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  [Discuss] NASA Europa flyby, landing missions

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] NASA Europa flyby, landing missions
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 03-07-2017 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This topic is for comments and questions in reply to updates under:

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 44187
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-07-2017 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ars Technica's Eric Berger was recently invited to a closed-door meeting at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to get an inside look at NASA's planned missions to Europa.
During more than five hours of briefings in "Left Field," a room named for its encouragement of ideas out of left field, scientists and engineers explained to [Congressman John] Culberson how they plan to tackle the challenges of landing on Europa. A year ago they weren't even certain it could be done, but now they're increasingly confident.

"We've looked at most of the things that used to really bother us," said Dara Sabahi, a lead engineer on the project. "There were a lot of gotchas, but today I can say that — and I don't say this lightly — we are confident we can make this work. I believe the technologies are in reach, and the risks that bothered us are manageable."

...during the briefings at JPL, Culberson brought a friend with him, the famed Director James Cameron. The two men share an interest in exploring the depths of oceans, and periodically Cameron peppered the JPL presenters with questions about batteries, the chemistry of Europa's ocean, and so forth. But mostly, he came as Europa's storyteller-in-chief. "If you want to talk to the world, this man knows how to do it," Culberson said of his friend.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 44187
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2017 06:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From NASA on Twitter:
It's official! NASA's mission to explore an ocean world orbiting Jupiter will be called Europa Clipper.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 44187
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-16-2017 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
President Donald Trump's blueprint for NASA's Fiscal Year 2018 budget funds the Europa Clipper fly-by mission but does not support a Europa lander.
To preserve the balance of science portfolio and maintain flexibility to conduct missions that were determined to be more important by the science community, the Budget provides no funding for a multi-billion-dollar mission to land on Europa.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4557
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-17-2018 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Ars Technica:
In recent years, scientists have locked down a set of nine scientific instruments to fly on the Europa Clipper probe, which will look, search, and sniff for signs of life during 47 flybys that will skim to within 25 kilometers of the moon's surface. But one big question remains, and it will probably determine whether the mission costs in the range of $2 billion or $3 billion dollars: how best to get the six-ton probe from Earth to the Jupiter system?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 44187
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2018 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per Ars Technica's Eric Berger via Twitter:
Some news regarding the Europa Clipper and Lander missions. New baseline launch dates:
  • Clipper: July, 2023
  • Lander: Nov., 2026
Those are funding dependent, which is a challenge now that Rep. Culberson is out. But not insurmountable. More to come.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 44187
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-28-2019 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's inspector general says the agency could save nearly $1 billion if Congress gives it the ability to choose the best launch vehicle for the Europa Clipper, rather than mandating the use of the Space Launch System, reports SpaceNews.
In an Aug. 27 letter to the chairs and ranking members of both the full Senate Appropriations Committee and its commerce, justice and science subcommittee, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin said that language in past appropriations bills will delay the launch of the Europa Clipper mission and add to its cost.

"NASA's renewed focus on returning humans to the Moon on an accelerated timetable means that an SLS will not be available to launch the Clipper mission to Europa before 2025 at the earliest," he wrote in the conclusion of the seven-page letter. The fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill required that the mission launch by 2023 on an SLS.

"[W]e urge Congress to consider removing the requirement that NASA launch the Europa Clipper on an SLS and allow the Agency to decide whether to use an SLS or a commercial vehicle based on cost, schedule, vehicle availability, and impact on science requirements," he added.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44187
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-07-2020 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee today released its draft fiscal year 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill, which includes NASA. The legislation provides $403.5 million for Europa Clipper and frees the mission to use a launch vehicle other than the Space Launch System (SLS). The previous bills stipulated "shall use" rather than "if available."
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall use the Space Launch System, if available, as the launch vehicles for the Jupiter Europa missions, plan for orbiter launch no later than 2025 and a lander launch 11no later than 2027...

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