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Jupiter flagship selected
john_s
post Feb 18 2009, 03:47 PM
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http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/fea...s/20090218.html


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djellison
post Feb 18 2009, 03:59 PM
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There will be some happy people, and some disappointed people. Both systems have plenty to offer, so no one should be too upset.
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ngunn
post Feb 18 2009, 04:28 PM
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I'm not upset (or surprised). I always wanted both, and with luck we'll get both. There is no law that says there has to be a ten year gap between them. Returning to Saturn and Titan at a season complementary to Cassini's visit is a good argument for not waiting that long.

Now I'm wondering how this will play out on the European side. It always struck me as awkward that ESA should have a stake in the overall decision two years before it fully commits to participating. Also, supposing that Nasa did go ahead with both in (relatively) quick succession it's highly doubtful that ESA would be able to contribute to both.

Of course anything is possible if the will is there. I await an ESA statement with great interest.
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ustrax
post Feb 18 2009, 04:28 PM
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For those, as I, who were looking forward for a TSSM selection here are some words that just arrived my e-mail from Athena Coustenis, TandEM project leader:

"It seems we may have to wait a little longer to see this mission launched, to plunge through Enceladus' plumes, to hover over dune fields and to land in a Titan lake. No matter. The first aim of this community is to have the need for a future space mission to the outer planets recognized and transformed into reality. We may be heading for Jupiter first, but as said in the text, and as it has been well demonstrated by the reactions within this community, the public and the press, we shall need to go even further in the future.

I take this opportunity to say that during the past 15 months I have had the immense pleasure and honor to work, exchange ideas and argue with you all over the most fascinating subject ever: a future mission to return to the Saturnian system and hunt down information on fascinating aspects like Titan's atmosphere and surface, Enceladus geysers and Saturn's magnetosphere. For some of us, the adventure had even started earlier, when we were preparing the proposal for Tandem within the framework of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 or the study of the 2007 Flagship Titan Explorer mission.

I want to thank you and tell my appreciation, in particular to my friends and colleagues of the JSDT and the ESA and NASA study teams, who have managed to create a complete science and mission architecture case out of nothing within such a short time. They have done this with help from all of you. AND WE ARE READY TO GO ON."

Sometimes you win sometimes you lose, the important now is that we're going somewhere...Onward Europa Jupiter System Mission!


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centsworth_II
post Feb 18 2009, 04:32 PM
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Although I was a "Titan Now" kind of person, my first reaction is more of excitement than disappointment. Two orbiters? Not too shabby. It will be great to see the Jupiter system get the complete Cassini treatment... times two!

Just curious. Does anyone think that there may be plume activity on Europa similar to that on Enceladus?
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john_s
post Feb 18 2009, 04:51 PM
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Plume activity on Europa can't be ruled out, though it's perhaps not very likely. Europan plumes would be much smaller than those on Enceladus (more like Prometheus-sized), due to the higher gravity, and might have been missed by Galileo, which of course had very limited ability to do extensive monitoring. And remember that on average, Europa's surface is much younger than that of Enceladus...

John.
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ngunn
post Feb 18 2009, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Feb 18 2009, 04:32 PM) *
the complete Cassini treatment... times two!


It's much better than that - orbiters not flybys!

The beautifully variegated surface of Ganymede is the big history book of the Jovian system - much more informative that a lot of recently formed pack-ice. wink.gif

Plumes on Europa? I doubt it but who knows.

Rui - nice one. You seem to be on everybody's mailing list! May we expect some follow-up interviews at spacEurope?


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ustrax
post Feb 18 2009, 04:59 PM
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Sorry for the ignorant mode here but I don't know the mission architecture...does the future mission count "only" the two orbiters or are there plans tu include extra goodies, an impactor or something similar towards Europa?

EDITED: ngunn, that wasn't an exclusive e-mail... wink.gif
Regarding spacEurope, I've made campaign for TandEM...don't tell me you didn't follow it?! I even had some graphics of mine and that beautiful logo (it was...it was...) included in the mission's pages... rolleyes.gif
Interviews are not predicted so soon I'm afraid...in March/April we'll talk about it... cool.gif


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SFJCody
post Feb 18 2009, 05:13 PM
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Well, I was hoping for Titan, but Ganymede & Europa will be fine too!
It'll be great to finally have a torrent of data streaming down from the Jovian satellite system after the painful trickle that was Galileo's tour.
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centsworth_II
post Feb 18 2009, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (john_s @ Feb 18 2009, 11:51 AM) *
Plume activity on Europa can't be ruled out...

Plumes or not, it would be great to see some signs of activity since Galileo. There are certainly lots of cracks to look for changes in. laugh.gif
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ngunn
post Feb 18 2009, 05:22 PM
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Rui - I always keep an eye on spacEurope - even when it's quiet. I have lots of questions now, such as: Will CNES proceed with development of a Titan montgolfiere? How soon could ESA scramble a TITAN LAKE EXPRESS outside of the flagship framework? In time to arrive before Cassini dies??? I'm counting on you to find out!

Oh yes, and will Ganymede beat the astronomy missions in 2011?
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ustrax
post Feb 18 2009, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE (ngunn @ Feb 18 2009, 05:22 PM) *
I'm counting on you to find out!


I'll give a shot but in the meanwhile I'll tell you something...TandEM was proposed under ESA's Cosmic Vision for the 2015-2025 window, the following, if I'm not wrong, will cover the 2025-2035 timespan...where will be Cassini by then?...will there be a will to pursue with the project in the following years or will it stay dormant until the following presentation of proposals?...Guess we'll have to wait and see...but I'll ask! rolleyes.gif


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Bjorn Jonsson
post Feb 18 2009, 05:41 PM
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I originally preferred TSSM but eventually became fairly neutral so overall I'm happy. Actually I kinda expected this result - comparing the kind of coverage Cassini has given at Saturn to what Galileo did at Jupiter is one obvious justification. Lots of atmospheric movies of Saturn at several wavelengths compared to very limited movies of Jupiter (actually the best ones are from Cassini), extensive ~1 km/pixel multispectral imaging of Saturn's satellites compared to Galileo's limited color coverage, to name a few. And significantly better instruments on Cassini. Also the Cassini mission isn't over yet while the Galileo mission ended several years ago.

EJSM is going to be a spectacular mission, a 'Galileo 2 on steroids' - and with a functional HGA. The only problem is that ESA hasn't commited to flying the Ganymede orbiter yet.
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mps
post Feb 18 2009, 05:57 PM
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Am I the only one here who preferred EJSM? TSSM is surely a great mission concept too, it was just my 2nd choice wink.gif
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Mariner9
post Feb 18 2009, 06:18 PM
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I also preffered TSSM, based mostly on the idea that Jupiter could be explored with more limited missions (such as the Io Volcanic Observer) but that Saturn/Titan really needed something more in the flagship range. I also thought that the TSSM was mature enough of a mission canidate to compete with the EJSM .

But, it seems that the reviewers felt that the Saturn elements needed more technical study. That changes my mind. If there is a technical readiness difference, definately go with the Jupiter mission.

I hope that the Europeans actually do the Ganymede mission, but in any case we now know that the Europa mission is a go.

One last thing: at least the cruise time to Jupiter is much shorter than the Saturn system. We'll be seeing great pictures by 2026, instead of having to wait until 2030. As an aging baby-boomer, I'm all in favor of that. smile.gif

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