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Jupiter flagship selected
gpurcell
post Jun 17 2009, 01:03 PM
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Interesting language in the House markup:

QUOTE
The Committee is concerned that the budget profile for the Outer Planets flagship mission to Europa appears inconsistent with a 2020 launch. Therefore, NASA is directed within 60 days of enactment of this Act to provide a projected full lifetime budget outline for the Europa mission, to include anticipated contributions from foreign partners, and an alternative budget profile that would accelerate the launch to 2018.
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Mariner9
post Jun 17 2009, 05:08 PM
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Interesting wording. I wonder what is 'inconsistent' in the budget profile? My first guess would be that it is a mystery where NASA intends to find 3 billion dollars over the next decade to fund the the mission. But then congress requests an alternative timeline that is 2 years earlier... which seems counterintuitive if the problem is not enough money being available.

Still, I must say I like hearing launch dates that are two years earlier rather than two years later. Anyone remember just a year or two back when the projected launch period was 2016-2017? Then 2018, then 2020.

Yep.... I like hearing the date move earlier for a change.

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MahFL
post Jun 17 2009, 05:17 PM
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Seems to mean "Wow it's expensive.....but hey we are feeling lucky how much more expensive will it be 2 years sooner......
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vjkane
post Jun 17 2009, 05:57 PM
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My reading of the budget plan as presented by the President for the out years doesn't allow funding of the outer planets flagship. Either Mars has to lose most of its planned funding or the Discovery and New Frontiers programs have to be gutted. I hope my reading is wrong, but no one has challenged this reading on my blog (futureplanets.blogspot.com).

So, this request makes a lot of sense.


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gpurcell
post Jun 17 2009, 06:51 PM
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What does a 2018 launch opportunity provide that a 2020 launch wouldn't? In other words, are there technical reasons beyond the obvious 2 year gap to prefer one versus the other?
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Mariner9
post Jun 17 2009, 10:52 PM
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Up until now the only reasons I have read for extending the launch to 2020 were funding and political.

If ESA approves the Ganymede orbiter mission then it would not be ready until 2020, so one of the reasons for delaying the Europa mission was to launch at the same time and get semi-coordinated science observations of the Jovian system.

The other reason for the delay was to allow more money to get the mission up to a roughly 3 billion dollar "sweet spot".

There may be technical issues favoring one launch date over the other, but I've never seen any mentioned.
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Tom Tamlyn
post Mar 8 2010, 06:45 PM
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Bob Pappalardo has a good BBC interview on the Europa mission.

TTT
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Paolo
post May 7 2010, 05:13 AM
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today on arXiv: Title: EJSM Origins White Document
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