Europa or Titan? Or other?

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baulten

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<p>Reading another thread, I thought it'd be nice to get a good discussion going about where the next big outer-planets mission should go.&nbsp; It seems that the two main targets considered by NASA and the ESA are Saturn's moon Titan and Jupiter's moon Europa.&nbsp; Of course, there have also been proposals for missions to Uranus, Neptune and Triton, Enceladus, and other outer-planet targets.</p><p>What gets your vote?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Mine goes to Titan.&nbsp; It seems to me to be by far the most interesting object in the solar system.&nbsp; It's the only moon with a thick atmosphere, has signs of active cryo-volcanism, and might have a liquid mantle.&nbsp; It also is the only body that has a high likelyhood of standing bodies of fluids on its surface, and is rich in hydrocarbons.&nbsp; </p>
 
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docm

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Enceladus and Europa.&nbsp; They have the best potential for ice covered water oceans, and therefore life. The risks would be high, but the payoffs could be spectacular.&nbsp; No guts, no glory. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bearack

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Enceladus and Europa.&nbsp; They have the best potential for ice covered water oceans, and therefore life. The risks would be high, but the payoffs could be spectacular.&nbsp; No guts, no glory. <br /> Posted by docm</DIV></p><p>I think there are still major issue of getting through the think ice crust.&nbsp; Iv'e seen many possible solutions but nothing capable of, once through the ice core, transmitting results back.&nbsp; But, Iv'e also been out of the loop for a while.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><br /><img id="06322a8d-f18d-4ab1-8ea7-150275a4cb53" src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/6/14/06322a8d-f18d-4ab1-8ea7-150275a4cb53.Large.jpg" alt="blog post photo" /></p> </div>
 
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baulten

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I think there are still major issue of getting through the think ice crust.&nbsp; Iv'e seen many possible solutions but nothing capable of, once through the ice core, transmitting results back.&nbsp; But, Iv'e also been out of the loop for a while.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by bearack</DIV></p><p>Gotta agree with this.&nbsp; Fact is, the pressure beneath the crust would be higher than anything we've put probes in so far.&nbsp; That's one reason I like the prospect of a mission to Titan.&nbsp; Perhaps we could do a dual mission, with a small lander to Encaladus' south pole that would do small science piggy backed on a high quality blimp/airship type mission to Titan.&nbsp; If Titan has cryovolcanism, it would make an easy target to checking the sub-surface water by dropping probes in a cryovolcano.&nbsp; Same with Enceladus.&nbsp; I don't think Europa is showing many signs of cryo-volcanism; I could be wrong. </p>
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="#333399"><font color="#000000">Titan provides a lot of nice big, juicy, low-hanging scientific fruit.&nbsp; Much of it could be plucked in the next mission there, a lot of the groundwork having already been done by Cassini.&nbsp; The next mission to Europa would essentially be to map cracks in the ice, look for current activity, and map the ice layer's thickness.&nbsp; There will be no hope in the next mission to Europa of getting more than a meter below the surface of an ice layer that is tens of kilometers thick. </font><br /></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p>Titan definitely!</p><p>It is more interesting than Europa, with greater and more diverse surface activity, an atmosphere and lakes.&nbsp; It is also easier to reach,&nbsp;land on, and explore</p><p>If you want a sub surface ocean,Enceledaus is a better bet that Europa.&nbsp; We know there is liquid water there and it reaches the surface.&nbsp; Neither is the case for Europa.</p><p>That said, a return to Neptune and Uranus would be good too, and Jupiter's icy moons, Io and Triton could all do with their own misions eventually.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Titan definitely!It is more interesting than Europa, with greater and more diverse surface activity, an atmosphere and lakes.&nbsp; It is also easier to reach,&nbsp;land on, and exploreIf you want a sub surface ocean,Enceledaus is a better bet that Europa.&nbsp; We know there is liquid water there and it reaches the surface.&nbsp; Neither is the case for Europa.That said, a return to Neptune and Uranus would be good too, and Jupiter's icy moons, Io and Triton could all do with their own misions eventually.Jon <br /> Posted by jonclarke</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I agree completely Jon.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I know I'm a real Jupiter system fan, but Titan really does it for me over Europa right now.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong> Also I agree Jon, that both Io & Triton are worth dedicated missions of their own (I'm really hoping for the NF type mission Io Volcanic Observer will be approved). Ganymede & Callisto can always be incorporated in a further Jovecentric orbital mission (certainly never to be forgotten), perhaps prior to Europa & / or Io orbital missions. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Titan, Io & Triton, those three really do it for me. Io & Triton are active & evolving for sure, beyond any doubt what so ever. I am pretty certain Titan too is geologically active, one example, the cryoshield volcano Ganesa Macula & we know that Titan is very atmospherically active.</strong></font> </p><p><font size="2"><strong>Enceladus could be a dark horse or a tease (I have doubts about subsurface ocean, but certainly liquid water prior to sublimation in the sulci, that's beyond any doubt for sure). I'm not convinced as yet that Enceladus is worthy of its own dedicated mission. Certainly a major target in a future Saturn mission, perhaps approachable with a future Titan craft. Certainly Dione & Iapetus are also worth follow ups in such a mission.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Uranus & Neptune Galileo / Cassini type orbital missions are also very desirable, but really not all will be funded in a reasonable time frame.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>If NH2 /&nbsp; ARGO gets the go ahead, we get to see Saturn / Titan / Enceladus again post Cassini & Neptune / Triton again in close up.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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rybanis

