Europa Clipper

Flyaway

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Time this has its own thread.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The management of NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, facing dwindling cost reserves while still years away from launch, is looking at cost saving options that would preserve the mission’s science.

 

FighterJock

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Time this has its own thread.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The management of NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, facing dwindling cost reserves while still years away from launch, is looking at cost saving options that would preserve the mission’s science.


Things are not looking good for Europa Clipper. :eek:
 

Grey Havoc

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Indeed. Moving away from nuclear propulsion seems to have ultimately proven to be a fatal move on NASA's part.
 

Flyaway

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He continued, "Europa is one of our best chances of finding life in our solar system. NASA's Europa Clipper mission will launch in the next few years, and so our work aims to prepare for the mission, which will investigate Europa's habitability. Our models lead us to think that the oceans in other moons, such as Europa's neighbor Ganymede, and Saturn's moon Titan, may also have formed by similar processes. We still need to understand several points though, such as how fluids migrate through Europa's rocky interior".

 

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He continued, "Europa is one of our best chances of finding life in our solar system. NASA's Europa Clipper mission will launch in the next few years, and so our work aims to prepare for the mission, which will investigate Europa's habitability. Our models lead us to think that the oceans in other moons, such as Europa's neighbor Ganymede, and Saturn's moon Titan, may also have formed by similar processes. We still need to understand several points though, such as how fluids migrate through Europa's rocky interior".


Personally I cannot wait for Europa Clipper to launch, there is so much that we do not understand about Europa at the moment. Also I would like a future mission to Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Titan as Cassini left more questions than answers about these two moons.
 

Flyaway

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At the start of a National Academies meeting today, NASA’s Lori Glaze said Curt Niebur said agency recently held a continuation/termination review for 3 Europa Clipper instruments suffering overruns. Keeping all 3, but with some changes.


Biggest change is for the MASPEX instrument, which will get a cost cap and reclassification as a Class D (higher risk) instrument; it will also get a new principal investigator.
 

Flyaway

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Cost growth prompts changes to Europa Clipper instruments

Cost overruns on three instruments for NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft led NASA to consider dropping them from the mission and ultimately requiring significant changes to some of them.

At a July 9 briefing to the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences of the National Academies, NASA officials said they recently conducted “continuation/termination reviews” for the three instruments: a camera, infrared imaging spectrometer and mass spectrometer. Those reviews were prompted by cost overruns on those instruments.
 

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Flyaway

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The key takeaway from this article is there is absolutely no reason for Europa Clipper to launch on SLS. That Falcon Heavy could do the job without even a kick stage. That the only bar to the change is the senate who would rather tie it to launcher that may well go nowhere.

 
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Flyaway

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View: https://twitter.com/dvergano/status/1317125279337320456


Textual content as quote
NASA's chief acknowledges Congressional demand to launch Jupiter mission on costly, delayed, obsolescent, jobs program rocket is folly.
Cmte mbr Carol Raymond asks about SLS and science.
Bridenstne: Europa Clipper will go thru CDR in Dec and law req us to launch on SLS. So we'll build it and put in storage till 2025 when an SLS will be available. I don't think that's the right plan, but we have to follow the law.
 

Flyaway

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Laboratory predictions for the night-side surface ice glow of Europa

Europa’s surface continuously experiences high fluxes of charged particles due to the presence of Jupiter’s strong magnetic field. These high-energy charged particles, including electrons, interact with the ice- and salt-rich surface, resulting in complex physical and chemical processes. Here, we report that Europa ice analogues emit characteristic spectral signatures in the visible region when exposed to high-energy electron radiation. The strongest emission (ice glow) we observed was centred at ~525 nm. We found that the presence of sodium chloride and carbonate strongly quenched, while epsomite enhanced, the radiation-induced ice glow. These emission characteristics could be used to determine the chemical composition of Europa’s surface during night-time low-altitude fly-bys of spacecraft such as the Europa Clipper. We estimate that the Europa Clipper Wide Angle Camera could record between 500 and 280,000 counts per second through different colour filters, depending on the chemical composition of Europa’s surface. Though we focus here on Europa, our study may be relevant to other bodies exposed to high doses of ionizing radiation, such as Io and Ganymede. With its extreme radiation environment, rich surface geology and compositional diversity, the radiation-induced ice glow on Europa could enable more precise surface characterization and provide unique night-time views.

