

(5) Energetic particle detector

(6) Plasma wave detector

(7) Camera

Plus the radio science experiment -- which is actually the most important one on Juno, with the possible exception of the microwave spectrometer and magnetometer, given its ability to make gravity-field measurements so precise that they will settle both the question of whether Jupiter has a rocky core, but even detect the convection currents from very deep winds.

Nothing in there for images, except for the camera itself and ALICE (plus whatever maps they get out of the microwave instrument). As I say, this is a very important mission scientifically -- giving us our deepest look yet into Jupiter's innards -- but it won't have much charm for nonscientists.
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garybeau
post Jun 2 2005, 12:39 PM
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I would have thought / hoped the next Jovian mission would have been a Europa orbiter. This is one of the few places besides Mars that holds any prospects for life. Whatever happened to Nasa's "follow the water" mantra. The Juno mission just doesn't stir up any passion.
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Chmee
post Jun 2 2005, 03:03 PM
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Hopefully Juno wont have an umbrella style high gain antenna like Galileo! rolleyes.gif

Seriously, it will be great to see movies of Jupiter's weather and cloud patterns, something Galileo could not do because of the high gain antenna issue.

i am also surprised that a Europa mission was not selected. Must have been too much money.
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tty
post Jun 2 2005, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE (garybeau @ Jun 2 2005, 02:39 PM)
I would have thought / hoped the next Jovian mission would have been a Europa orbiter. This is one of the few places besides Mars that holds any prospects for life.  Whatever happened to Nasa's "follow the water" mantra. The Juno mission just doesn't stir up any passion.
*


I could certainly imagine that life might exist deep in the Jovian atmosphere. A bit hard to get at though. wink.gif

tty
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volcanopele
post Jun 2 2005, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (garybeau @ Jun 2 2005, 05:39 AM)
I would have thought / hoped the next Jovian mission would have been a Europa orbiter. This is one of the few places besides Mars that holds any prospects for life.  Whatever happened to Nasa's "follow the water" mantra. The Juno mission just doesn't stir up any passion.
*

Actually, I'm glad to see a mission that does tow that line, astrobiologically speaking. In terms of a Europa orbiter, such a mission would be a flagship, billion-dollar class mission, a step up in pay scale from the New Frontiers missions. Believe it or not, I am fully behind the Europa orbiter, once I started thinking of it as a two-year Io mission with a 30-day extended mission in Europa orbit.


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Jun 3 2005, 01:17 AM
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Well, the Decadal Survey recommended -- and the new NASA Solar System Roadmap document backs again -- a Europa orbiter; but it's too expensive to be an NF mission. Instead, the Roadmap report calls it a "small Flagship" mission -- that is, in the $700 million to $1.5 billion price range -- and strongly recommends it for a launch in 2014, maybe even with a small Europa lander added. Hopefully they'll finally stop screwing around and fly the damn thing, now that O'Keefe's JIMO fairy tale has been taken back off the table. (Rumor has it that, due to his engineering ignorance, he was bamboozled into backing that grotesquerie by his pro-nuclear brother.)

Indeed, the Roadmap recommends two more small Flagship missions after that at 5-year intervals -- the first probably being a Titan Explorer (an aerobot to repeatedly sample the surface looking for organics, and relaying its data directly back to earth without a Titan orbiter), and the second being a Venus Explorer (some kind of long-lived surface vehicle using the temperature-resistant electronics that will hopefully be available by 2024 -- maybe a surface rover as the report recommends, but maybe instead a repeat-landing aerobot like the Titan mission). Then at some point in the 2025-35 period, it recommends one really big Flagship mission in the multi-billion dollar class, with several possible targets.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Jun 3 2005, 01:21 AM
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Jason is likely to be disappointed if he thinks of the Europa orbiter as "a 2-year Io mission with one month in Europa orbit". The plans for it, which have long ago been worked out in detail, call for it to make repeated flybys of Ganymede and Callisto during its 2-year orbital tour before settling into Europa orbit -- but NOT to get any closer to Jupiter than Europa, in order to minimize its radiation dose. The plan now is not even to have it make a close approach to Jupiter at its initial arrival -- instead, it will approach at Ganymede's distance and make a Ganymede flyby to help brake itself into Jovian orbit (rather than using Io for that purpose, as Galileo did).
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