Jump to content
Sturgeon's House

What Unmanned Missions Would You Like to See?

Recommended Posts

There's a shitload of real estate in the solar system, and we don't know much about most of it. What unmanned probes would you like to see built to learn more about the planets and other objects?


My first choice is an Enceladus orbiter/lander; it's one of the best candidates for extraterrestial life, has confirmed cryovolcanism, and organics have been found near it. Plus, any mission you send there can get some bonus science of Titan and other cool places in the Saturn system.


I also like FOCAL, just for the sheer audacity of it.






Fast Outgoing Cyclopean Astronomical Lens (FOCAL) is a proposed space telescope that would use the Sun as a gravity lens.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps some space telescopes stationed at Lagrange points 4 or 5, to look at point 3 cause we can’t actually see it (darn sun). 


Jupiter’s Europa was also a good candidate for life, iirc. It’s also closer than titan or Enceladus. 


That sounds pretty rad, using the sun as a lens; I would be curious just to see how well it works, and what we could see with it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ramlaen said:

A probe to Uranus similar to the Juno probe with a goal of figuring out why the insides appear to be wonky (offset magnetic field etc.).


An outer planets orbiter would be neato. I'd personally prefer Neptune, since that gets you both an ice giant, and Triton as a scientific target (so even more data on KBOs, assuming Triton is a captured one).


Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter would have been extremely cool. On orbit assembly for a huge probe, plus nuclear power (actual nuclear, not RTGs), so much more power for instruments and data transmission. I'm curious how much weight BFR could put into a Earth-Jupiter transfer orbit, such a large, cheap rocket could potentially open up a lot of opportunities for science in the outer system.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By LostCosmonaut
      Similar to the aviation subforum, a thread to post documents in. Reply with your own contributions.
      Launch Vehicles
      Advanced Cryogenic Expendible SSTO
      Advanced Rocket Engines
      Air Augmented Rocket Propulsion Concepts
      Improved Saturn V Variants
      History of Soviet Liquid Fueled Engines
      The Space Shuttle as an Element in the National Space Program (published 1970)
      Space Shuttle Range Safety Command Destruct System
      Why Does the Space Shuttle Have Wings?: A Look at the Social Construction of Technology in Air and Space
      Human Rated Delta IV
      Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants
      Soviet Space Program Handbook (1988)
      Launch Loop
      Atlas V Users Guide
      Current Evaluation of Tripropellant Concept
      Star Raker
      Assessments of Proposed Upgraded (STS, 1999)
      Liquid Flyback Booster Configurations
      Liquid Flyback Booster Study Assessment
      Dual Liquid Flyback Booster for Space Shuttle
      Apollo Lunar Module Propulsion Systems Overview
      Lifting Manned Hypervelocity Reentry Vehicles
      Saturn V Improvement Study
      Nuclear Propulsion
      Missions to Mars and the Moons of Jupiter and Saturn Utilizing Nuclear Thermal Rockets with Indigenous Propellants
      Nuclear Thermal Rockets Using Indigenous Martian Propellants
      Nuclear Thermal Rocket/VehicIe Design Options for Future NASA Missions to the Moon and Mars
      Nuclear Pulse Propulsion
      Solid Core Nuclear Propulsion Concept
      Development of Nuclear Rocket Engines in the USSR
      Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program
      Rover Nuclear Engine Program Tests
      Design of Antimatter Annihilation Rocket
      Antiproton Powered Propulsion with Magnetically Confined Plasma Engines
      Nuclear Pulse Space Vehicle Study
      SOAR: Space Orbiting Advanced Fusion Power Reactor
      Metal DUMBO Rocket Reactor
      Fission Fragment Rocket Engine
      The Political Feasibility of Nuclear Power in Space
      Liquid Annular Reactor System (LARS)
      On the Use of a Pulsed Nuclear Thermal Rocket for Interstellar Travel
      Fission Fragment Rockets (1988)
      Soviet Manned Lunar Program
      Solar Rocket System Concept Analysis
      Manned Mars Missions Using Electric Propulsion
      Galactic and Solar Cosmic Ray Shielding
      Issues in Radiation Protection: Galactic Cosmic Rays
      Titan Submersible Proposal
      Discovery of 1992 QB1 (first KBO)
      Color Diversity Among Centaurs and KBOs
      Manned Venus Flyby Proposal (1967)
      Manned Eros Flyby (would have used Apollo derivative possibly)
      Bussard Ramjet (simple)
      Bussard Ramjet (more stuff)
      Comparison of Phobos and Deimos as Exploration Targets
      Scenarios for the Orbits of 2000 CR105 and 2003 VB12
      A couple of spaceflight books
      JIMO Materials Challenges
      Aerocapture Analysis for a Neptune Mission
      Aerogravity Assist at Triton
      Neptune Orbiters Using Solar and Radioisotope Electric Propulsion
      Magnetic Field of Mercury
      Human Exploration of Mercury and Saturn
      Project Mercury Report (1959)
      Abort Options for Mars Missions
      Manned Phobos Mission (Project APEX)
      Manned Venus Orbiting Mission
      High Altitude Venus Operations Concept
      Crewed Mission to Callisto
      Titan and Europa Mission Summary
      Design of a Common Lunar Lander (1991)
      Manned Lunar Habitats
      Meteroid/Debris Shielding
      Interstellar radio links enhanced by exploiting the Sun as a Gravitational Lens.
      Origin and Orbital Distribution of Trans-Neptunian Scattered Disc
      X-Ray Fluorescence from Inner Disc in Cygnus X-1
      Evidence for a Distant Planet in the Outer Solar System
      Evidence for Nemesis (from 1985)
      Rapid Mars Transits with Exhaust-Modulated Plasma Propulsion
      Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report
      CO2/Metal Propellants for Mars Sample Return Missions
      ISS EVA Radiation Protection Studies
      The Mars Project (Von Braun, 1953)
      That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi’s paradox
      Nanotechnology and Space System Architecture
      Apollo Guidance Computer Code List
      Missiles (ICBMs and such, shorter range missiles live in the aviation forum)
      Defense Against Ballistic Missiles
      ICBM Basing Options
      Soviet Theater Nuclear Forces: Implications for NATO Defense (1981)
      Seize the High Ground: The Army in Space and Missile Defense
      Soviet Concepts of Ballistic Missile Defense
      ABM R&D at Bell Labs
      Ballistic Missile Defense Report
      A4 User Manual (in German)
      The SS-8 Controversy
      Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design
      A Linear Accelerator in Space
      Astronomical Engineering: A Strategy for Modifying Planetary Orbits
      Boris Chertok Memoir Link to English Translation
      The Problem of Space Travel 1928 by Slovenian Engineer Herman Potočnik
      Rockets and People, by Boris Chertok
    • By Sturgeon
      First, there was the Antares rocket explosion, and now SpaceShipTwo has crashed, killing 1 pilot.

