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Blog entries by Van Kane

JUICE at Europa

Van Kane • January 13, 2015 • 7

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

Selecting the Next Creative Idea for Exploring the Solar System

Van Kane • December 01, 2014

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.

A Rich Potpourri of Future Mission Concepts

Van Kane • November 26, 2014

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.

Europa: How Less Can Be More

Van Kane • August 26, 2014 • 6

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

Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return

Van Kane • August 08, 2014 • 14

Van Kane gives us a tour of the instruments selected for the Mars 2020 rover.

Mars and Europa: Contrasts in Mission Planning

Van Kane • July 19, 2014 • 30

Several announcements for proposed missions to Mars and on the planning for a NASA return to Europa that highlight the contrasts in planning missions for these two high priority destinations.

One Number, Two Budgets

Van Kane • June 17, 2014 • 2

The Senate and House have both agreed to increase NASA's budget to $17.9 billion, but they have very different ways of spending that money.

A Checkup on Future Mars Missions

Van Kane • June 09, 2014 • 3

NASA’s Mars Exploration Analysis Group (MEPAG) recently reviewed plans by Europe, the Japanese, and NASA for future Mars exploration. The prognosis is for another exciting decade of Mars exploration.

A Reluctant Dance Towards Europa

Van Kane • May 14, 2014 • 15

For the last two years, NASA has been the shy partner refusing to get on the dance floor, and Congress has been the aggressive partner insisting on a dance now. The dance is the continuing attempt by Congress to have NASA commit to a mission to explore Europa, and NASA’s attempts to delay a mission well into the 2020s.

Discovery Missions for an Icy Moon with Active Plumes

Van Kane • April 02, 2014 • 8

In December, scientists announced the discovery of possible plumes of water being ejected from Jupiters’s moon Europa. If confirmed, Europa would be the second moon with confirmed plumes after Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Two Discovery mission proposals for Enceladus suggest the types of missions that may be proposed for Europa.

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