NASA has comparison dual finalist concepts for a robotic goal designed to launch in a mid-2020s: a comet representation lapse goal and a drone-like rotorcraft that would try intensity alighting sites on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
The group announced a concepts Wednesday, following an endless and rival counterpart examination process. The concepts were comparison from 12 proposals submitted in Apr underneath a New Frontiers module proclamation of opportunity.
“This is a hulk jump brazen in building a successive confidant goal of scholarship discovery,” pronounced Thomas Zurbuchen, associate director for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “These are delicious investigations that find to answer some of a biggest questions in a solar complement today.”
The finalists are:
Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR)
The CAESAR goal seeks to lapse a representation from 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a comet that was successfully explored by a European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, to establish a start and history. Led by Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, CAESAR would be managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Dragonfly is a drone-like rotorcraft that would try a prebiotic chemistry and habitability of dozens of sites on Saturn’s moon Titan, an sea universe in a solar system. Elizabeth Turtle from a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, is a lead investigator, with APL providing plan management.
The CAESAR and Dragonfly missions will accept appropriation by a finish of 2018 to serve rise and mature their concepts. NASA skeleton to name one of these investigations in a open of 2019 to continue on to successive goal phases.
The comparison goal will be a fourth in NASA’s New Frontiers portfolio, a array of principal investigator-led heavenly scholarship investigations that tumble underneath a growth cost top of approximately $850 million. Its predecessors are a New Horizons goal to Pluto and a Kuiper Belt intent famous as 2014 MU69, a Juno goal to Jupiter, and OSIRIS-REx, that will event with and lapse a representation of a asteroid Bennu.
NASA also announced a preference of dual goal concepts that will accept record growth supports to ready them for destiny goal competitions.
The concepts comparison for record growth are:
Enceladus Life Signatures and Habitability (ELSAH)
The ELSAH goal judgment will accept supports to rise cost-effective techniques that extent booster decay and thereby capacitate life showing measurements on cost-capped missions. The principal questioner is Chris McKay of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and a handling NASA core is Goddard.
Venus In situ Composition Investigations (VICI)
Led by Lori Glaze during Goddard, a VICI goal judgment will serve rise a Venus Element and Mineralogy Camera to work underneath a oppressive conditions on Venus. The instrument uses lasers on a lander to magnitude a mineralogy and component combination of rocks on a aspect of Venus.
The call for concepts was singular to 6 goal themes: comet aspect representation return, lunar south pole-Aitken Basin representation return, sea worlds (Titan and/or Enceladus), Saturn probe, Trojan asteroid debate and rendezvous, and Venus in situ explorer.
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