Well, I for one would like to see people actually traveling to Ceres, but that's probably looking a wee bit too far ahead. Seriously, I very much look forward to Dawn's arrival at Ceres.
I only wish, it had a little better eyes .. am i off topic, again ?CalliArcale":21noqbzk said:Well, I for one would like to see people actually traveling to Ceres, but that's probably looking a wee bit too far ahead. Seriously, I very much look forward to Dawn's arrival at Ceres.
That's a really interesting proposal! It didn't give any estimate on how long it could operate for, but i like the idea that it can always operate on the sun side of the moon and can therefore constantly be transmitting data. There were two items though that were seemingly not addressed in the blog and article that is linked in the blog. One, they address atmospheric pressure and gravity, but they don't address wind speeds. I'm not sure about wind speeds on Titan but i would assume a plane could be much more suceptible to a failure caused by something like that than a balloon. And two, they didn't address deployment of the plane; which would seem to be the greatest obstacle to overcome IMO.nimbus":368nh070 said:
A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that usually has a volume of exactly one liter (10 cm cube), weighs no more than one kilogram, and typically uses commercial off-the-shelf electronics components. Beginning in 1999, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) and Stanford University developed the CubeSat specifications to help universities worldwide to perform space science and exploration.
*  http://www.space.com/businesstechnology ... 40908.htmlIn 2004, with their relatively small size, CubeSats could each be made and launched for an estimated $65,000 – $80,000 dollars.
A company with lots of gear, as an example :A CubeSat can be built for under $25,000, although they typically come in at the $30,000 to $40,000 price range - still a bargain. The "going-rate" per CubeSat launch is in the $40,000 range.