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I know this is a bit divergent, but I'd like to see a Neptune mission, ala Cassini. Triton seems too juicy to pass up. I know the chances of Neptune getting a mission like that are crazy low, though. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<p><font color="#333399"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I know this is a bit divergent, but I'd like to see a Neptune mission, ala Cassini. Triton seems too juicy to pass up. I know the chances of Neptune getting a mission like that are crazy low, though. <br /> Posted by rybanis</DIV></font><br />Not an orbiter like Cassini, but Argo would fly by and then go on to fly by objects in the Kuiper Belt.That's the best you could hope for.&nbsp; Going fast enough get to Neptune in a decent time and then stopping to orbit is way beyond current abilities, given the available budget.</p><p>See also:http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001729/</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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silylene

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I know this is a bit divergent, but I'd like to see a Neptune mission, ala Cassini. Triton seems too juicy to pass up. I know the chances of Neptune getting a mission like that are crazy low, though. <br />Posted by rybanis</DIV><br /><br />I'd like an Io orbiter&nbsp;mission.&nbsp; Something about hot active volcanoes and lava makes me crazy. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font size="1">petet = <font color="#800000"><strong>silylene</strong></font></font></p><p align="center"><font size="1">Please, please give me my handle back !</font></p> </div>
 
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nimbus

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Close up pics or even video of eruptions on Io ... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Not an orbiter like Cassini, but Argo would fly by and then go on to fly by objects in the Kuiper Belt.That's the best you could hope for.&nbsp; Going fast enough get to Neptune in a decent time and then stopping to orbit is way beyond current abilities, given the available budget.See also:http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001729/ <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;Aerocapture into Neptune and Uranus orbit is feasible and probably the cheapest option.</p><p>Jon<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="#333399"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Aerocapture into Neptune and Uranus orbit is feasible and probably the cheapest option.Jon <br /> Posted by jonclarke</DIV></font><br />Can we get familiar enough with Neptune's atmosphere to design an aerocapture mission without first studying it from orbit? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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rybanis