 

Flyaway

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Researchers model source of eruption on Jupiter's moon Europa

A new model shows how brine on Jupiter's moon Europa can migrate within the icy shell to form pockets of salty water that erupt to the surface when freezing. The findings, which are important for the upcoming Europa Clipper mission, may explain cryovolcanic eruptions across icy bodies in the solar system.

 

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A plea to congress to release Europa Clipper from being launched on SLS.


So what rocket will launch the Europa Clipper now? SpaceX's Falcon Heavy? That is the only rocket that I think would have the capability to launch the Europa Clipper to Jupiter.
 

Flyaway

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A plea to congress to release Europa Clipper from being launched on SLS.


So what rocket will launch the Europa Clipper now? SpaceX's Falcon Heavy? That is the only rocket that I think would have the capability to launch the Europa Clipper to Jupiter.
Falcon Heavy has for a while now been seen as the only viable alternative.
 

Flyaway

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Today is Day 1 of the 6-day Critical Design Review (CDR) for the
@EuropaClipper
Project & Flight System. Our Standing Review Board will examine detailed plans for the science instruments and flight subsystems - including propulsion, power, and avionics. Here we go! #PI_Daily
View: https://twitter.com/RPappalardo/status/1338510325948293122


Day 2 of @EuropaClipper's Project & Flight System Critical Design Review includes briefings from Safety & Mission Assurance, Flight System, Avionics, Telecommunications. 300 people are on line for the remote review. The august board continues to grill us, in a good way. #PI_Daily
View: https://twitter.com/RPappalardo/status/1338948260468301824
 

Flyaway

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NASA has issued a Request For Information (RFI) for provision of Europa Clipper Launch Services

NNK21ZLS001L Jan 26, 2021

It appears likely ULA will compete against Space X for this one with possibly a Vulcan Heavy 3 core variant.
 

Flyaway

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View: https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1354483475076829187


Yesterday NASA released a solicitation for a commercial rocket to launch the Europa Clipper. It seeks a "Mars-Earth-Gravity-Assist" trajectory for launch in October 2024. Only the Falcon Heavy can do this.

beta.sam.gov/opp/a494208ffa…

View: https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1354486194701291520


Of course a Vulcan Heavy, or a New Glenn, or a Starship could fly this mission. But none of these exist today, or likely will before 2022 at the earliest. NASA needs to pick a rocket now so the Clipper payload can be finalized to meet its launch and coast environment.

View: https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1354487160385232899


It is theoretically possible that a regular Vulcan could do this mission. Perhaps @torybruno can clarify. I still have a hard time seeing NASA's Launch Services Program choose a rocket that has not yet flown a mission to fly a multibillion payload in a few years.

View: https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1354494131582742536


You can assume that anything Delta IV Hvy can do, can also be done by Vulcan.

View: https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1354494453520719874


Thank you. In this case, I was specifically wondering whether Vulcan could fly the Clipper mission with the specified "Mars-Earth-Gravity-Assist." My understanding from the scientists at JPL is that Delta IV Heavy cannot fly this trajectory.
 

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Grey Havoc

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How long will that hold against political pressure though?
 

Flyaway

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Rather different Congress now though.
It’s a decision that cannot be rescinded from a technical viewpoint as it’s likely it will now be made fully compatible with FH. There’s only one launcher this will now end up on and that’s FH.
 

Grey Havoc

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Politicians can always find a way to muck things up when they want to, though.
 

Flyaway

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The latest in the ongoing launcher saga, via Eric Berger:

"Rep Brian Babin has asked for the "torsional load analysis" that NASA used to reject flying the Europa Clipper on SLS. By all means, please make it public. I've seen the conclusions. It's a devastating indictment of excessive shaking during an SLS launch.

"The shaking is less pronounced for heavier missions, and therefore is not as much of a factor for large payloads like the Orion spacecraft stack. But for a relatively small payload like Clipper, the torsional loads were about three times higher than comparable rockets."

View: https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1371488500902727687
 

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