Instrumented Hot 'Air' balloon to Titan?

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3488

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<p><font size="5">Very Interesting Article.</font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Saturn's largest & dense atmosphere cloaked moon may get an instrument laden balloon as the next visitor.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Just to clarify, Titan does not have Air, that is a mixture of Nitrogen & Oxygen, the air breathing animals of Earth can breathe.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Titan has an atmosphere, a very dense & substantial one, but is not air, so this is NOT a Hot Air balloon in the strictest sense, but works on the exactly the same principle as one, with heating gas from some sort of 'burner' below a large canopy that creates lift.&nbsp;</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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JonClarke

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<p>Excellent idea.</p><p>But how long can it stay up for?</p><p>Jon</p><p>&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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baulten

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<p>While I've always been a proponent of this idea, I have a dire question: </p><p>&nbsp;What would the power supply for such a mission be?&nbsp; Would a RTG supply sufficient power to use a "hot air" style lifting mechanism?&nbsp; Or would you need a small nuclear reactor?&nbsp;</p><p>I always thought using a helium tank would be the best idea.&nbsp; Maybe sealing it in a metal container that is then shed, with a bag filled with helium inside? </p>
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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<p>What kinds of winds are there on Titan ?&nbsp; Would a fully automated craft of any kind be able to survive them ?</p><p>FWIW: It's certainly an intriguing idea.&nbsp; Funny, I was just watching an old SciAm Frontiers program on McReedy (sp?) and the various airplanes he and his group designs.&nbsp; One was a long duration glider for Mars.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">While I've always been a proponent of this idea, I have a dire question: &nbsp;What would the power supply for such a mission be?&nbsp; Would a RTG supply sufficient power to use a "hot air" style lifting mechanism?&nbsp; Or would you need a small nuclear reactor?&nbsp;I always thought using a helium tank would be the best idea.&nbsp; Maybe sealing it in a metal container that is then shed, with a bag filled with helium inside? <br /> Posted by baulten</font></DIV></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">Hi Baulten,</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">Certainly a normal burner would not work, due to there being no Oxygen in Titan's atmosphere. To me a helium balloon approach would be better. Mind you at -180 C / 93 K Helium should still be light & Titan's surface gravity is approx 14% or one seventh of ours, so less than the Moon's.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">A 'hot air' style lifting mechanism IMO would have to be nuclear powered. Cannot see how else it could be done??? Carrying an oxidiser would just add much more mass. <br /></font></strong></p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">What kinds of winds are there on Titan ?&nbsp; Would a fully automated craft of any kind be able to survive them ?FWIW: It's certainly an intriguing idea.&nbsp; Funny, I was just watching an old SciAm Frontiers program on McReedy (sp?) and the various airplanes he and his group designs.&nbsp; One was a long duration glider for Mars.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by Mee_n_Mac</font></DIV></p><p><strong><font size="2">Hi Mee-n-Mac,&nbsp;</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2">It looks like the winds are pretty fast at a great altitude, some 120 KM - 150 KM above the surface. However this high up, Titan's atmosphere is about the same denity's of Mars's at normal ground level, or the same as Earth's at 30 KM above sea level. So though the winds may be quite fast, they will have very little force.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2">Below 5,000 metres they appear to be light for the most part. I doubt the Balloon, would ever rise again over 1,000 metres above Titan's surface, once deployed unless there is significant terrain above that altitude.<br /></font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2">Mind you, this is only one data set from one descent, from Huygens, so would not know if this is representative?</font></strong></p><p><font size="4">Wind vs Altitude Diagram at Titan. </font><br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/11/016488b7-b82a-463d-abe4-9a837e51ff5c.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><br /><font size="4">Structure of atmosphere of Titan.</font><br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/15/9d0d2208-0f8f-438c-af8b-b2e7aed20c84.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></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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baulten

