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Comment: Re:What's been the hold up???? (Score 1) 100

by Squidlips (#46695727) Attached to: NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission
Based on recent actions, if Congress gave NASA the money, NASA would divert it to manned space pork. Congress want planetary science to continue at NASA, but NASA and the Administration seemed determined to kill it. The whole reason Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray started the Planetary Society was to stop the poaching of funds from planetary science (such as a Europa mission) to fuel manned spaceflights. Sagan must be rolling in his grave now: http://www.planetary.org/blogs...

Comment: Re:What's been the hold up???? (Score 2) 100

by Squidlips (#46686835) Attached to: NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission
Show me the article that says this. At this point we have to assume that the plume are similar to the plume on Enceladus and coming from the ocean. And even if it was near-surface melts, the ice originally derived from the ocean and thus, because of the constant re-surfacing of Europa, it would still have organics, if there are organics in the ocean. So MrSquid; why are all your post negative? [I think I know why...]

Comment: Re:Just go already (Score 1) 100

by Squidlips (#46686645) Attached to: NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission
Yup, NASA has been planing this for a decade at least. The latest design, the Europa Clipper seems like the most sensible, but NASA does not want to fork over the $2b it would cost for the mission so they fiddle and fuss and pretend that they are serious. If the Clipper was fully funded today, it would get to Europa in 2027.

Comment: It is all about priorities at NASA (Score 3, Interesting) 100

by Squidlips (#46686323) Attached to: NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission
Some expenses: --Space Station: the estimates start at roughly $35 billion — which is what the Government Accountability Office says Congress has appropriated for the station project since 1985 (PDF file) — and rise to $100 billion, which is roughly what the GAO said would be the total cost "to develop, assemble and operate" the station (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14505278/ns/technology_and_science-space/) --The Space Shuttle Endeavour, the orbiter built to replace the Space Shuttle Challenger, cost approximately $1.7 billion. --Launching the Space Shuttle is about $450 million per mission --The MSL Mars rover ~$1.8 to build and another ~.5b or so to launch and run. --The two MER Mars rovers: $800 million --Second toilet for the Space Station (purchased from the Russians): $17 million. --Amount of money allocated to the Europa Missions in 2015: $15 million.

Comment: Not laying any foundation (Score 1) 100

by Squidlips (#46685687) Attached to: NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission
NASA is stalling. They don't want to fund this mission; the 15 million in the 2015 budget is just to keep the critics happy; they will never fork over the 2b needed for the mission. They would rather keep the billions in Pork going toward politically powerful interests out of Houston for manned missions.

Comment: Re:What's been the hold up???? (Score 1) 100

by Squidlips (#46685651) Attached to: NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission
Exactly. Why has NASA been dragging their feet? They have been studying this mission for 10 years at least without funding it. The reason is simple: NASA is run by ex-astronauts and pilots who prefer manned missions to unmanned even though there is almost no scientific return from manned missions. The other reason is good old Houston politics and money; there are billions of dollars at stake in keeping the manned mission pork flowing for pointless projects such as the Rocket to Nowhere (the SLS); the unmanned missions (Science Directorate) our of Pasadena has no political pull.

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