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Not an orbiter like Cassini, but Argo would fly by and then go on to fly by objects in the Kuiper Belt.That's the best you could hope for.&nbsp; Going fast enough get to Neptune in a decent time and then stopping to orbit is way beyond current abilities, given the available budget.See also:http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001729/ <br /> Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Very intresting powerpoint! I see what you mean about getting there fast enough, then having to slow down. Something I found intresting in that PP was their estimated time to a KBO- 1.5 to 3 years after Neptune encounter! </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Can we get familiar enough with Neptune's atmosphere to design an aerocapture mission without first studying it from orbit? <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Some people seem to think so.&nbsp; The key is an responsive autonomous guidance system and a manouverable, high lift aeroshell.</font></p><p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/39150/1/04-1770.pdf</font></p><p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">http://pdf.aiaa.org/preview/CDReadyMAFM04_853/PV2004_4951.pdf</font></p><p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU04/04403/EGU04-A-04403.pdf</font></p><p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Jon</font></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<p><font color="#333399"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The key is an responsive autonomous guidance system and a manouverable, high lift aeroshell. -- Posted by jonclarke</DIV></font></p><p>That would be great, but it is probably one of those things that is easy to think about and hard to accomplish.&nbsp; After decades of practice, we are still struggling with understanding how to safely use Mars' atmosphere to slow down landers.&nbsp; Aerocapture is different from landing, but not necessarily simpler.&nbsp; I wonder where the first test of an aerocapute system will take place?&nbsp; I don't see an expensive mission to Titan, or Neptune, being put at risk with an untested aerocapture system.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>That would be great, but it is probably one of those things that is easy to think about and hard to accomplish.&nbsp; After decades of practice, we are still struggling with understanding how to safely use Mars' atmosphere to slow down landers.&nbsp; Aerocapture is different from landing, but not necessarily simpler.&nbsp; I wonder where the first test of an aerocapute system will take place?&nbsp; I don't see an expensive mission to Titan, or Neptune, being put at risk with an untested aerocapture system.&nbsp; <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p>It probably need be no more advanced that the space shuttle software, or that used in MIRVs, or the forthcoming X-37B mission, all of which will use adadaptive auto pilots in medium to high lieft entry vehicles.</p><p>The general principles are well known, and solved.&nbsp; You just need to develop shapes, guidance software and materials for specific missions.&nbsp; It is one of those things we have to develop.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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<p>Titan. Definitely Titan. As tantalizing as a Europa Lander/Driller/Submersible Recon mission would be, it just seems fraught with problems that probably <em>could</em> be overcome (but then again, maybe not), but at what cost? Don't get me wrong. I'd LOVE to see such a Europa misson. Some day.</p><p>Titan, OTOH, is "hit-the-ground-running science-ready". Just gotta get the probe there and land it. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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gravityTug

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Apologies for bumping an old thread but...

My vote goes to Europa no question, we have a theory of liquid water there at present and a theory as to how this could be readily oxygenated.

I propose:
An orbiter to get Hi-Res terrain mapping so that we could find a suitable area to land a rover, this could check out the 'chaos' terrain to confirm or deny the thin ice model as well as analyse the brown sludge near the ice cracks. Depending on the results from the rover, follow this up with a melt submersible.

I see that working as so:
The submersible melts through the ice as normally envisioned, but is connected fiber optically to a surface transmitter/reciever with Earth. As the submersible melts through the ice, the ice above will quickly freeze sealing the probe in (this is important as I'm guessing a direct hole through the crust to the water would result in a violent sublimation). The probe would need to be autonomous for the most part (nothing fancy) with the ability to receive specific directions from earth, but most importantly it could transmit back to Earth.

I think the orbiter/rover would be quite reasonable and depending on the results of these easily justify the submersible.
 
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EarthlingX

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Despite my intense hunger for close observations of Jupiter moons, to start with (i will do my best to avoid the rest), i would prefer, that if possible, missions focus on targets, which are in a 2 - 5 km/s dV from LEO. I have nothing against already started programs, among them Jupiter moon mission, for which i only hope sooner, than later, as hefty as robotically possible, for a similar length of time, hopefully longer.

Standard buses for asteroid, NEO, surface, atmosphere, .., exploration bots, with standard carrier buses, to allow industry competition. Mass produce them, and send them out in swarms, with carriers carrying multiple space-craft, if possible. Refuelable carrier space-craft, of course.

If we had beacon-like bots on NEO-s, a couple of hundred, to start with, with basic observation gear, such as 2-3 cm optical lens, at least IR CCD, a couple of lab-on-a-chips, something similar to Net for inner Solar system, oh, live video streaming .. :shock: ...

I will try to slowly wake up, and expect move to SB&T or Unexplained ... :roll:
 
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3488

Guest
gravityTug":1yipofrg said:
Apologies for bumping an old thread but...