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Hi Baulten,Certainly a normal burner would not work, due to there being no Oxygen in Titan's atmosphere. To me a helium balloon approach would be better. Mind you at -180 C / 93 K Helium should still be light & Titan's surface gravity is approx 14% or one seventh of ours, so less than the Moon's.A 'hot air' style lifting mechanism IMO would have to be nuclear powered. Cannot see how else it could be done??? Carrying an oxidiser would just add much more mass. Hi Mee-n-Mac,&nbsp;It looks like the winds are pretty fast at a great altitude, some 120 KM - 150 KM above the surface. However this high up, Titan's atmosphere is about the same denity's of Mars's at normal ground level, or the same as Earth's at 30 KM above sea level. So though the winds may be quite fast, they will have very little force.Below 5,000 metres they appear to be light for the most part. I doubt the Balloon, would ever rise again over 1,000 metres above Titan's surface, once deployed unless there is significant terrain above that altitude.Mind you, this is only one data set from one descent, from Huygens, so would not know if this is representative?Wind vs Altitude Diagram at Titan. Structure of atmosphere of Titan. Andrew Brown.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by 3488</DIV></p><p>It would have to use a simple heat coil to achieve lift if we used a "hot air" concept, right?&nbsp; Since, like you said, using a flame would be... difficult.</p><p>Perhaps the best idea would be a helium tank that inflates a balloon after landing, and is then discarded.&nbsp; Would this work??</p><p>Wind shouldn't be a problem in Titan's atmosphere... I think we would want to put the balloon at a height slightly above the highest point on Titan... or maybe not if we have highly improved AI by then.&nbsp; I guess we'll have to see. </p>
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>It would have to use a simple heat coil to achieve lift if we used a "hot air" concept, right?&nbsp; Since, like you said, using a flame would be... difficult.Perhaps the best idea would be a helium tank that inflates a balloon after landing, and is then discarded.&nbsp; Would this work??Wind shouldn't be a problem in Titan's atmosphere... I think we would want to put the balloon at a height slightly above the highest point on Titan... or maybe not if we have highly improved AI by then.&nbsp; I guess we'll have to see. <br />Posted by <strong>baulten</strong></DIV><br /><br />A lot depends on whether you want the package just to observe/map the surface from low altitude or do samplings of the surface at different points (as indicated in the article).&nbsp; I wonder if it wouldn't be&nbsp;better to forgo the helicopter blades and the engine & transmission&nbsp;to drive them,&nbsp;and just create more lift (perhaps from compressed He). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
3

3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">A lot depends on whether you want the package just to observe/map the surface from low altitude or do samplings of the surface at different points (as indicated in the article).&nbsp; I wonder if it wouldn't be&nbsp;better to forgo the helicopter blades and the engine & transmission&nbsp;to drive them,&nbsp;and just create more lift (perhaps from compressed He). <br />Posted by Mee_n_Mac</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi Mee-n-Mac.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Yes that is the nub of it.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>A while back there was an article in Astonomy Now magazine, about a balloon probe to Titan, this one using Hydrogen (no fire risk as there is no Oxygen) & venting a small amount to descend, but not enough for the balloon to cover the lander portion, which would land. The lander portion would take images, multispectral analysis & sample would be analysed in a minilab not too unlike TEGA on the Mars Phoenix Lander, except these would not be single use & RTG powered.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>When came time to leave, a small amount of hydrogen from a canister would be released into the balloon causing it to rise again & then proceed to the next site. During flight, the cameras & other remote sensing & weather station would all be active gathering images & other data.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Come time to land, vent some hydrogen & repeat.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Obviously this could only happen several times before the hydrogen ran out. At the final descent, the final hydrogen, would be released into the balloon, but the lander section would detach & become a surface mission. The balloon with only it's own weight could potentially reach many KM above the surface & eventually deflate, landing hundreds of KM away from the lander. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>This scenario would most require likely a Titan Orbiter to relay & perhaps not a bad thing as it could be like Magellan & radar image the entire surface at high resolution from a polar orbit. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>One suggestion was that at this point, at the final site the lander may even release a potential small Mars Pathfinder Sojourner type rover, though the criticism of that would be extra mass being carried about, only to be used at the final landing site.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I think a mission like this is on the cards. It's not ther first time that I've heard about it & something like it is also mentioned in the excellent book Titan Revealed by Ralph Lorenz & Jacqueline Mitton (needless to say it's in my collection). Their proposed balloon is more like an airship, but would be propelled, with the outer canopy doubling up as many high gain antennas, doing away with the need of an orbiter. This thing could move fast enough to largely counteract Titan 's Kronesynchonous rotation & remain in contact with Earth.</strong></font> </p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.</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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Mee_n_Mac

