posted May 18, 2005 05:53 AM
We've have projects that have - or will have - visited most of the solar system planets and in a number of cases landed on their surfaces.
But should we - as well - perhaps be discussing ideas for a Sun orbiter,impactor or scooper mission ? We've had missions like Helios and the Skylab solar studies and, of course, many ground based solar observatories.
After all, the Sun is the nearest star.
The orbiter mission speaks for itself .
The impactor would have high aims of returning as much data as possible as it penetrated as far as it could into the Sun's layers.
A scooper would have high ambitions - to say the least !! - of retrieving material from the outer solar layer/s, analysing and returning data to earth !!
Could we do it? what's involved? Costs?
Are our technologies upto some of these missions?
Do we want to do it?
Just some thoughts to think about while lazing on the beaches this summer in the northern hemisphere or shivering in the winter climes of the southern hemisphere!