The path not taken.
- Oct 9, 2009
- Reaction score
Back to the present:
Published on Aug 6, 2019
Volume up: On Aug. 5, 2019, we put our Orion spacecraft's propulsion system to the test! Watch the auxiliary and main engines fire up, simulating a challenging mission scenario: boosting Orion into a temporary orbit. This test helps ensure the safety of astronauts on #Artemis missions to the Moon. More: https://go.nasa.gov/2YoBboq
I take it that will be the SLS Block 1B unmanned variant. I don't see the Block 1B variant appearing until after the two Block 1 missions have been launched. So that will possibly push the launch window towards the mid-late 2020's at the earliest.Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moon Confirmed
An icy ocean world in our solar system that could tell us more about the potential for life on other worlds is coming into focus with confirmation of the Europa Clipper mission's next phase. The decision allows the mission to progress to completion of final design, followed by the construction and testing of the entire spacecraft and science payload.
"We are all excited about the decision that moves the Europa Clipper mission one key step closer to unlocking the mysteries of this ocean world," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We are building upon the scientific insights received from the flagship Galileo and Cassini spacecraft and working to advance our understanding of our cosmic origin, and even life elsewhere."
The mission will conduct an in-depth exploration of Jupiter's moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life, honing our insights into astrobiology. To develop this mission in the most cost-effective fashion, NASA is targeting to have the Europa Clipper spacecraft complete and ready for launch as early as 2023. The agency baseline commitment, however, supports a launch readiness date by 2025.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leads the development of the Europa Clipper mission in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for the Science Mission Directorate. Europa Clipper is managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Europa Clipper will explore Jupiter's icy moon in-depth during multiple flybys, studying whether Europa could harbor conditions suitable for life.www.jpl.nasa.gov
New article covering the ongoing saga of the choice of launcher for Europa Clipper.
Although alternatives such as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy exist, the space agency is legally required to launch its Europa Clipper spacecraft on the behind-schedule Space Launch Systemwww.scientificamerican.com
One of those concerned NASA's workforce that specializes in building these complex, interplanetary missions. "Clipper has had to compete with at least four other major JPL-managed projects for critical personnel resources, causing concern that the project may not have a sufficient workforce with the required skills at critical periods in its development cycle," the report found. This understaffing issue has largely been resolved, a NASA source told Ars.