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Hi Mee-n-Mac.Yes that is the nub of it.A while back there was an article in Astonomy Now magazine, about a balloon probe to Titan, this one using Hydrogen (no fire risk as there is no Oxygen) & venting a small amount to descend, but not enough for the balloon to cover the lander portion, which would land. The lander portion would take images, multispectral analysis & sample would be analysed in a minilab not too unlike TEGA on the Mars Phoenix Lander, except these would not be single use & RTG powered.When came time to leave, a small amount of hydrogen from a canister would be released into the balloon causing it to rise again & then proceed to the next site. During flight, the cameras & other remote sensing & weather station would all be active gathering images & other data.Come time to land, vent some hydrogen & repeat.Obviously this could only happen several times before the hydrogen ran out. At the final descent, the final hydrogen, would be released into the balloon, but the lander section would detach & become a surface mission. The balloon with only it's own weight could potentially reach many KM above the surface & eventually deflate, landing hundreds of KM away from the lander. This scenario would most require a Titan Orbiter to relay & perhaps not a bad thing as it could be like Magellan & radar image the entire surface at high resolution from a polar orbit. One suggestion was that at this point, at the final site the lander may even release a potential small Mars Pathfinder Sojourner type rover, though the criticism of that would be extra mass being carried about, only to be used at the final landing site.I think a mission like this is on the cards. It's not ther first time that I've heard about it & something like it is also mentioned in the excellent book Titan Revealed by Ralph Lorenz & Jacqueline Mitton (needless to say it's in my collection). Their proposed balloon is more like an airship, but would be propelled, with the outer canopy doubling up as many high gain antennas, doing away with the need of an orbiter. This thing could move fast enough to largely counteract Titan 's Kronesynchonous rotation & remain in contact with Earth. Andrew Brown. <br />Posted by <strong>3488</strong></DIV><br /><br />Fascinating stuff !!!&nbsp; One could only hope to see it in our lifetimes.&nbsp;&nbsp; I find the concept of a blimp on Titan, with it's own links to Earth very intriguing, but my guess is that&nbsp;a package of balloon and orbiter/relay makes more sense.&nbsp; Then again the&nbsp;more I think of it, with it's dense atmosphere and low gravity, maybe a helicopter/balloon hybrid makes sense assuming you're going to send enough power.&nbsp; It would be interesting to sit in on the feasibility studies.&nbsp; But I guess we're putting the cart before the horse, the real question is what is the missions prime purpose(s) and then what kind of craft best accomplishes them.&nbsp; Has anyone figured out where the methane comes from ?&nbsp; <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Hi Baulten,Certainly a normal burner would not work, due to there being no Oxygen in Titan's atmosphere. To me a helium balloon approach would be better. Mind you at -180 C / 93 K Helium should still be light & Titan's surface gravity is approx 14% or one seventh of ours, so less than the Moon's.A 'hot air' style lifting mechanism IMO would have to be nuclear powered. Cannot see how else it could be done??? <br />Posted by 3488</DIV><br /><br />Would the solar insolence for Titan support a large black body design to heat the gas using solar radiation? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Fascinating stuff !!!&nbsp; One could only hope to see it in our lifetimes.&nbsp;&nbsp; I find the concept of a blimp on Titan, with it's own links to Earth very intriguing, but my guess is that&nbsp;a package of balloon and orbiter/relay makes more sense.&nbsp; Then again the&nbsp;more I think of it, with it's dense atmosphere and low gravity, maybe a helicopter/balloon hybrid makes sense assuming you're going to send enough power.&nbsp; It would be interesting to sit in on the feasibility studies.&nbsp; But I guess we're putting the cart before the horse, the real question is what is the missions prime purpose(s) and then what kind of craft best accomplishes them.&nbsp; Has anyone figured out where the methane comes from ?&nbsp; <br /> Posted by Mee_n_Mac</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>That's very true regarding mission design as being the over riding factor before hardware design, but's great to see though that the next step in Titan exploration is being taken seriously.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Regarding source of methane?</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Cryovolcanism seems the most likely bet.</strong></font></p><p><strong><font size="2">Titan certainly has at least one large cryoshield volcano:</font> <font size="4">Ganesa Macula</font>.</strong></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Below. Cassini SAR image ot the 180 KM wide & 1,500 metre tall Ganesa Macula. A cryoshield volcano. Whilst looking like a normal shield volcano as on Venus, Earth, Mars, Io & more recently found on Mercury, this one is made of of ice layers, that behave like lava. If active, could be a major source of Methane in Titan's atmosphere.</strong></font></p><p> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/2/3414211b-08ae-423b-b2d6-8e1caa84cbff.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br />&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>Ganesa Macula, 80 KM wide region on summit including the cryovolcano's summit caldera, approx 15 KM wide.</strong></font><br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/2/5/a2d66348-52f9-4318-854a-c02d15c7ebd0.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.</strong></font>&nbsp;</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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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Would the solar insolence for Titan support a large black body design to heat the gas using solar radiation? <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi BrianSlee,</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Good question. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I see where you are coming from. Let's see. Solar energy in the Saturn system is approx 1/90th of Earth, or approx 14.7 Watts per square metre.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Titan's atmosphere also is very cold, average of -180 C / 93 K in the lower troposphere close to the surface, dropping to -212 C / 61 K at the tropoause some 40 KM above the surface, though it starts to rise further up in Titan's stratosphere.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>That is some enormous thermal inertia to overcome, bearing in mind the atmospheric pressure is close to 1.5 Bars / 1,140 Torrs, not to mention the hazy / cloudy conditions. I would not be confident. It would probably work better if Titan had clear skies with direct sunlight, but instead it is murky & diffuse.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Perhaps someone else might know better?&nbsp;</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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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Very Interesting Article.Saturn's largest & dense atmosphere cloaked moon may get an instrument laden balloon as the next visitor.&nbsp;Just to clarify, Titan does not have Air, that is a mixture of Nitrogen & Oxygen, the air breathing animals of Earth can breathe.Titan has an atmosphere, a very dense & substantial one, but is not air, so this is NOT a Hot Air balloon in the strictest sense, but works on the exactly the same principle as one, with heating gas from some sort of 'burner' below a large canopy that creates lift.&nbsp;Andrew Brown.&nbsp; <br />Posted by 3488</DIV></p><p>Is this a proposed mission or is it something that is actually funded and in the pipeline ?<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Is this a proposed mission or is it something that is actually funded and in the pipeline ? <br /> Posted by DrRocket</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi DrRocket, </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>It is still a proposal that look's as though it will get some sort of go ahead possibly a combined NASA / ESA mission like Cassini.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>The fact that this concept was mentioned before as a blimp & has resurfaced as a balloon, makes me think that something is going ahead.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>There is this two year old article, from the Outer Planet Assessment Group, which is remarkably similar to the Space.com article on the front page.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>So far it is still a proposal, but a very strong one that looks ripe for approval.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I hope very much it happens. </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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willpittenger

