NASA Robots To Travel To Uranus And Neptune

Posted: Aug 28 2015, 7:09am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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NASA Robots to Travel to Uranus and Neptune
Voyager Images of Neptune. Credit: voyager.jpl.nasa
  • NASA’s Robotic Probe to Travel to Uranus and Neptune

NASA’s robotic probe is to make a lengthy travel to two planets on the outermost edge of the solar system. These happen to be Uranus and Neptune.

NASA is working on creating robotic probes that will go on missions to Uranus and Neptune. The design and function of these probes are to be something out of this world.

As for Uranus and Neptune, they occupy the nether regions of our solar system. The only planet beyond them is Pluto. And it had already been designated as a pariah planet by astronomers a few years ago.

Both Uranus and Neptune are on the bucket list that NASA has made for space exploration purposes. Orbiting satellites will probably be sent. That is to these two planet within the next five to fifteen years.

Their features, topography and chemical makeup will get analyzed. And the moon systems that they possess will also be observed. NASA plans to create a launch facility. This will cost $2 billion per mission to each respective planet.

However, the experts at the institute are figuring out ways of lowering costs. The problem seems to be the huge amounts of finance necessary to send a probe to the outer limits of our solar system. The sheer distance that is to be traveled is in itself a daunting prospect.

“We want to identify potential concepts across a spectrum of price points,” Jim Green, head of NASA’s planetary science division said Monday in a meeting of a NASA-sponsored science working group devoted to outer planets research.

“One of our (impediments) to make missions happen is the huge price tag it takes in order to be able to get out to the outer solar system.”

But these obstacles and hurdles will be overcome with the passage of time. The price to be paid can be slashed many times over. The budget can be limited in the bureaucratic planning of sending the missions.

The effort will be strenuous though and it will be from scratch. Once the final practical phase arrives, it is hoped no hitches or glitches come in the way. The next two decades are crucial for the development and evolution of these probes. They are to go where no one else has gone before.

Although the whole shebang won’t be a piece of cake, it is not impossible. Currently, the focus is on the Red Planet (that is Mars). Everybody is talking about traveling to the Martian landscape. And they plan on colonizing it for the sake of planet earth and its inhabitants.

But in the future new avenues will get explored. Further distances will get traveled by mankind. NASA will survive. That is despite the dangers to civilization from external as well as internal forces.

Uranus and Neptune are a whole different ball game. The rules that apply to their exploration are entirely at odds with what we have seen up until now. Space probes have penetrated Saturn and Jupiter. Uranus and Neptune remain virgin planets though. And they have not been explored by the scientific instruments of man.

“Obviously, it’s not going to be easy to be able, even after we get Europa under our belt, to actually execute on the next large mission, but we need to make progress to understand our science priorities and look at this in a way that will prepare us for the next decade, but also utilize new technologies and capabilities that have come up (since the last decadal survey),” Green said Monday.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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