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Blogs

Blog entries by Van Kane

Mars Plans Advance (and Occasionally Fade)

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/05/08 04:05 CDT | 14 comments

In the last two months, there has been significant news about the European-Russian 2018 mission and about NASA’s 2020 rover. NASA also has announced that it would like to send a new orbiter to the Red Planet in the early 2020s.

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NASA's Mission to Europa May Get More Interesting Still

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/04/11 04:08 CDT | 7 comments

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.

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Four Ideas to Bust the Floor on Outer Planet Mission Costs

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/03/26 08:25 CDT | 7 comments

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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Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/03/02 12:43 CST | 3 comments

Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.

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Planetary CubeSats Begin to Come of Age

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/02/17 05:41 CST | 3 comments

Van Kane rounds up some recent planetary mission concepts based on CubeSat technology.

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2016 Budget: Great Policy Document and Much Better Budget Plan

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/02/05 07:25 CST | 12 comments

Van Kane gives a summary of the 53-page proposed Fiscal Year 2016 NASA Planetary Science budget.

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JUICE at Europa

Posted by Van Kane on 2015/01/13 02:03 CST | 7 comments

Europe's JUICE spacecraft will provide us with a detailed regional study of this icy moon of Jupiter.

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Selecting the Next Creative Idea for Exploring the Solar System

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/12/01 07:39 CST

With the release of the official Announcement of Opportunity (AO) early in November, NASA has officially begun the competition to select its next low cost ($450M) Discovery program planetary mission. Because planetary scientists are free to propose missions to any destination in the solar system other than the sun and Earth, these competitions bring out the creativity in the planetary science program.

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A Rich Potpourri of Future Mission Concepts

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/11/26 05:01 CST

The past few months have brought announcements for new missions from India and China as well as a wealth of creative ideas for future missions.

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Europa: How Less Can Be More

Posted by Van Kane on 2014/08/26 06:55 CDT | 6 comments

Van Kane explains three factors that make exploring Europa hard—factors that can make a mission concept that seems like less actually be more.

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