NASA reveals potential low-value missions for the Discovery program
NASA has introduced the 5 new challenge ideas it is contemplating for the Discovery program, which focuses on low-value area missions. It is the identical program we have now to thank for the Daybreak spacecraft that just lately captured a sunlit Ceres, the Messenger probe that crashed into Mercury after it ran out of energy in April and the Mars InSight lander that is presently heading for the pink planet. Two of these 5 ideas need to take a better take a look at the second planet from the solar: the primary one is known as Deep Environment Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging or DAVINCI. Its spacecraft will research the chemical composition of Venus’ environment throughout its descent and can examine whether or not there are nonetheless lively volcanoes on the planet.
The Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy mission (VERITAS), however, needs to seize floor photographs and produce excessive-decision maps of the identical planet. You’ll be able to see an artist’s interpretation of the NASA JPL-conceived VERITAS spacecraft within the picture above. Subsequent is Psyche — a mission that goals to review the metallic asteroid Psyche, which scientists consider was a protoplanet till its rocky layers have been stripped off after crashing into one other object.
One other JPL idea referred to as Close to Earth Object Digital camera (NEOCam) goals to seek out ten occasions the variety of close to-Earth objects that is been found up to now. Lastly, the Lucy mission plans to ship a spacecraft to the outer photo voltaic system so as to research Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids that would maintain the secrets and techniques to our photo voltaic system’s historical past. The groups behind these concepts will obtain $three million every to conduct research and conjure up analyses to persuade NASA to decide on their undertaking. NASA is earmarking $500 million for every mission it chooses (there is perhaps multiple) and can announce its determination by September 2016.
[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]