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ESA Laplace, Mission to Jupiter and Europa
MarcF
post Sep 27 2007, 10:39 AM
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I just read in a French astronomical magazine (Ciel et Espace) about the next proposals for future ESA missions (window 2015-2025), and especially about the Laplace mission to Jupiter and Europa.
Some info might be found here: http://jupiter-europa.cesr.fr/
Like Bepi Colombo, the mission should be composed of several spacecrafts: a Jupiter Planetary Orbiter (JPO), a Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter (JMO) and a Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), and may be even an Europa lander.
Of course this would be done in collaboration with Nasa and Japan.
I read also about a collaboration with the JUNO spacecraft.
Any chance this will once become a reality ?
Marc.
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tasp
post Sep 27 2007, 01:22 PM
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Easy to propose a mission.

A tad harder to $ one.
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Stu
post Sep 27 2007, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (MarcF @ Sep 27 2007, 11:39 AM) *
Any chance this will once become a reality ?
Marc.


Oh yeah, they even have a launch date: it'll launch the day after Elvis - and his co-pilot, Bigfoot - lands a UFO on the head of the Loch Ness monster, cheered on by a watching Lord Lucan sitting proudly atop Shergar...

Doubtful? Moi? wink.gif

Not meaning to put down ESA, they've achieved stunning space successes with Huygens and Mars Express and Rosetta, even if they don't actually realise it themselves, but as tasp pointed out, it's easy proposing a mission and entirely another thing funding and building it. The graveyard of Good Ideas and Intentions is full of the rusting bodies and faded blueprints of "Proposed ESA" spacecraft and missions, and the Aurora rover is peeping over the fence. I'd love to see ESA pull something like this off, but I think they'd be better off making sure their Mars rover actually gets built, and roves on Mars, before reaching for the Big ESA Book of Fabby Space Ideas and getting all excited about a meaningful and very costly relationship with Japan and the US before even asking them out... wink.gif


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elakdawalla
post Sep 27 2007, 05:16 PM
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I have some notes from Gerhard Schwehm's presentation on this mission from an OPAG meeting in May 2006...

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climber
post Sep 27 2007, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Sep 27 2007, 04:54 PM) *
Oh yeah, they even have a launch date: it'll launch the day after Elvis - and his co-pilot, Bigfoot - lands a UFO on the head of the Loch Ness monster, cheered on by a watching Lord Lucan sitting proudly atop Shergar...

Doubtful? Moi? wink.gif

Not meaning to put down ESA, they've achieved stunning space successes with Huygens and Mars Express and Rosetta, even if they don't actually realise it themselves, but as tasp pointed out, it's easy proposing a mission and entirely another thing funding and building it. The graveyard of Good Ideas and Intentions is full of the rusting bodies and faded blueprints of "Proposed ESA" spacecraft and missions, and the Aurora rover is peeping over the fence. I'd love to see ESA pull something like this off, but I think they'd be better off making sure their Mars rover actually gets built, and roves on Mars, before reaching for the Big ESA Book of Fabby Space Ideas and getting all excited about a meaningful and very costly relationship with Japan and the US before even asking them out... wink.gif

I keep this very post saved on my hard disk to remind you one day what you wrote!
...and I agree with you


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remcook
post Sep 27 2007, 07:10 PM
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Right now the cosmic visions programme has made its first cut, but several more will follow. a good chance only 1 or so planetary mission will come out of that
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edstrick
post Sep 28 2007, 09:28 AM
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Europe is now willing and able to fly what are essentially small flagship missions. Rosetta, loaded with instruments and a small but sophisticated lander is one. I think Bepe-Colombo, the Mercury mission is another. Like American flagsship missions, they'll be infrequent due to expense and effort, but worth it. It's the sort of ambitious but but not implausibly technically advanced mission they can pull off. What the mission unique science justifications that make it worthwhile, may be another question, especially if some advanced, high $ options like a Europe lander get discarded after study.
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Mariner9
post Sep 29 2007, 06:26 PM
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Bepi-Columbo is a great mission, but it was in preliminary discussions in the mid-90s and will likely launch around 2013-2014. Twenty years from concept to launch is a long time.

Exomars was supposed to be a fast track moderate sized mission, launching by 2011, but they will be lucky to make 2013.


It's unfortunate that they seem to have abandoned the lower cost, faster turnaround missions such as Mars Express, Venus Express and SMART. By pursuing those missions they had mission launches in 2003, 2004, 2005 ..... but now they will not have one until 2013 at the earliest.

For a while it appeared they had learned NASA's lesson about the perils of putting all your efforts into large, expesive missions, but it looks like that lesson got lost somewhere along the line.
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Paolo
post Sep 29 2007, 07:10 PM
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You forgot a relatively small mission, the Solar Orbiter (which is my preferred future ESA mission)
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=45


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Paolo
post Sep 29 2007, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (Mariner9 @ Sep 29 2007, 08:26 PM) *
Bepi-Columbo is a great mission, but it was in preliminary discussions in the mid-90s and will likely launch around 2013-2014. Twenty years from concept to launch is a long time.


