According to experts, what a NASA mission to the ice planet Uranus could look like

An influential panel of experts has suggested that Nasa send a spacecraft to Uranus – this is how the mission could unfold.

Uranus, the coldest planet in our solar system, should get a visit from NASA, a group of US planetary scientists suggests in a new report.

A panel of experts thinks Nasa should send a spacecraft to Uranus


A panel of experts thinks Nasa should send a spacecraft to Uranus

The recommendation was published April 19 by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington DC.

Coming from a process known as a decadal survey, NASA’s annual recommendations provide guidance for prioritizing scientific goals — and they almost always listen.

The latest report proposes the concept that Nasa is sending a flagship mission to Uranus to study the formation of the planet, its rings and moons.

“This mission will be absolutely transformative,” says Amy Simon, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

You can see Uranus next to Moon in an'unmissable' celestial meeting this week
Uranus is expected to shine brightly in the night sky tonight - how it's seen

1.925 billion miles from Earth, “ice giant” Uranus has not been a planet of interest since 1986, when Voyager 2 made a flyby.

Many experts say this appears to be an oversight on Nasa’s part, as Uranus is a scientific mystery waiting to be uncovered.

For example, that Uranus spins almost entirely on its side and has developed a complex magnetic field are things we don’t yet understand about the planet.

Additionally, scientists believe Uranus could provide an invaluable glimpse into exoplanets outside our solar system, according to Scientific American, since many of them are similar in size and composition.

However, the most obvious reason Nasa should go to Uranus is that it’s “technologically feasible right now,” Simon said.

How could the mission work?

A mission to Uranus could launch as early as 2031 aboard a commercial Falcon Heavy rocket — if fully funded, the report suggested.

The mission could then release a probe towards Uranus to study its winds, atmosphere and composition.

Meanwhile, the main spacecraft would make flybys to gather data on Uranus’ magnetic field and some of its 27 known moons — likely Titania and Oberon, which could harbor water.

“We’re talking about a mission to study the entire Uranus system,” Mark Hofstadter, a planetary scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told Scientific American.

How much would it cost?

Experts estimate that a mission to Uranus would likely cost NASA as much as $4.2 billion.

However, some scientists have proposed a “New Frontier” mission, which typically costs about $900 million, noted.

The problem with this budget is that it may not provide adequate results.

“A New Frontiers-caliber mission might only scratch the surface and not be able to explore the entire ice giant system in all its diversity,” said Leigh Fletcher, a planetary scientist at the University of Leicester who is involved in the ten-year survey process participated, to

“To fully explore Uranus, we need to be in orbit, exploring its interior, atmosphere and magnetosphere, and traversing its myriad icy moons and rings,” he added.

“If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing right!”

However, there could be hope for the conceptual mission if Nasa partners with the European Space Agency (ESA).

A worker dies after being trapped in a BREAD MACHINE for an hour
Inside life of'Staircase Killer' after allegations his wife was pushed to death by OWL

“The key question now is whether there is room in national budgets and in ESA’s science program for an ambitious partnership,” Fletcher said.

“We’ll have to wait and see.”

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The US Sun team? According to experts, what a NASA mission to the ice planet Uranus could look like

Chris Barrese

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button