Sep 20 2010, 11:41 AM
A proposal to tackle data bottlenecks on future planetary probe missions: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/...00919182645.htm"the technology could be ready in time to support mid-term missions to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn"
Sep 20 2010, 01:41 PM
That's an interesting concept. I wonder how much it would cost to put a "fleet" in motion?
And would just one mission to the outer planets be enough to justify it's cost?
Technical question: How well would solar sailing and solar power work beyond Jupiter orbit?
Sep 20 2010, 02:57 PM
I wouldn't even give this a TRL of 1, let alone say ' could be ready in time to support...' w.r.t. the next flagships. That's crazy. There is a tradition of slightly crazy papers getting the attention of the media office at Europlanet though
Sep 20 2010, 06:06 PM
Yeah, I'm gonna trust my data to that!
Sep 20 2010, 08:42 PM
Considering we still don't do optical comms, I agree with Doug that this idea is pretty far-fetched. Like fusion, it'll probably be 10 years away for 40 years.
Sep 21 2010, 03:54 AM
It's hard to take this too seriously. No one has made solar sails work at 1 AU. They'd be 100x less effective at 10 AU. And what sort of orbits are these things supposed to be on anyway, which repeatedly pass the Earth and various outer planets? Seems to be the brainchild of someone who doesn't understand orbital dynamics and who thinks the planets are all relatively close to each other.