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Monday, December 13, 2004



JIMO Preempted by Mars Mission?

Artist's conception of JIMO.
Artist's conception of JIMO.
Credit: NASA/JPL
The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) was to be a grand flagship mission. It would be the first mission powered by NASA's exciting Project Prometheus nuclear reactors, and would explore the tantalizing hints of potential life that we've gotten from such moons as Europa, where scientists believe the entire surface is made up of a layer of ice sitting on a vast global ocean. However, a recent analysis done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory suggests that, while JIMO is being developed, NASA should work on smaller, faster missions to utilize Project Prometheus's immense potential. One of the proposed missions is a "Next Generation Mars Telecommunications Station." It's not clear exactly what it would be used for, but it would probably be similar in concept to the 2009 Mars Telecommunications Orbiter (link, link).

(More info: Yahoo! News [Space.com])


- posted by Brian @ 23:35 EST