QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jul 31 2008, 09:28 PM)
What I could see happening, particularly if Io gets the NF funding and Titan gets the flagship, is that the Io mission morphs into sort of a Galileo 2 mini-flagship, particularly if plutonium does become available.
The problem, as I understand it is the radiation hardening of the electronics. A NASA presentation suggested that a Europa mission could be done with solar cells (i.e., they would work long enough to enable the mission before radiation damage, but the presentation also said that more study was needed)
To avoid the radiation damage to the electronics, the Discovery proposal is inclined (this is from memory) 45 degrees to the Jovian equator. It is hard to then have the orbiter flyby other moons. Not impossible -- one could envision a mission with sufficient fuel to raise the periapsis to the orbit of Ganymede, where gravity assists could reduce the inclination. Galileo did a periapsis raise from within Io's orbit to (I think) between Europa and Ganymede's orbits.
If a Galileo II was done, it could do much more intensive studies of the moons. Any Galilean moon orbiter pumps the orbit down so that frequent flybys occur. A Galileo II could do this and encounter the same moon repeatedly. An old NASA article even showed that the latitude of encounter could be varied by encountering the moon in slightly different locations (the Jovian point of periapsis changes longitude and "walks" around the planet).
I don't want to come across as a naysayer. My favorite mission choices are Titan for the Flagship mission and a Jovian Galileo II for the New Frontiers (followed by a Saturn/Neptune/KBO plutonium powered New Frontiers for the selection after that). It's just that pesky radiation that makes it hard to do it cheaply...