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New Frontiers 4: Argo?
Mongo
post Aug 21 2008, 01:36 AM
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There does not appear to be a thread about this proposed New Frontiers mission, so I am starting this one. If there is an existing thread that I am unaware of, then by all means merge them.

Argo is a proposed outer solar system multiple flyby mission, rather like an updated Voyager mission, but based on the New Horizons bus, and using a similar instrument suite. It would launch between 2017 and 2019, with either a Jupiter / Neptune / KBO or a Trojan / Saturn / Neptune / KBO trajectory. Even a combined Jupiter / Saturn / Neptune / KBO trajectory is possible.

Neptune would present a much different system than in 1989, as telescopic observations show a more dynamic Neptune atmosphere, due to the change in season, and much more of Triton and the other Neptune satellites would be visible (most of Triton's northern hemisphere was in darkness in 1989, but will be well lit in 2030).

The second big payoff would be the vastly greater access to KBOs (~4000 times the accessable volume of New Horizons), with several already-known large KBOs (400km diameter or larger) within reach. The objects reachable with Argo are expected to include:

18 cold classical KBOs (interesting because they apparently formed in situ beyond Neptune's orbit, rather than further inward)
40 KBOs with diameters between 200km and 400km
9 KBOs with diameters greater than 400km
several binary KBOs

plus the possible Jupiter Trojan early in the mission. The wide expected range of choices allows for the selected KBO to be of very high scientific interest (and naturally, follow-on KBO targets could be selected after the primary KBO target has been selected).

Typical flight times from launch to the Neptune flyby are about 10 years (Jupiter gravity assist) or 13 years (Jupiter Trojan flyby), with the large KBO flyby 2 or 3 years later.

Expected cost including launch vehicle (according to the linked pdf): under $800M with the following strawman instrument package:

High resolution visible camera: New Horizons (NH) or reduced Cassini heritage
Near-IR spectrometer: NH heritage
UV solar & stellar occ. spectrometer: reduced Cassini heritage
Far-IR linear radiometer: Diviner heritage
Magnetometer: replaces NH dust instrument
Charged particle spectrometer: NH heritage
Gimballed high-gain antenna: heritage radio science instrument

The big uncertainty at this point seems to be the availability of plutonium-powered RTGs by the time of launch.
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dvandorn
post Nov 14 2008, 08:55 AM
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Oh, this isn't a bomb, it's not weapons-grade Pu. It's RTG-grade. It wasn't launched in an RTG, though -- it would have been transferred into an RTG at its destination. It just never got to its destination.