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>using a flame would be&hellip;difficult.</p><p>Posted by baulten</DIV><br />Not that difficult.&nbsp; Titan could supply plenty of fuel&mdash;it's atmosphere.&nbsp; Just bring your own oxygen. <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif" border="0" alt="Laughing" title="Laughing" /> </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<p><span style="color:#333399"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Not that difficult.&nbsp; Titan could supply plenty of fuel&mdash;it's atmosphere.&nbsp; Just bring your own oxygen. </span><br /> <font color="#333399">Posted by willpittenger</DIV></font><br /><font color="#000000">According to wikipedia, Titan's atmosphere is 98.4% nitrogen and 1.6% methane.&nbsp; Is this combustible?&nbsp; </font></p><p>I seriously doubt that any exploratory mission that relied on external resources (besides sunlight in some cases) would be sent anywhere.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">According to wikipedia, Titan's atmosphere is 98.4% nitrogen and 1.6% methane.&nbsp; Is this combustible?&nbsp; I seriously doubt that any exploratory mission that relied on external resources (besides sunlight in some cases) would be sent anywhere. <br /> Posted by centsworth_II</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi centsworth,</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>willpittenger is correct though, bringing oxygen would work, but you too are correct, in that, bringing an extra oxygen tank would be a no go, as extra mass & we all know perfectly well what that means, it will become more expensive & the mission would face cancellation.</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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JonClarke

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<p>The atmosphere is Titan is combustible with an oxygen source.&nbsp; It is probably the easiest way to heat the atmosphere.&nbsp; the question is, what sort of endyrance can be expected?</p><p>The only other heat source I can think of is waste heat from an RTG.&nbsp; How much heat is available compared to toe mass of such a system, I am not sure.&nbsp; But the low gravity will help.</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">The atmosphere is Titan is combustible with an oxygen source.&nbsp; It is probably the easiest way to heat the atmosphere.&nbsp; the question is, what sort of endyrance can be expected?The only other heat source I can think of is waste heat from an RTG.&nbsp; How much heat is available compared to toe mass of such a system, I am not sure.&nbsp; But the low gravity will help.Jon <br />Posted by jonclarke</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi Jon,</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>That's very true. A surface gravity of approx 14% of Earth's coupled with a very dense atmosphere, suggests to me that lift will not be a problem. I think heat from an RTG is a better option. After all, the atmosphere in the balloon has to be 'hot' relative to the outside, so it does not have to be hot, as on Earth, so really no need for a flame or any burner for that matter, just a heat source.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.<br /></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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