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JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer)
  • hi guys just seen on the news that a proposal has been made to launch a billion euro space craft to study the habitability of jupiters moons. the craft would do close flybys of callisto and europa before finally going into a settled orbit around ganymede. read the full story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17756628
  • Thanks Stephen.

    I would have thought they'd want to do flybys of the other moons and then have it go into a settled orbit around Europa, not Ganymede, as Europa holds the most interest.

    But yeah, very interesting. Launch in 2022 though, phew these space missions do take their time. Love the name 'JUICE', a memorable one that will really catch the public interest...and the flyby images of Europa will be incredible, alien icebergs.

    If life exists on other worlds in our own solar system, then it's pretty likely that the universe is teeming with it. This mission though will only tell us if the conditions are there for life. But we just never know what else the mission might discover that is unknown to us right now.

    So who thinks life may exist on Europa?
  • i really wish they would just land a craft, drill through the ice and explore the oceans! i want to know if theres life now not 60 years from now or how ever long its going to take! i really hope life exists on europa betelgeuse. wonder what the reason for going into a permanent orbit around ganymede is though? who knows, maybe we are alone in our solar system but theres just no way we are alone in the universe and i very much doubt were alone in our galaxy. i guess we just have to be patient.
  • we still have juno, new horizons and the mars rover to look forward to though.
  • I just read that Stephen, thanks for pointing it out.

    When I was a young 'un I thought how lucky I was to be born when when the moon landings were going on and it was great to experience all of it. When you read what could happen in the future you (well I do) just hope you will be around to see it. Well worth the wait I suppose.

  • Yeah Steven I wish they could just send something to drill/melt through the ice, have a swim around, and let us know once and for all if anything's looking back at us !

    But the space missions do seem to be in incremental steps. Send a craft to see what's there, years later send another to have a closer look, send another to do even closer flybys, send a rover to determine if water was ever present, few years later send another rover to search for the right conditions for life....

    But it must be the best way to do it, as Nasa (and others) now know just how to (hopefully) land a car sized rover on Mars. The first rover mission to Mars was way back in the 90's with the little Sojourner rover. It's an evolution.

    But I did think some kind of mission was on the cards to go straight for it and get at Europa's ocean, although JUICE will be a great mission with some awesome images.

    I asked Patrick Moore a few years back did he think life existed on Europa, to my surprise he said no. He didn't think enough energy was present there to support life. Maybe his views have changed since.

    But yeah there's lots more to look forwards to with Curiosity and Juno etc, the Curiosity skycrane landing is sheer genius. To witness the Moon landings as they happened must have been amazing Graham...years ahead of its time that was.
  • It was amazing. Just makes me feel old now LOL
  • it would have been amazing to be around for the moon landings graham, i am jealous! i know how you feel though, i hope i am around when the start making some major break throughs. i am only 23 but these missions are usually few and far between... then theres waiting a number of years for the craft to arrive. that would have been great to speak to patrick moore betelgeuse. did he metion anywhere he thought life may exist? if they can pull of that landing of curiosity its going to be great. it will give those engineers a great deal of confidence to up there game even more. i look forward to the future but hey, we cant wish our lives away.
  • I remember when they landed on the moon there were a few hours before they came out of the Lunar module. I suppose it's hard to get your boots on! My parents made me go to bed but I kicked up such a fuss that they agreed to let me come back down to see the first steps. I must have been a brat but they did as agreed and let me watch it.

    Even before that the Apollo 8 which I think was the first to go around the moon manned was awesome.. although awesome wasn't a word in those days!
  • the word i would use now for the moon landings would be epic! i hope we get to see a mars landing and have a good old chin wag about it. i have a funny feeling america wont get there first though but who knows, maybe another space race is what they need to give them the kick up the backside to get the job done. nasa has lost its way and the budgets sure as hell are not helping. the new horizons craft is due to arrive 2015 i think. i am looking forward to hearing what they discover about the outer solar system and hopefully getting some decent images of pluto.
  • There still isn't much in the solar system that we have had soft landings on. Just Mars, Venus, the moon and Titan I think?

    It totally blows my mind when i have been looking at Saturn through my scope in the past month that we have successfully landed on one of the small dots of light that go around it.
  • i know what you mean champagnerocker. even looking up at the moon i always think what must it have been like for the apollo crew to have stared back at earth. the stars must have been amazing to look at too. wonder how much it would cost to stick my own small observatory up there. no clouds or anything to worry about. well i suppose there is the small problem of solar flares and cosmic rays.... lol
  • I was at a talk Patrick Moore was giving Stephen, I only really got to ask him the Europa question.

    Curiosity arrives at Mars in August, not far away really. It will run on nuclear power, so no worries with Martian dust on solar panels. I think there's going to be a camera pointing downwards as it heads for the surface. Yeah Nasa seems to throwing its weight around with this new Mars mission, it's daring and it screams confidence.

    The Moon landings were more political, the US had to beat the Russians no matter what. But that same spur to action is no longer there, we're all friends now I think.

    Champagnerocker the landing on Titan was incredible, I'm amazed by Titan. Erosion, weather, lakes, deltas, shorelines, exactly the same processes as Earth just different stuff used. Have you seen the BBC4 documentry "Destination Titan" ? Just brilliant!

    Is there life elsewhere in the solar system? Kind of undecided, but if it happened on Earth it can happen in other places. But even if there is no other life in our solar system then it's sure to exist outside as the numbers are, well ...astronomical. Everywhere they look they find exoplanets, there must be billions of exo worlds out there, with their billions or trillions of exo moons.

    It might be crawling with life out there among the stars, and we can't detect it.
  • i was just reading in the astronomy now magazine how planets are being ejected from our galaxy by sag A* at break neck speeds of 10-14 percent of the speed of light. some even reaching 44 percent the speed of light! some could be habitable if they have a heat source like radioactive decay, thick atmosphere or tectonic activity as some of them dont get to hold on to their parent star. that would be the one hell of a spaceship!
  • this mission has now been approved and is due to launch in 2022.
  • Wow incredible about Sagittarius A, and it's meant to be at a quiet phase because there's not a lot of material for it to consume.

    Just think if it was actually active.

    Yes JUICE launch 2022, so arriving at the Jupiter system in 2030...space is big !
  • yes its a good few years away yet. hopefully by the time it gets there we will soon be on a manned mission to mars with plans for a settlement. have you read the book called the case for mars by Dr robert zubrin?
  • Quite a while ago I watched a programme on the tele about the NASA watching the USSR closely because they were talking about exploding a nuclear bomb on the dark side of the moon. The yanks kept picking up explosion like siesmic disturbances in space which the Russians denied, it was discovered these explosions were coming from deep space and were exploding stars which were possibly from before Christ was born & the sound waves were taking that long to reach earth. Some exciting things happened in the early days of space exploration, especially as they didn't have the super computers in those days as they have now, and using the moon and other planets to slingshot spacecraft into deep space.
  • Hi Rogstal,

    Yes the Americans were watching the Russians in the 1960s, and looking for gamma ray pulses with their spy satellites. Gamma ray pulses are the signatures of nuclear explosions, but they found them coming from random points out in space.

    They were gamma ray bursts, mammoth explosions second only to the Big bang itself. Caused when a giant star collapses in on itself forming a black hole. http://astronomycentral.co.uk/gamma-ray-bursts-the-most-devastating-blasts-in-the-cosmos