My vote goes to Europa no question, we have a theory of liquid water there at present and a theory as to how this could be readily oxygenated.

I propose:
An orbiter to get Hi-Res terrain mapping so that we could find a suitable area to land a rover, this could check out the 'chaos' terrain to confirm or deny the thin ice model as well as analyse the brown sludge near the ice cracks. Depending on the resu............
Hi gravityTug,

Excellent post.

You will have noticed that I have highlighted the word theory. There is no 100% surefire proof of a subserface ocean on Europa. Observations are suggestive of the presence of one, such as the tilted & fracured ice bergs in Conamara Chaos & long sinuous rilles, etc. Magentometer data suggests a highly saline / mineral rich subsurface liquid layer.

However, similar features could also be explained by warmer softer convecting ice & diapirs, a subsurface ocean is not required.

Really an Europa Orbiter is required with a HiRISE type imager, IR & UV imager / spectrometers & magnetomoter. A lander too would be superb, possibly along the lines of Phoenix Mars Lander similar instrumentation, including PanCam, sampling arm & onboard mini labs with a seismometer & tiltmeter.

A Europa orbiter looks likely with the Europa Jupiter System Mission, also making four very close passes of my darling Io (my favourite moon), prior to Europa orbital insertion. ESA are hopefully sending the JGO (Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter) which will make several close passes of Callisto prior to Ganymede orbital insertion (another incredibly fantastic mission).

These two missions alone will give us a huge increase on the understanding of these four very different fascinating moons.

The Satrun system too will almost certanily be revisited by the SaturnTitan System Mission which will also include Enceladus, prior to Titan Orbital insertion. Maybe close passes of Iapetus & Dione will be possible, two of the other more interesting of Saturn's moons.

I would love to see Cassini type orbiter missions to Uranus & Neptune too, but that won't happen as funding will not support it. If they could be orbiter versions of New Horizons, then maybe. ARGO will hopefully be approved & may well encounter a Main Belt asteroid, the Jupiter trailling trojan Asteroid 5538 Deikoon which is thought to be a 33 KM wide Type C body.

Then ARGO will pass through the Saturn system, with a perikrone just inside the orbit of Mimas, enabling Enceladus observations of the plumes & Titan observation well after the end of Cassini, then out to the Neptune system, with a possible 750 KM pass of Triton & observations of parts of Triton hidden from Voyager 2 as well as upto date observations of Neptune, before heading out to the Kuiper Belt to KBO 2005 PS21.

ARGO then will then become the sixth craft to leave the Solar System.

Andrew Brown.
 
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orienteer

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I would love to see Cassini type orbiter missions to Uranus & Neptune too, but that won't happen as funding will not support it.

Andrew Brown.


What is going to happen to Donatello and Leonardo when the shuttles are retired. Could they be retro fitted similar to Rafaello and converted into fuel tanks so as to brake any orbiter to the distant giants? I believe the main problem is keeping Hydrogen pure on a long voyage, but what if we just created a giant water pistol that fired for a week or so. first it would create reverse thrust, second it would then fly through the water and create friction, and finally it would reduce mass and therefore momentum. Simple ideas never seem to work though
 
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EarthlingX

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orienteer":2xa5ndj0 said:
I would love to see Cassini type orbiter missions to Uranus & Neptune too, but that won't happen as funding will not support it.

Andrew Brown.

What is going to happen to Donatello and Leonardo when the shuttles are retired. Could they be retro fitted similar to Rafaello and converted into fuel tanks so as to brake any orbiter to the distant giants? I believe the main problem is keeping Hydrogen pure on a long voyage, but what if we just created a giant water pistol that fired for a week or so. first it would create reverse thrust, second it would then fly through the water and create friction, and finally it would reduce mass and therefore momentum. Simple ideas never seem to work though
This is a good question, which would probably require separate thread and i would suggest Space Business and Technology forum.
 
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ZiraldoAerospace

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Why not explore Ceres more closely? It seems that there is a lack of information on it and I think that is more feasible to go there in the future, before traveling to the outer planets. But if it comes down to Europa or Titan, I would cast my vote for Titan.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well, we have a mission on the way to examine Ceres closely. What more do you want?
 
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