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    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009
    'Boat' could explore Saturn moon

    A daring proposal to try to put a "boat" down on a sea of Saturn's moon Titan is about to be submitted to Nasa.
    The scientific team behind the idea is targeting Ligeia Mare, a vast body of liquid methane sited in the high north of Saturn's largest moon.
    The concept will be suggested to the US space agency for one of its future mission opportunities that will test a novel power system.
    It would be the first exploration of a planetary sea beyond Earth.
    "It is something that would really capture the imagination," said Dr Ellen Stofan, from Proxemy Research, who leads the study team.

    I'd love to see terminally ill but otherwise sound team of scientist/astronauts make an one way journey of discovery to give the world a more human POV on the outer system.
  1.  (7443.2)
    Science Boats of Titan. I like it, and would also like to see something similar, if more submarine-ish, for Enceladus and it's potential watery seas.

    In other news, $1,000,000,000 extra in next year's NASA budget, which is less than they wanted but more than expected in the current economy. I'd be happier if they threw some real money at NASA, from the bank bailout money maybe, but this will do nicely for the moment.
  2.  (7443.3)
    Science Boats of Titan

    Didn't Ray Bradbury write that?
    • CommentAuthorPhranky
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2009
    I'm sure I've read something exactly like that and it wasn't Ray Bradbury.
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2009
    I read a short tale about a cyborg who ballooned over the red spot on Jupiter ...
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2009
    Those boats had better just steer clear of all those Sirens...

    I'd be interested to see how they intend to actually, you know, sail around a lake that's under heavy cloud cover and is, after all, about 1.4 billion km away when successfully sailing around on Earth is not always a trivial matter. I guess it'd be a sort of semi-submarine/submersible thing with a very reliable ability to right itself even from being completely upside-down - it'd be a pity to end the twenty year journey of a billion dollar probe by dropping it into a 100-year storm at the Titanian (Titanic? not a good omen...) Cape Horn and have it immediately sink.

    On the other hand, getting a satellite, rover, or instrument package to another planet is already so unbelievably tricky that the added difficulty of designing a space boat might not be that much of an issue.
  3.  (7443.7)
    ...And yet the UK government decides to cut the UK physics budget by, what, £40 million*? which is a drop in the ocean compared to the banking bail-out.

    Naaah - science ain't important.

    (*figures may well be wrong - I *have* after all been drinking - )