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New Concepts to Explore the Jovian System

Van Kane • October 28, 2015 • 2

Last year, NASA’s managers invited the European Space Agency to propose a small spacecraft to explore the Jovian system. Van Kane describes the recently-posted results of ESA's concept studies for two possible missions.

Galileo's best pictures of Jupiter's ringmoons

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2015 • 4

People often ask me to produce one of my scale-comparison montages featuring the small moons of the outer solar system. I'd love to do that, but Galileo's best images of Jupiter's ringmoons lack detail compared to Cassini's images from Saturn.

The not-planets

Emily Lakdawalla • July 14, 2015 • 38

Now that I have a reasonable-resolution global color view of Pluto, I can drop it into one of my trademark scale image montages, to show you how it fits in with the rest of the similar-sized worlds in the solar system: the major moons and the biggest asteroids.

New Horizons is a Triumph for Space Advocates

Casey Dreier • July 07, 2015 • 5

New Horizons—what will be NASA’s greatest success of 2015—was cancelled multiple times in its early life, and many times before that in its previous incarnations. A mission to Pluto was not inevitable, despite the overwhelming scientific and public excitement.

NASA Goes First Class for Europa

Van Kane • June 10, 2015 • 9

Over the last several years, engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Applied Physics Laboratory have rethought the entire approach to exploring Europa. NASA now has a concept that's affordable.

Why We Don't Know When the Europa Mission Will Launch

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2015 • 12

NASA has been vague about when the new mission to Europa will launch. There's a reason for that, and it's not just orbital mechanics.

Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

Casey Dreier • May 26, 2015 • 8

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

NASA's Mission to Europa May Get More Interesting Still

Van Kane • April 11, 2015 • 7

NASA officials have asked their European counterparts if they would like to propose contributing a small probe to NASA's Europa mission planned for the mid-2020s.

A moon with atmosphere

Emily Lakdawalla • April 08, 2015 • 10

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

Four Ideas to Bust the Floor on Outer Planet Mission Costs

Van Kane • March 26, 2015 • 7

The road to lower costs outer planet missions has been paved by NASA’s first two New Frontiers missions, the $700M New Horizons mission to Pluto and the $1.1B Juno mission to Jupiter. But can the cost of a mission to the outer solar system be cut to $450M, the limit for a Discovery mission?

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