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NASA plans Uranus and Enceladus missions

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 9:16 pm
by brian livesey
NASA is planning to send an Orbiter to Uranus that will include a probe to skim and analyse the gas giant’s atmosphere. Robin Canup, from the South West Research Institute in Colorado, said: “This would be the first mission focused on one of the ice giants, which is particularly important now that we think that ice giants might be the most common type of planet in the universe.” The Uranus mission will probably be launched in the 2030s.
The second NASA mission, named Enceladus Orbilander, will orbit Enceladus, Saturn’s second largest moon for 18 months, then attempt a landing. Below Enceladus’s frozen surface, researchers think there’s an ocean and that holds a mysterious heat source. It might be that microbial life exists around hydrothermal vents.