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View Diary: Getting to Know Your Solar System (28): Saturn (Vol. 3) (42 comments)

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  •  I'd rather we do all of the above and more (1+ / 0-)
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    Khun David

    although I agree that orbiters to Uranus and/or Neptune would be more of a priority than another Saturn orbiter.  Due to the issue with Uranus' name, if it was to be a target, there would probably have to be two twin probes sent to both it and Neptune.  A dedicated "probe to Uranus" (sounds awful, doesn't it?) that wasn't part of a larger mission would draw too many snickers.

    I should note that NASA had the option of sending Cassini to Uranus when its mission ends in 2017, but decided that the time in transit would be too long and it might not work by the time it got there, so instead they're going to crash it into Saturn.  I think that was a foolish decision - sacrificing the possibility of years of totally new science at a planet we barely know in exchange for a few minutes of science descending into Saturn's atmosphere.  And with no guarantee of another flagship-class mission to the outer solar system at all, it just seems so mindless to throw Cassini away.  Every last ounce of usefulness should be squeezed out of it until it dies of natural causes.

    Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

    by Troubadour on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:59:40 PM PDT

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