[FPSPACE] Boeing to study Neptune mission for NASA
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 3 18:10:23 EDT 2004
From: LARRY KLAES <ljk4 at msn.com>
Sent: Jun 3, 2004 1:32 PM
BOEING TO STUDY NEPTUNE MISSIONS FOR NASA
While Boeing is preparing to deliver a proposal to NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory for what could become the nation's first nuclear-fission
powered exploration spacecraft, the company also is using its unique space
heritage and expertise to propel robotic solar system exploration farther
I'm in favor of a mission to Neptune just because it's so damned pretty. It would be nice to get back photos of that fuzzy blue blob out there in the cold.
However, I am somewhat concerned about the future of outer planet exploration. There are some poison pills buried in the JIMO program (such as its requirement for an HLV--cancel the Space Vision and the HLV gets canceled as well and JIMO follows down the drain). Presumably any realistic Neptune orbiter would be based on the JIMO design. So any future Neptune Orbiter probably requires the success of the space vision, or a significantly different design approach.
There is a somewhat-dated but still relevant study of the requirements for Neptune science produced by the Space Studies Board of the NRC. It's called Exploring the Trans-Neptunian Solar System. I have a paper copy, but the electrons should be on the web. It's a small study, dated 1998.
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