      It seems the craft exploded after lighting the engine. Test flights are always a risk. Growing up as the brat of a test pilot, this has always been on my mind during these sorts of things.

      Post more details here as they become available.
    • By LostCosmonaut
      The Soviets did a lot of good things with their space program. The R-7 was the first and still is one of the best satellite launchers, the Venera probes were cool and got us a lot of data, the RD-180 gets high performance through weird metallurgic sorcery, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff they did was also crap. Stuff like the N-1 comes immediately to mind, but there were others.
      Let's take a look at Vostok, the first manned spacecraft. It is commonly compared to the American Mercury spacecraft. Both had similar purposes; to get a man into space, keep him there for a short time, and return him safely. It did this well. However, Vostok was a bit primitive compared to Merucry;
      In my opinion, this made Vostok less useful than Mercury for getting astronauts experience with maneuvering a spacecraft in zero-g, and building knowledge needed for more complex missions.
      Also, the Vostok's spherical shape meant that all reentries were purely ballistic, which subjected the cosmonauts to higher g-loads than their American counterparts.
      Still, on the whole, Vostok did its job. It's probably not fair to call it bad.
      Voshkod, on the other hand. Holy shit, motherfucking Voshkod.
      People often compare Voshkod to Gemini. Those people are wrong. Gemini was a completely new design, incorporating many advanced features. Voshkod was simply a Vostok with three people crammed inside of it.  The cosmonauts were unable to wear spacesuits, leaving them no options in the event of atmosphere loss. There were no ejection seats or launch abort system (Gemini and Vostok had ejection seats) meaning that a failure of the launch vehicle would have been fatal. The capsule was poorly designed also, with the instruments being difficult to read.
      The American Gemini program of about the same time made many pioneering advances in spaceflight. Docking tests were conducted, at first with unmanned targets (Agena), and later with other capsules. Flights at high altitudes beyond low earth orbit were also done. In contrast, Voshkod flights did little to advance human knowledge of spaceflight (aside from Leonov's spacewalk). The best thing that can be said about Voshkod is that it didn't kill anyone, which is more due to luck than good design. The Soviet space program would not accomplish the goals that the Gemini program did until later in the 1960s with Soyuz. By this time the Americans were almost at the moon.
      In 2015, the Soyuz capsule has evolved to be an excellent and reliable space transportation system. However, it was not always this way. Let us look at Soyuz 1.
      Multiple unmanned tests flights of the Soyuz capsule experienced failures and showed unreliability in the system. http://www.astronautix.com/flights/soyuz1.htmDespite this, Vladimir Komarov launched in Soyuz 1 on April 23 1967. Immediately, he experienced numerous issues. Stuck solar panels, failed maneuvering systems, and other problems meant that the flight had to be terminated after only a day in space. Reentry was mostly successful; however, the main parachute sadly failed, and Komarov was killed on landing. Not only did the failure of Soyuz 1 cause the senseless death of a cosmonaut, but it also set the Soyuz program back by over a year. Had the Soviets waited a few more months to debug the capsule before launching it, it is possible that this could have been avoided.
    • By LostCosmonaut
      George Dyson talks about project Orion;
  • Create New...