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Welcome to the Objective Europa forum for general debate and discussions in areas related to a crewed mission to Jovian moon Europa. Suggestions and ideas in the forum will not be filed as part of the research in phase-I.

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Pages: 1
Author Topic: Precursor Missions


rangerelli-
s
Europa Dreamer
Posts: 4
Precursor Missions
on: April 8, 2014, 21:25

Greetings Objective-Europa!
It would be fantastic for a manned mission to Europa to actually occur. However, I do not believe it is in any form smart to start off missions to Europa (especially as this site, as a group, has zero space exploration experience) with a manned mission. There <i> has </i> to be robotic missions before hand. Here is a quick suggestion, and by no means a detailed and thought out plan:
1. Robotic Orbiter: Sent to orbit Europa. Primary Purpose: Locate candidate areas for the landing site of the following missions. Can have secondary purposes to study Europa.
2. Robotic Rover: Sent to traverse Europa. Primary Purpose: Scope out candidate areas for manned missions.
3. Robotic Digger: Sent to the manned mission site. Primary purpose: Dig to the ocean and perform initial experiments. Locate suitable sub-surface base locations.
4. Manned Mission.



Bryan
Europa Astronaut
Posts: 98
Re: Precursor Missions
on: April 9, 2014, 18:30

I agree that we need to send several robotic missions to Europa.

I doubt the rover will be able to move far enough to scope out several areas for landing. I believe that most of the rovers today move 1 or 2 miles a year at the most. Even if we double or triple that amount, we are likely going to scope out landing sites by orbiters.

How about instead of a rover, have several smaller non-roving landers that could report on ground conditions?



rangerelli-
s
Europa Dreamer
Posts: 4
Re: Precursor Missions
on: April 9, 2014, 21:06

Quote from Bryan on April 9, 2014, 18:30
How about instead of a rover, have several smaller non-roving landers that could report on ground conditions?

That could work. Have one "mothership" in orbit that can launch around 5 landers to the prospected sites. I would say that each lander should be able to move though, at least a bit. Maybe even an attached rover that isn't as powerful but more mobile.



rangerelli-
s
Europa Dreamer
Posts: 4
Re: Precursor Missions
on: April 9, 2014, 21:16

Another note: The robotic digger mission should also include a sample return segment, to validate return trip technology.



Bryan
Europa Astronaut
Posts: 98
Re: Precursor Missions
on: August 20, 2014, 00:43

Attached here is an idea of a "rover" that is not wheel based, or even controllable, but could provide some information in a broader area than simple probes. http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6586/20131227/nasa-wheel-free-rover-super-ball-bot.htm

Sample return will be very expensive, and I'm not sure how well it will validate a return trip. We know how rockets work in space very well. Unless you are talking about tons of material, it will be quite easy to return a small sample compare to returning live humans with advanced life support.

If we do decide on a return mission, it should be for other reasons than to validate return trip technology.

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