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Cassini's last stand

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Its kinda depressing. Juno and all that but after so many years, we will not have any real reconnaissance beyond Mars. Juno is junk. Cassini was gold. New Horizions lived up to its name. Beyond Cassini I see very little.  A Uranus orbiter would be great, but the budget is going to be spent on the moons of Jupiter, namely Europa. They want to dril into the surface to find lifr, having already failed at Mars. More billions will be spent on Mars before they abandon the search for  life. I like to think they are really concentrating on getting man there but who knows whats happening.

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I believe we know nothing about these programs, only surface information to feed the imagination of people like the pictures of Egyptian artefacts on Mars. All the good stuff they keep it for themselves obviously. :angry3:




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What negative posts :( 

I think there is an amazing amount of science going on, and they seem to share plenty of the information publicly.

Personally I was just looking forward to Cassini's farewell orbits, I'm sure there is plenty more being planned.

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Let's see here.....

The studies of Mars will continue, as well as SpaceX planning a mission or two to our red neighbor - both manned & unmanned. As SpaceX is going to pay the bills from this undertaking, that will free-up NASA to afford the mission to Europa - drill-in-hand. Europa is far more likely to harbor life-forms than the arid desert that serves to define the Martian topography. If all was up to me, Europa would be my first choice of where to go next to find some 'Little Green Men.' <koff!> I'd be overjoyed to learn of SpaceX's plans for Mars, and I'm sure they'll bring a pail and shovel to bring us back a nice, big box of Martian rocks, soil-samples, and anything else they may wish.

As regards the finale of Cassini - all good things have their conclusions. If things went on for years & years, we'd likely not even recognize these missions to be stupendous events in the first place. And the atmosphere of Saturn, which Cassini will get close-up & personal with on it's way to Valhalla, remains unexplored aside from indirect means of analysis. Only one way can this atmosphere be sampled: Going into it. And with the incredible gravity these gas-giants have - just stopping by and taking flight through and back out again - would require a massive load of fuel and a rocket the size of an entire freight-train!

Going to Europa and drilling to it's ocean will require more science than may meet the eye. Just taking extreme safeguards to ensure no Earth-based organic material is aboard the spacecraft will need a team to think through. Last thing we need is to 'seed' Europa with OUR lifeforms. This will be a humongous amount of preparations to execute before this drilling-ship gets anywhere near the launchpad.

I am quite excited by this affair!





Edited by Dave In Vermont
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In many ways it will be sad to see the end f the Cassini mission, but I can not agree that it heralds a time of no interesting space projects. In fact I believe the exact opposite. I also do not agree that the best information is being withheld. It takes time to verify all the data collected and this is very important. When released the information must be correct. It is not all about lovely pictures, indeed these are seldom the main purpose of the mission. NASA the ESA etc have to publish their findings to ensure future funding for ongoing projects.

I believe we are living in exciting times as far as space projects are concerned and I look forward to all the interesting information that will be published in the coming years.

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Europa Clipper is an exciting mission imho, so is the next NASA Mars rover which is actually designed to look for past/present life, unlike all their previous rovers which were only capable of looking for life-supporting conditions. The hunt for life has by no means "failed at Mars". Then there is ESA's JUICE mission, BepiColombo to Mercury, private and public manned missions to asteroids and Mars... Still plenty to be optimistic about!

However, the most exciting mission for me is JWST, which deliver an awful lot of science, albeit remote observations - but observations that include the atmospheres of exoplanets.

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As others have said, the 'final hurrah' sending back data on Saturn's atmosphere is well worth calling it a day for. And there are many other missions on the horizon, not just the Europa mission. There's some interesting asteroid missions on the cards too.

And 'Juno is junk' WHAT!!!

The March 27th flyby caught some lovely images, but as John says it's not just about the images, it's the data, is the core metallic hydrogen? What does the amount of water in the atmosphere say about planet formation? What's the deep structure of our neighbourhood giant?

A very valuable mission I think.


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We mustn't, and indeed have no right to pass judgement on these probes.
They cost a hell of a lot of money to build, launch, and monitor. The taxpayers of the US and other countries 
foot the bill, and whilst some may twitter about the cost, there is not a shadow of a doubt, we are better off knowledge wise
as a result of these wonderful robots, designed an built by very clever and Intelligent people.
Science is always going to be searching for answers, in all areas of research, and space exploration is a huge part of that.
We ought to be very grateful for the work done by those people. Anyone who has not been excited by these journeys to the other worlds
in the Solar family, really need to ask themselves if they have any curiosity at all.
The moon will be re visited by men and machines, Mars will be visited by many more probes, and eventually by humans too.
No point in setting a date for that happening, much more information is needed well before that time, not just about the planet and it's environment,
but the intervening space between us. Many dangers lurk there too.
I hope to see many more journeys by robotic spacecraft, to wherever they may go.

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Sad though it is, I sense we have to acknowledge that Cassini has
come to the end of its useful life? And / Or there is a real threat re.
contaminating (supposedly) life-free worlds in the solar system. :o

However I am enthused by the images received from JUNO and
look forward to Cassini "Skimming the Saturnian cloud-tops"?
It seems the final orbits are at LEAST as close to Saturn as Juno
is to Jupiter. I hope they leave the cams running until the end! :)


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