rolleyes.gif

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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- Mongo   New Frontiers 4: Argo?   Aug 21 2008, 01:36 AM
- - vjkane   This is my favorite mission option for the 2nd New...   Aug 21 2008, 04:56 AM
|- - tedstryk   QUOTE (vjkane @ Aug 21 2008, 04:56 AM) Th...   Aug 21 2008, 11:43 AM
- - Greg Hullender   In one of the backup slides, they noted that they ...   Aug 21 2008, 03:43 PM
- - Mongo   New Horizons masses 478 kg. I assume that Argo wo...   Aug 21 2008, 04:08 PM
|- - ugordan   QUOTE (Mongo @ Aug 21 2008, 06:08 PM) Is ...   Aug 21 2008, 04:20 PM
- - Greg Hullender   The Galileo atmospheric probe weighed 339 kg, of w...   Aug 21 2008, 04:29 PM
|- - vjkane   QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Aug 21 2008, 05:2...   Aug 21 2008, 04:48 PM
- - Ken90000   Actually, the Pioneer Venus sent their data direct...   Aug 21 2008, 04:32 PM
|- - Greg Hullender   QUOTE (Ken90000 @ Aug 21 2008, 09:32 AM) ...   Aug 21 2008, 07:07 PM
|- - vjkane   QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Aug 21 2008, 08:0...   Aug 21 2008, 08:03 PM
- - mchan   A steerable antenna would add complexity and cost....   Aug 21 2008, 06:32 PM
- - Mongo   It is interesting that from what I read here at Un...   Aug 22 2008, 01:34 AM
|- - vjkane   QUOTE (Mongo @ Aug 22 2008, 02:34 AM) Tha...   Aug 22 2008, 03:40 AM
- - Mongo   According to this report entitled Radioisotope Pow...   Aug 22 2008, 05:05 AM
|- - vjkane   QUOTE (Mongo @ Aug 22 2008, 06:05 AM) ...   Aug 22 2008, 02:42 PM
|- - Greg Hullender   QUOTE (vjkane @ Aug 22 2008, 07:42 AM) Ju...   Aug 22 2008, 03:55 PM
|- - infocat13   QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Aug 22 2008, 11:5...   Nov 2 2008, 08:54 PM
- - Vultur   I kind of hope New Frontiers #3 is a Venus lander ...   Nov 3 2008, 12:11 AM
- - Enceladus75   Yes, I would love to see another landing on Venus ...   Nov 6 2008, 01:08 AM
|- - jgoldader   QUOTE (Enceladus75 @ Nov 5 2008, 08:08 PM...   Nov 6 2008, 01:52 AM
- - mchan   QUOTE (infocat13 @ Nov 2 2008, 12:54 PM) ...   Nov 6 2008, 05:00 AM
|- - Mark6   QUOTE (mchan @ Nov 6 2008, 05:00 AM) For ...   Nov 12 2008, 10:10 PM
- - elakdawalla   What makes me think that is that clearly Hansen an...   Nov 12 2008, 11:14 PM
|- - vjkane   Both outer planet flagship proposals include the o...   Nov 13 2008, 12:17 AM
||- - Mark6   QUOTE (vjkane @ Nov 13 2008, 01:17 AM) Fr...   Nov 13 2008, 03:46 AM
||- - vjkane   QUOTE (Mark6 @ Nov 13 2008, 03:46 AM) I h...   Nov 13 2008, 06:34 AM
|- - mchan   QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Nov 12 2008, 03:14 P...   Nov 13 2008, 07:13 AM
- - infocat13   Mango and Emily and our other posters................   Nov 13 2008, 08:10 AM
- - Mark6   Yet it is still the case of squeezing as much as p...   Nov 13 2008, 04:58 PM
|- - mchan   QUOTE (Mark6 @ Nov 13 2008, 08:58 AM) ......   Nov 14 2008, 11:33 AM
- - dvandorn   I know where you can find a few pounds of Pu-238. ...   Nov 14 2008, 07:29 AM
|- - infocat13   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Nov 14 2008, 02:29 AM) ...   Nov 14 2008, 08:24 AM
- - dvandorn   Oh, this isn't a bomb, it's not weapons-gr...   Nov 14 2008, 08:55 AM
- - stevesliva   Thought you meant Mars 96 for a bit. And yeah, I ...   Nov 14 2008, 06:38 PM
|- - infocat13   QUOTE (stevesliva @ Nov 14 2008, 02:38 PM...   Nov 15 2008, 04:53 AM
- - Ken90000   Apollo 13's ALSEP?   Nov 14 2008, 07:17 PM
- - imipak   ISTR reading about RTG powered cable taps*, but ...   Nov 14 2008, 10:17 PM
- - dvandorn   Give Ken the Kewpie doll, we have a winner! ...   Nov 14 2008, 10:41 PM
- - dvandorn   Actually, while I was mostly kidding about any att...   Nov 15 2008, 06:09 AM
- - mchan   With a radioactive half-life of 87.7 years, you...   Nov 15 2008, 07:47 AM
- - sci44   I wonder how far you can go by just reducing the s...   Nov 20 2008, 09:14 PM
|- - vjkane   QUOTE (sci44 @ Nov 20 2008, 09:14 PM) I w...   Nov 21 2008, 12:52 AM
|- - sci44   QUOTE (vjkane @ Nov 21 2008, 12:52 AM) Ur...   Dec 1 2008, 10:33 PM
|- - infocat13   http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/nov2008Meetin...ation...   Dec 9 2008, 01:26 AM
- - mchan   The slides in the March OPAG presentation showed M...   Nov 21 2008, 07:24 AM


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