NASA to launch missions on Neptune and Uranus – Discovering New Science

NASA to launch missions on Neptune and Uranus – Discovering New Science

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Uranus and Neptune have always been two of the planets that have not shown a real interest in NASA’s space missions. Several wells have welcomed them in passing, but until now nobody has bothered to stop and visit the two heavenly bodies. This could change in the future, even earlier than we would be tempted to believe.

The missions that were to be launched in 2034 would involve the two planets orbiting and the landing of probes aimed at studying their surface. A NASA group of scientists dealing with the study of the planets Neptune and Uranus said they are counting on the launch of four missions. Three of these would involve ships that would orbit around Uranus and Neptune, and a fourth would include a probe that would be just passing through the two planets.

The major priority of these missions is to determine the composition of the planets and their internal structure. Also, aspects such as their energy fields or surface climatic conditions will also be studied. A mission to Neptune would also be aimed at the study of the longest moon orbiting the distant planet, Triton.

However, there are few obstacles to the success of these missions. The journey would take about 14 years and should use the nuclear power to power its systems, because the solar energy is irrelevant at that huge distance. Plutonium-238 batteries, which NASA would need, are quite difficult to find because of international treaties that have always discouraged radioactive material deposits.

With a little luck, a mission to Uranus could be launched in 2034. But if NASA misses that window, another attempt would take several years. For Uranus, if the year 2034 is missed, another window would be available in 2036. But in Neptune’s case, exceeding that date could push the onset of the mission by 2041, notes NewsScientist.com.

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