Tonight I am having a major geek night on the computer while watching the Science Channel similar to the night back in January when I watched the show on an Asteroid MN4. So far I have watched Search for Alien Planets, Revealing Mars and now On Jupiter and I will probably continue to watch as the evening continues on.
The Revealing Mars show reviewed previous missions to the red planet like the Mar’s rovers Spirit and Opportunity and went on to discuss NASA’s new project Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The MRO section was by far the coolest part of the show because it showed what we can expect from the mission. The MRO is the most advanced satellite that has ever been sent to another planet and it will pave the way for further missions. The MRO is equipped with so many sensors and high resolution camera that will map the surface in ways that have never happened yet and NASA can start planning new missions after analyzing the composition of the surface.
In On Jupiter, the Galileo Mission was rehashed and what made that mission so important to our knowledge of the gas giant, the study of the thunderstorms. Another mission was discussed, and to my dismay couldn’t find the link for it, that is in the works. The space craft will have Ion engines, so there is no need for liquid fuel, which will enable the space craft to move around Jupiter and it moons throughout the mission. The craft will also come with it own nuclear reaction to supply all the energy to power the loads of gadgets to analyze the composition of the clouds. The craft will also take an inside look at Io, the most volcanic object in the solar system, and Europa, which might have liquid oceans under its thin crust.
These two missions will revolutionize the way we view our solar system and can’t wait to see they unfold. Here is an image I found on one of NASA’s and JPL’s websites.