Actually, Europe has been studying Mercury orbiters since the late 60s


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edstrick
post Oct 1 2007, 09:00 AM
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I'd have to dig out <can't get at it now> The NASA SP publication on asteroids from about 1970 that was the first prototype of a Univ of Arizona Press Space Science monster conference volume. Ideas like Dawn were well studied at a sketch level then. It was abundantly clear that the only good way to explore the belt with plausible technology was with ion drive missions.
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rlorenz
post Nov 1 2007, 03:07 AM
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QUOTE (Mariner9 @ Sep 29 2007, 02:26 PM) *
Bepi-Columbo is a great mission, but it was in preliminary discussions in the mid-90s and will likely launch around 2013-2014.
....
It's unfortunate that they seem to have abandoned the lower cost, faster turnaround missions such as Mars Express, Venus Express and SMART. By pursuing those missions they had mission launches in 2003, 2004, 2005 ..... but now they will not have one until 2013 at the earliest.

For a while it appeared they had learned NASA's lesson about the perils of putting all your efforts into large, expesive missions, but it looks like that lesson got lost somewhere along the line.


I agree MEx and (especially) VEx have been great missions for ESA to do - high scientific payoff, doing
things NASA hadnt got round to doing/hadnt thought of. (Smart-1 is a different case - it was a technology
demo mission, and it is not clear its science results have been terribly profound).

However, there are only so many low-hanging fruit in the solar system, wherein significant scientific
advances can be had for Discovery-class investments (which, roughly speaking, MEx/VEx were). At that
level you can do Mars/Venus orbiters (so maybe now there's a niche for a Mars SAR, Mars Aeronomy),
the moon, and nearby small bodies.

With a big enough budget, you want a balanced program of large and small missions (e.g. see Solar System
Roadmap). But if the budget is small (as, basically, ESA's science program budget is), what do you do - fly
small missions for the sake of flying something often, even if it does not answer priority science questions,
or save up to do fewer, but more significant, science-driven missions?

Both NASA and ESA are confronting this issue, which may lead them to consider more joint missions....Laplace
and TANDEM being prime examples.
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ngunn
post Nov 1 2007, 11:22 AM
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TANDEM has its own site with lots of detailed notes and a splendid slide presentation freely available. Can you point me towards anything similar for LAPLACE? Unfortunately the stuff linked in post 1 above seems to be password controlled.
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gndonald
post Nov 3 2007, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE (edstrick @ Oct 1 2007, 05:00 PM) *
I'd have to dig out <can't get at it now> The NASA SP publication on asteroids from about 1970 that was the first prototype of a Univ of Arizona Press Space Science monster conference volume. Ideas like Dawn were well studied at a sketch level then. It was abundantly clear that the only good way to explore the belt with plausible technology was with ion drive missions.


[off topic]

NASA was looking at 'Solar Electric' (Ion Drive) missions from the early 60's to about the early/mid 70's, they even considered using them to get to Jupiter and to perform Ulysses style missions above the ecliptic.

See Study of a common solar-electric-propulsion upper stage for high-energy unmanned missions. Volume 2 - Technical Final report(14mb) for all the details of the planned 'mission bus'.

[/off topic]
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vjkane
post Nov 4 2007, 05:00 PM
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I am beginning to doubt that ESA will pick either of the two outer planet missions for their next big mission.

For Jupiter, NASA and ESA have fundamentally different mission architectures. NASA is looking at single craft with a large science payload. (~170kg) ESA has been looking at a split mission in which one craft stays in the outer Jovian system and provides a communications relay while a small orbiter (with a fairly small science payload ~43kg) is placed in orbit around Europa. (The third craft in Laplace, as I understand it, would be a Japanese supplied craft to study the magnetosphere.) (My comments on the Laplace design are based on the ESA Jovian minisat study, which I understand is the basis for Laplace. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Neither of the NASA options (a Europa or Ganymede orbiter) has the mass reserve for an additional spacecraft. I also cannot imagine NASA depending on a second craft to handle the communications relay rather than simply building that into their orbiter. Given that, what role could an ESA spacecraft play? At today's exchange rate, 640M euros is roughly $1B, which is the cost of Juno, which is as simple of an orbiter as could be built. However, the purchasing power of the 640M euros in Europe is really more like $640M (unless ESA builds the craft in the United States). So what could ESA add to a Jupiter mission for 2/3 the purchasing power of Juno? Possibly a 3-axis stabilized outer moon flyby/remote Jupiter and Io observer craft. But to fit that into $640M purchasing power, someone else would have to provide the launcher. (Neither NASA option has sufficient mass margin for a second piggy back craft of any size).

For a Titan mission, there are three key pieces of technology development required. The first is aerocapture, which will not be tried out in the next New Millennium mission. Also, presentations on the mission have discussed the need for technology development for the balloon material and operation in a cryogenic environment. Given three pieces of undeveloped technology, I suspect that NASA will pass on Titan for the next Flagship mission. (The Europa mission has had 10-15 years of technology development and has the technology available now that it needs.) Europe could make a major contribution to a multi-craft Titan mission, but again, I don't think NASA will pick it. Instead, I expect NASA to begin funding the technology development for a Titan mission to be selected about 10 years from now.

Unfortunately, $640M in purchasing power just doesn't buy that much for outer planet missions. It would be possible for ESA to build substantial portions of a single Jupiter bound craft, but I don't know if that would provide the visibility that ESA would deserve for that large of an investment.

Now, if I were king and could supply a launch vehicle, I'd love to see ESA fly either a outer moon flyby/remote Jupiter and Io observer or a Ganymede orbiter to compliment a large Europa orbiter. Either would be a killer mission that could be solar powered and would not have extreme radiation problems.


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