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November OPAG meeting?, Any news from the November 7-8 OPAG meeting...
Roly
post Nov 10 2006, 10:47 AM
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Normally there is something on the Planetary Society blog (and there was a little) but I'm sure everyone is interested to hear about the recent OPAG meeting? Particularly what, precisely, is the new plan regarding Flagship missions... and also the Juno briefing.

If there are any details, I would be most grateful.

Roly
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elakdawalla
post Nov 10 2006, 06:29 PM
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There wasn't much on the blog because I wasn't able to attend this time, and nobody else seems to take notes as copious as mine smile.gif

I did try to email a bunch of people but everyone I know seems either to have missed the meeting or to be too busy to write, unfortunately. If I get any more info I'll certainly post it...

--Emily


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volcanopele
post Nov 10 2006, 06:37 PM
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Keep in mind that there was a Titan meeting at the same time in Tucson and people are just traveling back. It may take a little time to hear about what happened. The only thing I heard was that the financial situation isn't as grim as first though, though the next New Frontiers AO maybe delayed until early 2009 (but for a very, very good reason laugh.gif


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Guest_Analyst_*
post Nov 10 2006, 06:49 PM
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Could you please be a little more specific about the "very, very good reason"?!

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ugordan
post Nov 10 2006, 06:56 PM
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And just to avoid confusion, that's New Frontiers indeed? I'm asking because Emily's blog entry suggested a Flagship mission also tentatively to start in 2009 so I'm wondering if the latter is actually "only" the first.


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Guest_vjkane2000_*
post Nov 10 2006, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Nov 10 2006, 10:37 AM) *
Keep in mind that there was a Titan meeting at the same time in Tucson and people are just traveling back. It may take a little time to hear about what happened. The only thing I heard was that the financial situation isn't as grim as first though, though the next New Frontiers AO maybe delayed until early 2009 (but for a very, very good reason laugh.gif


Yeah, with a tease like that, you gotta deliver!
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volcanopele
post Nov 10 2006, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane2000 @ Nov 10 2006, 03:06 PM) *
Yeah, with a tease like that, you gotta deliver!

They maybe raising the NF cost cap for the 2008/2009 AO.


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Guest_vjkane2000_*
post Nov 10 2006, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Nov 10 2006, 02:08 PM) *
They maybe raising the NF cost cap for the 2008/2009 AO.


That would be good. These missions won't be cheap.
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ugordan
post Nov 15 2006, 08:20 AM
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Apparently, the November OPAG presentations are now online. Get them while they're... ummm... hot! biggrin.gif


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ngunn
post Nov 15 2006, 12:50 PM
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Some reflections from Bruce Moomaw:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/jupiter_list/message/7552
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Mariner9
post Nov 16 2006, 06:30 PM
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After reading through a lot of different presentations at the OPAG meeting, and seeing other comments regaurding raising the budget on the 2008 New Frontiers AO, it seems headquarters is either:

1) Keeping New Fronteirs on track for a 2014 launch, and adding a Flagship mission. The New Frontiers 3 launch still shows up on a planetary events slide at 2014, along with references to Discovery missions launching only a year apart in 2012, 2013. Perhaps the Flagship would be added somehow into this mix?

2) More likely, NASA is considering changing New Frontiers 3 into a super-small Flagship. IIRC, previously Small Flagship missions were defined as between 800 million and 1.5 Billion, then larger Flagships at 1.5 to 3 Billion. The studies being done on Enceladus, Titan, Europa, and Ganymede seem to be asking the question 'what kind of mission can you do for about 1 billion ?"

Still, being a 'have my cake and eat it too' kind of guy, it would be nice to fantasize about option 1.

As for the four moons being studied, looking at all the options studied up to now (most are very preliminary) at this point it looks to me like the most likely winner would be a Titan direct-entry probe/baloon. Biggest bang for your buck.

Plus a major PR winner with the public. A 17 year plume-sampling mission to Enceladus can't compete with a 6 year mission that finishes with a baloon floating across the Titan landscape for a few days (weeks?) and revealing the landscape for hundreds of kilometers.
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vexgizmo
post Dec 19 2006, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (Mariner9 @ Nov 16 2006, 11:30 AM) *
After reading through a lot of different presentations at the OPAG meeting, and seeing other comments regaurding raising the budget on the 2008 New Frontiers AO, it seems headquarters is either:

1) Keeping New Fronteirs on track for a 2014 launch, and adding a Flagship mission. The New Frontiers 3 launch still shows up on a planetary events slide at 2014, along with references to Discovery missions launching only a year apart in 2012, 2013. Perhaps the Flagship would be added somehow into this mix?

2) More likely, NASA is considering changing New Frontiers 3 into a super-small Flagship. IIRC, previously Small Flagship missions were defined as between 800 million and 1.5 Billion, then larger Flagships at 1.5 to 3 Billion. The studies being done on Enceladus, Titan, Europa, and Ganymede seem to be asking the question 'what kind of mission can you do for about 1 billion ?"

Still, being a 'have my cake and eat it too' kind of guy, it would be nice to fantasize about option 1.

I predict option 1, with a $1B cost cap for New Frontiers, and with a Europa Flagship mission the clear winner a year from now. That would be the right answer, assuming NASA can see through its current Moon-colored glasses.
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volcanopele
post Dec 19 2006, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE (vexgizmo @ Dec 19 2006, 08:51 AM) *
I predict option 1, with a $1B cost cap for New Frontiers, and with a Europa Flagship mission the clear winner a year from now. That would be the right answer, assuming NASA can see through its current Moon-colored glasses.

I'd almost prefer that. A Europa mission would be a great technology test for the main attraction, a New Frontiers class mission to Io.


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ugordan
post Dec 19 2006, 07:24 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Dec 19 2006, 05:18 PM) *
a New Frontiers class mission to Io.

That sounds straightforward enough already. All you need to carry along are a few sandbags and/or concrete blocks for radiation shielding. biggrin.gif


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