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Proposed OSS (Outer Solar System) Mission
Mongo
post Jun 2 2011, 01:17 AM
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OSS (Outer Solar System): A fundamental and planetary physics mission to Neptune, Triton and the Kuiper Belt

Abstract: The present OSS mission continues a long and bright tradition by associating the communities of fundamental physics and planetary sciences in a single mission with ambitious goals in both domains. OSS is an M-class mission to explore the Neptune system almost half a century after flyby of the Voyager 2 spacecraft. Several discoveries were made by Voyager 2, including the Great Dark Spot (which has now disappeared) and Triton's geysers. Voyager 2 revealed the dynamics of Neptune's atmosphere and found four rings and evidence of ring arcs above Neptune. Benefiting from a greatly improved instrumentation, it will result in a striking advance in the study of the farthest planet of the Solar System. Furthermore, OSS will provide a unique opportunity to visit a selected Kuiper Belt object subsequent to the passage of the Neptunian system. It will consolidate the hypothesis of the origin of Triton as a KBO captured by Neptune, and improve our knowledge on the formation of the Solar system. The probe will embark instruments allowing precise tracking of the probe during cruise. It allows to perform the best controlled experiment for testing, in deep space, the General Relativity, on which is based all the models of Solar system formation. OSS is proposed as an international cooperation between ESA and NASA, giving the capability for ESA to launch an M-class mission towards the farthest planet of the Solar system, and to a Kuiper Belt object. The proposed mission profile would allow to deliver a 500 kg class spacecraft. The design of the probe is mainly constrained by the deep space gravity test in order to minimise the perturbation of the accelerometer measurement.
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nprev
post Jun 2 2011, 01:30 AM
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Mongo! smile.gif Long time, man, how you been?

Will examine in detail, but from the abstract sounds like an exciting mission.


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Paolo
post Jun 2 2011, 08:44 AM
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thanks for the link!
'being discussing the OSS mission here already: http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...4903&st=180


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Mongo
post Jul 13 2011, 01:10 AM
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Here is another proposed Outer Planets / General Relativity mission. This appears to be the same mission as OSS under a new name:

Odyssey 2 : A mission toward Neptune and Triton to test General Relativity

Odyssey 2 will be proposed in December 2010 for the next call of M3 missions for Cosmic Vision 2015-2025. This mission, under a Phase 0 study performed by CNES, will aim at Neptune and Triton. Two sets of objectives will be pursued. The first one is to perform a set of gravitation experiments at the Solar System scale. Experimental tests of gravitation have always shown good agreement with General Relativity. There are however drivers to continue testing General Relativity, and to do so at the largest possible scales. From a theoretical point of view, Einstein's theory of gravitation shows inconsistencies with a quantum description of Nature and unified theories predict deviations from General Relativity. From an observational point of view, as long as dark matter and dark energy are not observed through other means than their gravitational effects, they can be considered as a manifestation of a modification of General Relativity at cosmic scales. The scientific objectives are to: (i) test the gravitation law at the Solar System scale; (ii) measure the Eddington parameter; and (iii) investigate the navigation anomalies during fly-bys. To fulfil these objectives, the following components are to be on board the spacecraft: (i) the Gravity Advanced Package (GAP), which is an electrostatic accelerometer to which a rotating stage is added; (ii) radio-science; (iii) laser ranging, to improve significantly the measure of the Eddington parameter. The second set of objectives is to enhance our knowledge of Neptune and Triton. Several instruments dedicated to planetology are foreseen: camera, spectrometer, dust and particle detectors, and magnetometer. Depending on the ones kept, the mission could provide information on the gravity field, the atmosphere and the magnetosphere of the two bodies as well as on the surface geology of Triton and on the nature of the planetary rings around Neptune.
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SFJCody
post Dec 31 2012, 05:21 AM
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2012 update of this proposal:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.0132

QUOTE
The present OSS mission continues a long and bright tradition by associating the communities of fundamental physics and planetary sciences in a single mission with ambitious goals in both domains. OSS is an M-class mission to explore the Neptune system almost half a century after flyby of the Voyager 2 spacecraft. Several discoveries were made by Voyager 2, including the Great Dark Spot (which has now disappeared) and Triton's geysers. Voyager 2 revealed the dynamics of Neptune's atmosphere and found four rings and evidence of ring arcs above Neptune. Benefiting from a greatly improved instrumentation, it will result in a striking advance in the study of the farthest planet of the Solar System. Furthermore, OSS will provide a unique opportunity to visit a selected Kuiper Belt object subsequent to the passage of the Neptunian system. It will consolidate the hypothesis of the origin of Triton as a KBO captured by Neptune, and improve our knowledge on the formation of the Solar system. The probe will embark instruments allowing precise tracking of the probe during cruise. It allows to perform the best controlled experiment for testing, in deep space, the General Relativity, on which is based all the models of Solar system formation. OSS is proposed as an international cooperation between ESA and NASA, giving the capability for ESA to launch an M-class mission towards the farthest planet of the Solar system, and to a Kuiper Belt object. The proposed mission profile would allow to deliver a 500 kg class spacecraft. The design of the probe is mainly constrained by the deep space gravity test in order to minimise the perturbation of the accelerometer measurement.
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tedstryk
post Dec 31 2012, 09:25 PM
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Looks like an excellent proposal, although I'm not holding my breath.


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vjkane
post Jan 2 2013, 06:58 AM
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I believe this was proposed for the last ESA Medium class science mission down select, and it wasn't selected (and neither were a Titan balloon nor a Uranus orbiter among other planetary missions; the Marco Polo-R asteroid sample return was selected as a finalist). It's not unusual for proposers to document their proposals in a paper for use by future proposers (unless they think they may re-propose, but given the planetary alignments for a Neptune flyby, this may have been the last chance in our lifetimes).


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JRehling
post Jan 4 2013, 06:04 PM
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I don't see any alignment requirements that limit the mission to specific rare windows. One possible trajectory involves a Saturn gravity assist, but another one doesn't, and none of the proposed trajectories involve Jupiter. They also discuss a heavy launch option which would allow opportunities every 13 months. (Of course, cost would likely shoot that option down.)

For inner solar system assists, I think the windows would probably arise about every two years, as they did for Messenger.
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